A fairy tale landscape emerges in the pre dawn light. Delicate fronds of mist swirl through the grasses and trees, changing the whole topography and feel second by second. If you listen carefully, you can almost hear the valley sigh as it awakes from it’s slumber and draws breath through its lungs.
This is a place that I’ve visited many times, often driving overnight and accessing my preferred shooting spot seen here through the grounds of an hotel overlooking the valley. And although not averse to a spot of trespass, the thought of climbing over their tennis court fence again at 4am on this particular occasion didn’t fill me with enthusiasm and so on impulse I booked to stay the night before. Lots of sleep and a nice early shoot feeling refreshed, right?
And here’s what I discovered
1. The hotel is a wellness and healing centre. This means that it’s necessary to walk around in a bath robe humming at all times. The robe should be one size too small.
2. Wellness and healing doesn’t seem to go hand in hand with “unhealthy fry up”. Which after an early morning shoot is an essential part of the photographer’s routine. This made me grumpy.
3. Days of humming and knitting your own sandals from tofu in the presence of like minded people can lead to a certain degree of disinhibition. The observation by a very elderly lady that I appeared rather stressed as I stood bleary eyed after my shoot by the (decaffeinated) coffee machine and subsequent offer that maybe she could teach me some relaxation techniques in her room later was very kind. But somewhat forward. All I wanted was some sausage.
4. Italians are extremely animated. At checkout, I had spotted a painting on the wall that I particularly liked and asked the manager if it was a local scene. With great gusto, he grabbed me by the arm and lead me outside to excitedly point out how I could get there.
5. Animated people, early morning dew and steep slopes don’t mix. One moment he was all whirling arms and wild eyes and the next…..he was gone. Down the slope behind the tennis court.
6. Returning to the hotel in front of the other guests with the manger looking somewhat dishevelled in his torn and muddy shirt aroused a certain degree of interest.
7. Winking at the lady who had approached me over coffee and who was now knitting more tofu in the foyer as we walked past and cheerfully saying “this is what happens when I don’t get a proper breakfast” probably wasn’t that funny in retrospect.
Next time I’ll just trespass.
Technical: Nikon D810. 16-35 f4 at 16mm. 23 seconds at f11. 0.9 Lee soft grad. Dressing gown one size too small.
Tags: ITALY TUSCANY VAL D'ORCIA SUNRISE DAWN FIRST LIGHT MIST FOG VALLEYS HILLS COLOUR FARMHOUSE TREES CLASSICAL CYPRESS SOFT LANDSCAPE NIKON D810 LEE FILTERS
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Wake me up, wake me up inside, I can't wake up,
Wake me up inside, save me,
Call my name and save me from the dark, wake me up
Bid my blood to run, I can't wake up
Before I come undone, save me
Save me from the nothing I've become
Bring me to life- Evanescence
If I’m photographing alone, I often listen to music as I work my way through the process of setting up and taking an image. For me, it’s a way of freeing my mind from any distractions. And as someone who’s plan for timing long exposures relies only on rough approximation, songs can also give a fairly good idea of when to close the shutter.
And so on this beautiful evening at Burnham as the setting sun cast a final golden salute to the day, I knew that I’d require 1.27 plays of my favourite 4 minute and 12 second track. Approximately.
Of course, it’s important to have the right music to suit the conditions. For instance, just behind me as I took this shot there appeared to be what I assume was a magazine photoshoot involving some young ladies who were somewhat underdressed for the conditions. Gently gyrating my hips to the sound of “S*xy and I know it” while clutching the remote release would not have been appropriate. Although it would have required exactly one and a half plays.
And there you have it. Music as a timing aid.
Week 5 of my broken leg and I’m going crazy…..
Tags: UK UNITED KINGDON BURNHAM SEASCAPE COASTAL SUNSET WATER REFLECTIONS WARM COLOUR SKY CLOUDS BEACH SAND PATTERNS LIGHT WOODEN NIKON D810 ND GRADS LONG EXPOSURE
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Having a broken leg has a number of disadvantages. Like not being able to walk. Or drive. Or go to work. Or photograph.
But you know- there are some positives. The kindness of friends, for instance. And the fact that for the very reasonable sum of £29.99 plus £6.99 postage and packing, I am now the proud owner of “200 beautiful instrumental recordings to create the perfect ambiance” All on 10 CDs. And you know the best thing? You simply cannot buy this collection in the shops apparently. Which is a surprise.
And so, to the gentle strains of my newly acquired department store background music, I’ve been sifting through images from my 4 years in photography.
So kick back and relax as you take in a glorious sunrise at Selsey to the haunting strains of “I have a dream” played by what sounds very much like the local primary school orchestra.
Now you’ll have excuse me for a few moments, at this point- I also have to finalize my order for the Hawaii office chair, which apparently moves in a continuous circular motion to strengthen your core abdominal muscles.
According to the advertising:
“With Hawaii Chair, it takes the work out of you work day.”
Which sounds fabulous, even if I’m not entirely certain what it means.
And as one woman has so eloquently stated: “Oh my gosh this is amazing. I can really feel this working.”
So there you have it. A broken leg isn’t so bad after all. And it appears that if you sit, you can still get fit. With added music.
I hope you enjoy the image.
Technical: Nikon D810, 16-35mm VR f/4 at 16mm. ISO 64. 170 seconds. Gitzo GT3523LS, FLM-CB FTRII head.
Tags: UK UNITED KINGDOM SELSEY LIFEBOAT STATION SEASCAPE SUNRISE DAWN WARM CLOUDS REFLECTIONS SEA COLOURFUL LONG EXPOSURE ND GRADS NIKON D810 LEE FILTERS
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As most of you that have sufficiently questionable taste in photography to actually visit my stream regularly will know, I am currently somewhat incapacitated. Hence this archive shot from Selsey- one of those rare occasions where the gods of photography see fit to smile down upon us. An evening of breathtaking tranquility with barely a breath of air to disturb the waters around the old lifeboat station. A perfect end to a perfect day.
And in many ways so different than my last trip to Scotland. A trip that has resulted in a considerable cost saving in footwear and a number of points to reflect upon. And so, in the spirit of sharing and for all of you who have asked, here are my thoughts-
1. Scotland is incredibly beautiful. But very wet.
2. The famous Highland midge (Culicoides impunctatus) which is essentially an angry set of tiny flying teeth doesn’t really like rain. Or wind. So this is a good time to photograph.
3. The rain and wind make everything slippery. So in fact, this is not a good time to photograph.
4. When you find yourself half lying in a fast flowing river with a broken leg, I know it’s tempting to take one final shot because in your adrenaline fueled haze the whole scene has now taken on a beautifully misty feel. This isn’t a great idea. And the focusing is difficult.
5. As a rule of thumb, a loud snapping noise from anywhere below the waist is a bad thing. No matter where it arises.
6. When the only doctor on duty at the remote cottage hospital arrives back from seeing your xrays looking ashen faced, it is likely to mean that you will be requiring more than just a couple of aspirin and a Costa.
7. It is entirely possible to obtain complimentary first class travel on the train back to Birmingham when your leg points in an unusual direction and is encased in a plaster cast. There are some longer term disadvantages to this upgrade method however.
8. The doctors at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham who screwed the pieces of my leg back together last Monday were superb. And unlike building flat pack furniture, they didn’t seem to have any parts left over at the end. Which is good.
9. Apparently, I have a very extensive and colorful vocabulary. All that is required to unlock it is a bit of anaesthesia and morphine.
And so there you have it. No walking for the next 6 weeks and an excuse to post archive shots with impunity because now you all feel sorry for me. Right?
Thank you for all your messages of support over the last two weeks and for the box of Lego which arrived in the post.
I hope you enjoy the image ☺
Tags: UNITED KINGDOM UK SELSEY LIFEBOAT STATION SOUTH COAST SEASCAPE LONG EXPOSURE ND GRADS WATER REFLECTION GROYNES BOATS ETHEREAL NIKON D810 LEE FILTERS
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This may be my shortest exposure ever. As some of you know, I’ve broken my leg and am waiting for the surgeons to join the pieces back together. Let's hope they don't have any left over when they've finished.
I just wanted to post this message for a couple of hours as a huge thank you to everyone who’s taken the time to email and call me. This has been the Flickr community at it’s best.
Technique: iphone6, broken leg, sunset.
Tags: thank iphone6 broken leg you
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