Heat Wave Distractions

It has been very hot in the UK in the last few days. Enervating, draining heat  – it results in languid, lazy behaviours. The floor to ceiling doors are flung open, the large garden umbrella is deployed but whatever one does, the heat is inescapable. Even the light is harsh and the shadows dark,

Cue Camera, to capture the light and shade, and then retreat to the computer to explore possibilities. The first image was captured on the iPhone – simple shapes, lines and patterns from the patio furniture.

Next, the shadows thrown by the Breakfast Room doors  caught my attention, and the best way to capture these was to stand on the breakfast table – you can just seen the edge of the table and two of its legs at the bottom of the image, at the top is the shadow of the large outdoor umbrella (or parasol if you are a bit up-market).

Finally, with the window blinds lowered, an image of the shadows cast by the doors. Strands of Winter Jasmine hang down from the trellis outside and Wise Owl completes the picture in the bottom right corner. The contrast was raised very high in processing to create this final image – sometimes I enjoy the pleasure of pushing monochrome to the limits. The starkness of these images feels appropriate to harsh conditions when light is bright and the shadows deep……but they won’t be to everyone’s taste I am sure. Always good to hear your thoughts.

Click on any image to view an enlargement.

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About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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26 Responses to Heat Wave Distractions

  1. Second one is my favourite — recognisable, yet abstract and complex. Good choice of monochrome subjects!

  2. shoreacres says:

    I’m especially fond of the last image — perhaps because you were so successful in communicating heat in the first two, and the feeling of relative cool in the last is refreshing. The first two have quite a “Summer in the City” feel: urban, and hot, like an August New York rooftop.

    • LensScaper says:

      Ah yes – now that song takes me way back. These images were all about trying to convey emotion. Evoking the concept of ‘white hot’ and glaring light. The third one results in a reversal of tones – white timber frames becoming black shadows. It hadn’t occurred to me that that transposition had a ‘cool’ feel to it, although actually the temperature in the room was not much different from that outside. Today is much cooler and fresher – very welcome.

  3. paula graham says:

    yea, love every one of these photos…well seen. Glad normality prevailing this morning again…22 degrees pfft what a joy!!

    • LensScaper says:

      Glad you enjoyed them Paula, and thanks. Refreshingly cool today and we escaped a major thunderstorm, heard it rumbling away in the distance and just a brief shower of rain.

  4. oneowner says:

    You took good advantage of difficult lighting with these high contrast images, Andy. Nice work.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Ken. I snapped these really without much thought initially – it was the design, line and form that appealed. And then when I started processing, the ideas started to flow and the way forward become more obvious.

  5. They are to my tastes! Look out: I may wish for more such weather if it prompts such good photos, Andy. The high contrast works really well here. Your compositions are right on. Bravo!

    • LensScaper says:

      Thank you so much Linda. Today I am cool along with the weather – bliss! These were just musings when shot – just the play of light and shade and shape and form and the idea of how they would end up only started to form when I sat down in front of the computer, trying to escape the heat (without much success). Creativity asserts itself sometimes in unexpected ways.

  6. rabirius says:

    Brilliant.
    Amazing, how you worked with the shadows.

  7. bluebrightly says:

    You really made lemonade with lemons – not that the subject matter wasn’t photogenic, but I’m familiar with the way consecutive days of high heat can take all the energy out of you. Instead of giving in, you had fun and I love the results. I like the formalism – when mother nature thrusts changes you don’t like on you, try to assert control over something! And you did, very successfully.
    The first one is very satisfying; the second is wonderful for the way it makes one think, and plays with point of view. The last one is very puzzling – what’s up with that eye on the right edge? I think it would work better for me if the eye was more obvious, or not there at all.
    It’s so true that creativity asserts itself in unexpected ways – and isn’t it a pleasure to be on the receiving side of that?!

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks for your comments Lynn. My photography starts with the premise that few places are without photographic potential and that includes the house and can best be summed up in three words: ‘Where’s the picture?’
      On a number of occasions I’ve seen and captured images based on light and shade in the house and on the floor – for an example with a bit of comedy thrown in you might like to see ‘Four on the Floor'(https://lensscaper.wordpress.com/2014/06/20/four-on-the-floor/)
      It’s true the last of the three images is the odd one out. They ‘eye’ in the bottom right corner is the eye of a large china Owl. I thought about removing it but decided just to leave it in as a bit of a tease. What I do like about it is that the tones are reversed – the roller blinds are down in front of the doors (and windows to either side), all partially open and the door and window frames project dark shadows onto the fabric. The image looked like rubbish at first glance, but a series of steps to really ramp up the contrast together with a bit of posterisation got me to the final image. A bit of fun really, nothing more.

  8. Sue says:

    I, for one like your stark images, Andy!

  9. I read this on my phone earlier but couldn’t comment. These are excellent images. I love the graphic nature and the way you have used the strong light. The angle of the composition in the second image is very creative and I like the way you have maintained the symmetry. A really big thank you for posting these. It took my mind of the heat and broken aircon in my car.

  10. Heide says:

    I *love* your shot of the breakfast room, Andy! The geometric shapes and textures are intriguing, and you’ve captured the quality of the light beautifully — it practically feels like it’s burning through the screen. Wonderful!

  11. Lignum Draco says:

    I particularly like that second photo. I tried to work out what I was looking at before I read your description. It took a while. 🙂

  12. Excellent creative eye to see these scenes as potential photos. 🙂

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