Follow Your Own Path

Follow Your Own Path

Janet kindly bought me a copy of the “Masters of Landscape Photography” book for Christmas and it proved a really interesting read. Marc Adamus did lots of processing on his images while others did very little. Some carried out lots of preparation, prior to a shoot, while others preferred to “freewheel”. Johnathan Critchley shot in black and white, while Tom Mackie preferred highly saturated colours.

It all served to confirm my own opinion that there is no “right way” only “your way”, so always follow your own path, be it in life, or photography. Sometimes I’m happy to just get out there and see what the conditions have to offer, other times I have a specific image in mind and it becomes like an itch, I can’t settle until I’ve scratched it.

So, it was with my latest mono image. I really liked the images we produced at Strensall Common, exactly one year ago. I loved the delicate branches on the birch trees and the fine detail in the frosted grasses, but as a simple soul who loves simple images, I wanted to reduce the image even further. Ideally, I needed a thick layer of snow to smooth the foreground even more, with just a few stalks of grass sticking through, but I was going to have to be patient and wait for some snow to come.

As soon as the snow fell a few weeks ago, we headed straight for Strensall, only to have the snow peter out before we got there! So more patience required. When the snow finally returned last Thursday it was game on, but where to go? When it snows heavily, travelling becomes difficult and parking even harder! Being constrained to stay local by heavy falling snow, we headed for one of our favourite locations and there infront of me was my perfect tree with some vegetation sticking out of the snow! However, driving snow in my face made it impossible to keep the lens dry, so this image would have to wait for another day. 

The following day dawned dull, grey and un-inspiring, but with a thaw forecast overnight, we had to give it one last try, even if it was to only be a recce of the location. As it turned out, the conditions were favourable and I even found a simpler clump of vegetation to add my foreground interest, so job done, I could go home happy and not worry too much about the impending thaw.

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