At long last the Jet Stream has moved north allowing High Pressure to build over Western Europe including the UK. Finally, the rain has stopped and we have settled dry weather with blue skies and soaring temperatures – 20C yesterday in places. Spring is about to explode. We are happy!
We’ve been away for the weekend. But the day before, I went on my first walk for some time in Campbell Park. The ground in the park undulates and with the sun behind me I reached a point where the land in front fell away before rising again. I stared ahead and saw my shadow beside a tree – it was exactly as you see it in the first image.
There was no need to move, the image was complete. Except I looked a little wooden. So I tried a few poses, trying to operate a dSLR while doing so. Not easy, and if anyone was looking they must have wondered what the heck I was doing. Suffice it to say that I was useless at posing with the exception of the one that follows, where it appears I might have a rucsac on my back, or a spinal deformity (I don’t).
Finally back home I experimented with a B&W conversion. What do you think? Colour or B&W?
We were in London 2 days ago to see the huge exhibition of Paul Klee at Tate Modern. An astonishing and vast body of work from one of the giants and creative innovators of the twentieth century. Klee (Swiss-German) was a contemporary of Kandinsky and an artist closely associated with the Bauhaus movement where he taught and worked in the 1930s. What struck me most about this extraordinary exhibition was the diversity of Klee’s output, and not just longitudinally, but also within any single year. The exhibition has only a couple more days to run (closing on March 9) but if you are in the area and have an opportunity do not miss it.
As photographers, we draw inspiration from seeing the work of other artists. And certainly Klee inspired me. After a few weeks of being in a creative wilderness due to a lot else going on in life, I feel creativity returning
My wife and I parted company for a while after viewing Klee: she went off to the bookshops, I went in search of images.
The building now housing Tate Modern (said to be the most-visited modern art gallery in the world) used to be Bankside Power Station. At the heart of the building is a vast space – the Turbine Hall – that once housed the electricity generators. This space often houses specially commissioned installations but the space was empty when we visited. Instead people strolled – diminutive figures in the vastness.
I stood and watched them flow through the space, catching a few images, three of which you see here.
Click on any image to see a higher quality enlargement.
Which image do you prefer and why? Do make a comment.
Meanwhile, over on my sister blog iSighting. there’s a post about the potential problems of walking with non-photographers: maybe your partner, your family, your friends. How does that work for you? View the post, click the link: Photography is a good walk spoiled.
Tucked back from the Thames at Southbank, above ground on a walkway behind the QE Hall, you will find a classic work by Phlegm the well-known Sheffield Artist.
It’s not easy to photograph, because being above ground it is impossible to get a straight head-on shot, with tree foliage also getting in the way. I tried to shoot four images on my dSLR, looking up at the mural, but sadly I hadn’t taken my extreme wide-angle lens with me that day. If I had, it might have made things a little easier. As a result all the verticals were distorted and the images hadn’t really lined up either. I very quickly gave up on the idea of attempting to stitch them together. That was back last November. Then I thought a few days ago: nothing ventured, nothing gained. So I loaded them into Photoshop, clicked on Photomerge and waited. Bingo! What a surprise – Photoshop crunched the pixels and produced a stunning result. How does it manage that? Here is the resulting four image Panorama. Remember to click the image to see a higher quality enlargement.
Phlegm’s work won’t be to everyone’s taste – his work is highly distinctive – fantastical creatures and objects being the main ingredient. But like so many Graphic Artists his work is precise, brilliantly designed and expertly painted. You will find his work widely on view across the UK and overseas.
Below you will find three close-ups from the mural. Click on them to see enlargements.
If you are interested to know more about Phlegm, then here are some links for you to investigate:
For Phlegm’s blog – click here. Click here for a brief biopic and a link to view a sequence of images of a mural in the making. Click here to view an article in the Guardian Newspaper with a set of 12 images of Phlegm’s work from around the world. And finally click here to go to the Sheffield Street Art webpage featuring Phlegm’s latest art in Sheffield and for a set of further links.
The seasonal year is peppered with icons. We measure the progress of the year via these seasonal events. Snowdrops are one of the first blooms to flower, appearing often in mid February.
So far this year I have not photographed them, we have several clumps in our garden but for some reason, this year, they are very diminutive. The difficulty with these recurring seasonal flowers is this: how do you produce something that’s a little different?
The answer may be to use a different lens: go long for example. And this is what I did with the images you see today. All were shot (in previous years) with a 500mm Mirror Lens.
Click on any image to see a high quality enlargement.
Use a lens as long as this (film equiv of 750mm on a DX body) and you will get something different. Added to which a Mirror lens produces unusual donut-shaped Bokeh as a result of its optical configuration.
Want to know more? Then do take a look at one of my earlier post about Mirror Lenses with images. Or to view another post of previous mirror imaging click here.
There’s a superb new art work at Southbank. You’ll find it on the side wall behind the Mexican restaurant Wahaca. The colours are vibrant, the painting precise, the content fascinating and deftly interwoven.
It’s by Grems – a French graphic artist and musician. Real name Mickael Eveno. Even his signature is a mini work of art. Don’t miss it if you are down that way.
A lot of new art has appeared recently on Southbank including works by Roa and Phlegm. I posted an image of Roa’s work previously: Squirrels.
I will get round to posting Phlegm’s work in the next week or two.
There’s a saying: ‘I thought I saw light at the end of the tunnel. But it was just my boss with more work and a torch’. Life’s a bit like that at the moment.
I am moonlighting as a Painter, Decorator, Handy Man etc for my son who has bought a flat in London that needs a rather more radical re-decoration than was first realised. The more work we do, the more we find to do. I think we have just about bottomed out the stripping of walls, ceilings etc, and the ripping out of skirting boards. Now the prepping of walls prior to painting is under way. So every day I’ve gone to work, I’ve been thinking: this is about as bad as it gets, and then something more is found to work on.
As a result of all this, my interaction with all of you has suffered somewhat. Apologies for that – normal service will be resumed soon.
Meanwhile I live in hope – for that big orange light at the end of the tunnel to turn out to be something warm and welcoming. Spring would do just fine.
And a word of caution to those with growing children: as they grow up the issues we may be asked to help with don’t just go away – they have a habit of becoming bigger and more expensive. But we love them just the same. Just thought you might like to know that! Or maybe not!
Light changes everything, even the most mundane and ordinary of scenes. This is the entrance to the escalators down to the Debenhams department store from the multi-storey carpark in Central Milton Keynes.
It’s an entrance that I have used countless times and thought nothing of it. But on this particular day there was something very attractive about the diffused lighting and criss-crossing lines. My wife had gone on ahead of me and I caught her in the image, far right. For me this is a very satisfying image and also the proof that, given the right combination of circumstances, there are images to be found anywhere you go. Carry that camera and make use of it. You won’t regret that decision. Read more about that building block of creative photography in FaCT, a recent post over on my other Blog ‘iSighting’.
Click on the image to see a higher quality enlargement.