Long exposure (bulb exposure) shots of various common features close to where I live. The dead tree was an ideal subject, quite a hunting shape against the dark (darker than it seems) night sky. Not wishing to give too many of my tricks away but the tree was ‘painted’ in with an LED bike light, camera white balance set to tungsten to create a very blue effect with the high colour temperature light from the LEDs. This was just a starting point of course, as this imnage has been treated with quite a number of PS filters and a texture layer. I wanted to compensate for noise in the original by making the the finished image look more like a painting render of some kind. The original exposure time was approx 2 mins.
I call this a ‘hyper nocturne’, in other words, an under exposed low ISO night shot recovered with levels and HDR treatments. This tree shows typical signs of lightning damage which is not an uncommon sight in remote field trees that often attract lightning strikes due to their prominence above ground. The result is usually a dead and maimed tree – but not always. It was quite a windy night and so the branches were moving and generally swaying about a lot, hence the curious blurring effect that gives them an almost pom-pom like appearance; similar to a north American Joshua Tree.
I’m quite interested in night shooting at the moment and I am also trying to get the best effects I can with now quite aged camera gear. I don’t have access to ludicrously high ISO capabilities at the moment so don’t expect to see perfectly exposed milky way’s over well exposed ground from noctoluminescent ambience etc.
Original photo exif details:-
Nikon D200, 14mm, 100iso, f4.8, 55sec, Aug 16th 2016 – 21:39
A bit of urbex (Urban Exploration) or being in abandoned, dangerous, out-of-bounds or dilapidated places that one is really not supposed to venture into. I spent quite a lot of time exploring this long since abandoned house in a des res part of Cheshire. It has succumbed to many years of neglect, ingress of the elements, rot and fair few quite violent intrusions by other people. I found the experience to be both inspiring and also a little unsettling, the sense of this once being a lively and quite affluent home was still tangible and I couldn’t help wondering what had befallen its owner(s) – it is very unusual for real estate to be left or abandoned in this part of Cheshire as developers are quick to pounce on any available land and property owners sell their valuable assets as soon as they move on or when family member pass-away; it is quite a mystery.
The concept of urbex itself interests me greatly, in this age of photographic overload the urbex concept is one that manifests the possibility of of genuinely unique and engaging content, many urbexers seem to take great risks both physical and legal in order to get their pictures and I must admit that that all adds to the ‘value’ of the images obtained and shared. My work, however, is rather pedestrian in comparison to those who venture into abandoned military facilities and underground bunkers etc.
This picture was taken with bounce flash and I tried the colour pop as an experiment and liked it – so it stayed!
Trees are a perennial favourite of mine and I think they can often make very dramatic subjects or an interesting ‘focal’ point in a nature / landscape shot. I live in a very rural part of the country and so trees of many varieties tend to be abundant subjects. This picture was taken back in February hence the bare branches – I was impressed by the shape of the crown and the kink in the trunk. The idea of treating it with some rather laborious manual texture effects came to me later – originally I had it in Monochrome but I think the colour and texture has enhanced a certain surreal or even slightly other-worldly quality in the image and I quite like that.
Again, the original photo was taken with a vintage Nikon 35mm f2.8 AI lens which is pretty much never off my old D200 at the moment – a very nice and somewhat antiquated combo that.
A return to my first love in photography – that is, the world of apparently strange common-place or beguiling objects and settings. A world of small scale surrealism in the urban or rural landscape, denatured – man made or natural objects. This bit of dilapidated fence on a footpath in Prestbury, Cheshire, immediately attracted my attention, it seemed oddly misplaced and whimsical and was lit in a rather fetching way.
Interestingly (though now I rarely publish my EXIF data) this shot was taken with a 40 year old Nikon 35mm f2.8 AI lens. It is a lens that I have owned for more than 35 years and shot a lot of film with it in the past, on my Nikon FG20. I love the sharpness but also the surprisingly shallow DOF at f2.8.
Mysterious lanes of Cheshire, this topiary work was seen near a place called Over Peover on a recent ride down to Jodrell Bank in Cheshire. I like this kind of thing and the way it resonates with Cheshire’s once famous association with a mood of magical mysticism and surreal oddness. All of which arose from the local legends of Alderley Edge, a tentative association with Lewis Carroll and the stories of Alan Garner.
- Aperture: ƒ/4.8
- Focal length: 14mm
- ISO: 100
- Shutter speed: 1/60s