Monthly Archives: January 2012

Image of the Week #11

This image was taken in an area we often visit, Batchwood, on the edge of St Albans in Hertfordshire, while walking our dog. The view is looking south-west towards the Gorehambury Estate. I love the shape of the trees, and the slight softening you get at this time of year when the new leaf buds are starting to swell – the outline of the trees isn’t as stark as in the early winter.

My Image of the Week is a novel one for me – it was taken on my iPhone. As they say, the best camera is the one you have with you.This is a good example of Hertfordshire photography – the almost flat landscape, rolling gently, big skies.

Making the photo was almost too easy – it would have taken me hours in a traditional darkroom. Having seen the shot, and knowing it would be a silhouette, I processed it with software I have on the phone, first converting it to black and white, then using filters to add grain and drama. Ta-daa! And if you’re thinking this is another nail in the coffin of photography, oh no, this is the beginning of  a whole new era of spontaneous creativity and image sharing. Bring it on!

Hertfordshire photographers

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Image of the Week #10

My Image of the Week is one of my favourites from Amanda and Andrew‘s lovely wedding shot in a beautiful Cambridge college. As Hertfordshire wedding photographers, it’s always a pleasure to visit a new wedding venue. Amanda and Andrew are in love, completely comfortable with each other, and equally important, on this occasion anyway, completely comfortable in my presence.

As a contemporary wedding portrait, this was a gently directed image, and I wanted to show Amanda’s dress off, particularly the lacy bodice. I asked her to face away from Andrew but still to turn her head to him. I didn’t ask them to kiss, but one thing lead to another…

I love two things in particular about this image – her strong and graceful arm pulling him towards her, and his smooth head echoing the curved arches beyond. I like the openness of Amanda’s body, and the covered-ness of Andrew’s. Their heads are exactly two thirds of the way up the frame, and a little off-centre. I could have cropped more tightly on the right, but I felt that the final arch leading out of the image, on the right, frames the light which your eye is drawn to, so I kept it in. And I like the complete arch above their heads, again I didn’t want to crop into it.

A calm but strong image, quite architectural, and a lovely portrait which, of course, is included in their album.

For the photographers amongst you, this image was shot on my 24mm, f4.0, 1/40th second, ISO 400.

Hertfordshire wedding photographers

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Image of the Week #9 – Family Portraits

Image of the Week #9 – Family Portrait

My Image of the Week is a slight diversion from the norm. We were re-hanging some wall pictures at home, and came across this family portrait of Amanda’s grandpa, Bob, taken back in 1982. My camera at the time was a Nikon FM with my beloved 35mm prime lens, and my film of choice was Kodak Tri-X. I used to develop film myself then, and used D76 in a steel tank to process the rolls, then after drying I’d print the negatives through a De Vere enlarger, Nikon lens again, onto Agfa Brovira paper. How times have changed, and not for the worse – I used to hate darkroom work!

This image is a photograph of the original print, through glass, so please forgive the lack of crispness. I like the photo for all sorts of reasons, one of the most important being that this is an enduring record of a family member who has passed away. How valuable does a picture become when it represents the fond memory of someone? This is really why I love wedding and portrait photography – to create records of our loved ones’ lives.

I like the composition of the image. It was taken at Stanton Drew, an ancient stone circle monument, which Bob spent many happy years studying. Bob is framed about two thirds of the way across the image, and facing out, so the negative space behind him is filled with the powerful angle of the standing stone, pulling strongly in the opposite direction to his gaze.

Anchoring these two elements is the huge dark brooding tree behind, majestically framing Bob’s head and shoulders. I like the camera strap echoing the angle of the stone, and I like that his hands are in frame (tight here I know, but they’re in!) holding his notebook. The horizon cuts across the middle, unifying the upper and lower elements of the frame, and encouraging lateral movement – your eye moves around the image in a circle, leading from the face, left onto the diagonal stone, drawn up towards the black mass of the tree, and back down the figure. The shapes within the picture are a rectangle, a triangle and a circle – very elemental.

 If you’d like to arrange a family portrait session, do contact me.

Family Portrait

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