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Pet Hate

I’m desperately trying to see these woods, (and flowers) from a different perspective.


Last year I got rather excited (and if I’m honest) a bit obsessed with getting the ‘perfect’ shot of bluebells in this wood. I think every serious landscape snapper should attempt at one point in there life, to try and get a meaningful shot of the little blue devils. And this year I came back to the woods to try and nail the little buggers, ‘once and for all’!


Now you might be surprised by my out of character language regarding these stereotyped little flowers. I can hear you say, “I thought Jason was a peace loving softy who meditates crossed legged with hippy friends on full moon parties?” and well you might be correct (For the record, I’ve only hugged one tree in my life and it was to impress a girl), but regarding these blue abominations, well let me say I’m glad they only lasted a couple of weeks a year!


Let me try and explain. I think it’s VERY hard to get a decent shot of bluebells without it being either clichéd or compositionally crap. Now the clichéd is one thing, (and I think the shot is bordering on this) but getting a clean composition in this wood was very frustrating. I personally look for strong shapes, angles and leading lines. I try and find areas that simplify the shot, to enable the shapes to push the viewers eye around the shot (or challenge them, like in my last post). I have to admit it’s rather important to me to do this and in this type of woodland the trees just don’t do what you ask of them. They don’t grow in clean lines, they don’t grow leaves to hide crappy little branches behind them, they don’t move enough when you want them to and don’t stay still when you don’t. The bluebells don’t have enough shape, they only get interesting when you get down on your hands and knees (no wonder my back is so knackered).


But I'm feeling bad now; I'm showing my sorry obsession up for what it is, sad sorry and resolutely void. I will make a new promise to myself tonight. I will never visit this wood with a camera in May again! I will never be disappointed and frustrated by the imperfect woods again, I will promise not to rant much further… anyway let me postpone my moonlit circle dance just until I manage to finish my list of pet hates. (The solstice is coming up guys, anybody for some green tea and tree hugging?)


Photographic pet hates (feel free to add to)


People who refuse to move from view

People who pick out microscopic areas of ‘blown out’ pixels

Getting to the location 10 min too late.

People who are obsessed by the rules


My inability to relax and enjoy the place without out looking for interesting shots!


Note: it has occurred to me that some of you may think my colours here are wrong. Well let just explain what I did so you can see why that is not the case. I did use a polarizer, (which cut down the reflections and saturated the colours a tad) then in post I applied some curves and levels, but didn’t push the colours at all.


What you see here is a strange phenomena, it looks like autumn colours in spring.

The very reason I was attracted to this spot is the strange combination of contrasting colours from the unnatural blue to wonderful golden leaves of the copper beach to the fresh new vibrant greens of the normal beach.


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Taken on May 11, 2008