The Online Darkroom Store

Tuesday, July 22

Fifty Sheds of Grey

OK, I pinched the title from a book I saw in Dobbies garden centre the other day (I was dragged in by Cath to look at plants). The book was nothing but black and white pictures of sheds and there were some fine photographs and equally fine sheds between its covers.

It reminded me of a few photos I'd taken of sheds in the the allotment I sometimes visit when Cath's doing the shopping and I've only got half an hour to kill. Those of you who are now recoiling in horror at the thought of more allotment pics really should be ashamed of yourselves. Growing veg is a worthy pursuit and so is taking pics of it. :)

Regular readers who have managed to overcome the mental trauma will remember a series of allotment photographs I posted a couple of years back (I can't believe it was that long ago but I've just checked - bloody hell!). If you want to get more closely acquainted with allotments than anyone short of Jimmy Saville then you can see the series here. For non-UK readers, these allotment posts will also explain what it is that I'm on about just in case you're wondering.

The pics that go with this post were all shot on my Pentax MX with a 35mm f2.8 SMC lens. The film was Silvermax. Having photographed just about everything that I thought would make a decent image at the allotment, I decided I would make one last visit and poke the lens into some of the old sheds there.

My pal, Phil, excels at photographing window reflections on his Leica M2 (you can see a few here). Looking at Phil's pics, I quite fancied having a go at something similar because not only are they intriguing but they look easier to print that some of the negatives I produce when I'm photographing in the murky gloaming*.

Well, guess what? It's not as easy as it looks. What I like about Phil's reflections is that they disorient me. I'm never sure what's going on and have to look hard to make sense of the jumble of elements - some on the surface of the glass, some of the interiors beyond and sometimes those visible through a window on the other side of the interior, if you know what I mean. When Phil reduces it to 2D I can eventually see what made him want to take the pic.

Sadly for me, when I look at a 3D scene through the viewfinder of an SLR when contemplating a reflection-type shot, I get similarly disoriented and find it really difficult to produce a coherent composition. This one below sort of works but it's one of the few I've managed to pull off.

That was the only reflection shot I saw on that day, though. The other two pics on this page are straightforward photographs of the interiors of a couple of sheds.

Fortunately for me - perhaps not so much for you - we're blessed with an abundance of allotments in Dundee and I fully intend to check their sheds out both for more interior shots and Phil specials.

* Twilight


John said...

Had my old MX out. Couple of weeks ago with the 50/1.7. The meter is dead, so had a handheld, got a good few shots at the Didcot rail museum. One of them is on my blog post from last Friday.
Also love the LX.

Derek said...

Are you related to Arthur "Two Sheds" Jackson of Monty Python fame?

Bruce Robbins said...

No but I'm a distant cousin of Jabba the Hutt.

Herman Sheephouse said...

A Phil 'special' eh?
That reflection shot works Bruce - it does - I think i find it easier sometimes with these pics by slightly squinting. It was a tip from a drawing teacher at college - when you squint, the tonal pallette is narrowed and things form blocks of shapes, whether dark or light.
For photographers, once you've got an idea of the basic shapes of things, move your camera around till you find something that looks good framed in the viewfinder and then make your DOF field decisions from there. It's just something you have to waste some film on - definitely not rocket science.
BTW - I've got an indoor shed, and I have grown a lone potato plant this year . . does that count?

Mike. said...

I thought Dobbie had been killed by Helena Bonham Carter?

I need a shed: every man should have a shed.