Monday, 21 July 2014

A Midsummer Night's Dream (Lille Lungegårdsvannet Bandstand), Bergen

A Midsummer Night's Dream (Lille Lungegårdsvannet Bandstand), Bergen

Firstly, thanks to the strangers I met in Bergen whose portraits I took for my 100 Strangers Project. I'm travelling again from tomorrow for a week, so I'm afraid adding your portraits to the project will take a little longer than ideal. Email, however, and I will send you a copy straight away. This is a vertorama of three shots, cropped to 8x10, from last weekend's quick trip to Bergen. (More info to come). Thanks to everyone who checked out Event Horizon and helped it make Explore - I really appreciate your thoughtful visits and comments, and look forward to catching up. Sorry that travel is making that a little challenging at present!

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Event Horizon (Redend Point Pillbox With Ferry Light Trail), Studland Dorset

Event Horizon (Redend Point Pillbox With Ferry Light Trail), Studland Dorset

There's a ferry, due into Poole around 21:30 through the summer months which I've been stalking for a good couple of years now. The nuisance of being down in Dorset only once or twice a month, the intersection of good light/darkness with it's scheduled arrival time, the wild dither either side of its arrival time and, of course, the interference of other plans have all made photographing it streaking across the horizon something of a challenge. In recent months, however, I've seen a few successes, of which this is the first one I'm happy to post - even if the ferry isn't really a feature in the final shot. The foreground is a "pillbox" machine gun post, marking Redend Point on Studland beach, lit with handheld flash and LED (see below). Bournemouth's light pollution ends up in lots of my Purbeck images as a stand in for natural sunset and I have to say I will miss it when they switch all the ghastly sodium vapour bulbs for clean white LED's in the near future. As well as sharing a quick shot from my chasing of the ferry, this is a quick note to confirm that I'm alive despite recent inactivity on Flickr. I'm juggling some ambitious travel plans for the month ahead with changing jobs and some other projects - all keeping me away from Flickr. I'll be catching up over the next couple of days then back late August with posts of my own - though hopefully I'll be around off and on keeping in touch with contacts. Hope you're all fantastically well! Info for Strobist: The "pillbox" was zapped with a handheld Canon 600EX-RT over the course of the exposure, at 1/16 power - twice from camera left, hard along the cliff, four times from camera right, just on the edge of the sea, then eight times through the back window of the installation. The leaves in the tree above were then lit with ten seconds of sweeping light from a Lenser MT7.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Skye Light (Sunset Over Loch Dunvegan), Isle Of Skye

Skye Light (Sunset Over Loch Dunvegan), Isle Of Skye

Last October's trip to Skye hasn't really filtered into my photostream yet. The wildly changing weather demanded a level of preparedness and dedication that wasn't compatible with a family holiday, and winds at night were devasting on tripod work. Being on Skye is how I imagine standing on the prow of a yacht sailing through a year's worth of weather in a day. The sky constantly scrolls overhead and the weather hits you in an unrelenting showcase of possibilities - rain, sun, cloud, rainbow, hail, searing light, downpour, rainbow, fog, hail, sun, thunder, rainbow, lightning, sun, howling rainstorm, etc. all washing over you in seconds, faster than you can take it in. You're way out on the edge of the Europe, like a sentinel watching the Earth's production line dispatching rain to Dresden, sun to Barcelona, fog to Venice, hail to the Nürburgring, triggering weather reports on televisions in fifty languages. This particular shot comes from an outing to see the seals on the coral beaches of Loch Dunvegan in the late afternoon. Really I'd have liked a tripod and fifteen minutes more time to find a foreground, but neither were available. Stern as Jessica's legs are, at 2.5 years old as she was then, a couple of miles was too far to risk without carrying capacity - hence no tripod. A mile into the walk, we found a gurgling stream tumbling down to the beach, bright in the sunlight with fresh water that fell twenty minutes earlier in a claustrophobically intense rainstorm. Seeing it snaking off into the reeds and heather was temptation too great, and answering the explorer within, Jessica pounced off into the dense thicket of clean water, peat and phragmites australis. Treating us to the wry, hauntingly jolly laugh you'd imagine Oates sharing with Scott, Jessica was plucked out entirely soaked. Back to the car... As we raced her adrenaline-drunk metabolism back to a change of clothes, a proper firework display of a sunset broke over the far side of the Loch. Without time to compose properly or tripod to assist, I fired off a couple of shots. This is a manually blended product of the two. Almost all comes from the first, exposed for the sky. The pool of green grass comes from one exposed for the foreground, such as it was. Hopefully I've kept it subtle enough not to stray over the line. It's always hard to judge these, so let me know what you think - I'd appreciate it immensely! Hopefully everyone is having a terrific end to the week!

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Bridge Over Mala Savica River, Gorenjska Slovenia

Bridge Over Mala Savica River, Gorenjska Slovenia

Another outtake from my evening session up in the woods at the start of the Slap Savica walk. This one is a manual composite of four shots using the shift feature of the TS-E 24mm. It perhaps could do with being wider still, to get a little more of the rapids to the left. More notes at the main shot. Again, I think the bridge is probably a little lacking in "zap" - something I'd add some light to if re-shooting. Hope everyone is having a fantastic start to the new month!

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Bridge Over Mali Savica River, Gorenjska Slovenia

Bridge Over Mali Savica River, Gorenjska Slovenia

Street portraits have kind of taken over my photostream recently. It's an addictive photographic niche; quite literally, I think, just from the adrenaline rush that comes with approaching strangers and asking to shoot with them. However, I've lots of other shots to share, so thought I'd take a quick break from posting my project to upload some other shots I was keen to get the community's feedback on. This shot is from a series shot in the Triglav National Park (TNP) in Gorenjska, Slovenia. The main shot from this set was a lightpainting, shot towards the end of the evening. However, I also have lots from the twilight as I set things up, tested compositions, etc. This is one of those, and generally it's had a very positive reaction amongst friends and family. I'm not entirely sure, however, if it has quite enough "zap"! Maybe the bridge is a little flat to my mind, and a punch of hard flash across the cobbles would have lifted it? Any critique would be appreciated! Hope everyone is having a great week.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Paris (Stranger #58/100), Watford

Paris (Stranger #58/100), Watford

Looking to keep the momentum strong on my 100 Strangers Project, I headed out in Watford yesterday late afternoon. I'd been out in Watford for a couple of hours before without any success, but buoyed up by breaking a similar hoodoo in Blackpool last Sunday, thought I'd give it a shot. Watford High Street features a (not entirely beautiful, but very useful) two lane overpass, offering limited shade and some short stretches of textured concrete I thought would work as backgrounds. With all the smokey grey blur ready, I just needed a stranger with enough impact to stand out against it and lift the image. Meet Paris. She and friend Kane were strolling along with an ice cream, and with her dark, definite make up, monotone outfit and vibrant sweep of hair all looked like they could take command of the scene I had in mind. Chatting, she was instantly happy to get involved. She's a second year photography student. As often when I hear someone shoots, I got carried away suggesting she check out the page and start a project of her own. I wish I'd asked more about her current work! Sorry! Learning from my shot with Chloe (#57) where the larger reflector was uncomfortable to pose with, Paris held the smaller sunfire reflector just out of shot, whilst Kane held the larger gold reflector camera left. When we shared the pictures on the LCD, Paris gave a whoop of happy surprise, which was kind of awesome - yet, unexpected as she posed so powerfully and naturally. Paris - thanks again for stopping, and I hope the full image her lives up to your expectation from the LCD. If you got a second to send me a link to your Flickr that would be ace - I'd love to see what you shoot and share your work here. Have a fantastic week in any event! This is portrait #58 of my 100 Strangers Project - check out the group page and get involved. Catching up now after another weekend travelling and shooting!

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Chloe (Stranger #57/100), Blackpool

Chloe (Stranger #57/100), Blackpool

Chloe and her friend Emma had just finished a Sunday afternoon's work and were headed into town, when they agreed to an interruption to their schedule. Chloe agreed only on condition she would look bold in the finished image. I hope we've achieved that! It'd been Chloe's awesome Marilyn Monroe t-shirt that had first caught my eye, and I wanted a background that would let it stand out, without becoming a distraction from Chloe. A simple grey silver along a shop front was just wide enough to offer that. Once again I tried the two reflectors together - Chloe holding the larger gold one, whilst her friend Emma stood as close as possible to the camera left, with the sunfire reflector vertical to Chloe's face. I really like the light it created, yet think next time around I'm going to swap them around, so that the subject isn't burdened with the larger, much wider reflector - which can be a little hard to hold and pose with. As we shot I chatted more with her friend Emma who shoots portraits of visitors to the Sealife Centre just around the corner. As well as that, she creates video projects of her own including one which Chloe fiercely endorsed about the Kray twins. Send me a link guys! Thanks for stopping and I hope you like the outcome. This is portrait #57 of my 100 Strangers Project - check out the group page and get involved.