About Photography…

This is somewhere to post my random thoughts on photography…

6 Responses to “About Photography…”

  1. admin Says:

    How to “see”…
    Some people seem to be able to take great photographs with any camera, whereas we all know someone with all the latest kit, who, despite obvious effort, knowledge and research never produce anything beyond a competent record of what was in front of them when they pressed the button.
    The ability is sometimes referred to as “seeing”. On the face of it, its a pretty useless term, as don’t we all “see”? Well, we all look, but some people have a knack of finding the essence of a scene, and its a really difficult thing to explain, and possibly even more difficult to teach. Its certainly a skill that will develop, but maybe not everyone can find it in themselves.
    I’m not really sure that I can explain it completely, but I think its an ability to assess many aspects of a scene, and then extract the essence, or, possibly just as important, know when to just walk on.
    So, the elements that make up a great image will include:
    Light – its direction, colour, and “quality”
    Atmosphere – both literal – weather, air quality, mist, rain, snow… but also your own mood can influence whether you press the button, and what you include.
    Form and shape – is there a shape in the scene that is more than just the scene, or a pattern? Are there shapes that fit together, or indeed, clash with each other.
    Colour, or lack of it… monochrome images can simplify scenes, allowing us to focus on form without the distraction of colour contrasts, or, alternatively, colour can give form where other clues are absent.
    There is more, but for now that is enough to be thinking about before we even pick up the camera…

  2. admin Says:

    Spring is a lovely season for photography, with gentle light, blossoming trees, and you can capture the sunrise without having to get up half way through the night!
    For me it’s the Infra Red season. I started using infra red sensitive film in the early 1980’s shooting both colour IR film, often called false colour film, and monochrome.
    My affair with colour infra red was short lived as the creative possibilities of pink grass and sickly green complexions were quickly used up. Ektachome EIR, and Aerochrome (I think they were the same thing) have not been available for many years now.
    Monochrome Infra Red films were both easier to find, and cheaper to use, and I quickly settled on Kodak HIE, which I would process using Rodinol quite rapidly to avoid “halation” which was the spreading of the emulsion during processing. Difficult to handle (you needed to use a changing bag to eliminate all light when putting the film into the camera), Store (keep it in the freezer, then the fridge, then warm up slowly to room temperature, and then use quickly), but the strong grain, ethereal halation effects and black skies brings drama to quite ordinary scenes, and spring foliage appears white, giving an almost snow scene look to grassy areas. The use of a really dark R72 720nm filter meant that slow shutter speeds and a tripod were th only practical option.
    No digital process has managed to emulate the Kodak HIE look properly, but digital infra red photography has charms of its own. I have a Canon DSLR converted for infra red and my Fuji cameras are infra red sensitive – albeit with the 720nm filter, but with good high ISO performance, hand held infra red images are possible.
    Watch the monochrome places and nature galleries to see if any of this year’s IR images make the grade… “Peony IR” is on my Flickr site already.

  3. admin Says:

    I’m now up to image 16 in my monochrome flowers series. This started as a mainly infra red imaging project – spring is the infra red season! I’m now doing more “conventional” black and white images of flowers and plants, looking at the structure, without the distraction of colour. One image in the most recent batch is of a young poppy, and the petals looks just like paper. This is a very powerful aspect of photography, the ability to reveal structure hidden in “everyday” objects.

  4. admin Says:

    I’ve now posted on Facebook (look up Briksdal photography) some recent works that are not flowers! Some concert photography featuring Ravens, and some local images.

  5. admin Says:

    It’s been some time… Summer isn’t always a happy time for photography, the light is high, and harsh, but it’s also warm, sunny and a great time to be on holiday! We had our annual trip to the WOMAD festival, which is a very visual experience, but we have been attending this wonderful festival for over ten years now, so I deliberately don’t treat it as a photographic event. I do take a camera, but just my trusty X-E2 and the 27mm f2.8 pancake lens, and still got some great shots.
    A couple of evenings in local villages gave me some nice images that may end up here eventually, but a highlight of the summer was working with the model “I am Rose” aka, Amy, who proved to be a natural model, easy and fun to work with, and we ended up with a huge collection of excellent images, some of which are already on the website.
    Our summer holiday took us back to France visiting both old and new places. A road trip down the east side of France, following the Rhone down to Arles brought us lovely landscapes and beautiful French architecture. Arles was a surprise delight, and then a week re-visiting the Gorge du Tarn was a great way to relax, with trips to the market in Florac, the Millau bridge, and the Roquefort caves providing many interesting photo opportunities. Back in the UK Autumn is with us, and structural leaves are adding to the Monochrome Flowers series – this will be a book, though I’m not sure when it will be published…

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