While the Florence project takes its own slow time in reaching completion other projects have been occupying my time over the last couple of months. One was a series of test shoots for a small bakery enterprise When Life Brings You Lemons.
Work is progressing rather slower than I hoped with the Wine Doors project. But as things grind along I managed to construct this little video short, a teaser of sorts.
Been back a week from a trip to Florence with a day in Rome tacked on the end. Highly productive photography-wise with a new infusion of images for the forthcoming major project plus a few extras, taken just for pleasure.
The sunrise was a disappointment. Barely a whisper of dusty pink lined a few clouds; the breeze quickly bringing in a heavy cloud layer that obscured any hope of some dazzling light. I sat on the bench above the pond and waited. A pair of Red Kites swirled overhead, a cow and her large calf sauntered past in the field below and the breeze stirred the canopy above. A squirrel noisily ran up and down a fir tree to my left; in the quiet of the morning their scampering sounded unusually loud. But the light just went from dull to boringly flat and unexciting.
I had vague ideas of trying to capture some movement in the trees; but nothing really worked. I’d the wide angle in the bag, a rarely used lens, took a few lacklustre images with it but nothing worth keeping. The pond itself is little more than a stretch of mud, fallen branches and a tin can dot its surface. Then I thought of Helen Sear’s pond image, got totally dejected, so wandered off home for a bacon sandwich.
These additions to the Pond Project have, despite appearances, received little modification after taking. The effect is all down to a modified lens - one of it glass elements is flipped around - its a cheap 50mm Zenitar.
The modifications make it rather impossible to gain accurate focusing; especially following the loss of my tripod to the waters of the Thames last week. I rather like the effect, having used it on a selection of Instagram shots (1, 2, 3), and was keen to experiment with it out in the field.
Have just returned from installing the two strips of images in the Red Box Gallery, Brightwell. The box was bathed in some rather glorious late evening light, that created some playful and intriguing images on the acetate overlays over the cyanotypes.
A rather large gallery of images has been uploaded, nearly 40 I believe, offering the best from one of the Florence shoots. If you spend time in this Italian city - rather than be bussed in for a few hours - you will discover so much more than the museum, the replica of David and the Dormo.
For a start there is a vibrant street art scene. A few practitioners of notel but what is almost as interesting is the reuse of some images. Subtle and not so subtle changes by someone coming along after. It is only by spending a little time wandering that these things become apparent.
This image is my favourite from the gallery... its a first floor window, located in a residential area quite far out from the tourist meccas of the centre.
What is this? Th fourth or fifth time I've wandered down to the pond? Different days gives different conditions, a change in the plants and due to the lack of rain over the last weeks, water level at the pond.
A few more shots added to the gallery - a startled duck taking off from the pond, a couple of macro images and some wild flowers.
New gallery added to the website - a collection of images taken last May in Florence. These concentrate on the fantastic light that gives Florence and Tuscany overall, such a unique feel. Combined with the myriad of textures found throughout the city and you have one heck of mix. So ripe for photography.
Some of these overlap with the two other projects that where worked on concurrently - the historical Wine Doors and street art. Both of which should make an appearance here soon.
Happy to announce that my first physical exhibition has secured a week long slot in the Brightwell Red Box Gallery.
As galleries go it is rather quirky, alternative and novel. Its a converted red phone box in the middle of a sleepy village in South Oxfordshire. But one can only wonder at the number of visitors...
Still, for the Landings 2018 week (17th - 24th August 2018) I have a 'space' to fill. My other idea, of sending images off to friends scattered across the world, I think I will abandon, Although I still think it a good idea, time and cost constraints mean I will be pressed to bring the plan to fruition. The Red Box Gallery is a good alternative.
The intention is to display a small selection of cyanotype prints with a graphical acetate overlay. These images are displayed on the Landings 2018 gallery page.
Images of the Red Box Gallery below taken form the Brightwell-cum-Sotwell community website.