alan frost photography

in monochrome with occasional colour lapses

Posts tagged ‘Dorset’

A walk in the Piddle Valley – what camera should I use?

If I head out with the specific intention of making photographs then I will always take one or maybe two 35mm full frame cameras and a choice of lenses depending upon what I am hoping to achieve. I may also have with me a set of Lee filters and quite possibly a tripod. I have never been a huge fan of tripods but sometimes you just can’t be without one. Carrying this lot for several miles is not that much fun.

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Misty transformations in Dorset

Winter can be a rather bleak time of year. The days are short and the weather is often a combination of wind and rain, cold frosty nights and occasionally snow. There are also days when blue skies return and the sun shines, which serves as a reminder that Spring may not be too far away. As a prelude to these clear bright interludes, the start of the day is often heralded by cool, misty or foggy mornings. I love these conditions for making images.

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First light at Ringstead Bay – a new beginning

Photographically speaking I do not feel this year has been that productive. I have been thinking a lot about the future direction of my photography but not been making many new images.

In the past I would have regularly slung a camera over my shoulder or taken one out in a small bag in the hope that something might grab my attention. In recent months  I haven’t bothered to do so and I know I have missed some opportunities. However if the creative juices aren’t flowing then I don’t believe that you can force the issue. If you are not in the right frame of mind then perhaps a break is required in the hope that given time the desire to make new images returns.

The picture in this post gives me some encouragement. It was captured last week as my wife and I took our dog for an early morning walk at Ringstead Bay in Dorset. I had a camera with me, a Sony RX100. A compact camera which I very much enjoy using when I remember to pick it up before I go out!

I didn’t see much to photograph apart from the morning light shining on the mobile homes which overlook the bay. The sky was dark but on the horizon lay the prospect of a brighter day. When I took the shot I immediatley knew how the final image might look. I have not experienced that feeling for quite a while.

A metaphor possibly for a return to a more creative period? I do hope so……

Churches Project no 20 – St Cuthbert’s Old Church, Oborne

St Cuthberts's Old Church-3

This tiny church in Dorset was built in 1533 and has historical and religious connections with Sherborne Abbey, which lies to the west. The name Oborne derives from the Old English words, woh and burna, and means a crooked stream. Although the above photograph would suggest a tranquil rural setting, the church is actually sited alongside the A30, a fairly busy road between Yeovil and Shaftesbury.

St Cuthberts's Old Church

The rustic simplicity of the church and the lovely light appealed to me, which resulted in these two internal pictures.

St Cuthberts's Old Church-2

I am particularly drawn to the light but also to studies of one aspect of a church interior. I don’t wish to record or capture everything in the one frame, and for this reason the image above of the light coming in through the open door and illuminating the altar rail and step appeals to me.

Like so many of these small, rural churches it is no longer used for regular parish worship and is cared for by The Churches Conservation Trust.

 

Dorset in the snow

Snow3

The number of times we experience snow in southern England are relatively rare, although we have had two quite significant falls in the past few weeks. What perhaps is more unusual, is for me to be in the right place and have the time to make some photographs of a ‘white’ landscape which is so well suited to monochrome.

In the past few days we have had the ‘Mini Beast from the East’, a lesser version of ‘The Beast from the East’ which took place at the turn of the month. I have read this morning that ‘The Beast from the East 3’ is being forecast for Easter. I am not a great fan of this naming of weather events, but the media machine clearly benefits.

Snow1

Yesterday I was in Dorset and virtually all the roads were passable with care. I only had to turn round once where drifting snow had blocked the way ahead. I was fortunate to have good cloud cover as well. I was pleased the sun didn’t shine, as this would only have increased contrast and made setting the correct exposure even more challenging.

Snow2

I thoroughly enjoyed a cold but photographically productive few hours finding suitable locations and compositions.

Snow4

The snow simplifies the landscape. Shapes, lines, form and texture come to the fore. The snow helps to emphasise all these ingredients which are always important to a black and white photographer.

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