alan frost photography

in monochrome with occasional colour lapses

Posts tagged ‘skyscape’

Between the showers….above West Marden

At the end of July I posted ‘Winter is coming’, and here we are now at the end of August. Whilst it’s definitely not winter it is certainly feeling distinctly more autumnal. Everything in nature seems so much earlier this year. Some trees are beginning to turn colour, the wheat and barley have been harvested, blackberries are ready to be picked and this weekend the weather forecasters are predicting a chill in the wind as it turns round to the north.

After a long dry summer rain clouds and heavy showers have returned and these conditions for photography are right up my street. I am inspired to reach for the camera bag and head out. I did just that yesterday and my efforts were rewarded with the above picture.

Long walks weighed down with gear is not my idea of fun. But if I have spotted a location I like to return, park up nearby and wait for the light and a composition to come together. It can of course mean staring at rain drops on the windscreen until conditions improve!

This particular spot is a favourite of mine. Near the village of West Marden in the South Downs National Park. I first came across it back in February when I made this image. The same tree but taken from another position and of course in very different light.

I shall doubtless return when the weather looks promising. I can already picture the scene in a harsh frost or when fresh snow is lying on the ground. We see less and less snow in the south of England but I shall keep my fingers crossed.

As I have already said ‘winter is coming’ and photographically speaking I can’t wait.

Keeping it simple at Langstone Harbour

langstone-skycape

In recent days I have tried to simplify my approach to image taking. Let me explain. I have been out and about walking and exploring the footpaths that surround Chichester Harbour. I have taken with me the following: A Leica Monochrom and just one lens; a Leica 50mm Summilux f1.4. A spare battery just in case. A three stop ND filter should I want to shoot wide open in bright light, a shoulder strap for comfort and finally a microfibre cloth for cleaning the viewfinder – oh, and a 16GB SD card! This limited amount of equipment has been quite liberating and if anything stirs the creative juices as I look for images which work with one prime lens and in black and white of course. There have been times when a wider or longer lens would have been useful but I rather like a more minimalist approach.

In many ways the picture which accompanies this post of Chichester Harbour from Langstone is also very simple. It’s all about the clouds in the sky, a skyscape no less. An uncluttered horizon with a band of sea low in the frame, confirms a waterside location. There is no main point of interest but there is plenty to enjoy in the sky, with the various forms of cloud constantly changing with the light and moving in the breeze. I have kept processing to a minimum as well. A minor crop to place the horizon. An adjustment for levels, whilst adding a little contrast to bring out some detail. Lastly the removal of some dust spots on the sensor.  Job done.