Saturday, December 22, 2007

Runswick Bay

I usually shoot photographs with a digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera with interchangeable lenses. I have at least three different camera bags with which to transport my ever growing collection of bits of glass and camera-person essentials. In theory I should never be in the position of 'having the wrong lens'. So why does that happen so often?

The main reason is that I don't like to be encumbered by a bag. Nor do I like to look like a photographer. So my preferred lens storage place is a coat pocket where it can mingle with the fluff, toffee papers and other detritus. It is not really a suitable environment for a £700 piece of equipment but who cares. My long grey raincoat is ideal, lovely deep pockets that will take not only two lenses but also the camera body, spare battery, cable release, a few humbugs, a piece of cake, whatever. But if I'm not wearing that coat, I can carry only one lens. Often I make the wrong choice, leaving home feeling like it will be a wide day and then finding that all the subjects that present themselves turn out to be narrow.(No, I don't understand what I'm talking about either).

Given that I can only carry two lenses using the coat method, what is the choice? Well I shoot very little with what could be called a standard lens, the one usually sold with a DSLR camera. Instead I have two favourites, a 12mm-24mm wide-angle zoom and a 55mm-200mm vibration reduction mid-range telephoto. In theory not having access to much of the standard range, which is about 18mm - 70mm, forces me to make images that are a touch outside the normal, however that is defined.

I'm not sure it works because I still photograph far too much that is merely ordinary and gets deleted. However the image above, taken a couple of days ago on the Yorkshire coast at Runswick Bay, is one for which I did have the right lens in my pocket. It was taken at the widest angle I can achieve and I got the coat wet in the process. It's used to that. I just like the overall compass that this lens gives me, with the breadth of the sky and the immediacy of the foreground.

And it's pretty.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Going through another quiet, urge-lacking spell hence the paucity of posting (but not, it would appear, of alliteration).

Still it's good to be able to find an image from close to home for a change. Jubilee Bridge is about a mile away, providing a shortcut from our village to the south side of the Vale. I've stopped there are numerous occasions when the light's been interesting. One morning a couple of weeks ago, after a good, hard frost and with a light mist glowing in the low sun, the world (and Pixie, bless her cotton socks) begged me to stop the car and give it a bit of a going over. As always I had the wrong lens on the camera but that was to no avail. Shoot me, shoot me, said the river.

So I did.