Photography with an open mind

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Ogden near Milnrow. Conversion with Nik Color Efex using the Infrared and Grain filters. Captured with a Sony RX10
Ogden near Milnrow. Conversion with Nik Color Efex using the Infrared and Grain filters. Captured with a Sony RX10

Yesterday was time for a walk in that it wasn’t raining hard; at least not when I headed out. As is usually the case I picked up a camera to take with me but this time it was a hard decision. Was it worth actually bothering?

You see the walk I was intending to do was around 10 miles and didn’t involve any mountains or spectacular scenery. In fact it was really a walk to keep up fitness levels. The area is quite nice if you like the stark, bleak moorland of the North of England but at the moment it looks pretty horrible with all the rain.

I walk in this particular area quite regularly and over the years have tried to take landscape images. It is, without doubt one of the most challenging locations I have come across. I have tried it in all weather conditions (snow isn’t bad), at all times of year and all times of day and night but I seldom come away with any photographs that I like.

This time I picked up the RX10 and after some decision making I decided to take it. In the end I stopped a total of 4 times to take a handful of pictures, but each time I captured something I quite like. I have never managed anything so productive in the past so why the sudden turnaround in my fortunes?

It’s certainly not down to equipment, although I really like using the RX10. No, I think it’s more to do with how I approached the photography or rather walk. I was out to do a walk rather than looking for images and because f this I had no expectations about what I would see or what type of image I was looking to create. I simply walked and if something caught my eye, I stopped and asked myself what it was. When I was clear in my own mind what was attracting me I took the photograph. You can see two of the processed images in this blog.

Drain in Holingworth Lake near Milnrow. Conversion in Nik Silver Efex Pro. Capture with a Sony RX10.
Drain in Holingworth Lake near Milnrow. Conversion in Nik Silver Efex Pro. Capture with a Sony RX10.

I think I need to take this approach more often rather than visit somewhere and become disappointed by what I find.

7 thoughts on “Photography with an open mind

    Gerald Schultz said:
    January 26, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    I love the picture of the mini waterfall. I was intrigued by the fact that the Rx10 is a real walk around camera and you were able to slow down the shutter and handhold to get the silkiness of the water. Were you carrying a small tripod or did you handhold ??

      thelightweightphotographer responded:
      January 26, 2014 at 5:39 pm

      Thanks. The image was captured handheld and the shutterspeed was 1/20 second so not very slow. I have found I have handhold down to aroun 1/4 second, possibly slower if I brace myself against something. In this case I was leaning on a fence. What I really like about the RX10 is that I can fit it into a very small shoulder bag with a filter and a spare battery. Great for walking around as you say.

    mattsteelephotography said:
    January 26, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    This is my neck of the woods… I love it up on the Moors with its desolate and bleak setting. It is definitely weather dependent as to whether I get a good shot or not. The landscape is very challenging as there aren’t any defining features as such but it is still one of my favourite places all the same.

      thelightweightphotographer responded:
      January 26, 2014 at 9:18 pm

      Hi Matt, The moors are very challenging, but I feel the bad weather can really add drama to them and give them a beauty of their own. It’s flat grey that tends not to work. Where abouts are you based?

        mattsteelephotography said:
        January 26, 2014 at 9:32 pm

        I think on most days it is flat grey!

        I live in a village called Golcar, west of Huddersfield in the Colne Valley. It is a beautiful part of the world.

        I recommend having a walk along the Pennine Way around Marsden. It is wonderfully bleak up there! Butterley and Wessenden reservoirs are great to break the monotony of moorland.

        I just love walking up there, having a camera with me is a bonus!

        thelightweightphotographer responded:
        January 27, 2014 at 8:22 pm

        Hi Matt, I know the area well and have walked the Pennine Way section you mention. I nearly bought a house in Scapegoat Hill once which I think is very near to where you live. The moors around here are wonderful but sometimes difficult to appreciate.

    What it was that caught my eye | K.Adam White said:
    February 4, 2014 at 2:17 am

    […] ~ Robin Whalley, the Lightweight Photographer […]

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