Place and space


Life saver hut on Bray Beach, Dublin
Life saver hut on Bray Beach, Dublin. Pentax DSLR

This photo explores the duality of the calm beach road, sand, and empty sea with foreboding clouds.  The life saver’s hut is empty too. These two aspects are separated by the railings. The colours were enhanced during post – processing. Line, colour, texture, and desolation were my inspirations for this piece.


Golden sunset.
Golden sunset, Holland – On – Sea. Pentax DSLR

This photo is about line, light and texture.  The groynes both bring together, and simultaneously interrupt the two diagonal halves of the picture. On the right, the brutal, manufactured steps and huts; and on the left, the milky texture of the sea. Struck by the early evening autumn sun on the wet steps, I captured the golden moment by enhancing the colour post – production.  Although mainly deserted, one or two huts enticingly had their door open just a little. I believed this to be caused by the wind rather than by occupation, and served to exaggerate the bleak and welcoming conflict of the setting.


Bournemouth beach on a winter's night.
Bournemouth beach on a winter’s night. Pentax DSLR

The way this artificial light lit up the empty space attracted me. I was struck by the geometrical shapes, the shadows, and the depth of perspective. The sand in the background almost becomes a wall, whilst the fence in the foreground is level, making the lamp appear to be leaning. There is no post – processing, other than to monochrome.


Scattered as it left. Pentax DSLR

The contrast between red and blue is highlighted by the way the straight lines and harvested remnants left by machinery lead towards the curvaceous horizon and voluminous clouds; the tree in the dip becoming the unobtrusive focal point.


Under the boardwalk, Clacton - On - Sea.
Under the boardwalk, Clacton – On – Sea.  Pentax DSLR

Sea centurions –  the upright, symmetrical wooden pillars provide a menacing corridor into the sea. The subtle froth of the tide is in alignment with the shadows they cast; set heavily against the golden hues of the sand.  This photograph is about how the lines, symmetry, light and shade invite the viewer into something dark, treacherous and unseen.


Peep hole. Pentax DSLR
Escape. Through the peep hole. Pentax DSLR

The lines of the stone, door struts and bannister contrast with the arched door and surrounds. An unseen light source highlights the ancient wooden door, at odds with the modern red fire extinguisher to its right.  This photo was taken through a small hole in the wall, the size of an eye, separating two rooms therefore obliterating all other light. No post – processing was involved.


Life on the Ocean Waves
All at sea.  Bray Head, Dublin.  Pentax DSLR

This is heavily post processed, to give the illusion of two yachts oblivious to the turbulent sea on which they sail. The tops of the sails point ominously towards the storm clouds. Unlike some natural sea scapes where there is no demarcation between sky and sea, this has a pronounced boundary between the two.


8. Leicester market
Leicester market in the rain. Pentax DSLR

This was a grey February day during half term. The colourful fruits and material under the canopies contrasted heavily with the dismal weather. Everyone was trying to escape the rain. The pose of this unknown man struck me – his confident stride with right leg raised behind him, right hand in pocket, whilst holding the large umbrella which dominates the picture with his left. This casual prose is suggestive of him walking away rather than towards something. Through post process editing I changed the colour tones but left the canopies and some of the stall as they were. The blur effect emphasises the umbrella and what it suggests.  There is a man to the right of the picture wearing a motorbike helmet; his stance suggests that he watches the photographer, where as the subject himself is unaware.


Processed with Snapseed.
Pinball.  Pentax DSLR

Horizontal and vertical lines and interruptions within create bleeps not unlike those on an ECG. Blue circular objects are intentionally obscure – two are suspended at the top, and the third appearing to gravitate downwards along a channel. This picture is about the real and the unreal, the old and the new, life and death, reality and imagination.  The source is two original photos – one of them a modern office building in central London, the other a 15th Century listed building in rural Northamptonshire. All three of the circles are taken from inside the old building, looking out through round windows. The larger of the three shows an image of field and sky, and is incongruous with its setting, both in content and shape. The slats at the top are a roof overhang, but the placement of the ‘ball’ interferes with perspective and dimension.


10. bookcurve.jpg
Contours.  Pentax DSLR

Each stripe is a different hard backed book.  I chose books with colourful covers, shot them on a table outside using natural light and a macro lens. Obscurely, the colour order of the books might represent the ground below and the sky above. I used post process editing to add the curves, making the curvaceous blue book just above centre have the widest gap. That book, and the red one either side are the only three where the book covers are identifiable as such as they appear to protrude from the pages. The overall effect is like the contours on a map and would create a 3D peak, if lifted from the page.


11. We don't talk
We don’t talk.  Iphone 5c

I had read that styrofoam heads were a good way to practice getting the right light on portraiture, so I bought two white ones.  I wanted to show how two people although close in proximity can be totally distant. After dressing my ‘models’ I set them up in a way which was designed to show their disinterest in one another.  I used home lighting to create depth and shadow, and edited afterwards on iPad to recreate skin tones.


12. lined up beach huts
Closed for the winter.  Pentax DSLR

The rainbow beach huts are framed top and bottom between dark and light. Summer and winter. Open and closed. The symmetry of the beach huts has been compromised by the way I have edited them, which emphasises the perspective of distance. The curve of the picture compliments the wooden circle that each hut has on its roof. Edited on iPad and Photoshop for iMac.