Over the last couple of months it has become impossible not to have viewed many images in the media, showing the effects of this winter’s storms. Many of these images have depicted the results of the violent winds when combined with high tides around our coasts. Others have shown floods caused by the wettest winter on record. The fact is, that the weather events of the last three months have combined to cause devastation and human misery in many parts of the country. The livelihoods of many people have suffered and homes have been completely lost or badly damaged. I suspect that even those of us who have not suffered directly, will feel the ‘knock on’ costs in future years, due to the need to pay higher insurance premiums.
Although the violent wind strengths that we have suffered of late have been mainly linked to coastal damage, significant numbers of trees have been brought down inland as well. When I took the photos featured in ‘After the Storms’, I met a lady who didn’t suffer from the ‘tripod reluctance’ that I do. Armed with a very heavy duty tripod and ND filters, she had been intent in capturing the late afternoon sunshine over the floods, and probably with ‘milky water’ to boot. One of the images that she was taking focused on this willow tree.
I hope that she achieved the image that she wanted at that time, because this willow has now been uprooted, as shown below, and can no longer form the focal point for any future attractive landscape images.
This post was only intended to show the manner in which the storms have permanently changed our landscapes, however, as I write this post, I am very conscious of what many people have lost during the storms, and I feel huge sympathy for them. This leads to somewhat of a feeling of guilt when I capture images of the storm and flood devastation. The fact is though, that weather events like this, can produce dramatic images that many photographers would want to record. Would it be more acceptable to shoot only hard hitting ‘documentary’ images, showing houses and cars that are submerged, rather than apparently pleasant looking landscapes? It is my view, that all the images in these 3 posts are ‘records’ of the floods and are therefore acceptable, even if they sometimes appear ‘artistic’. By the way, I’m obviously not referring to either of these images as artistic.
Any views? Does anyone else worry about whether to shoot this type of subject?