Bricks and iron

These three images were, like the last post, all taken at the Black Country Living Museum near Dudley in the West Midlands.

The first is a found still life of a watering can and two water butts. I did not arrange these and came upon them behind one of the turn of the century cottages that are in the museum. The title I gave the image immediately came into my head before I even took the photograph. Sometimes you’re lucky and find a nice arrangement like this.

Nikon D800, Nikkor 50mm, F1.8G



This photograph is obviously of some metal plates on a boiler around one of the furnaces. I liked the aged patina on the plates and the arrangement of the rivets holding the individual plates together. I was using a 50mm lens and got in as close as I could, which meant that some parts of the image where the curve of the boiler changed the distance between lens and object are a little soft. One possible remedy to that was if I used focus stacking. Perhaps next time.

Nikon D800, Nikkor 50mm, F1.8G



The last image is a pile of chains that were outside the chain-makers forge. I noticed the fragile, slightly desiccated leaf in the middle of the pile and really liked the juxtaposition of the scene. After processing, I put a slight vignette around the edge of the frame and then lightened the centre a little, to focus attention on the leaf.

Nikon D800, Nikkor 50mm, F1.8G


Black Country history

Museums can be great places to take photographs. You have the architecture of the buildings themselves, some of them are marvels of modern architecture. Then there are the people who visit the museums looking and absorbed in the exhibitions and finally but not least, you also have the exhibits themselves. The three photographs in today’s blog were all taken at the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley in the West Midlands of the UK. It’s a museum where the buildings, exhibits and people all form part of the experience. It’s a great place to get atmospheric photographs of old buildings and industry from the start of the twentieth century. The museum assistants also add to the ambience by wearing period costume.

The first photograph was taken at one of the industrial forges that lay by the side of the canal. I liked the way that the chain is running between the stones like a stream and the juxtaposition between the man-made iron links and the natural texture of the stones.


Nikon D800, Nikkor 50mm, F/1.8G



The second photograph was taken in one of the alleyways that lie between some of the buildings at the museum. I focussed on the rear of the alley where the daylight was filtering in and let the foreground fade darker. The effect of the convergence of the walls either side of the path and the light at the top of the picture is to pull the viewer through the frame.

Nikon D800, Nikkor 50mm, F/1.8G



Photograph three was taken in one of the many recovered and rebuilt houses in the museum that has the décor and furniture of the era. I love taking shots using the light from a window to give atmosphere and to give only a hint of what is in the room. In this shot I particularly like the clothing half-hanging out of the drawer and the placement of the bag on the dresser as if the room’s occupant will be back at any moment to close the drawer and pick up her bag.

Nikon D800, Nikkor 50mm, F/1.8G