Moonlight (Intentional Camera Movement), Ashridge Estate

Reading David duChemin’s excellent ebook The Visual Imagination has lead to a number of recent experiments in shooting more impressionist images.

Though out chiefly on a family trip yesterday, I’d brought the camera and an 85mm f/1.8 and seeing the sun fall through the green and copper woodland at Ashridge prompted a quick series of shots. Somehow the scene didn’t lend itself to a straight shot – there were fences, and a few people, and a red plastic bin for the use of dog walkers… and with the colour of the light in one place, no easy way of getting rid of them. Swishing the camera up and down over a longer shutter, however, got rid of them and offered a truer “feeling” of the woodland at sunset.

If you’re interested, I’ve kept a colour shot to show the golden sunlight and mix of greens here. I was pleased to get the shot I wanted after about 40 attempts, cupping my hand over the top left of the lens to eliminate a bright patch of sky I wanted to feel like enclosing woodland.

Almost on a whim, however, I thought I’d throw a black and white version together. and whilst the mood is entirely different to the reality, I found it so evocative I couldn’t return to the colour original… or be honest and call it sun, when I was equally able to type in moon… and moonlight is just reflected sunlight afterall, so it’s all the same thing really…

Practicing this technique I’m hoping to shoot some model/stranger shots with a flash to freeze the stranger, and a swish to blur the background. More of that anon!

Hope everyone is having a fantastic start to the week!

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