alan frost photography

in monochrome with occasional colour lapses

Posts tagged ‘square’

Three vessels and a tulip

Three vessels and a tulip

This is the result of my third session making a still-life image.

Yesterday morning my wife and I visited The Curiosity Centre in Dorset. A large warehouse selling second hand furniture, collectables and what can only be termed as bric-a-brac. I was looking for some items which I thought would lend themselves to a still-life composition. I found three pewter vessels which I manged to buy for the princely sum of £10. I liked their simple design, rustic nature, patina and marks. I bought a bunch of tulips for my wife to enjoy but pinched one bloom for the photograph!

I spent a couple of hours in the afternoon creating a basic setup. Nothing elaborate. I used the natural light from a side window and a head torch. I changed the composition many times and tried different lenses and aperture settings until I had a selction I could download into Lightroom for further assesment.

My chosen image was processed in Lightroom and Silver Efex Pro II. I like the square crop and the warm tone was added in LR to complete the workflow.

I find this genre of photography most appealing, so I will definitely be on the lookout for more items to help make suitable compositions. In the process I am sure my compositions and understanding of light will improve, as I refine my approach to still-life photography.

Do click on the image to view a larger version.

 

 

 

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!

 

 

Private Jetty at Bosham – and thoughts on split tone presets for a b&w image

Firstly some background information about this shot. Bosham (pronounced Bozzum) is arguably the most picturesque sailing village (read tourist honeypot) forming part of Chichester Harbour. Regular readers will know that a current project of mine is to photograph this area but in trying to do so I am very keen to avoid the typical picture postcard view.

Everyone who visits Bosham takes out their camera and posts their results on social media for all to see. They are mostly in colour and feature the church from across the water with a few boats in the foreground for good measure. If the sun is setting, then this is a further attraction, as it’s unquestionably a great place to be at the end of the day. (Scroll down to the end of this entry to see an example)

Read more

Exhibition deliberations……..it’s nearly time to make some key decisions

Jetty posts at Dell Quay

It’s now less than four months before my exhibition takes place at The Oxmarket Centre of Arts in Chichester. As a consequence my deliberations are intensifying, as the time is fast approaching when decisions need to be made. I settled on a theme for the exhibition a while ago – all the images would be of Chichester Harbour. I did waiver recently when I thought I might want to display a more eclectic mix but I soon returned to my original intention to show a body of work centered on one topic. I am pleased I have done so, particularly as the subject matter is local to where the exhibition is being staged.

As I am sharing the gallery with five other photographers, allocation of hanging space is all important as this will help me make a number of decisions. Firstly the number of images I will have room to display, secondly their size and finally their placement. I already know that I do not want to hang as many pictures as I first thought. I believe a viewer can quickly be overloaded by too many photographs, so I am of the opinion that a smaller selection of the very best images will prove to be more effective. However this means that my proposed short list will have to shrink even further before the final choice of pictures can be identified for printing and framing. This process is already proving more difficult than I thought, but my deliberations can only continue for so long. Trouble is, I also want to display two sizes. I know the respective measurements but which ones should get star billing?

Choice of photographic paper has been made and soft proofing already undertaken to ensure the quality of each print meets my expectations. I have not out-sourced the printing as I like to maintain complete control, although framing will be done by a local professional.

This image ‘Jetty posts at Dell Quay” is on my short list and very soon I will have decided whether or not it will appear at the exhibition, but in the meantime I would like to share this picture and my ongoing thoughts with you.

As always do click on the image to view and appreciate a larger version.

 

Oh what a tangled web we weave…..

Tangled web

Tangled web

 

From a very young age I always remember the saying – ‘Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.’ Whilst I have always tried to live my life accordingly, its relationship with the image is quite simply the fact that it was the first thought that entered my mind when I took the shot at the end of October. The cow parsley was absolutely covered in cobwebs, woven in amongst the drying flowers and stems. The dull and damp morning added another ingredient. Poor lighting but I knew I could add contrast in post processing.

Focusing and composition was a challenge, but I was more aware of the background and how it affected the overall appearance of the picture. I didn’t want it to be in focus, far from it, but I did want it to compliment the subject and provide the contrast necessary so that the cobwebs and lower stalks were clearly visible. The dense backdrop of trees provided the dark upper layer and the grasses in the field the paler lower layer.

This photograph may not be to everyone’s tastes, but it is very much a feature of the countryside in the autumn.

Tangled web yes, deceitful no; just testimony to the creative talent of the humble and sometimes scary spider!