A glance doesn’t guarantee a picture

I drove to see the dentist two days ago – a totally pain-free experience for once. It was a sunny day, and strangely for me I’d left the camera at home. Perhaps the concept of dental pain and photography didn’t feel like a creative combination. Of course Sod’s law applied: when you are out without a camera that’s when you see a first-class picture and you kick yourself for being so stupid as to leave the camera at home!

Actually, what I should say is, you think you’ve seen a first-class picture. I was driving home happy to have survived the dental chair, glanced to my left, and there was a wonderful billowing, rolling field of green seedlings. And the sun was shining. ‘Image’ I shouted silently to myself. Damn – no camera!

I thought I’d missed my chance, but the next day (yesterday) was also fine and sunny and so early in the morning (ten o’clock for me) I was up the road with a camera. There was a convenient parking place only about only 200yds away. And there was the field… behind a hedge. Hedge? I didn’t recall the hedge. I got through the hedge and wasn’t particularly impressed with what I saw. I walked the length of the hedge taking images as I walked and then found the un-obstructed view. Yes – there was a billowing roller-coaster of a field. But beyond it there were some uninteresting fields, and ugly power lines. I didn’t recall seeing those either, just like I hadn’t remembered the hedge.

I struggled to get images. I eventually got some, seeing no option other than to include the uninteresting distant fields etc, leaving the difficult decisions about how to arrive at a viable composition for later back home. This is not the first time that a ‘glance’ from a car has raised false hopes. When we glance, we see what we want to see – our Eye picks out the juicy bit of the view – but in the blur we fail to take everything else in. The foreground doesn’t register, the other messy bits within the view are disregarded too. We’ve just got this flash of something really good, without any of the downsides. Does that sound familiar to you? A glance often gives us false hope.

_DS82223The good news on this occasion is that I have managed to create two reasonably good images out of this ‘glance’. They aren’t what I imagined I saw – a wide vista. But by severely cropping everything else out so that the field is the image I’ve managed to turn a glance into an image. And I’m pleased with the eventual results._DS82214There was one final issue – and that was getting the colour right. With 90% of the image green, auto colour balance failed to record the colours accurately and I’ve found it really difficult to get the colour balance right in the final images. I struggled to recall accurately the colour I had seen, and every time I returned to look at the screen the colour seemed ‘off’. And having got it right during daylight, when I looked again with interior lights on, the colour seemed to have changed again.


About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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24 Responses to A glance doesn’t guarantee a picture

  1. Adrian Lewis says:

    Excellent pictures, Andy! The folds in the ground and the slightly varying orientations of the lines in the herbage absolutely do it. And certainly not a candidate for mono. And you’re right about the eye being selective – I’ve done that many times myself >>> think I’ve seen Heaven only to find its got little bits of Hell attached to it too. Good stuff! Adrian


  2. Both images are really lovely Andy! The rolling folds of land with the lines and texture! Beautiful my friend! 🙂


  3. suej says:

    Love the folding, rolling lines in these! I can identify with a couple of points here, especially. Firstly , The Glance – we see what we want to see. Many times I’ve driven past something, only to find when I stop the car and walk back, it’s not the same at all! The other thing is predominantly green images…..aargh!


  4. Len says:

    There is a simplicity to this image Andy that just resonates. The gentle rolling landscape and the nice single color work together well.


    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Len. Rolling fields like this is an image I’ve had in the back of my mind for some time. It was nice to find it. The bizarre thing is that I’ve driven past this point over the last twenty years probably hundreds of times and never spotted this.


  5. John Linn says:

    I like the images and I agree that is difficult to get green right. It is easy to have it look too blue or too yellow. Most other colors seem to less susceptible to appearing “wrong”.

    You pictures have a nice fresh green tint that I find very appealing. And the composition of the rolling landscape works very well for me.


    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks John. Clearly I’m not the only one to struggle with ‘Green’. I was pleased to find an image that I liked eventually. I have a stubborn streak that doesn’t like giving up on an image.


  6. poppytump says:

    A lovely swathe of ribbed green Andy !
    I’ve been caught too by a *promise of a beautiful composition … arrgh wretched power lines …


  7. oneowner says:

    I like both images and I think you achieved a realistic green even though it may not have the accuracy you wanted.


  8. Lisa Gordon says:

    Both of these are truly magnificent!


  9. shoreacres says:

    I suppose Mother Nature’s tresses are green, at least in youth. I can imagine her drawing a comb through them and producing just this effect. The photos are splendid – beautiful abstractions.


  10. vastlycurious.com says:

    Don’t you love the linear quality of freshly planted fields? It’s a beautiful shot!


  11. Meanderer says:

    Wonderful rolling fields! They look great with the seedlings. I really like the crops you have chosen (pun intended 🙂 ).


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