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In the Making

A journey in creativity

Month

August 2014

52 postcards – week 32, Umbilifer

52 postcards - week 32, Umbilifer

Finding details is one of the things I look out for when I’m making images. It can be detail within a larger landscape or closing in on an object. I also like to try different techniques will making images. Week 32 combines both of these – looking for detail (this time in nature) and taking the image by holding the camera under the object and firing the shutter. This technique is very hit and miss but checking the composition on the screen after each shot means the position of the camera can be refined and focussing point selected.

When I found some umbilifer seed heads while walking along the River Adur, I knew that they would make a good detail image. Composing the image conventionally, with my eye to the viewfinder, didn’t work. I then tried the ‘looking up’ technique and the composition was much more pleasing. I also knew that I wanted to convert the image to black and white, making the structure and detail of the seed head stand out against the bright sky.

Week 32’s recipient is Inge van Leipsig. Inge is one of the members of a postcard exchange I’ve been part of this year. She particularly enjoys pinhole and film photography and you can see some of her images here.

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52 postcards – week 31, Pride abstracted

52 postcards - week 31, Pride abstracted

A couple of weeks ago, I went to the annual Brighton Pride parade. Pride is a wonderful, joyful celebration of people being free to be who they are and proud of it. I love the fun, vibrancy and inclusiveness of it. While I was watching, I wanted to capture some essence of the parade. I made some images, but I wasn’t happy with them; they were more record shots rather than capturing something different.

I wandered down to the promenade. Rainbow flags and banners were everywhere. Still seeking something a little different, I spotted one of the large banners was reflected in a giant glitter ball on the promenade. In post-processing I cropped in quite heavily to avoid any distractions and make the abstracted rainbow the main subject.

This week’s recipient is Nic Willett. I met Nic while I was working at my former employers. Like me, Nic likes to create; her medium is jewellery. As yet, she doesn’t have a website, but when she does I’ll post a link here.

52 postcards – week 30, One quiet morning

52 postcards - week 30, One quiet morning

From its source in the Cotswolds to its estuarine mouth dissecting Essex and Kent, the River Thames meanders through over 350 km (210 miles) of the heart of southern England. It is one of the iconic features of the British landscape. And because of this, I feel I should be more familiar with it. But I’m not; I probably know no more than 15 km (just under 10 miles) of its most familiar stretch through London. Last weekend I had the opportunity to explore another tiny fragment in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex near where the Thames finally merges with the North Sea.

Wandering through the narrow streets of the old town and along the sea wall path, I was immediately struck how familiar much of it felt to me, even though I’d never visited before. The saltmarsh, mudflats, fishing huts and big skies reminded me of many parts of the north Norfolk coast, the part of the country where I grew up. This type of wild coast has always appealed to me. Its understated, expansive, wild and a haven for wildlife. I walked along the seawall towards Southend, as the tide was coming in. The rising water embracing the moored yachts and freeing them from the estuarine mud. Further out into the deep channel a merchant ship made its way up stream. Despite the busy pedestrian to-ing and fro-ing along the sea wall, I felt an immense sense of quiet and calm as I looked out. Rivers and the sea, do that for me.

Week 30’s recipient is Susan Cross. Susan is one of the UK’s leading interpretation practitioners and I was lucky enough to work with her for several years. You can find out more about Susan and her work at her website, Telltale.

52 postcards – week 29, Bleached beach

52 postcards - week 29, Bleached beach

The heat wave in the south of England is now into its second week. Hot and humid days, followed by sleepless, hot and humid nights, with the occasional spectacular thunderstorm thrown in to liven things up. Living just a short walk from the beach means the chance to cool off a little in the gentle sea breezes.

To catch the sea breeze I wandered down to the beach just before mid-day last Sunday. The sun was intense and the sea was acting like a giant reflector, making it even brighter. I wasn’t alone, as families were setting up for a day by the sea. For some time, I’ve had an image in mind; high key with beach users almost in silhouette. The conditions I found were almost perfect for the image I wanted to make. In post-processing, I increased the exposure by a stop and then ran the image through a filter in Nik Analog Efex Pro 2 to give a film look to the finished image.

Week 29’s recipient is Rafael Perez. Rafael, who lives in Oregon, was drawn as my July postcard exchange partner. It’s been great fun and rewarding give and receive these tiny works of art. You can see some of Rafael’s older photographic work at his website here.

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