Thursday, 30 January 2014

It's all about the rain (Days 11 - 20)

Day 11 - It's all about the rain
For the last 10 days it seems to have been non stop rain - not a very conducive state for inspirational photography.  I recently read an article that said the majority of photographers don't bother when its raining - mainly for reasons of keeping their kit dry and it sounds a reasonable excuse.
Day 12 - The Clansman is still with us
Mastering the art of holding a brollie whilst taking a shot is fine until the wind goes above a couple of knots, especially when it's a golfing brollie! There are lots of waterproof covers available but a plastic carrier bag seems to work well enough in a lot of situations!
Day 13 - Caution man at work (between showers)!
But I thank my lucky stars that I'm not down south and actually underwater, neither have I resorted to staying indoors but this may have more to do with owning a couple of mad spaniels. I have, however, packed my bridge camera more often as it will fit into my pocket.
Day 14 - Day trip to Dunoon, first building (hotel) from the ferry
The last 10 days have actually been quite busy, unusual for this time of year.  Most of it has been planning events for the summer and meetings with regular clients and in some instances these have provided opportunities for a quick photo.

Day 15 - Derelict house on the dog walk
Another opportunity arose when I took a day trip to Dunoon on the Cowel Peninsular.  A lovely little town and to get there and back in a day (remembering that requires 2 ferries, Brodick to Ardrossan and then Gourock to Dunoon) was actually quite easy. And the drive down the coast was scenic.  Not that it stopped raining!

Day 16 - It's still raining
On day 17 I actually sat in the car for 10 minutes while a torrential shower passed, not wanting to walk the 20 yards to my door.  So this could be classed as an interior image - one of 2 in the last 10 days (not bad considering the rain - did I mention the rain again).
Day 17 - View from the car in torrential rain
Mondays are particularly busy days for me (fully booked every Monday till June) and again I ended up looking for a subject once I'd donned my pj's.  This time the tulips that were going in the bin filled the gap and I have to admit there is something about how the dying petals curl and twist.  For  a change I added a softer filter despite my passion for harder grainy snaps.
Day 18 - Soft focus tulips
More rain followed and I had to find something on the regular dog walks.  It's amazing how I'm starting to look at things from a different view point, knowing some of the landscapes just will not work, and seeking out texture and contrast.  I found a fabulous patch of slime fungi - flourenscent yellow/orange, but alas not one for this project!
Day 19 - Rusty padlock
Only another 345 to go!
Day 20 - Sodden leaves on the path

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Day 4 - 10 of 365 Monochrome 2014

Well the project goes on (unlike a lot of New Year resolutions), and even in these early few days I have found out it really is a challenge.  Now it's not difficult to take a picture every day, but trying to find something interesting is; especially when it is lashing down with rain and I'm a bit fussy.  I also want to provide a bit of variety, even in the very limited world of monochrome.
Day 4 - Misty
Day 4, the 13th January, proved lucky for Misty as she had wandered from her home and I picked her up on the String Road before anyone hit her.  She had a lovely day, playing with my dogs, walking on the beach and gaining her moment of fame through facebook and twitter before being reunited with her owner.
Drainage pipes
Day 5 provided me with a lot of laughs as I had set off on a dog walk and came across some large drainage pipes.  The texture of these were ideal for the project and I set about getting a shot when the light shower turned to torrential rain.
Watson takes refuge
Watson had the right idea and he took refuge inside, providing another shot, and he thought it was a great game running through all the pipes!
The following couple of days, gave me little time to think about photo's, so shots were taken on drives to and from different jobs, with a pair of curlews taken from my car window on day 6 and showing a lovely stone wall on day 7. 
Day 6 - 15th Jan. A pair of Curlews from my car window.
Day 7 - 16th Jan. Stone wall and rotten post. Machrie.
The sun shone, albeit briefly, on the 17th and I had a 1:1 workshop with one of the islands residents and although I usually don't take my own camera with me for these, I slipped a bridge camera into my pocket, just in case!  This was rewarded with some beautiful shots of sunlight streaming through the trees (colour versions have been tweeted and are on my facebook site) on the path to Goatfell.
Day 8 - Sunlight streams through trees on the path to Goatfell
After another soggy walk on Day 9, I finally decided that I should retire a pair of my boots.  These have seen some mileage and are totally worn out.  Maybe I'll put a plant in them in my garden come spring? I perhaps should say that it was about 10pm when I realised I had not done the obligatory photo and I was searching (in my PJ's) for a subject.
Knackered boots!
Another dog walk provided an opportunity to watch the local shepherd work his dog with a small flock of sheep. His calm stance while the dogs and sheep raced around cleared said everything was under control!
Shepherd at work.
So with a start made I only have to come up with another 355 ideas!

Sunday, 12 January 2014

365 MONOCHROME 2014 - aka 'Plan B'

Introducing the Project - Day 1 - 10th January
Now with 'Plan B' being in the title you may think that 'Plan A' has been ditched but it hasn't, I'm still developing it, but it's not ready to put in front of the public just yet and it could be a while!  So meanwhile I needed something that I could do over a period of time and that would provide all those things a project is supposed to, motivation, inspiration, challenge etc., etc.
Dying Rose
In searching for ideas, the commonest one seems to be the 365.  It sounds simple, take a picture everyday (yes everyday) of anything.  What to do with them varies between, posting on social media sites, blogging or creating calendars. I wanted something with a little more focus (no pun intended) and this brought to mind last October when I ended up rooting around in one of my old boxes (you know the stuff that languishes in the attic) and came across some of my original black and white images from my photography training.
Desaturated Rose
That was in the pre digital era, back in the day of hand rolling film and wet processing.  I trained using a huge twin lens Mamiya and Pentax K1000.  Decisions were made well before any photograph was ever taken as to the type of film to load, which ultimately had an effect on the final image. There is something about a good quality black and white print, where colour plays no part, and I tended to gravitate towards the grainy harsh films and papers.
Day 2 - Kildonan. Isle of Arran - 11th January
With no decision or start made on a project, the catalyst came when I was throwing out a bunch of flowers that had lasted since before Christmas.  Some of the roses hadn't opened but had dried on the stalk and I decided the time was right to get off the fence and actually do something! So 10th January 2014 is day one of 365.
Day 3 - Harder to recognise without his red breast - 12th January
In deference to the digital era I've decided to go monochrome and not just black & white. But all images in the project will be of a single hue, and I hope to blog every couple of weeks with some of the results.

Monochrome Rose
Dark Rose