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Tour of Britain in Brampton

IMG_3039A really enjoyable commission today. “Its been raining yellow bicycles in Bramptom. Go out and find them all and take a photo of each one. Even better …” they said “…try to show the town landmarks”

A rare bit of sunshine helped the shots which meant keeping to a nice low ISO setting.

My biggest bugbear since my “return” to photography from my early days in the ’80s is the unbelievable IMG_3023amount street furniture around now, street lights, road signs, safety signs, barriers, pedestrian signs, power lines and much more. On top of that there is so much more traffic. Its almost impossible to get a shot without a vehicle featuring somewhere.

I thoroughly enjoyed my day. The challenges of the vehicles and furniture aside, it was challenging to feature both the bicycle and the setting.

The colour of the bicycles was also a challenge. The paint IMG_3037was bright and rather garish to put it mildly, but also very close to the green grass behind it causing the bike to almost disappear at times.

The bikes are all placed along the route of this years Tour of Britain Cycle Race with many towns along the route bursting into colour.

The ingenuity of many people in the placement of the cycles is to be admired with them being IMG_3046placed on road signs, above banks and even on top of the town hall known as the “Moot Hall” locally.

Lets hope the spectacle of the race is as colourful and vibrant as the yellow bikes.

In all there were over 15 bicycles spread throughout the town so it was something of a nice hike between them and a definite adventure in finding where they have been placed.

I’m loving spending more time on composition, on going back to basics in setting the camera up manually and throwing away the auto settings.

IMG_3013There is a difference between a photographer and a photo-retoucher. The two work hand in hand but I keep going back to my tutor some forty years ago when I was being taught how to print my images. “get the photo right and the prints will follow, you cant make a silk purse from a sow’s ear and you can’t make a good print from a bad negative”, now we’ve gone on from negatives and correcting prints in the developing dish or under the enlarger but the sentiments are the same even in these days of Photoshop and Lightbox. I’m aiming to return to being a photographer first and a retoucher second. Maybe the “stunning” shots don’t appear so often but they are more honest.

Also, I’m finding that more and more people are over doing the Photoshop effect. I really admire a photo-retoucher where you look at their end result and think “yes, nice shot, not super impressive but something I could look at all day, has it been retouched?” then you see the original and think “wow, what a difference”, especially when the original is great in itself.

Lets see what the next assignment brings.



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