alan frost photography

in monochrome with occasional colour lapses

Posts from the ‘people’ category

Downhill shopper – returning to a forgotten image.



I am rather impatient when it comes to processing a SD card full of images. I get home, download them into Lightroom and with luck a number will jump out at me and the processing begins. More often than not these are the pictures which I remember taking and I simply can’t wait to see whether or not I have captured something I like.

I have been told that it can be beneficial to do nothing with a card of images, just download them and then leave them to mature for a good while, perhaps six months or more, before taking a more in depth look at what you shot on the day. Given the passage of time you no longer remember all the shots that were taken, and images which might have been written off on first viewing are in fact worthy of consideration. Perhaps a different or new processing technique will reveal an image which works after several months but might not have done had it been processed within hours of the shutter being released.

‘Downhill shopper’ is one such picture. It was the third shot I took in the lovely city of Bath on the ABC of Camerawork workshop with Andy Beel at the beginning of November last year. Whilst I can recall taking the picture it didn’t say much to me at the time, but a year on and given a high contrast and grainy look to the photograph, I now think it’s worthy of sharing on my blog. There is little or no detail, just outlines of backlit figures, long shadows and the knowledge that you are looking at a busy street scene of shoppers. The rest is down to your imagination. The elderly lady and what appear to be ski poles, give the image its title.

Here is a link to the entry about my day in Bath with Andy Beel.

ABC of Camerawork course with Andy Beel in Bath


Pastimes on the coast – people in photographs

Wave watchers

Wave watchers

People don’t normally feature in my photographs. I normally wait for them to move out of shot before pressing the shutter. Just occasionally they will enhance a photograph by adding an extra element or storyline to an image which I like.

This short series of just six pictures all taken on the North Norfolk coast last year, illustrate what I am trying to say. Imagine taking the people out of each shot and what would you be left with? In each case a pleasing but hardly noteworthy image of the foreshore, the sea and in some cases a good sky. However the inclusion of a person or people to the shot, tells the viewer something else about the location. It documents how we interact with a particular location, in this case the enjoyment of our coastline, the sea and the large open skies.

Irrespective of the weather we might walk along the foreshore collecting our thoughts, listening to the sounds made by the shingles beneath our feet; or look out through a telescope to the far horizon, waiting to sight an elusive migratory bird flying in from others shores; or casting a line and just sitting patiently for a fish to take a bite; or throwing stones into the waves as the winds and high tide combine, all captured on a friend’s smartphone; or just sitting and watching from a sand dune with no one else around other than our trusted four legged companion……and at the end of the day, as the sun starts to set, walking back home only to return another day.

Is it any wonder we find pleasure and a certain peace with the coast, as we combine our hobbies with a dramatic and beautiful location.

There is of course someone else enjoying their hobby in these photographs……and that’s me!

Bird watchers

Bird watchers

One man and his dog

One man and his dog

The catch

The catch

Alone on the shore

Alone on the shore

End of the day

End of the day

To see a larger version, please click on an image. You may need to do this on a couple of the pictures to appreciate some of the detail.

The Reader – a new approach to my photography perhaps?

The Reader

The Reader


Following my one day workshop with Andy Beel in Bath recently, I have started to observe and then process my images differently. I would like to think that I am trying to approach my photography is a more artistic way. This ‘new’ style is also a result of my acquiring a Leica M Monochrom earlier this year, which when coupled with the 50mm f1.4 Summilux lens provides me with plenty of creative opportunities. The files it produces are quite superb and allow plenty of latitude in post processing. I have yet to fully appreciate all of its capabilities but the learning curve is a very good one! For a start, the one camera and one prime lens approach also means that I spend more time looking and taking pictures instead of zooming in and out, or swapping lenses. The fully manual controls also help to ensure I am thinking about the look I am trying to create. I haven’t perfected it yet, but manually focusing is getting much easier and more intuiative.

The shot featured in this entry was taken yesterday in the fishing village of West Bay in Dorset. I was attracted to the way the light fell on the man’s face and clothing as he sat in the winter sun by the harbour side, absorbed in the pages of his book. I guess he probably works in the fishing industry but found himself with time on his side. I have increased the contrast and darkened areas of the picture, so the eye is drawn to his profile which is sharp in comparison to the out of focus background. I also like the way the light is falling on the harbour wall as it disappears into the distance. I have added a ‘copper tone’ at 20% in Silver Efex which I think suits this image.


Thanks to everyone who has started following my blog recently.



The First Reading on Sunday

As much as I enjoy taking candid photographs of people I haven’t taken many of late but I really couldn’t resist this shot of a vicar reading the Sunday Times prior to breakfast a few weeks ago. I was staying in a very comfortable hotel in Winchester. As I waited in the lounge for the first meal of the day to be served I was joined by a vicar and his wife and they sat down and started to read the newspapers. Not sure why I had taken my camera with me for breakfast but I am glad I did.

First Reading on a Sunday
First Reading on a Sunday

For most of the summer I have largely concentrated on landscapes. Perhaps in the future I will spend a little more time taking shots like this one.

The Natural History Museum – without any nature!

In my last entry I wrote about the Genesis Exhibition by Sebastiao Salgado at the Natural History Museum in London, which as I have already said, was remarkable and well worth the visit. I have been to this museum on a number of occasions, although not for some years, but I have to say there are only so many times I can be impressed by dinosaur bones and to put it crudely, ‘stuffed’ animals. I love nature but taxidermy leaves me rather cold. However, apart from the Genesis exhibition, my visit was enhanced by the building itself and in particular, the way the sun light came through the glazed roof panels illuminating the interior architecture and the people as they moved around.

Never one to leave my camera at home I wanted to see if I could capture something of what I saw, as other people enjoyed the reason why most members of the public would come and visit this tourist attraction. So here are the results –

Window arches

These arches are just above the statue of Darwin. As I stood to compose the shot, there were a large number of people photographing Darwin and I just wonder how long I would have had to wait before someone took a similar picture to the one above. I just love the way the light was falling on to the carved columns of the arches.


The museum was quite crowded so I had to wait a while for the staircase to be clear of visitors. My patience was I think rewarded.


These arches were above the cafe and I was attracted to the shaft of sun light as it lit up the columns from the roof lights above.

……..and now for some people shots.

The images below were taken from the gallery above the main foyer. Packed with people it was difficult to isolate one individual. The bright light only lasted a few minutes as it threw shadows on the floor but I am pleased with the two images uncluttered by passers by.


…….and lastly the great man himself.

The statue of Charles Darwin, the author of the ‘Origin of Species’, 
(taken I hope, from the non tourist angle!)


This is a reminder for me that there is so much to see everywhere I go – not just the obvious, as would have been the case here with the animals and other nature subjects etc, but alternative, even unexpected opportunities to add to my ever growing collection of monochrome photographs.