alan frost photography

in monochrome with occasional colour lapses

Posts tagged ‘sand dunes’

The Dunes – requests for a mono conversion

The Dunes mono (1 of 1)

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.

East Head – At the end of the day

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.

Protection – Sand dunes at East Head

Protection

Protection

I seem to have spent a fair amount of time down at East Head in West Wittering recently. The sand dunes and large areas of beach when combined with ‘big’ skies  provide me with so many scenes to photograph. The low light at the end the day is a great time to be there; more so, if a weather front is just passing through. In this image the last rays of sunlight are illuminating the old and rickety dunes fence, one of the last of its type at East Head. There are now more metal posts and wires which are far less attractive from a photographer’s point of view.

These sand fences are put in place to protect the dunes from erosion by reducing wind speed across the sand surface and encourage foredune deposition. They also help to control public access, but for me they quite simply provide some excellent foreground interest in a photograph which is always going to be enhanced by a dramatic sky.

I read a quote by Ansel Adams the other day which read. “Sometimes I do get to places just when God is ready to have somebody click the shutter”. I think this might just have been one of those occassions.

Do click on the image itself to view a larger version.

 

My new camera – an iPhone 6S – a useful photographer’s sketchbook

Most photographers will be familiar with the saying – ‘The best camera is the one you have with you’. I can’t disagree with this adage but just how good are smartphones as a true photographic tool? Let me say rather swiftly that this is not intended to be a review of my recent upgrade from the iPhone5 to the iPhone 6S, but merely a selection of images and a few opinions of my own about the value of taking images with a mobile phone. I hope you will find my thoughts interesting.

 

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The iPhone 6S now boasts a 12mp sensor, so it’s no wonder that the use of smartphones have stolen a huge number of sales from the compact camera market in recent years. (Click on this link to a page on Flickr which only confirms what most of us already know about the use of camera-phones). However I am all too aware that more megapixels doesn’t necessarily equal better quality pictures. The biggest factor is always going to be the person taking the shot, not the equipment being used, but that’s a topic for another day!

The four images in this post were all taken in the past few weeks whilst out and about walking our dog. I have never found it easy to multi task and keep one eye on the subject being photographed and the other eye on the dog, just in case he gets bored and runs off out of sight. So a quick shot is really all the time I have. The pictures have been imported into Lightroom from the iPhone 6S and then converted to black and white. Some limited post processing has been used to enhance each image if only to prove to myself what is possible with the jpeg files.

 

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So what are my thoughts? Well the results are pretty remarkable all things considered. The iPhone 6S has coped well with some high contrast conditions and to a certain extent the files are flexible in post processing. There isn’t much detail in the shadows but it’s unquestionably a better performer than the iPhone 5. They are certainly good enough for posting on the web which is where the vast majority of images now end up. What I would say is that the quality deteriorates significantly when zooming in, so it’s arguably better to take a ‘full size’ image and then crop in post. Would I want to make an A4 or even an A3 size print? – I haven’t tried, it would be an interesting exercise but I doubt I would be happy with quality, however I might be pleasantly surprised.

 

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I enjoy taking pictures on my phone but for now it will never replace any of the cameras I take so much pleasure in using. For me the camera-phone is the equivalent of an artist’s sketchbook. Something which is very portable and convenient to have with me at all times. Something I can use to make a visual record of a particular location. Something to inspire me and to think about when considering a return visit. A photographer’s sketchbook – most definitely yes, and a very good one at that. A replacement for my cameras with interchangeable lenses and the ability to shoot in RAW – no way, but still worth having with me at all times – if only to make the odd phone call!