A Soundscape The banks of the River Oder on the German/Polish border. To see and hear this click on this link
I´ve had a couple of odd weeks. After working flat out preparing for my exhibition which starts on the 28th of October, I handed my prints over to the framer a couple of weeks ago. It was quite a shock, really – what should I do now? And for a number of days I felt rather flat – but only for a while.
We´ve had a real Indian Summer here, but as the days progressed towards October, so the temperature has started to drop. Most mornings we had a fair amount of mist around. I had a shot in mind that needed this sort of early morning mist. It´s a landing stage on the River Isar, it looks east towards the early morning sun. So I thought that it would be perfect for a misty morning. Last week I went there to check it out – but as is often the way, things in theory don´t match the reality. The landing stage had a rather annoying sign on it – I´d never really taken notice of it before. Maybe it was because I´d often run past it and what with not stopping, just giving it a glance, I´d missed the sign. I guess I could have done it anyway and photoshop it out – but it took me out of my stride. Fortunately just a little further up the path, where the Klein Isar meets the Isar there is a rather photogenic point of land with water on both sides. So I took this shot instead. The observant amongst you will notice that´s it´s actually in colour, not black and white as has been my wont for many months lately. So now I have to prepare a print on demand catalogue for the exhibition, which I´d better get on with.
Returning Snow –
Snow has returned today,
I stand on the balcony
As my mind´s eye
Leaves tracks across the hill.
…. I´m comfortable. And in this case, my living room.
One form of creative work that I really enjoy, and find hugely fulfilling, is working with other artists. The poet Bob Burden has used my photography as a touchstone for his work. The products of this joint work have resulted in the, and here I use the old film developing term,”super-additivity” of “The Keeper´s Cottage” and “Soldier´s Rock“. And now I´ve just finished a project with Mike Stanton. Mike, a Texan who lives in Munich Germany, is not only an excellent mountaineer but also an extremely accomplished composer and musician. A few months ago I listend to his piece, “Alone”, and was immediately captivated by it, and wanted to set the emotions it generated in me to pictures. The result is this video, which I shot with my wife over two evenings, and which I spent the better part of last week editing. For me it had to be black and white and at night. I´ve tried to illustrate not only the feelings of isolation and “aloneness” but also the counterpoint of strength that I felt within this piece. I love this subtle piece of music and have tried to do justice to it with my pictures and edit.
A while ago I was speaking to a photographer friend about the best times for landscape photography. This conversation was place unspecific, by that I mean not being dependent on the right time of day/year to photograph a specific place. And we both agreed that two important times were when a weather front was either coming or going. Both of these often give dramatic lighting and atmospheric conditions. This shot I took last Thursday was one of those – when the weather was changing for the better.
I´d driven down to Chiemsee, the biggest Bavarian lake, last Thursday to hopefully capture one of these “weather change” events. The drive started off with snow showers, low clouds and a cold wind. When I arrived there it was still cold, grey and windy but the weather forecast had said it would brighten later. I´d already chosen the place, Seebruck, at the North end of the lake, with a view across the water to the Bavarian Alps. The landing pier for the pleasure steamers was also to be an important feature in the shot. I set up my camera on the rather wet edge of the lake. The clouds started to clear and, because of the fresh wind, were moving quite quickly. To compensate for the brighter sky I used a Lee 0.6 ND soft grad. filter and, to soften both water and clouds, a Lee little stopper filter to increase the exposure time. The exposure was 15 seconds. I processed the RAW shot using Capture One Pro, but this time, instead of doing the black and white conversion direct in Capture One, I exported a Photoshop file and did the work using Silver Effects 2 in Photoshop.
Of course one drawback in going for these times of weather change is that you will have to put up with uncomfortable conditions at either the beginning or end of your shoot. If you´re somewhere were this may have serious consequences, in the mountains, for example, you should bear that in mind.