Move!

Recently I took a day long bus trip to Stonehenge and Bath.

I assumed shooting at Stonehenge would be really easy. I mean these are iconic stones which are instantly recognisable around the world. But it turns out that shooting them in a way which is interesting is quiet hard when pressed in with the crowds of tourists.

For starters, you can't actually approach the stones any more. They are roped off from the public, who are confined to a circular foot path which you can use to walk past the stones. The issue immediately was that the rope in front of the stones was jammed with people getting their friends to take shots of themselves on ipads and mobile phones with the stones in the background.

I have a quiet giggle at these shots because they seem little more than 'proof that you were there', like holding a newspaper in a ransom photo. There must be millions of albums out there with just a string of shots of happy holiday makers standing slightly awkwardly in front of the usual list of landmarks. Needless to say that it didn't really make for a great foreground when trying to capture the sense of this ancient place.

So the best vantage point was blocked, and wasn't about to clear up.

So I had to walk around a bit, even traipsing through some mud, but I eventually found a few vantage points away from the hoards to shoot. It seems a simple a lesson but it's one I've come back to again and again: MOVE.

If you're getting stuck, if you feel yourself getting frustrated with your shots and it's just not working: MOVE.

I pushed my headphones in my ears, pumped up some Justin Timberlake, and then just began to walk around. I didn't shoot at first. I knew I had 20 minutes or so, so initially I just walked around and changed the angle. As I did that possibilities began to present themselves and shots opened up. I was on my 5DmkII with my 24-105mm f4 lens on, which gave me maximum flexibility. I needed to be able to frame quickly and precisely with the zoom in order to compose. The old "use your legs as your zoom" adage touted by 'prime purists', isn't always possible.

So here are a few of the shots I managed to get.

Remember, if you're getting stuck, don't give up: MOVE.

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