Friday, 23 September 2011

Print Space Food Competition - my fishy picture is a winner

Sometimes a little bit of luck comes along, just at the point when it feels like nothing is going to plan. I am delighted to have won The Print Space Food Competition with my monochrome image of fish in Cochin harbour, Kerala. I guess I'll just have to put up with the fact that they think I am a man; perhaps they are just a bit busy. The good news is that means I get to participate in their  show next year So ShowMe of images shared through social networking sites such as Flickr and Facebook

Monday, 12 September 2011

whatever the weather

Katia 2 © Caroline Fraser

The great thing about being a keen photographer is that nothing can stop one from making images. Hurricane Katia is beating around my house at the moment, and instead of feeling sad about the loss of the sunshine and warm weather I am eager to get down to the woods to see if I can get some more "wind" shots ( preferably without the aid of falling trees).

I found myself walking along the river Medway at the weekend, ostensibly to capture my man in his boat, but mainly because I fancied a walk along the river shore to see what I could see. Having been inspired by Struth's paradise series I was delighted to see grasses and trees blowing vigorously in the wind, creating a mini version of paradise; all in green. using a long lens, small aperture and hand holding for between 0.5 to 2 secs I experimented with capturing the movement.

Katia 1 © Caroline Fraser

As I strolled, dog moseyed around on the shore, wandering over to say hello to random passers by.

random passers-by © caroline fraser

As you can see I was having a fuzzy kind of day, preferring to keep the lens out of focus; thereby avoiding the need for a tripod on a windy day with a long lens.

The main key to success with the windy foliage shots seems to be to avoid having any chinks of sky that burn out on a long exposure; the deeper you get into the undergrowth, the better.

Katia 3 © Caroline Fraser

I did get some shots of my man in his boat, but to be honest, they are not very good; my lens not long enough, and too many blocks of flats in the background.

So as my man values his privacy, here is a photo of someone else's dinghy coming down stream against the tide

spinnaker © caroline fraser 2011
As you can see, I was attracted by the lovely red and white spinnaker ( sail).

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

In Paradise with Thomas Struth

Paradise is a place far removed from the mundanities of suburban life. What can I say about the urban fox that kindly chopped our garden hose up into five separate pieces last night; did he think it was a useful thing to do? Was he seeking revenge under cover of darkness for the fact that dog loves to chase around the garden by day keeping unwelcome intruders out?

I will never know, but what I can say is that I was bowled over by the Paradise series of photographs as seen at the Whitechapel Gallery and created by Thomas Struth.When I walked into the room containing enormous views of forests around the world, I was mesmerised. They are so large that the viewer can immerse themselves within the forest. There is no focal point. It felt like a form of meditation to be gazing at them. They are calming and beautiful.

Paradise 09 by Struth

 I was expecting large photographs; I knew of his work capturing the public enraptured by classical art in museums and galleries, and  was intrigued by his recent series of images from laboratories  displaying chaos amongst the order that is scientific research; they reminded me of my own desire to capture chaos in the natural world.

a fume cupboard by Thomas Struth

All of his works are on a  grand scale. The video in which he discusses his work is helpful; having watched it I would have gone round again to revisit the images with my new found knowledge had I had time. What looked like urban street views were heavy with metaphors that I had missed on first viewing. But for the Paradise series there is no need to read or understand; they are just there................. surely if you have to have work explained in great detail before getting the point, then the images are not speaking for themselves.

Paradise 15 by struth

What  I really liked about his description of the Paradise series was that he says

 " you don't have to interpret; its a way of being quiet. it's not about the vegetation, it's about the lack of focus and meaning.

 There is no "punctum" or point; they are about being in the moment, just seeing and looking, which is  what most of my photography is about. They have no point or deeper meaning, just a desire to convey a mood that nature creates.

leaves © Caroline Fraser

I leave you with some leaves floating in the water from Foots Cray meadow; they don't mean a thing...........................or do they?