Seals at Waxham Beach

© Richard Brochu-Williams, 2016, All rights reserved.

 

The New Year has arrived and at the weekend I decided that I would take a journey to the coast and dust off my camera. It was a wonderful opportunity to witness the seals and to capture some images. I had initially intended to visit Horsey Beach which is one of the many unspoilt and wonderfully quiet sandy Norfolk beaches on the east coast of the UK but when I arrived the car park was full and there was a long queue of cars waiting to get in. At this point I was tempted to drive away and head back home, but my travelling companion suggested that we drove on further and see if we could possibly park up further along the coast….then BINGO! We arrived at Waxham, a few miles up the road from Horsey. I didn’t hold much hope for seeing any seals and when we walked onto the beach, it was deserted…no people & no seals.

Walking along the beach on a mild January afternoon was a pleasure in itself but after 10 minutes of walking we could see what looked like big rocks in the distance. I changed the lens on my camera to my 200mm and could see that what initially appeared to be rocks  were in fact seals…the long journey had been worthwhile after all.

It was a real pleasure being able to photograph these seals, it is so much nicer to photograph an animal in its natural surroundings as opposed to a zoo and I think that the images look far superior. An enjoyable afternoon and I would urge anyone to visit who is near the area and has a keen interest in nature and wildlife.

 

Waxham Beach – Explore Norfolk

 

© Richard Brochu-Williams, 2016, All rights reserved.

 

 

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Rickney’s Quarry

Trip to Rickney’s Quarry

Rickney's Quarry

Location of Rickney’s Quarry. Image from Google Maps

Rickney's Quarry

Location of Rickney’s Quarry. Image from Google Maps

This weekend I decided that I would travel to Hertfordshire and scout out a location that a fellow student had advised me about, as she thought it would be a good setting for my project. I did a little research beforehand and saw some pictures that others had captured at the same location but unfortunately when I arrived a lot of the old equipment had been removed. I still decided to photograph, as it had taken me an hour to travel there and I thought it would be a good idea to see what results I could achieve with the landscape and the materials that still remained. There were some concrete structures and walls that were covered in brightly coloured graffiti and I thought that this could work well within my images.

Rickney's Quarry

Rickney’s Quarry, Hertfordshire © Richard Brochu-Williams

Rickney's Quarry

Rickney’s Quarry, Hertfordshire © Richard Brochu-Williams

I found an image that I really liked which was taken at the same location but this piece of equipment had been removed by the time I went to do my shoot. The image can be viewed via this link.

When I first arrived here, I was a little apprehensive about gaining access. When I drove up to the location I quickly noticed that there were other cars parked outside of the gates and that there was no signage with “Private Property” so I saw this as my queue to enter. I assumed that the other cars parked there were owned by people who had dogs and that this was a location that was used frequently by dog walkers. I did not come across anybody else whilst I was there but the area was very large, much bigger than I had anticipated. I took my panoramic shots and then left. I was not too full of hope about the image that I could achieve from this shoot, as the main piece of machinery that I wanted in my image was no longer there. When I got home I played around with my images and was pleasantly surprised. Below are the panoramic images that I took before they were stitched together and I have also included the 360º equirectangular panoramic image, but I have decided not to post my stereographic image, as I still have work to do on it and it is a possible contender for being included in my final project and I don’t want to ruin the surprise.

Panoramic Set

360º Equirectangular Panoramic

Rickney's Quarry

360º Equirectangular Panoramic © Richard Brochu-Williams

I am pleased with the results that I have achieved from this photo shoot, considering that initially I thought I would not obtain the results that I had hoped for. I am looking forward to working on my stereographic projection and having the image completed and gaining some feedback from it.

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

References

Raven’s Eye Photography, (2014). Panoramio – Photo of 20th Century Fossil. [online] Panoramio.com. Available at: http://www.panoramio.com/photo/36949635 [Accessed 19 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

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West Cambridge, University of Cambridge © Richard Brochu-Williams

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West Cambridge, University of Cambridge © Richard Brochu-Williams

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West Cambridge, University of Cambridge © Richard Brochu-Williams

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West Cambridge, University of Cambridge © Richard Brochu-Williams

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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

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Dungeness, Kent © Richard Brochu-Williams

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Dungeness, Kent © Richard Brochu-Williams

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Dungeness, Kent © Richard Brochu-Williams

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Dungeness, Kent © Richard Brochu-Williams

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Dungeness, Kent © Richard Brochu-Williams

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Dungeness, Kent © Richard Brochu-Williams

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Dungeness, Kent © Richard Brochu-Williams

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Dungeness, Kent © Richard Brochu-Williams

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Dungeness, Kent © Richard Brochu-Williams

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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.

Artist Research – Anna Filipova

On Tuesday, the MA Photographic Media group got together and we discussed our plans for the Final Major Project. It was a good opportunity to showcase our ideas to one another and to get some feedback and comments from our peers. It has made me reassess the type of images that I want to capture. My initial plan was to capture landscapes that had a personal link, such as a place that I like to visit or escape to but I have been thinking about looking at landscapes which are unconventional and could be perceived by most people to be “ugly”. By transforming them into stereographic images, they could be made to be abstract and a thing of beauty. I undertook some research on the internet to find photographers that had photographed non conventional landscapes and made them into a thing of beauty and I found some high quality images by photographer Anna Filipova.

Here is a sample of some of Anna’s work from her Northernmost Mines” project.

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© Anna Filipova

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© Anna Filipova

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© Anna Filipova

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© Anna Filipova

All images © Anna Filipova. All rights reserved.

The images were taken in Svalbard, in a community that is traditionally based on mining. These images challenge the way that we look at a landscape and makes us ask the question “just what is it that makes a beautiful landscape?”. For me personally, I love the grittiness of these landscapes and the fact that they are in black and white adds to this and brings out the textures within the images. It is definitely a refreshing change from the rolling hills, trees and sunshine.

I have considered the types of places that I could visit, such as landfills or places which are derelict but I need to make sure that this would be feasible for me to do. I would possibly need permission to visit some of the places and I need to weigh up if it would be worth my while. In the meantime I plan to research on the internet for possible places to shoot.

References

Anfilip.com, (2014). Anna Filipova. [online] Available at: http://anfilip.com [Accessed 26 Jun. 2014].

Skidmore, M. (2013). It’s Nice That : Photographer Anna Filipova makes the ugly beautiful with her new series Geothermal Energy. [online] It’s Nice That. Available at: http://www.itsnicethat.com/articles/anna-filipova [Accessed 26 Jun. 2014].

Research – Jan Miklín

Jan Miklín

As part of my continuing research into landscape photography I found myself being drawn towards some images that I had come across that were taken by Czech landscape and travel photographer Jan Miklín. Like the images that I have been experimenting with, they have been created by stitching multiple images together. The images have a fantastic quality and feel to them and I particularly like the saturation of colour within the images, it really draws the viewer in to take a closer look.

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Cameron Highlands, Malaysia, 2012, © Jan Miklín

The above image was created using 6 vertical shots that were stitched together on Photoshop. Even when viewing this image at full size, the stitching is seamless. This is something that I still need to be practising, and it is from images such as these that I take my inspiration from.

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Pangong Tso, India, 2010, © Jan Miklín

I absolutely love the contrast between the blue and the green within this image and in my opinion the composition works really well.

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Ko Yao Noi, Thailand, © Jan Miklín

A simple image, but again the composition works well. The boat is off centre which gives it the sense of movement and that it is travelling somewhere. The purple gives the image a calm and serene fell and I especially like the reflection of the moon within the water.

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Ko Adang, Thailand, © Jan Miklín

All Images are © Jan Miklín. All rights reserved

Jan Miklín has a wonderful portfolio of work on his website, which is well worth a visit.

References

Miklín, J. (2014). Jan Miklín | fotogalerie. [online] Janmiklin.cz. Available at: http://www.janmiklin.cz/english.html [Accessed 20 Jun. 2014].

Planet Photo. (2014). Digital Photo, (183), pp.10-11.

Planning Visit to Hatfield House

Today the MA Photographic Media group met up to arrange a photo shoot session at Hatfield House. We will be visiting the property next month with our camera equipment and a variety of props and we will be creating images that somehow relate to or reflect on the theme that we have selected for our Major Project. This will be quite a challenge as we are all working on different genres of photography.

Alongside this we will be producing more images for our Instagram project. We will be using the hashtag #picnicification. We are organising a picnic for the day, so as well as capturing some images, we will be enjoying a nice picnic…so long as the British weather holds up.

I have looked on the Hatfield House website and the gardens and surrounding views look impressive and I hope to gain some nice images from this day out. I believe that as a group we will benefit from this and can learn from one another and gain some inspiration.

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Hatfield House

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West Garden

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Map

References

Hatfield House, (2014). Hatfield House. [image] Available at: http://hatfield-house.co.uk/assets/house1.jpg [Accessed 17 Jun. 2014].

Hatfield-house.co.uk, (2014). Hatfield House. [online] Available at: http://www.hatfield-house.co.uk [Accessed 17 Jun. 2014].

Wikipedia, (2014). Hatfield House. [online] Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatfield_House [Accessed 17 Jun. 2014].

Plans, Ideas and Concepts

Today I have been giving consideration as to where I want to do my shoots for my project. I have been thinking along the lines of places that I like to visit and seek refuge in. I like to take a drive at the weekend, usually to the countryside, so that I can escape the hustle & bustle of the city and escape the stresses of the week. Favourite places of mine to visit are English Heritage properties and those of the National Trust. After looking at other photographers who have captured landscapes, I have certainly been inspired to capture images within a country setting. Catherine Nelson’s images have really inspired me to go forward with this idea.

I will be taking my camera out with me tomorrow and doing some more shoots, as I definitely need more practice taking the shots and making sure that I get my exposure correct and I definitely need more practice on the software. From here I will be able to access if this is the best way forward.

Artist Research – Catherine Nelson

Catherine Nelson is an artist/photographer from Sydney, Australia. In the past she has worked in film and television creating visual effects and has worked for films such as Moulin Rouge & Harry Potter. Her work has presented her with the opportunity to travel worldwide but she has since returned back to her own studio and dedicates much of her time to her own practice.

The work that I was intrigued by was from a series called “Future Memories”. The images within the series are compiled from many images that are stitched together and contain many assembled details.

Cloverdowns, © Catherine Nelson

Cloverdowns, © Catherine Nelson

Coast, © Catherine Nelson

Coast, © Catherine Nelson

Forster, © Catherine Nelson

Forster, © Catherine Nelson

Ghent, Lillies, © Catherine Nelson

Ghent, Lillies, © Catherine Nelson

All images © Catherine Nelson. All rights reserved.

These images are different to the other “small planet” images that I have viewed in the past, in the sense that they have a more dreamlike quality to them and they look as though they could have been painted rather than photographed. This may be due to the fact that Catherine studied Fine Arts and this could be an influence on the overall finished look. This is a look that I think works well and gives the images a more serene & surreal quality to them.

This series looks at what could possibly be “memories” of our planet sometime in the future. With concerns on environmental issues, overdeveloping, the cutting down of forests etc, we are destroying the planet at an alarming rate. These images could serve as a warning that if we do not act now that images such as these will truly be only memories. I really like the concept behind these images and I think that they really serve their purpose.

Catherine’s work is inspiring not only by the images being works of art in their own right but because of the concepts behind them. Catherine’s work can be viewed on her website.

References

Nelson, C. (2014). Catherine Nelson – Visual Artist. [online] Catherine Nelson – Visual Artist. Available at: http://catherinenelson.net/index.php [Accessed 12 Jun. 2014].

Artist Research – Moose Peterson

Moose Peterson is a photographer who has a passion for photographing the life history of endangered wildlife and wild places, a subject that also interests myself. Moose shares his knowledge through his writing and has been published in over 133 magazines worldwide as well as publishing 28 books including his best seller “Captured”. He is also a lecturer and an ambassador for Nikon.

Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon © Moose Peterson

 Image used by kind permission of Moose Peterson, All rights reserved

There were 2 images that caught my attention, especially the colour image of Bryce Canyon. Because of its curvature along the horizon, it reminded me of the “small planets’ that I am currently working on. The reason for the curvature in the image is due to the fact that it has been shot with a wide-angle lens, the same type of lens that I myself am using to create my images.

These images demonstrate that landscape photography, when taking from a different vantage point, can produce interesting and wonderful images. I imagine that a lot of hard work (if not some danger) was involved to capture these images, as they were shot from a precipice.

The research into these images and the way that Moose obtains his images has made me think about the different ways that I could try and find different vantage points to shoot from and incorporate these into my own images so as to make them even more interesting.

References

Nikon, (n.d.). Bryce Canyon National Park. [image] Available at: http://cdn-7.nikon-cdn.com/en_INC/IMG/Images/Learn-Explore/Photography-Techniques/2014/Moose-Peterson-Wide-Angle-on-Edge/Media/Moose-Peterson-Wide-Angle-Bryce.jpg [Accessed 11 Jun. 2014].

Nikon, (n.d.). Yosemite National Park. [image] Available at: http://cdn-7.nikon-cdn.com/en_INC/IMG/Images/Learn-Explore/Photography-Techniques/2014/Moose-Peterson-Wide-Angle-on-Edge/Media/Moose-Peterson-Wide-angle-Yosemite.jpg [Accessed 11 Jun. 2014].

Nikonusa.com, (2014). Nikon Ambassador | Moose Peterson from Nikon. [online] Available at: http://www.nikonusa.com/en/Learn-And-Explore/Article/hilvlxxx/moose-peterson.html [Accessed 11 Jun. 2014].