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Getting out there

Last weekend I was at home thinking about taking some pictures for my first Light And Flow post. To be honest I wasn't feeling particularly inspired, but I thought I'd step out of the house and try my luck. I do that sometimes: I just grab my camera and go for a walk to see if anything will catch my eye. I find doing this is, stealing an expression from Forrest Gump, like a box of chocolates: you never know what you are going to get. Sometimes I have an off day and I come back home with nothing, normally having taken at least a few pictures but not really being happy with any of them. Other times, luckily, it's a different story. I decided to seek inspiration by taking a walk in Regent's Canal. So I set out from Hampstead towards Warwick Avenue, with the idea of walking the canal from there until Camden Lock. On the way over there I took a few pictures but I was happiest with a couple of them.

I took the first one while still in Hampstead. I was walking past St Stephen's Church, as I've done many times in the past. It's a beautiful building but I had never taken a picture of it before for some reason. This time I liked the light and the backdrop the clouds gave the church tower, so I looked for a good angle where I could use foreground trees to help frame the building and took the shot.

St Stephen's church
St Stephen's church

Later, near Primrose Hill I saw some foxglove with a bumblebee that kept going from one flower to another. I tried to take a picture of it in mid air approaching one of the flowers, but it was moving really fast and quite unpredictably, and I didn't manage to get any usable shots before the bumblebee left. The only picture that turned out well was one of just the flowers.

So it seems the final score was Bumblebee 1, Jorge 0. I shook my fist at the bumblebee before walking away. There'll be other opportunities. Still, I'm pretty happy with how the picture of the flowers turned out (even with its glaring lack of bumblebees).

Foxglove
Foxglove

I finally made my way to Regent's Canal. I had actually never walked it before and it ended up being a really nice walk. I took some pictures of boats...

Regent's Canal
Regent's Canal

boat crews...

Regent's Canal cat
Regent's Canal cat

and unusual flower pots.

Regent's Canal
Regent's Canal

Towards the end of the walk I even got to witness some drama, as a couple of coots got a little too close to a common moorhen nest. A female moorhen was sitting in the nest and the male was gathering branches when the coots appeared. Mr Moorhen was obviously in quite a territorial mood, so he decided to expel the intruders from his property.

Common moorhen fighting coots
Common moorhen fighting coots

For a moment it seemed that the coots were willing to put up a fight, but in the end they changed their mind and decided to put some space between them and the irate moorhen.

Common moorhen fighting coots
Common moorhen fighting coots

So all in all it wasn't a bad day out. Well, maybe it was for the coots, but I came back with a few pictures that I'm pretty happy with. Of course, it could have been one of those off days when I come back with nothing good, but even in those cases I can usually learn something from the failed shots.

One thing is for sure. I never improved my photography by letting my camera sit in a corner collecting dust. So when in doubt, get out there and take some pictures.