Solitude – 20/365

This morning I went down to the lake I’m fishing at the moment, not to fish it but to just have a look around and see what was happening, if anything. I’m not going to go into detail about my current fishing adventure, that’s not what this is about, but basically winter carp fishing revolves a lot around locating the fish and keeping in touch with their movements. Fish activity is massively reduced when it’s cold, so gathering as many clues as possible is vital, hence my trip over this morning.

While I was there, it was a really classic winter scene, with minimal leaf cover on the trees, and most of the ground vegetation died back into its winter slumber. The lake was flat calm (good for fish spotting) and nothing much moved save for the waterfowl, and a couple of woodpeckers.

Playing with symmetry

I was the only human being there, and it felt very special, I felt very privileged to be able to enjoy it.

Solitude was the overriding emotion I felt, and I tried to capture that in today’s picture. The scene depicting a swan on its own, gently drifting across an empty lake, creating the only ripple on an otherwise still water surface. The swan had a buddy, but that would have spoilt the shot, so I kept him/her out of the frame.

Solitude is an unusual thing; it can bring with it a full spectrum of emotions right through from dread, to elation. Of course if your into the natural world, as I am, solitude never really means your alone, and the lake though almost devoid of human life, was actually bristling with wildlife.

The picture above, framed by nature itself, shows just how full of life it actually was, with the waterfowl all going about their daily business.

The entire local ecosystem revolves around the lake, and it’s a reminder of how life giving water is, even in the cold winter months.

More framing using nature

The trees stand guard around the lakes perimeter, branches reaching out across the water keeping tabs on proceedings.

On the ground, among the leaf litter, my old friend the fungi was still playing its part; adding intrigue, mystery and colour for me; and no doubt a more important role in the cycle of decay and the birth of new life for the environment.

Learnings – shadows have caught me out today, and I now regret not paying more attention to them in all my shots. In my symmetry and framing experiments, I of course paid a lot of attention to the shadows, and reflections, which worked. However in particular on the close up shot of the swan, the shadow of the tree line at the top of the shot is distracting. In today’s main picture I used the shadow and reflections as lines to lead the eye across the picture, which again I feel worked.

I really enjoyed using the natural form of the trees to frame the pictures, that’s something I’m going to try more of in future.

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