52 in 2015 Week 10 DOF

Being mainly a landscape photographer I don’t often use DOF or Depth of Field creatively. Personally I prefer my photographs to be in focus from front to back. But there again that’s just me. I’m always breaking photography rules…

Great photography is about depth of feeling, not depth of field. – Peter Adams

On this one I would tend to agree but I can honestly say that this week I don’t think I really got the depth of feeling let alone the depth of field.

52 of 2015 Week 10 DOF

It really was not a good week for completing the assignment on time but you have no choice…it’s complete or be damned. I had an idea what I wanted to photograph but the weather has been conspiring against me for some time. I needed a nice sunny day; I was getting grey overcast sky, strong winds and occasional splashes of rain. Finally the weather broke and I was able to grab this photograph. It’s not the greatest, in it’s own way it does meet the challenge but in my opinion only just.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Wall

I’m way behind with this weeks challenge post. It’s Saturday, the folks at WordPress have already issued next weeks challenge and I’m still trying to get last weeks completed. Time has been conspiring against me and so I’ve had to rush this post. I’ve not been out much with the camera in the last month. A combination of factors really, but on Wednesday I managed to get to the National Slate museum for a few hours. I was actually there to take some photographs for the “52 in 2015” Challenge on Flickr but whilst I was there I managed to shoot, not literally, a few walls.

Windows

Now this might not be the most exciting wall in the world but there’s a lot of history behind it (excuse the pun). This wall is in the National Slate Museum at Llanberis. North Wales. Previously known as the Welsh Slate Museum it was once the 19th-century workshops of the now disused Dinorwic slate Quarry. The workshops were built in 1870 to serve the needs of the quarry and its locomotives.

Wandering around the workshops is a great photo opportunity, there’s so much to see and I can easily spend a good few hours here, looking at the machinery and tools which have been left behind. The windows are dusty and grimy, covered in cobwebs, to add authenticity. Not only that you get amazing light and shadows throughout all the workshop buildings, a photographers paradise. I highly recommend if you are ever in the area paying a visit to the museum. Best of all it’s free.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Orange

Regular readers will know I’m not that keen on the Gallery feature that WordPress provides. I’d much rather you see my photographs in full size straight away rather than having to do extra clicks or wait on the slideshow running. Not only that I can give the information behind the photographs in a much better way.

Because each photograph is only a fragment, its moral and emotional weight depends on where it is inserted. A photograph changes according to the context in which it is seen: thus Smith’s Minamata photographs will seem different on a contact sheet, in a gallery, in a political demonstration, in a police file, in a photographic magazine, in a book, on a living-room wall. Each of these situations suggest a different use for the photographs but none can secure their meaning. – Susan Sontag, On Photography by Susan Sontag

To me, galleries are flat and lifeless, showing tiny thumbnails of the original photograph. I have always tried to use a theme for my blog that displays my photographs in as large a size as possible so you can see why I’m against galleries. Anyway rant over.

First up this branch.

The Branch

For some reason Uphill beach in North Somerset used to get more than it’s fair share of driftwood brought in by the tide. What I really like about this is the odd shape, it looks like someone diving into the water. What do you think? Do you agree? Or do you see something different?

About 6 years ago I was in Berlin for a week, working on a telecoms project. It’s not the first time though that I’ve been in Berlin. A long time ago, when the Berlin Wall was still standing I spent about two years working in Berlin. At the time I was able to drive past the Soviet War memorial in the Tiergarten but not allowed to stop and visit it. Nowadays, you can visit so I took the opportunity to at the end of the day to photograph the amazing monument.

Soviet War Memorial

With the sun low in the sky the gold lettering really stands out. I was able to wander all round the monument until dark, something I’ve always wanted to do. My next photograph was also taken just as the sun was setting. At that time of the day light conditions are amazing and standing on this causeway I was able to capture the golden glow from the sun as it dipped below the horizon.

Causeway at Night

If Knightstone ever was an island you would be hard pushed to see it now, mainly because of the short road which connects it to Weston-super-Mare. It doesn’t look like an island and the causeway serves to amplify this, especially when the tide is out. However when the tide comes in it’s a different matter. more often than not at high tide that causeway is covered and from the hotel you can see in the background Knightstone does look more like an island.

Well that wraps it up for this week. I hope you enjoyed the photographs and can see my reasoning behind not showing a gallery. I just don’t think galleries do my photographs justice.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reward

Over the years I have taken many photographs that in my opinion have been rewarding. This one of Talacre Lighthouse is on my lounge wall in extra-large size 120 x 80 cm (47” x 31” approx). Admittedly it breaks the Rool of Thurds, but I like it and that’s the important thing.

Talacre Sunset

However this is not really my Reward photograph. The one below, a sunset taken on Frith Beach, Prestatyn, probably qualifies more as one I would reward myself for. Mainly because I spent some time waiting for the sunset to happen.

In order to obtain pictures by means of the hand camera it is well to choose your subject, regardless of figures, and carefully study the lines and lighting. After having determined upon these watch the passing figures and await the moment in which everything is in balance; that is, satisfied your eye. This often means hours of patient waiting. My picture, “Fifth Avenue, Winter” is the result of a three hours’ stand during a fierce snow-storm on February 22nd 1893, awaiting the proper moment. My patience was duly rewarded. Of course, the result contained an element of chance, as I might have stood there for hours without succeeding in getting the desired pictures. – Alfred Stieglitz – “The Hand Camera” (1897)

I know I have shown you this photograph before but here’s the background behind it. Standing on a cold wind-swept beach on the 25 November 2014 I was waiting for the sunset. The cloud formation and the way the sun was dipping down behind the mountains seemed to suggest that it might be a really good one. But like all weather events you can never really tell what you are going to get until it happens. Previously I’ve seen what looked like an amazing sunset only for it to fizzle out in seconds, never delivering the promised light show. I’m sure you’ve been in that situation as well, waiting for something to happen and then facing disappointment when it doesn’t?

Meanwhile I was getting colder and colder. November on our wind-swept beaches is not a comfortable position to be in, trust me, I’ve done it often enough. Sure I was equipped to be out there but on the exposed beach it’s amazing how you can get cold really fast, especially if you are not moving around too much.

After an hour on the beach it was looking like maybe I had got this one wrong. The sun had almost dipped behind the mountains and there was only a small red band of colour running along the horizon. Not much of a sunset at all. Time to pack up and go home.

Ffrith Beach sunset

But then it suddenly changed, the lower part of the sky nearest the horizon started to glow red and purple, then those cloud formations started to pick up the colour. I just knew then that this one was going to be a cracker. OK! I was cold but there was absolutely no way I was leaving the beach until I had captured every aspect of this sunset. Best of all I had the beach to myself, no one there, perfect. I was right, as you can see, As an aside I haven’t seen a sunset like this since I was on the Falkland Islands, and that was a long time ago. This sunset lasted a good twenty minutes before the sky finally lost most if it’s colour and all that red disappeared. That’s why I class this one as one of the most rewarding photographs I’ve taken in a while.

52 of 2015 Week 9 This Is Me

This weeks challenge is once again taking me out of my comfort zone, which in a way, is a good thing, I suppose. Whilst I’m happy to be behind the camera I have previously made sure I’m rarely in front. Recently though I’ve had to use myself as a model for several portrait challenges and whilst I’m still uncomfortable I’m slowly getting used to being on the “wrong” side of the lens.

There are good reasons for using oneself as a model(…)of course: your model is the most intriguing and puzzling person in the whole world;(…)you’re always available; you’re cheap; no explanations are needed(…); you don’t have to keep the model happy; and the model gets tired, and wants to stop, at exactly the same moment as you do. – Julian Flynn

This week I decided to combine my self-portrait with a background stock photograph to give me a composite image. I used to create quite a lot of composite images when I first started using Photoshop but over time I have let that skill drop – a lot.

52 of 2015 Week 9 This Is Me

This one is pretty simple, I haven’t spent a lot of time on it but over time I’ve forgotten how much I enjoyed creating composite images. You may see some more over the coming weeks, especially if I don’t go out that much due to the crappy weather we keep having.