Archives for posts with tag: findings

The Sun as a Heart

Another Orkney photo. I am now convinced that Orkney is a place where magical coincidences can be found more frequently than other places I visit. As you can imagine it was fiendishly difficult to get a decent exposure of the sun as the speed just meant blacking out everything else. But I was sure I saw something in the reflections and persevered while trying to avoid burning the retinas in my eyes.


From a stone paving slab in the grounds of the Pier Arts Centre, Stromness, Orkney. I’d like to claim credit for it but I saw my friend Rachel taking a picture and I hovered over her shoulder and she showed me what she had seen. I have worked away at the image to give it that feeling of a northern night.



From the allotment, and a complete break with my usual style here. I was playing around with Lightroom settings and when it comes to colour I tend to go for extremes. Perhaps being slightly colour-blind has something to do with it – unable to differentiate the subtleties of some hues I just crank it up to avoid any doubt!



Well, my version of the moon which is really a porthole on a boat down in the harbour.  It has two men in the moon – the reflection of the top of my head as well as the scratches and reflections which provide a smiley face.

I’ve tried this type of image before, taking the picture straight up through the branches. It’s easier with the twin lens reflex which acts like a periscope, but these ones take with the Nikon D90 came out OK and benefited from some Lightroom presets. I kept them in straight black and white for a while but then decided that the selenium finish improved the mood a bit. The selenium tone preset is very exaggerated compared to the paper/emulsion way of doing things. I might experiment for a more subtle version.

Anyway, I thought the leaves looked like bats taking flight and it was taken shortly after halloween. I think I prefer the one above but I have included a slightly different version…



Here is another photograph from the ancient cemetery in St Hilaire de Riez. These are graves for children. It was pouring with rain but I wanted to take pictures. The umbrella is useful for obvious reasons but I have found that it makes an interesting prop and counterpoint as well. I am influenced here by one of my favourite photographers, Saul Leiter, who sometimes uses canopies and covers in his compositions. The images you can see here at Lens Culture are amazing, a really interesting artist, and it is well worth buying any of his books.

We were out at Lake Vyrnwy a couple of weeks ago and went for a cycle ride around the lake. It is such a beautiful place and the forest road that circumnavigates it is amazing, especially with the sunlight breaking through the trees. Just before we left the cafe my boys went into the bird hide. They came running back out to get me to come and have a look at a half-red/half-grey squirrel that was feeding. Sure enough it really was 50/50 on the colour front. But what really caught my eye was the reflection of them looking at it through the window. It is a nice photo memento of the summer as a few weeks before we were camping in France – at Les Ecureuils (trans. ‘the squirrels’) 🙂

Maison de L’Ane, Beauvoir Sur Mer, France, 2012

I have some across a few poems about donkeys over the years and, being my favourite animal, I try to visit sanctuaries and farms when I can. This one in the Vendee was lovely with an interesting museum too. The American poet Richard Wilbur wrote one, as did GK Chesterton which ended:

“Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet”

They are hard to photograph well – true of most things I suppose –  but I think I got a something here.  I was going to phrase it ‘essence of donkey’ but that really doesn’t sound right does it (although the donkey milk soaps from the farm shop are fab).


Only the French can really do cool deaths. I loved this headstone in the Cimitierre Ancient de St Hilaire de Riez. Maria Coetard Regrets. There is a song in that, isn’t there?


Curtain, Hopetoun House

My children were at their activity club and were dressed up as ‘valets’ for the morning, showing visitors around Hopetoun House. I  didn’t go with the intention of taking photos apart from of the boys in their outfits but I enjoyed getting a few snaps in. I liked just trying to capture a few fleeting details and, as ever, I tend to follow the light…

Flowers, Hopetoun House