The Colours of… Spain

On a recent trip to Spain, I was struck by the way the feeling of being ‘somewhere else’ was highlighted by the difference in colours from those that I’m used to. Here in the UK, it’s mostly green (and grey!), whereas in Spain I was struck by the earth colours (ochre, terracotta), the blue of sea and sky and the rich hues of fresh fruits and vegetables.

From Colours of…
From Colours of…
From Colours of…

Calm after the storm

So, the shooting’s done, the pictures edited down to the final set, negatives scanned and cleaned up, main print, book, business cards and postcard all ordered.

Is that it? It all feels a bit anti-climactic now, with over two weeks left until the exhibition. Just the journal to tidy up, and a bit of a flat period until the excitement of the print and book arriving, and the panic of hanging everything.

Time to start planning other things. More projects, get the business started, plan photowalks.

But for now, I’m just going to take a couple of days off and relax – by reading up on string theory.

B&^%y British weather!

It can be odd, being a photographer – you’re never quite satisfied. Take now: most of the population are basking in glorious, unseasonably fine weather. Me, I’m cursing it every morning that the sun shines. I’m not being Mr. Grumpy about this, it’s just that I need to get my project shoot finished and, for that, I want overcast days.

The problem I have with the current weather is harsh shadows. A nice layer of not-to-thick cloud eliminates those and suits my subjects much better. Also, I’ve started in that light, and I want the whole set to be consistent.

Fortunately, there’s still time for our weather to be its usual self and change dramatically – except that it’ll probably go from sunny to chucking it down without passing through any intermediate stages.

So, whilst you’re out there soaking up the rays, think of me looking up and crying: “cloud over, dammit!”

Guinea pigs wanted

The time has come to start seriously thinking about the details of what I intend to provide as part of my new business. To that end, I’m looking for volunteers to help me refine the content and presentation of my photowalks and tutorials.

What I’m offering is free sessions to anyone who’s willing to put up with a work-in-progress. We can go for walks in the Manchester and Cheshire areas and talk about photography and how to ‘see’ more effectively, how to handle your camera to get the best out of it – anything photography related, really. What you’re getting is some (hopefully) useful advice on taking better pictures; what I’m getting is feedback on what people want from such things.

Alternatively, if you want a more relaxed bit of tuition, whether it’s technical details of camera use, how to use an image processing program to jazz up your pictures, or just learn a bit more about contemporary photography in general, we can arrange to meet somewhere convenient and do that.

Take the opportunity now, because at some point, I’ll be charging for this service.

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New name, new start

Having let this blog lie fallow for nearly a year, this seems as good a time as any to resurrect it under a new name.

I’m nearing the end of my college course and getting scarily close to the time that I have to put all this into practice and starting earning money from my photography. Another scary prospect that’s on the horizon is the end-of-year show that my college friends and I are putting on in June. We’re putting it on at CUBE in Manchester (opening date to be confirmed, but it’ll be around June 14th-15th); it’s a lovely gallery in a good location, but it’s costing a packet to hire. We’ve got a crowdfunder page set up here to beg for assistance paying for it. This is an important show for us – it’s our opportunity to present ourselves to the world: as such, it’s a key factor in progressing our careers as jobbing photographers. We’re offering invitations to the opening night for anyone who donates and we’re also offering various sizes of prints for higher amounts. See the link for details.

Lobster pots

Lobster pots, originally uploaded by Cap’n Maj Bloodnok.

Seen in Port Isaac, Cornwall.

I like photographing textures: take the subject away from the image and just leave detail. Like here, I wanted to display the texture of the string and cracked plastic, rather than just produce a picture of lobster pots. I’ll often process “texture” pictures as black and white, but the little splashes of red and cyan persuaded me to keep it in colour.

Nikon D200 + Nikon 18-200 f3.5-5.6 VR@56mm; 1/250@f4.8, ISO400

Clouds and beach

I managed to get several decent pictures from a recent trip to South-West England, so I thought I’d post them over the next few days.

This was taken in the late afternoon at Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset. After what had been a pretty nice day, the weather took a turn for the worse and we arrived to cold, wind and rain. Not perfect for a trip to the seaside, but it does at least make for a dramatic image.