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Developing your art #photography

It has been about 10 years since I decided to take up photography and only 4 years with a DSLR so I’m not an expert but I think of myself as an artist now. I strive for images that will inspire others. I know now it isn’t the camera that decides whether an image is inspiring or not. I have taken prize-winning photographs with my cheap bridge camera and I have some great photos I’ve taken with a DSLR. I want to do more than taking snaps, however. I want art. I want big prints for people to look at and be inspired by. It costs money and it also costs money for expensive lenses. For now, I just try to recognise the shots and experiment with different lenses. I like to shoot with a wide aperture now to get my subjects into sharp focus.

An image to inspire

This is Moorcroft Junction pipe bridge on the Walsall canal. That’s Moorcroft Wood to the left. In the middle of Moorcroft Wood, you will find  Moorcroft Pool, a relic of the coal mining there. It is now a local nature reserve. It is an inspiring picture. Don’t you want to cross the bridge and explore Moorcroft Wood?


Wide open

I took this shot with the widest aperture I could get with my 300mm lens. I zoomed in which made the subject sharper and the background a blur. The aperture goes a little narrower when you zoom in but it was still wide at f/5.3. It isn’t quite what I wanted but you can see what I was trying to get.



This is more or less the same shot and still at f/5.3 and so still wide open but the focus point was on the trees in the distance and so we have those in focus and the foreground out of focus. It isn’t a good picture, it doesn’t inspire. It just shows the effect of a wide aperture landscape.


Newton Road Bridge

I was under the Newton Road Bridge when I saw this as a good shot. I still had the 300mm lens on and took the shot at f/5. The lack of light under the bridge didn’t matter. One cyclist is in the light and the other in silhouette. The background is slightly blurred but it doesn’t matter because the viewer looks at the subject.


Metro tram

This is the Metro tram going over the bridge on the Tame Valley Canal. I would like to take this shot again and make it much sharper. The tram is blurred because it was moving. This was f/5.6 on aperture priority which gave me a shutter speed of 1/200 of a second. I think the tram would look better at a much faster shutter speed. How can I get that? I’m already wide open. The answer, of course, is to make the sensor more sensitive by raising the ISO which will give a faster shutter speed. I recently shot some musicians performing under fluorescent light and raised the ISO to 6400 and got reasonable pictures.


By experimenting, I look for that one picture that will inspire an audience if it is printed big and exhibited. Photography can be an art and although I’m not creating an image like a painter and I can’t draw to save my life; I can create images with a camera. It isn’t just pressing a button and taking a snap. It is about seeing a change in the light and capturing an image in a fraction of a second before the light changes again. Photography is fascinating as well as fun to do.

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