Beyond the Obvious

The starting point - Bluebells in the Woods
The starting point – Bluebells in the Woods

Excellent evening last night with the South Skye Camera Club at Clan Donald.  The theme was ‘Thoughts on Composition” and with a damp evening this photographer, at least, was out of his comfort zone in the well manicured gardens but with all the sweeping vistas lost due to the weather.  What is good though is it makes you think.  So after some poor attempts using the ruined castle as a backdrop I was forced to focus on the plants.  The bluebells and wild garlic were out in abundance, so if in doubt pick the obvious. Above is a familiar and straightforward composition of bluebells in the woods.  Nice colours but without good light it lacks the extra dimension.

Looking Within
Looking Within

So within the blanket of bluebells there were two rogue dandelions.  With their ‘clock heads’ intact the dampness was now an advantage as it highlights their structure. The first picture was looking down into the dandelion.  For the second dandelion I chose ground level to try a get a little more contrast between the dandelion head and the colour of the bluebells around, but was unable to get the separation I wanted – well at least without trampling all over the flowers.

Looking closely the odd larger drop of moisture can be seen but the head is made more opaque due to the fine mist of moisture that covers it.

So the next stage was to take the same technique of looking for a point of detail within a whole but this time to achieve the separation I was looking for.  After a couple of attempts with various plants I eventually found a suitable shrub with ideal contrast between foliage and flower.

Standing Out
Standing Out

Not being at all knowledgable about plants I couldn’t tell you what the shrub is but by isolating the delicate bulb of yellow/red flowers I find it easier to appreciate their delicateness and design and against the plum/purple foliage.  Hopefully some inspiration for @TJFrogMakes and her Dorset Button designs.  As I said well out of my comfort zone but an enjoyable evening that forced me to think about what I wanted from the camera.  All images were deliberately hand held using the ISO setting to get the depth of field I wanted whilst still having a shutter speed around 1/60th and wide apertures to limit the depth of field.

And on the way home? – Feeding Time

As I was about to get back in the the car to return home, this little fellow was spotted swimming close to the shore.  His successive dives took him further away from land and with fading light it is not the best image.  However great to watch as two eels and a crab were devoured in a productive evening feed.

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