July’s Themes

My four themed images for the month of July were Face, Agriculture, Graceful and Fruit(s).

Theme – Face 

I like self portraits, I used to think I would use them in my pictures as I didn’t like to take photos of other people but I’ve come to the realisation over the years that I do actually like them. I don’t know what it is, perhaps because I can 100% control the outcome and the look I want, perhaps it’s the fact I don’t mind having my picture taken even though I’m not George Clooney or Brad Pitt. Maybe it’s in spite of that and they are protest selfies!

Anyway, this shot was taken indoors on a miserable rainy day and rather than a straight face shot I wanted to find something a little abstract while still meeting the theme, this led to the simple realisation that I only need the viewer to connect with the most important part of the face on first contact, the eye. Therefore, a simple shot with my eye in focus, head tilted and the eye on the right hand and lower third of the frame is what I was almost happy with. 

As you see however, to give it a simpler more classic tone, again you find me using black and white with the addition of a grainy filter to replicate a high iso grainy shot as well as over exposing deliberately to help focus on eye contact.

Face

Theme -Agriculture

This is a shot at the Stotfold Working Steam Weekend that had agricultural machinery of all sorts on show. This particular shot caught my eye as it had both the Steam Engine and ride on tiller in the same frame. This is though a snapshot frankly as, in an ideal world I would have waited until the person in blue had left the field area, then I might have converted to a sepia or black and white and give it more of an air of the age of steam. 

Agriculture

Theme -Graceful

A swan, of course it’s going to be a swan for a shot of graceful, it’s that or a ballet dancer and believe me, there’s a heck of a lot more swans about my town than ballet dancers!

I have to admit though, I did rack my brains for something not quite so obvious and even took pictures of a spider on his web etc but nothing was good enough. That’s when I decided to simply go for the swan shot and was lucky enough to find this one after about half an hours walk by the river and about an hour before the sun set. Due to the sun being quite low in the sky I wanted the swan in the shadow of the bank to allow me to expose properly, in fact I deliberately underexposed this shot to get the sharpest and true to white I could. 

As he was feeding it was now just a matter of time before he moved into position in front of the broken reeds and presented me with a great image with his reflection in ripples caused by his graceful movement upstream. 

Graceful

Theme -Fruit(s)

So, still in catchup mode I went out this evening to get a sunset of Stevington Windmill, a popular subject with many locals and a favourite landscape of mine. The problem with this is, of course, how to make it different. I’ll be honest, it was difficult and I was there for the best part of 3 hours to get this one shot!

Initially I was hoping for a really great sunset, it didn’t happen, but on checking a couple of my apps earlier in the day I knew that the moon would soon be setting and that it was a sliver crescent moon. Again though, due to the intermittent cloud cover, there were no decent images. 

So, what to do? With the cloud clearing and the stars coming out I had always wanted to try and get an image of the Milky Way and that is what you see here, with a bonus meteor on the upper corner. 

As a first ever attempt I’m fairly happy with it, but have a lot to learn.

Fruits (of my labour)