Monochrome Moments – 3

I’ve touched on Camera Club competitions before.  Well, we had another Camera Club competition last night and the theme for this competition was ‘Monochrome’, so I thought that a post about my efforts in this competition might fit the ‘Monochrome Moments’ series quite well.  I know that some ‘online photographers’ don’t have much time for Camera Clubs and competitions, and I do understand that point of view.  The Club does, however, get me out on a Monday night and it’s good to be able to mix with like minded people.  I also have a bit of a competitive streak in me, so it seems natural to enter the competitions and give support to the Club’s efforts in running them.

The Judge for this competition was very experienced, so I don’t think that there was much dissent from the opinions that he passed on the evening’s images, certainly not from me.  I thought that I would use ‘Monochrome Moments – 3’ to describe what I may have learned from last night’s judging of one of my entries.

Although sometimes I have managed to shoot specifically for a competition, frequently I find myself trawling through recent images that I have taken, trying to decide what might make a suitable entry.  For this competition I needed four images but this post will talk about just one.

None of the observations that the judge made are new.  We are all aware of the potential pitfalls that a photographer can make.  The problem is that we can also momentarily forget some of these pitfalls when we spot an image that we think just needs to be captured.  This was what I was guilty of when pressing the shutter release on this occasion.  The next image is the one that I entered although the original vision was of a colour image.

The sun was low, the scene was peaceful and I really loved the reflections.  I wanted to capture these reflections.  I also wanted to use the path to the Mill as a ‘lead in’, and I spotted the small boat pulled up on the shore on the right hand side, thinking that this might add interest to the scene. Click!

Carew Tidal MillGo on – pull it apart.  Well, the Mill isn’t ‘on a third’, which I thought was acceptable bearing in mind I had already considered what I wanted to show.  The power lines and poles hadn’t really been considered.  I think I knew that they were there, but didn’t think them an issue at the time.  The judge last night did appreciate the reflections, but thought that the right hand end of the image was not worth keeping.  He would rather have seen the Mill depicted in a portrait configuration, which would have had the benefit of removing ‘the ugly post on the right’ (his words).  Sometimes ‘less’ is ‘more’ was a message that he passed several times during the evening.  I couldn’t get a ‘vertical’ crop without loosing the ‘lead in’ from the bottom left, so I opted to try a square crop. Carew Tidal MillSince the judge didn’t like the power lines and the post on the right, I took the opportunity to remove the rest of them.  Here is a ‘letterbox’ crop like the original effort, but with the offending electricity removed.

Carew Tidal MillHaving listened to the judge’s words, and taken another critical look at the image, I have to agree with him.  I do now think that the square crop is best, even though I do still like the original ‘letterbox’ crop.  What I have learned is that I do need to be much more critical at the stage where the image is recorded, and also that it is well worth exploring the options when preparing an image for competition, posting or printing.  Available time is of course the thing that will likely make me forget what I have learned.

That’s it for Monochrome Moments – 3.  Perhaps another of my entries for last night’s competition will make it into Monochrome Moments – 4.

Pembrokeshire – 3

The third image in this Pembrokeshire series (also see here and here) is also in the Carew area.  This photo shows both the Castle and the Tidal Mill at Carew, but this time they are not really the subject of the image.  We had arrived at our  rental cottage about an hour and a half before sunset on a clear day, so as the forecast for the next few days was awful, we decided to have a quick local walk and finish by trying to capture a sunset over the estuary.  This was the best I could manage.

wpid-B050090-Edit_1-Edit_2-Edit_tonemapped.jpgThe weather didn’t cooperate.  The clouds rolled in from the west, obscuring the sunset.  Wait for the sun to light the overhead clouds is the usual rule for photographers.   We waited and waited, but this didn’t happen either as the clouds dispersed before they became high enough in the sky.  I haven’t cropped this to ‘letterbox’ as I usually tend to, because I quite liked the expanse of twilight blue.  If you look closely, it is possible to see a couple of wispy clouds in the top third of the frame, but they didn’t light up orange as I had hoped.  They were just too thin.

 

Pembrokeshire – 2

As we were walking back from the Tidal Mill shown in Pembrokeshire – 1, I spotted an Egret and a Heron, busy fishing in front of the castle.  I knew that they would get a little ‘lost’ in the frame, but there was a pleasant foreground, so I grabbed the shot anyway.

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The Egret is in the centre and the Heron is off to the right.  They seemed quite happy to be sharing the fishing.

Postcard Shot of St Davids Cathedral

I’m sorry that I’m not posting, reading or commenting much at the moment, but I am enjoying a brief visit to Pembrokeshire to get over suffering my first septuagenarian birthday.  Suddenly I feel very old!

This shot is just to prove that am still here and taking photographs.  Hopefully for a bit longer.

St Davids Cathedral

St David's CathedralSt Davids Cathedral in B&W,

St David's Cathedral (B&W)Take your pick between the colour and monochrome versions.

There is no O2 mobile reception here and the internet connection at our accommodation is very slow.  The break is great though.