On the Way

When I go out with a camera I have no idea what I will find to capture. Even if I am going somewhere special with obvious images that I will want for my archive as a record of where I have been, there will always be the unexpected. Pictures taken literally – ‘On the Way…’ or perhaps ‘By the Way…’

And that is the thread that links today’s images. The one above was taken on Reigate Hill. It’s a place we had heard of with commanding views southwards. A mixture of woodland and open hillside. Actually (although it was well worth the walk) I found no memorable record shots of Reigate Hill itself. But…there was a small herd of Belted Galloways up there. Most of you will be scratching your heads and thinking: what the heck is a Belted Galloway? Click the link. It’s a heritage breed of cattle originally from Galloway in Scotland. They are black with a wide belt of white hair around their middles – hence the name. I got close to one of them, slowly, and took this shot. The ‘black’ part was not truly black which I think added to the interest in the image. Maybe this was a young animal or an old one – that might explain the lack of pure blackness.

More recently I was in  London to see Christo’s installation on the Serpentine in Hyde Park. Click here to view me post about that. Crossing the road on the way into Hyde Park I saw this sculpture. Getting closer I was struck by the streaks under the chin of the closest head.

Worth a shot. A detail that attracted me – I can’t explain why. Streaks created perhaps by the weather and maybe enhanced by the pollution inevitable in London.

A week later I was back in London again, visiting the Royal Academy. Wandering around new areas of the Gallery I found myself staring at the back of a marble feature and the quite extraordinary patterning thereon.

A true abstract with an almost 3D effect.

Three up-close images that are the result of always having a camera in hand, a natural state of curiosity and an interest in texture, pattern and line. There’s something special about holding a camera in your hand – it sends a sub-conscious message to your brain that says: ‘I’m looking for pictures’. It works for me. Next time you are out, don’t have your camera in a bag, try holding it in your hand, lens cap off, ready to shoot. You may be surprised what a difference that simple action makes.


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'.
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20 Responses to On the Way

  1. oneowner says:

    A fine and curious set of images, Andy. The detail shot of the Belted Galloway is fantastic. I believe this is the first time I’ve seen one. I’m also fascinated with detail shots and close-ups, and these are excellent examples. Nice work!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Really nice close-ups, Andy. I’m wondering . . . do you think the streaked wood might be spalted? See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spalting.


    • LensScaper says:

      I assume you are referring to the heads on the edge of Hyde Park. I really didn’t consider what they were made of. I think their size makes wood unlikely. Thanks for the link, Linda, an interesting read.


  3. Almost 3D? It’s much more than”almost”, in fact I’m unable to see it as a flat surface image. Very nicely done. A nice image to get lost in.


  4. Zezee says:

    Thanks for sharing these! I know you said these pics were unexpected and taken “on the way,” but I love focus on textures here. I wanted to feel the fur in that Belted Galloway pic (I had to look that up; first I’ve ever heard of the animal) and rub my hand along those streaks in the wood of the sculpture.


  5. ShimonZ says:

    I particularly enjoyed the first two pictures in this set. Hate to say it, but if I want to find something really spectacular, all I have to do is leave the camera at home…


  6. Great collection of unusual images. The tones and texture in the fur are amazing.


  7. paula graham says:

    Interesting series of shot..and yes…I always walk about camera at the ready! When I do not , I often regret it!


  8. shoreacres says:

    There definitely is a difference between walking with and without a camera. For me, “without” comes first — at least, metaphorically. I’d never walk around with the lens cap off, just looking for the next subject. That kind of focus doesn’t suit me — but it clearly works for you, and your results show it.

    We call the Belted Galloways “Oreo cows,” because of their resemblance to the cookies. They’re more common here than you might think; I see a small herd of them rather regularly.


  9. Vicki says:

    Interesting patterns in this post and I agree, always have your camera in hand. Same at home (for me). I always have my long telephoto lens, cap off beside my desk (which faces the outdoors). You can bet an unusual bird will land on my balcony the day I’ve cleaned my lens and put the cap back on.


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