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Snap It Like Snaarman

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  • Snap It Like Snaarman

    I'm sure you will have heard of the film, "Bend It Like Beckham;" well this is the photography sequel, "Snap It Like Snaarman."

    My photography is changing. I'm no longer able to regularly travel around the celebrated scenic areas of Britain and need to adapt to getting the most from my own local patch, regardless of the fact that I've done to death all the obvious scenes of merit. It doesn't help that I also seem to have lost my seeing eye, my ability to spot potential amongst the mundane or unpromising. A recent reluctance to get out at all just multiplies the problem.

    So what can I do? Well, following Peter's recent "Snaarmanesque" thread it occurred to me that I need to take inspiration from our own resident maaster of spotting details and transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary. The best way to apply this strategy to my own photography is, of course, to get out more to re-awaken and exercise my own seeing eye. So this morning I bullied myself out the door for a walk; nothing too strenuous, just a two mile circuit from home which uses mainly field paths rather than roads.

    Do you know what, I actually enjoyed it. It took me several hours because I kept stopping to look, often gazing at something I'd seen hundreds of times before but now was seeing with seemingly fresh eyes. I photographed anything and everything. Well, that is how it felt; I'm sure that in reality I was just scratching the surface and missing all the rally good stuff. I won't pretend that I got any maasterpieces either; in fact most of what I took never made it past the delete button but the important thing is that it got me looking at things differently again, seeking photographs rather than waiting until they find me, practicing my Snaarmanesque.

    First stop was within a few hundred yards of my house, at this beautiful horse chestnut tree still in blossom.

    I wanted to get a different view of the leaves and blossom, almost from the inside looking out so I spent a while amongst the low branches until I found something vaguely similar to what I was visualizing.

    Passing the village churchyard I spotted this backlit scene, transforming a mundane view into a little cameo of fresh spring beauty.

    I turned down a narrow alley between two houses, which leads to open fields. I just had enough room to manouvere myself to capture this adventurous wild flower growing against the wall of one of the houses. I particularly like the contrasting colours.

    Soon I was in open fields and accepting the challenge of how to make an interesting composition out of endless square hectacres of oil seed rape.

    And of course at this time of year, buttercups (or were they king cups?)

    Some of the way I was on one of the Five Parishes Millennium Walks.

    And finally, just before I arrived back at home, I encountered one of the biggest infestations of molehills ever recorded in the area.

    Looking back, I'm sure there was much, much more I could have done and what I have here barely registers on the Peteometer, but it's a start and more importantly I'm starting to enjoy my photography again.

    "A hundredth of a second here, a hundredth of a second there � even if you put them end to end, they still only add up to one, two, perhaps three seconds, snatched from eternity." ~ Robert Doisneau

  • #2
    Re: Snap It Like Snaarman

    Brilliant series there!

    I particularly like number 6, with the baked earth path leading to the tree in the distance. Also, the flower against the wall is very nice, but looking out from the horse chestnut blossom onto the road is even better....!

    Good to see you're getting out and about and seeing things with a new've given me some ideas for tomorrow...

    My flickr photostream....


    • #3
      Re: Snap It Like Snaarman

      Pictures like Perriment I'd say. There are some cracking shots there John from a short stroll round home. I particularly like no3 and the rape fields and the buttercups and the clean shoe...well pretty much all of them really. That combination of vivid yellow green and blues looks great I'm not suprised you enjoyed yourself.


      • #4
        Re: Snap It Like Snaarman

        Oh dear. I am blushing at a distance here.. There are some very nice shots there. I like the churchyard and the blue flower particularly..

        As to snapping details: Something I have never done much is go on a walk with other photographers and compare who sees what. I note the various e-group gatherings, but I'm afraid work and other commitments would probably rule these out for me at the present. It would be interesting nevertheless.

        I've done two photo courses with pro photographers since 1997 but I can't say it changed my approach much. One of them (Derry Brabbs) was active in the Lakes and the Dales shooting pictures for the Wainwright photobooks 20 years ago. Having looked at the results, and looked at the local topology this week I can only take my hat off to serious landscape photographers. (You know who you are..) They get up at 3 am and climb Scafell to catch the sunrise. If it isn't good enough, they camp out up there until they get a good sunrise.

        No. That sounds too much like punishment for me. I stick to quirky little details 'cos it's a whole lot easier than climbing mountains..*


        *mind I would still like to get just one drop dead gorgeous Lakeland sunrise picture
        Look, I'm an old man. I shouldn't be expected to put up with this.

        Pete's photoblog Misleading the public since 2010.


        • #5
          Re: Snap It Like Snaarman

          A nice set John. Great detail on the little blue flower (the full Latin name escapes me!) and I like the lines and curved aspect to the trees in the rapeseed field.


          • #6
            Re: Snap It Like Snaarman

            Well done John keep in there

            Live life in the slow lane.


            • #7
              Re: Snap It Like Snaarman

              Wonderful series John.
              No 5 is my favourite but No 8 is really "Snaarmanesqe"

              So pleased you enjoyed your day and your photography.

              she looked at me and said "It's official. I hate your camera. It's just so amazing and perfect I want one!"

              E-M10 MK II, E-M5, E-PL1, E-PM2, mZ 12-50, mZ 14-42mm EZ, mZ 17mm f 1.8, mZ 25mm f1.8, mZ 45mm f1.8, mZ 75-300mm II.
              OM1n, OM 50mm f1.8.
              Oly Viewer3, Dxo Pro 11. FastStone.


              • #8
                Re: Snap It Like Snaarman

                I love the series, but the blue flowers against that wall stands out in it's simplicity & elegance.

                I fiddle with violins (when I'm not fiddling with a camera).
                Cameras: OM-D E-M1 & Mk II, Olympus Stylus 1, OM-D E-M5.
                Lenses: M.ZD7-14mm f2.8 PRO Lens, M.ZD12-40mm f2.8 PRO Lens, M.ZD40-150mm f2.8 PRO Lens, MC-14, MC-20, M.ZD45mm f1.8, M.ZD12-50, M.ZD60 Macro, M.ZD75-300 Mk II, MMF-3, ZD14-54 II, Sigma 150mm F2.8 APO Macro DG HSM.
                Flashes: FL36R X2, FL50R, FL50.
                Software: Capture One Pro 10 (& Olympus Viewer 3).


                • #9
                  Re: Snap It Like Snaarman

                  Nice series John, really like the foot on the path, a complete story in a shot.

                  Nick Temple-Fry

                  Medicine as a science ranks somewhere between archaeology and economics.

         90 Churches -- Fairford St Mary's, exceptionally splendid


                  • #10
                    Re: Snap It Like Snaarman

                    This is something that many of us would, I suspect, struggle to do. Walking around one's home patch with an eye (and a lens) open for really good shots.
                    Pete has made it his own personal style, but you've managed to match it with this set.
                    I love the small blue flower and really wanted to walk out into that field, it just looked so sunny and beautiful.
                    Can we see more please?

                    Cameras: EM1 MK2 and Mk1, E-620, E-410, Om4Ti
                    Lenses: 12-60, 50-200, Panny 100-400, 9-18, ZD 50mm, 14-54 Mk1, 70-300, 40-150, 14-42, OM 50mm F3.5 macro
                    Also: EC14, EX25, FS35, Vanguard tripod, and far too many bags!

                    "The air of heaven is that which flows between a horse's ears...."


                    • #11
                      Re: Snap It Like Snaarman

                      Originally posted by cinders View Post

                      Can we see more please?
                      Hi Cindy, And thank you for your comments. As for showing more, hopefully I will be able to another day, but from this set I really have scraped the barrel.

                      "A hundredth of a second here, a hundredth of a second there � even if you put them end to end, they still only add up to one, two, perhaps three seconds, snatched from eternity." ~ Robert Doisneau


                      • #12
                        Re: Snap It Like Snaarman

                        Hi John,

                        Another interesting collection and all of them are very good. The backlit graveyard looks very tranquil and the horse chestnuts look great in the lighting. Looks as though it may have been a hot walk but it was definitely worth it. I like seeing the details of other areas that I wouldn't otherwise get to see, so waiting for the next chapter.




                        • #13
                          Re: Snap It Like Snaarman

                          A great wee set John. Keep it up - it's inspiring.

                          A camera takes a picture. A photographer makes a picture

                          Fuji X system, + Leica and Bronica film

                          My Flickr site


                          • #14
                            Re: Snap It Like Snaarman

                            Hi John,
                            I am really happy you are enjoying your photography again.
                            I am continually surprised at what I find in my garden every day to photograph,and hubby and I get enjoyment out of photographing the same things on our walks together, comparing the different results we get of the same subjects.
                            Of course I love the blue flower, and the shoe, but my pick is the 1st oil seed rape field shot and the strip of trees. Just something about it.
                            Look forward to more.