Yorkshire’s finest puddles!

Posted on 31st January, 2013

I think it would be fair to say that most of us photographers get particular satisfaction in finding inspiration close to home; it's easy to overlook what may be less glamorous locations and subjects in favour of the more immediately spectacular. Certainly I take huge pleasure in creating what I call a 'something out of nothing' image - they are often the hardest to make, and so all the more rewarding when they come off.

Earlier this month, I had a couple of very rewarding meetings with some exceptionally fine Yorkshire puddles! Now the first of these was in a location that is perhaps not quite on my doorstep, but it's only a short drive and somewhere we often walk the dogs. The resulting image is very impressionistic in feel - largely down to the fact that I deliberately focussed on the surface of the puddle rather than trying to get the reflected trees as the main focal point.

I have also inverted the photograph, with the result being I feel as if I'm staring at the trees through a bubbling cauldron. I appreciate that may take a bit of interpretation!  There is a depth to the image that I really enjoy and I like the fact that the chaotic woodland has been tamed into a relatively clean and structured composition.

A week or so later, the cold spell arrived and the resulting snow and ice provided a wealth of photographic opportunities. I'll admit I did make a couple of trips to the Dales, but I also made a few local forays down the lane and, on one such occasion, found some beautifully formed, iced puddles in roadside field. I could probably have spent the whole day there very happily but, after an hour or so, my feet were in danger of turning to ice themselves. I have two favourite iced puddles, the first of which brings to mind a monochromatic take on the art of Kandinksy.

This ideally needs to be viewed at a larger size than is possible on the web, but the detail in the different structures of the ice is extraordinary. My Nikon D800E and Zeiss 100mm lens definitely proved their worth here. As did very careful positioning of the tripod and camera to get the whole section of puddle in sharp focus. For the most part, I concentrated on these more minimalistic areas of ice; but I did also tackle a few more intricate patterns and was really pleased with the image below, taken with the same combination. It almost has the feel of an aerial photograph and, again, I wish I could show you a larger version!

It being the first month of the New Year, I've allowed myself three images of the month for January. Going forwards, I will be more discliplined!