Monday, 21 December 2015

Unnatural vectors

Recently I've really been on a drive to really push myself and my photography in new and interesting ways and directions. This week I mainly focused on me exploring unnatural and man made structures as a focus for my photographic style.

In doing so I was able to find buildings that really accentuated broken lines and strange vectors. This along with the almost sickly light that fell on the nearby trees was able to create a series of images that were by turn strange, jarring and distinctive in the extreme.

As a rule of thumb my photographs tend to create images that blur and celebrate the natural world to the point that they begin to reclaim any man man influences upon them. These works were almost in opposition to that showing the warping effect that man made structures have upon nature.

To this point I was able to create a series of unnatural vectors, ones that would pose troubling questions about our effect upon the fragile world around us.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Night by the riverside

On the weekend I took the bus up to my local park, I had felt a desire to take pictures on the riverside there for a while but hadn't got the chance until this weekend. But I stopped procrastinating and actually took the trip there.

The night had transformed what was a tranquil area in day time into something quite otherworldly by the cover of darkness. I met with a friend and wandered this suddenly wild world. The street lamps along the way made each path leading into the darkness into a living fairy tale. One where a fey and strange creature could lay in wait to pounce at any moment.

The tree branches stretched over the river over a grey and purple sky. And in that moment I could imagine that in that night I was on a silent road by the river that would lead to grandmothers house where the big bad wolf would devour me whole and where the fey folk would ride out across a bruised sky.

On a night by the riverside the world was suddenly filled with dark and mysterious magic.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Urban brushstrokes

After spending the last few weeks focusing on nature I decided that I wanted to push myself in a different direction. The urban world isn't one I explore often with my photography but it was very much one that I decided to explore this week.

I wanted to apply my more impressionist technique to the streets of Cardiff and with the recent wet weather the streets had become glowing canvases on which to paint with light.

The colours, the lights, the people wandering its streets became the perfect subjects from which to create an impression of the city at night. From these elements I sought to capture the neon soaked painting of passing cars. The feeling of strangers passing through the night and the ghostly outlines of the houses that lined the way.

It was through these that I sought to create something different. To build up a picture of the night, build upon a thousand urban brushstrokes capturing the shimmering Cardiff night.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Turner by the sea

Turner is one of my favourite artists; his eye for colour, his capturing of light, his obession with water. I look at his art and realise how much it has inspired a lot of my more abstract work. I look at his work and it speaks to me on a level deep in my soul.

I took the train down to Barry island today. The moon was nearly full and its light fell down on a distant, far out sea and in its glow the beach became luminous and beautiful. I wanted to capture that ghostly feeling, that feeling of the awe and subtle mystery found in nature that's so present in Turners work.

As I took photos I reveled in the oranges, blues, whites and yellows found in the pictures I was taking. I took pictures of the light reflected upon the sand, the moonlight reflected on the water and of the glowing multicolored neon lights of the nearby lights of the attractions there.

And as I took pictures I imagined what Turner must have felt like capturing pictures by the sea.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Creating abstract images: Is it still a photo anymore?

In the wake of the tragedy that has befallen Paris I would like to extend my well wishes and prayers to the people who live there and have been affected by this tragedy. I would also like to say that it's important to remember that the people who did this want to inspire hatred and violence in others from religious and non religious sides alike. To quote mr Lincoln "we are not enemies but friends, though passions may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection"

This week while editing my photography I was left with a condrum that I usually try to avoid; my photos looked better when the tonal levels were heavily altered in photoshop. Now this led to an interesting question that held up a mirror to my own work. If a photograph becomes too heavily altered through an effect is it still a photograph?

In our day and age it has become common place to take images and stitch one sky onto another foreground (often with some extra interesting features stitched in to enliven the picture). I've always had mixed feelings about this process, after all if you have to alter an image so completely to make it a great photo should you be spending more time improving your photographic technique? On the other hand to photoshop well requires skill, an artistic eye and serious technical expertise.

So it might be a little hypocritical to say that when I take an abstract photo, I normally justify in my head that the fact that I have captured it in camera (normally through utilising different shutter speeds), somehow stops it from feeling like cheating.

But this week when I was editing my work I really had to stop and think about the processes I was using and how that reflected on my own work. The photos I were editing were so far removed from their starting point, were they even the same images anymore?

At the end of the day I very much come down on the side of turning photography into art and while I'm having my cake and eating it by posting these pictures while writing a blog post about it I feel like anything that pushes the medium of photography is worth exploring. Are these images true photographs anymore? Maybe not, but are they art though? Most definitely and therefore worth showing to the world.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

A path up the mountains

The Skrrid (also know as the holy or sacred) mountain in the heart of South Wales really is an enchanting place to take an autumnal stroll. Filled as it is with leaves that are busy burning through all the autumn hues. The clouds that sweep across the sky before bursting spectacularly with rain.

There are many legends associated with this mountain and the huge chunk that has been carved out of it. Some say that a part of it broke off at the moment of Christ's crucifixion, other legends say that earth from mountain is sacred and has the power to make any land it touches fertile. On a more personal note the land here also has a special association for me, home as it is to both the people that I consider to be my extended family and as a neighbor to where we laid my stepdad to rest.

It was therefore a pleasure to take a pleasant Saturday to hike up to the top, taking photos as I went. The views were spectacular spanning the black mountain range and as I struggled at the top to take pictures while the wind tried to pitch me off the top I was filled with a real sense of accomplishment.

If you do decide to scale the Skirrid I would thoroughly recommend a trip to The Skirrid Mountain Inn, one of the oldest (reputedly most haunted) and welcoming pubs in Wales. I spent many a happy night there as a child enjoying the great food.

It really was a great day to take a trip up this historic mountain.