alan frost photography

in monochrome with occasional colour lapses

Posts tagged ‘Leica M9-P’

Portland Bill Lighthouse with the Leica M9-P

portland-bill-lighthouse

Although we are frequent visitors to Dorset we have never visited the Isle of Portland before, well until this week. Portland is approached from the town of Weymouth and strictly speaking it’s not an island, as it can be reached by road over a causeway from Chesil Beach. Only four miles long by one and a half miles wide, Portland juts out into the English channel and is very exposed to the elements.

At its southern most point lies Portland Bill with its prominent lighthouse which is virtually surrounded by old quarry workings of Portland Stone. This famous building material has been mined since Roman times, and from the early 17th Century was shipped to London for the construction of many buildings. St Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace, The Tower of London and The Bank of England to name but a few.

Portland has three lighthouses but only the one pictured in this post is operational. Built by Trinity House in 1906, it stands 41m tall and was automated in 1996.

As an aside and for those who like reading about cameras and processing etc, this shot was taken with a Leica M9-P and 50mm f1.4 Summilux lens. The M9 was Leica’s first full frame digital rangefinder camera and was introduced back in 2009, so is now some 8 years old. Superceded by the M240 in 2013, which only this week has been replaced by the new Leica M10. A remarkable camera I’m sure and whilst technology has moved on considerably since the M9 first appeared on the scene, it still performs extremely well. Of course it is not as advanced and has its limitations in use, but the image quality is still outstanding. The image was processed in Lightroom and Silver Efex.

Bosham harbour at dusk

Bosham at Dusk

 

Bosham is a very pretty village forming part of Chichester Harbour, not far from the City of Chichester along the South Coast in West Sussex.

As you can probably imagine its picturesque appearance attracts numerous visitors throughout the year, as well as many a photographer. It’s a location that when the weather, light and the tide are all right, you may not find you are on your own with a camera. This is one of those scenes which has to be part of your photo library but I am all too aware that thousands of people before me will have been there and taken pictures of the setting sun; however it is too beautiful to dismiss just because of its popularity.  In fact if it wasn’t for the tide then the tripod holes where I was standing to take this image would be very evident! Despite all of these comments it’s a scene that is hard to resist even if it lacks originality.

This was one of those rare occasions when my Leica M9-P and 90mm lens were attached to a tripod. The exposure time was several seconds long, as the there was little or no light to speak of and I wanted a slow exposure to smooth the water in the foreground and introduce a little movement in the veil of clouds over the church spire. The fact that lights in the houses fronting the water were just being switched on adds another element of interest to the shot.

For those of you who are not familiar with this area, you might like to know that Bosham is in fact pronounced ‘Bozam’ and not ‘Bosh-ham’.

 

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

Early morning at Dell Quay

early-morning-at-dell-quay-1

Looking back through my last few posts it is evident that I have been doing more colour work recently. This has not been intentional and I am enjoying the variety, but monochrome is still my first love.

This image of Dell Quay, taken early one morning a few days ago, when the tide was very low, reminds me of why black and white photography is favoured not just by me but so many photographers. The artistic interpretation of a scene holds greater possibilities in mono than it would in colour. I enjoy the whole process of increasing or reducing contrast in certain areas of the image; thereby creating mood and atmosphere in the picture,  whilst providing a sense of depth and a focal point of interest.

Like so many images this one really needs to be viewed large as there is in fact a lot of detail in the scene. The masts in the boat yard, the three sailing boats to the right and a lone person standing on the jetty. There are also a few swans in the water and a gull flying into the frame from the right hand side. I have yet to print this photograph but I am looking forward to doing so. Do click on the image to enjoy a larger version.

Dell Quay forms part of Chichester Harbour in West Sussex. Designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it is popular with sailors, birdwatchers, walkers and artists; in fact anyone seeking some relaxation in some truly beautiful and unspoilt surroundings.

Just before the dark – take 2

 

This line of trees appeared in my last post ‘Just before the dark’ and I decided to return to the same place a couple of days ago as the late afternoon light and cloud formations suggested the possibility of a colourful sunset. As you can see from these three pictures I was not to be disappointed.

 

 

Sunsets are such a popular subject for photographs and it’s easy to understand why. In fact its something of a cliche, but the sheer variety of colours on display is nature at its best, so it’s very hard to resist getting out the camera and releasing the shutter a few times.

The most dramatic skies often appear just after the sun has dipped below the horizon. By this time there is less chance of a blown out area in the frame, as the sensor struggles to cope with the dynamic range of the scene.  The light though was fading fast, so a monopod or tripod helps, but both are clumsy items to have with you on a dog walk, so these shots were all handheld. I left the aperture nearly wide open as I wasn’t too worried about depth of field as there was nothing in the foreground which needed to be sharp.

 

 

A photographic cliche perhaps, but beautiful all the same.

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

Just before the dark

Just before dark

Just before dark

 

I always welcome this time of year. Yes I know the clocks have gone back, so it’s dark well before you sit down for your evening meal. But the colder and shorter days bring great skies and once the leaves have fallen, the true splendour and skeletal shapes of a line of trees can be really be appreciated.

Do click on the image to enjoy a larger version.