I have been asked why I spend time writing about the countryside and not about photography, this is, after all, a photography website and perhaps I should be giving tips and hints about photography.
The answer is that perhaps I should. I should devote some time to the subject matter that this website is about.
The fact is that I am
Photography is not all about settings, gear, and how to. It is also about capturing feelings, and emotions. To create and feeling and emotion within the viewer.
There are three aspects of an image that are sometimes forgotten. We have the photographer creating the image. The subject of the image and the viewer of the image. The photographer says hey wow this would make a good image for whatever reason. It stirred a response from them, it moved them. The subject created an emotional response from that photographer. The image was made. In turn, this is passed to the viewer.
As an aside let’s “take the image was made”. In the positioning of the camera in relation to the subject we try to make the whole image capture what we were feeling, to show it at its best most inspiring, dramatic, to create a response. Take a look at https://www.instagram.com/benhornephoto. The images there are carefully crafted. Time is taken to look at compositions to show the viewer what was there in a way to give him or her the same feeling that Ben had at the time. Another person to look at would be https://www.instagram.com/brookeshaden. Brooke pieces together her images to form stunning and compelling images that are sometimes dark but always engender a response.
Whoever the photographer is there has to be some sort of connection with the subject which the photographer wants to pass on to the viewer. Be it a sunrise, a misty field or a swollen river. There is a connection between the photographer and the subject. The deeper the connection the more it comes through in the images. It has to be said though, that sometimes this connection can be so deep and so intense that the images that emerge are sometimes a little difficult to connect with.
We make images.
This is where the connection with the countryside comes in.
I have previously asked the question, are you just visiting or are you, “in”, a part of the countryside? Do you fully understand what the passage of seasons really means? The constant and subtle changes that take place during the year as a result of the seasons. From the first flushes of spring to the last whispers of autumn.
Do you only see the surface? The cold wet days of October and winter months or the blinding heat of summer. Do you miss the colours and changes that take place? Ever watched a brood of geese go from little fluffy balls of down to fully-fledged young adults? Seen the changes on the flowers, Watched the rise of fall of the river. The development of fruit on branches during the year?
Connection with all of these things helps to inform images. They create an emotion within us and that moves from the subject into the image and on to you, the viewer. It helps us to tell the story of the land.
It could be said that we simplify the countryside for people who don’t get to see it, for whatever reason. In order to do this, we need to understand it. We have to experience it. As a result, we can write about it
That and the fact I love sitting by the river, or in any rural setting just happens the river is 5 mins away, just watching the changes, and it’s nice to write about what I see.
To photograph what I see.