Sunday, 29 April 2012

Freshwater Bay ~ Isle Of Wight

Sometimes I can't quite make up my mind about which I prefer -Colour or B&W. I am a self confessed lover of the ol' B&W as it really does float my boat. I cut my teeth in a darkroom printing out shed loads of 10x8" B&W's and the majority of my work to this is indeed, B&W.

But I'm a strong believer in the fact that some things work better than others. In this case, I like 'em both. Which do I prefer? That would be telling.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

The Witchy Village ~ Burley

This chap was taking shelter from a sudden downpour in the tiny village of Burley in Hampshire. 

Witches, smuggling and dragons are also part of Burley's unique character. During the late 1950's a famous 'White' witch named Sybil Leek lived here. She was often seen walking around the village in a long, black cloak with her pet jackdaw resting on her shoulder. Unfortunately, because her attire fitted the image of a wicked 'black' witch, the locals were upset by her presence and she decided to live in America where she continued writing many books on the occult and astrology, including "Diary of a Witch". 

The place is full of little 'new age' gift shops and this one that had a thing for Betty Boop!

Monday, 23 April 2012

The Solitary Man ~ Winchester Cathedral

The Solitary Man is my 200th post! Since I started this blog I've had nearly 12,500 people drop by so, thank you all for doing so. It's much appreciated.

In the crypt of Winchester Cathedral is a statue by renowned British sculptor Antony Gormley. This mysterious life-size statue of a man contemplating the water held in his cupped hands is called Sound II ( no idea why), fashioned from lead out of a plaster cast of the artist’s own body. The Cathedral crypt floods during rainy months and this chap is literally up to his knees in water.
I was a bit disappointed that the crypt was bone dry when I went -considering this country is normally under about a foot of water at the best of times - AND it had been hammering down with rain on and off all week.
This was taken with the X10 set to EXR mode. It selected an aperture of F/2,5 and a shutter speed of 1/20 of a sec (hence the movement) with an ISO of 800.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

The Scribe ~ Winchester Cathedral

I know I said I wouldn't overly abuse the square crop format but I felt that it suited this picture from Winchester Cathedral perfectly. A simple 'grab' shot straight out of the Fuji X10 set on EXR the ISO set itself to 3200 and, I have to say, I'm pleased with the result from it. It could have been a bit sharper I know but, that said, I like the softness of it as it reminds me a bit of the results I used to get from film and I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing.

Having processed it I added a simple Quadtone action that I have to 'warm' it up a bit. It worked well as a B&W but I just preferred the brown look.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Going Home.....

I'm not, to be honest, a religious person as such. I really don't have too much truck with organised religion but I do consider myself to be a ''spiritual' person in that I try to lead a good, and decent life living by the maxim 'First, do no harm....' and I respect other's rights to their beliefs. 

I have to say though that I am oftentimes in awe of the structures raised to worship and none more so than Winchester Cathedral in Hampshire. The cathedral is one of the largest cathedrals in England, with the longest nave and greatest overall length of any Gothic cathedral in Europe.

Dedicated to the Holy Trinity, Saint Peter, Saint Paul, and Saint Swithun, it is the seat of the Bishop of Winchester and centre of the Diocese of Winchester. The cathedral is a Grade I listed cathedral.

A truly beautiful building.

Monday, 16 April 2012


When I saw this image I was struck by the low sunlight throwing its long shadows and picking out the textures in the wall. The 'tag' that you can see was particularly luminescent (silvery in colour) but I decide not to try to capture that particular sheen concentrating instead on the composition of the (yes, I know....) square format.

I thinks it works though!

Saturday, 14 April 2012

I Miss You.....

I originally published this picture elsewhere as a B&W. It was well received at the time but it wasn't, to be honest, how I envisioned the image to be at the time of taking it. This new version was much more like it but for some reason I processed it out as a B&W (with a hint of a tint) and posted it (Have a look below) . The crowd went wild!!!! 

And so, I left it as it stood but y'know, I think I prefer this second, colour version....

Friday, 13 April 2012

Julia Margaret Cameron

I've just returned from a short break which took me to the Isle of Wight and Dimbola Lodge, the home (now museum/exhibition/gallery/school) of the celebrated Victorian Photographer Julia Margaret Cameron (11 June 1815 – 26 January 1879),
Cameron's photographic career was short, spanning eleven years of her life (1864–1875). She took up photography at the relatively late age of 48, when she was given a camera as a present. Although her style was not widely appreciated in her own day, her work has had an impact on modern photographers, especially her closely cropped portraits.
I coudn't resist this shot of her bed with a copy of a newspaper of the day.

Thursday, 12 April 2012


Told you I'd use the square format again.......... OK, I'll try not to kick the arse out of it.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Sunrise Over The City

I didn't realise but the Fuji X10 has a square format (1:1) crop built right into it. Now, I went through a phase a while back of cropping my photos into a square format but always wanted to do it in camera as an exercise in discipline so when I discovered this particular little feature I just had to give it a spin.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to be doing more with the square format....

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Canary Wharf pano

A hand held shot in Panorama mode with the X10. Doesn't look too badly stitched to me....

Canary Wharf

Went walkabout in London's Canary Wharf yesterday. Canary Wharf is a major business district located in London, United Kingdom. It is one of London's two main financial centres – alongside the traditional City of London – and contains many of the UK's tallest buildings, including the second-tallest (and tallest completed), One Canada Square.

Canary Wharf is located in the West India Docks on the Isle of Dogs in the Borough of Tower Hamlets in East London. The West India Docks once formed part of the busiest port in the world.

After the docks were closed in 1980 the British Government adopted various policies to stimulate the redevelopment of the area, including through the creation of the London Docklands Development Corporation in 1981 and granting the Isle of Dogs Enterprise Zone status in 1982. In 1987 the Canadian company Olympia and York agreed to construct a major office development on the Isle of Dogs, with construction commencing in 1988.

Apart from the profusion of tall, glass buildings already in existence there it appears that building continues apace. Thank goodness there's no recession in the banking world. I was worried....

Friday, 6 April 2012

What's On....

Taken during a recent visit to the British Museum in London. This was one of those 'grab' type shots that just present themselves. I was originally photographing the guy nearest the statue as he was taking a photo of it. Then, as he stood up, the second chap came around from the rear of the statue. I walked forward, and saw in my head, the possible split in the frame and balance between the actual figures and the reflections in the sign.

Minimal processing required for this shot.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Don McCullin: Shaped By War

I was fortunate enough to catch the exhibition 'Shaped By War' by the noted war photographer Don McCullin yesterday. I grew up alongside his imagery in the national press and was always in awe of him in many respects. He went off to war zones armed only with a couple of Nikon F camera's and some rolls of film. Not much else in the way of protection - just bits of second-hand kit cobbled together from the marines he was with.

One of the most interesting exhibits is one of his old Nikon F camera's that took a bullet that was meant for his head. Remarkably, it continued to work (his camera.....and his head come to think about it, although I'm not so sure. He kept going back into war)!

McCullin's images were some of the most iconic war photographs ever taken and did much to bring attention to the plight of people in other countries who were caught up in (mainly) civil wars not of their choosing. He was one of the first to bring back images of the starving in Africa (Biafra).

Back then the papers were more willing to print hard hitting images of the suffering peoples but that all changed around in the 80's when the press got 'cold feet' and we now have much more sanitised and censored images in the press.

Did his images bring about change? Do any images from war photographers around the world change anything? Sadly not it would seem. War rages on, people die of hunger.

Sadly it would seem, Mr McCullin is himself a victim of the wars and violence he has witnessed since his childhood. In the film I saw he claims that he is 'not mad' despite what he has seen but it has clearly affected him. He now takes landscape photographs as a form of meditation because he loves the isolation and peace it brings to him. However, his landscapes are all very dark, very sombre and, to my mind at least, reflect a deeply wounded man.

If you're in London and anywhere near the Imperial War Museum, I urge you to go see this exhibition if you get the time.

all images copyright Don McCullin and their respective owners

P.S It should be noted that McCullin was so much more than a war photographer, producing some of the most interesting 'social' photographs of the sixties, seventies and on into the eighties; a fact all too often forgotten because of his reputation for war.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

The Tiger's head....

I spotted this scene painted on the left hand side of an entrance to a doorway. Struck me as being a bit of an odd place to do something like this. A shy graffiti artist. Don't get too many of them.