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Pond - Trees

Posted by
Ian Bramham (Manchester, United Kingdom) on 29 April 2008 in Landscape & Rural and Portfolio.

A photo that I took during a walk in the woods at the weekend at home in the North of England.

This photo is much better as a larger version. You can see it here if you are interested.


Ever since I went to the exhibition of Edward Steichen's photography at Christmas in Paris I've become more interested in darkness and mood in photography....this is his photo of a pond in the moonlight here
It dates from 1904 and holds the record for the highest price ever paid for a photograph at auction: $2.9 million.

I was lucky enough to see one of the 3 versions of this photo in existence. I went into the exhibition prepared to be sceptical but was bowled over by all his pre first world war 'pictorialist' photos.

This is the main reason why you may see an increasing number of more experimental photos from me over the coming months as I try to explore my own feelings about what photography means to me.

I hope you will bear with me and keep visiting through good and bad.

NIKON D40 1/60 second F/11.0 ISO 200 15 mm (35mm equiv.)

Like what you see here and are interested in photographic composition?.....the blog section of my website now has a complete set of 5 articles covering my personal approach to the subject: Ian Bramham Photography - Blog

For purchasing high quality archival prints of any of these photos you can send me an email by clicking here or by going to my website Ian Bramham - Fine Art Photography where prices are listed in the gallery sections under each individual photo.

sherri from Little Rock, Arkansas, United States

It's quite lovely. I like the processing. I also like the size of the image...for what it's worth.

29 Apr 2008 5:52am

@sherri: Thanks's always interesting experimenting with something a bit different. I'm really pleased that you liked it!

Margie from Auckland, New Zealand

I think this is really cool. Spooky and beautiful at the same time.

29 Apr 2008 6:29am

@Margie: Thanks Margie!

Anthony from Bielefeld, Germany

Very atmospheric,nice reflections and some great trees.

29 Apr 2008 6:34am

@Anthony: I guess in something like this, atmosphere is pretty much the most important part so Im pleased that you thought it had some!

Rhys from Darlington, United Kingdom

A brilliant piece of work, I keen to know where it is. It has a strange familiar feel.

29 Apr 2008 7:36am

@Rhys: Thanks Rhys...the village is Poynton in Cheshire but there are many ponds like this in the surrounding woods.....this one is smaller than it seems on the photo because of the wide angle lens I used.

Alun Lambert from Cheshire, United Kingdom

Very good image

29 Apr 2008 8:28am

@Alun Lambert: Thanks Alun!

Stefan from Thiersee, Austria

fine colors, fine image!

29 Apr 2008 9:02am

@Stefan: Thanks Stefan!

Lorraine from Gatineau, Canada

I can only imagine what the Steichen original looks like. In your photo I find the mother-of-pearl pink reflection to die for, the entire compo is fabulous, I love trees in all its variation and the limbs in this one are spectral! Love this mood

29 Apr 2008 11:16am

@Lorraine: Hi of the things that surprised me about the Steichen print was how small it was. I can't remember exactly now but it wasn't much bigger than my the small version of my photo.

Observing from Chester, United Kingdom

Cracking image Ian, and the bronze tone is very good.

29 Apr 2008 11:42am

@Observing: Thanks...I'm pleased that you liked the tone!

GJC from Kyoto, Japan

I like both the larger and the smaller versions. The smaller has the feeling of a little jewel to be treasured and looked at with great care, much like, for example, a Vermeer. Really fine work. I agree completely that the Pictorialists were an amazing bunch and Steichen a wizard. You should keep experimenting in this line, and I look forward to seeing what you come up with. This is an amazing start.

29 Apr 2008 11:43am

@GJC: Thanks GJC....trying new things like this is both rewarding yet frustrating in equal measure.

MadScientist from Düsseldorf, Germany

What - still no leaves on the branches! However, a very beautiful shot!

29 Apr 2008 1:43pm

@MadScientist: Thanks for that!...the leaves and blossom all seem to be appearing this week!

hugo poon from Hong Kong

Mystery, serentity and beauty... all in one image! Wonderful!!!

29 Apr 2008 2:03pm

@hugo poon: Thanks very much Hugo....I saw your recent post but I want to have a proper look before I leave any comment so it may be tomorrow but the photos looked really great (I particularly liked one of your S5 and 10-20 photos)

Viewfinder from Bradenton, United States

I think the smaller version is more atmospheric because it is a bit harder to make out what certain points are; the larger photo is nice, but some of the mystique is gone because more is identifiable in it. The tones and shadows are amazing in both, but I think the smaller image has more power all around. Great project, I'll be looking forward to others from you in this vein.

30 Apr 2008 12:26am

@Viewfinder: Thanks!....a few others have said that they prefer the smaller version too.

I've been trying a few new things photographically recently. Grain, blur, darkness...that kind of thing but most of it complete rubbish of course so I'm not sure yet how often I'll be bold enough to post something here.

Michael from TX, United States

Well I like the experiment! Keep up the good work.
Whenever I am out in a secluded place without artificial light (woods, a field, beach, etc.) at dusk I feel like I am somehow more aware than usual that the world is a really big place and I am not exactly in control of my surroundings. I think that it stems from the fact that the conditions are often unfamiliar (the air is heavier or cooler than normal) and perhaps because of the limited visibility, the atmosphere is at once extremely calming and slightly exhilarating because of the mystery created by the dwindling natural light.
I'm rambling.
Anyway, I really like the shot, and it elicits those feelings.

30 Apr 2008 12:49am

@Michael: Thanks, you're not rambling at all. I know exactly what you mean and it's that feeling you get at those times that I'd like to try and portray better with my photos. I've always valued sharpness and clarity in my photos but those qualities do not always lend themselves to portraying mood and atmosphere so I'm exploring what the alternatives are.

Lomo is the obvious route but I'd rather stick with digital if I can - we'll see.

See The Light from Newcastle, United States

Steichen and also Imogene Cunningham are some of my favorites. Great job on this shot the mood prevails.

30 Apr 2008 6:49pm

See The Light from Newcastle, United States

Mistake the spelling it is Imogen Cunningham.

30 Apr 2008 6:51pm

@See The Light: Thanks Mary. I hadn't come across her work before. They are of the same era aren't they.

I had a good look at the link and in Google Images....really great photography.

Ruben Latre from Terrassa, Spain

Wow, so beautiful & mysterious, amazing shot it seems extracted from a Tim Burton's movie. You've an awesome portfolio, I've to confess that sometimes I feel a bit down after seeing such an extraordinary work, but it's undoubtedly a great inspiration, thank u so much!!

1 May 2008 8:38am

@Ruben Latre: Let me tell you that you are repeating my own sentiments exactly...there's always someone better unless you're a genius like Steichen but even he gave up photography for quite a few years when he was younger after seeing another photographer's work whom be believed to be more talented.

I received some good advice a few months ago on how to deal with this feeling.....the answer is to just keep taking photos and not give up. The act of just getting out somewhere scenic and pressing the shutter button is enough to make me feel better and keeps everything in least for a while anyway :-)

Jasper from Haarlem, Netherlands

Very atmospheric shot!

1 May 2008 9:39am

@Jasper: Thanks Jasper!

Michael Rawluk from Prince George, Canada

It does have a beautiful Steichen look to it. Very well done.

1 May 2008 3:04pm

@Michael Rawluk: Thanks Michael....I've learnt a huge amount about composition and mood from trying this.

lucie from san francisco, United States

this photo is incredibly gorgeous. I like the mood and lighting and the reflection.

1 May 2008 7:31pm

@lucie: Thanks's incredibly frustrating but occasionally rewarding trying new things and experimenting.

Oswegan from Lake Oswego, United States

Love your treatment here, it is really nice.

2 May 2008 12:21am

@Oswegan: Thanks very much!

Japanalia from Yokohama, Japan

You may rest assured that your faithful admirers will always be there to look at your creations and comment.....whether amateurs or professionals. And Thank you so much for giving the link for us to see easily the bigger versions!
I find the tonality in this shot astounding!!!!

4 May 2008 8:59am

@Japanalia: Thanks Gabriella...I appreciate your support and the feedback on the photos!

ZmAjEvA from Belgrade, Afghanistan

This one is gorgeous! I drop by to say thank you. :)

4 May 2008 12:58pm

@ZmAjEvA: Thanks very was a pleasure looking at the photos on you blog!

danthro from Suburbia, United States

beautiful scene. great atmosphere

6 May 2008 12:53am

@danthro: Thanks danthro!

1/60 second
ISO 200
15 mm (35mm equiv.)