alan frost photography

in monochrome with occasional colour lapses

Posts from the ‘Hampshire’ category

‘If music be the food of love’ – The Hampshire Recorder Sinfonia

 

Earlier this year I joined a local Art Society as both my wife and I are interested in most forms of art, in fact anything of a creative nature. At the first meeting I attended I was approached by the Secretary of the Society and was asked if I would be willing to photograph a concert by the Hampshire Recorder Sinfonia. She is one of the musicians and had heard I was a photographer. It was to take place at The Church of St Mary the Virgin in Rowner, Gosport on Valentines Day. They needed to update their website with new some new images, so I happily volunteered my services. I had not attempted anything like this before but I am always up for a challenge!

 

 

I didn’t quite know what to expect but I was informed that I could take photographs during the rehearsal as well as during the concert itself. I would though need to be very quiet and discreet, so as not to distract the musicians and more importantly the paying audience.

 

 

I very much enjoy listening to classical music, particularly when it is heard live in a church building with wonderful acoustics. I do though have to admit that I am rather ignorant of orchestras and their musical instruments, so I was rather surprised to find such a variety of recorders being played. They included, Sopranino – Descants I and II, Trebles I and II, Tenors I and II, Basses I and II, Great Basses and Contrabasses. In total the Sinfonia had thirty two musicians who were all led by Christopher Burgess the Musical Director.

 

 

They played music by Gustav Holst, Giovanni Gabrielli, Manning Sherwin, Edvard Greig and other composers. The sound was very special but it was almost impossible to fully appreciate the music and concentrate on taking photographs at the same time.

 

 

This is just a small selection of the photographs I took that afternoon. I wanted to capture not just the musicians, but also a sense of the place in which the music was being played. I was asked to provide both colour and black and white versions of each image. However for the purposes of this entry I have processed the photographs slightly differently to those I provided. This is my personal interpretation of the concert, whereas the monochrome images they were given had no toning, and were straight black and white conversions.

 

 

I very much enjoyed the experience and trust I have captured something of the musicians, the venue and the event itself. For more information about the Hampshire Recorder Sinfonia please visit their website by clicking here.

 

 

Do click on any of the pictures to see a larger version which will open in a new window.

The best catch of the day

Mist on the Test

Mist on the Test

I can’t describe myself as a fisherman, but when a good friend of mine invited me to join him for a day of fly fishing on the River Test in Hampshire the answer was always going to be yes please! I had been fly fishing before, but never caught anything apart from a few weeds and the odd tree branch when my cast was less than accurate.

We wanted to get to our destination quite early as we had booked a gillie for the morning. Hopefully he would teach us a thing a two which might increase our chances of success. As we drove towards the village of Timsbury, which is just to the north of Romsey, the morning mist had yet to clear, so I had already anticipated there might be the chance of a quick photograph before the sun burnt through.

When we arrived no one else was there so we pieced together our rods, attached the reel, chose our flies and prepared ourselves for the first cast. All this time I was admiring the scene that surrounded me. The mist rising from the river, obscuring the view of the fields in the distance. It was calm and serene but I knew it would not last long. The camera came out and ‘Mist on the Test’ was taken.

We saw a fleeting glimpse of a pair of kingfishers, watched grebes diving for their food and swans enjoying the beautiful spring sunshine, but neither of us caught a single fish; in fact we didn’t even get a bite. But it was a glorious relaxing day if a little frustrating at times. I also committed the cardinal sin of not charging my batteries over night, so the low level battery warning was blinking before the day had even begun. Even the spare battery had little or no charge. So I gave up the photography and concentrated on the fishing. Little did I know that the first release of the shutter turned out to be the best catch of the day.

And just to prove we were fishing here is my friend Nik making his first cast of the day.

 

First cast

First cast

Something completely different

My approach to land and seascapes is I think a fairly traditional one and it’s an approach that works for me. However I do see lots of black and white images using slow shutter speeds and taking a more minimalist view of the landscape. Concentrating on a small area can often result in something which has an abstract ‘feel’ to the image. Accordingly there are few if any reference points and little or no sense of scale. I guess this results in the viewer trying to discern what they might be looking at, a sense of mystery perhaps, which in turn begs the question – ‘what was the photographer trying to say?’ when he or she took the shot.

So I thought I would have a go a this approach myself. Its good to experiment, your eyes start to see things differently. Consequently I returned to a particular location as I could pre-visualise a subject matter which might work for this ‘new’ approach. I also adopted a different technique using a 10 stop ND filter to slow the shutter speed right down. This of course required me to use a tripod which also slows down the photographer. No bad thing in itself as you spend more time composing the shot and getting the right camera settings. The latter was more challenging than the former, as I had never used a 10 stop ND filter before. The Hi Tec filter I was using left a horrible colour cast but this didn’t matter quite so much as I knew I would be converting the image to black and white.

Shown below is the result of me trying to do something completely different. A 30 second exposure and I used Lightroom and Silver Efex Pro2 for post processing.

20130215-P2150242-Edit.jpg
Remnants

For my first attempt at this style of photography I am quite pleased with the end result. Is it something I would like to do more of?…….I’m not sure but I enjoyed doing something just a little bit different, well for me anyway.

Oh and if you are wondering, the photograph is the remains of a jetty in Langstone Harbour in Hampshire.

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