Tuesday 31 May 2011
Sunday 29 May 2011
I've taken you back to Seaford Head and the Cuckmere Haven where a few days ago we saw the bad weather closing in on the Seven Sisters white chalk cliffs.
I couldn't resist capturing this image of the old coastguard cottage with its red door and blue window frame set against the super-grey English Channel. It's hard to belive that if you keep on going south for about 900 miles you'll reach the sunny scenery of Menton DP. Ah, well; you can't have everything.
Thursday 26 May 2011
Tuesday 24 May 2011
For those of you who don't know, this is a classic "South Coast" view akin to the iconic "White Cliffs of Dover". This scene shows the coast guard cottages at Cuckmere Haven (where the Cuckmere flows off the South Downs into the English Channel) and the famous "Seven Sisters" chalk cliffs stretching towards Beachy Head light house and Eastbourne, Hastings and onwards towards Dover after the interruption of Dungeoness and Romney Marsh .
The scene is much photographed, in sunshine, evening light, frosty early mornings etc. My scene shows it as bad weather suddenly sweeps in having traveled rapidly up the English Channel from the South West. A strong "Souwester" is blowing - loved (and feared) by generations of British and Dutch sailors as this wind blew them hard and very fast up the Channel on the final leg of their long sea voyages towards home. The "day tripper" photographer has to take what he gets. When I started out to walk the cliff tops, the sun was bright. Suddenly this rough weather fell upon me within minutes!!
In the 1940s you could stand here and watch dramatic aerial battles between squadrons of German and British aircraft locked in mortal combat, swooping upon each other at 340 mph, creating the legends of the White Cliffs as they fought.
Saturday 21 May 2011
Friday 20 May 2011
Thursday 19 May 2011
A day out on the South Coast. We are at Seaford looking due South across the English Channel. The con-trails, narrow and fresh, or wide and decaying are numerous and show that this is major crossing point for giant airliners flitting across the world. The wide angle lens does justice to the sense of fresh air and the concept of the wide, wide world across the sea. The scene looks outward - a healthy state to be in.
Wednesday 18 May 2011
Tuesday 17 May 2011
Here's a bit of fun that's been around for a few years, but I've only just noticed it!! Look up, People!! Look up!!!!
On the lamp posts at Ham Gate, entering Richmond Park, they have placed these delightful little royal crowns, sitting on their sweet little tassled cushions. I've loaded the picture in a large(ish) size, so do click on it and enjoy the details in the crown and cushion. By the way, I think the gas lamp is never switched off. Who remembers gas lamps?
Monday 16 May 2011
Sunday 15 May 2011
Saturday 14 May 2011
Friday 13 May 2011
Wednesday 11 May 2011
Tuesday 10 May 2011
Monday 9 May 2011
Sunday 8 May 2011
A quick trip across the border from France into the pleasant town of Ventimiglia, Italy, continues to show the style of Mediterranean life as we know it. But climate change is making the area drier and drier. Perhaps in 150 yrs from now it will be more like Muscat, Oman, with desalination plants and high energy consumption to power air cooling systems.
Thursday 5 May 2011
I've already mentioned the how the Old Town of Menton lends itself to night photography. One evening I went out with Jilly of Menton DP and we wandered about practicing with tripods and ISOs and exposures and white balances and all those other engagingly exciting things that go with night photography.
The pleasing tonality of this scenes goes without saying, but the really totally exciting thing is the spaghetti of electrical wiring and plumbing above the steps in the doorway. If anything sums up France, this is it!! Weirdly ingenious and successfully functional in spite of itself and its quirky character. (Well, aren't we all a bit weird?)
Wednesday 4 May 2011
It's all too easy to over-romanticise and falsely idolise the Cote d'Azur, but it's also very easy to understand how it got and how it keeps its good reputation. For me this is a delightful scene that any Englishman fed up with the grey British winter will long to see and enjoy. Early morning, delightfully fresh before the day warms up. The scent of the bushes and plants. The sound of a torrent rushing down the canyon from the mountains. A terrace garden, high up and looking out towards the Mediterranean Sea where the blue sky is reflected. (I took lots and lots photos of this same scene with the hanging bird table, trying to capture the essence. I didn't get exactly what I was trying for, but so far this is the nearest).
Tuesday 3 May 2011
Monday 2 May 2011
Colour film was almost non existant and a priceless miracle of chemistry in the 1930s and 40s. When I was a child I remember my excitement looking at Mother's old snaps and her showing me her little box of photo colouring pencils. I was entranced by the delicate colouring and the magical effect it had on the photo. I was eager to try it and remember the thrill of quick and realtively easy success, achieving a powerful effect for little effort.
This Menton street scene seemed ripe for some "creative" treatment, so I simply clicked on "Creative - Aged Photo" in Lightroom, and suddenly realised that in a micro-second, with one click, I had more or less achieved what my Mother did while passing the winter hours, looking through her photos, lovingly colouring them and listening to a grammophone record or the wireless: no television in those days!! It existed but was, like colour film, a priceless marvel of technology yet to be widely available.
Sunday 1 May 2011
A night-time foray up through the Old Town yielded this. (Not the finest of night time shots, but it still captures some of the atmosphere and the pleasing tonality of a night time-walk through the alleys - actually that's "climb" not walk.)
I've been neglecting the blog and my loyal "lurkers". I'm quite precoccupied weeding and reorganising my photo collection and still trying to short out my strenuous physical exercise programme to try to overcome the limitations caused by my fall on the ice at Christmas 16 months ago.