Sunday, 22 August 2010

Jesmond Dene

With little luck with my wildlife photography in recent months, I decided to travel light and take my 5D camera and 17-40mm lens for a few landscapes and hopefully, creativity.  Ironically, after all the poor weather we’ve had this summer, today it was a bright, sunny day – not really ideal for landscapes as the light is too harsh, so I went down to Jesmond Dene which is largely sheltered being in a narrow, step ‘valley’ cutting through the east end of Newcastle.  I also took with me an ND 10, ND Grad and infrared filter as well as a tripod.

I used to visit this area quite a bit in my student days, with my Olympus camera, as I used to live in nearby Heaton.  The area has changed little since then though the water seems a bit cleaner backed up by the only other time recently I have also visited, when I saw Kingfishers here.  None today, in fact little wildlife at all apart from what you might expect to see a city park.  Most of the picturesque part of the Dene is at the end around the much photographed waterfall, so it was here I took most of my images and experimented around with long exposures and infrared.  The third picture down had to be two exposures merged due to the extreme contrasts in light and shade beyond the latitude of the cameras exposure system. 

It was strange that after taking some of the long exposures and waiting for the camera  to ‘process’ the image in the camera before showing it on the back screen, I was complaining to myself because it was taking so long!  How soon we get used to the luxury and convenience of digital photography.  Back in my film days I would have to wait up to a week to see any of the results.  In some ways I miss those times.  Just like life, it seemed so much more simpler.  Having said that, my film cameras haven’t seen the light of day for some years.

My second and third from last are infrared.  Infrared is a type of photography I would really like to have a go at, but ideally a camera converted for the purpose is needed for best results.  The final image has been converted to black and white something I still find very attractive for landscapes and abstract images.

Not my best work photographically, but sometimes I just need to have some success at taking photographs. 



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