Looking down isn’t always the best thing to do – certainly not if you want to see where you are going – but it is also necessary if you want to be able to see the details underfoot of where you are. In the case of the lambs in today’s featured image, looking back down the hill at me is a matter of curiosity, the curiosity of the young.
Their mothers had led them up the hill away from me as I approached on the descending lane, but they halted half way up to check me out. I too halted many times on my walk, first to look andContinue reading→
Reflecting on my walk this week on the landscape of my local salt marsh I am happy that I took the walk when I did as I suspect this open landscape would have been even more cold in our recent weather than the walk I took at the tail end of Storm Emma (that will be next weeks posts).
My focus on this walk has been more about the details than the open space and those details have mainly been the marsh grass and one or two of the features within it, such as the fences. I love some of the individual “marks” in this landscape – the spiky reflection of marsh grass in the river, the spiky barbs of a sinking fence, the spiky flicks of individual grass blades amongst the busy textures their stems, the crusty lichen covered surface of thin branches and the twirly wiggle of an old bit of rosebay willow herb from last year.
One of the things I like most about my walk this week on my local salt marsh is the marsh grass. It’s not the only thing I focus on when there, but using the camera to look at different aspects of the grass by adjusting the focal length allows me to investigate some of its different textures and patterns.
The two images below with the fence half hidden amongst the grasses are ones that each have a different depth of field and which I like for different reasons. The one with the fence and background grasses blurred gives me a better sense of being there while the other seems to me to be more diagrammatic, though I like the complex texture it presents. You may see them differently, but neither of them are realistic insofar as the camera lens cannot see in the way our eyes do but only recreate a sense of a place which we, ultimately, respond to according to our individual perception. Perhaps, if you are unfamiliar with this kind of landscape feature, the images may mean nothing to you. Our connection and response to the things around us, images included, is strongly influenced by our own experiences.
Having looked at some of the natural details on the short walk home with my niece (see previous post), we then started looking at some of the alternative details of our surroundings. The patterns created by dirt and moisture in the air and by the remains of roots on surfaces along our route.
This route took us past the dry crinkled textures of a brown beech hedge and onto a parking area where my niece said all she could see was cars and vans. So we took a closer lookContinue reading→
While the Taste of Gower walkers at Oxwich walk ahead of me I am able to take in some of the details of our surroundings both visually and aurally. Some of these details may be considered incidental or everyday things such as the seed head above, the horizontal shadow patterns of walkers legs or the vertical pattern of fence posts in perspective.
I like to think that I would spot different details or snippets of my surroundings regardless of the photographic blinker provided by a camera. But I also think that using a camera over the years has helped me to put a mental frame around aspects of my local environment that has allowed me more easily to focus on certain details.
On my walk this week along Aberavon seafront I took many photos, both detail shots and wide angle. Thinking of using them and my field recordings for a StillWalks video of this time and place, it was important for me to view the bigger picture as well as the details. The “bigger picture” shots below reveal that the sea fret that had lifted a little for a while, had descended again to mask the details in the distance.