A reservoir, but no dogs.

I recently went to Farmoor reservoir in Oxfordshire.  I was surprised to see that despite all the rain we have had the water level in the reservoir was quite low.  It was due, apparently, to the very high sediment levels in the flood water, which means that it can’t be used.  To paraphrase the famous winter railway announcement about snow, it was clearly the “wrong kind of water”.

It was the right sort of light though!!

"Farmoor Curves" by Derek Gale

“Farmoor Curves” by Derek Gale

The low angle of the sun picked out the texture of the corrugated concrete on the sides of the reservoir.  Using a vertical composition helped accentuate the curves, and the gentle breeze gave the water a good texture too.

"Farmoor lines" by Derek Gale

“Farmoor lines” by Derek Gale

Looking at the water and concrete from another direction gave shapes and colour that worked well as a simple horizontal composition.  There’s a nice gradation of colour from the yellowy-beige (ish) of the concrete, to the blues and dark magenta in the water.  The cracks/gaps in the concrete under the water stop it from being too simple.

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“No soap here?” by Derek Gale

This simple composition works due to the strong colours.  The top of the orange lifebuoy holder contrasts really well against the intense blue of a winter sky.  I cropped it so the orange shape starts in the lower corners. I’m not sure of the function of the square full-stop after the word though.

"Farmoor rays" by Derek Gale

“Farmoor rays” by Derek Gale

The low angle of the sun and the reflections off the water meant there was lots of light about.  It gave me a chance to play with a small aperture and see what sort of diffraction rays I could get.  In this image, taken with a Panasonic 14mm lens on my G3, the shape of the light star in the sky is interesting as it’s not very symmetrical.  The original image was a bit soft due to an effect called “diffraction softening”, that happens at small lens apertures, but came back well with a bit of sharpening in Photoshop.

Reservoirs?  Water, light, reflections, movement.  What more does a photographer want?

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