alan frost photography

in monochrome with occasional colour lapses

Posts tagged ‘Photography’

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.

The ruins of St Benet’s Abbey in Norfolk

The ruins of St Benet’s Abbey on the banks of the River Bure within the Norfolk Broads are the best part of 1,000 years old. In 1020 King Cnut who ruled both England and Denmark, granted land and property to the hermits at St Benet’s and so the Benedictine Monastery was formed. It changed and expanded over the centuries and in the second half of the 18th Century a farmer built a windmill inside the abbey gatehouse. Some time later it was converted to a windpump but this ceased operating and now forms part of the abbey ruins.




Little remains of the monastery but in 1987 a tall cross was erected on the position of the High Alter. It was made from oak from the Royal Estate at Sandringham and can be seen from miles around.






Churches Project no.17 – St Peter’s, Hascombe, Surrey


Regular readers of my blog will know that the vast majority of my work is in monochrome and this particularly applies to my Churches Project. Today though I have to make an exception, so I am including a set of colour images as well as their monochrome twins. The church featured is St Peter’s, Hascombe in Surrey. The exterior is in the style of a 13th Century church and was constructed of bar gate stone in the mid 19th Century to replace a derelict church.



In complete contrast to the relatively plain exterior, the interior of the church is a very rich blend of gilding and painting, particularly on the roof, the screen and the reredos- it is quite extraordinary and not what you might expect to find in a church in a small village in Surrey. Whilst I can appreciate the beauty, for me it is far too ornate…….I personally much prefer a simpler or can I say quieter environment. Nevertheless it has to be admired and appreciated for the skill, the craftsmanship and the time it must have taken to create.







And now for a matching set of monochrome images –









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






Beach Huts – the humble garden shed by the sea.

Beach Huts

Beach Huts at Felpham

Beach huts are a common sight in many seaside resorts. They evolved from the wheeled bathing machines used by the Victorians to preserve their modesty. Often brightly coloured they take on various forms, but more often than not, they are quite simply the humble timber garden shed, sited on the seafront, in rows and rows, alongside their almost identical ‘brothers and sisters’. In some resorts they are owned and rented out by the local council; whereas others are privately owned and can command prices which are out of all proportion to their size, type of construction and their amenity. Location, location, location is the key phrase here.

The huts in the above shot are on a greensward adjoining the seafront in Felpham Village; a pretty area  just to the east of Bognor Regis on the south coast.

Taken on a very different day, the picture below shows the beach huts on the other side of Bognor Regis at Aldwick.


Beach huts

Aldwick beach huts


At West Wittering, again in West Sussex, these huts enjoy a wonderful location.


Huts at Wittering

The shadows of huts at Wittering


……and perhaps my favourite beach huts are at Wells Next The Sea, on the North Norfolk coast.



Wells Next The Sea



Main Exit – dissecting the visual components of a photograph

Main Exit

Main Exit

I often ask myself the question – ‘Why does a photograph interest me and hold my attention for more than a few nano seconds? What are the various components of the image that make it visually appealing to me and maybe to others?’

In answer to these questions I thought I would try and dissect the key elements of this photograph which I have called – Main Exit. Do click on the image to view a larger version as this will help you see all the detail in the picture.

To begin, the image is monochrome; obvious I know, but a colour image of the same picture simply wouldn’t be as interesting. This shot is all about tone, texture, contrast and the overall composition. Colour would be a distraction. There is though a subtle tone which has been applied in post processing, which may not be immediately apparent.

The main focal point is the man in the top right hand corner walking into the building. We can’t see all of his body or his head, but we do see a reflection of his pale jacket and he stands out against the dark background. White on black will always draw the eye. He is framed within a dark square which ties in well with the square crop of the image itself. It’s virtually a picture within a picture.

A square crop doesn’t always work but in this example I think it enhances the overall composition. There is a strong diagonal lead in line from the bottom left hand corner which takes your eye to the main subject of the picture. There are paler lines in the ground which also lead the eye. These are in contrast to the vertical lines of the modern windows. The ground also slopes upwards, so that the metal base of the building narrows to a point where it meets the man. This aids perspective and adds to the sense of depth.

Reflections always provide visual interest because they distort reality. The older buildings are all askew, there is half a car and half a waste bin. Behind the glass there is a person sitting down  which begs the question as to what’s inside and the purpose of the building itself.

Top right there is a sign which says ‘Main Exit’ but the arrow points in the opposite direction to the man entering the building – has he gone through the wrong door?

As well as being a contrasty image there is also the visual contrast of the new and old buildings, the young person behind the window and the older person walking through the door. The contrast in texture between the ground and the mirror like surface of the windows.

Lastly a border has been added to provide a frame round the image.

For me it makes a visually appealing image, as the sum of all the component parts make for an intriguing story, complete with different textures and tones, all held together by strong compositional and geometric elements as well.

I have found this exercise beneficial and I hope you have enjoyed my ‘dissection’ of a photograph interesting. Arguably the approach could work just as well on images that you don’t like, as well as the ones that do. It’s worth a try.