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Photographing Norton Green with a torch…

Norton village early morning image and the tree is lit with a torch

Whilst out on one of my exercise walks I came across an interesting tree on Norton Green (reading this sentence back suggests to me that I need to be photographing families and weddings again). 

Norton Green no additional light.

A tree still shining with a copper glow set against a backdrop of dreary rainy days and melancholy winter trees, can you see why it grabbed my attention? My initial creative thought was to come back and photograph it against a fresh covering of snow, with the colours of the tree punching out against a monochromatic setting.  Unfortunately we’ve had very little snow on Norton Green, so plan B was an early morning shoot with a torch.  So I set off with my camera, a tripod and a torch and I walked to the village on day two of storm Christoph, with flood warnings all across the country Norton managed to get off lightly with a topped up duck pond and a few more puddles. Before I got my camera out of my bag, I walked around the tree to find the right backdrop to make sure the tree was the star of the scene.  The early morning sky had a lovely blue hue, with a warm backlit glow of rain. The panoramic vista of buildings had a lovely electric warmth which splashed onto the village green. My lovely tree was very nondescript and was adding nothing to my composition, until I added some torch light.  This is the fun, exciting and unpredictable part, because I have no idea how things are going to turn out. If the finished image was rubbish then nobody would ever know because it would end up in the bin and this blog post would be about me photographing James Arthur before he was famous (you’ll have heard that one before and I’m certain you’ll hear it again in the future). Thankfully after a few attempts I was confident I had something worth showing off.  My standard approach is to get the brightest parts of the image of Norton Green looking good and not too light. Then I lit the trunk and base of the tree from the side with my torch, as I work alone I use a trigger that will fire my camera at a distance (I’ve tried to convince my wife to get up early and come with me to press the button on the camera, I won’t post her reply on here as there could be children reading), this allows me the freedom to walk around the tree with my torch. Next I’ll backlight the leaves and finish with some torch light around the whole tree. Et voila, my idea was brought to life.  The downside was Christoph turned up and decided to accompany me all the way home, it was at this point that I realised my waterproof trousers are actually only showerproof…

Norton Green with added torch light.

Stretching myself both technically and creatively can only be a good thing for me, so when we finally say goodbye to restrictions I will definitely use this new found knowledge when I’m photographing weddings, portraits and corporate images. I’m also going to expand my local landscape images, I might even take some that are more than 15 mins away from home.  Do you have any favourite local locations you think have potential?

In the coming weeks I’m also opening a website shop of images on my www.garywalsh.co.uk website, I can’t wait for you to pop in and have a look around and hopefully you’ll be tempted to spend a few pounds to support a local business.  Thanks for reading, I’ll be back…

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