Monday, August 17, 2009

Pushing a new boundary - slow shutters

I tend to be a "literal" photographer. I mean I'll push and pull colours a little, tweak the contrast and occasionally play with filters but thats about it. However, the other night I headed down to the breakwater near the Nobbies lighthouse in Newcastle to catch some sunset shots over the harbour and heading home caught a scene that inspired me to try something more.

Near the end of the breakwater, inside the harbour is Horseshoe Beach. A wonderful little stretch of beach that is open to use as a leash free park for dogs and their owners. On this night, as the set dropped below the horizon and twilight settled over us some locals were still out there with their dogs, just eking the last bit of play from the day. A combination of the light, the dogs running, the headiness of having having a night to myself with my camera all combined to produce a kind of magical, fantastical, feeling.

I was inspired to try something new (for me) in an attempt to capture this magic. I was thinking of a photo I once saw of a jackel running in the night holding the head of its prey that I always admired (taken by Roy Toft - I cant find his jackel photo but this wilderbeast one is excellent too). I tried a couple of things but the slow shutter and partial pan gave me the result I was after. What I wanted to get was not a picture of the dogs, but rather pictures of the memory of dogs. Like cave painting arent pictures of animals but rather pictures of stories of animals.

I know others have done this better but I'll admit I'm pretty happy with how these two images worked.

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