Yesterday and today I took Gizmo on a couple of long walks in some woodland which I’ve never visited, despite the fact that it’s less than half-an-hour’s walk from here. Yesterday we went along the bottom of Rivelin valley, and today we headed out from Loxley (home of Robin Hood), across the river, up the hill and towards Stannington.
Both times I took my camera out with me, and because I wasn’t particularly interested in photographing anything on the way I used the opportunity to practice my technical skills on nothing in particular. Having spent the last few months taking deliberately under-exposed photos (so as to avoid white-out in over-exposed areas) I just discovered that I should actually be over-exposing wherever possible, as long as I can avoid that white-out. As I’m not an expert at judging exposure anyway, I tried to get as much as possible into the “top half” of the exposure histogram without clipping – not very easy to do, especially when photographing fairly dark trees against a bright sky (yesterday morning was lovely and sunny, today was a little more overcast but with some sun breaking through for a few seconds at a time).
I’m not sure of the value of my finished shots – they’re certainly a lot better than “random tree shots” I might have taken a few months ago, but not of them really gets me fired up. But then that wasn’t the point. My appreciation of correct exposure has certainly improved, and I seem to be getting a bit more detail in my photos.
Over on the Street Photography Forum folk seem to get pretty excited over pictures of trees, or rather there are hints of strong pro and anti-tree factions, but for me they’re best as a technical exercise. Perhaps I’ll work some of them up into something at a later date. Meanwhile, here’s a nice little 1600×1200 wallpaper I made from some twigs (I know, I managed to over-expose this one a little, but it works in the context of this wallpaper).