Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Dungeness...............a place for experimentation..........and a little therapy

Low tide , Dungeness, April 2013
Photographers are drawn in their hundreds to Dungeness. Camera club images of faded boats and rusty metal exist in their thousands. Fashion shoots are a regular sight. It has become a cliche to many.

So how to be original, if such a thing is ever possible in photography?

I spent a couple of afternoons there recently; one under glorious blue skies, and the other under oppressive black clouds that caused wonderful changing light on the sea, and that later had me soaked to the skin.

 It is never possible to tire of the place, and that is probably why people go there; it has an 'other worldly' feel to it. The incongruity of the small cottages under the shadow of the power station seem like nowhere else. It is special. It can, however, be very bleak.

Washing dries well.

laundry day, Dungeness

Architecture ranges from the sublime to the ridiculous.

red chimneys brighten the landscape in front of the power station

a holiday home resembles the power station or possibly a prison camp

So what to do, to be different?

I have been trying to find a way to use multiple exposure as a means to add something to my images. I like the unpredictability of the results; always preferring 'free flow' photography to the precision that a tripod brings.

On the sunny day I looked at the metal containers that are strewn across the shingle acting as storage vessels for fishermen.

red container

shapes and colours

overlapping numbers

outrageous colours as a consequence of multiple exposure
All good fun.

The results on a sunny day are quite different from those on the dull grey day on my next visit. I had recently talked to Fred Cuming RA about Dungeness, and love his paintings of the navigation sign shown below. He overlays his paintings with unexpected colours; something that I have not achieved.

Fred Cuming's website

5 overlapping exposures give the navigation sign a rather delicate appearance. 

a simple landscape gains drama from the mulitple exposure effect at low tide

Endless possibilities. And definitely more work to be done here.

I had the privilege to meet Paddy Hamilton of Dungeness Open Studios. We had a natter, and I found out a bit about what it is like to live under the shadow of the power station. His home appears welcoming, unlike the austere modern dwelling next door occupied by weekenders. The studio sheds  are full of interesting artworks and photographs taken at Dungeness. His generosity in relation to publicising my current show Transitions at Battle was unexpected and humbling.

a warm welcome at the open studio
If you want to know where to find him, he is "under the old black lighthouse".

the old black lighthouse, the railway station and the power station

If you would like to see some more examples of multiple exposure photography then I can highly recommend the following links to get your creative juices flowing;

Chris Friel  is currently working on a fascinating set of nudes

Rob Hudson creates poetic landscapes in monochrome

Valda Bailey creates beautiful landscapes from the South coast

I can but dream.

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