alan frost photography

in monochrome with occasional colour lapses

Posts tagged ‘Chichester’

Inspired by J M W Turner – a Cathedral from the canal

The painting below is by J M W Turner. Alongside Thomas Gainsborough and John Constable he must be one of the finest and most loved landscape painters England has ever produced. Turner stayed at Petworth House in West Sussex and during his time there he painted Chichester Canal with the Cathedral in the background – circa 1829. It’s a familiar scene to me and I thought it would lend itself to my own impressionistic treatment using a camera instead of paints.

Owned by the Tate Gallery and on display in Petworth House in Sussex.
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Cathedral impressions – a return to ICM

Back in April I experimented with the technique of ICM or intentional camera movement. Setting a slow shutter speed and then moving the camera in a random way to create the photograph. This technique produces a result which is arguably more akin to a piece of art than a photograph. That’s not to say that photography isn’t an art form. In my opinion it most definitely is, and the camera is simply the ‘paintbrush’, the creative tool to make an image which reflects your own personal vision or impression of the subject you wish to portray.

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Photographs which ask questions – ‘Inscapes’ the work of Simon Roberts.

In the past few weeks I have been enjoying processing and posting images from my recent trip to Scotland. Almost without exception they are photographs of dramatic and stunningly beautiful scenery. Images which immediately attract attention and have the potential to be ‘liked’ on Instagram and other social media platforms. Whilst they might be very pleasing to the eye it could be argued they lack any real engagement on the part of the viewer. In other words this style of image doesn’t raise questions. There is no story or mystery, everything is there for all to see. It’s great to look at but there it stops. It could be almost be described as one dimensional.

Why is any of this relevant? Let me explain.

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‘It’s not all Black & White’ this Christmas.

I live near the Cathedral City of Chichester in West Sussex. It’s a largely affluent place in an affluent county. According to the Land Registry in July of this year the average price of a property in the City stood at £390,559 compared to £248,611 across England as a whole.

I was in the city just before Christmas – a last minute shopping trip.  Being the last Saturday before the 25th December there were plenty of people carrying bags, doubtless full of presents for family and friends or things to eat  over the festive period.

I found it difficult to concentrate on spending money, my mind was in conflict, for what really struck me was the number of homeless people in empty shop doorways.

I then came across some large black and white portraits on a section of hoarding outside the cathedral. I was also drawn by its title – It’s Not All Black & White’. I crossed the road and stopped to find out what it was all about.

‘It’s Not All Black & White’ is a specially curated photographic exhibition made up of nine portraits by the acclaimed photographer Dan Stevens, telling the story of some of homeless people who have been helped by a local charity called Stonepillow.

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Having fun with a compact – Street Art in Chichester

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There are times when I think I take my photography a little too seriously. My recent ‘Still-Life’ images are a case in point. The light, the composition, the processing, are all very controlled and take quite a long time to get right.

For a while now I thought it would be a good idea to buy a compact camera. Something truly pocketable, that I could have with me most of the time but would still produce good quality images. A smartphone is great but it does have its limitations. Most of all this camera would have to be fun to use.

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I attended a talk a recently by Charlie Waite, the well renowned landscape photographer. It was a charity event in aid of The Disabled Photographers Society. As part of the fund raising there was an auction of items donated by various organisations. One of the items was the Sony RX100 Mk3. Although an older model which has been superseded by the Mk4 and Mk5, these are more expensive and the main improvements are video related.  The lens and quality of the still images from all three models are very similar and the Mk3 has a better battery life. I took the plunge, kept raising my hand to bid and after a few minutes proved to be the successful bidder.

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Yesterday I went into my home city of Chichester for an hour or two, to put the Sony through its paces and have a bit of fun. I concentrated on a some of ‘street art’ which can be found if you know where to look.

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