My walk this week through Stratford Park in Stroud brought me to a viewpoint where I could see that the fountain in the centre of the lake is offset from the vertical and rotates in at an angle. The effect against the dark background of trees was quite mesmerising.
Photographing the fountain was great fun at the time, and also afterwards when I increased the contrast in a couple of the shots and submitted one to Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness blog post – MM 4-28.Continue reading→
It was very cold (for Wales) on this Winter afternoon walk and I didn’t sit on this perfectly placed seat, but I did enjoy the last of the light. I know I posted shots of this sky at a slightly earlier stage of its cycle yesterday, so please excuse me, but I could not resist posting again as the light faded and the colours deepened.
I met my friend David Wibberly – Photographer just after taking these photos and he was commenting on the bad light for photography. I explained that as my intention is to try to present what you would see and hear on a walk, whenever it is taken, the issue of light is something I just have to deal with.
It was the patterns and textures to be seen on my walk this week through the woodlands of Stainton, Middlesbrough, that prompted me to try making some sepia comparisons to the normal colour shots I took on my iPhone 6s. Often a sepia effect is used in photography to present an impression of age or times past. Because of the effect time can have on photographic paper combined with the fact that, pre-colour photography, there were not many options to producing the image in monochrome, the effect, produced digitally today, seems a fair one to employ to gain the effect of age.
While the patterns in sand I have been looking at on my walk this week have been details of the beach in Swansea Bay, there are also interesting patterns and textures to be seen from longer, wider viewpoints. In this first shot today I like the gradual fading of the reflected light on wet sand as it transitions to drying sand.
In the second photo the pattern was subtle, perhaps more-so in reality than it is in the image but still noticeably there and resembling a tiger’s stripes. While I enjoy nuance within imagery and my surroundings, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at this pattern strengthened and converting to monochrome and increasing the contrast was one relatively quick way to do this.
Dry and Drying
There was subtlety in the sounds of the beach on this walk as well as in the patterns of sand. I got my recorder out again as soon as I heard my footsteps on top of one of the sand banks where the surface still retained water and the rhythm of my footsteps created a fizz of compressed sand and released moisture. The passing of a distant small aircraft only seemed to emphasise the peace of the beach at this stage of my walk.
If the walkers on Rhosilli beach (see Thursday’s post) gave a true sense of the scale of the space the beach and cliffs occupy, then these photos of the remnants of a sand castle could be said to confuse scale completely.
The way the sand had slipped and created miniature cliffs and mountains fascinated me. I thought there may be an even greater sense of a larger landscape if I converted to monochrome . . . and then I wondered if over exposure and increased contrast might create the conditions for a “white out” on the “mountainside”.
The bright sunlight on Rhosilli beach seemed to bleach the sand. Originally I darkened these photos as I thought they were over exposed, but although they were made clearer by doing so, they also became less representative of the glare on this part of the beach.
Sunlight has different qualities according to the current atmospheric conditions. I cannot tell you in scientific or meteorological terms what was going on in the atmosphere on this day but I can try to present something of the quality of light that at times was almost blinding
Aha! Those objects I couldn’t clearly identify earlier in the week on our walk across Cardiff Bay barrage, are buffers for ships using the docks.
Although I find these scenes interesting and those buffers fascinating, I wondered what they might be like in black and white. It is perhaps best to say b&w rather than monochrome because I deepened the darker areas, strengthened the contrast, added some grain and left no hint of colour in any spectrum.
Even on a bright day, the woods can be incredibly dark! The trees in the first image show darker than they were in reality but I wanted to keep the contrast between them and the colour of the sunlit landscape behind.
The second image has been lightened! The original photo was dark but only because it reflected how dark the interior of the dense undergrowth really was.
This apparently coffin shaped corridor is hewn from the rock on top of which Carreg Cennen Castle stands on the edge of the Brecon Beacons in Carmarthenshire, South Wales. It leads down to a cave that must have provided either a fantastic fridge or an excellent dungeon for the occupants of the past.
And today one of my photos of the castle has been posted as part of the Monochrome Madnessseries by Leanne Cole Photography 🙂
More photos from my iPhone using both the phone’s Camera app and PureShot.
Controlling exposure and white balance can be difficult in certain situations, most especially when there is significant contrast in light within the frame. One way to adjust this with the Camera app is to try out different angles and points of focus until you find a reasonable compromise and then make further adjustment to shadows and highlights in post processing with an app like Adobe Photoshop (the phone version) or Lightroom on your computer.
PureShot allows easy adjustment on screen of the area within the frame that is sensitive to the light when taking your shot. This means that it is much easier to use the angle and composition that you want with little compromise to white balance and contrast. And of course further tweaking is possible in post production. I like the mobile Photoshop app for post production on the phone but another good app I use is SnapSeed.
The first photo (of The Great Glasshouse at NBGW) was taken with the Camera app. Although there was significant contrast between the light coming through the glass roof and the “landscape” inside, it was easy to adjust the angle satisfactorily to allow a good distribution of light or white balance.
The second and third shots were both taken with PureShot as TIFFs, with its exposure control making it possible to handle the contrast between sky and land and inside the glasshouse, “table” and darker plants surrounding it. For detailed info on using either app, I refer people to Emil Pakarklis’ iPhone Photography School.
Memorial to the project architect of the Great Glasshouse
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