Blog of the day is generally (although not always) a look at a particular image. I’ll try and say something that either attempts to illustrate the thought process behind the photograph or explain what it is that I like about the image and occasionally giving some technical information too.
At other times it just might be the wild ramblings of an old mans brain, hopefully with some reference to image making.
On my way back home from a trip on to Dartmoor I turned a corner to see the South Devon lower fields lit up by the sun. The contrast between the snow covered fields and the dark wintery hedgerows and trees looked fabulous. The light gave the landscape a ‘graphic’ two dimensional quality that I thought a monotone approach would suit.
The image was taken on a fairly long range telephoto lens at the 400mm end (equivalent to about 600mm on a 35mm full frame camera)
I’ve included two images in todays blog. They’re both taken in the theatre from different positions. The main focus of attention is the music director. Whilst the musicians in the orchestra pit have moments where they can relax in between numbers the music director cannot take his (or her) eye of either the score or libretto.
It’s a non stop job where the MD is either directing or following the lib. In the latter case always with a mind for the tempo of the upcoming musical item and/or the technical aspects of the music. The MD is the critical interface between actors and singers on stage and the musicians in the pit. In this first image you see the MD in-between music items but following the libretto in readiness.
In this second shot taken towards the auditorium you can see the MD in full flow controlling excitement generated in the curtain call at the end of the show.
It’s interesting here that a white sheet has been hung behind the MD so that the cast can see his direction more clearly.
This simple shot was taken almost a year ago. The weather had brought everything to a standstill. My wife couldn’t get to work, so by lunchtime we did the only thing we could and that was to dress up warm and walk to the pub. We went the scenic way (also the quickest). This pic was taken on our way to the St Julians pub. This group of trees is known locally as ‘The devils circle’. High contrast shows it off to its best.
The location of this photograph was on the edge of the Black Mountains in the Brecon National park. It’s a great place to visit in any season. The shot was composed using a fairly long telephoto lens. I love the way these lenses compress and compact the view. What struck me when looking at the scene was the sense of isolation that the cottage has. From what I could see there was no road going to it, just a small path. I’d like to think I’d be happy living in a remote place like this but I’m sure the reality would pose some real issues and problems.
I normally only post one image per blog but here I’ve included a second that is framed quite differently. It omits the steep cliff face on the right hand side of the first image and to my mind gives a different feel.
I worked with this group of amazing dancers in mid 2018 as a musician and composer. The project lasted a little over two weeks and was a lot of fun. I’d been ‘blown away’ by their individual and ensemble skills as well as their incredible stamina. It wasn’t until the last day that I realised I hadn’t recorded any of their work. I wanted to capture some of the energy they effortlessly produced. We tried a few different approaches but this was my favourite. I simply asked them to leap into the air from a stand still start. I still don’t know how they achieve so much height and elegance.
I took this photograph about nine months ago. I’d planned a photo shoot along the river Exe estuary. My original plan was to leave Newport at about 5.30am to arrive at the northern most point of the estuary (near Exeter) and work my way along the shoreline toward Exmouth. That was the plan. In reality I slept right through my alarm finally getting out of bed about 8am.
In the end I arrived about 1.30pm and gradually travelled southwards as per original plan but obviously much later in the day. As it worked out things couldn’t have gone much better. I caught an amazing ‘Golden hour” (actually more like 35 minutes). This was my final shot of the day. The light had faded very quickly but I managed to snap this shot of a solitary looking building against the late evening sky.
Although quite a few years old this building (Newport University) still looks very contemporary. The wood, welsh slate, steel and other materials really compliment each other in this fantastic design. It’s constructed on the west bank of the river Usk and very near the town centre. Well worth getting up close to. It looks fab from all sides imo.
If it’s possible to have an ‘iconic’ scene from my hometown of Newport (South Wales) it would possibly be one that includes the Transporter Bridge. It’s one of only two in the UK. An impressive swinging gondola bridge that makes it ‘slow’ way between the east and west banks of the river Usk. It was originally a short cut that delivered workers and goods to and from the steelworks of Llanwern and Lysaghts. Nowadays it’s mostly used as a tourist attraction. Still very impressive though.