strike it lucky

beaulieu-sur-dordogne 3
beaulieu-sur-dordogne 3 by Tim Caynes

sometimes you do just strike it lucky. mostly on vacation I’m hawking around my little sony trying not to spend too much time composing perfectly or getting some marvellous depth of field while the rest of the family are walking round the next corner already tutting to themselves and telling me to just take it in rather than seeing everything through a lens. in actual fact, it’s almost impossible to compose perfectly or get any depth of field action with the little sony, especially on a nice sunny day when you can’t actually see anything on the LCD anyway and you’re largely guessing what might come out. for some inexplicable reason also, whatever the aperture the camera decides I should use (in semi-auto mode), the depth of field on landscapes always seems to be pretty much infinite. really, the little cameras are marvels. I’ve yet to recreate what they do with an SLR.

so when something does come out that’s really quite good, I take my hat off to the camera for doing all the work for me. mostly I might spend hours correcting stuff I don’t like or stylising in photoshop so that when I post it to flickr it doesn’t bear much comparison to what came off the memory stick, but occaionally I might just crop some annoying intrusion out, lift the colours, and that’s it. and that’s what happened with this shot of the chapel reflected on the river at beaulieu-sur-dordogne a couple of years ago. I took a little while to position myself precariously over the water in a comedy tourist style, of course, but other than that, it was just a hopeful snap. I didn’t even notice the clarity of the reflection at the time. it was only when I reviewed the hundreds of snaps a couple of weeks later that this one jumped out.

coincidentally, this is well inside the top ten of my all-time most interesting photos on flickr, but it’s not really about how nice or eye-catching it is. the main reason that it gets consistently high viewing figures is that it gets a huge number of referrals from google – over twice as many as from flickr directly. that’s all down to the rather dull title and tag scheme that I’ve used since I started using flickr over 4 years ago. I pretty much just tell it like it is with the titles, like ‘beaulieu-sur-dordorge 3’, which, unsurprisingly, is the third in a series which includes ‘beaulieu-sur-dordogne 1‘ and ‘beaulieu-sur-dordogne 2‘, but I also always include the place name in the photo tags, including town, region and country, and mostly always geotag everything. it’s that no-nonsense, repetitive labelling that seems to appeal to google, and so even though I could title this photo something like ‘refection on the water’ or ‘my holiday in france was rather nice thanks’ or ‘stillness is the sanctuary I seek from the trauma of existence’ or ‘not a kitten’ or something I’ll probably stick to my rather dull convention. because I rather like the traffic. shameless.


Make somebody else read this