Wednesday, 31 March 2010

A Sculptor's Testimonial

I was so chuffed....

Salisbury Cathedral Sculptor

I was delighted to receive an email out of the blue from the sculptor that created the wonderful stone carvings below. Here is what Jay Battle said:
I was searching the internet this week for some images of Salisbury Cathedral in order to explain something to a client when I came across your photography.

I just wanted to say that I thought your shots of 'Agony of the Biting Imps' and 'Forever Watching' at Salisbury are superbly shot.
I was responsible for carving both of those and have stared at them more than most. I don't have any photos of them in place and when I saw these I had to write to you to let you know how wonderful I think your eye for composition is.

I am normally sick of a carving by the time I finish and as a result never have photo of my work in place. Odd maybe, but seeing your photos of my work has made me look again at how they sit and I don't feel ill- thank you.
Jay went on to say that he is hoping for another commission and, if it comes together, would like me to do a photo essay starting from the initial clay maquettes to carving out from a single block of stone. Needless to say I replied that I would be delighted.

Agony Of The Biting Imps

Forever Watching

Thank you Jay!

comments / critique / feedback always welcome :)

My sparkling, spanking new blog layout

...courtesy of Blogger In Draft

Easier on the eyes?

I hope you'll find my new layout easier to read and gentler on the eyes. Thanks to the new template editor from Blogger In Draft, I was able to do this in double quick time.

It took around 8 hours from start to finish, including backing things up and creating a temporary blog to practice on before finally going for it.

I'd originally used a classic template, heavily modified to achieve the look I was after but it was getting too cumbersome to maintain. With the promise of all sorts of new treats on the way, I bit the bullet and went for it.

If you're thinking of changing over to the new template editor, I'd highly recommend it. You get quite a few templates, each with many variations that are a cinch to play around with.

The only hiccough I've had is that I can't get the "Reactions" thingy to work (the one that is supposed to appear at the end of each post). I'm sure that will only be temporary though - it is, after all, in Blogger In Draft. [Update: As you can see, it now works ok]

So, what do you think?

comments / feedback always welcome :)

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Another colour shot from my Bovisand Beach outing

Continuing my adventure with colour...

What's in a name?

It's all about the rocks...
Ships May Come And Go...

I spent a long time trying to name this shot. I eventually settled on "Permanence and Ephemera" but then decided that it was too "rarefied" a title for most people to get my drift. I was trying to get across how, in the lifetime of the rocks, humankind's rhythm is but a fleeting moment.

Maybe you can think of a more apt title?

On a slightly different note, I sent the image to Martin Bush (renowned abstract painter with a studio gallery in Royal William Yard) and I was very surprised to hear him say he liked it when I visited. And one of the visitors at first thought it was a painting. I couldn't have been more flattered. Thanks Ed!

comments / critique / feedback always welcome :)

Monday, 15 March 2010

Fort Bovisand - a rare shot in colour

I seem to have strayed into the world of colour! I hope you  like it :)

Another from my recent shoot

If you're a regular follower, you'll be surprised to see this colour shot from me. To be truthful, I was half way through my b/w conversion workflow when I accidentally switched off the b/w layer—and liked what I saw! So I thought I'd go with it...

What do you think? Or should I stick with black and white? ;)

 Fort Bovisand

This is a view of Fort Bovisand taken from Bovisand's third beach. It's a beautiful building complex, standing proudly on the promontory looking out to sea.

The building itself is a listed Napoleonic era fortification and has been used by all sorts of organisations over the years, including the navy.

So, over to you...
comments / critique / feedback always welcome :)

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Two panoramas from my Bovisand trip

These two shots have to be seen large to appreciate them, so make sure you click them to see for yourself!

Learning, learning...

On the way to Bovisand for my photo hunt the other day, I took the route along the coast road that passes through Hooe. Panorama shots have been in my mind for a while and seeing this vista I thought I'd have a go. No special multiple exposures stitched together for me. No, this is achieved simply by cropping. (It's a view across Plymstock to Lee Moor on the horizon.)

It was interesting to go through the learning process of how much sky to include, what the different proportions mean to composure and so on.

Hooe to Lee Moor view

(remember, click an image to see it larger)

  View across Plymouth Sound from Bovisand

On the the final approach road to Bovisand Beach, I stopped off just before the entrance to the chalet site and lapped this up (that just sooo doesn't work as a visual metaphor!) As the title says, it's a view across Plymouth Sound to Cornwall, beyond. You can see the breakwater, side-on, with a couple of navy ships at anchor safely behind it. Plymouth lies on the right, behind the headland with Fort Bovisand on the promontory, and the open sea is to the left.

Once again, the choice of cropping, top and bottom, was essential to the composition and balance of the final image. For one thing, I wanted to include the break in the clouds that gave rise to the suffuse glow in the centre, but it was just too high in the sky. If I'd included it, the whole balance of the shot would have been disturbed.

So, over to you. Do they work for you? Which do you think is the best?

comments / critique / feedback always welcome :)

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Bovisand - return from the beach

On the way back up to the car park from the beach...

I wanted those grasses

On the way down to the beach I saw some lovely textures in the wiry grasses growing along the top of the cliffs but they didn't make a shot in their own right—at least not one that I could see. On the way back I saw this...

A Few Steps More
I noticed that the steps could make a shot in their own right but more than that, I'd be able to include those wonderful grasses. With a bit of dodging and burning to enhance the textures and set the tonal qualities, I was pretty much done.

I hope you like it :) To see it at it's best, click the picture - the wiry textures really only reveal themselves on the larger version.

comments / critique / feedback always welcome :)

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Bovisand - found sand writing

The second shot out of the digital darkroom from my trip to Bovisand the other day.

In time-honoured tradition

A beach in winter, damp sand and a stick, no doubt from the flotsam washed up on the shore, and a family enjoying the deserted beach. It's actually a physical law of nature that when these ingredients appear together, sand writing should appear. And here's the evidence.

Found Sand Writing

My thanks go to Georgia, Madison, Olivia and Mummy and Daddy.

comments / critique / feedback always welcome :)

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

A photo trip to Bovisand

With the beaches deserted at this time of year I thought I'd pay a visit to Bovisand to see what sort of opportunities would arise.This is the first out of the digital darkroom....

Descent to the beach

Bovisand Bay View

Bovisand has three beaches, all surrounded by quite high, sloping cliffs and this is a view from the path that leads down to the third beach. It's the first glimpse of the sea and sand after having walked between high banks on the way down and, in the summer, I've heard many squeals of delight and excitement from children when they reach this spot.

The spit of rock pointing out to sea is a common feature, especially between the beaches and rock-pool exploration is a favourite amongst the more adventurous kids.

comments / critique / feedback always welcome :)

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

A big "thank you" and some progress

Looking for that creative spark with my camera... in the meantime...

Thank you, Dors

A wonderfully talented artist from Australia, Dors, has a way with pencil art. She asked me recently if she could execute a drawing from one of my photos, and of course I was delighted to say yes. You can see the completed work here on her blog (original is on my blog here).

Out of the blue a couple of weeks ago, Dors got in touch and kindly offered to send me the artwork. It arrived yesterday and, after leaving it for the day to "rest" flat after its journey in the tube, I had a look at it for the first time this morning. It's brilliantly executed and all the texture is there from it's woolly winter coat..

Well done Dors, and thank you so much. I'm now waiting for it choose its space on my wall :)

This week I 'ave mostly bin Zazzling

With Mother's Day coming up, I've been doing a fair amount of creative work on my Zazzle store. I've done some other work as well and I thought I'd share some of the designs I like most of all.
Click any of the images to see more details and read the verses etc.

Remember, all designs are customisable so you can add your name and your own message if you want.

Mothers Day Sleeping Lady greetings card cardMother's Day
This Mother's Day card features a reproduction painting of a sleeping lady and a verse that starts:
Some deserved words to say how much I
appreciate all the wonderful and loving
things you've ever done for me...
Read more by clicking the card

Mother's Day Lady in Orange card cardOrange Lady for Mothering Sunday
 ..and this one starts:
A very special bond was created
when you gave me life.
I love you Mum and want you to...

Daddy from Princess birthday card & verse cardPink Princess
A cute birthday card for a Dad from his little pink princess. The inside verse starts:
He reads me bed-time stories,
To spin me nice dreams
And buys me lots of presents...
as always, click the image for more...

Hands Off!! Princess's Property sticker stickerKeep things safe
Cute stickers to keep a little pink princess's things safe. Stick them on school books, belongings and private things in your room.
Make sure no-one touches them at the risk of having their head chopped off! They have been warned!!

Lady in Orange keds shoe kedsshoeKeds Ladies Shoes
The renowned Keds shoes with one of my designs. These lace-up ladies shoes feature the Lady In Orange design of a lady looking wistfully into the distance. Click the image and see the shoes from all the different angles.
If you like this design, you can see all the other items in my store which feature it.

Heroic Greek/Roman Scene poster printHeroes of Classical Myth
The customisable quote reads:
Non illegitimi carborundum est
Do you remember this humorous mock latin phrase from a few years ago? I've suggested two other Latin quotes you can use instead. Also available as a fridge magnet

Spudman Paddy St Patrick's Day Stein mug St. Patrick's Day Stein
Here's a stein featuring Spudman Paddy and a number of traditional sayings in Gaelic for Paddy's Day, celebrated all over the world by anyone who can claim some form of Irish, Gaelic or Celtic connection. For example:
Croi follain agus gob fliuch: "A healthy heart and a wet mouth!"
Click the stein for more... and you'll find a link to all the St Paddy's Day gear I've made.

Inquisitive Sheep birthday card cardEven birthday card humour!
The sheep, with its cute inquisitive face is saying:
Is it ewe that's got a Birthday today?
with an equally dreadful pun inside! hehe!! Perfect for that difficult to buy-for friend or relative, it strikes just the right tone of friendship ..and you can always act a bit sheepishly (groan) at the dreadfulness of the puns!!

Money-off Coupons

Check out the current coupons you can use against purchases from my store and see how much you'll save!

comments / feedback always welcome :)


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