The Image Circle inaugural exhibition is just four weeks away and my preparations are well in hand; well they were until I decided to have a bespoke portfolio made. Let me explain. Some time ago I knew that the photographs I would be displaying at the exhibition would be a selection of images from a body of work on Chichester Harbour now titled ‘Still by the Water’. This has been an ongoing project of mine for the past 18 months or so. In that period I have taken many hundreds of frames and of these I am very happy with about 50 images. Consequently they formed the short list for exhibition. I selected 24 photographs to frame and hang at The Oxmarket in Chichester, but then I asked myself the question -‘What happens to those pictures that didn’t make the final cut?’
In about 11 weeks time, The Image Circle group exhibition will be opening The Oxmarket doors to the public. On the 14th November to be precise. Between now and then the six members of the group will be making their final selection as to what to display, organise matting and framing, choosing titles and of course promoting the event. It would be a pity to go to all this work if no one turns up!
I can only speak for myself but as I will be presenting a body of work on Chichester Harbour, as opposed to a selection of individual images or smaller collections of photographs, the overall layout of the panel is of particular importance to me.
I have been wanting to make the above image for some time. The view is across the harbour from Chidham towards the village of Bosham with its instantly recognisable Church and spire reaching to the sky.
I often return to this particular spot when out walking but to get the result I was looking for, the height of the tide had to be at a certain level. Too low and there is too much vegetation…..too high and the posts are disappearing into the water. I do have the ‘Tides Planner’ App for my iPhone which tells me the height of the tide, so today I headed out with time to spare to watch and wait as the tide started to come in. I had also been cotemplating that a long exposure would enhance the scene and this of course would require a tripod, ND filters etc. Not the sort of stuff I usually carry with me when out walking. I am normally a spontaneous photographer but this shot was planned and thought about in advance.
Although a fairly bright day there was no direct sunlight which is exactly what I wanted. Too much contrast would have made life more difficult, so a little bit of good fortune was on my side. Welly boots on, tripod securely standing in the silt, camera set up with a 28mm lens, composition decided, hyper-focal distance set and after 12 seconds at f11, the image was exposed to the sensor. I checked the histogram which showed me no blown highlights and in truth a balanced tonal range. Ideal for post processing.
I sometimes wait a few days or even longer before I process my images but on this occasion I couldn’t wait, so earlier this afternoon I sat down at my Mac, fired up Lightroom and overall I am pleased the result.
Here is another image taken at the same time. I thought about placing the posts in the centre of the frame but I rather like the fact they are offset to the left and lie on ‘the rule of thirds’. Placing them in the centre was a little too obvious.
And lastly another image of Bosham taken yesterday from a different position on the shoreline. This time at low tide.
All of these photographs are being added to my ‘Chichester Harbour’ project portfolio and when I get the time I will upload a gallery to this site.
Do click on an image to view a larger version.
dew on hand of wool
posts and wire in mist belong
cold fingers missing
I don’t know what you think but when it comes to giving a photograph a title it can be something of a struggle. At best a title can enhance the image; at worst it can be bland and add nothing at all. Some are purely factual which can at least inform the viewer, but these lack any artistic merit. I have even read a few titles and to be perfectly frank they were a distraction and it would have been much better to have let the image stand on it’s own two feet. There are of course occasions when the photographer feels the need not just to give the photograph a title but also a very lengthy description, which somehow almost becomes more important than the image itself.
All of this got me thinking, particularly as I have almost certainly been guilty of poor and uninspiring titles, overlong descriptions, the list goes on…….
I can’t profess to be a great lover of poetry but I do see a definite connection between the art of photography and writing poems as a creative art. What if the two were combined? Well it’s hardly the most original idea but I thought I would give it a try.
One of the simplest forms of poetry is Haiku, a Japanese poem of just seventeen syllables on three lines – five on the the first line, seven on the second and five on the last line. Traditionally the poem evokes images of the natural world. There is no requirement for rhyme and whilst the number of syllables on each line has changed over time I thought I would stick with the original guidelines. I like the minimalist approach and the strict parameters prevent verbosity – something I could be accused of in this post!!
So below the photograph is my very first attempt at a Haiku verse combined with one of my ‘Chichester Harbour’ project images. ‘Lost glove’ is an apt, albeit unimaginative title, but I think the verse adds a little something extra. Masters of this form of poetry would probably mock the result, but I enjoyed linking words to an image. Will it be something I will use again? I can’t answer that but I’m pleased to have had a go. Your thoughts as always would be most welcome on both the image and the words!
As I look out of the window and type these words, I can see a blue sky; the sun is shining; a gentle breeze moves through the trees and I know if I stepped outside I would be greeted by a pleasant temperature of about 20c. Not hot, but quite acceptable for the middle of August.
What’s not to like?
Well I don’t want to complain or come across as if I am wishing my life away, because neither of these statements are true. However at this time of year I do start to look forward to the autumn and indeed to the winter. These seasons suit my photographic style so much better. The days are shorter, the sun is much lower in the sky, the trees have lost their leaves and the weather has the potential to be so much more atmospheric.
This photograph – ‘Tree in Winter’s mist’ – is typical of the conditions I like. The sun has yet to penetrate the early morning mist, and the tree is bereft of its summer clothing, revealing its winter skeletal form. Nor did I have to get up at 4am to find the sun this low in the sky. A distinct advantage as far as I am concerned!
As I come to the end of this short entry, the sun is still shining outside and the garden looks as though there is work to be done. So out I venture with a trowel, shears and a garden fork. In a few weeks time I am more likely to be tempted to grab my bag, select a camera and a couple of lenses and see what the autumn season has in store. I can’t wait, but in the meantime I shall enjoy the rest of the summer and tidy the garden.