alan frost photography

in monochrome with occasional colour lapses

Posts from the ‘Paul Gallagher’ category

Lake District 121 with Paul Gallagher

I realise it’s been a few weeks since I posted an entry on this blog. The reason is quite simple. A couple of weeks ago I visited the Lake District for a few days in the company of Paul Gallagher, a renowned UK based landscape photographer who just loves black and white. He is also a Master Printer for Epson; so what he doesn’t know about printing just isn’t worth knowing! It’s also been a very busy time for me personally and I wanted to reflect on what I had learnt before posting my thoughts and any of the images.

The photograph below was taken on the day I arrived in The Lake District before I met up with Paul the next morning. It was late in the afternoon so I had a limited amount of daylight left to take any shots. Blea Tarn was frozen over and I processed the image using a combination of Lightroom and Silver Efex Pro2. As it happens I would not using this plug-in again for post processing…..Paul was about to demonstrate to me the power of Photoshop……so more about this in a future post!

Blea Tarn
Blea Tarn with the Langdale Pikes in the background

The setup for the 121 or personal workshop was to spend two days out and about taking images, learning about camera technique, camera settings, composition, histogram and the use of filters etc. The third day would be spent back at his studio processing the images and producing large A3+ size prints. In essence I was keen to bridge the gaps between camera work in the field, processing and printing. In other words to develop a work flow whereby my photographic thinking or pre-visualisation at the time of taking the shot would be influenced by how I wanted the final image to look once processed and printed back in the ‘digital’ darkroom. The aim would be to combine the three elements into one, as opposed to treating them as distinctly separate processes where coherent thinking doesn’t overlap.

This will therefore be the first of a series of probably quite short posts about the various topics which we covered over the three days, including of course, some of the images taken. I should add that I had an extra day free in the middle of the 121, which gave me time to put into practice some of the techniques and ideas we had talked about in the first two days. In my opinion this was invaluable, as I could take some shots unsupervised by Paul before returning to his studio. He also set me a few challenges…..would I succeed or would I fail?

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Landscape photography course with Paul Gallagher

Later this month I am hoping to go to The Lake District for a short course in black and white landscape photography with Paul Gallagher. The plan is to spend a couple of days in the field taking images and then have a further day back at Paul’s studio post processing and printing some of the shots taken. Although Paul is principally a 5×4 large format photographer he also has intimate knowledge of digital photography and runs courses for the Epson Print Academy. Details of all his workshops are available through Aspect2i, a company he co-founded.
I have already spoken to Paul on the telephone a couple of times and his enthusiasm for his subject is very evident. I am looking forward to meeting him and I am sure I will learn a huge amount both with the camera but also in front of a computer.
Its impossible to say what the weather will be doing but I can at least confidently predict where and when the sun will rise and set on any given day. There are many ‘apps’ which provide this information but the most comprehensive is The Photographers Ephemeris which can be downloaded for use on a Mac or PC, iPad, iPhone or Android device. I am the first to admit that I have not mastered everything it can do, but very simply you can search for any location throughout the world, then drop a pin on the desired position using a variety of map styles. You then select a date and it will give you sunrise, sunset, moonrise and moonset times as well as their position in the sky at these times. This is all too important and critical information for any land, sea or cityscape photographer. It’s a great way to plan ahead to make sure the light is going to be in the right place at the right time. It doesn’t guarantee a successful image but at least it improves your chances. There are some excellent tutorials on the TPE website which I must spend some time looking at, so that I can make the best use of this invaluable application.
Wast Water in The Lake District courtesy of The Photographers Ephemeris
I shall report back on the course at some time in the future and it goes without saying that I shall look forward to posting some of my images taken in The Lake District. Hopefully I will get to Wast Water and Wasdale Head, one of my favourite places in this beautiful and at times dramatic part of the world. I can’t wait!

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