Friday, 25 September 2009

Image of the Week – Trevose Head Take Two

At the risk of looking like I only photograph one location each year I've a second image from Trevose Head that's made the grade.

As I described in my first post about Trevose Head, I was unhappy with my first composition and so returned to remake my image a few weeks later. I didn't feel the light was as good on this second visit and although I was happier with the composition, the memory of the light was still playing on my mind when I laid out the transparencies on the light table.

This is the very last image I made that day and was actually an experiment on how long an exposure I could wring out of a sheet of Velvia 50. Light was failing fast and some quick mental arithmetic (my maths teacher was right, it did come in handy one day!) told me I needed a 2 minute exposure to account for reciprocal failure.

The long exposure blurred the sea and clouds creating a lovely effect but I had not used any warm up filtration to compensate for the cool light after sunset and the overwhelming colour on my transparency was blue. The image was very cold and not at all what I had hoped for. I dismissed the results as inferior to my first images as noted on my earlier blog entry.

I rarely throw away, or delete, images on first viewing. Often the memory of the hard work that went into the failed image is too great. I find leaving such an image until the emotion of the day has faded leads to a more objective assessment of the work.

Now two months on, I took another look at the transparency yesterday. I realised the blue colour cast could easily be remedied during the scanning process and the image had great potential after all. So half an hour later, with the transparency scanned and colour corrected, I was looking at a very different photograph to the one I posted in July and many ways I feel this is superior.

And just in case you really do think I only photograph one location a year, here's another of the lighthouse. A much simpler silhouette image, this was taken on the way back to the car park at the end of my first trip. I didn't have time to set-up the view camera so this was as about as much as a “grab shot” as is possible with a heavy Mamiya RB67 and tripod!

I knew there was a reason I had lugged both cameras with me that day!

Monday, 21 September 2009

New Images - Rumps Point, Cornwall

Rumps Point, or The Rumps as it is sometimes known, is a small promontory on the North Cornwall coast just a little North East of Padstow and the River Camel estuary. Once the site of an Iron Age fort, Rumps Point is now managed by the National Trust.

During the two afternoons I spent here I saw very few people, even in August. I suspect this has something to do with the fact the nearest car park is around a mile away. The two small hills, as well as the tiny island of The Mouls just beyond, now seem a favourite place for seagulls to gather in the evening and compete with the sea to see who can make the most noise!

I was a little disappointed in the weather when I first visited this location in June. The cloud was looking promising as I approached, but while I waited for the sun to move into position, the clouds blew inland leaving a perfectly clear blue sky. However the warm evening sunlight made for some wonderful light and while the sky is no match for the later photographs I took in August (my last Image of the Week), I was still satisfied with my work that day.

Talking of Image of the Week, I have not posted one for a little while due to other priorities, but I will resume shortly.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Ultimate Landscape Photography?

If landscape photography is about showing the beauty of nature all around us then perhaps this is the ultimate landscape photography on the largest scale possible.

When I heard that the Hubble Telescope was going to be abandoned because NASA had decided another repair mission was too risky I don't mind admitting I was very disappointed. So it was good news indeed when NASA announced a repair mission would go ahead.

The beautiful and breathtaking preview pictures released by NASA yesterday from the repaired telescope with it's new camera without a shadow of a doubt justly the mission.

On a slightly related note, I am currently awaiting parts for my image server which holds all my images and my image database for my own repair mission. Following early signs of trouble on Monday, the server suffered a major failure on Wednesday. All my images are intact (and backed up in several different media) but I am frustratingly unable to access them without this server. Hopefully I'll be back up and running later today assuming the parts arrive.

Friday, 4 September 2009

New Images - Bristol

Despite living just over 10 miles from Bristol I rarely visit the city. I am naturally drawn to the countryside and I admit have little interest in the concrete jungle of our cities. Bristol does have it's fair share of concrete monstrosities, but it contains some wonderful architecture too.

I found myself outside the home of Bristol City Council, one beautiful day in April this year for my Brother's wedding. With an hour or so to kill I was faced with a dilemma; Photograph the area or visit the coffee shop on Park Street. I chose the former, but as it happens I managed to fit in a quick espresso too!

The Council House was designed by the architect Vincent Harris and was built between 1938 and 1956. One of the better buildings built in Bristol during the 20th century and arguably the last significant building built before the drab grey concrete jungle phase of the last century took over.

In recent years a large chunk of the concrete disasters have been demolished to make way for modern glass and steel architecture. Not everyone is a fan of this new style I admit, but they have to beat the awful grey multi-story car parks they largely replace. One such building, the truly awful Bristol and West tower building in the city centre, has been partially demolished and partially refurbished in the modern style. Now the Radisson Blu Hotel, it was a pleasant surprise to see it finally completed.

I am very tempted to visit Bristol again later this year for some dusk images of the modern architecture around the re-developed harbour side. Watch this space.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Outdoor Photography - Viewpoints

I've had a piece I wrote for Outdoor Photography (UK) on Wastwater in the Lake District published in the Viewpoints section this month (October 2009 edition).

Three images have been used in addition to a fourth used on the April 2009 cover. The one day I spent at Wastwater has to date been my most published single day. Funnily enough I'm in the planning stages of another trip to Cumbria this autumn. My previous trip was with a brand new Nikon D2x and I was very pleased with the results, but I can't wait to see what I can achieve with my Ebony this year.