Reading CandidKay’s recent posting, I reflected on my own recent outputs and found them to be a bit on the gloomy side.

This might not be immediately apparent as the dates of posting don’t always reflect the date of writing; the Havana blogs were written months ago, and some of the Barcelona posts well before the year-end.  Strip these out and look at my Whitby photographs, the Clumber Park opinions, and the Bologna terrorism piece and you see what I mean.

And yet I don’t feel particularly melancholic.  The relationship breakdown that I detailed last year is behind me and I’ve spent time with some wonderful people since, so are brighter images on the way?

I was working in Manchester again last week, but had neither time nor opportunity to go exploring, and so with the exception of the team photograph that I produced with my colleagues on Thursday, I was empty-handed when it came to finding some images to post.  Best get out and shoot something then.  Ordinarily I’d delight in the chance but with storms battering the country, a number of errands to attend to and a good dose of the cold virus I wasn’t inclined to travel to far afield.

Constraints are often a stimulus to creativity however, so I travelled less than I mile from my front door to find some trees swaying in the wind.  Lots of passing traffic to contend with and dying light.  I toyed with setting up my tripod and shooting a long exposure with a neutral density filter to extend the shutter time further, thereby letting the trees blur into ghostly shapes while all around them was sharp. Too many cars passing between me and the subject for this, and though the long exposure would reduce their impact they’d still be noticeable.

But the thought of blurring stuck with me, and I began to experiment with movement of the camera on the tripod in the vertical plane to echo the verticality of the tree trunks.  Far more abstract than I would usually post here, but they each capture a sense of winter gloom, in contrast to the fact that I was feeling great at the time.  Perhaps the sombre outputs are more an output of the season than the creator? So here are four images that capture light and shade, ups and downs, colours and monochrome.

Perhaps there’s a new artistic category; Misleading Impressionism

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