Having moaned yesterday about the weather, this morning Edinburgh (or at least my part of it) was shrouded in a lovely heavy harr (or mist, for non-Edinburgh readers). I took just the digital camera and was on the beach at the bottom of the road well before 7:00. Look at the dense mist here – fabulous! I wasn’t sure whether to think these shoes were slightly disconcerting or not, given the discarded socks and Tshirt nearby…
Portobello beach, 25.5.12
Lovely to be outdoors again with a camera, and I promise I’ll not moan too much more about the weather for now… though as I write this, in the afternoon, it is sunny and warm once more…!
It is all just a bit depressing – I’ve been incredibly stressed for the last few months due to unreasonable pressures being put upon us (the academic staff in the university, I mean), and as a result I’ve been unable to make sufficient time for getting out into the landscape to make any photographs. But now that I might be able to get out once or twice in the next few days, the weather has turned and become really rubbish: all bright sunshine and warmth – ugh!
I know some people are glad to see some warmth and sunshine, but I do get bored of the supposed jollity we’re all supposed to be feeling as the temperatures rise – just let me engage in my mumping about the weather. After all, even if I do get out into the hills in the next day or two, it’ll probably be rubbish! 😉
What is there not to like about winter? I fell out of bed at 7:15 and was on the beach at the bottom of the road twenty minutes later – marvellous! In the summer, I’d have to be up at some horrific time to do the same thing (and the light isn’t so good…).
It was lovely to watch and photograph (sort of) the sunrise, seeing the light change and transform the shapes on the beach. I wasn’t too interested in the sun itself, of course, but the patterns of the beach and the water on black and white film will hopefully work.
I wasn’t the only one out there: apart from the perennial dog-walkers, two other folks with cameras and tripods were on the beach. Of course, I felt terribly superior: they had some new-fangled digital camera-thingy, whereas I was using my 60-year old Rolleiflex TLR… and now I’m off home to breakfast (whisper it: and to my digital camera for some family photos later on!).
Regarding the second image in my blog posting from earlier today, I here have a black and white version of the image. The crop is almost 3×2, which I felt didn’t work too well in the colour version, but oddly enough does seem to be ok here (I think): it has the advantage that it cuts out the stray out-of-focus grass in the bottom right corner, but has the disadvantage that the curve of the lake has almost completely gone. One of the other things that the conversion to black and white has enabled is the application (in Photoshop) of a colour filter that takes away the rich green from all the vegetation and leaves: this richness was a bit distracting compared to the tree as the main focus, and the relatively long exposure needed in the early morning light meant that the ever-so-gentle breeze moved them. That is almost imperceptible in the monochrome version, and makes it better, I think.
Interestingly, I realise I’ve just there argued a case for the monochrome version, which I had created at the same time as editing the colour one!
I have not posted any landscape images for a while. I’m aware that some of what I am doing in the landscape is changing and that has made me reluctant to put anything up. There will be more considered reflection on that another time, but here are a couple of new images that I identify as part of this process. Both were taken on Fuji Velvia 50 film using my medium format camera and the 150mm lens. Click on an image to see it a little larger (800 pixels across). Comments are most welcome, either below or by email – thanks.
A early morning view onto one of the lakes in Ratzeburg, Schleswig-Holstein, in northern Germany:
Ratzeburg Lake, summer 2011
This next image is from the same lake:
Ratzeburg, lakeside tree, summer 2011
I look forward to hearing what you think – thanks!
[Added later: following the comments from Rob Hudson below, I created another blog posting with a monochrome version of the second image.]
Tim Parkin from Great British Landscapes has been in touch and interviewed me for the magazine; this will be appearing shortly. In talking with him I realised that I had completely forgotten to upload images from the week in Dornoch last summer, when I spent much of the time photographing using just my prime lenses (in Nikon DX format, the 35mm f1.8 and 50mm f1.4). A fault with my film camera meant I couldn’t take that with me, so all the images that week were created digitally, on the Nikon D90.
As I note in the text on the gallery page, this marked an interesting point in my compositions. Click on the image here to see the gallery, or look down the list to the side.
I love the autumn – the clouds that fill the skies, and the soft gentle light that allows for a different kind of photograph to be taken from the harshness of summer light. So whereas other members of the family, and colleagues at work are sorry to see the summer days going and resent the autumnal weather and nights drawing in, like a little child I’m getting rather excited at the opportunities that lie before me with the soft diffused light that is the hallmark of this season. Of course, all the seasons offer something different, but autumn and spring are perhaps the two I prefer, at least in terms of light.
I’m planning a few short trips over the winter into the Scottish hills so that I can benefit from this light in a variety of landscapes, and am also intending to try a variety of film types (b/w print film in particular) as well as the usual digital images. So interesting times ahead…