“The Best Laid Plans” – Will Give You the Best Chance at Capturing That Special Moment
In 2013 I took part in a mentorship Entitled Storytelling Landscape Photography and this was one of the photographs that resulted from one of the final weeks of that experience. The full experience is below, as I really want to remember all of the wonderful things I learned, but feel free to just enjoy the image for its own sake!
Original Post: July 25, 2013
I am now deep into the Storytelling Landscape Photography mentorship.
One of the things that I have learned in week #8 of this wonderful program is how to give myself the best chance possible of getting exactly the scene I have in mind. For example, I started planning (believe it or not) a month ago, on June 22nd to get this. We had no super moon that night in June as it was raining with low cloud. So I used a special app I have (Sun Surveyor) to determine when the next one would be and found it was to be on July 23rd.
Before the day I gave careful thought as to the type of scene I wanted to record as a setting for this moon and to what would be the story of my image. I had to check the time of the moon rise, of course and I used the same app to tell me what time and direction the sun would be setting.I knew from what I learned that if conditions were right, there was a chance that the sky might be tinged with pink from the sun which was about to set behind me. I needed to know if the tide would be high, low or exactly at what point it would be at that time of that day (Tides and Currents app) to plan for the foreground elements. I also needed to know what exact spot the moon would be rising at. I used the app in conjunction with Google maps to plot the course of the sun and moon and I used the weather apps to determine, as the day got nearer, what kind of a night it was likely to be.
On the day before this, we did a ‘dummy run’ and I scratched my first choice of location off the list, as the foreground was likely to be filled with cars and the middle ground to look rather dull. We drove further up the coast using the apps and map and found what we knew would be the perfect location for what I had decided I wanted to feature – rock formations of the NS coast, sand and sea – and of course the super moon! I took a few hand held photos to get the feel of the place. We needed to ask the permission of the landowner of the cliffs we were to walk along, which we got.. and all was in place.
As we were eating supper, the sky clouded over. The weather app said ‘clear’. I trusted the app. We set off. Properly attired (covered head to toe against the mosquitoes) we parked the car and pointed the app (camera mode) at the horizon, plotting the exact point in the scene where the moon would rise. We walked along the cliffs on to the spot where it would all unfold in front of us, chose the position of the supporting elements and …. waited for that moment.
We watched the sun behind us go behind the hills (as predicted) the clouds before us become tinged with pink (check) and at the precise moment (8:34) when the moon was to rise….. It didn’t! Well, it did, of course, because such things are set in stone and can be utterly relied upon. But the mist above the water obscured it for several moments, which was a little frustrating. However before long it did appear in exactly the predicted spot and we started to photograph.
Does this all sound rather clinical? Well don’t let it spoil the feeling you get from the image, but use that litany of preparation above to help you appreciate all the more the wonderful successful images that you see on G+ and know that most of them were not captured by serendipity. They involve careful and painstaking preparation in order to avoid as much of the frustration as possible. Yes, things can always be different from what you had planned. If the night had been overcast we might have simply not got the photographs. And had to try again. But we had a plan and knew what we wanted. And that was the best place to start!
A theme today is “Domestic Cat”. Is any cat ever, really domestic? Almost certainly not, though they might pretend they are, at least while it works to their advantage. The domesticity is rather on the side of the family members they command …
Because everyone needs a photo of a cat now and again in their email or browser, here is “Domestic Cat”. Happy Thursday!
For another ‘Silhouette’ theme on another social network – recovered and posted here.
Original Post: July 26, 2012
Gull Gathering, Hall’s Harbour Rooftop
Silhouetted against the mauve sky in the light of the setting sun in Hall’s Harbour. This picture was one taken as a possibility of posting for my daily 366 project, but it narrowly lost to the post that I put up last night. #creative366projectouttakes . I thought it was worth posting today for the theme it suits so well.
The detailed and meticulous work that goes into one of Steven’s boxes is sometimes not easy to imagine when you see the polished finished piece. Here I went into the workshop to capture a stage of the box he is making. This is the Hat in a Box. The original finished piece can be seen here: Steven Kennard Turned Work
Steven is forming the top of the ‘legs’ of the box, but you can also see the metal rods that will connect the legs to the body. The legs are snakewood, while the body of the box is African Blackwood. The bowl in the base is also snakewood. The hat is African Blackwood turned and textured.
I loved the colours of this landscape on that overcast November day, I remember. The colours always seem so much richer, deeper, stronger and at the same time gentler when the sun is not brightly showcasing them. That November afternoon there was a storybook quality about the scene, which made me stop the car on a busy road and get out to capture the moment. At any given moment, no scene ever looks the same as at any other time. The elements change, the light changes and suddenly you are seeing a different view altogether to the one you passed only yesterday, or even 10 minutes ago. That was surely the case here as I have passed this scene hundreds of times since then and never seen that same special quality in it since.
Original Post:This would have been post #312/366 for my Photo a Day 366 project in 2012.
Unfortunately the original post is lost. But the photo is not and it is one of my favourites from that year. But… that’s not the first time you have read that here, I know! Okay, I admit that I have more than a few favourites from that time. I only hope you all enjoy seeing them through the eyes of my memories.
Alfie is another fun find in going through my archives. Those eyes just get you, don’t they?
Original Post: March 10, 2012 – 70/366 – Alfie – “Here’s lookin’ at You Kid!”
Alfie is a miniature Shar Pei, with a bear coat. This coat is the least common, though it was the one favoured by the Chinese aristocracy. The peasants had the short haired ones. The bears were the ones first targeted in the cultural revolution, being a sign of great decadence.
Alfie belongs to our good friends and when we called on them this morning I had my camera with me. He is a gentle young dog and he mostly lay at my feet until I spoke to him. This was the look he gave me. They don’t always like pictures of him, so I hope they like this one. Such gentle eyes.
I was so pleased to find this soft image when I was searching for macro images for today’s theme. This reminded me of how interesting it can be to see a photograph by another photographer and try to produce the same effect. This shows the tiny detail of a fluffy downy feather as displayed by a macro lens with a life-size converter.
Original Posting: March 4, 2013
I saw a photograph, posted today by John Wade , of the filaments of a black swan’s feather. I loved the light airy feel he had achieved in this photograph and it inspired me to try to produce something similar. I did not have a black swan’s feather (or any swan’s feather at all as it happens) but had a grey downy one that I used instead. Thank you for inspiring me to try something out here, John.
I used my macro lens with the life size converter to get this as I wanted.
Original Post: March 02, 2012 – 62/366 – BMW R75/6 Vintage Memories
This bike has such a wonderful history with us. Steven Kennard bought it in 1981 and used it in England as a second vehicle when I needed the car for a new job I had just started. He drove it 30 miles into work and back every day, all weathers. We also biked down to the South of France on it together and I can still remember falling asleep while riding pillion and waking up as we were going around a roundabout. It was truly a relaxing ride.
There is nothing to beat the wonderful smells as you drive through the warm French countryside on this open transport.
When we moved to France the bike came with us. Then Steven was seduced by a newer bike – another BMW of course – and we sold it to friends of ours. That new flashy bike was sold a few years later and we bought this bike back from the friend. It had only done about 79 miles in the few years he had owned it.
It has come with us to Canada and now sits in the workshop, a loved relic and source of wonderful, vintage memories.
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