Marsh Grasses

A Focus on Marsh Grass

One of the things I like most about  my walk this week on my local salt marsh is the marsh grass. It’s not the only thing I focus on when there, but using the camera to look at different aspects of the grass by adjusting the focal length allows me to investigate some of its different textures and patterns.

Marsh grass

The two images below with the fence half hidden amongst the grasses are ones that each have a different depth of field and which I like for different reasons. The one with the fence and background grasses blurred gives me a better sense of being there while the other seems to me to be more diagrammatic, though I like the complex texture it presents.  You may see them differently, but neither of them are realistic insofar as the camera lens cannot see in the way our eyes do but only recreate a sense of a place which we, ultimately, respond to according to our individual perception. Perhaps, if you are unfamiliar with this kind of landscape feature, the images may mean nothing to you. Our connection and response to the things around us, images included, is strongly influenced by our own experiences.

Steel Perspective

But Is It Art?

On my walk this week I found myself in one of the upper floor rooms of the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery and enjoyed looking at works by well known artists of the past such as Ceri Richards, Paul Nash, Henry Moore and others. In this room I was also struck by the effect of the translucent screen hanging in front of the floor to ceiling window. It changed my perception of the building opposite and for a few moments I thought I was looking at another work of art – so I took some photos!

Looking Out

Directly below, on the ground floor, is the room used for talks, presentations, etc.,  In here I spotted a stack of seats in the corner and I was again persuaded to take some photos. The clean, bright patterns of stainless steel really appealed to me ….. but is it art?Continue reading

Glynn Vivian Art Gallery

Art and History at The Glynn Vivian Gallery and Museum

On my walk this week around the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery and Museum in Swansea, I looked in a number of the rooms. In the main gallery I observed, listened to and contemplated the various abstract and video art works to be experienced in the current exhibition – “These Waters Have Stories To Tell”.

Art at the Glynn Vivian

This exhibition is part of the Ephemeral Coast series of touring exhibitions and includes six different artists. The first of the works I have shown below is one of the most deceptive – this (apparent) swimming float is in fact made of concrete and knowing this, my perception of it becomes confused. I am being deliberately deceived, and this brings to mind so many parallels in todays society that I have to start thinking more deeply about it in an effort to figure out my understanding of the themes of the exhibition and the connections the works have to us and the relationship we have with the/our environment.

On the top floor I enjoyed some of the older works in the museum – not just the works themselves but also the displays and the patterns of light and reflection created.

Walking through the mist

Rising higher on this, my second consecutive walk up the Cwm Dulais valley, I came into a heavy mist. The mist was not so heavy that I couldn’t see the friendly horse in the field at the top to whom I like to chat, but his own grey colour is not far off that of the mist – well camouflaged for weather like this!

heavy mist

Continue reading

Seeing Snippets with a Photographic Blinker

I like to think that I would spot different details or snippets of my surroundings regardless of the photographic blinker provided by a camera. But I also think that using a camera over the years has helped me to put a mental frame around aspects of my local environment that has allowed me more easily to focus on certain details.

On my walk this week along Aberavon seafront I took many photos, both detail shots and wide angle. Thinking of using them and my field recordings for a StillWalks video of this time and place, it was important for me to view the bigger picture as well as the details. The “bigger picture” shots below reveal that the sea fret that had lifted a little for a while, had descended again to mask the details in the distance.

sea wall snippet

Continue reading

Seeing it as it is – details of the bigger picture

Nearing the end of my short street walk this week I was considering how useful a camera can be in helping to pick out aspects of an environment. Without peripheral vision plus the ability to select a point of focus it is possible to present reality as abstract. I have not taken todays photos that far and the subjects of all these images are identifiable, but seeing it as it is does not necessarily mean there is an understandable context.

If you have seen my previous posts this week you will know that the context is a city centre street along which I have been walking, looking and listening to my surroundings. But taking the images of today’s post on their own, there is a great deal of contextual information they do not give. This means the photos almost force you to consider their more abstract elements and forget about the street or town they may be in – peeling paint, the pattern of broken glass, marks on a road surface and lines in a wall.

street markings

The penultimate photo below is in a specify location in a specific town / city. It can only be one particular place but at the same time it could be anywhere. I like the vertical columns in the background set behind the horizontal pattern of parked cars but wanted to bring some more attention to them give the image a little more individuality. So with a monochrome conversion, a little digital manipulation and a tighter crop . . .

If viewing this in an email, please click the post title to see other photos in this post, thank you.

Intention and Interpretation

I didn’t have to pick out these photos from the shoot I did on that dreary day in Mumbles – for that matter, I didn’t have to take the photos in the first place. The images were processed and uploaded a week ago and now that I come to write this post, I wonder what my reasoning may have been. What was my intention and what might be my, or your interpretation of them?

I find I am reading things into them now that may have been sub-conscious at the time of production or even post production – but that time to reflect is very valuable. All of the work I have produced as an artist over the years was made over greater or lesser amounts of time, naturally, but just as the meaning of a piece of art can be different for each individual, so it can also change for the artist.

Some of my other art work can be seen here.

Mumbles Lighthouse

Mumbles Lighthouse

Surface Tension and Reviewing the Week 8

Without clicking on the landscape version of this image, I find I have a preference for the portrait crop. However, that is partly because it is easy to see the dimples created by the surface tension between the water and the pine needles and in the second image that is the most important aspect of the shot. The first image composition or crop includes more space which changes my perception to one more focused on the reflected depth of the sky.

floating needles

floating needles