Sunday, 22 November 2015

Turner by the sea

Turner is one of my favourite artists; his eye for colour, his capturing of light, his obession with water. I look at his art and realise how much it has inspired a lot of my more abstract work. I look at his work and it speaks to me on a level deep in my soul.

I took the train down to Barry island today. The moon was nearly full and its light fell down on a distant, far out sea and in its glow the beach became luminous and beautiful. I wanted to capture that ghostly feeling, that feeling of the awe and subtle mystery found in nature that's so present in Turners work.

As I took photos I reveled in the oranges, blues, whites and yellows found in the pictures I was taking. I took pictures of the light reflected upon the sand, the moonlight reflected on the water and of the glowing multicolored neon lights of the nearby lights of the attractions there.

And as I took pictures I imagined what Turner must have felt like capturing pictures by the sea.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Creating abstract images: Is it still a photo anymore?

In the wake of the tragedy that has befallen Paris I would like to extend my well wishes and prayers to the people who live there and have been affected by this tragedy. I would also like to say that it's important to remember that the people who did this want to inspire hatred and violence in others from religious and non religious sides alike. To quote mr Lincoln "we are not enemies but friends, though passions may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection"

This week while editing my photography I was left with a condrum that I usually try to avoid; my photos looked better when the tonal levels were heavily altered in photoshop. Now this led to an interesting question that held up a mirror to my own work. If a photograph becomes too heavily altered through an effect is it still a photograph?

In our day and age it has become common place to take images and stitch one sky onto another foreground (often with some extra interesting features stitched in to enliven the picture). I've always had mixed feelings about this process, after all if you have to alter an image so completely to make it a great photo should you be spending more time improving your photographic technique? On the other hand to photoshop well requires skill, an artistic eye and serious technical expertise.

So it might be a little hypocritical to say that when I take an abstract photo, I normally justify in my head that the fact that I have captured it in camera (normally through utilising different shutter speeds), somehow stops it from feeling like cheating.

But this week when I was editing my work I really had to stop and think about the processes I was using and how that reflected on my own work. The photos I were editing were so far removed from their starting point, were they even the same images anymore?

At the end of the day I very much come down on the side of turning photography into art and while I'm having my cake and eating it by posting these pictures while writing a blog post about it I feel like anything that pushes the medium of photography is worth exploring. Are these images true photographs anymore? Maybe not, but are they art though? Most definitely and therefore worth showing to the world.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

A path up the mountains

The Skrrid (also know as the holy or sacred) mountain in the heart of South Wales really is an enchanting place to take an autumnal stroll. Filled as it is with leaves that are busy burning through all the autumn hues. The clouds that sweep across the sky before bursting spectacularly with rain.

There are many legends associated with this mountain and the huge chunk that has been carved out of it. Some say that a part of it broke off at the moment of Christ's crucifixion, other legends say that earth from mountain is sacred and has the power to make any land it touches fertile. On a more personal note the land here also has a special association for me, home as it is to both the people that I consider to be my extended family and as a neighbor to where we laid my stepdad to rest.

It was therefore a pleasure to take a pleasant Saturday to hike up to the top, taking photos as I went. The views were spectacular spanning the black mountain range and as I struggled at the top to take pictures while the wind tried to pitch me off the top I was filled with a real sense of accomplishment.

If you do decide to scale the Skirrid I would thoroughly recommend a trip to The Skirrid Mountain Inn, one of the oldest (reputedly most haunted) and welcoming pubs in Wales. I spent many a happy night there as a child enjoying the great food.

It really was a great day to take a trip up this historic mountain.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

The golden glow of autumn

Autumn has fully rolled in now and with it came mist and long golden nights. I took the opportunity to explore the streets of camera as it did so.

I hadn't tried my had at softening the focus of my pictures in a while but with the world outside covered in a layer of mist I decided it was the perfect chance to do so. I took the urban streets as my starting subject but slowly that changed as my route led me towards the rivers of Cardiff.

Railways, road, houses and power lines slowly gave way to trees, plants, reflections and water all shining in the gold of nearby street lamps. The world is heading towards autumn once again all shining in the gold glow of autumn.