Friday, 29 November 2013

Exhibition success

Solitary shell - looking towards Rum
Solitary Shell
Taken on the Isle of Eigg looking out towards the Isle of Rum on the West Coast of Scotland

My local camera club is currently staging it's annual open photography exhibition, which closes this coming Sunday. I entered a number of images some weeks ago and two of the eight I submitted are on display.

'Solitary Shell' - was given a Judges Award in the Members Section whilst 'Too Young to Smoke' was selected for the National Category. There are a number of these event staged around the country during the course of the year but as this was the first time I had entered a National Exhibition, I was very pleased to have had one of my photographs accepted.

Here is one of the images on display.

20131129-HCC exhibition.jpg

and finally here is the image which was accepted for the 'Open' section.

Too young to smoke
Too Young to Smoke
Taken at the Goodwood Revival Meeting in 2012

Saturday, 16 November 2013

100 miles along the South Downs Way and the 100th Blog Entry!

Firle Beacon
Firle Beacon, The South Downs

When I typed the words for my last entry 'Less is more' I realised two things. Firstly that it was time to conclude this series of entires about my walk along the South Downs Way and secondly that whatever the subject of the next entry, it would be the 100th post since I started this blog back in June 2012.

So it is rather fitting that this post should mark the conclusion of a 100 mile long distance walk alongside the fact that this is the 100th entry. When I started the walk I had a definite goal in sight. Quite simply to complete the walk in the planned period of time. The same cannot be said for this blog. What started as a whim, has turned into a regular and most enjoyable hobby. On average I post about five times a month, mainly at weekends, simply because this is when I can find the time to sit down, write the words and select the appropriate photographs having processed them beforehand.

This blog has proved to be a journal of my photography. The places or events I have been to and the images I have taken. Sometimes I will express my thoughts or write about the cameras, lenses and equipment I have used. But one thing is for sure - nothing is planned too far in advance. All the posts are a spontaneous reaction to an event, a particular photograph or series of images, or thoughts that have entered my mind which I have wanted to record and share with others - Sharing does of course assume that there are other readers, not just my wife and close family!

So back to the main reason for this 100th post. A photographic conclusion to a great experience. I shall never forget walking with my nephew Ian down the steep slope from Beachy Head and into Eastbourne, to be greeted by my family and his father. This varied selection of images were all taken on the walk and will always remind me of wonderful time enjoying the beauty of the South Downs.

Gates and posts
Gates and Posts

Gathering Storm (2).jpg
Gathering Storm. Near Birling Gap

Downland mist
Downland Mist. Near Cocking

Towards East Meon
Towards east Meon

Windswept tree
Windswept Tree. Near Ditchling Beacon

The Seven Sisters
The Seven Sisters. Looking west from above Birling Gap

The finishing post after 100 miles.
Ian on the right and me on the left.

The other entries about our walk along the South Downs Way are as follows:-

And so to the future - Another long distance walk perhaps? That I don't know, but I will be starting work on my 101st entry very soon.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Less is more when capturing the South Downs

Downland fence
Downland fence

It is hard to believe that two months have passed since I completed my walk along the South Downs Way and here I am still writing about the experience and the photographic lessons I learnt.

I guess that if you mention the South Downs to a bystander they will conjure up in their minds a wide expansive view of the Sussex Weald and Downland. Large vistas which are truly beautiful but incredibly difficult to capture in a photograph. It is perhaps one of the reasons so called 'holiday snaps' never quite do justice to the scene we witnessed. We are tempted to try and include everything we see in one photo and whilst it may be a good record of what we saw, it often fails as a photograph. It might lack a good composition, any form of focal point to draw the eye, be poorly lit or quite simply not truly capture the feelings that the photographer felt at the time.

I can't deny that some of the images I took fell into the 'large vista' category but I was also mindful to look closer and try and simplify the landscape through careful composition, concentrating on just two or three key elements and in so doing try and capture the essence of the South Downs and not just the grand view.

So this entry includes a selection of images all taken from the South Downs Way, where less is hopefully more.

Field of curves
Field of curves

The straw bale
Straw bale

Lone cow
Lone cow

Downland field
Downland field

No shelter
No shelter

Dead tree
Dead tree

Gateway to the sky
Gateway to the sky

Twisted tree
Twisted Chanctonbury tree

Do these photographs capture something about the South Downs? 
Do they capture the feelings I experienced when I first saw and composed the image in the viewfinder? Do they do justice to the beauty of the area and its countryside? 

So many questions and of course I have my own answers and anyone viewing these images will have their own opinions. In the end they are the view I chose to take, my interpretation and my treatment. They give me pleasure and I hope others might just feel the same way.

Thank you for reading my 'blog' and do leave a comment if you have anything you would like to say.