Grafham Water

After a busy morning working in Huntingdon on an underwater shoot, I decided to make the most of what remained of the Bank Holiday and take a trip with my camera to nearby Grafham Water.

RBW20160501_0984

Grafham Water is a reservoir which was created in 1965 in order to provide people with drinking water and the area was immediately colonised by wildlife. The nature reserve contains ancient and plantation woodlands, grasslands and wetland habitats such as reedbeds, willow and open water. Grafham Water is a bird watcher’s paradise and is home to a number of hides which enable you to view a variety of birds such as osprey, grebes and the more familiar resident mallards and greylag geese.

 

waterpark-grafham-full

(Anglian Water, 2016)

 

Initially I had only intended to walk a short length of the shoreline but before I knew it I had already walked half way round the reservoir, so I decided rather than turning back, I would continue and walk the entire length…and I’m glad I did. It took me a total of 3 hours to walk the 9-10 miles. I would highly recommend this walk for anyone who enjoys the countryside, views, walking and wildlife!

 

 

Walk through Savages Spinney

RBW20160501_1009RBW20160501_1010RBW20160501_1012RBW20160501_1013

 

References

Anglian Water, (2016). Grafham Water Map. [image] Available at: http://www.anglianwater.co.uk/_assets/media/images/waterpark-grafham-full.jpg [Accessed 3 May 2016].

Wildlifebcn.org. (2016). Grafham Water | Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire. [online] Available at: http://www.wildlifebcn.org/reserves/grafham-water [Accessed 3 May 2016].

Underwater Art

Another day, another shoot.

Today I undertook some more training for Underwater Art by Nicola Gwyther. I now have my breathing and my buoyancy under control but I still need to make sure that my focusing is up to a high standard. Practice, practice and more practice. I am feeling positive about the next few weeks and I am determined that I will get myself up to a high standard. I am really pleased with some of the images that I have obtained.

Onwards and upwards!

Here is a peak at the new website.

Underwater Art by Nicola Gwyther

Underwater Art by Nicola Gwyther

Underwater Art | About

Underwater Photography Training

Yesterday I finally got round to starting my training in underwater photography. This involves taking pictures of young children and babies underwater at swim schools around various locations in the UK.

Yesterday the training was at Tadley in Hampshire. I was relieved to discover that it was for a small group of 20 children. Initially I was observing but I was also given the opportunity to take some shots….no pressure :/. Taking photos under the water is a very different experience to taking photos on dry land. The underwater housing that the camera is encased in takes some getting used to and it feels rather large and bulky, the other obstacle for me to overcome was holding my breath under the water. Holding my breath was not so much of an issue, it was trying to control my movement that I found the most difficult. Even with a weight belt on, I found buoyancy an issue and kept on rising to the water’s surface. Once I had figured out that the best way to deal with this was to do something counterintuitive (breathing out before submerging) I found the whole process a lot easier and was able to gain more control once submerged.

I am looking forward to the next session and just hope that I do not forget any of the technical aspects of the training. The next session will be with a larger group of children and will span over 2 days…a challenge, but something I am looking forward to.

Examples of the images that I am working towards can be seen on the website for the company that I am working for. Enjoy!

Underwater Art by Nicola Gwyther

Underwater Art by Nicola Gwyther

© Nicola Gwyther, Underwater Art by Nicola Gwyther. All rights reserved.

References

Gwyther, N. (2015). Professional Underwater Photographer baby swimming photos. [online] Underwater-art.co.uk. Available at: http://www.underwater-art.co.uk [Accessed 29 Mar. 2015].

Finals & Artist Statement

Anthropogenic Impact on the Environment

 

 

For this project I have decided to concentrate on the theme of landscapes, a subject that I am passionate about. Each of the 6 images shows a “stereographical” interpretation of a particular type of landscape.

I have chosen to photograph landscapes that are not conventionally perceived as beautiful and have moulded them with the aid of digital manipulation to make them unapologetically abstract and give the viewer a new take on the landscape that they have been invited to view.

The images show a compacted landscape, an encapsulated environment and I chose to make them spherical to convey a planet. Each image in turn shows man’s influence within each landscape and how as a species we are changing the environment around us to our own advantage and means.

These images are not meant to convey either a positive or a negative message, just an interpretation of how we are shaping the environment around us.

 

Richard Brochu-Williams

Dungeness Power Station, Kent, 2014 © Richard Brochu-Williams

West Cambridge Site, University of Cambridge, 2014 © Richard Brochu-Williams

Sheltered Scheme, Cottenham, Cambridgeshire, 2014 © Richard Brochu-Williams

Rickney’s Quarry, Nr Ware, Hertfordshire, 2014 © Richard Brochu-Williams

Madingley Reservoir (Covered), Cambridgeshire, 2014 © Richard Brochu-Williams

Sizewell A & B, Suffolk, 2014 © Richard Brochu-Williams

 

Shoot & Reshoot

Today I decided to go out and do a reshoot of the Schlumberger Gould Building on the West Site in Cambridge, as the weather proved to give me the perfect setting. I am hoping that I can obtain a better image from this shoot and will be experimenting with stitching the images together tomorrow. I also decided to try and shoot at other locations. The first location was at Madingley Reservoir. Despite it’s name there seemed to be no evidence of any water or a reservoir that I could see but I did not venture in too far as there were warnings of CCTV in operation and I was not sure how safe the area was. I primarily went there because I had spotted some kind of transmission mast and this is what I was interested in. I also travelled to Burwell, where there is a sub station but I did not end up shooting there as there were too many obstacles in my way, mainly trees.

 

Madingley Reservoir

 

Madingley Reservoir

Madingley Reservoir © Richard Brochu-Williams

Madingley Reservoir

Madingley Reservoir © Richard Brochu-Williams

Madingley Reservoir

Transmission Mast © Richard Brochu-Williams

 

I shall be stitching and editing the images from the shoot tomorrow to see if I have obtained anything that will be worthwhile keeping for my final project.

 

Schlumberger Gould Research Centre

Today I took a walk to the Schlumberger Gould Research Centre to do a shoot for my project. I chose to go today, as I had the opportunity to go there at the optimal shooting time (between 12pm-3pm) and the weather was suitable. I am hoping to obtain a good enough set of panoramic images for stitching into a panorama. The Schlumberger building is an interesting looking building and despite living only a mile away from it and seeing it on a daily basis, I had absolutely no idea what the function of the building was or what it was used for until I did some research afterwards.

“The Schlumberger Gould Research Center (SGR) on the western outskirts of Cambridge, England, is a distinctive marquee-like structure housing multidisciplinary research teams of more than 100 scientists and technicians. Research focuses on drilling, chemistry, fluid mechanics, and seismics, through a combination of theory, experiment, and computational simulation.

Founded in 1982 as Schlumberger Cambridge Research under the leadership of Bernard Vivet, the center was renamed as Schlumberger Gould Research at an inauguration ceremony on October 4th, 2012 in recognition of the retiring Chairman and CEO, Andrew Gould, and his career long commitment to research and development.

With a strengthened focus on drilling, the company is now embarking on the development of the integrated drilling technologies needed in the future to produce oil and gas safely, efficiently, and with the required environmental care. The Schlumberger Gould Research Center is expanding to become the primary company research facility for these developments.”

(Slb.com, 2014)

Charles Babbage Road

Charles Babbage Road, Location of Schlumberger Building © Richard Brochu-Williams

Schlumberger Building

Schlumberger Building © Richard Brochu-Williams

I took several panoramas whilst visiting the Schlumberger Building and I am hoping that I will be able to produce a good image from these. I will be editing and stitching tomorrow.

References

Slb.com, (2014). Gould Research Center, Schlumberger. [online] Available at: http://www.slb.com/about/rd/research/sgr.aspx [Accessed 27 Jul. 2014].

Photo Shoots

Over the last couple of days I have been busy organising photo shoots at various locations. My first location was at the University of Cambridge. I chose this location because there is currently a lot of building work taking place and I thought it would be a good opportunity to capture some landscapes of an industrial nature. The buildings that I photographed were a mixture of newly finished buildings and buildings that were still in the process of being built, therefore there were some cranes and other building paraphernalia around.

University of Cambridge

Image

West Cambridge, University of Cambridge © Richard Brochu-Williams

Image

West Cambridge, University of Cambridge © Richard Brochu-Williams

Image

West Cambridge, University of Cambridge © Richard Brochu-Williams

Image

West Cambridge, University of Cambridge © Richard Brochu-Williams

Image

West Cambridge, University of Cambridge © Richard Brochu-Williams

All images © Richard Brochu-Williams. All rights reserved

The buildings around the West Site of the University of Cambridge that I photographed are recent builds and in my opinion they are not the best looking buildings in the world. I tend to be more drawn towards older buildings like those that you will find in the centre of Cambridge, such as the old colleges (e.g. Kings College) as in my opinion these are more aesthetically pleasing. Not everyone will share the same opinion as me but I found these buildings a good example of how modern infrastructure shapes the environment around us.

Dungeness

Image

Dungeness, Kent © Richard Brochu-Williams

Image

Dungeness, Kent © Richard Brochu-Williams

Image

Dungeness, Kent © Richard Brochu-Williams

Image

Dungeness, Kent © Richard Brochu-Williams

Image

Dungeness, Kent © Richard Brochu-Williams

Image

Dungeness, Kent © Richard Brochu-Williams

Image

Dungeness, Kent © Richard Brochu-Williams

Image

Dungeness, Kent © Richard Brochu-Williams

Image

Dungeness, Kent © Richard Brochu-Williams

Image

Dungeness, Kent © Richard Brochu-Williams

All Images © Richard Brochu-Williams. All rights reserved.

When I arrived in Dungeness, I realised that I had arrived at the best time for my shoot, as the sun was directly above me and therefore did not get into any of my shots whilst shooting 360º. From this I have deduced that the optimal time to shoot is from the hours of 11.30am – 2.30pm whilst the sun is still high up in the sky.

What I liked about the shoot in Dungeness (apart from the fact it was a beautiful day) was the contrast between the nuclear power station and the surrounding buildings with the beautiful untouched environment of the beach and the sea. Hopefully this will be depicted within my images.

Sizewell

Yesterday I visited Sizewell and took some images in preparation for my Final Major Project. I was happy with the images that I obtained for my stereographic, 360º panorama but I have not had chance to work on them yet, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that the images I have are sufficient. Below are some images of the environment that I was working in.

 

Sizewell

Sizewell Tea © Richard Brochu-Williams

Sizewell Beach

Sizewell Beach © Richard Brochu-Williams

Sizewell Beach

Sizewell Beach © Richard Brochu-Williams

Sizewell A & B

Sizewell A & B © Richard Brochu-Williams

Sizewell A

Sizewell A © Richard Brochu-Williams

 

All images © Richard Brochu-Williams. All rights reserved

 

I am looking forward to working on my main image and seeing what results I can achieve. Hopefully there will be no need to revisit this site but if I have to, at least it is not too far away. I have left myself enough time for reshoots if they are necessary.

Instagram #Picnicification

As part of our Instagram project, we have been given the hashtag #picnification, a made up word summing up everything to do with picnics. Here is a small selection of images that have been added to my instagram account and I hope to be adding more to the collection soon. You can check out my Instagram account here: instagram.com/brochuwilliamsphotography

Packed Lunch

© Richard Brochu-Williams

Salt & Pepper

© Richard Brochu-Williams

Sandwich

© Richard Brochu-Williams

Picnic Lunch

© Richard Brochu-Williams

Napkin

© Richard Brochu-Williams

Profiterole Dessert

© Richard Brochu-Williams

References

Brochu-Williams, R. (2014). brochuwilliamsphotography on Instagram. [online] Instagram.com. Available at: http://instagram.com/brochuwilliamsphotography [Accessed 5 Jul. 2014].

Planning for Location Shoot

Usually when I plan a day out, I look for somewhere that is calm, serene and where I can enjoy some unspoilt views but this will be a trip of a different kind. I have been scouting for areas that would be considered by many to be eyesores. This will form part of my experimentation for my final project. I have decided that I want to look for landscapes that could initially be deemed as unsightly and my plan is to turn them into new works of beauty and intrigue, giving the viewer a whole new look and perspective onto that particular landscape, opening their mind and allowing them to discover new elements within the image.

Places of interest

Burwell Substation, Cambridgeshire

Image

Burwell Substation, © Keith Edkins

Image

Burwell Main Substation, © Keith Edkins

The Burwell Substation is located near to me and will be a good place to photograph for my experimentation. If for any reason I need to return to take more pictures, I will not have far to travel.

Sizewell A & B, Suffolk

Nuclear_power_station_at_Sizewell_-_geograph.org.uk_-_210830_retouched

Sizewell A & B, © Ivor Branton

Image

Sizewell A & B. Google Maps

Image

Cambridge – Sizewell. Google Maps

Dungeness, Kent

Image

Dungeness B Power Station, © Public Domain

Image

Dungeness. Google Maps

Image

Cambridge – Dungeness. Google Maps

Each shoot will take up a day but hopefully I will obtain enough images from each to produce good quality panoramas. I will make sure that I take plenty of pictures once I am at the locations so that there will be no need for me to return. I hope to be shooting in these locations from the beginning of next week.

References

Branton, I. (2014). Sizewell A & B. [image] Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sizewell_nuclear_power_stations#mediaviewer/File:Nuclear_power_station_at_Sizewell_-_geograph.org.uk_-_210830_retouched.jpg [Accessed 1 Jul. 2014].

EDF Energy, (2014). Sizewell B. [online] Available at: http://www.edfenergy.com/energy/power-stations/sizewell-b [Accessed 1 Jul. 2014].

Edkins, K. (2014). Burwell Main Substation. [image] Available at: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/485683 [Accessed 1 Jul. 2014].

Edkins, K. (2014). Burwell Substation. [image] Available at: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Entrance_to_Burwell_Substation_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1280791.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Entrance_to_Burwell_Substation_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1280791.jpg [Accessed 1 Jul. 2014].

Flickr, (2014). Daveyboy_75. [online] Available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/daveyboy_75 [Accessed 1 Jul. 2014].

Google Maps, (2014). Google Maps. [online] Available at: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/preview [Accessed 1 Jul. 2014].