alan frost photography

in monochrome with occasional colour lapses

Churches Project No.22 – The Sacristry at St John The Baptist, Inglesham.

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Regular visitors to this site will know that one of my passions are medieval churches. The older the better and preferably with little or no restoration; preserving original features and in so doing retaining a true sense of history. I like to enter a church and be transported back time. To feel part of its story and to enjoy the peace and solitude these places bring to a busy and chaotic world.

For some considerable time I have wanted to visit the 13th century church of St John the Baptist in Inglesham, which lies to the north of Swindon in Wiltshire. Earlier this week I spent the best part of 4 hours exploring the church, finding compositions and releasing the shutter. This one photograph of the sacristy fully justfies the 200 mile round trip.  This is the only image I have made so far. In time I will process others and write a more in depth post.

My Instagram (alan_frost_photography) profile states – ‘An eclectic mono photographer with occasional colour lapses.’ This is one such occasion. The wall paintings date from the 14th century and in some places are seven layers deep. Just glorious.

Do click on the image to enjoy and appreciate a larger version which will open in a new window.

 

 

A plug for a plug-in – the Nik Collection by DxO

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I rarely if ever review software or camera equipment. Personally I like to think I am more interested in the end result, the final image or print, than I am in the tools I have used to get there. However that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the importance or value to me of the products and gear I am fortunate enough to own.

Predominately I am a black and white worker with only occasional colour lapses. Integral to my work flow is a plug in for Photoshop and Lightroom called Silver Efex Pro. I paid for the software a number of years ago when it could be purchsed as a stand alone product (I still have the original CD!) and have enjoyed using the software ever since. I would miss it greatly if it was no longer available.

The vast majority of you will be familiar with this excellent software and may well be using it as part of your post processing. You will also be aware that it now forms part of the Nik Collection by DxO who purchased the software from Google. For quite a while you could download the complete suite of 7 plug- ins for free from Google but concerns were raised when they announced that it would no longer be supported. Subsequently there was a sense of relief when the Nik software was acquired from Google by DxO in October 2017.

Following the acquisition DxO assured the photographic community that they would develop the compatibility of the software so that it would work alongside the current versions of Photoshop and Lightroom as well as the latest operating systems for both Mac and Windows users. They have now relaunched the product and the cost in the UK is £59.

This is excellent news but it is against the backdrop of DxO filing for bankruptcy as recently as April of this year. I don’t know the details, but I have read they restructured the business as well as developing the software. Hopefully these moves will mean the company can survive in the short/medium term and look forward to a bright future.

Silver Efex Pro is essential to my work flow. I have no doubt there are other plug ins but for mono workers I don’t believe there is one as good as Silver Efex. For this reason I would like to see it supported, developed and updated. However no company can survive if they don’t make money. Something worth having is rarely free. Many photographers now pay a licence fee to Adobe for their use of Photoshop and Lightroom, to benefit from regular updates. I do so myself and I am happy to pay a reasonable price for the Nik software which will hopefully secure its longevity.

A few days ago I decided I would pay for a new subscription and download the latest version. I did take advantage of a discounted price which is no longer available but in my opinion even at £59 the suite of plug ins represents excellent value for money. If you are a regular user of Silver Efex or any of the Nik plug ins, you might like to consider whether or not you would like to see the software developed and supported. If so do give consideration to supporting DxO and buy the fully licensed version. The download itself was very straightforward and whilst I haven’t noticed any specific changes the software looks and performs just as well as it did before.

I for one hope that DxO thrives so that I can continue using an excellent product and make images and prints that I like to share with my followers.

If you agree with my sentiments then do share this entry with your readers. Thank you.

The link to the DxO Nik Collection can be found here.

 

 

 

 

Basic ingredients – another still life.

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A few weeks ago I made my first still life image. Whilst I prefer outdoor photography I am really enjoying using things which I can find around the home, arranging them to form a pleasing composition, lighting them in a sympathetic way and then processing the picture mainly in Silver Efex Pro.

These basic ingredients can be found in almost any house. A loaf of bread, an apple, a slice of cheese and a drinking vessel, in this case an old wine goblet. Do we take these things for granted? We probably do. Perhaps this image reminds us that there is a simple beauty in all things, even the most basic of food ingredients.

Other ‘Still Life’ entries can be found by clicking on the links below.

Learning from Still-Life

Three vessels and a tulip

More ‘Still Life’ – further experimentation for the fun of it!

Three Norfolk Churches – a place to return

Happisburgh Church

Happisburgh Church

The county of Norfolk has many attractions not least the sheer number and variety of churches to visit. These three examples were captured whilst on holiday a couple of years ago but only now have I processed them to my liking. I sometimes think a trip to Norfolk specifically to photograph churches would be a great thing to do. I will add it to my ever growing list of places to take my camera!

 

Potter Heigham Church

Potter Heigham Church

 

Beeston St Lawrence Church

Beeston St Lawrence Church

 

Do click on an image to view a larger version which will open in a new window.

Taking inspiration – An interview with Michael Kenna

I believe that all creative people, whether they are painters, sculptors or indeed photographers can be inspired by viewing the work of the most famous and successful artists in their field of expertise. It is why we visit galleries and exhibitions, buy books and maybe even purchase a piece of work if we are rich enough to do so. As well as viewing their work, I also enjoy reading what they have to say, listening to them talk or watching a presentation or an interview.

The internet is a fantastic and huge resource but the quality of videos posted can vary from the ‘I wish I hadn’t wasted my time’ to the ‘Truly excellent……. I would like to watch it again’. Today I watched a video on Vimeo which definitely falls into the latter category. The video is of Michael Kenna being interviewed by Catherine Edelman in 2016. Over a number of years her gallery in Chicago has regularly exhibited Kenna’s photographs  and they clearly have a strong working relationship.

 

 

Whether or not you like Michael Kenna’s work (and I do), I would suggest you make yourself a cup of coffee, or pour yourself a glass of wine, and sit down and watch what I found to be a very enjoyable and inspiring 50 minutes. In fact I would go so far to say that it is the best interview with Michael Kenna that I have discovered on the web and there are quite a few around.

I should point out that it ends rather abruptly, which was strange, but otherwise it was first class. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.