A beautiful sunny Sunday, Art Basel, a small beer at the Volkshaus after Photo Basel…the perfect day! So… to recover from the slight disappointment of Photo Basel…camera set, lights, bokeh! A reposting but ah! the simple things you can do with a chair, some sun and shadows.
Yesterday was cold in London: frost on the top of cars and bright red mailboxes, commuters folded into their coats and thick scarves as they rushed to (delayed yet again) trains at Victoria Station. Only a few streets away from all of this frenetic movement, there is a little oasis of calm and reflection locked away behind a metal gate in Eccelston Square– a natural escape for the few to enjoy in a busy city. Walking past the gate, I was drawn to the contrast of straight angles and curved lines, the juxtaposition of forged iron and the natural forms of trees and leaves.
This shot also led me to think about the effect picture format has on the way we view images. Playing with the focal point of pictures – where is the eye of the viewer drawn? – as well as symmetry and form; lines, grids, and texture, I have been thinking about how a square photo format can enhance symmetry and draw the eye to the centre of the image.
Here are two versions of the same photo – one traditionally rectangular, the other using a square format. Which version is more effective? Which one do you prefer?
I “borrowed” (stole?) today’s title from a photo blog that continues to have an important influence on me, and has raised some great questions and topics which have impacted the way I am learning to visually think about photography. The blog is called In Flow by the talented Norwegian photographer Otto von Munchow. Highly reccommended for anyone involved in creative pursuits or who just wants to explore new ideas.
Flow…. in London, the flow and tides of the Thames defines the city; its post codes, neighbourhoods, history, even the way people pronounce and use words, are defined in part by the Thames and one’s location in relation to its flow. For an inland city, flowing water has a powerful hold on the city. There is a little square, across from Borough Market, between some office towers and within sight of Tower Bridge, which is cross-crossed by sunken troughs of flowing water. I took a shot there several years ago which I turned into a photo-etching, and now I have returned to take more photos with the hope of making prints from them sometime soon. Please let me know what you think and how to improve!
Overcoming obstacles is difficult and takes courage, overcoming one’s own insecurities (yes, we all have them, those “Am I good/talented/creative enough?” moments in life), requires a deep breath and some reckless daring….so I dared. I entered a big competition for the first time; the Magnum Photography Awards 2016. Will I win? Probably not BUT this particular competition gives feedback on the photos submitted….good learning and practice for the next moment of bravery. If anything, be inspired and use this as the first step and the encouragement for getting your own creative endevours “out there” somehow; enter a competition, create a new photo or art blog, curate a small exhibition at home and invite friends. All good practice and good fun!
Please have a look and please share…. https://www.lensculture.com/magnum-photography-awards-2016/event-submission/203218?utm_campaign=62-submit&utm_content=submit&utm_medium=social&utm_source=fb-social
One more from the secret gardener…..
Photography has a powerful influence in my life and thinking – it helps my confidence and self-esteem to grow, allows me to explore my thoughts and relationships to the places where I live and the people I know, and provokes me to challenge the conceptions and opinions I hold in new and bolder ways. My camera can be a mask, a magnifiying glass to society or a window on the the world.
Lately, with the sudden and unexpected loss of several very special people in my life, including my father, my camera has been a valuable tool for exploring my emotions and feelings in ways that words cannot. This capture happened quite by accident and I didn’t even notice it until I downloaded some old photos. It captures the way I am feeling lately. Each time I look at it, I can see myself as each of the ‘characters’; am I the one needing support and feeling alone or the one walking away, so lost in their own thoughts that they can’t notice someone else’s needs?
There is a lot of grainy ‘noise’ in this photo and I think that it is symbolic of the formless, grey ‘noise’ that can fill our thoughts and hearts in times of saddness and loss. It think I will keep it in this one.
….oh and by the way, it is a beautiful, sunny, warm day today – I think it is time to get out into the light now and find some happy things to capture this morning!
Now that I am in a “monochrome mood” (sounds like a great title for a song!) this evening, I thought I would add a few more monochrome moments that I am pleased about.
Time for the first Monochrome Madness of 2016! As always, I love Leanne Cole’s initiative to inspire and develop photographic creativity (http://leannecolephotography.com). I highly recommend Leanne’s blog as it is treasure trove of her own photographs, introductions to other amazing photographers, photo tips, as well as links to other excellent photo blogs.
Here is my MM entry for February. I find that every time I choose and process a photo to send in, I learn an incredible amount about my own photographic style, what makes (or doesn’t make – and there are a lot of those!!) a good monochrome shot, and the powerful moody effects that black and white tones can elicit in our imaginations.
I love Leanne‘s challenges and the positive and encouraging feedback which she ALWAYS gives! Her Monochrome Madness was the first public photographic forum that I had the courage to enter last year and now I am a huge fan! It is also great learning to see what other photographers are doing and how different people interpret express the same challenge in very different and creative ways.
It is really worthwhile to have a look. Why not? Give it a go and try one of your own photos!: http://leannecolephotography.com/2015/11/25/mm-2-34-monochrome-madness/
Here is the photo that I submitted – used on my post about Paris and very excited that it was included in this edition of Monochrome Madness.
Two more shots taken from the High Line with the iPhone 6, this time in monochrome…