Instantaneous Alchemy

East Blean Woods, 28th April 2020

After another rather formless ‘lock-down day’, we broke cover and went to the woods for a late afternoon trip to see the bluebells and effervescent green froth of early Spring. The rain was soft, likewise the light, and every time I stopped to take a photograph, my glasses fogged and I couldn’t really see what I was doing or where I was putting the focus. The top image is a case-in-point! (The image below is what I was aiming for).

Ultimately I was rather thrilled by all the in-camera impressionism, but don’t quite have the brass neck to come on here and tell you it was all part of some considered visual strategy. It was, in fact, a combination of condensation and short-sightedness but there’s nothing quite like opening up an image on your computer to discover the camera has accomplished a bit of instantaneous alchemy, turning lead into gold.



This next image was taken in a field at the edge of the woods, an expanse of grasses silvered with rain, with all those dark little darts nodding in the breeze. It was spectacular in a very demure and monochromatic way.


A few short feet from the silvered field there was a very forlorn, even sinister-seeming pond of jet black stagnant water. It had this silken, milky scum floating on its surface. Not very promising at all. In fact, I kept glancing around looking for the likes of Donald Pleasence in his robes and hood. Rain drops were pattering into the sluggish water and I fired off a few snaps in an effort to capture their patterns of concentric circles. In the viewfinder, the resulting images didn’t look very promising, but a couple of them surprised me. I know I’m looking at the reflections of the tree canopy on the scummy, sluggish surface of a rather smelly pond stippled by the rain, but they will keep morphing into old upside-down oil paintings…


3 thoughts on “Instantaneous Alchemy

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