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Image of the Month: November 2012

Here, members tell the story behind a photo. This month's submission, End of the Road, comes from Alex Straughan. who explains how a new camera brought some inspiration.

Rust never sleeps ... 'End of the Road' by Alex Straughan.

This photograph was one of a series taken on a camera club outing. We were kindly given permission to take photographs at a scrapyard in an outlying part of the district. Prior to getting there, I envisaged opportunities to photograph vehicles and machinery in strange juxtapositions with the bonus of rust tones.

Entering the yard, you realise that this scrapyard is not like the one you might automatically think of — towers of cubed vehicles. No, this was different, more akin to a graveyard of long-forgotten vehicles and manufacturers.

The shot was taken in early evening overcast light. This lack of interesting light made me more conscious of looking more for detailed close-up shots. A number of vehicles had been dismantled to varying degrees. Machine parts littered among the weeds threw up many possible compositions, however, the speedometer caught my interest the most; the white dial and chrome trim against the rusted metal.

A new camera — Fuji X10 — in hand meant portability and possibilities, but also that feeling of ‘which dial do I need to turn to?’ One of the many selling points of this camera was the f stop of 2 and the ability to apply a 'bokeh' effect through the pro focus mode. Most compact cameras put everything in focus, however, the X10 allows much more manual control assisted by some clever computer wizardry.

In the shot taken, I was able to focus tightly on the dial itself, knowing that I would be able to throw the background out of focus at the same time. A little post processing to add a vignette and darkening of the background completes the shot.

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