How Far Do You Go?By
How far do you go in pursuit of a photo? Whichever genre we take photos in, portrait, journalism, landscape or any other niche, we all push the limits of our trade in experimenting. Be it in the way we take the photo, pushing time exposure, fstops, white balance and ISO settings.
How much do we push the boundaries though of what we use as a subject? I will quite often walk through a farmer’s field to capture a scene from a different angle, though never if there are crops growing.
When I’m out and about either in the car or walking I’ll take unknown roads or footpaths to explore and if there’s a bend in the road then that’s it; I just have to see what’s round it. It’s always that alluring bend in the road isn’t it? You just have to see what secrets it hides. Some of my greatest finds have been down unused roads or overgrown footpaths or bends in the road.
For me that is the great thing about landscape photography; it allows me the opportunity to explore new places and in turn learn a lot about me. When I have my camera in hand I feel like an intrepid explorer even though despite being deep in the countryside, I’m rarely further than a mile from civilisation!
A few weeks ago I was back in my favourite local village and exploring a footpath alongside the mere. The footpath crosses stiles, open farmland and woodland. In the woods as the sun was dropping lower in the sky I could see a blanket of bluebells; patches of which were being softly lit. I was unable to get across to the bluebells as a brook lay between me and the wood and a barbed wire fence. You know what it’s like when your imagination has been fired, the bluebells looked so beautiful in the light, and I wanted to be able to take some shots.
I retraced my steps to follow the fence up the side of the field and along the perimeter of the woodland. At the top I saw my chance, where the grass had given way to the red dusty soil at the root of a tree; it wasn’t possible for the fence to carry across as no post could be hammered into the tree’s root. Before climbing down the hill inside the woodland, I stopped and plotted my route down and back and carefully made my way down the steep hill to take some photos.
You know that saying, the grass is always greener? Hmm! After the climb down the bluebells didn’t look half as pretty, and I was limited as to how to take the shots because I had to be constantly aware of my footing and not slipping. As I made my way back up the hill and noted some badger sets, I realised that I’d probably taken a risk too far with this shoot. If I had slipped and fallen, I could have really struggled to get back up to the top of the hill, and should anything worse have happened, no one would have known I was there. I was hidden from sight by a curtain of trees.
The irony was, as I returned to the footpath beside the mere, I saw a gate at the edge of woodland, I went through it and found it led to a lovely group of bluebells in a much better location with some woodland props around like sawn off tree trunks. I did giggle, and thought there’s probably a lesson here somewhere! I went back to the village pub to see if I could find it over a plate of delicious fish and chips; alas it still eludes me though!
Ok, so I’ve had a bit of a giggle here as I’m telling this story, I’m curious though, how far do you go for your trade?
Living in the beautiful rural county of Yorkshire it was perhaps natural for Ruth to have an affinity with the countryside and its wildlife. Creativity is Ruth’s driving force finding an outlet in television & radio she worked for many years as producer for BBC & ITV.
However a love of photography and for being surrounded by nature called her to go back to her photography training and bring pleasure and joy to people through her connection with our planet.
Staying in the moment when taking her images allows her to experience the natural magnificence unfolding before her eyes. It is this moment of mediation, of gratitude, that she evocatively conveys through her images.
Company: Ruth Bayley Landscape Photography
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