Friday, 22 February 2013

Pic of the Week 22.2.13

Holy wowsers!!! Here is another "Pic of the Week" post. On time!
Oooooo la la!

Another one from my archives.

This was shot whilst on holiday at the in-laws over in France last year.

I suspect the white washing is to diffuse the strong sunlight? Anyone?

Friday, 15 February 2013

Pic of the Week 15.2.13

Well I tried this once before, back when I first started the blog.
I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do with the blog back then, or what I was going to be posting (and to be honest I still don't, but it seems to be working and you all seem to enjoy it. I hope?) so I thought that a "pic of the week" was a good way to get the ball rolling.
Well, then I ended up getting bogged down in work, and also struggling to find shots that I wanted to post without feeling that I was showing you all something half baked. Or to the other extreme of having a lovely shot to post but at the same time wanting to keep it unpublished as it was part of an ongoing project.
If I learnt anything from a decade of music writing, producing and performing, it was that if you don't let someone hear it sooner rather than later and hang on to it for too long with the aim of creating a master plan project, you will reach a point when you won't want them to hear it at all. And then sadly, some of your greatest works may go unloved and unappreciated.

So let's not do that with the photography then.

I'm still learning, and always will be. My tastes and styles may change along the way and that, for me, is what it is all about. But if that is to happen then I need to show my current work whilst it is still current to me. So I am re-starting the Pic of the Week post's.

These are not necessarily (although they may well be, who knows) supposed to be earth shattering master piece, Ansel Adams quality shots. But rather, work that I created for me  and that I, and hopefully some of you, enjoy.
A bit like the "album tracks" versus the "hit single"
You wouldn't find the masses dancing to an album track in the clubs. But then you wouldn't sit on a quiet night with a cold beer or smoke, deeply listening to a bunch of club hits.

It was whist digging through my hard drive, looking for images to add to the web site (It's HERE by the way if you have not already seen it) that I kept stumbling across photographs that I personally really love for one reason or another but had completely forgotten about. An easy thing to do in this day and age of digital vaults, full of lost information. So it is these images that I will be starting with, instead of hanging on to them in the hope of visualising the "project" that they were supposed to grow into or trying to find enough of a connection to bunch them together in a show.

And here I start with "The Olympian"

This was shot at Brands Hatch during the 2012 Paralympic cycle road racing.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Red lights

Right then, time for another post folks.

This week...... THE DARKROOM.

I just spent my weekend in the Double Negative Darkrooms learning how to wet print black and white photo's.

I have been waiting to learn how to print for a very long time now. Now film processing I can do, as my long suffering kitchen will gladly tell you but after that I have always had to head for the scanner.
You can get some very nice results from the scanner. Even more so if you happen to have a super expensive professional lab scanner. But you just don't get the depth and shadows that you do from real wet printing.


Saturday was spent learning how to process the film (yes I already knew how to do this but it was nice to do it in a dark room instead of a changing bag :) and then on to test strips and contact sheet printing.
From there it was onto the main printing and learning about filter grades and focusing the print. Then home for a little sleep and back on Sunday for a full day of printing, dodging and burning and anything else we fancied trying.

It was a great experience and if you have ever wanted to print your own photo's I highly recommend you do it. Seeing your image as it starts to appear in the developer is an amazing feeling. Then taking it back to the dark room and figuring out how you are going to tweak the print with extra exposure time, dodging parts and burning others. 10 seconds here, 3 there while dodging that little bit there and then wait for the results in the developer tray. Fun stuff.
It really dose make you think about the whole process allot more. And it is 100 times more satisfying when you end up with a print you are happy with than if you had done it in Photoshop.

Here are a few scans from the weekend and yes, that is another hawk photo.
(the scanner has darkened them a bit too much but hey)

This was on a roll of 120 that I shot in my Fuji 645 but sadly there had been a major light leak somewhere so the top half of the print is a bit washed out.

I really liked my son's pose in this shot and it was proving super easy to print. Too easy! I did another print after this one with the sky burned in but it revealed a water mark on the neg and I had to send it back to the wash. So this one will have to wait for another day.
This is my favourite print of the weekend, a crop from a 645 neg.
I shot this on Walthamstow marsh one sunny summers day with my kids (same day as the photo above actually). The hawk sat there for so long while I took the shots that I could not believe it. Until I realised that we had been standing over a dead mouse aka HIS LUNCH! and he was not looking to part with it.