Well it’s been a busy few weeks since my last post with all sorts of things happening. I’ll try and catch up with it all over the silly season holidays. Anyway here is a shot to kick it all off again. I’ve called this one ‘Redemption’ and I hope it’s clear why. The shot was taken a few weeks ago at an old unused church some friends told me about. The church itself is Saxon with a medieval altar and this shot was taken looking through a ‘squint’. That said I like the way the perspective is such that it looks almost like a walkway. In reality it was only a few feet high. I’ve got more shots from there but I’ll share them later.
On a different note – are you on the ‘New Myspace’? If so then why not let me know so we can connect over there. Oh and if you want to join up I still have a few invites left
I’m super pleased with how this shot came out. Last weekend I went with some friends to explore an old abandoned farmhouse and found this window in one of the old bedrooms upstairs. The glass from the window is long since gone and mother nature is in the process of reclaiming the building by climbing in through the window. Sunlight was also creeping in to the mainly darkened room. It was screaming out for a ghost shot.
Fortunately I had packed my long green velvet hooded coat and quickly bullied my friends into helping by firing off some fill in flash while I stood still for the long exposure (45 seconds if you’re interested). The resultant image was then converted to black and white on the computer and I’m delighted with the result. That place is most certainly on my ‘revisit’ list. Hmmm…. now I wonder what props I should take next time….
Catching Sunlight (Buy a print or greeting card)
The ‘Ghost Project’ is taking on a life of it’s own and I think it’s far enough along to start sharing more of it with you all. There have been a few posts already but to be honest I’ve not shared most of it. This is a recent one taken last week on an Urbex trip with some friends. I love how 3 photographers can visit the same place but come away with such different shots. I made a video of the shoot which you can watch here.
Once again this is a self portrait and it was a complete so-and-so to take. This old industrial installation has been abandoned for some time and posed some interesting lighting conditions. I liked the idea of the ghost being on the boundary between the bright world outside and the dark inside of the man made structure. So I positioned myself where part of the wall had fallen away beneath a window frame. The starburst in my hand was created using a crystal ball (there is a smaller star burst at the top of the ball if you look closely) and as usual the image was captured in colour before being converted to black and while. I’m fascinated by this idea of the ‘boundary’ and it seems to be featuring more and more in my thinking when it comes to this project. Expect to see more of these shots in the next few weeks.
Through to the light
A couple of months ago I was out wandering round the local town of Hadleigh in Suffolk with a friend. We had our cameras and were on the hunt for interesting things to shoot. Eventually we ended up down by the river and this bridge. I immediately wanted to get down into the water with my tripod – but since I was in regular shoes and didn’t have a tripod with me that wasn’t going to happen. So instead I hand held a set of 3 brackets and combined them afterwards.
Maybe at some point I’ll get to go back with my tripod and a willing victim, sorry model, to do a ghost shot under there.
The Spirit of the Tree Sleeps
I thought it was time to share another shot from my ghost project with you all. This one was probably the hardest to take as my friend Miss L and I were about 10 foot or so up an ancient oak tree. This fantastic tree is a couple of miles from where I live and I’ve wanted to shoot a ghost shot there for a while.
So in the dark of the night we both climbed the old oak and moved onto a large limb each. The images in this project are all created in a single exposure using either ambient light or firing a flashgun. For this particular shot my camera was positioned on it’s tripod but being up the tree I couldn’t see through the viewfinder. That made composition and focusing quite a challenge. The light was generated by clambering about in the tree with a flash gun. I guess I don’t need to worry about growing old while this is still my idea of a fun night out….
Do you ever come across a location you just have to photograph? Just can’t get it out of your head until you do? That happened to me with this shot. I spotted this wonderful scene while driving past but couldn’t stop as I was towing the caravan, but I did make a mental note to go back. So a couple of days later I got up really early and drove the 7 miles or so from where I was staying. In my mind it was always going to be a long exposure in black and white.
So I parked the car and wandered along looking for a way to get down to the waters edge. Eventually I found myself down wedged between the water lapping at my feet and a big rock hoping the drizzle wouldn’t get onto my lens. To be honest I felt pretty miserable sitting there waiting for the long exposure to take. I was cold, wet and the dogs kept setting the car alarm off in the distance. I’m pretty pleased with the result though.
Last weekend I went with my good friend Miss K to Henham Steam Rally in Suffolk. I’d never been before but she assured me that I’d have a great time, and she was right. Of course she also ended up with lots of embarrassing photos of me and it started to be a bit of a game coming up with inappropriate captions…..
My favourite bit however was the magnificent old carousel. Complete with organ playing oldies like ‘I do like to be beside the seaside’ and wooden horses straight out of a child’s nightmares. Not only did I want to take it’s photo, I also had to have a go. Perhaps I shouldn’t worry about becoming middle aged or growing old while I’m still getting so excited about something as simple as bobbing up and down on a wooden horse which is going round and round in circles. Either that or I’ve skipped middle age and gone straight into being senile!
Standing Against Time
Every now and then you visit a location that just blows you away. Last year I visited Rievaulx Abbey in Yorkshire for the first time and had exactly that reaction. I loved the place so much that I just had to go back this summer. That previous visit was also the turning point in deciding that I really ‘needed’ a wider angle lens. So this year I was hoping some shots I had been unable capture last year would be possible with my sparkly new 12-24mm on the 5D Canon. Now I should point out that when I’m in the North East my schedule very much revolves around my mother. She’s not in the best of health and disabled. I try to find things that we can both enjoy which very much limits me to where I can visit and also the times of day. I have a huge long list of locations to visit and photograph but they’re just not possible with my mother because of her mobility issues. Fortunately she didn’t take to much persuasion to make Rievaulx one of our trips, probably because she knew there was an excellent tea room on site.
When we arrived I got her settled and tried not to appear to impatient to be off playing with my camera. Soon enough though I was very happily wandering about with my tripod and a huge grin on my face. I love that you can clamber over the ruins and mooch about wherever you want.
When I die, if I go to some sort of photographic heaven, part of it will be Rievaulx.
Yay I’m back online, although just as I get that piece of technology working my mobile has to go off for repairs. Not having a lot of luck with kit at the moment am I?
Anyhow this was shot just before I went off on my travels. It was taken as a standard RAW file and then converted on the PC into a pseudo infrared image. I’ve always loved infrared shots and I’m so so happy that they appear to be gaining in popularity again. I’m even thinking of having one of my cameras converted, but then I think why bother when you can get such similar effects using the pc. I have a load more shots to process from this particular shoot but I love the feeling of nature reclaiming the world after the human race has left. Of course that is essentially what is happening at this abandoned site, we might not have had the apocalypse, but perhaps if we had there would be lots of places like this.
Last weekend I was out mucking about with the sea and my friend Mr P. Unfortunately the weather didn’t co-operate so instead of photographing a stunning sunrise we found ourselves sheltering beneath Clacton Pier. It was still wet (this pier drips much worse than a lot I’ve been beneath) but better than on the beach.
So as the dogs made it their mission to run a marathon up and down the beach, we set up for some long exposures. The conditions under there were pretty dire for photography in many ways, wet, very dark (making focusing difficult) but with points of extreme brightness and a creeping tide. I’m rather paranoid about tides coming in. I’m obsessed with a fear that I’ll get cut off by the tide while concentrating on a shot. In fact I worry about this so much I won’t even wear wellies normally, preferring to wear hiking shoes on the grounds that even I shouldn’t be able to ignore wet feet while looking through a lens.
One thing that always takes people by surprise is how pier pylons make waves bounce about and strange localised currents to form. I really wouldn’t want to be in that water believe me. In fact a couple of teenagers were killed while tomb stoning off this very pier a few years ago. That said I love the creeping misty effect you can get under there with a long exposure.
Regular readers will know normally I’m a bit of a Google+ girlie. I’ve used Facebook in the past but for various reasons my social media time disappeared and I ended up with just Google. However, I’ve decided I need to make a bit more of an effort and as a result I’ve got a shiny new Facebook account. Now as if that wasn’t enough I’ve also got a shiny new Facebook Page for Fantasia Photography, although that’s still being set up. Once it’s sorted I’ll post a link.
I’m still not sure exactly how this is all going to work out, but I’ve been assured by my friend Tom (self appointed sorter outer of my IT stuff) that it’s much easier to manage and link these accounts that you think. I’m not to sure about that but hey – I’ll give it all a go. You never know, I might just end up having fun with it all.
Meanwhile here is another ‘Stone Angel’ shot. This is part of a series that I’m working on which is really freaking out my friend Ann. Every time another image is finished she refuses to look at it – mumbling under her breath about Dr Who
After playing down the woods with my mobile last weekend I just couldn’t resist digging out my DSLR and heading back for a few shots…..
This is St Pauls Cathedral in London. The view from the front is well known around the world and it’s one of London’s most famous landmarks with many books written about it’s history. I love the architecture of old Cathedrals but St Pauls doesn’t really fit into the Norman or Gothic styles you normally find around England being much younger. However I still wanted to visit to photograph it. Unfortunately I was politely informed that photography was no longer allowed inside. Perhaps if I’d been trying to sneak a mobile phone or a compact in I’d have stood a chance but no way with a tripod! There were no limitations on the outside though and while the most recognisable shots are from the front I knew there were other viewpoints. I had to wait quite a while to get a shot without loads of tourists in but I think it was worth the wait. Eerie for me is practically always black and white and that was the feel I was going for in this shot. I even used an unsuspecting tourist to create a ghost – can you spot her?
I’d been itching to visit for a ground shot ever since I photographed the landmark from almost 400ft up giving rise to the image below. I shall have to plan and plot my next foray now hehe…
Both of these shots are available to buy as prints. Just click on the image…
Earlier this week the north of England and Scotland was hit by a sting in the tail from the departing winter. Snow, hail, high winds, the whole lot battered the country. Being right on the coast we usually escape the worst of the weather snow wise although I did have to fight my way through a blizzard into the shops. One thing that high winds, from the right direction, can do it whip up the sea. So when I was able to get a couple of hours to myself I headed down to Seaham Harbour.
For obvious reasons I wasn’t allowed out onto the pier, but to be honest even I’m not that daft just to get a photo. I was able to get down onto the sand between the inner and outer harbour walls which is where this shot was taken. The workers from the marina currently being built did point out that they wouldn’t be coming to my rescue if I got into trouble. I don’t really blame them as the wind was howling and truly bitter, for the first time ever I was genuinely worried that my tripod might get blown away. Sea Spray was everywhere and I spent as much time trying to clean my lenses as actually taking shots. I don’t know what it is about harbours, piers and lighthouses, but I can’t get enough of photographing them.
Well after much pondering on the subject I came to the conclusion that it was best to split my existing blog into two. One for the crafting which will stay on the old site and start a new one for my photography. What better way to get the ball rolling than to post a photo of my pretty little girl Pebbles.
This was take recently on a horribly over cast day early in the morning just after dawn. The dogs love going for early morning shoots at this beach as they can run about and enjoy themselves. We were down at the base of the sea defences but despite the splashes of water it was only an inch or so deep. So myself and dogs were in no danger. Of course it’s hard to tell that from this shot so it looks a lot more dramatic than it really was.
I’m aiming to update this new site regularly and get it all nicely linked into my portfolio over on smugmug. The wonderful people there are busy setting up printing facilities here in Europe. I’ve been considering offering certain images for sale as prints through them for a while but was always put off by the labs being in the USA. Now that there will be a European one on board I feel the time is right to go ahead and set this all up. I’ll keep you updated but image it should be all up and running by early April.