alan frost photography

in monochrome with occasional colour lapses

Posts from the ‘Chichester Harbour’ category

In flight – Chichester Harbour

in-flight

Waiting for the vital missing ingredient to appear in a scene is part of the joy of photography, but it can also be very frustrating. This picture is a case in point. Driving home this weekend I spotted the attractive light and cloud formations  over Chichester Harbour, near Bosham. As time was on my side, I quickly collected my camera and returned to a parking place near the water which I know well. Fifteen minutes later I was in the right position to take the shot but there was something missing. Various sea birds flew overhead and I soon realised that the water and sky on their own were not sufficient to make the shot. It needed a bird in flight correctly positioned in the frame to complete the scene. The gull ‘In flight’ was the missing ingredient.

I waited patiently and took numerous shots. In some the bird was too far away, or the placement of its wings just wasn’t quite right. In other frames the bird was too high or too low, or flying towards the edge and not towards the centre of the picture. Patience was finally rewarded and I got the picture I wanted.

This month has been quite productive. I have been out taking images virtually every day. This is certainly another frame which will be added to the short list ahead of my exhibition on Chichester Harbour later in the year.

Exhibition – my parameters

Although The Image Circle exhibition does not take place until November, preparing a portfolio of images ready for curation at a later date has to begin now. In fact it started some weeks ago when I decided my theme would concentrate on the landscape and environment of Chichester Harbour. Now, whenever I am out walking in the area, my camera is with me. I am very fortunate, as this is an almost daily occurrence, otherwise our dog complains!

Whilst I have never exhibited my work before, I felt it was important to establish some parameters at an early stage, in order to focus my intentions and concentrate the mind. Over the last week or two these guidelines have become well established and are as follows –

  • All photographs will be taken in the clearly defined area of Chichester Harbour.
  • All the images will be taken using just one camera with one prime lens – the Leica M Monochrom and 50mm f1.4 Summilux lens.
  • I envisage the vast majority will be hand held, as this is my preferred way of working, although I will not rule out using a tripod in certain situations.
  • I doubt that I will be using filters, although shooting wide open in bright conditions, it is obligatory to use a 3 stop neutral density filter to manage the light reaching the sensor and exposing correctly.
  • All the images made will be cropped to square format and be in black white. (I have no choice, it’s a black and white only camera!). I have already established a workflow for processing as I need to present a coherent set of printed images.
  • I have yet to make a final decision but they will almost certainly be toned in Lightroom.
  • The photographs will be printed on Canson Platine Fibre Rag. A 310 GSM archival paper. Without question it’s my favourite paper for this type of work.
  • The size of print, mounting and framing considerations are still in the melting pot but I will write about this in a later post, once my thoughts have come together.

So what are my intentions? Chichester Harbour is a beautiful and intriguing place, with a great deal of variety for image making. By walking the many footpaths that cover the area, a more intimate knowledge of the landscape becomes possible. I see the same locations at different times of the day; the weather and the light is constantly changing and in the months ahead Winter will turn to Spring, followed by Summer and Autumn, all of which will give me plenty of opportunity to capture the area as I see it. It will be my personal view of Chichester Harbour; an intimate portrait of a place I know well but will get to know even better as I explore locations which are less familiar.

The images which form part of this post were all taken very recently in and around one specific location – a small pond on the western side of Fishbourne Creek. One or more may or may not be included in the exhibition, but these and the many others I have made in recent weeks will start to make up a body of work from which a final selection can be made. Curation is a topic in its own right and I will doubtless be writing about this in the future.

 

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To see the work of my fellow exhibitors, do visit and follow our website – 

www.theimagecircle.com

Exciting new challenges in the year ahead – including my first exhibition

There are many reasons why I am looking forward to this year. In early April I have been invited to present an evening talk to my local camera club; something which I have not done before. Later that same month I will be traveling to The RPS Headquarters in Bath with a panel of fifteen images for an assessment in the hope that I will be granted an Associate Distinction of the Royal Photographic Society. And finally towards the end of the year in November, I will be exhibiting my work for the first time.

All of these events come with their own set of challenges and as the year progresses I expect to share my thoughts as I plan and prepare for each one.

Perhaps the most exciting but also the most daunting of the three, is the exhibition, and fortunately I am not alone. There are a total of six photographers who have formed a group called The Image Circle. A WordPress site was published at the end of last year, so do visit that site to find our more about the group and to see the work of the other photographers.

The exhibition is to be held in the main gallery at The Oxmarket Centre of Arts in Chichester, West Sussex, starting on Tuesday 14th November and finishing on Sunday 19th November. The group will be getting together on a regular basis between now and then, as we all have to decide what work to exhibit, how it should be framed and presented, and what can be done to best promote the event as we naturally wish to attract as many visitors as possible.

Although the exhibition is still many months away, I know how quickly the time will pass, so early preparation is key. Perhaps the most important decision for me to make at this stage is what work do I wish to exhibit? Should they be images from my current portfolio or new work which has yet to be taken? Should there be a specific theme? How many pictures do I display and how should the work be framed and hung? Many questions and in my mind some of the answers are becoming a little clearer.

As I write, I have reached a decision to exhibit a new body of work which will be taken in and around Chichester Harbour. It will be my vision, a personal portrait of this rather special Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which is close to where I live. All the photographs will be in monochrome and likely to be square format. The process of making images is already underway and a recent photograph accompanies this post.

Plenty more to consider and do in the weeks and months ahead, but 2017 is certainly a year I am looking forward to with great anticipation.

Keeping it simple at Langstone Harbour

langstone-skycape

In recent days I have tried to simplify my approach to image taking. Let me explain. I have been out and about walking and exploring the footpaths that surround Chichester Harbour. I have taken with me the following: A Leica Monochrom and just one lens; a Leica 50mm Summilux f1.4. A spare battery just in case. A three stop ND filter should I want to shoot wide open in bright light, a shoulder strap for comfort and finally a microfibre cloth for cleaning the viewfinder – oh, and a 16GB SD card! This limited amount of equipment has been quite liberating and if anything stirs the creative juices as I look for images which work with one prime lens and in black and white of course. There have been times when a wider or longer lens would have been useful but I rather like a more minimalist approach.

In many ways the picture which accompanies this post of Chichester Harbour from Langstone is also very simple. It’s all about the clouds in the sky, a skyscape no less. An uncluttered horizon with a band of sea low in the frame, confirms a waterside location. There is no main point of interest but there is plenty to enjoy in the sky, with the various forms of cloud constantly changing with the light and moving in the breeze. I have kept processing to a minimum as well. A minor crop to place the horizon. An adjustment for levels, whilst adding a little contrast to bring out some detail. Lastly the removal of some dust spots on the sensor.  Job done.

Bosham harbour at dusk

Bosham at Dusk

 

Bosham is a very pretty village forming part of Chichester Harbour, not far from the City of Chichester along the South Coast in West Sussex.

As you can probably imagine its picturesque appearance attracts numerous visitors throughout the year, as well as many a photographer. It’s a location that when the weather, light and the tide are all right, you may not find you are on your own with a camera. This is one of those scenes which has to be part of your photo library but I am all too aware that thousands of people before me will have been there and taken pictures of the setting sun; however it is too beautiful to dismiss just because of its popularity.  In fact if it wasn’t for the tide then the tripod holes where I was standing to take this image would be very evident! Despite all of these comments it’s a scene that is hard to resist even if it lacks originality.

This was one of those rare occasions when my Leica M9-P and 90mm lens were attached to a tripod. The exposure time was several seconds long, as the there was little or no light to speak of and I wanted a slow exposure to smooth the water in the foreground and introduce a little movement in the veil of clouds over the church spire. The fact that lights in the houses fronting the water were just being switched on adds another element of interest to the shot.

For those of you who are not familiar with this area, you might like to know that Bosham is in fact pronounced ‘Bozam’ and not ‘Bosh-ham’.

 

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