Time to think / by Graham Dew

This afternoon I went on bracing walk with the family, with cliff top views to the see on our left and folded fields on our right. With low grey clouds, spits of rain and a fairly strong wind picture taken was always going to be difficult. But low light, difficult footings and difficult weather are nothing in comparison with the reluctance of family and companions to pause for just a minute to allow you a minute or two to make a picture. Usually it’s a cry of ‘come on, hurry up’ or ‘don’t hold everyone up!’ And if you do manage to persevere with taking the picture, there’s that famous challenge ‘what on earth are you taking a picture of?’ and ‘that will be a rubbish picture’. 

Yes, usually it is. Because you need time to think, time to really look, time to compose, time to set the zone of focus, time to include and exclude all the elements that add or detract from the final image. You need time to explore, take a frame, take a better one, take a chance, try something different, time to get ‘in the zone’ as they say.

 The picture below was taken last spring when out for a short walk, one by myself. Although I knew I had to get home fairly soon, I allowed myself a little time to stop and look at a relatively new gatepost. The sun was just grazing across the surface of the grain of the wood on the sloping surface at the top of the post. It reminded me of the ploughed fields that I had seen earlier in the walk. By moving in very close I could make this illusion work; the distant trees appearing as though they were at the top of this imagined field. All that was really needed was just a little time to look, and some time to think.

Imagined Field 2011