January 28, 2004
Try both the snow pictures

It snowed in London today, and we were all plunged into chaos. Quarter inch snow drifts brought our capital city to a halt. Road chaos. Rail chaos. Well not quite, but to watch the TV news you'd think so. We're just not used to snow, so when it happens, panic stations.

I was out shopping when the blizzard struck, and I took some snaps, with my Tesco shopping dumped next to me. What is he doing? – they must have thought. In fact I know they did, because several of them asked me. I was photo-ing because it was my surmise that the snow covering would make normally dull streets look a little less dull.

snow2.jpg

That was taken with the flash operating.

And this one …

snow1.jpg

… was with the flash switched off.

Flash equals less light. That's because the camera chose to take in less light when the flash was operating, but when it wasn't it hung around, so to speak. I don't know which is nicer, so, in the words of a Welshman who once gave me directions about which steep Welsh hill I should bicycle up to get to wherever it was I was going: "You can try both and then you'll be shoo-er won't you?" That is actually what he said. And there are bicycles in the pictures too.

While I was looking through these snaps, my friend Bruce the Real Photographer rang me, and we chatted about the Digital Revolution in Photography, and he told me what has to be true, that the more pictures you take (and I can now take as many shots as I feel like at no extra cost beyond a bit of battery power), the more you learn. What I am now mostly learning is: make sure you are focussing on what you want to focus on but that you at least focus on something; and: hold the camera still, e.g. by jamming it up against something still. Just holding it, in light that is other than perfect as was the case with these shots, tends not to be nearly good enough.

UPDATE: Meanwhile Michael has been doing a different kind of photography.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 11:31 PM
Category: Photography