alan frost photography

in monochrome with occasional colour lapses

Posts tagged ‘winter’

Dorset in the snow

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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.

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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.

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

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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!

It’s summer and I am not going to complain…..but…..

Tree in Winter’s mist

As I look out of the window and type these words, I can see a blue sky; the sun is shining; a gentle breeze moves through the trees and I know if I stepped outside I would be greeted by a pleasant temperature of about 20c. Not hot, but quite acceptable for the middle of August.

What’s not to like?

Well I don’t want to complain or come across as if I am wishing my life away, because neither of these statements are true. However at this time of year I do start to look forward to the autumn and indeed to the winter. These seasons suit my photographic style so much better. The days are shorter, the sun is much lower in the sky, the trees have lost their leaves and the weather has the potential to be so much more atmospheric.

This photograph – ‘Tree in Winter’s mist’ – is typical of the conditions I like. The sun has yet to penetrate the early morning mist, and the tree is bereft of its summer clothing, revealing its winter skeletal form. Nor did I have to get up at 4am to find the sun this low in the sky. A distinct advantage as far as I am concerned!

As I come to the end of this short entry, the sun is still shining outside and the garden looks as though there is work to be done. So out I venture with a trowel, shears and a garden fork. In a few weeks time I am more likely to be tempted to grab my bag, select a camera and a couple of lenses and see what the autumn season has in store. I can’t wait, but in the meantime I shall enjoy the rest of the summer and tidy the garden.

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Frost covered grasses

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Frost covered grasses

I often walk past this particular area and have never given it a second look, well certainly not with the intention of taking a photograph. However a change in weather when coupled with the right light, and a dull scene can be transformed.

This frame was taken last week, when a harsh frost covered the landscape and the low angle of the early morning sun made the grasses sparkle.

Do click on the image to view a larger and more detailed version.