Monday, 12 March 2012

String, nets and dead leaves at Dungeness

Sea holly © Caroline Fraser 2012 made with iphone

A day out at Dungeness with an old friend was just what I needed. I had been playing around with some iphone pictures of sea holly, and whilst they look fine on the screen, when printed out the quality is lacking, and my plan to create a series was aborted.

Dungeness on a sunny Sunday is a photographer's paradise; wherever we walked we were bumping into tripods and camera cases along with their owners.

Not for me the popular images of rotting boats and bits of old metal; I got seriously attracted to some fishing nets hanging from the roof of an old wooden hut. They reminded me of my recent forays into bits of string; the netting has a beauty and purpose; the knots around the edge of the nets looked like lace at the edge of a tablecloth, and I spent a happy hour (with tripod and a 105mm lens) trying to capture the beauty of the folds and layers against the tarred wall of the shed. I am grateful to my friend Steve for lending me his tripod and getting me back into slow-mode.

Nets © Caroline Fraser 2012
But the image that pleases me most from my day out is of a desiccated sea holly leaf that I picked up from the shingle and photographed against the shed wall. My plan to capture the sea holly in autumn at Rye Harbour when the leaves were rotting and wilting into the ground were thwarted by a lack of time; on returning to capture them they had vanished; blown away by the winds and rain.

At Dungeness I realised that fragments of desiccated leaves have survived the winter and that opportunities remain to create something from their curves and delicate shapes.

death and desiccation © Caroline Fraser 2012

This dried sea holly leaf has a simplicity that I enjoy, and the background of the fishing shed seems entirely appropriate for the subject matter. It was processed in Lightroom using a cream tone monochrome.

I will return to explore this subject further; it takes me back to my basic instinct to create something beautiful.

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