alan frost photography

in monochrome with occasional colour lapses

Posts tagged ‘colour’

St Catherine’s Chapel – from picture postcard to a more dramatic view

In this post I thought it might interest those who read my blog to illustrate my approach to capturing a well known landmark and how I come to make a few images which become my take on a much photographed location.

One such famous landmark is St Catherine’s Chapel on the outskirts of Abbotsbury in Dorset. Perched high on a hill overlooking the Jurassic coastline it is very visible from the surrounding hills. The colour image is arguably the ‘straight’ picture postcard shot. A perfectly pleasing image, technically sound, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Convert the same image into black and white, and after a little processing in Lightroom and Silver Efex (my go to software for mono work) and the Chapel instantly has a more dramatic appearance. In my opinion still nothing special, but the sky is more a feature of the shot.

The third shot and a very different composition, this time a portrait. The wispy clouds above the chapel are all important but somehow I still don’t think it is the best shot in this sequence.

Finally, I moved in much closer to the chapel using a wide angle lens. As a consequence the building now dominates the frame and the converging lines of the buttresses give a sense of height and mass. This is complemented by the clouds which are a wonderful backdrop to the harsh lines and solid golden buff limestone structure of the chapel itself. The surrounding landscape has been excluded, so this image no longer provides a sense of place, but as a photograph it’s my favourite of the four. Would it be your choice as well? Certainly the most dramatic, and no longer the picture postcard view which I am always keen to avoid if at all possible.

The chapel is thought to have been built in the late 14th Century by the monks of nearby Abbotsbury Abbey. It was used as a place of pilgrimage; its isolated setting allowing monks to withdraw from the monastery during Lent for private prayer and meditation. As it can be seen from the sea it would also have served as a beacon after the Dissolution.

 

Do click on any of the images to view a larger version.

Whitesands Bay – The magical Golden Hour

17.09.47 – The Golden Hour begins

 

In the past couple of months I have been making more use of my Instagram account (@arfrost) and on it my profile reads – ‘A monochrome photographer with occasional colour lapses’. I think this sums up my approach to photography rather well, and this post is just that, a lapse into colour.

For many landscape photographers the ‘Golden Hour’ at the beginning or at the end of the day is one of the most popular times to be out with a camera. This set of images demonstrates rather well the reason why it can be a magical experience. The colour of the light is constantly changing and arguably the longer you wait, the greater the reward is likely to be.

 

17.24.03 Showing Potential

 

All of these images were taken from more or less the same position, looking out over Whitesands Bay in Pembrokeshire back in February this year. The first frame was taken at 17.10hrs and the last at just before 18.00hrs, a difference of just 50 minutes.

 

17.44.46 Jogger at dusk

 

17.54.10 Forty five minutes after the first frame

 

17.58.11 The Magical Golden Hour

 

As well as the glorious colour palettes the inclusion of people and in some cases their dogs as well, adds human interest to three of the five images, which appeals to me.

If you happen to find yourself in a wonderful location when the day is drawing to a close, and assuming you have the time to sit or stand and just wait; then there is no greater pleasure than to enjoy the ‘Golden Hour’. Whether you have a camera with you or not, the experience is hard to beat.

 

The beauty of Easter flowers in Fishbourne Church

Irrespective of whether or not you are a regular church goer, the flowers arrangements on display this Easter at Fishbourne Church, near Chichester, were simply quite beautiful. The way in which flowers have been chosen to complement the images depicting ‘The Stations of The Cross’ is thoughtful and artistic. The hard work by a handful of people has to be admired.

Do click on one of the images to view a larger version, and then scroll through all the photographs in the lightbox.

Transient light – the best of both worlds perhaps?

Transition blend

Transition (Blending in photoshop)

This is the third and final entry in series which only serves to highlight the array of choices when it comes processing.

The first entry (Transient light – when only colour will do) showed a relatively straight forward colour image. The second entry posted yesterday (Transient light – when mono works as well) was the black and white conversion and today I have posted this image, which is effectively a mix of the colour and black and white versions. I opened both images in Photoshop with the colour image as the background layer. I then created a separate layer using the mono version which had been previously processed in Silver Efex. I then blended the two layers and reduced the opacity to arrive at the image you see here.

Overlaying the more dramatic and contrasty B&W image has given the original colour version a little more punch in my view. The rain shower has been enhanced and there is more detail in the clouds on the horizon which has added depth. The colour which attracted me to take the shot in the first place has not been lost.

So three versions of one image. Which one is best? I don’t think there is a ‘best’ image; photography or any form of art is very subjective so everyone will have their own personal preference. For me it has been an interesting exercise and will make me stop and think a little more about processing options before I even begin.

East Head – At the end of the day

At the end of last week I met up with a few fellow photographers at East Head down in West Wittering. It’s a place I seem to be visiting on quite a regular basis at the moment, although I am more likely to be there in the morning walking the dog, as opposed to the end of the day.

I had already decided that the lighting conditions would probably suit some colour work and not black and white. I could always convert to mono later if I wanted to do so. I am so used to ‘seeing’ in black and white that taking images in colour and processing them later does throw up some new challenges for me, and there are plenty of times when I feel I am having to learn a whole new set of skills. Composition, overall tone and texture are still important but colour balance and how colours work with each other, is very different to monochrome.

So here are four images taken that evening. Given that when I arrived it was pouring with rain, I consider myself fortunate to have come back home with anything at all! The four of us had a lot of fun and we will have all photographed this location in a different way. The day ended up in an excellent pub with food and drink and a commitment to repeat a most enjoyable evening somewhere else in the not too distant future. Can’t wait!

 

 

 

 

Do click on any of the images to view a larger version which will open in a new window.