On my last visit at our little stream on the edge of our village I found that the Wild Garlic bloom still needed at least a week to reach its peak. Saturday evening the forecast said overcast with patches of sun. I decided to head out. I planned if it was sunnier I was going to shoot close-ups and if there was mostly overcast I would take intimate landscape shots. I packed only two lenses into my backpack. For close-ups I brought the Samyang 135/2 and my new extension rings. For shooting intimate details of the landscape I chose the fantastic Voigtlander Nokton 40/1.2 lens (if interested my review is available here).
When I arrived it was rather overcast so the choice was to shoot landscapes. Last year I already figured it out that wider angle didn't really work here. The space is very tight, there are too many distracting elements that can ruin a wide or ultra-wide composition. It's not impossible but very difficult. It may be next year's challenge for me. Last week I watched a video (click here to watch) shot by a Youtuber and also landscape photographer, Mark Denney, talking about his bad habits in photography. Some of the points I found really true for myself too. This type of activity requires you to slow down, to concentrate on shapes, leading lines and perspectives. You have to be calm and not distracted by the grand vistas at all. I tried to work according to this. I walked slowly up the stream and then repeated this into the other direction too. I stopped for every interesting detail picked up by my eyes and tried to frame it with the help of my 40mm lens. Of course not all of the compositions worked with this focal length but the slow pace and the concentration definitely helped the ones which did. I tried to avoid composing to much sky into the photos as in this dark, shaded environment the blown out details can be a distraction. Where it wasn't possible I used bracketing exposing 3 or 5 photos for HDR processing to keep these details manageable. At the end these were the better ones taken there.
Meanwhile the sun popped out a bit. Walking back from the stream I reached the top of the riverbank where it created some really nice light conditions. I stopped for a couple of shots and tried to compose the wild garlic with trees and fallen branches in the foreground.
On the way home I felt that I was on the right path again with my photography. I started to get back my motivation and inspiration and these helped to raise my overall mood too.