It's surprising that one change can have a large effect on your perspective.
I managed to find the time to do something I love on Monday; sitting quietly in a forest by a lake, camera in hand, waiting to see what would come by. I was in Petite Camargue. I took one camera and one lens, the Sony A7 mk3 (which I haven't used for a while as I've been using the GFX 50s a lot) with the 100-400mm and the 2x teleconverter for the extra reach.
As with most of my posts, all of the images in this one were taken on the same day, these were in fact taken within a few hours of each other in the morning. It didn't occur to me at the time, but after returning home, looking through the images and picking the ones that I liked (which took a while as I'd forgotten how fast the A7 mk3 can shoot, and while on Silent Shutter, it's sometimes hard to judge how many are taken!), I noticed that there is a subtle similarity.
From the first impression, there is a randomness to the images, landscape, wildlife, colour, black and white, and a little abstract thrown in for good measure. But a second look reveals something more. Within the content and structure, I can see a style starting to develop. I've noticed a change over the past few months, which can be seen in the (few though they may be!) recent blog posts. Strangely, just after the post titled A Day or Two Late, in which I wrote about not having a style!
This change started after I bought and started to work with the GFX 50s. I had already noticed a difference in the way that I have been approaching taking pictures when using the GFX 50s. It's a much slower experience, I think a lot more about the process and the composition and I take fewer images. It reminds me of the way that you would work with film.
What I see is a sense of minimalism with the subject isolated as a small piece within a larger picture. I'd seen this developing since using the GFX 50s, but what I hadn't expected, was for this change in perspective to affect the way that I work with the Sony A7 too, and particularly with wildlife images.
I'll take you through the images to show you what I see, I'll keep them in chronological order too. This first image was taken on the footpath between the car park and the nature reserve. It's an image of a young Moorhen that I spied walking along the towpath next to the canal.
The fledgling although the key element and central to the image is a minimal part of the composition. The reeds to the left give a sense of size and the path leads the eye through the image.
This one, which is also the title image, shows an isolation of the large tree. The mist helps to create layers which add to the separation of the subject as well as minimalise the rest of the image.
This is the same image processed in two different ways. The first is closer to how it was on the day and closer to how I envisioned the final image, but while I was processing the image I felt an autumnal look also fit quite well. I'm not sure which I prefer, so I decide to include both of them. This one is the one that fits the least to the developing style, but I still feel that it demonstrates the isolation and minimalism. A few individual reeds appearing from the mist.
The rest of the images show the style best. I've set them into groups of two with similar compositions, what they share though is an isolation of the subject and a sense of minimalism. The first set show cormorants that were starting to wake up as the sun was rising. I don't think that this needs much of an explanation. I've taken advantage of silhouettes of the tree branches and cormorants against the diffused light of the clouds at sunrise to work with the negative space.
The second set is of individual ducks on the lake. What made me choose these images was space around the ducks.
In the first image, although the duck is the subject and the composition wouldn't work without it, it also would not work without the gradation of the ripples. The duck ant the ripple work together to balance the image.
The same could be said for the second image too. here it is the light play of the water movement from the duck resurfacing with the suspended water droplets.
The final two images, a simple composition of a single autumnal leaf floating on the surface of the lake. I have several of these images, each slight movement of the water produced a completely different image. The first was taken on a calm lake, the second when a few ducks came closer and caused the ripples
Will this style continue, will it develop or evolve into something else; I don't know. I like the style and I will continue to work with it, but it honestly doesn't really matter. Either way, I will continue to take pictures, enjoy the journey.