alan frost photography

in monochrome with occasional colour lapses

Posts tagged ‘Sony RX100’

Photographic Purpose?

I often find myself asking the following questions – Why do we take photographs? What is the purpose? I could even go as far to say – What is the point?

At one extreme a photographer who is a full time professional has to earn a living from his craft to pay the mortgage. He or she has no choice in the matter – they have to be making images to satisfy their paying clients or their audience. The only choice they have is to whether or not an alternative career might be more financially lucrative, even if that new role is not as rewarding. Fortunately I do not fall into this category.

At the other extreme everyone who has a smartphone will probably take an extraordinary number of images and post them on social media just because they can. Seemingly they want to share their every living moment with their family, friends, followers and the world at large. Fortunately I don’t fall into this category either.

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Cuckmere Haven alone in the mist

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Regular readers will know that I am a great one for projects or bodies of work both large and small. Some last many months, even years and others are achieveable in only a day. They all have merit. Stand out single or what I like to call ‘Hero’ images do have their place but somehow the portrayal of a location and the prevailing conditions can really only be told in a series of pictures.

This selection of images were all taken during one visit to Cuckmere Haven in East Sussex.

I wanted to use my newly acquired Sony RX100 Mk3 compact camera to make a set of monochorme images for the first time and be able to assess the quality of the results.  Very simply I decided beforehand to try and capture the location using no more than a dozen pictures; in fact there are eleven in this post.

Cuckmere Haven

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I enjoy being in unfamiliar locations and taking photographs. My mind is fresh to the possibilities of what I might see and capture in camera. Weather plays a big part of course and I was fortunate on this particular occassion to find the area shrouded in low cloud and mist. These conditions are ideal for black and white photography. I can adjust the contrast to suit each image to portray not only what the eye saw but how the scene felt to me.

All the pictures are landscape in format with a 3 x 2 aspect ratio for consistency. I think this is important if a set of images is to be presented as a harmonious panel of work.

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As I walked around the lagoon  I found myself being drawn to some minimilist compositions which I rather like.

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None more so than the picture below of a single post with the far bank just visible in the distance.

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As for the Sony RX100 camera – well I have yet to make prints, but for the purposes of this blog, the quality of the RAW files is excellent.

Water, posts and reflections always have an appeal and these things all came together for my last image, with the added bonus of a sheep in the centre of the frame.

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This part of East Sussex is a very popular with tourists visiting not just Cuckmere Haven but also the Seven Sister cliffs (the first image) and further to the east, Beachy Head. Although there were other people around, I felt quite alone here. Alone with nature – the mist largely obscuring my visibility of people or distractions I didn’t want or need to witness. I can easily imagine how this area might look bathed in sunshine with many people to be seen in every direction. Call me melanchonic but give me the mist and solitude any day of the week please.

To enjoy these images at their best, please click on each one to view a larger version.

Having fun with a compact – Street Art in Chichester

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There are times when I think I take my photography a little too seriously. My recent ‘Still-Life’ images are a case in point. The light, the composition, the processing, are all very controlled and take quite a long time to get right.

For a while now I thought it would be a good idea to buy a compact camera. Something truly pocketable, that I could have with me most of the time but would still produce good quality images. A smartphone is great but it does have its limitations. Most of all this camera would have to be fun to use.

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I attended a talk a recently by Charlie Waite, the well renowned landscape photographer. It was a charity event in aid of The Disabled Photographers Society. As part of the fund raising there was an auction of items donated by various organisations. One of the items was the Sony RX100 Mk3. Although an older model which has been superseded by the Mk4 and Mk5, these are more expensive and the main improvements are video related.  The lens and quality of the still images from all three models are very similar and the Mk3 has a better battery life. I took the plunge, kept raising my hand to bid and after a few minutes proved to be the successful bidder.

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Yesterday I went into my home city of Chichester for an hour or two, to put the Sony through its paces and have a bit of fun. I concentrated on a some of ‘street art’ which can be found if you know where to look.

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