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Following on from my last post, these are some images taken from the visit that Mrs M. and I made to Weston-Super-Mare during September. The weather was stormy and very, very changeable. The clouds were boiling over the sea and pushed by a brisk wind were heading for a collision course with the town.
These three photographs were taken in RAW as per usual and then in post processing converted to my favourite square monochrome format. The images feature little slices of interest that I saw on the beach before the rain (and hail) swept in from the Bristol Channel.
The first image is of a warning post sunk into the sand and tracks of vehicles that driven across the beach. The second photograph is a small boat anchored on the beach, with the waves starting to get higher as the wind from the incoming storm pushed them inland. The third is a capture of a small dog that was having the time of its life running along the sand, galloping around its owner and barking.
All of the photographs were taken with a Nikon D800 and a Nikkor 24-120mm f/4.0 lens.
Lines in the Sand
This collection of images were taken on a short break in the west country during September. The weather as is usual in the United Kingdom was variable. Indeed, on that break, we encountered warm sun, as well as torrential rain, a hailstorm and buffeting winds. The upside to this was that the cloud formations were absolutely incredible and on my black and whites only needed some tweaking in Curves to bring out their majesty and in some instances their threat of storms.
The first photograph is of a tree I encountered in a field on our way to the coast. I love the symmetry of its canopy and the sky above it was boiling and growling – a precedent of a heavy rainstorm which followed. The sky was enhanced in post-production to add to the drama.
The next two images were taken in Weston-Super-Mare as MrsM and I spent the best part of a day walking through the town and along the seafront. The weather was very changeable with blocks of sunlight travelling quickly through the landscape as in the photograph “Low Tide” followed by ominous storm clouds that came in across the Bristol Channel and over the town heading inland, as can be seen in “Waiting for the Storm”. Immediately after this image was taken heavy rain lashed down followed by a hail storm. We took refuge in one of the numerous and curiously British shelters along the promenade, but not before we were soaked.
All photographs were taken with a Nikon D800 and a Nikkor 24-120 f/4.0.
Waiting for the storm
I like taking abstract photographs. The individual’s visualisation of something on which they are laying their own interpretation is both gratifying and exciting.
There is always the risk of course that someone may not be able to see what it is you are trying to pull out of an object or a scene, but to a certain extent that is the case with all forms of art. It is as individual as the person making it.
The first two images here were taken at the Coventry Motor Museum. I got in very close and as the images were hand-held, they were at a low shutter speed and a high ISO. Nevertheless, I like what I got out of the images and I think they work successfully as abstract and minimalist expressions.
They were taken with a Nikon D800 and a 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 lens at an ISO of 3200
The final picture is a re-take of an image I took a while ago again at the Motor Museum. This photograph has always sold quite well for me but I suppose it helps to be in the city that Jaguar Land Rover continues to build. The original image had been taken with an Olympus E-series camera and I wanted to see what the result could be with a camera such as the D800, which has a much better ISO capability in low light. The noise level in the resultant picture with the Nikon was much lower and required a lot less noise reduction.
The photograph was taken with the Nikon D800 and 24-85mm lens.
The three images in today’s post appeal to me for different reasons. One for texture and detail, one for the questions it asks and the other both for its suggestion of mysterious overtones.
The first picture is in my favourite format of 1:1 or square and monochrome. The plant, is a thistle, with its seeds ready to be blown by the wind to propagate other areas of the countryside. I love the detail that the camera captured and the swirls of tone in the down-like mass of seeds around the thistle heads. It was taken with a Nikon D7100 and a Nikkor 24 – 85mm f/3.5 – 4.5 lens.
The second image is a set of steps that have started to be overgrown. The steps and the wall through which they run is obviously old. The steps are worn and uneven and made of odd sized and shaped stone, except the second step from the bottom, which has been repaired by what looks like modern bricks. So at one point in the near past, the steps must have been used enough to require repair, and yet now they are becoming overgrown and are evidently not now used as much if, at all. The movement of the eye through the image is from top to bottom. The convergence of the steps and the light at the top ensures that the viewer climbs the steps to exit the picture. This image was also taken with a Nikon D7100 and a Nikkor 24 – 85mm f/3.5 – 4.5 lens.
To the Light
The last image was taken at Stowe gardens. Viewing the portico and door of the temple from below gives the picture both an imposing, dominating and mysterious aspect. The darkness of the set of doors looks threatening and its position between the columns ensures that the eye is pulled and drawn to it. What will emerge from behind them? The title is a reference to one of my favourite heavy metal albums from 1977, which the image reminds me of. The photograph was taken with a Nikon D800 and Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 lens.
Sin after Sin
Colour photographs by their very nature rely in some way on their main characteristic of colour to draw the viewer into the image. So, when you are looking to take a monochrome image, you have to discount that attribute and rely instead on other aspects of the subject to give to your viewer. There are many things to look for in a subject when you are planning to take a black and white photograph. Shape and form for instance, tone and contrast and also texture and pattern.
The first image of the fallen tree with the hole though it relies on texture, tone and form. The format of the image is square. This provides a static and stable frame on which to arrange the components of the photograph. The tree is placed in the frame with the hole slightly to the right to suggest an initial movement in that direction. Initially, the texture and tone around the bottom of the hole pulls the eye to the right around the perimeter of the circle formed by it and then into the hollow and then out to the left side of the frame.
The second image is a close-up shot of a tree trunk showing the deep texture and patterns of the bark. The visual impression is of almost a thick skin-like quality, and within the solidity formed by the square frame, the viewer’s eye moves across the image from left to right until it finds the hole on the right and then follows the crack in the bark from the top of the hole to the top of the frame and out.
Both pictures were shot with a Nikon D7100 and a Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 lens.
Tough as Old Boots