alan frost photography

in monochrome with occasional colour lapses

Posts tagged ‘Leica Monochrom’

Apples and an orange – experimenting with still life

Apples and an Orange

This weekend my wife and I have been taking part in the Chichester Art Trail. This is the first time we have done so, although we have been regular visitors to the studios of other artists over the years.

Today (Sunday) has been much quieter than yesterday, largely due to the glorious weather and temperatures in the mid 20’s. After a very poor and wet spring we are guessing most people have been tempted by the beach or simply want to relax in their garden and who can blame them.

Being quieter gave me an opportunity to think and to experiment with a simple still life composition. I took a glass bowl, some cooking apples and an orange; found some black cloth and using a desk lamp for side lighting made this image.

Shot with my Leica Monochrom and a 50mm lens wide open @f1.4 very little is in sharp focus but that was the intention. I also knew I wanted the background to be completely black so that the bowl appears to be floating.

As a first attempt at a still life I am pleased with the outcome and if it’s quiet again tomorrow I shall be experimenting again with other items to be found in our home. Great fun!

 

 

Super wide angle in Eastbourne with Zeiss Distagon 18mm f4

Zeiss 18mm-3

For some time now I have been looking at various super wide angle lenses with a Leica M mount for my Leica Monochrom. My widest lens is 28mm and there have been many times in the past when a wider angle of view would have been welcome; either because I am working in confined spaces (church interiors for example) or to work more creatively. For landscapes a wider angle of view can also be invaluable but in all cases the ability to attach Neutral Density and ND Graduated filters is important to me. Yes I know using filters on a rangefinder is far from ideal. It also goes without saying that a separate viewfinder is also a requirement, as the frames lines in the camera’s viewfinder only extend to 28mm. Despite these limitations I still love my Monochrom to bits, so whilst my approach might be very unorthodox, it works for me and I’m sticking to it.

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New Year, New Project

Towards Cocking

Towards Cocking (2013)

For the past 18 months or so much of my photography has centered around the coastal area of Chichester Harbour. Having a specific and long term project to concentrate the mind has been something of a revelation to me. I have always been inspired by other photographers and artists who have chosen a subject to work on over a sustained period of time. The intimate knowledge gained by exploring a defined area and the benefit this brings to a body of work is, I have now discovered, hugely rewarding.

South Downs Project Map

Project Map

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In flight – Chichester Harbour

in-flight

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.

A New Year, new plans and new ideas

alone

At the beginning of any New Year, most of us will reflect on the year just gone and think about the year ahead. If you are fortunate you might be able to find some space to yourself in this crowded world in which to contemplate the past and consider the future. I for one have been giving some thought as to how my photography will evolve in 2017, but I will leave those ideas for another day.

This morning my wife and I, together with our cocker spaniel, took a walk along the beach at Wittering. It was a lovely sunny morning, cold but very refreshing. Although there were a number of people out and about I happened to spot this lone figure walking along the wet sand, head down, as he put one foot in front of the other – What does 2017 hold in store for this individual? What was going through his mind? I will never know but I hope he found the space and solitude to consider times past and is able to look forward to the future.

Wishing you all a Healthy, Happy and Peaceful New Year

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