Today’s photo is from yesterday’s photo practice. Context first: I had some guilt around only managing one photo practice last week, but I took a deep breath, got back up from where I had fallen and went back to the practice. It’s all you can do. I fall over, I get back up – and on the horse! Just do it.

I was actually out creating videos for my new online course – Photography for Well-Being (he dropped into the conversation), but I reasoned that whilst I was there, and only when I had completed my intended recordings would I do the practice.

Actually, I have realised that recording these videos is also a type of practice (Life is Lee! I know, but some activities lend themselves strongly to mindful attention). Preparing and shooting videos is particularly a mindful activity. Well it is, if I don’t want to forget any essential piece of equipment, or worse forget or jumble what I want to say.

I recorded my videos in the local park, and in looking around after I had completed, I spotted the old bandstand. Long abandoned, only the foundation structure – an octagon – remains. Some of the corners, where the supporting poles for the roof must have stood, there remains circular proof, or the stone that supported the pole is absent. On one corner, in the gap, there was evidence of a fire. An ideal fire pit for the local kids, who congregate there to socialise, especially on warm evenings.

I had my usual Fuji XT4 with 35mm lens (50mm equivalent) with me, and set it up in Aperture Priority f8. From this central ‘who cares’ kind of aperture I can choose to widen or narrow dependent upon my creative intentions. I also decided to start right in on the creative photography approach. Any documentary observation was going to be part of a multiple exposure (ME) creation

I chose to initially use the Additive ME mode. I am drawn to this. The bright colours created, some of which have to be rescued from the RAW file when editing, are an attraction. I am aware of this current predilection and later on switched to Dark mode. There is a danger in only following that which you are attracted to; almost reduction in awareness. It is ironic that the photo I am sharing here whilst being created in Additive mode, has been converted to black and white.

The original created photo is made up of two images. The carefully framed first image was of the curved, hollowed thick edge of a tree trunk. I was drawn to the way that I could capture the elegant curve and allow the creation of two triangles of leafy undergrowth in each of the top corners, whilst there was also a central semi circle framing more plants at the bottom of the frame. A nice counterpoint to the two top corners.

The second frame is of one of those octagon’s corners. This time a whole one. I liked the way I could use its pointed edge as a thick arrow, pointing at the bottom of the frame. The impact of this second layer was to soften the vegetation. In the original this also made the colours more vibrant.

When I got the image open in Lightroom I loved the curves, but wasn’t too sure about the colours. I toyed with reducing the vibrance and saturation, and then went the whole hog and tried out some B&W presets. The one I settled on is this flat version. This I felt created a kind of print effect, accentuating the textures, shapes and patterns. Although there is not much of the second frame in this final composite (apart from an echo) it has influenced the impact of the first frame; softening it.

What do you think?

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