Postcode Gallery Number 1 – Park Life

Learning objectives: 1.1; 1.2; 1.3;

So, I started off taking pictures up in Sheen Common and Richmond Park, as that’s where the hound and I spend a part of most days. Dog-owners; dog-walkers; the dogs themselves: the canine world is not short of colourful characters and I figure that, over the next few months, I should be able to achieve various candid shots that work to fulfil Project 1’s brief. And, yes, I do harbour the fantasy that, one day, I will merge two things I love – dogs and photography – and become some uber dog-trainer/pooch-snapper extraordinaire who spends her life taking pictures of puppies (not a euphemism) while being paid handsomely for the privilege.


And while I’m in the park (which is, honestly, one of my favourite places in the entire world), I can document autumn turning into winter, which will be pretty cool, too. Or just take reportage-style shots of all the crap that some vile visitors (the type who feed crisps to deer and who I’d happily swing for) leave behind.


I used my normal 18-55MM lens to begin with. My second trip out I switched to the 35-135 that I’ve got on loan from Auntie A. Sometimes this lens works beautifully (like back here, in the summer), but I’ve struggled with the focus on it a bit recently, including when I was in Canada and on this set of photos. I don’t know what I am doing wrong. I’ve noticed that the ISO seems high on these recent pics – I could have sworn it was set on Auto – but maybe I’d inadvertently changed it? Either way, while I get that I don’t have the same close-up potential as I do with the 18-55, there are still too many focal ****-ups to make sense. I’ve included some here to show my workings (even though it goes completely against my inner-control freak to publish anything I am not happy with); they’re rubbish, that’s all you need to know. But if you’ve got any clues as to where I am ******* up, fire away in the comments section, below. (My darling brother, I expect to hear from you in due course.)


The above shots bug the hell out of me – I can’t have changed the ISO as it is all over the place. For example, the last shot of the dog on the hill has a ridiculously high ISO for a very bright day – and I definitely did not set it on that… The mystery continues.


I’ve also got a bit of a thing for the “camps” of Richmond Park. I used to build camps here as a kid, and one of the best summers of my life as a mum was spent doing exactly that with my son and a gang of his friends, roughly ten years or so ago. They were armed with penknives (we only had one accident). I was armed with tins of G&T. It was bliss. I love seeing how future generations of children continue to use this phenomenal natural space and their unbridled imagination to create incredible – and not so incredible – structures. There is something quite skeletal about a good camp as it starts to blend back into nature; like the bones of an old dinosaur slowly disintegrating. So bear with me as it is quite probable that I will take numerous shots of bits of wood.



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