Sunday, 8 June 2014

Impromptu Gressenhall Journey

Honey Bees, Gressenhall 1/500sec f.5.6 ISO200
Today was a really warm day and we all went out for the day to Gressenhall Farm. There was a photo competition on and I decided to give it a go.

Normally, I am not into photo competitions but my wife Emma recently won a weekend in Paris with a photo I took nearly ten years ago. This has naturally increased my enthusiasm for entering these things.

Gressenhall is an old rural workhouse, now a popular tourist attraction and museum. I had been there before with the family, and didn't rate the photographic opportunities very highly being more of an urban photographer. However, the promise of winning a £50 voucher was too great.

I usually shy away from snapping away like a man possessed, but on this occasion I took 297 photos. This was mainly to try and capture bees doing their thing on a flower. When taking nature photos, the rule is to go colour. This is also something of which I try and steer clear, as is macro photography, as is cropping, as is wilful proximity to bees. Having said this, my complete disregard for Henri Cartier-Bresson's manifesto bore fruit. See my above photo of bees having a laugh.

Gressenhall Cart, 1/8000sec f.4.5 ISO1600
Nature photographers the world over may scoff at my pathetic attempt to immortalise the two bees in question (which I named Paul and Ringo). I would argue the point that I was using a 15 year old EF kit lens on a EF-S camera. In addition to this I AM TERRIFIED OF BEES.

Bees aside, I did manage to snap this ornate farm cart of which I am very proud. During this lazy shoot my ISO settings and shutter speeds were all over the place. I didn't even know my camera shot at 1/8000sec. I reckon ISO200 would have been nearer the mark.

Anyway, I will enter my terrifying bee photo and hope for the best. You never know, I might get a few lens filters out of it. I am really looking forward to my trip to Paris, which is obviously the main haunt of my two favourite photographers - Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Doisneau. Now, has anyone got a cheap Leica going?

Sean Chester - on my sofa

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