alan frost photography

in monochrome with occasional colour lapses

Posts from the ‘Monochrom’ category

Light, shadows and illusions – inside The Turbine Hall of Tate Modern

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A couple of days ago I posted an entry depicting the people, light and their shadows inside this same venue. You can read my words and see the images here.

When I first arrived at Tate Modern I was fascinated by the way the afternoon sun came through the vast roof light above me and the tall vertical windows in the west wall. Together they created many interesting shadows and patterns of light on the building’s structure, the textured concrete floor and in some cases the reflective surfaces enclosing the Turbine Hall. For your information this hall is 152m long and 35m high; it’s huge.

I liked the view at the head of this post, but I did wonder what it would be like if taken at ground level. The next shot is looking into the same corner of the hall, but has a more abstract feel to it.

 

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It was then that I noticed the light and shadows falling on the floor being mirrored in the the ‘polished’ wall surface. Would a slightly different view point and a more abstract composition give me an image which truly bought all these elements together and what would be the result?

Here is the final image in this short series of three. You may wish to click on the picture to see a larger version.

 

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It has a rather surreal look about it. There appears to be a layer of ‘floating light’, hanging above the floor. It’s an optical illusion of course but the way the light and shadows are being mirrored produces this effect and for me this is the most visually interesting of the three.

Here are two other photographs taken inside the Turbine Hall.

 

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Here again I like the way the people behind the glass are distorted whilst the light makes interesting patterns, adding further interest to the overall composition.

Finally here is a shot looking towards the tall vertical windows. Taken through glass the reflection of the hand rail is distorted and a small figure stands alone in the bottom left hand corner. A point of interest but also necessary to give scale to the image.

 

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I only spent an hour or so wandering around, but I am inspired to go back. Arrive early and leave late – Watching, observing and waiting for the light to change direction and intensity during the course of the day. Waiting for a suitable person or a group of people to be in the optimum place, moving in the right direction to enhance the composition. When all these ingredients come together I will press the shutter, and who knows what the results may be. I can’t wait to return!

All the images in this post were taken with the Leica M Monochrom using a Leica 90mm f2.4 Summarit lens, processed in Lightroom and Silver Efex Pro. Do click on any of the photos to view a larger version.

People, light and shadows – inside the Turbine Hall of Tate Modern

Light worker

Light worker

 

Occasionally I travel to London for a business meeting. It doesn’t happen very often but when it does, I like to make the most of the day and if time permits take a few shots before the train journey back home.

Earlier this week I found myself in the City, so I decided to visit Tate Modern. Not for the artworks but for the Turbine Hall, a truly massive space, which previously housed electricity generators and is now used as a social space for art installations. I had been inspired to do so by fellow blogger Andy Hooker of LensScaper when he wrote about his visit to this very same place.

Although I had been to Tate Modern before it was never with the intention of taking photographs. You may say I am strange but on this occassion I was more interested in the building itself, its architecture, the people it attracts, than I was in the works of art on display. The light to me was as wonderful as the varied art this gallery has on show.

By the time the business of the day was over, it was quite late when I arrived, but I was very fortunate with the light. The sun had moved round to the west and its light was pouring in through large vertical windows casting long stripes of light on the heavily textured concrete floor. As visitors moved towards the exit it was interesting to see how perhaps sub consciously they would walk along the ‘light stripes’ as if they were being guided to the door.

I enjoyed watching and waiting as visitors and city workers moved around, just hoping that I would be in the right position to take the shot that I could picture in my minds eye.

 

Light follower

Light follower

 

Light stripes

Light stripes

 

Light crossing

Light crossing

 

I hope you enjoy these images and in the days to come I will be posting a further entry which will include more pictures of the Turbine Hall itself.

All the images in this post were taken with the Leica M Monochrom using a Leica 90mm f2.4 Summarit lens, processed in Lightroom and Silver Efex Pro. Do click on any of the photos to view a larger version.

I have written before on the subject of Museums and Art Galleries in London. Here are just two posts which you might like to read.

Rich photo opportunities in London’s museums and galleries.

The Natural History Museum – without any nature!

 

In loving memory of a Churchyard – St Thomas a’ Becket, Warblington

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From an early age I have always been fascinated by churches and churchyards with their gravestones and crosses.  I guess this interest was instilled in me by my parents when I was a small child. My father would want to stop and visit every church we came across, particularly when we were on holiday visiting a new area. If there was time he would want to do a quick pencil drawing of the church in a sketchbook, something which he always carried with him. He would note down the colours and when he returned home he would get out his brushes and water colours to paint the scene he had sketched, but also the one he remembered in his mind’s eye.

I am no different except I paint with light, using black and white photographs instead of some paper, pencil and paints.  I will capture the scene and then in post processing apply the appropriate treatment to the image. It’s a creative but arguably selfish process, as first and foremost I want the result to please me but I always hope it may give some pleasure to the viewer as well, but primarily it’s my interpretation of a visit to a particular location.

 

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The subject of this entry is the churchyard  of St Thomas a’Beckett Church in Warblington, which dates back to Saxon times. It is situated in the Parish of Emsworth on the borders of West Sussex and Hamsphire, within just a few minutes walk of the sea,. As you might imagine the area is popular with walkers and those visiting this lovely church. The churchyard is about an acre in size and there is a much larger adjoining cemetery, so there is plenty to explore. Inevitably many of the inscriptions on the headstones have been worn away, now covered by lichen or ivy. Apparently the oldest memorial dates back to 1707. One of the most striking is the gravestone of William Palmer (above) which depicts the sinking of his ship, mast first, in Dublin Harbour in 1759.

 

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I fully accept the subject of this entry will not be to everyones liking, but as I have already said these are fascinating places. They are a reminder of lives lost and the lives those people used to live many generations ago. Walk along the pathways and between the headstones and your mind starts to wander as you try and imagine what life must have been like for the people of Warblington in days gone by.

There are eight more images in this post ……… so do continue scrolling down.

 

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All the photographs in this entry where taken with a Leica M Monochrom and 50mm Summilux lens, often shot wide open at f1.4 to give a very narrow depth of field. They were all processed in Lightroom and then imported into Silver Efex for some final treatment.

Please click on any of the images to view a larger version.

Shutter, window and steps – a simple picture?

Shutter, window and steps

Shutter, window and steps

There is something about this image which appeals to me. It’s a fairly straightforward and simple composition, made up of three principal components. There is light coming through the window on the left, balanced by the dark shadow area on the right. The contrast of light and shade is separated by the window shutter which is worn with peeling paintwork needing attention. The wooden steps have a lovely grain to them but it is unclear from the photograph where they lead. Up to another floor possibly or just a high level cupboard?  To climb the steps you would need to close the shutter, cutting out the light – why was it designed this way? Through the window the out of focus detail hints at a garden beyond with a line of trees on the horizon. Bright spots on the glass suggest it might be raining. A simple image perhaps, but on closer observation plenty to hold the viewers attention, at least that’s what I believe.

It reminds me of the saying by Ansel Adams – ‘There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer’. If both are happy then I guess that’s what makes a successful photograph.

This photograph was taken with a Leica M Monochrom and 50mm F1.4 Summilux lens – @f2.4 1/2000th sec ISO 3200

Do click on the image for a larger view.

Foggy morning on the south coast

 

Boat by the pier

Boat by the pier

The weather has been quite glorious for the past week or two, but sometimes at this time of year the coastline can be affected by sea fog. More often that not it burns off but while it lasts it will bring the temperature right down. A few hundred yards inland it can be bright sunshine and much warmer.

The weather forecast predicted early morning fog, so I left for work much earlier than normal, took my camera and walked along the seafront for about half an hour and took the photographs you can see in this entry. I like the emptiness of a seaside resort first thing in the morning and when coupled with the fog it takes on a very different feel. Later in the day the blue skies and warm sunshine had encouraged people to come out and the coastline took on a whole new character.

 

Painted hut

Painted hut

 

Cockles and whelks

Cockles and whelks

 

Empty tables

Empty tables

 

Gull on a groyne

Gull on a groyne

 

Boat and huts

Boat and huts

 

Lone walker

Lone walker

All of the images in this post were taken with a Leica M Monochrom and 50mm Summilux lens. Straight out of the camera the images are very flat so they do need processing. I used Lightroom and then applied a Kodak Tri X 400 ‘film type’ preset in Silver Efex Pro which adds some grain and contrast to the image.

Click on any the photographs to view a larger version.