Sometimes I set out without a clue what I’m going to shoot. I pick a destination, pack my camera bag with a selection of items I hope will cover most eventualities, and head off not knowing what I’m going to find. I’m also sure I’m not alone in this and those of you that keep your (hopefully smaller and lighter) camera in your bag at all times are probably very familiar with this.
Over the recent long weekend I was determined to get out for a wander somewhere. Most of my friends were busy or not interested so I headed to a familiar haunt – Thruscross Reservoir, near Harrogate in the UK. Its a large body of water and it takes a solid two to three hours to walk the full circuit. My favourite part is about half way around when you move into the woods. Many other reservoirs seem to have cleared much of the forests around them but Thruscross still has some nice woodland.
I had no idea of what to shoot when I arrived. As mentioned its somewhere I’ve been several times, in good weather and bad, and morning noon and night. Its also somewhere that has always surprised. One of the last times I was there, I narrowly managed to avoid a massive rainstorm, but it made for some great photos. As I walked around this time, and particularly when I started to enter the more heavily wooded areas, I noticed a great many mushrooms had sprouted. Unfortunately a large number had been kicked over or damaged but there were enough to decide that this would be my theme for the day.
Annoyingly I’d forgotten to bring a mat, and following recent rains the ground was wet and pretty muddy. Of course for the best shots of mushrooms you need to get down nice and low, which did provide a bit of a challenge. However despite not being able to lie out on the ground with my camera, I still managed to get some nice shots to build up my existing mushroom collection.
So ultimately, even if you have no specific objective in mind, I would still always recommend you take your camera with you. You never know when inspiration might strike and what you might find.