Two Photos Based on the Same Compositional Device

black and white photography, landscape, recent work

Bédarieux, Hérault, France, October 2018 (Fomapan 100, 1+74 Rodinal)

Cemetery, Bédarieux, Hérault, France, October 2018 (Fomapan 100, Rodinal 1+74)

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two Photos of Bédarieux’s Beautiful Viaduct

architecture, black and white photography, landscape

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Bédarieux, Hérault, France, May 2018

Maybe the most spectacular architecture in the town of Bédarieux is its viaduct. A structure consisting of 37 vaulted arches crossing the valley of the river Orb. It was built in order to give the bauxite quarries in the surrounding hills access to the Paris/Béziers mainline, which passes through Bédarieux.

Trains ceased using it a long time ago, but for a long time it served as a short-cut across the valley for pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians. Now, for safety reasons, even these are prevented from using the viaduct.

I live nearby. It is a simple but fascinating structure, and each time I walk under it I learn a little bit more about architecture. The other day, when the river Orb was in full spate after heavy rains, I observed how those piers that stood in the river, their bases had the shape of a shield laid horizontally, the point of the shield directed upstream. I noticed how this point split the current, and also deflected branches and larger debris, which would have otherwise got stuck, caused accumulations and created a dam.

These photos don’t show the viaducts entire span. To have attempted such a photograph would have been to allow the ‘concept’ of the viaduct to distract me from the (I think) more subtle beauty that Chance, Occasion and Disordered Reality were offering me.

Keen-eyed observers will notice that one of the two photographs has been horizontally flipped.

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Bédarieux, Hérault, France, May 2018

Three Parked Cars

black and white photography, landscape, Uncategorized

I’m not the greatest lover of cars: I passed my test, unenthusiastically, when I was well into my forties and resent now living a life that obliges me to drive.

A photographer interested in the beautiful ‘mess of reality’ has to come to terms with things that maybe don’t interest him, or which may be a bit at odds with his aesthetic sense. Especially so when that ‘uninteresting thing’ is as omnipresent as are cars.

I no longer feel irked when there’s a car parked in front of an interesting old building, or spoiling a beautiful landscape. I dive in and photograph away, relishing the challenge of making something beautiful and meaningful from the notional incoherence the car has introduced into the scene.

Occasionally I capture something that I’m quite pleased with…

 

 

Recent Photos – January – February 2018

landscape, road photographs

This is a bit of a hotch-potch of photos, all taken since my last ‘recent work’ post.

I feel a bit frustrated with my most recent work.  I think I’ve struggled a bit because I’ve been chopping and changing film. My favourite film/developer combination is Fomapan 100 in 1+49 Rodinal – but the 100 iso is just a pain when photographing in Winter, especially as I find it hard to work with a tripod. So I tried Agfa APX 400 and Ilford HP5+. But neither work well with Rodinal.

I don’t make a fetish of the ‘perfect negative’  – I prefer a subtle image imperfectly

In Search Of The Distant Figure

analysis, landscape, other people, self-portrait

Difficult and unspectacular, the ‘Distant Figure’ is a motif that, by its very nature, demands neglect.

We expect our depictions of people to be information-rich. Distant figures withhold more than they offer. They oblige us to ask the questions that are left over when we can’t satisfy our curiosity about the depicted person’s individuality.

Distant figures occur in art, and are especially common in photography: the wider and further away the camera probes the more space it records which some stray figure might 

Four Stereoscopic Photos From the Museum

experiment

I’ve already praised Bédarieux’s little Musée du Patrimoine in an earlier blog post – Bringing Stuffed Animals Back To Life. Here are four anaglyphs I made there last February.

There are essentially two ways of presenting 3D photographs: anaglyphs and stereograms. Anaglyphs superimpose the left and right-eye images – making one red and the other cyan. To get the 3D effect they must be viewed with glasses designed to separate-out the two images.

Bringing Stuffed Animals Back to Life

still life

Eagle Owl, Musée du patrimoine, Bédarieux, Hérault, France, March 2013

Eagle Owl, Musée du patrimoine, Bédarieux, Hérault, France, March 2013

These are photographs of the taxidermy collection at Bédarieux’s Musée du Patrimoine.

This small provincial museum is old-fashioned, dusty and neglected. Yet it is one of my favourite places in the world. It is filled with modest, inglorious marvels, which, with their small voices, have a capacity to inspire wonder which big-budget, hi-tech museums don’t. If you’re passing through Bédarieux I recommend you give it a visit.

I would place the animal in front of a black velvet back-cloth on a banding wheel (which

Two Sinister Distant-Figure Self-Portraits

recent work, self-portrait

nr le Lac de Vezolles, Hérault, France July 2017

nr le Lac de Vezolles, Hérault, France July 2017

I’ve printed these images for the sense of menace they convey.

The camera I used to take these(a Ricoh R100) gave me ten seconds to get as far from the camera as possible. You can see from how far away I am in these photographs how much easier it is to run over an even, concrete surface, than over a forest floor, with its holes, stumps and fallen branches. My posture betrays nothing of the mad panicked dash that occurred during the previous 9½ seconds.

Digital & in Colour

colour

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I rediscovered these images whilst browsing through some old, neglected folders on my photography computer. These are rare instances of photographs I’ve taken in colour, and are even rarer for having been taken digitally.

The tomatoes were in a greenhouse not far from where some visiting friends were staying. I found the colours so wonderful that I knew I just had to use colour, and borrowed a friend’s telephone to take the photographs. The photo actually converts quite nicely into black and white too.

Recent Work – January 2018

recent work

Ceps, Hérault, France, 2018

Ceps, Hérault, France, 2018

I am featuring here some photos I have taken over the last three weeks.

I live in a region of the South of France of great geological diversity. One finds here rocks of all types – igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary – and of all ages, spanning right back to the precambrian.

This makes for very varied landscapes, ecosystems, and even has an impact on the look and layout of urban spaces. This makes the region a wonderful playground for a photographer like myself, to whom photography, as well as being an art-form, is an excuse for exploration, discovery and learning.