Back on the 28th March I posted ‘A Lone Marker Post – a metaphor perhaps’. This was just five days after Lockdown began in the UK on the 23rd of March. Yesterday I returned to this beach for the first time in well over 3 months and subsequently made the above image.Read more
Despite the title, this isn’t a long distance selfie! I am though drawn to lone figures in relatively empty spaces walking along with only their thoughts for company. Perhaps it’s because I can readily empathise with the concept of being on alone in a quiet space. After all there is so much ‘noise’ in this world that it has become something of a luxury and a joy to find somewhere with solitude and even a little silence.
Alone yes, but even here there is the sound of gentle waves lapping against shore and feet squelching as each step lands on the soft wet sand. I just hope this person had the good sense to switch off their mobile phone, or better still left it at home to avoid the temptation to check for messages, emails, likes or comments!
There is of course one other person present, and that’s me the photographer. Photography tends to be a solitary pursuit and I am very happy this should be the case.
As you are looking at this image there is now a third person, you the viewer. For as Ansel Adams once said – ‘There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer’ – and how right he was.
Depending on the device you are using to view this picture, you might like to click on the image to see a larger version, as the main point of interest is very small but hugely relevant!
A few weeks ago I posted this image of The Dunes at East Head in colour. You can view it here. I had a number of comments, for which I am always grateful. They all had one thing in common – they expressed a desire to see a black and white version. Well here it is and I am pleased with the result, so thanks everyone for the suggestion.
I guess my only disappointment is that it was taken using an iPhone – nothing wrong with camera phones these days but when I came to processing the photograph, I just wish I had been able to work on an 18MB RAW file from my Leica Monochrom. The flexibility, dynamic range and the depth of detail from a full frame file would have been a joy to have at my disposal.
When the forecast is right I shall return with the Leica but I always remember that any photograph is capturing a moment in time which will never be repeated – and that’s why this hobby has such an enduring interest, as no two photographs can ever be the same.
I have said it before, and I’ll say it again, but East Head on the West Sussex coast must be one of my favourite places. I am so fortunate to live nearby and I try not to take it for granted, which would be a very easy thing to do.
Strangely I rarely visit this location specifically to take photographs, as it is really dog walking territory. As a result most of my images taken here are opportunistic, and are often captured on my iPhone. This shot is just such an example. The clouds were wonderful and the sun lit the dunes in the foreground. The sands were rippled from the wind and luckily were pure; not a paw print in sight! The grasses too were bending in the wind and a lone figure below the patch of blue sky completes the scene. How lucky I am to have such a beautiful place on my doorstep.
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.