Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Fun in the Sun

It dawned on me as I drove through Portswood today (well, I say drove, I mean crawled through due to roadworks), that I was wasting time. I was wasting time because oppurtunities for easily taking good quality sunny photos are increasingly disappearing. With Autumn here and winter approaching, the shadows are longer, the weather is cloudier, and realistic hours for decent photography in from November onwards are limited to around 1000-1400, apart from in special places.

I find that photographing in winter is so much more demanding. You have to position yourself between shadows cast by buildings. One has to take account curves in the road far more than in the summer. Furthermore, a large number of really good quality photos - the type you'd amass easily on a summer's sunny day - are much fewer in number in the winter. To the left is BlueStar's old 733 (H733DDL), photographed along Stoneham Lane in Swaythling last December. This is one of my favoured locations for sunny winter photos as I've done it so may times before. 733 in this shot was on a special working on BlueStar 2 because the previous bus had broken down (I believe).
Indeed, the more usual outcome of winter shots is shown to the right, of First's Omnidekka 36001 (YN04GNV) in Lyme Regis at the end of last November. Shadows from bus stops, signs, pedestrians are all incredibly frustrating!
The classic winter shot - lots of glare and long shadows. Here is BlueStar's 2603 (R603NFX) seen at the top of Otterbourne Hill last October. I vowed on that trip I would return on a sunny summer's day - alas I've never got round to it...
When I started this blog, I promised ramblings of a bus enthusiast, and you've got it in this post. Decent quality winter photographs give myself, at least, far more satisfaction than easy summer shots. The low sun can really enhance colours of the bus, sometimes. The seasons changing - bare branches, leaves at the side of the road - also create an autumnal atmosphere that makes successful photographs worth the effort, of the hours spent in the cold and wet, frustrated and annoyed at that bl**dy car that's just got in the way of the shot you've nearly frozen to death for. Here's to lots more this year, and good luck to all photographers.


  1. It's good to hear your ramblings James - one of the things that being a bus enthusiast is all about is keeping up with change; we may not always regard it as change for the better but if it didn't occur what would we talk about!

    Today alone UniLink have been using at least one of the PVLs on the U1 and First have had 2 B7RLEs and an ex London B7TL out - where were you and your camera !!!

  2. Stuck in lectures I'm afraid, a new course this year which means I don't have as much free time. Rather frustrating, especially with the weather/darkness moving in meaning good photos are going to be even harder to achieve. Ah well!