I’ll be out there snapping away - when the rain stops

BLAISE TAPP: 'Tis the season to be more giving to the lonely

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I popped down to the New Forest for a few days recently. The aim was to go out on to the heathlands and try to locate and photograph the pigs that are let loose for a few weeks in the autumn to eat the acorns (which are poisonous to the ponies).

I think it’s rather wonderful how the forest maintains itself during the course of a year. Unfortunately the weather decided not to behave for me and was rather wet and blustery, with the exception of one morning.

I now plan to get out there again with more than my smartphone – just as soon as the rain stops!

Photography is something I’ve always had an interest in on a very amateur level since my eighth birthday, when my parents presented me with a Kodak camera with the flash cube on top and a roll of film you sent off to Truprint.

At that age you just knew the photos would come back out of focus and with various body parts cut off!

Even though I have much more sophisticated photographic equipment these days, I’m still confused when it comes to shutter speeds and lighting conditions.

So I met up with talented New Forest photographer Sandy Bemister in the hope of learning some tricks of the trade and at least being able to take a good ‘selfie’ for my Facebook status and capture some decent photos of my cats.

Sandy has taken some beautiful images of forest landscapes and the wildlife that lives there.

Her stunning image of ponies at Whitten pond was awarded second place last year in a photographic competition.

She told me that lighting is very important and the job of a photographer is to capture light in a still photograph.

Every picture tells a story and you want to tell it well Sandy told me to get out there and practice.

Fundamentally, photography is about conveying a vision in a way that may be appreciated by an external observer.

You have to have the ablity to work fast and not miss the moment. Even with static objects such as buildings and trees, you still need to move swiftly. Take too long and critical light changes could disappear very quickly.

I came away from our chat more inspired and confident and now plan to get out there again with more than my smartphone – just as soon as the rain stops!