alan frost photography

in monochrome with occasional colour lapses

Posts tagged ‘West Sussex’

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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Inspired by J M W Turner – a Cathedral from the canal

The painting below is by J M W Turner. Alongside Thomas Gainsborough and John Constable he must be one of the finest and most loved landscape painters England has ever produced. Turner stayed at Petworth House in West Sussex and during his time there he painted Chichester Canal with the Cathedral in the background – circa 1829. It’s a familiar scene to me and I thought it would lend itself to my own impressionistic treatment using a camera instead of paints.

Owned by the Tate Gallery and on display in Petworth House in Sussex.
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Cathedral impressions – a return to ICM

Back in April I experimented with the technique of ICM or intentional camera movement. Setting a slow shutter speed and then moving the camera in a random way to create the photograph. This technique produces a result which is arguably more akin to a piece of art than a photograph. That’s not to say that photography isn’t an art form. In my opinion it most definitely is, and the camera is simply the ‘paintbrush’, the creative tool to make an image which reflects your own personal vision or impression of the subject you wish to portray.

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Photographs which ask questions – ‘Inscapes’ the work of Simon Roberts.

In the past few weeks I have been enjoying processing and posting images from my recent trip to Scotland. Almost without exception they are photographs of dramatic and stunningly beautiful scenery. Images which immediately attract attention and have the potential to be ‘liked’ on Instagram and other social media platforms. Whilst they might be very pleasing to the eye it could be argued they lack any real engagement on the part of the viewer. In other words this style of image doesn’t raise questions. There is no story or mystery, everything is there for all to see. It’s great to look at but there it stops. It could be almost be described as one dimensional.

Why is any of this relevant? Let me explain.

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Elgar’s Lost Sanctuary – alternative compositions

I have long been an advocate of ‘working’ a subject – in other words taking time to explore different compositions of what is essentially the same subject. I don’t wish to assume that the first choice of viewpoint and lens selection will make the best photograph. The temptation of course can be to pursue the obvious and then walk away believing the job is done.

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