River Nith | Back in the ‘Red’.
For the last few years, I have been up and down this stretch of the River Nith more times than I can remember, shooting visible-light monochrome, long-exposure night shots and plenty of infrared frames too – all in the hope of capturing that ‘perfect’ series of frames – shots I’d be so proud to print and hang on the wall; but without labouring the point, I have always felt that I have struggled here. The reasons I keep coming back and having yet another go are purely the attraction and, the challenge. It really is an eye-catching place. With regard to IR capturing however, I don’t think that I have ever come back with the shots that I had always itched for. Despite its obvious charms, it’s really not the easiest place to photograph and requires a lot of care where composition is concerned and though I have been enjoying this caper for well over twenty years, I accept that it’s no great surprise to me that it’s taken me until now to feel satisfied with my efforts.
I. Along the Caul | River Nith, Dumfries | 720nm Infrared.
Having a ‘thing’ for beautiful bridges and picturesque skies as I clearly do, makes some decisions on angles and perspective a little bit more intuitive when it comes to where I want the structures to be viewed within their frames but there’s a whole lot more going on around them, which, often has me scratching my head. Learning to ‘see’ within a frame and compose is largely down to preference, but there are certain rules which I do try my best to adhere to – such as subject, light and contrast, texture (and contrasting textures too), proportions, foreground, background, overall feel – and also, my own space and place within it all. On this day, the light was just about perfect and I was inspired to have another go.
II. Hunters Gathering | River Nith, Dumfries | 720nm Infrared.
As more and more people are now out and about in their cars, on foot or bikes after the last year of repeated and prolonged C-19 lockdowns, it was fabulous to get out here and see some more life about the place. As the sun beat down, we leisurely walked over the Devorgilla Bridge to the other side of the river and felt like living was starting to happen again which for me is certainly yet another reason to feel inspired. As we crossed the bridge, an opera-fan with very capable speakers punched out a little culture in Gm from an upper storey window, an unusual backing track to the sound of the streets below and yet, I couldn’t help smiling because of it.
The elements had aligned and, I do hope you’ll enjoy these first few little outcomes.