I took these photographs in Avebury back in April 2018. A very different approach was taken to each photograph but it is the land that pulls them together as a cohesive whole. I have visited here, many times with mu and we always find it a special place to spend time. The history is palpable. This Avebury in April showed a stark landscape brought about by the clouds that hung ominously, but didn’t rain.
My decision was not because I was dissatisfied with the X100F. The Fuji is a great camera, excellent quality in image and build – it took beautiful pictures. It’s small form factor meant it could be taken anywhere and, as everyone acknowledges; it’s a great street camera.
I want to develop videography alongside my photography. The plan is to provide a documentary of our life on the canals and also capture the uniqueness of this environment; with murpworks Afloat.
Many people are developing excellent YouTube channels of their life and times on the canals, for example; Country House Gent, Robbie Cumming , Boatman Benjamin and Ben & Emelie’s Captains Vloggs but I want to take this in a different direction. One which will hopefully compliment these existing channels. I see the documentary parts being a more POV, rather than self-filming. I also want to incorporate filmic elements in its approach & feel.
To this end, the X100F was not a video camera. It can film in HD and it can use the film simulations that Fuji are rightly acclaimed for but looking to the future, 4K is the future. 4K is the future that is, until 8K trickles down the food chain and…
But You Got Rid of the Fuji!
In an ideal world, I would have kept the Fuji but in the real world; both financially (I don’t have the money) and spacially (I won’t have the space), I couldn’t. The Google Pixel 2 satisfies my Instagram quick upload capability and easily allows me to take a picture a day, manipulate it in phone (via VSCO) and post it.
My Nikon Df is a beauty to behold and I will use this; with the 20mm lens for Lanscapes and the 50mm for everyday.
The Sony will be for video.
Why the A7 III? For its video capability at the pricepoint. Lots of people helped with the decision; people who I’d never met or seen before, in the form of YouTube.
Sony play in the video space with a lot of expertise there and I feel this 3rd generation camera will give me what I want. I was originally seduced by the pull of Cinema cameras like the Canon C100 (I couldn’t even afford to look at the C100 II) but at this level, it’s not just the camera, it’s the ecosystem you have to build for it to work – it ain’t cheap!
Obviously, there are better cameras out there for video/film, it would be ridiculous to think otherwise but as everyone is saying about Sony; “At that pricepoint, man!”.
I have the luxury (OK lack of funds) of not having a heavy investment in glass, so this makes me agile. This agility let me take advantage of Jessops‘ short term greater trade in deal and get in at the beginning of a new camera and a new lens. This hopefully means they each have a lifespan.
I love this photo as it captures the fun of the snow. mu is clearly happy after braving the snowfall to place fatballs out for the birds. The ground was covering fast and any food sources would be impossible to find. I think Black and White for this photograph suits the subject, the contrast works. It doesn’t snow very often in Wiltshire and when it does, it rarely ever settles. This time it did to create a Snow Garden.
This was a last claw of Winter, within 48 hours it had all gone and was just a distant memory and #beastfromtheeast fell from photographs, tweets and posts as quickly as the snow. I still see the occasional pile by the side of a drive or road persists, packed hard by shovelling and impacted by road grit.
The snow came this year. Most years, down here in Wiltshire, we seem to be sheltered from the worst of the weather that affects more exposed areas. It was the combination of the Beast from the East and Hurricane Emma meeting, that dumped a thick white blanket. It caused chaos for 48 hours; blocking roads, closing railways lines and stations and grounding planes at airports across Britain.
Meanwhile, in a small village just off the Western edge of Salisbury Plain, I was given the opportunity to capture one of my favourite photographs to date.
Continuing the theme of Snow Garden, after the snow had fallen and lain in the grip of cold, I captured more shots in the garden.
I used the Creamtone B+W Preset in Lightwave to process these images and it gave them the feel I was looking for.
A Cold Frost Morning, travelling by train, looking out of the window as the day breaks from the iron grip of the cold
Cold Frost Morning
Travelling from Warminster to Bristol Temple Meads. At this time of year, the sun is still rising as I make the journey but all too soon, it will be bright and it will be impossible to grab such muted tones…
Looking back to last September, the morning journey was bright and the action of the morning seemed emphasized. In February, it struggles to start. The contrast is stark.
Images captured on a Google Pixel 2. I think the slight reflections of the train window add to the mood, rather than detract as imperfect photography.
The steps upto a door is a re-visit of a photograph I took last year
I always see steps leading upto somewhere rather than down-from.
A Little Bit of Le Corbusier
These are in the Three Horseshoes Walk precinct in Warminster, Wiltshire. They are very utilitarian and unadorned, they conjure up thoughts of Le Corbusier, passing through and thinking “That wall’s a bit bare, I could spruce it up a bit. I know, a series of steps…”. He then moved on to some big commission for an important client, in some perfect setting, feeling like he’d put something back into the community.
When seen in context, below it looks as if you could pick them up and move them or even some kind of plain Trompe L’oeil…
Taken on 27 January 2018 at 16:38 on Google Pixel 2.
The gritty Winter’s day led me to manipulate this photogrpah from its original colour, into Black + White. Glastonbury Tor is iconic. It stands proud above the Somerset landscape as a beacon to anyone who looks at the world differently. It is a mixture of myth, magnificence, nature and man.
This won’t be the last time I will photograph the Tor.
Reflections – seeing Bristol through the puddles that gather in strange places.
I walk past here each day on the way to work and have to step around this puddle. By stopping and re-evaluating I get to see Bristol through a different lens. As with a lot of in photogrpahy, it comes down to light. The Winter light seems to work really well here.
I’ve taken photos in Bristol before, like these, last year in September. A City provides a wealth of opportunities when you can’t get away, into the countryside.
Reflections – detail
Photographs taken in January/February 2018 with Google Pixel 2.
I took this photograph in Bradford-on-Avon Tithe Barn on 16 December 2017 and even though it was during the day, it was dark. Movement, coupled with lack of light produced the above image.
The Tithe barn backs onto the Kennett and Avon Canal and it was against the wall that runs around the barn. It was on the towpath side that the Floating Christmas Market was held (see my Tales from the Bilge blog post).
Less of a Mistake
The actual photo I was trying to get looked more like this
However, I think the following Black & White image captures the feel of the place on the day best. I love the sword-shaped window, hanging Damoclean against the far wall.
This graffiti from Bristol can be found at the bottom of Park Street, down the steps on the left hand side and just under the road bridge. They celebrate vinyl and my initials and I love the comic style 🙂
I love the colours swarming over the extractor outlets