Thursday, 11 December 2008

Camera Collections

My dad has recently moved house and has had a bit of a clear out. He kindly sorted out a box full of goodies for me - old cameras!

Kodak Brownie No.2 (1929-31) UK

Kodak Brownie Model 2 (1929-31 UK)

Kodak Brownie 127 (1952)

Kodak Brownie 127 (1952)


AgiFlash (1954)

AGI Flash (AGILUX) c.1954

And last but definatley not least, also my favourite...

The Zenit-B (1973)

Zenit B (1973) with Leningrad 4 Light Meter

I have got film fo them already and I can't wait to experement with them all!

I also managed to scrounge this from my old local...

Kodak Six-20 Model D (1953-57)
Kodak Brownie Six-20 Model D (1953-57)

Model Shoot: Amy Rhodes

Steph (one of my friends from Uni) has made a fashion magazine for her latest project. She had organised a photoshoot with a professional model that she knows as content for her magazine and kindly invited me along.

The model was Amy Rhodes and she has feature in the Canon 450D advert as well as campaigns for Schuh and numerous other well known companies.

It was really good to spend a day with a professional model as it gave me the opportunity to ask her about how other photographers work, poses, experiences as well as the kind of direction she would usually get from a photographer which I found really useful.

Steph was looking for photos on location as well as accessory shots for her magazine. So we used Eve's Hall Hotel as the first location for the genral fashion shots and then her home for the accessory shots.

It was a little tricky with lighting as we were restriced on time and wouldn't have been able to use studio flashes at the same time, so we opted for the continuous running modeling lamps which worked quite well.I am really pleased with the images alhough there were a couple of locations at Eve's Hall Hotel that I felt didn't work as well as we had thought they would.

Amy

Amy Amy

Collections: Evaluation

As I chose not to produce a book for this project, my evaluation is more free form than in response to the questions posted online.

To begin with, I really wasn’t looking forward to this project and I was quite confused about what we actually had to produce when it was first presented. I know that I want to focus on photography for the remainder of the course and having made a book over the summer, I wasn’t too keen on producing yet another one. Instead, I chose to produce a collection of photographs of waterfalls in the Yorkshire Dales.

I felt that majority of my research was fairly standard for landscape photography. I investigated locations asking neighbours and friends who have lived here for a long time if they know of anywhere, but I found the majority of locations using OS maps. I searched on Flickr for images of each waterfall so I could see how suitable the location was and monitored the weather quite closely before setting off to photograph each fall. I also looked at other photographers who shoot landscape and coastal images with long exposures as well as researching the technique itself.

In term of materials, skills and processes, mine were quite different as I didn’t produce a traditional book. I did learn more about using mirror lock up functions on my camera but I also learnt more about colour space for printing and the post production side with photoshop.

The narrative was very simple, showing a journey around the Dales which is why I used a wide variety of my final images. I tried to make the selection more interesting by showing a varied selection of falls in terms of shapes, styles and colours.

As I was looking for quite a simple informative approach, I think my project worked well. All I really wanted to do was learn a new skill and show people that these beautiful waterfalls are fairly close to their doorstep. Just because we live in a city, doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything else out there and I felt that my series of images showed that well.

Generally, I am quite good at managing my time, setting goals and working on my own initiative as I have had plenty of experience through previous employment. For the first part of the project, I looked at other photographers and I researched potential locations and then photographed them quite early on. This is because I knew that the processing side would take quite a lot longer to do as well as collecting feedback for which I used Flickr as I don’t feel that I get a great deal out of the crit sessions at uni in terms of how I could improve my images. I also use a diary to plan my time as efficiently as I can.

I really enjoyed this project once it got going but I would have liked more time to visit more waterfalls. The main problem that I encountered was the weather as long exposures can be very difficult in the wrong conditions.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Scaleber Force, Settle

The last waterfall for my project is Scaleber Force, quite simply because I didn't have time to do any more, although I'm sure I will continue regardless...

I went out to Scaleber a few weeks ago and the weather was awful. It was really windy and if it wasn't raining, there was icy hail - and it wasn't small hail stones either! So that was quite an interesting adventure. Especially after scrambling down a very, very steep 30ft slope in the rain and mud with a tripod and a rather large camera bag...

Anyway, the weather wasn't as bad as it could have been and it was cloudy and overcast which kept the light nice and even. There wasn't much space to move around the waterfall as it was carved into the hill side in a small copse. With steep slopes either side, I could only really set up at the base of the fall with didn't leave many options for composition.

I'm still quite happy with the images I have though. And the black and white photograph shown below is proving to be rather popular so I'm not going to complain!
It would have been nice if the weather conditions hadn't been so unpleasant. If it had been dry, I would have attempted climbing the hill side for better composition but in wet and muddy conditions, I listened to the little voice of reason in my head!

Scaleber Force, Settle

Monday, 8 December 2008

A.W.O.L.

Ok, so I'm a bit behing on my blogging and there are quite a few things that I haven't mentioned recently. This is because fr the last 2 weeks I have had tonsillitus and a synis infection so I haven't really been up to much - I didn't even do anything on my birthday because I felt so awful!

Anyway, I have some more waterfall images to show you that I took in the icy hail the other week (that is probably why I was ill) and I also went on a photoshoot with Steph about a month ago so there are some beautiful images from that I haven't put up here yet.

The deadline for my Waterfalls project is tomorrow so once that is out of the way, I will update you on here on everything else!

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Children's Portraits: Megan

On Sunday I had a portrait session with Megan. At just 8 weeks old, she is the youngest that I have photographed so far and I am really pleased with the results.

I found it a little bit tricky in terms of composition as she is too young to lift her head let alone sit upright but the shoot went well, she was also wearing red which reflected back onto her face.
Throughout the shoot Megan was very good and completely mesmerised by the lights and the camera.

Here are a few shots from the shoot...

Megan Megan Megan

FEEDBACK:
Megan's family were so pleased with the photographs that they have asked me to take the photos at her Christening too!

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Wedding: Kelly & Paul

On Saturday, I had the pleasure of photographing Kelly & Paul's Wedding.
It was a small wedding but wonderfully organised and well planned down to the smallest of details and everything ran smoothly for the day.

I went to the bride's house for about 12 to photograph her preparation which also allowed plenty of time to capture the smaller details of the day.
The Wedding ceremony was held at the Town Hall in Leeds in the late afternoon so I was quite nervous about lighting (despite having done test shots) for the group photographs as I knew it would be getting dark by the end of the ceremony.

Despite it being bitterly cold and clear, thankfully it stayed dry all day and it wasn't as dark as I had anticipated.
Everything went well and I am really pleased with my photographs from the day.

Bride's Preparation Flower Girl's Shoes Flower Girl Bride & Groom

Monday, 10 November 2008

Smoke

I have been wanting to take some images of smoke for quite some time and just never seem to get round to it. I have seen quite a few photographs by others of smoke and they look very intriguing.
The smoke often looks similar to coloured liquid in water with the patterns that it makes.

So I tried taking the images a couple of different ways.
First I tried using a lamp to highlight the smoke. This didn't work too well. The lamp wasn't bright enough or as concentrated as I needed it to be causing the background to light up and discolour.
I would have tried with my flash gun, but I don't have an IR trigger for it or an off camera cable as the light needed to come from behind the smoke towards the camera slightly. At a shutter speed of 1/125, it was unlikely that I could set the flash off at exactly the right time while taking the photograph.

So, I gave in and used one of my studio flashes. Maybe a bit excessive, but it worked so I'm not complaining.

I edited several different versions of the final images and preferred the ones where I had inverted the colours, making the background white. I felt the smoke stood out better against a lighter background once it had been coloured.

Very simple technique but effective. Below is my favourite image.

Blue Smoke

Exhibition at East Street Arts

Below is West Burton Falls, one of my photographs that has been included in the 'Multitude' Exhibition at East Street Arts from the 7th - 23rd November 2008.

I'm really pleased as this is the first exhibition that I have contributed to and it will be nice to see how well it does.
I'm not expecting it to sell as most of the other works are paintings, etchings and sketches so a bit more 'arty' but if it does sell, it would certainly be a confidence boost.

I was a bit disappointed at the opening though. But only because of the photographs' location.
The one place I really didn't want to see it was at knee height in a corner and that was exactly where it was. Saying that, most of the smaller works were placed lower on the walls with larger works head height or higher so I don't think that the smaller works will catch as much attention as they could if they were placed in a more noticeable and prominent position.

The opening night was really busy too which I wasn't expecting as I hadn't seen any advertisment for the exhibition. I know that a few pieces sold on the opening weekend but there is still 2 more weeks to go.

There were some really nice other pieces at the opening. It was nice to see work from other local artists and I hope that I can contribute to more local exhibitions in the future.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Droplet Macros

Ok, so I was bored and wanted to play...

I love these shots, they look quite surreal and I just want to stare at them for ages.
I think this is because you don't often really stop to look at droplets of water - we are so used to seeing it running out of a tap or in the form of a river which makes these photographs quite intriguing.

The shots were so simple to take. The images are quite simply a biscuit tin sprayed with water. To get the colour and lighting effects, I used my flash gun (off camera) with an omni bounce and some coloured gels. The images were taken using a 50mm f1.8 prime lens and a variety of macro extension tubes.
So simple, yet so effective.

Blue  Droplets Pink & Green Droplets

There are more variations of these shots on my flickr page.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Image Analysis

Ok, so following on my previous post I am going to try to explain why I particularly like this image and why I selected it.

Thoughts and ramblings on critical stuff...

I know that my main area of weakness with uni work is critical analysis and actually showing my thought process to others. I do have one but I find it hard to explain as it is automatically done in my head and I’m not the best at explaining things.

I really struggle with Critical Studies and this is probably going to turn into a rant or wander off subject knowing me but I will try to explain. I find critical analysis very pretentious at times and rather pointless in the way that it is put across. I don’t believe that you have or need to be academically intellectual to produce wonderful and successful artwork. That may sound arrogant and narrow minded but there is reason to my madness – honestly, there is.

I also don’t believe that every artist, in fact probably not even half of them stop and think ‘I am going to make the model stand on a white rug because it signifies her purity’ before they take their image. I wouldn’t be surprised if they pick the white rug because it looks nice, lightens up that part of the image drawing more attention to the subject/main focal point or just because no other colour sits properly with the surroundings and the symbolism is later attached to the image.

The 10 years previous to the course, I worked in Marketing, Advertising and Buying.
Now you would think that critical analysis of images would be used in these fields but from my experiences, that is just not true and certainly not in the context that we are taught at uni and this is where I am having difficulty.

The companies that I worked for were all large and very well known locally, nationally and internationally. Companies included Christian Brann (International Mail Marketing), The Economic & Social Research Council, Swindon Borough Council and The National Trust so I wasn’t exactly working for small family-run companies with smaller agendas.

For instance, I was working with designers and other members of the department to produce advertising leaflets and flyers for local sports centres. Images are always used in these but they were chosen just because the department head liked them and though they looked nice. Seriously, that was the only reason. They didn’t portray accurately the customers that used the facilities which in turn, would put the average ‘Joe Bloggs’ with low self esteem off joining rather than build their confidence and show there are normal everyday people that use the facilities rather than just pretty models and super fit athletic types. After all, ‘Joe Bloggs’ was their target audience. That sounds more like marketing ethics I know, but it is still relevant.

More relevant to my most recent project, greetings cards from The National Trust. These do go through a selection process and each range of cards is selected for different reasons but the critical art analysis was never evident.
Selections made were based on property relevance, the previous years’ sales, the suppliers statistics, predicted future sales and the buyers personal opinions.
In 2 years, I never once witnessed or participated in a selection where the Buyer would say ‘I want this to be in the new range because the composition and ascetic quality is pleasing to the eye. The lighting is wonderful because it was shot at sunset which increases the emphasis of the shadows and the colours of the sky warms the tones making the image feel much more friendly, comforting and pleasing to the recipient’.

So, are you starting to see where I’m coming from?
I don’t mean to say that critical analysis is never used nor that it is completely useless, just that from 10 years experience in relevant fields, I have never witnessed it and so, suddenly having to do this is very difficult.

This also helps to explain why I make my photographic selections in the way that I do. To begin, I choose a fairly large selection of images based on what I prefer because of composition, lighting etc and then I narrow it down by asking others what they like most and why. I don’t often get much of a why though which is frustrating but at least I know what the majority like and therefore what should (in theory) be more to other people’s taste and saleable.

On the plus side, while I am writing this, it is starting to make me appreciate it more, although I still don’t see why it needs to be so academically written or spoken. I think that it is this element that makes me feel that it can be pretentious rather than helpful to your average everyday person. I would just rather people can understand what I’m talking about than trying to sound intellectual by using long words...it’s a bit like legal contracts...why can’t they just use plain English!

When someone says, ‘I like your photograph’ it’s nice to hear. But when someone says ‘I like your photograph because.....’ it is so much more complementary as they are acknowledging and giving you the recognition of the work behind the photograph.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Exhibition Contribution!

Two of my recent photographs from my Yorkshire Waterfalls collection are being displayed and will be available for sale in the 'Multitude' exhibition, presented by East Street Arts in Leeds.

The exhibition opens on Friday the 7th November and runs until the 23rd November 2008.
For further details of the Exhibition, please see the East Street Arts website.

I'm really looking forward to the exhibition as it is the first that has featured any of my work and with any luck, there will be more to come.

The photographs featured are the 2 shown below, both mounted and framed for the exhibition.

Hardraw Force, Yorkshire West Burton Falls

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Wedding: Lee & Wendy

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of photographing Lee & Wendy's Wedding. It was overcast and rather dark the whole day but after the forcast had said heavy rain all day, we were very lucky that it didn't hit us.

The church was lovely and set out on two floors (the 2nd floor being a balcony floor) so there was plenty of space to move around although I couldn't get in a central position to the bride and groom during the ceremony and there wasn't much time to move.

The only dificulty during the day was that the lighting. It was very low, even in the church and I had to compensate this by using a higher iso that I would have liked.

Below are a couple of decorative shots from the reception. Bride & Groom photographs will follow shortly.

Wedding Detail Wedding Detail

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Hardraw Force, Yorkshire

Hardraw Force, Yorkshire

Yet again, a very different waterfall and slightly bizarre too!

Hardraw (Hardrow) Force is on private property owned by a pub.
You have to pay £2 entry to get access to it and it is very very muddy but well worth it.

The fall was huge! I knew it was big, but I wasn't expecting quite that big - we looked like ants next to it!
But because it was so big, the amount of noise and spray made it impossible to get very close and the over hanging trees were too distracting on the full length photographs that I took. On top of this, it was absolutely chucking it down so keeping the lens dry was a mission and a half!

Hardraw is claimed to be England's tallest waterfall above ground boasting a 100 ft unbroken fall. Another scene from 'Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves' was also filmed here.

This is my favourite photo from Hardraw, so simple yet so different from all of the others that I have taken so far.

West Burton Falls

West Burton Falls

I loved this location - it was perfect for photographers!

You can park right next to it so you don't have to carry anything far, its scenic and fairly quiet.
The river that it flows into is also very shallow and clear so you can see where you are going and there are plenty of rocks to climb on so you can move about.
Basically, you can get to anywhere you want - even behind it!

This was the best waterfall for photography that I went to on Sunday without a doubt.

West Burton village itself is also very pretty - it looks very much like it should be in the Cotswold's from the style of the buildings so I felt quite at home there!

Aysgarth Falls, Yorkshire

Aysgarth Falls, Yorkshire
Aysgarth Falls, Yorkshire, originally uploaded by Elliye.

Aysgarth Falls was one of the film locations for 'Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves'.
The falls are comprised of three parts, lower (featured here), middle and upper falls.

Although Aysgarth Falls isn't very picturesque at this time of the year, its brute force and power are staggering and if you're up for a bit of a climb, you can get right down to the lower falls. Thankfully I got there before it rained so it wasn't too slippy, just not very easy with the equipment!
It was also quite difficult to get a clear photograph as there were so many visitors so it took a bit longer than I had expected!

Cotter Force, Yorkshire

Cotter Force, Yorkshire
Cotter Force, Yorkshire
Originally uploaded by
Elliye

Just south of Cotter Rigg in Wensleyday is Cotter Force.

Unfortunately the 'light rain' that I was hoping for was more like heavy rain, rather windy and the light was starting to fail.
The footpath also lead to one very exposed spot and because it was so wet I didn't want to climb about on slippery ground too much with my camera.

I am pleased with the final couple of images of this waterfall that I have chosen but I would have liked more time here and slightly nicer conditions so I was very limited for composition.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Landscapes: The Next Locations

I am planning to visit the next set of locations tomorrow (Sunday). The forecast is cloudy which is perfect, in fact I'm hoping for light showers too!

The plan is to travel up to Wensleydale and visit some more waterfalls. There are four rather large and impressive ones (listed below) that I particularly want to photograph and if it rains, it will only make them flow more fiercely.

  • West Burton Falls
  • Aysgarth Falls
  • Hardraw Force
  • Cotter Force

On the way back to Leeds we will pass through Hawes and Grassington, both have some beautiful scenery so I'm hoping that I will be able to get some good shots of the Moors and Valleys if there is still enough light.

Collections: Change of plans...

Ok, so it has become pretty obvious that this project seems to have gone from landscape photography to waterfall photography!

This is mainly because there are so many waterfalls around and they are so much easier and quicker to find that the perfect location(s) for landscape photography, especially given the time constraints. The other reason is that after seeing the first few, I was amazed at how powerful they were. Each one was very different so there would be plenty of variation and I would be able to explore the Dales a bit more so that I can focus on landscapes for a later project.

This time of year is also quite difficult for landscapes as the weather is pretty miserable and I have a million and one things to do so I try to manage my time as best as I can, but this also means its not as easy to drop everything and head for the hills when we have a nice day.
Waterfalls often look better on a rainy and dull day so the weather shouldn't hold me back too much.

Stainforth Force, Stainforth near Settle

This was the third and last waterfall that we visited yesterday and probably the simplistic one of the three, but amazing none the less. It was also the smallest in height.

Stainforth is just north of Settle and northwest of Malham.
The power and current of the water flowing down this fall was immense and the waterfall is build like a series of steps.

Once again, we arrived at this location and no sooner had we set up our cameras, it started to rain. This was more of a problem at Stainforth Force as it was very open to the side of the fall that you have to access it from and the ground quickly became very slippery.
It was hard enough anyway because of the angle that the river ran to get a good composition of the full waterfall.

On the plus side, I knew there were Salmon in this river, but I didn't realise that it was the time of year that they make their journey upstream. Despite there only being a few Salmon that day, I must have seen about 9 or 10 attempts to make it up the waterfall in about 45 minutes. Its quite amazing to see them jump up suck a powerful waterfall.

Unfortunately, I didn't manage to photograph any as they were too ad hock in jumps and with the light failing, there just wasn't time.

Janet's Foss, Malham

Janet's Foss was the most picturesque of the three waterfalls. It is surrounded by woodland and falls into a small pool which flows off through the valley.

Although I am pleased with the photographs that I took, they really don't do the location any justice and I don't think that any photograph would! It is one of those places that you really need to visit to see its true beauty.

The weather really let us down at this location. Because it is surrounded by woodland, it was fairly dark but it would have looked amazing with the sun beaming through the trees. But as cold as it was, the pool still looked very inviting. The water was so clear and as the waterfall hit the pool below, it has a bluish tint like a swimming pool.

Without a doubt, I will be going back here in the summer to take more photographs!



About 200 yards down the river from Janet's Foss, there are 3 tree trunks, densely embedded with coins!

...and my parents always said that money doesn't grow on trees!!!!!

It is said that this is where the Tooth Fairy gets the money to leave under children's pillows at night when they collect their fallen teeth.

Gordale Scar, Malham

This was probably the most spectacular waterfall of the three that we visited yesterday.

The river has calved a path through the rock face of a small cliff in the hills of Malhamdale and then runs down the valley to Janet's Foss.

The weather forecast had been dry with sunny spells but the second that we got to the waterfall and I had unzipped my camera bag it started to rain! Typical British weather! Thankfully it wasn't too heavy and we were partly sheltered by the cliffs so it didn't cause too much of a problem. But this also meant that the sky had clouded over which I didn't mind as it meant that the light was more suitable for photographing water on long exposures.

The only downfall of Gordale Scar, is that because it falls through the cliffs, you can only photograph it from certain locations and while it was raining and I have a huge bag full of equipment, I didn't think it would be the best idea to climb up the rock face.

I am however, very happy with the photographs that I have from Gordale. The exposures have come out much better than I had anticipated as I haven't really spent much time before taking long exposures of water. It would have been better had it not rained and I didn't have to keep protecting my camera as I would have liked to have taken more from different angles across the rock face.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Landscapes: The First Locations

Today I started the landscape photography for my Collections project.

The weather wasn't ideal for wandering too much as it kept raining on and off, although it only seemed to start the second that I set my camera up!

The locations that we potographed were;

  • Gordale Scar, Malham
  • Janet's Foss, Malham
  • Stainforth Force, Stainforth near Settle

We had also planned to visit Catrigg Force and Scaleber Force but unfortunately we didn't have enough time.

I will post a preview of the images tomorrow.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Joe Cornish: Landscape Photographer

Having worked as an Assistant Buyer for 2 years at The National Trust, I am very familiar with the work of Joe Cornish. Many of the greeting's cards sold and branded National Trust cards use his work as well as their photographic library.

Joe's images are so tranquil and the colours are always so beautifully bright yet calming. Joe often photographs seascapes at dawn or dusk using long exposures and many of which are taken around North Yorkshire where he lives.

I am very inspired by Joe's work and I would love to take some coastal dawn photographs. I think I will have to make a point of that in the new year!

If you like land and seascape photography, you have to see Joe's work!
Please click the link to view his website: Joe Cornish

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Landscape Locations

Okay, so after all of my investigating, I now have a rather long list of locations for Landscape Photography.

My plan is to get to get to several locations each day due to time restrictions and a lot of the locations are clumpped together which will help. Obviously some will take longer to get to and find but I can usually find just about anything if I put my mind to it!

I know I won't have time to cover all of these but I thought it may be useful to point them out incase anyone else wants to know what features are about.
  • Tong Beck (Waterfall), Sykes Wood, Tong Valley
  • Beckfoot Bridge & Ford, Bingley
  • Hebden Water, Hardcastle Crags
  • Gibson Mill, Hardcastle Crags
  • Waterfall, The Valley of desolation at Bolton Abbey
  • The Cow & Calf Rocks, Ilkley Moor
  • Conistone
  • Janet's Foss & Goredale Scar
  • Malhamdale
  • Scaleber Force (Waterfall)
  • Catrigg Foss & Stainforth Force, Settle
  • Clapham beck (Waterfall)
  • Beezley Falls, Thornton Force, Pecca Falls & Snow Falls, Ingleton
  • Ribblehead Viaduct
  • Cotter Force & Hardraw Force
  • West Burton Falls & Aysgarth Falls
  • Castle Howard
  • Maiden Castle
  • Reeth
  • Cowside Beck
  • Flamborough Head
  • Hewenden Viaduct
  • Cray, Upper Wharfdale
  • Spurn Point
  • Whitby
  • Saltwick Bay, Black Nab & Saltwick Nab
  • Stanage edge

The locations i visit will be dependant upon time and weather restirctions aswell so this list will shorten quite dramatically before the end of the project.

Local Societies & Orgs.

I would definatley recommend any photography enthusiast in the Leeds area to sign up to Flickr and participate in the Leeds flickr group. They are the most active group that I have seen on there, with monthly meets and are an excellent source of information and help.

Flickr

The following Societies/Orgs may also be of interest.
I will update this list as I come across more!

Leeds Photographic Society

Photo Network North

Blogs of Interest

Just thought I would mention a few of the photography blogs that I have been reading as I'm sure they may be of interest to others!

Off-camera flash & lighting techniques with FAQs and lots of useful information.

Doug Chinnery
A contemporary photographer based in Nottinghamshire.
Doug's blog discusses everything from techniques to equipment.

Andy Smith
Editorial & Commercial Photographer based in the North of England.
Andy aims his blog at students and anyone else looking to work in the Photograhic industry.

Mcfade's Photo Blog
Described as 'A photographer and keyboard player's ramblings about photography and music, life and the world in general'. Also based in the North of England.
Good for technique information and was featured in Digital SLR User Magazine earlier this year.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Waterfalls

Having been searching for photography locations, I think I have found a solution if the weather is awful.

Waterfalls.

It won't matter if it's raining, in fact it would probably be better if it was as the flow would be much stronger! I would like to include a few waterfalls in this project anyway as there are some spectacular falls in the Dales, but it does make sense as a backup plan should the weather turn.

I have a slight fascination with waterfalls (who doesn't?!) and I'm not quite sure why. I don't see them very often and they are beautiful features of the landscape.



The image above was taken at Harewood House just a few weeks ago. I would have liked to have used a longer exposure to soften the water flow but I didnt have my tripod with me at the time.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Collections: Maps

I couldn't resist! I love OS maps, they are amazing and now I have them all for the UK on my laptop! Now this is just asking for trouble...



Anyway, the flags shown on the road map above are all locations that I have pinpointed as possibilities for Landscape Photography for this brief.

How did I find them? Well...

I spent a good few hours going through the Yorkshire Group's pool on Flickr and seeing where other people have been and taken photographs. So I marked down the locations that I particularly liked.

I have also marked Saltwick Bay and Black Nab (near Whitby) as this is a beautiful location for coastal photography. And having worked for the National Trust, the amount of photographic greetings cards that came through the Buying office of this area has given me a pretty good idea of the potential for this location.

My neighbour is also a very good source of information as she has always lived here. She suggested a few places including Asygarth Falls where they filmed part of Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves.
This in turn got me thinking about film locations and Pride & Prejudice particularly sprang to mind. I really like the shot of Lizzie Bennett stood at the top of a rocky peak overlooking the valley...Stanage Edge, East of Sheffield.

I also visited the Bronte Parsonage Museum recently and I found the location of Ponden Kirk which is thought to have been 'Penistone Crags' in Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights as well as other locations that are thought to have inspired the novels written by the sisters.

So, I really don't think I will be at a loss for locations or inspiration for landscape photography!

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Collections: Land & Seascapes

I love landscape and coastal photography but since moving to Leeds, that are of interest has been severely neglected as I don't find urban landscapes very inspiring. Although I am close to the Dales, it is still quite a trek to get there and the weather and timing is essential for Photography.

So, to give me more motivation to get back to the wilderness, I am thinking of producing a collection of Landscape photography for my latest project.

I have been looking at Landscape Photographers in Yorkshire and the North and this has really fuelled my enthusiasm and inspiration.

Please see the following Photographer sites for examples;

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Collections: Artist's Books

For our latest project, we have been asked to preferably make a book...hmmm...I would like to do a photo book, but photographs are so less impressive in a book so I may avoid the book format if I can.

I have been looking for interesting books and I can't really find any, well, I can't find any to my taste! I'm not really into all the 'arty-farty' books, I like factual and photography books as apposed to Artist Books.

What is an Artist's Book? Click here: Wikipedia Artist's Book

There are some really interesting designs about, but they just aren't really 'up my street' and I'm not really into that kind of design area to make something like this.

Here are a few links of some of the designs that I find more interesting. I'm sorry about the lack of images in this post, but I don't have permission to use the photographs...
  • Spirit Vessel I just think this looks cool but I just don't have the patience to do things like this and I would only squash it after!
  • Judy Barrass (I particularly like 'Intimate Landscape' and 'Thursday Morning'
  • Jill Lanza - Her binding is different and reminds me of an Oriental dragon.

Collectors, Collections & Collecting Brief

Well I must admit, this brief threw me off a little and from how it was introduced, it didn't capture much of my enthusiasm or imagination.

Having set myself up to work as a freelance photographer, I wanted to make as many of my briefs as possible this year broaden and assist me with experience, portfolio works or business progression and this brief initially just didn't seem to enable me to do so. But, having worked through the nitty gritty or so to speak this brief is actually very loosely defined.

The one thing that I am very pleased about, is that we don't have to provide a physical working notebook for each project as we did last year. I really thought that it was a waste of time, paper and ink doing these as I don't find them helpful with my way of working and I would much rather just use my blog and electronic files on a disc. Of course, there are always bits and pieces of paper, contact sheets and test prints, but I don't tend to keep a working journal to show my thoughts.

I have a few ideas in my head of what I want or could possibly do for this project...now I just need to decide on one!

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Whispers To The Sea

Okay, so I have being a little bit sneaky and I have been working on a little project for my dad's 60th birthday so it has been rather hush hush for some time.

I thought it would be nice to give him a very personal present so I had a book made for him, 'Whispers To The Sea'.

The book is 80 pages and filled with photos of Devon (Dartmouth, Stoke Gabriel and Sailing) as he loves it down there. But rather than making just a plain photo book, I decided to make it a poetry book. So there is a collection of 18 poems and an Ancient Greek prayer for safety at sea. The title of the book was taken from one of the Poems.

As you can imagine, it took quite some time to make this book. All of the photographs were taken and edited by me, I selected the poems, chose the layouts etc and several weeks later I was finally happy with it. Then I had to spend a week and a half biting my nails until it had been printed and sent back to me from the publishers!

I was so happy with the results and my dad absolutely loved it!

Below you can see the book and a few of the images that were used.



You can view the whole book HERE or alternitivley, please visit the 'Links' page on my website.

Copies of this book are available for family and friends only at this time - so please let me know if you want one!

Friday, 19 September 2008

A Thousand Words...

I must admit, that as much as I like photography, I am very picky when it comes to art and I often find exhibitions quite dull. But yesterday I visited the York City Art Gallery. There was an exhibition of various works of art compiled by Tracey Chevalier (author of 'Girl with a Pearl Earring'). The works were all chosen as Tracey thought they would make an interesting moment in a story.

Each work had a chalk board next to it for visitors to write their own ideas and stories in relation to the works and Tracey had written a few extracts herself.





I thought that this was a wonderful idea and a chance for visitors to interact with the exhibition. It made it far more interesting especially to read what others thought was happening in the works.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

The Royal Armouries: Weta Exhibition

I have visited the Royal Armouries numerous times and I always find it interesting, probably because I have a keen interest in history and I just find the armour so amazing considering the technology at the time.

The museum is primarily organised by time period and in some places by country as well. I especially like the oriental armour and weapons – they are so decorative and so much thought has gone into the designs.

Anyway, I went this week to see the exhibition by Weta – the New Zealand based company that designed and produced the armour and weapons amongst other things for Lord of the Rings, Narnia & Hell Boy.
I am a huge Tolkien fan which is what drew me to this exhibition and I wasn’t disappointed!
The detail on the armour and costumes was outstanding and there was certainly a lot more than I was expecting to see.

The costumes were organised by race – Elves, Men, Rohirrim, Orks, Orakhai and right in the centre, Sauron and The Witch King of Angmar. Unfortunately, photography was not permitted in the exhibition space where the costumes were. However, there were two wax works elsewhere in the museum that could be photographed – an Orakhai and a Cave troll (as below) as well as Hell Boy’s gun (also below).

I was absolutely astounded at the amount of detail in these costumes and they were so beautifully made – if they had belonged to me, there would be no way that they would get used as props!

I really enjoyed this exhibition – it was very different seeing present day film costumes rather than historic items in a museum. Of course, there was the fictional history of Middle Earth with costumes from the first, second and third age of each race and I felt that this made the collection sit quite nicely and it didn’t feel out of place in the museum.



Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Website Revamp

Well, it has been a long time coming but finally the new look website has been launched!

I have been working on this new look site for quite some time now but due to computer problems, it has taken me a lot longer than I had hoped.

The colours have been changed to a light blue and white making the site far more crisp and clear than it was before. I haven't been happy with the old site for some time as it seemed rather dark, heavy and unwelcoming. Finally, all that has changed!

The basic structure of the site has remained the same with the same simple navigation bar on all pages (except flash gallery pages) so it should be just as simple as the old site to find your way around.

The banner has been replaced with a lighter, much simpler logo. I had a bit of a struggle developing this idea. The signature in the background was been a work in progress for a few months now that I just wasn't happy with or it was pushed to one side due to other commitments so its a relief that I am finally happy with it.

As my website was initially built for a university project but as things progressed, my freelance work was integrated. Now the site is more segmented, focusing on my professional freelance work. Personal work can still be found on the 'links' page but it is no longer as dominant on the site.

I'm much happier with the site now. It seems far more professional and smarter than it did previously.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Children's Portraits: Jack & Jess

Images form the second children's portrait session the other weekend.

I'm quite pleased with the images of Jess, she was very good and quite happily let mw take her photograph. I'm not as happy with the images of Jack (the older child) though. He was quite happy to have his photo taken at first but was a little over excited and became restless very quickly which made it rather difficult to take photographs which was a shame.

However, it was a good experience and I did get some rather nice shots.

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About Me...

Photographer based in Dawlish, Devon. I'm available for weddings, portraits and commissions.

Please see my website for further details.


* Please note that all images in this blog are © Eleanor Stobbart unless stated otherwise. Please do not use these images without the permission of the copyright owner. *