Express yourself!

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No, not the chart topping hit but your approach to photography – both whilst taking the photograph and processing the image (well, it works for me, anyway!) My approach to photography is pretty well summed up in the strapline to my website and I prefer to take time to absorb my surroundings, to feel what I see, before raising my camera.

I came across this scene early in March and was struck by the melancholy of it: its location away from the general hubbub, the dead trees, dilapidated gateway, distant birdsong – it had the appearance and feel of a long lost garden. I could almost hear the echoes of laughter and thunk of croquet balls …

Square format, B&W photograph of tree skeletons in the Hamble EstuaryIt was some time before I could get around to processing and, when I did, it had no life; I’d lost the moment. I kept revisiting the image, but never with enough time: my attempts fell flat and the results were, to be honest, pretty dull. When I had all but given up hope it finally came together; maybe one caused the other?! I was back in the moment, I had the same feelings and was able to put something of myself back into the image.

This will probably be complete twaddle to some and hugely relevant to others – each to their own! If this strikes a chord with you, this article, recently posted by Otto von Münchow, is well worth reading.

(All images are copyright to Noeline Smith)

The Langfords – live recording

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As mentioned in my previous post I was lucky enough to be in the position to document The Langfords recording their debut CD. Not some modern studio with all atmosphere cleansed from it, Camelot Studios was a crowded mass of wires and equipment; a real place with a story at every turn.

It was a long day (and night!) as the music developed, the recording took shape and the hours passed. I love music but I’m no musician and the whole process was fascinating to me; the initial buzz of excitement, songs growing from a couple of notes, the concentration, the shared joy when it all ‘clicks’, the moments of quiet reflection and the satisfaction of realising a long held ambition.

This first photo featured recently in my ‘5 Day B&W Challenge‘ …Backlit, B&W image of mixer with mixing deck… and, although difficult to whittle them down, I hope this selection captures some of the atmosphere of a memorable experience.

To The Langfords and Camelot Studios – thank you!

(All images are copyright to Noeline Smith)

CD release

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A while ago I took some photographs of a local band (The Langfords) and, following a minor change back to their original lineup, I was recently asked to take some new photographs for publicity purposes.

As I’ve said before, I’m not at ease photographing people and after a few standard shots we all bundled into the car to head out and try something different. It turned out to be a good move as the bitter cold and biting wind provided a good distraction. Despite the risk of hypothermia (some of us suffering more than others!) it proved to be an entertaining half hour and Alexa pulled off an impressively professional job of ignoring the conditions :). I also had the opportunity of documenting the recording of their first CD – but more of that later. However, I am pleased to say that they have now released their debut CD; if you’d like a listen (and I strongly recommend you do!) it can be bought direct from their website or will soon be available on Amazon and iTunes. Is such a blatant plug acceptable here?! >:D )The Langfords album

(All images are copyright to Noeline Smith)

Moonshadow

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An eclipse, partial or otherwise, is a pretty amazing event but the difference between 95% and 100% coverage has to be experienced to be believed. We ‘only’ had a partial eclipse in southern England last Friday and heavy cloud didn’t bode well. As it turned out, I think the cloud added to the occasion – although I wouldn’t have been quite so happy had it been a total eclipse!

Partial solar eclipse with coloured cloudsThis was taken before the maximum coverage but, for me, best conveyed the drama of the moment.

(All images are copyright to Noeline Smith)

Becalmed on Lake Vättern

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It’s been a while since I posted a colour image – driven to some extent by the fact that we’ve had a particularly dull winter in this part of the world :(

This image was rescued from the archives and conjures up recollections of an ‘interesting’ day spent at Karlsborg (I think!) on Lake Vättern in Sweden; interesting in that it was a ghost town with most places closed up for the season and barely a soul in sight. A curious mixture of exhaustion and quiet expectation …

Minimal colour image of sail boats moored up on Lake Vattern, SwedenAnother contributing factor to my lack of posting recently is that I’ve been working on a major update to my website with images divided into more accessible galleries. (Thanks to Michael J. Locke for providing the kick I needed!) I’d really appreciate some feedback so please take a look and let me know what you think – constructive criticism always welcome!

(All images are copyright to Noeline Smith)

IGPOTY 2014 – Commended

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Having posted relatively recently that I’m not really one to blow my own trumpet …..  I’m doing it again!

In November I found that one of my images had been shortlisted for IGPOTY 2014 (International Garden Photographer of the Year) in the ‘Trees, Woods & Forests’ category. Last week, in the midst of my Five Day B&W Challenge, I attended the preview and press launch at Kew Gardens and am pleased to say that ‘The Way Ahead’ received a  Commended award.

Fine art, B&W photograph of Avebury - IGPOTY commended

This image hasn’t previously featured in my blog and it, as well as others from Avebury, can be seen on my website.

Quite a satisfying result considering an entry in excess of 17,000 but hopefully, one of these days, I’ll make it to the next step up!

(All images are copyright to Noeline Smith)

B&W challenge – Day 5

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I started the Five Day B&W Challenge with an absolutely black and white image; feeling the need for some sort of aesthetic balance it seemed fitting to end on one also! Thanks to Herman van Bon for inviting me to join – and I hope I succeeded in my aim for diversity.

Day 3: There’s nothing new about this concept but it’s an irresistible one all the same :)Fine art, high contrast image of a zebra

Today’s nomination is Mark Simms of Mark Simms Photography – currently taking us on a technicolour tour of India and with a skill for capturing both the bigger picture as well as the smaller details. Of course there’s no obligation to take part – just a bit of fun if time allows.

(All images are copyright to Noeline Smith)

B&W challenge – Day 4

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At the beginning of this challenge I said that I’d try to make my five images as diverse as possible to ‘up’ the challenge (as if it were necessary!) and this one is a real challenge for me; not only another daily post but a ‘people’ photograph – regular followers will know that people just aren’t my ‘thing’!

Day 3: My first experience of a live recording in a studio …Backlit, B&W image of mixer with mixing deck

Today’s nomination is Joshi Daniel – a man who puts my poor attempts at portraiture to shame! Of course there’s no obligation to take part – just a bit of fun if time allows.

(All images are copyright to Noeline Smith)

B&W challenge – Day 3

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Three days ago I cautiously picked up the Black and White Five Day Challenge gauntlet thrown down by Herman van Bon Photography – I mean, how difficult can it be? The answer to that lies in the fact that I’m now absolutely convinced that my decision to never even contemplate a 365 project was the right one!

Day 3: Still aiming at making my five images as diverse as possible  … Misty morning of a rural scene

Today’s nomination is Helen Boyd of Helen’s Journal with her hauntingly atmospheric landscape images. Of course there’s no obligation to take part – just a bit of fun if time allows.

(All images are copyright to Noeline Smith)

B&W challenge – Day 2

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Thanks (I think! :) ) to Herman van Bon Photography for throwing down the gauntlet of the Black and White Five Day Challenge.

Day 2: A different take on Salisbury Cathedral …Square format, B&W, fine art image of Salisbury Cathedral gothic arch windows at night

My second nomination is Mike Osborn for his beautifully intimate images of London (and beyond!) and for seeing through the bustle of everyday life to the spaces in between; of course there’s no obligation to take part – just a bit of fun if time allows.

(All images are copyright to Noeline Smith)

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