alan frost photography

fine art photography in monochrome

‘Lost Glove’ – photo titles or even some Haiku perhaps?

dew on hand of wool
posts and wire in mist belong
cold fingers missing

I don’t know what you think but when it comes to giving a photograph a title it can be something of a struggle. At best a title can enhance the image; at worst it can be bland and add nothing at all. Some are purely factual which can at least inform the viewer, but these lack any artistic merit. I have even read a few titles and to be perfectly frank they were a distraction and it would have been much better to have let the image stand on it’s own two feet. There are of course occasions when the photographer feels the need not just to give the photograph a title but also a very lengthy description, which somehow almost becomes more important than the image itself.

All of this got me thinking, particularly as I have almost certainly been guilty of poor and uninspiring titles, overlong descriptions, the list goes on…….

I can’t profess to be a great lover of poetry but I do see a definite connection between the art of photography and writing poems as a creative art. What if the two were combined? Well it’s hardly the most original idea but I thought I would give it a try. 

One of the simplest forms of poetry is Haiku, a Japanese poem of just seventeen syllables on three lines – five on the the first line, seven on the second and five on the last line. Traditionally the poem evokes images of the natural world. There is no requirement for rhyme and whilst the number of syllables on each line has changed over time I thought I would stick with the original guidelines. I like the minimalist approach and the strict parameters prevent verbosity – something I could be accused of in this post!!

So below the photograph is my very first attempt at a Haiku verse combined with one of my ‘Chichester Harbour’ project images. ‘Lost glove’ is an apt, albeit unimaginative title, but I think the verse adds a little something extra. Masters of this form of poetry would probably mock the result, but I enjoyed linking words to an image. Will it be something I will use again? I can’t answer that but I’m pleased to have had a go. Your thoughts as always would be most welcome on both the image and the words!

It’s summer and I am not going to complain…..but…..

Tree in Winter’s mist

As I look out of the window and type these words, I can see a blue sky; the sun is shining; a gentle breeze moves through the trees and I know if I stepped outside I would be greeted by a pleasant temperature of about 20c. Not hot, but quite acceptable for the middle of August.

What’s not to like?

Well I don’t want to complain or come across as if I am wishing my life away, because neither of these statements are true. However at this time of year I do start to look forward to the autumn and indeed to the winter. These seasons suit my photographic style so much better. The days are shorter, the sun is much lower in the sky, the trees have lost their leaves and the weather has the potential to be so much more atmospheric.

This photograph – ‘Tree in Winter’s mist’ – is typical of the conditions I like. The sun has yet to penetrate the early morning mist, and the tree is bereft of its summer clothing, revealing its winter skeletal form. Nor did I have to get up at 4am to find the sun this low in the sky. A distinct advantage as far as I am concerned!

As I come to the end of this short entry, the sun is still shining outside and the garden looks as though there is work to be done. So out I venture with a trowel, shears and a garden fork. In a few weeks time I am more likely to be tempted to grab my bag, select a camera and a couple of lenses and see what the autumn season has in store. I can’t wait, but in the meantime I shall enjoy the rest of the summer and tidy the garden.

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Private Jetty at Bosham – and thoughts on split tone presets for a b&w image

Firstly some background information about this shot. Bosham (pronounced Bozzum) is arguably the most picturesque sailing village (read tourist honeypot) forming part of Chichester Harbour. Regular readers will know that a current project of mine is to photograph this area but in trying to do so I am very keen to avoid the typical picture postcard view.

Everyone who visits Bosham takes out their camera and posts their results on social media for all to see. They are mostly in colour and feature the church from across the water with a few boats in the foreground for good measure. If the sun is setting, then this is a further attraction, as it’s unquestionably a great place to be at the end of the day. (Scroll down to the end of this entry to see an example)

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A quote by St. Francis of Assisi reminded me of Wells Cathedral.

β€œHe who works with his hands is a laborer.
He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.
He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.”
― St. Francis of Assisi

Scissor Arches

The Scissor Arches

I came across this quote recently and I couldn’t help but think of some of the truly magnificent cathedral buildings in this country. One in particular came to mind; – Wells Cathedral in Somerset, arguably one of the most beautiful in England and without question a favourite of mine.

Looking down the nave and up towards the Scissor Arches, one can only marvel at the work of the labourer, the craftsman and the artist. The use of hands, heads and hearts are all very evident.

For the historians, the site of Wells Cathedral can be traced back to 705, although construction on the present cathedral began in around 1175. The scissor arches were added in 1338-48 and they resolved a real problem. As well as being quite beautiful they stopped the complete collapse of a tall tower which had been built in 1313 on weak foundations.

Photographically speaking the great Henri Cartier-Bresson said –

‘It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head’.

Remarkably similar to the quote by St Francis of Assisi don’t you think?

 

 

All by myself

All by myself

Despite the title, this isn’t a long distance selfie! I am though drawn to lone figures in relatively empty spaces walking along with only their thoughts for company. Perhaps it’s because I can readily empathise with the concept of being on alone in a quiet space. After all there is so much ‘noise’ in this world that it has become something of a luxury and a joy to find somewhere with solitude and even a little silence.

Alone yes, but even here there is the sound of gentle waves lapping against shore and feet squelching as each step lands on the soft wet sand. I just hope this person had the good sense to switch off their mobile phone, or better still left it at home to avoid the temptation to check for messages, emails, likes or comments!

There is of course one other person present, and that’s me the photographer. Photography tends to be a solitary pursuit and I am very happy this should be the case.

As you are looking at this image there is now a third person, you the viewer. For as Ansel Adams once said – ‘There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer’ – and how right he was.

Depending on the device you are using to view this picture, you might like to click on the image to see a larger version, as the main point of interest is very small but hugely relevant!