Friday, November 21, 2014

"f8 and be there"

It seems this wasn't a saying of Ansel Adams' at all, as I thought, but rather one of those quotes everybody (in this case every photographer) knows but no one can agree who first said it.

It applied to the few photographs I took on a misty day last week exploring around and up on Gilwern Hill in preparation for a proper botanical meeting next summer.

So the fact that all but the last photo were taken at a manual setting (as I last left the camera) was offset by the fact it happened to be f8.

Nikon software was able to extract an optimised image luckily and they are below. So for non-photographers I will shut up technically - after remarking that is was always the "be there" bit of the quote that mattered.

Where we were was Gilwern Hill - which none of us really knew and thought we ought to get to know before a planned BSBI meeting next year. "We" were myself and two of my recording group and the two Monmouthshire recorders - the meeting is to be a joint one and the border between our Vice-counties goes straight across the top of the hill.

So here are some pictures of the wonderful fungi we saw:

A Hygrocybe - bit which one?

Yellow Brain Fungus or Tremella mesenterica

Parrot Waxcap or Hygrocybe psittacina

The botany can wait for next June - but we did see a lot of this:
Black Spleenwort or Duegredynen goesddu, Asplenium adiantum-nigrum

Which I think bodes well for next year's outing.

It seems no one can even agree on what type of photography the quotation refers to - I always thought landscape photography - where definition is paramount and f8 has always been and is likely to remain the optimum setting for most lenses on that criterion. So, assuming a tripod, the only other requirement is to "be there" when the light is just right and give the right exposure at f8. But others say it's about news photographers in the flashbulb era - and of course "being there" is vital for news reporting as well.