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In the Making

A journey in creativity

Month

October 2014

Hot off the press!

calendar

Hot off the press! The adur Art Collective 2015 calendar, ‘Shoreham-by-Sea – a different point of view’ has just been published. I’m really pleased to have one of my images included.

At only £10 it would make the perfect over-sized stocking filler! If you’d like a copy, pop along to the Shoreham Farmers’ market on 8 November or contact me by leaving a comment on the blog or e-mailing me at info[at]lizouthwaitephotography.co.uk.

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52 postcards – week 41, Fork and asphalt

52 postcards - week 41, Fork and asphalt

Keep it simple, was my mantra for week 41. Unlike most weeks, when I haven’t had any fixed ideas for style or subject, I knew I wanted to make a simple, minimalist image following Miksang principles. I also put another constraint on myself, time. I gave myself a lunchtime in Shoreham to find something. Being restricted to style, time and place really made me concentrate and more importantly look.

As I wandered around the town I looked for simple shapes, clean lines, contrasting colours. When you set out to find something simple, all you can find is clutter and busyness. But simplicity can be found if you really look up, down and around. Had I not been looking, I would have walked past or even on this wet and broken plastic fork on cracked green asphalt.

Week 41’s recipient is once again Juliette Wiles. Juliette introduced me to Miksang Contemplative Photography when we met on a photography workshop in 2012. You can see Juliette’s work on her website.

52 postcards – week 40, West Pier impression

52 postcards - week 40, West Pier impression

I’ve been reviewing the images I’ve made so far for this project. I wanted to see if there are any recurring themes or styles emerging. I think I’ve found one – deliberate blurring to create an impression of a scene. I started this technique last year with some impressions of the Toll Bridge in Shoreham-by-Sea and have gone on to develop and refine it.

I’ve used this technique several times for 52 postcards. From experience, the most successful images have been of a recognisable structure or landmark. As I was in Brighton and searching for an image I thought I’d try the technique on the iconic West Pier. The light was bright and harsh, so I knew that the resulting image would high key as well as blurred. The blurring isn’t as pronounced as in some of my other images, but enough to be impressionistic; the high key makes the outline of the ruin of the pier to stand out against the sky and sea.

Photographs don’t have to be tack sharp and realistic. All these images came about by not being afraid to play and experiment.

Week 40’s postcard recipient is Isabelle Boutriau. Isabelle has recently returned from the Kyrgyz region of China and has made some stunning images, which you see over at her Flickr stream.

52 postcards – the story so far

Weeks 1 – 40 in just over four minutes.

52 postcards – week 39, A postcard from Nymans

52 postcards - week 39, A postcard from Nymans

Every Monday is a clean slate for this project. I don’t know or plan what images I’m going to make or which one I’ll select. One thing I do though is always have a camera with me, as I never know what image making opportunities may turn up.

During week 39, I made an unplanned visit to the National Trust’s property, Nymans, in Handcross, West Sussex. Typical of many National Trust properties, it comprises a house, garden and farmed estate. The views of rolling Sussex countryside are beautiful and the gardens immaculate. What makes Nymans different though, is that much of the house is a ruin. (The house was badly damaged by fire in the late 1940s.) For me, the ruin is far more interesting, than a perfectly preserved house and home. Without the trappings of being furnished, it’s possible to focus on the small details of the fabric of the building that remain. These are often overlooked, but functional and beautifully crafted. A handle on a wooden gate, a tiny drinking fountain, a waterspout with decorative lion’s head, decoration pressed into lead piping and planters.

At the start of my visit, I had a preconception of what images I might make. I had envisaged something to do with the gardens; flowers, foliage, autumn colours perhaps. I’d even brought a tripod with me. What I hadn’t expected was to have become captivated by the care and attention to detail that had gone into making functional objects beautiful. These resonated with me far more than any lavishly furnished stately home. With the house stripped back to its walls, details come to the fore, revealing the history of the property’s design and the craftspeople that created it.

Week 39’s recipient is Sonia Hunt. Sonia is a talented photographer, specialising in garden landscapes. You can see more of her work on her website.

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