Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Waiting...............for the rain to stop.............photography in Iceland

on the road in Iceland.......at the filling station

Here I am in iceland again, hoping for some snow and ice.

It seems that I will need to be patient, as it hasn't stopped raining for more than a few minutes in the last 24 hours, and the snow and ice is high on the hills in the central highlands where we cannot go. It feels rather like being in Scotland on a bad day. The group I am with are mostly male, which means that I can't pass the time discussing the merits of the latest Prada handbag or this spring's Jimmy Choo's. Instead we have the merits of D800 versus 1D, large format versus digital, and last night the chemical structure of ergotamine complete with 3-D images of the molecule rotating beautifully in space on an iPad.

Having had 88mm of rain overnight, we set off Eastwards from our hotel in Ger∂i ( just got lucky with the ∂ by pressing alt-d). Icelandic is a challenging language, with many new sounds and rules, which I am failing to master.

Suffice it to say that it rained ALL day. Not light rain , but the serious stuff that causes rivers to swell and  fields to flood.

Meanwhile back in the UK I hear it is freezing and there is snow on the ground.

Such is life. Here is has not gone below 7-8 degrees centigrade since I arrived.

driving in the rain 

The only dry places were service stations and cafes, so the day was spent driving from one cafe to another, stopping at locations along the way to test the weather and confirm that it really was too wet to take pictures.

But we did find a great little book in the petrol station called 50 crazy things to do in iceland. One recommended activity was to 'challenge your driving skills', which we felt was appropriate for the weather, but perhaps a little too crazy for a minibus containing real people........

am wondering what the text suggests here..........

More appropriate would probably be the mud bathing option.

much more appealing than overturning the vehicle

Earlier in the day we had been discussing Gursky's photograph of the river, that earned him enormous sums of money.

I took a photograph of some items in the shop and was accused of copying Gursky's images of shop displays. Given that no photographic idea that I ever come up with is likely to be  a new idea, this doesn't worry me too much. I can simply say that  I am aware of my influences.

I was attracted to the 'cockpit cleaner'.

It seems that drivers in Iceland hanker after being aeroplane pilots.

cockpit cleaner

We continued eastwards to Stokksnes, to the wonderful black sandy beach with dunes.

It was raining there too.

Stokksnes © Caroline Fraser

This picture is a colour image. It was a very moody grey day.  I enjoyed the wind and the rain, and just being there again. I snapped a few shots with my tiniest camera, with my hand over the lens to keep the rain drops off.

Then back to Jokulsarlon to the glacial lagoon, which frankly looks a bit of a mess right now , with lots of flat melting fragments of ice. The fragments are all washing up onto the beach in their hundreds, so when the rain stops we will be down there for some joyful ice photography.

But for now the only option was another cup of tea.

Cafe, Jokulsarlon © Caroline Fraser

Thursday, 7 February 2013

The Secret Garden . A poem and some photographs.

The Secret Garden notebook by Caroline Fraser

Dog has terminal disease. Every day with her now feels precious.

I am releasing my notebook 'The Secret Garden' in advance of the dreaded day so as not to appear morbid, as the poem is about our secret place in the woods.

Walking in the woods with dog has kept me alive. I thank her for that.

 Anyone who has read 'The Secret garden' by Frances Hodgson Burnett will understand these sentiments.

You can take a peek inside here......

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Royal Photographic Society Christmas Card Competition

frost on Christmas Day

Pleased to have this image selected as a finalist for the RPS Christmas card exhibition. See all the finalists here

Camber Sands deconstructed. Working with multiple exposures

the sea at camber sands on a cold february day

I have a new camera that allows me to make in-camera multiple exposures. Trying to make something worthwhile is my next challenge. I had a play with it at Camber Sands this weekend in the late afternoon as the sun was nearing the horizon.

There are four different settings for making the exposures, all with very different outcomes.

The most interesting results are not the 'additive' or 'averaging' settings , but those where the camera responds to light and dark contrasting areas in the different layers; the 'dark' and 'bright' settings.

beach house using the 'dark' setting

same house using the 'bright' setting

I enjoy both of the above effects.

The challenge lies in knowing which to use on each subject; too many bright areas on top of each other leave a washed out over-exposed image. I haven't yet worked this out. Not seeing the images under construction allows for a lot of experimentation, not all of which works.

I am quite excited about the potential of this, but so far my architectural images seem more interesting.  Multiple layers of the sea have a much more subtle effect because of the lack of structure.

the sea using 5 layered images on 'bright' setting

The potential for surreal effects gets greater when you try changing the camera angle between shots. I didn't notice the sea gulls in this photograph until I uploaded it.

gulls in flight. 'dark' setting multiple exposure

I am not sure where all of this will lead, but I had a lot of fun on a cold February afternoon.