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.Read more
I am very proud to be a member of The Image Circle, a group of six like minded photographers who got together 18 months ago and today our inaugural exhibition opens to the public at The Oxmarket Centre of Arts in Chichester, West Sussex. The exhibition is on until Sunday 19th November.
All the photographers share an interest in the art and craft of outdoor photography and the exhibition will be an opportunity to view a broad cross section of their combined work. Many of the images on show will represent local wildlife and landscapes as well as other areas of Britain.
The photographers themselves have a wealth of experience spanning several decades and including clients such as the RSPB, South Downs National Park Authority as well commissioned articles for the likes of Outdoor Photography magazine. The have also achieved prestigious awards and accreditations.
Many of the images are the result of personal project work, in particular my own body of work – ‘Still by the Water’ – evocative monochrome prints of Chichester Harbour; Sean Lewis’s wildwood and Dorset coastal imagery and John Dominick’s continuing fascination with the heathlands of West Sussex. Gerry Gavigan is widely travelled and this is reflected in his broad vistas of UK landscapes. The wildlife lover is sure to be enthralled by the images from Matthew Gould as well as the creative imagery of Tony Stevens.
If you live nearby I do hope you will be able to come along.
I freely admit to the fact that I am not a wildlife photographer. I don’t have the right equipment, nor do I have the patience to stay in one place long enough to take photographs of rare birds or other animals. I also acknowledge that I take an eclectic mix of subjects; the one thing they all have in common is that they are in monochrome.
However, if the opportunity presents itself then I am more than happy to take a wildlife shot. It rarely happens but it does give me pleasure when the result, in my opinion, is worth sharing on my blog.
This image of a hare was taken whilst walking our spaniel across some heathland in Norfolk recently. I had my camera out as I was hoping to take some photographs of our dog, when my wife quietly drew my attention to a hare on a path over to our right. The hare sat in late afternoon sun just long enough for me to focus and press the shutter. The hare must have spotted us or our dog, probably both, before running away. A fleeting moment.
I do belong to a camera club and I might be tempted to enter this picture into a competition, but I know what the judge will say – “I wonder what it would be like in colour?” or “I wonder why the author has chosen to convert it into black and white?”
Well let me try and answer this question. For me photography is all about light, line, tone and texture, and colour in an image can so often be a distraction. Because of the time of day this shot was taken, the colours are vibrant, with a mix of strong autumnal yellows and greens. Although the hare is bathed in sunlight, the colours are too much of a distraction and as a consequence the eye does not rest happily on the main subject, which is of course relatively small in the frame. In monochrome the hare stands out, the line of the path is a clear compositional element and most importantly for me, the light and contrast in the shot is there for all to enjoy.