Still on the theme of canals, this time in Britain.
Not far from Rickmansworth, a pleasant village about 30 km from central London which is these days a suburb near the end of the underground train system, is the Batchworth Lock on the Grand Union Canal. It was behind me when I took this nearly a year ago. There were dozens of colorful narrowboats on the canal, and I watched for a while as one negotiated the lock, towards which the boat in the photo is heading. Most of the moored boats seemed either lived in or used regularly, judging from the paraphernalia - bikes, motorbikes, pot-plants, barbecues, even pets - on the tiny deck space near the bow.
The Grand Union Canal was formed in the 1920s from the union of many smaller waterways. Today, it is the longest in Britain, from Brentford near London to Birmingham in the Midlands - 220 km and 166 locks. Spurs like the Paddington Arm and the Regents Canal go right to the heart of London. It's said that you need more than a week to travel its length, unless you never sleep.
I think I was lucky to capture the moving narrowboat sharply with the ridiculous aperture/shutter combination, but the boat moved into the picture unexpectedly as I was framing a different shot. I might be able to visit the canal again this summer, and perhaps the sun will shine this time.
Critiques | Translate
snunney (105613) 2009-04-19 6:19
A good perspective along the canal accentuated by the curving tow path. The lighting was not of the best but the image is lifted by the brightly coloured barges. The approaching barge with the people on board makes a nice bonus. Very good sharpness.
aadilj (18102) 2009-04-19 6:19
Hi Andrew, i specially like the pov and the deep perspective along with the natural freshness, the hues and the nice textures. Good and pleasing image
josevescovi (1750) 2009-04-19 6:21
Excelente domínio da técnica neste registro. Bela perspectiva e cores. Trabalho criativo.
Visite minha página. Opine.
Disabled_A (0) 2009-04-19 6:26
very nice perspective, with these boats standing along both sides of the canal! I also like the boat part of which is seen on the left and which has bright red colour :) It adds a bright spot among all those quiet colours and the "greenish" ambience :)
I'd like to take a walk along the canal.
albertojr (738) 2009-04-19 6:32
That old fashioned narrow boats are classical, it reminds me long tail boat ideal for transportation along Chao Phraya in Thailand, the dynamism on the other boat approaching is well observed, congrats on your timing.. the quality of the image is superb as well. nice perspective with the diminishing pathways in curve. nice shot, well done.
asajernigan (21427) 2009-04-19 7:44
Your composition is great using the curving canal and path to lead the eye through the shot. The lighting and colors are fine with excellent sharpness and DOF. The trees form nice framing for the scene. Too bad for the white sky but the photo is still very good.
mjdundee (4663) 2009-04-19 9:20
Very well seen and composed. Good to find the two persons on the moving boat. The path leads the eye around the corner and you managed to avoid OE sky by covering it with the tree.
Longroute (19396) 2009-04-19 10:13
Canals and the traditional boats like those ones have a charm of their own. The green vegetation along the banks, the calm water with the fine reflections and the colourful boats contribute to create a serene and pleasant atmosphere. Fine sense of depth too.
SteveH (6405) 2009-04-19 20:36
Hi Andrew, There is something gentle about the English country, the soft light, deep greens and slow pace. You've captured the essence of it in this shot. the only problem with it is the typically white sky - but what can you do? cheers, Steve
MarcT (20964) 2009-04-19 22:07
Nice, calm place.
Beautiful colors and mood rendered by your picture.
phwall (6785) 2009-04-19 23:04
Even with the white sky this is a lovely "snapshot" of life on the canal.
The soft greens look beautiful in that flat light. The building in the background blends well into the whole capture.
You've chosen an excellent POV, even if it was a hasty maneuver so as to include the boat, the composition is very good too, I like the way you have used the pathway to frame the image.
Lovely atmospherics, I can easily picture myself standing on the back of that moving narrow boat, beer in hand taking in the sights.
pablominto (53746) 2009-04-20 1:09
A picturesque canal scene, including the typical house boats!
I imagine this is a great way to spend some vacation days, living the lazy life on the canal and anchor outside the nearest pub in the evening...
I like the composition with the colourful boat part in front, great colours and a fine sense of depth!
npecanhuk (77773) 2009-04-20 5:16
I really like this picture! I specially enjoyed its fine composition, excellent sharpness and perfect exposure!
It's a beautiful and pleasant image! This pathway on the right and the canal are true highlights in this photo and they're so nicely placed in the frame!
TFS - Congratulations!
kschanna (6) 2009-04-21 4:01
Nicely camouflaged the blown out sky and you have added a nice perspective to the frame by including the curved path to the right which complements the canal nicely.
Thanks for sharing
jaywalker (16105) 2009-04-21 14:25
Hi Andrew, Great prospective with the eye drawn down the walkway, I really like the overhanging branches & the barges are well placed through-out the shot, super colours & TFS, kind regards Wilson.
Waylim (25436) 2009-04-21 23:58
Yet another very nice image great use of the curve of the path to lead your viewers in for a nice little walk along the river or canal. Beautiful lush green vegetation. and great use of the branches to frame the iamge nicely. beautiful light, natural and beautiful colors, and lovely composition.
There is a little light spots on top right cornor where the large leaves are. Wonder what happen there.
Have a good day.
trekks (14348) 2009-04-22 3:53
When I open this one, my immediate response is a greedy one, I wish to see the full view of the orange boat! That aside, I think the scenery is superbly captured with very nicely composed view of the canal and green all around. Very clever to have the curved path carefully placed along the right edge with some spotted green to border it.
I find incredible sharpness and depth due to f/20!
Royaldevon (42615) 2009-04-22 11:38
There is nothing quite like a view of an English canal with its colourful narrowboats to immediately fill you with a sense of calm and tranquility! The slowness of the movement, the gently lapping water, ... you can tell, I'm on a nostalgia trip!
Love the pov where the gentle curve leads the eyes at the correct speed past the boats and into the distance.
The trees frame the shot well and obscure the nondiscript sky.
You did well to capture the colourful boat in the f/g as well as capture the moving boat.
mafegan (8624) 2009-04-23 1:55
A great photo to give us an idea of daily life on an English canal. Good pov and colours - regardless of the sky. Interesting to see the two people on the narrow boat. Very nice and tfs, Marlene
Kielia (24077) 2009-04-23 11:29
a very pleasant impression of the canal with very natural colors and a nice light. I agree, sunshine would have been a bonus, but I do not care, I also like the grey sky. The perspective is remarkable! You have captured the atmosphere of this peaceful and idyllic place perfectly!
John_F_Kennedy (43763) 2009-04-24 3:39
Very good shot with nice colours and good POV. I like the diagonal view. Well done.
alftrek (3270) 2009-04-25 2:36
A clever composition to include part of the brightly coloured boat in the left FG corner. The third boat with passengers came in nicely between the two, so I imagine you made a quick decision. Excellent saturated green colours which convey the ambiance very well, but the problem with digital camera is that it tends to blow out the sky and the dirt track a little.
Thanks for sharing, see you tomorrow
delpeoples (59684) 2009-04-26 3:03
Hi Andrew, your DOF here is brilliant and the colours are just as I remember the Old Dart. This particular shot evokes memories of an murder mystery I saw not long ago where a woman was supposedly murdered on the canal boat. Thanks also for the interesting Note. Have a good Sunday, Lisa.
azaf1 (15929) 2009-04-26 8:23
Good evening Andrew
A lovely place to moor a boat and stay for a while. I like the quiet atmosphere of the place and the nice colors with the wonderful curve of the canal.
Have a good evening and TFS
jhm (159006) 2009-04-26 9:38
I like this type of pictures, long canals, lovely perspective.
Attractive for look at.
Composition and presentation are superb.
Very well done, TFS.
Jean-Luc (5488) 2009-04-28 7:36
Malgré le manque de soleil les couleurs sont très belles.
La vie sur ces bateaux, le long de ces canaux doit être assez agréable. J'aimerai en faire l'expérience.
La composition est tout à fait réussie.
archimatica (20648) 2009-04-30 3:17
A good perspective along the canal, delicious composition.
The framework sends a lot of serenity.
Charo (51212) 2009-04-30 4:47
A view of the canal with a good perspective and depth. I like that road that runs the bank, you should walk a very nice der. Excellent composition and details.
skippy007 (12510) 2009-05-02 6:47
Hello Andrew, A nice scene, so well well balanced with the curving path & canal leading the eye through the scene. The lighting and colors are excellent,with the trees forming an eye pleasing frame. We all know what the English weather is like but when I was over there they were having a heatwave 30 plus degrees C, ;-), rail lines were buckling. Nice shot with the brightly coloured boat partly in the frame adding colour & interest.
foozi (7101) 2009-05-06 20:39
really an interesting shot.Excellent presentation with lovely perspective. The clarity and sharpness is splendid.
I like the calmness and peacefulness of the place. Nicely shown in details and splendid landscape.
hispic (9652) 2009-05-16 2:37
Lovely shot of canal life, nice composition placing a boat coming up. It's great that the image was finely finished with a nice tone with punch and vivid green despite a dull lighting situation.
Have a nice weekend! Hisashi
ElAprendiz (30) 2009-05-23 5:09
Although the sky did not help much in the background, I consider the beauty and contrast of tones in the foreground.
An image that brings us to the path along the canal. I like the simple composition.
special greetings from Colombia, John
ben4321 (9875) 2009-06-27 11:06
I like this shot Andrew - it's well composed, and that lead-in line of the path works well especially.
At the same time, the path is the emptiest part of your photo - maybe you could have waited for a passing cyclist or dog walker to enter the frame.
It's a nice shot though.
PS. What a coincidence - I just wrote this critique and find that you've just commented on my shot. Must have been more or less simultaneous!
maloutim (9639) 2010-01-03 1:44
If there is something that makes THE British atmosphere amogst others, it's its narrow-boat canals! You have really captured the mood well in your photo, with the tow-path, which is usually a favourite walk for weekend walks.(This photo must have been taken in the week time!)
Canal holidays are also a favourite with British people who like the Quiet slow life above all (like a game of cricket that can last up to a week!)
Thank you for sharing this part of British heritage and culture!
I wish you all the best for the New Year 2010!
- Copyright: Andrew McRae (macondo) (19804)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2008-06-17
- Categories: Daily Life, Transportation
- Camera: Pentax K200D, Sigma 18-50m F/3.5-5.6 DC
- Exposure: f/20.0, 1/25 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Theme(s): GB Canal narrow Boats [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2009-04-19 5:37