alan frost photography

in monochrome with occasional colour lapses

Posts tagged ‘clouds’

Loch Na Keal on the Isle of Mull

Loch Na Keal is the principal sea loch on the west coast of the Isle of Mull, which is part of the Inner Hebrides in Scotland. The views in this entry are all taken from the northern shoreline looking south towards the largest mountain range on the island which includes Ben More. The scenery in this part of the island is simply stunning; it is perhaps the most beautiful but also the most dramatic location on Mull. The weather and light are constantly changing, as the clouds move in the wind and are intercepted by the mountains, bringing precipitation to the high peaks and wonderful light for photography.

I took these images back in April but only recently processed them to my satisfaction. They take me back to a place I love and I long to return.

 

Heron in Flight, Loch Na Keal

Afternoon Light, Loch Na Keal

Towards Ben More, across Loch Na Keal

Mountains of Mull, across Loch Na Keal

There are small but important details in couple of the images (‘Heron in Flight’ and the cottage in ‘Towards Ben More’) which can really only be appreciated if viewed large, so do click on the photo which will open in a new window.

 

Abereiddy – a study of chimneys and skies

The first thing that struck me about Abereiddy was not the beach and the waves lapping against the shore but the interesting cluster of houses that make up this tiny hamlet on the North Pembrokeshire coast.

 

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The hamlet of Abereiddy

 

The more I looked around, I started to observe and enjoy the chimneys and the way in which they stood out in silhouette against the drama in the skies above. The white rendered walls and the very dark grey roofs, so typical of cottages in this part of Wales, made ideal material for black and white photography.

 

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Chimneys and the rook

 

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Chimney and the sheep on the hill

 

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Grassy bank and chimneys in silhouette

Leica M Monochrom – the good news, bad news sandwich!

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Clouds over Prinsted

Shortly after I acquired my Leica M Monochrom, I became aware of an issue relating to the CCD sensor; not only to this camera but also the M9 and the ME. The problem was one of corrosion on the sensor which could manifest itself at any time. Leica was quick to respond to this news when it broke a few years ago and guaranteed that for the lifetime of the camera a faulty sensor would be replaced. In fact they went further and said that even if a sensor was replaced the guarantee would apply to the new sensor as well.

This is old news really, but aware of the issue I have always been on the lookout for the problem. The good news being that I had comfort in knowing that if ever I discovered any sign of corrosion, the camera could and would be repaired at no cost. But I would of course have to suffer the inconvenience of being without the camera for several weeks as the work can only be undertaken by Leica in Germany.

When processing the above image of ‘Clouds over Prinsted’ I was cleaning the picture for sensor spots and noticed a number of marks which were not typical of dust on the sensor. In fact they were more like ‘flying saucers’ – a dark spot with a light and dark halo. (See the screen grab below of the offending article – just above the tree line).

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The mark on the sensor which is almost certainly the sign of the corrosion issue.

Fearing the worst I did some research which only confirmed that the dreaded ‘corrosion on the sensor’ issue had finally reared its ugly head. Yes, I could clone out the marks, but assuming the  corrosion might spread the camera would have to be repaired. Bad News!

I rang the Leica Store in Mayfair in London and they said that whilst the camera could be collected by courier, if I took the camera in personally, they would provide me with a loan M Monochrom for the duration of the repair at no cost. They informed me the turn round time would be approximately six weeks. Having access to a replacement camera was Great News! I would have it for my planned trip to Pembrokeshire in Wales which comes up shortly and by the time I travel to Scotland the repair should have been carried out and my Monochrom would be back in my hands.

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Leica M Monochrom with 50mm Summilux and 28mm Elmarit lenses

So yesterday I caught the train up to London, swapped cameras at The Leica Store in Mayfair and took the opportunity to visit Tate Modern, specifically to see The Radical Eye exhibition. A superb collection of photographs owned by Sir Elton John. I will write about this exhibition in a future post. All I would say is that if you can get to London do go – it continues until 21st May 2017.

In flight – Chichester Harbour

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Waiting for the vital missing ingredient to appear in a scene is part of the joy of photography, but it can also be very frustrating. This picture is a case in point. Driving home this weekend I spotted the attractive light and cloud formations  over Chichester Harbour, near Bosham. As time was on my side, I quickly collected my camera and returned to a parking place near the water which I know well. Fifteen minutes later I was in the right position to take the shot but there was something missing. Various sea birds flew overhead and I soon realised that the water and sky on their own were not sufficient to make the shot. It needed a bird in flight correctly positioned in the frame to complete the scene. The gull ‘In flight’ was the missing ingredient.

I waited patiently and took numerous shots. In some the bird was too far away, or the placement of its wings just wasn’t quite right. In other frames the bird was too high or too low, or flying towards the edge and not towards the centre of the picture. Patience was finally rewarded and I got the picture I wanted.

This month has been quite productive. I have been out taking images virtually every day. This is certainly another frame which will be added to the short list ahead of my exhibition on Chichester Harbour later in the year.

Keeping it simple at Langstone Harbour

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In recent days I have tried to simplify my approach to image taking. Let me explain. I have been out and about walking and exploring the footpaths that surround Chichester Harbour. I have taken with me the following: A Leica Monochrom and just one lens; a Leica 50mm Summilux f1.4. A spare battery just in case. A three stop ND filter should I want to shoot wide open in bright light, a shoulder strap for comfort and finally a microfibre cloth for cleaning the viewfinder – oh, and a 16GB SD card! This limited amount of equipment has been quite liberating and if anything stirs the creative juices as I look for images which work with one prime lens and in black and white of course. There have been times when a wider or longer lens would have been useful but I rather like a more minimalist approach.

In many ways the picture which accompanies this post of Chichester Harbour from Langstone is also very simple. It’s all about the clouds in the sky, a skyscape no less. An uncluttered horizon with a band of sea low in the frame, confirms a waterside location. There is no main point of interest but there is plenty to enjoy in the sky, with the various forms of cloud constantly changing with the light and moving in the breeze. I have kept processing to a minimum as well. A minor crop to place the horizon. An adjustment for levels, whilst adding a little contrast to bring out some detail. Lastly the removal of some dust spots on the sensor.  Job done.