alan frost photography

in monochrome with occasional colour lapses

Posts tagged ‘winter’

A return to my favourite genre…..and it’s close to my back door.

It’s been a number of months since I posted an entry on this blog. Five months to be precise, which is a long time. I could bore you with a variety of reasons for my absence but that’s not really something I think you want to read about. (I have kept fit and well though and for that I am most grateful).

Instead I would prefer to share with you a selection of images all taken since the turn of the year. Pictures of my favourite genre, the landscape of the English countryside. Open countryside, farmland and woodland scenes.

I consider myself to be very fortunate. I love and I am inspired to photograph the beauty that is on my doorstep, which is just as well as we are living day to day through another Lockdown. This severely limits all travel except for essential reasons, and to take exercise in your local area. In fact the guidance is clear, do not leave home unless absolutely necessary.

I inted this to be the first in a series of images and blog posts. As I process and share these photographs with you I can feel a degree of excitement at the prospect of building a body of work which is harmonious in character, style and subject. I am sure it will evolve over time but as the seasons change I shall allow that to happen. Most of all I want to capture how I see the English countryside, and in particular record the raw beauty of rural scenes close to my back door.

Wherever you happen to be, stay well and keep safe.

Winter is coming…..

It may seem a little odd to be posting this image when here in the UK we are still enjoying the long warm days of summer.

This dull, misty scene of bare skeletal trees in winter reminds me of what lies in store. From a photographic point of view, autumn and winter have much to offer and the months between October and March are arguably my favoured time of year to be out and about with a camera.

I shall make the most of the summer but I am looking forward to the seasons changing and the impact they have on our rich and varied landscape.

Dorset in the snow

Snow3

The number of times we experience snow in southern England are relatively rare, although we have had two quite significant falls in the past few weeks. What perhaps is more unusual, is for me to be in the right place and have the time to make some photographs of a ‘white’ landscape which is so well suited to monochrome.

In the past few days we have had the ‘Mini Beast from the East’, a lesser version of ‘The Beast from the East’ which took place at the turn of the month. I have read this morning that ‘The Beast from the East 3’ is being forecast for Easter. I am not a great fan of this naming of weather events, but the media machine clearly benefits.

Snow1

Yesterday I was in Dorset and virtually all the roads were passable with care. I only had to turn round once where drifting snow had blocked the way ahead. I was fortunate to have good cloud cover as well. I was pleased the sun didn’t shine, as this would only have increased contrast and made setting the correct exposure even more challenging.

Snow2

I thoroughly enjoyed a cold but photographically productive few hours finding suitable locations and compositions.

Snow4

The snow simplifies the landscape. Shapes, lines, form and texture come to the fore. The snow helps to emphasise all these ingredients which are always important to a black and white photographer.

Do click on any of the images to view a larger version.

‘Lost Glove’ – photo titles or even some Haiku perhaps?

dew on hand of wool
posts and wire in mist belong
cold fingers missing

I don’t know what you think but when it comes to giving a photograph a title it can be something of a struggle. At best a title can enhance the image; at worst it can be bland and add nothing at all. Some are purely factual which can at least inform the viewer, but these lack any artistic merit. I have even read a few titles and to be perfectly frank they were a distraction and it would have been much better to have let the image stand on it’s own two feet. There are of course occasions when the photographer feels the need not just to give the photograph a title but also a very lengthy description, which somehow almost becomes more important than the image itself.

All of this got me thinking, particularly as I have almost certainly been guilty of poor and uninspiring titles, overlong descriptions, the list goes on…….

I can’t profess to be a great lover of poetry but I do see a definite connection between the art of photography and writing poems as a creative art. What if the two were combined? Well it’s hardly the most original idea but I thought I would give it a try. 

One of the simplest forms of poetry is Haiku, a Japanese poem of just seventeen syllables on three lines – five on the the first line, seven on the second and five on the last line. Traditionally the poem evokes images of the natural world. There is no requirement for rhyme and whilst the number of syllables on each line has changed over time I thought I would stick with the original guidelines. I like the minimalist approach and the strict parameters prevent verbosity – something I could be accused of in this post!!

So below the photograph is my very first attempt at a Haiku verse combined with one of my ‘Chichester Harbour’ project images. ‘Lost glove’ is an apt, albeit unimaginative title, but I think the verse adds a little something extra. Masters of this form of poetry would probably mock the result, but I enjoyed linking words to an image. Will it be something I will use again? I can’t answer that but I’m pleased to have had a go. Your thoughts as always would be most welcome on both the image and the words!