Thursday, 24 July 2008

Site update

I updated the monochrome gallery this evening. A bit of a pain over a mobile broadband connection but I got there in the end.

(Anyone else having trouble with intermittent connection problems over mobile broadband here in the UK? I'm with O2)

I got my order in to produce all the canvases for my upcoming exhibition at ParkArt, Tamar Science Park, Plymouth. I just have to prepare all the title cards and flyers now. Maybe at the weekend :)

Thanks to John Miles for letting me have the templates.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Catching up on the DDR backlog

Another take during a recent stay at a hotel near Heathrow. I was attracted by the cobweb shapes made by the windows when viewed from this angle.

It could be thought of as giving a nod in the direction of man-made stuff replacing / squeezing out nature.

It took a little while for the sky to improve to what I thought would work out in the hdr / tone mapping and I'm pleased with the overall result.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Staines to Slough and back

In the last week I've been staying at a hotel in Slough. The journey to Staines, where I'm on contract with British Gas redesigning their debt collection service, has taken me through Old Windsor and Runnymede each day.

These wonderful Toll Houses mark the Staines / Egham end of Runnymede and I'd been waiting for the right sky and lighting conditions to make my capture. That finally came together on Wednesday and I made these shots.

I used my lens at the wide angle end of the zoom to try to enhance the drama of the scene. It was not so easy to correct it to a final comp I was happy with but, with a bit of this and that in the digital darkroom, I think I got there in the end.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Another for Urban Ugliness vol II

This is one I took a few weeks back that I finally managed to push through the DDR. I've called it Rubble To Be. The general decay of the building appealed to me - roof tiles gone with just the skeletal frame remaining but there was something missing...

After a wander around, I found the complementary element to the shot that I was looking for - the pile of stones and beams up against the building.

It seemed to me that it was "winding up" the decaying building - almost taunting it by implying that very soon, it too would just be rubble.

I often do that, paint a little story inside my head, imagining the conversation that might be taking place if the objects were animate. Ok, so maybe I'm a little nuts ;)

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Digital darkroom

I got round to one that's been hanging around in the ddr for quite a while. It's another from Royal William Yard, a really rich vein for me. I've made many successful captures there, so people tell me. This one's simply called Swing Bridge Detail.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Park Art Exhibition, September

Things firmed up today and I'm booked in to ParkArt for September for two months. It'll run from the middle of September to the middle of October. I'm going to try and have a "meet the artist" evening in Early October - that's the plan for now, anyhow.

Lot's of preparation to do - the hardest is choosing the 20 or so images to display, then there's the flyers, name cards etc. not to mention getting some mounted paper prints and greetings-style cards done.
[Updated 10th July]

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Optimo - Arts in Plymouth magazine

I got a request during the week for some of my work to be included in Optimo magazine.

I also got notice that I'm to be exhibiting in Park Art, Tamar Science Park, Derriford. It starts on 1st September and finishes at the end of the month.

It follows the first two exhibitions by John Miles and, just opened, Martin Bush. See the Park Art Plymouth web site.

Why does B&W connect so well with our emotions?

I've been asked many times what it is that makes monochrome - especially black and white - so emotive.

I hadn't really thought much about it but my understanding has increased each time I've been asked and struggled to get across my views on it. I think I'm now ready to try and give a full answer here...

I'm going to make a connection with our primaeval past and primaeval instincts and emotions as the main parts of my answer. To do that I need first to make some observations that will stimulate the right ideas in your mind.

Primaeval Instincts

The most basic primaeval instincts are fear and the need to procreate. That's one strand. The other is that at night, in dim and dark places we don't see colour - the rods and cones in our retinas are designed for colour vision when there's plenty of light around and black and white when there's little light around.

Procreation Instinct

An observation - when dating has gone so far along its course, we go out for a meal in a romantic, intimate, low-light setting. Ever wondered why the need for low light and candles? Whatever the reason, isn't that a direct connection with our primaeval procreation instinct?

Fear Instinct

Fear is heightened at night / in low light, when you can't really see any threats that might be around. Have you and some mates ever 'talked' yourself into a right case of the willies when in a spooky place?

In both these situations, a common factor is that you are seeing in (or close to) black and white. So doesn't it make sense that a photo / image / film in black and white triggers or stimulates at least a little, those more primaeval feelings? When this happens they are nearer the conscious 'surface' and therefore flavour whatever else is going on in your mind when viewing the work.

In a nutshell...

So in a nut shell, our primitive subconscious associates black and white with low-light and the possibilities of fight, flight or procreate (hah! managed to avoid the alliterative verb so as not offend any sensibilities!). And when we see an image in black and white it makes those primitive feelings come to the surface to 'colour' our emotional response to the image.

So what do you think? Do you see the connection? Is it a (fool /) full-ish answer?

Thoughts please...

Friday, 4 July 2008

Bredbury Hall Fordson Tractor

I spent quite a while crafting this one during the week. It's a Fordson Tractor, (Henry Ford and his son) - shipped in huge quantities to post-war Britain to help in the recovery.

I was puzzled at first by the metal pole leanng against the tractor, but after some digging, found out that it's one of the chimney's - I think there were two on the model N (which this is).


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