Christmas Eve, Saturday, 24th December 2005


I'm keen while we're walking around Newmillerdam with our friends from Cumbria, Hilary and David, to tap into David's knowledge of digital photography and to get him to show me some of the possibilities of my Canon PowerShot G5.

Canon G5 PowerShot

Adjusting the ASA setting (which I haven't reset all year!) he discovers a wheel on the front of the camera to make adjustments easier. A wheel that, needless to say, I had never noticed.

'What shall I photograph?' he asks me.

'There's a lovely mallard drake there, if you could get a bit closer to him.'

But the drake is just enjoying the morning sun, looking out through half-closed eyes over the lake. I reach down for a small piece of twig and gently toss it into the water, hoping that he will move his head into a more photogenic pose.

Assuming that breadcrumbs might be on offer the drake poddles down towards the water, then stops (right), as if he's thinking: 'Huh! No bread: I've been duped!'

Canon PowerShot G5

In the full size photograph you can see tiny grey bars all over the feathers on his flanks.

Canada GeesePosterized GeeseCanada Goose

When we get back home and take a look at the photographs on the computer, David asks if I've ever tried posterizing an image.

The posterize filter ('posterize edges' as it's called in Photoshop) reduces the number of tones in a photograph to give a bold, graphic, printed effect. You can take this to extremes as I have here to give an effect that reminds me of lino-cuts in the way the Canada geese have turned out and of woodcuts in the wood-grain-like marks of the ripples on the water (right).

If you imagine cutting into a sheet of lino with a curved-bladed lino-cutting tool, you would get marks very similar to the white spaces on the preening goose(left). Next Page

Richard Bell,