I live about a mile and a half away from the nearest tram stop. It’s a long, straight road, with houses packing both sides. In fact it’s a pretty dull road all in all. And long. Walking it takes about 1/2 an hour. Did I mention that it’s straight? And Dull?

So following a successful Christmas shopping trip, I decided to walk home from that tram stop. The whole way, in the rain. To be fair, it wasn’t pouring down, but my coat wasn’t waterproof, I had no umbrella or hood. Of course I DID have my camera with me, so I set out to document my walk home. It was a little harder than I expected (mainly due the lack of anything but houses and pavement), but I think I did ok.

I tried hard to get the image I wanted in camera, and this time I feel like I got it bang on. So every image is straight out of camera, and the only thing Lightroom did, is organize and resize.

If you fancy a gander at the 9 chosen images, click the pic below. If you have something better/else to do that’s fine too.

Have a superb Christmas, and an awesome week.

_DSF9454

Advertisements

After dark.

I had an hour to kill recently in Sale, so of course I took along my camera. By the time I was free to kill my hour, the light was starting to fade, and by the time my hour finished there wasn’t much light left at all. As the light faded more and more, I was reminded that Black and White photography is not just about the greys, and the tonal ranges, and patterns and textures, but it is also about Blacks and Whites.
By which I mean we mustn’t be afraid to let the blacks go black, for the shadows to be too dark to contain any detail, and for the highlights to blow out, leaving nothing but pure white. It adds a sense of drama, which is usually a good thing, especially in black and white.

It’s hard to find much to blow out the highlights at twilight, so I decided to let the shadows block up instead. It makes it look later and darker than it really was (who says the camera never lies?) but I don’t think it’s to the detriment of the images.

It may not be very clear cut, but I’ve decided that this is going to sit in Documentary. It tells the story of the light drawing in and the little town of Sale entering the evening. It may be strictly more photo essay than documentary, but I’m pretty sure the line between the two is blurred anyway.

You know what to do with the image below….

_DSF8930

London Calling

We spent a few days in London during the summer. Largely to show Small Child the sights, but also for the grown ups to catch up with some friends. Due to the animosity between Wife and Camera, I took the decision to take just one lens, as I knew stopping to change lenses was not going to be an option! My heart said the XF-56, but my head said the XF-27.

I knew the 27 would be the more flexible and versatile lens, and as I also had to take some holiday snapshot type pictures, it was no contest. This was after all a family holiday, and not a photo expedition!

So my challenge was to take pictures that were not only a record of our family holiday, but that I was happy with. I can’t say I did very well with the second part of that,but I’m happy with the first. And of course it’s important for me to remember that sometimes I don’t always have to take pictures that I like from point of view of a photographer. Sometimes I just have to take pictures I am happy with as a husband and father.

Documentary? Well they document our trip to London. You may not care for them, and they may not evoke any emotion in you, but for me, (and as the photographer I claim the right to choose the category), they are a lasting memory, and that’s the most important part. And it also asks questions about what is documentary photography. After all, if holiday snapshots can be documentary photography, then what else can?

Click on the image below to see my holiday pictures…

_DSF3226

Once upon a time

Every photo tells a story. It can be of an event, or a time. Imagined or real. It may be a single image, or it may be a series of images.

Sometimes though, an individual image can only tell part of the story, or indeed taken on it’s own, the story may be misinterpreted. We may view the image of the bloodied young man as an image suggesting violence and hooliganism. But when we see the image of him carrying the injured child from the car accident, we see a different side. A single image can bring out the prejudice in the best of us, and it is often used in the media to manipulate us, and to make us see what we are told.

I’ve put together 3 sets of stories, told in 3 pictures. Each image can tell it’s own story, but viewed together, and in sequence, they may tell a different story. As with all images however, it is what the viewer see’s that will determine the story… maybe you will see the story I intended, maybe you will see a completely different story. Have I failed if the story you see is not my story? Or have I succeeded so long as you see a story, any story?

My 100 strangers project is now well under way, and I shall start posting images soon.

As always, click on the image below to see the gallery…

_DSF8677

GAS and Canals

Canals and waterways are a long term project of mine, so you will probably see more posts with Canals in them as time goes on. Usually when I go out specifically to make some pictures, I use manual focus. This time though, was different. I have shiny new Fujifilm X-T1 and I have to decide if I like it enough to keep it and sell the X-Pro1.  So I put the XF-56 on the new camera, and set off for 40 minutes of picture taking, while waiting for Wife to finish work.

So the images are all SOOC as I’ve had a busy weekend. Too busy to mess with the RAW files, which are much better than the jpegs. I also didn’t have the camera set up the way I like it, so if I was to set out to take the same pictures tomorrow, they’d turn out differently.

I doubt any of them are good enough to make it into the project, so I can’t label them that, and frankly the only thing they document of my over enthusiasm to start using my new toy. I’m looking forward to finding some time for a slower, manual focus outing, but for now these will have to do.

Thanks for reading, and click on the image below for the full gallery.

_DSF7948

Is it right…

When Wife and I took a visit to the Tatton Park flower show, I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to challenge myself. How to photograph a subject which is all about colour, in black and white?

It really is quite a challenge, but I think I did an ok job. I think the trick is to realise that most flower pictures depend on the colour to separate the various elements of the image. Converting a colour image to black and white can leave an image which is to busy,and simply looks messy.

I have tried to keep this in mind both during shooting, and selecting my final images. Some of these do actually work better in colour, but I think they all work well enough in black and white. In fact you could simply argue that the colour images are not better,but different. They have impact for another reason. and that is what I like about black and white photography.

Are they Documentary? No, not these. Again, there is no story, no coherence. They can be viewed individually, or in any order and nothing changes.

As always, click the image below, for the full gallery.

_DSF2867

Why Black and White?

Why Black and White? What is the attraction?
I shoot mainly, but not exclusively in black and white. I also shoot RAW +JPEG, so will always have a colour version anyway.

Aside from all the usual reasons (timeless look, no colour distractions, blah blah blah) I have also have 2 others of my own.

I like B&W, I like the tonal ranges, the way we can make pictures of patterns and textures. And I would like to become good at it, so it’s what I focus (no pun intended) on. By choosing to concentrate on black and white, I hope to improve in a way that I don’t think I could otherwise.

The other big draw for me, is that I started my photography journey shooting black and white film, and continued to shoot B&W film right to the very last thing I did before turning to digital. I always liked the ability to develop and print myself, retaining full control over the process. So there is undoubtedly a little nostalgia in there also.

Whatever you shoot, film or digital, colour, black and white or both, have a splendid week.

_DSF5921