Sunset scene from the road between Llanuwchllyn and Dinas Mawddwy. I seldom set out to do landscapes. I just don't have the patience to sit for several hours waiting for the clouds to part to get the light 'just right'. No waiting required for this scene, though. Several people have asked me if the sky really was such an intense colour or was it achieved in post-processing. No, it really was that colour. Fuji Superior 100 produced accurate, vibrant colours and it's such a pity it was discontinued a few years after I captured this scene.
A rare cold, cloudy day somewhere in the Sahara desert. The negative had suffered some damage over the years so after scanning I renovated this image as best I could. I've always liked the way the man and donkey composed themselves for me.
The title comes from an excerpt of 'Sea Watching', a poem by RS Thomas:
Grey waters, vast
as an area of prayer
that one enters.
The statue is one of the 100 cast iron figures on Crosby Beach in Merseyside, created by the sculptor Antony Gormley, purportedly depicting his own body. At the time this image was captured the statues were pristine, having been in place for less than a year; they are now covered in barnacles, seaweed and funny hats.
From the interior of a very old rural church in Kent. That's all I can remember of this place. It was the first time I'd used film kit for at least a year and I quickly came to realise one important difference in approach between digital and film photography. Before 2008, when I shot only film, I'd usually keep a small notebook handy to jot down the location, frame number and technical details of each capture. Handwritten, what we now call EXIF information. There's no need to do this with digital; the EXIF file automatically tells all. Except, that is (sans GPS widget), where it is you're at. So I was bumbling around with a kit bag of film gear, and I never thought to keep a record of which particular old church I was photographing among the several I visited that day.
One of the many old doors in the small historical town of Bergerac, in the Dordogne region of South-Eastern France. In this case, the 39th door. The intense shadow makes the door appear to be chopped, which appeals to me. The deep black shadow is courtesy of the Pancolar and Delta pairing.
A chance encounter, strolling through the back streets of an Andalucian town. My first thought was that she must have lived through the Spanish Civil War. I pointed in the direction we were walking and pointing hopefully in the right direction, asked "estación de autobuses?" She must have thought I spoke more Spanish than I actually do because she offered comprehensive directions, accompanied by numerous directional flexions of the hand, of which I understood perhaps 10%. She very graciously let me photograph her and I later added a little Photoshop dating treatment. After we thanked her and walked away my wife said "bet she was a babe when she was younger." She still is, or sadly, most likely was. All things must pass.
I consider this image to be my first definite 'keeper', i.e., an image that stands on its own rather than merely one that captures a moment, acting no more than an aid to memory. It was a chance business encounter on a finger-numbingly cold -10C street in Brașov, whereby we swapped a few Lei notes for a few shutter clicks. If, anonymous model, you are reading this, please accept huge thanks.
It's became special for me because the same day I got the prints back from the processor I was in a bar where I was then living in the far north-west Highlands of Scotland when, by chance, I got chatting to a visiting professional landscape photographer. I can't remember his name (it definitely wasn't Colin Baxter, who seemed to have the monopoly on local postcards in those days) but he used a large format camera and, as I had never seen one before, he kindly fetched it from his room upstairs. After I'd had the demonstration he asked if I'd like him to take a look at some of my images and give some advice. After telling me I had a good eye for composition, which I took to be his way of salvaging some constructive critique from my mess of photographic potage, he got to this image. His face lit up a little and he asked if it had been captured in Turkey because it reminded him of the work of Ara Güler.
I'd never heard of Ara Güler (so I had no idea how flattering that observation was), nor had I been to Turkey at that time, both deficits since rectified largely because of that chance encounter. If, anonymous landscape photographer, you are reading this, please accept huge thanks. It was your encouragement, likening one of my images to the work of a photographer I now admire greatly, that made me look at street photography in another light, and gave me many more 'keepers'. An excellent introduction to Güler's work is the book 'Ara Güler's Istanbul' (2009). Among all the 5* reviews on Amazon I found this 1* gem:
"The photos were all good quality but the theme of the book made me depressed. Lots of poverty and sad pictures. I wanted more of the famous sites and less pigeons."
Unlike my landscaper friend, not someone likely to appreciate my lamb and girl, I suspect.