Runaground, originally uploaded by Zardoz67.

Was burning the midnight oil last night going through all the pictures I took on the mudflats of Thurstaton beach on The Wirral. As posted previously it was one of those days when things seemed to go right and I think I’ve got some really good shots. Unfortunately, following wrangling the kids into bed, cooking tea, eating tea (or dinner if you are poncey) watching ‘Mock The Week’ & The 10 o’clock News, I did not have much time to spend on the photos and didn’t get that far into them before I had to retire to bed. Of the few I have looked at so far I think that this is probably the best, but I am hoping that better are to come. It seems to me that whenever I go out with the camera my photographs tend to improve as the day progresses.

This could be for several reasons: it could be because it takes me a while to get warmed up; it could be because the light changes as the day progresses; it could be that I get ‘in the zone’ [apologies but couldn’t think of a better way of expressing it]. Either way, the longer I take the better the pictures I seem to take. This picture was taken very early around mid afternoon but has the look of a picture taken much later. I’m not sure if its the cloud cover or the darkness of the mud (I can’t really call it sand as I was up to my knees in it and it was most definitely estuary mud). Luckily for me, although it was a rainy day it seemed to only rain on the other side of the estuary (ie in North Wales) and I have high hopes that some of my other photos will have captured this. Anyhow, I’ll be working on the rest of them this weekend with a view to uploading more and blogging about them next week.

I think that I like the ‘texture’ of this photo the mud is slimy, the boat is weathered and the clouds are fluffy. I also like the fact that the horizon seems to go on forever. This pictures was taken with my 10-20mm wide-angle lens and although it has been cropped it still has that cinematic sweep that you only get with a super wide angle. This lens has changed my photography so much, particularly my landscapes, that it has made me realise that sometimes it’s worth saving that little bit extra to pay for quality. Still no near getting that macro though; and I think a decent zoom might need to come first anyhow.

Speaking of cinematic [spot the seamless link] the Oscars were announced this week and I must admit to being underwhelmed. Whilst I can marvel at Avatar’s technical brilliance and appreciate why it’s my 9-year old son’s favourite film (100 out of 10 in case you are interested) it’s still Dances With Wolves in Space. I did really enjoy The Hurt Locker, particularly as I like films that ratchet the tension up to 11 but at the same time I found it impersonal with no female characters to connect to (unless you count a brief cameo by LOST’s Evangeline Lilly) and no real insight about what drives someone towards a career in bomb disposal. However, the biggest disappointment me for me was the best Actor nominations. Jeff Bridges probably will win (nominated 5 times before without winning); Colin Firth probably should win; Morgan Freeman’s accent slips too often for him to win; Jeremy Renner is great in The Hurt Locker but the role has little emotional clout – the character is too dulled by the horrors of war. George Clooney is brilliant in Up In The Air but isn’t he just playing George Clooney? The reason for my disappointment is that Sam Rockwell was not even nominated for Moon, possibly the best film I saw last year and certainly the best acting performance. Maybe it was too niche, too low budget, maybe the studio didn’t send out DVD screeners to the Academy voters; for whatever reason it’s a shame. Rockwell’s performance in Moon is a cut above all of those named previously. Get it on DVD and you’ll see what I mean. At least it’s Director Duncan ‘Zowie Bowie’ Jones has been BAFTA nominated…

I seem to have digressed again with that little rant but at least film is a linked discipline to photography. Comments as always are more than welcome. Until the next time…


About Mark

I am a 43-year-old amateur photographer from Chester, Cheshire UK. I took up digital photograpy a couple of years ago after hitting 40. See it as my mid-life crisis. Unfortunately, unlike, say, forming a band, having a tattoo or buying a motorcycle I have come to realise that the particular hobby I have chosen as a means to escape the drudgery of the day job is probably one of the most expensive. On May 12th 2009 I spent a marvellous informative day with professional photographer Stewart Randall. This has prompted me to take my photography more seriously and, although I don't expect it to lead to a career change, maybe sell or license some of my images so that I can fund my hobby. I hope you like the images I post and please feel free to comment. All constructive criticism is welcomed. This blog will document my attempts to get to grips with the digital medium and see if I can get some wider recognition for my images. View all posts by Mark

5 responses to “Runaground

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