Washburn Revisit

Washburn Valley

On Saturday afternoon we went for a quiet walk along the River Washburn, accompanied by our daughter, who was home from Uni – (as she had been out clubbing until 4 earlier that morning, we all thought it might be nice to ‘blow away the cobwebs’).

It’s clear from this picture, that this scene must be an ‘on a plate’ shot, as it has almost identical framing to one I took earlier in the year – only here the River Washburn has lost its seasonal volume.



Waterfall Detail

A few close-ups of the previous waterfall.  I often look for detail in the features – helped, of course, by a longer focal length.


Tree Variations

Intrigued by the patterning of the bark of the tree, a young family happened along the path on the far bank, and the lady just happened to have a red coat on – (couldn’t resist!).  I also liked the little line of ivy going up the trunk of the tree, so took an extra shot giving the ivy more prominence.


Bridge over the Wasburn


Every Wednesday I act as a volunteer at a local Community Arts centre, which supports people who are recovering from mental illness, where I offer tuition/mentoring in photography.  For the most part, this has meant support to a single individual, though I’ve worked with a few others on and off – the nature of recovery seems to be intermittent.

My ‘buddy’ (I’ve been going out with him for some time now, so the title ‘client’ doesn’t seem appropriate) had some experience with photography, but digital was pretty new to him, so we’ve gradually been working in broadening his skill set in both the technicalities of digital camera use and the wider scope of image creation and composition.  The nature of his recovery/support means there is a lot of repetition of detail and thinking of ways to reduce the complexity of taking photographs – many times we have resorted to setting his camera to ‘program’ (auto everything) so we could stop his enjoyment of taking pictures being marred by unnecessary complications like ISO, aperture, shutter speed, histograms and the like.  Of course, all this is in the context of his mood on the day and as the session goes on.  To be honest, nowadays our sessions tend to be less about the photography as such, it’s more about a walk in the countryside for a chat with a camera along for company.

He is also somebody who has absolutely no interest in computers, though I’ve managed to teach him the skills to review his pictures on the pc at the centre.  He has no interest in learning how to do any ‘digital darkroom’ work – though I’ve got him to at least delete the pictures he’s not happy with.  Originally, he would take the card from his camera to the local supermarket to have his pictures printed, then he would delete the card – we now copy his images to a large memory stick, so he could reprint in the future, or should he change his mind and look to getting a bit more computer savvy, he could revisit his images.

One of my biggest difficulties is finding somewhere we haven’t been before, (he’s not keen on repeat visits), but it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find somewhere fresh – somewhere there is something to take photographs of on a walk of about 1/2 mile.  Personally, I’m happy to ‘wing it’ but that’s not appropriate for our sessions – (between 1100 and 1400 as a general rule).  This means I’ve had to start to reconnoitre potential trips – not a bad thing I guess, but it all takes time.  Of course, travelling distance is also becoming a problem  – the more we drive out the less time he ends up with.
I took this on our most recent trip out (there’s a sure bet, I’m not about to leave my camera in the car!).



Artists Unknown


One of the things I encounter every so often in the landscape is the construction/arrangement of locally natural objects by a person unknown to create something to say ‘I was here’.Impromptu_MG_4374

This small pile of ‘river stones’ has been carefully arranged at the edge of the small river recently featured in my posts.  It’s hidden down by the water’s edge, away from the footpath.  It’s definitely not made by natural processes.  It’s quite insignificant, but somebody took the time to choose the stones to make this little table (fairies again perhaps?).


Even more insignificant was this small stone placed on the boulder in the middle of the stream.  It may be that somebody spent a few minutes throwing stones, trying to land one on the small indentation (a better shot than me!).  However, I like to thing somebody deliberately placed it here – perhaps to see how long it would stay.Impromptu_MG_4485

This final example, shows feathers placed into a patch of mud that has formed on the edge of a boulder outcrop.  By the look of the feathers the majority seem to be from Magpies and other Corvids.  My missus thought it looked altogether sinister.  I guess somebody walked the wood regularly and collected feathers as they walked, increasing the work every time they passed.

Maybe you are somebody who likes to construct ‘works’ – if you are, please be aware that there’s at least one person out here who likes to see them.