|The View From My Window, 11.50am|
Friday, November 26, 2010
|The inside of a Hedge - Tim Irving|
Part of my walk takes me on prehistoric pathways which were ancient when the Romans arrived. The hedges either side of these pathways are between 2000 and 4000 years old. They are a mixture of hawthorn, blackthorn, holly, beech, oak and ash. It's hostile inside the hedge, millions of thorns to scratch and stab. I wear gloves and push the camera in front of me and hope for the best.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
|Ground Cover - Tim Irving|
For many years I used the Golden hours as an excuse not to take photographs. If it's a toss up between getting up at 5am or staying in bed, then I'm afraid the bed wins. Living and working in Spain caused problems because the light was so intense and contrasty that I had to obey the rule of the Golden hours. In the summer, I started work at 7am. By 9am the light was too strong and the contrast was overpowering.
Now I'm in northern Europe, I'm working in flat even light, and I'm enjoying the experience. I've been looking at a book I have, paintings by Gwen John and I'm working on making lower contrast, less saturated images with a limited palette of colours. The low light forces me to work with my lens wide open, which reduces the contrast further and produces the blur that you see in the photo above.
Monday, November 22, 2010
|Golden Crab Apples - Tim Irving|
The brogues and I called a truce over the weekend. I had to soak them in water for a day, then I stuffed newspaper inside them and let them dry slowly. I've walked in them this morning, just a few hundred yards, to buy milk and a loaf, and they were OK. I can't relax while I'm wearing them because all my attention is focused on my feet, but they didn't hurt me. It's too early to celebrate, I'll walk a little further in them later.
I didn't have a car over the weekend and had to walk a long way (5 mile round trip), to photograph the fabulous red crab apples. The apple tree is in the middle of a field and after weeks of wet weather it's very muddy. I tackled the job by doing the long walk in trainers, taking a pair of Wellingtons (wellies are very comfortable, but I thought 5 miles might be too much), together with my camera in a backpack.
The walk was uneventful, but I was disappointed to find the apples, that I'd seen on Friday had all but vanished, most of them were on the ground. I did what I could, which was 3 photographs, then walked around the edge of the field to see if there was anything else of interest to save the day. Within 5 minutes I saw another crab apple tree and I could see a dozen or so, little golden spheres against the dull watery sky. Ooooh, yes please, Mother Natures gift to little Timmy.
I showed this photograph (it's a slide actually), to my TV, minor celebrity neighbour this morning, and asked him to think of a title. Without a hint of irony, he said "Golden Crabs".
Friday, November 19, 2010
|Giant Deer, Skull and Antlers - Tim Irving|
I say walk, but in truth the last mile was a limp, or maybe a skip, but either way it felt like a long mile. I'm the proud owner of a new pair of brogue shoes. Over the past week I've been carefully breaking them in by walking short distances, like to the car, or, to the bottom of the garden, and during this period I did believe the transition from all synthetic "New Balance" to all leather brogue would be easy on my feet, but last night I had a rude awakening.
The pain, which is excruciating, comes from the shoes rubbing the top of my toes and I can't see how things can improve, unless I cut a hole in them, make brogue sandals. So, I'm going to take my Grandfather's advice and soak them in water overnight, then dry them slowly over the weekend.
While the brogues are drying, I'm getting up very early on Saturday, to photograph a country park where I've seen the brightest red crab apples. I'm hoping for a misty morning with a few drops of dew to test my waterproof/splashproof/dustproof, camera.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
|4pm, Thursday - Tim Irving|
I didn't really want another camera, but circumstances forced my hand. I had a bit of a scare last week, I'd been out all day and it was very cold and damp. I was about to take what was my 12th photograph of the day when the camera, a Contax G2, refused to focus. The problem didn't last long, I went to a cafe for a cup of tea and to thaw out, I removed the lens, then re-fitted it, and the camera performed as normal. It hasn't missed a beat since, but then I haven't taken it out on a cold day since.
This is the first time ever, I've had a camera malfunction. I'm not sure if this is luck or the fact that cameras are incredibly reliable. In defence of the Contax, it's over 20 years old and has never had a service.
I justified the purchase because the house restoration is coming to an end, and soon I'll have get back to taking photos on a daily basis. I've forked out for a new (old), camera in the hope that I'll take at least one profitable photograph a week throughout the winter.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
|Darwin's Fish - Tim Irving|
My last visit was to the Museum of Natural History at Cambridge University, where the photograph above was taken. It's a glorious place where a few hours can pass in a flash. It's quiet, the temperature is just right, the toilets are clean and photography is allowed. Added to that it's in the city centre so I can nip out for lunch.
This fish (Gerres oyena), was preserved and returned to Cambridge by Charles Darwin between 1831 and 1836.
Friday, November 12, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
|Musician - Tim Irving|
The number two topic of conversation is foreign travel. This is a small island with very mixed weather and we're all looking to escape. I'm no exception, I'm plotting my exit as you read this, the destination is India with the excuse of photographing festivals and street performers.
Monday, November 8, 2010
|My View at 4pm today|
Friday, November 5, 2010
|Stairway to Heaven - Tim Irving|
Thursday, November 4, 2010
|3pm - Tim Irving|
For me it's a problem, I can't bring myself to rise one hour earlier. I have until 3pm to take photos, then it's dark. Of course it gets worse until the end of December, then it slowly gets lighter again.
After 8 years in Spain the sudden lack of light is a shock to me! I'll have to adapt, and for now I'm thinking of coastal scenes. Monday morning (not too early), I hit the beach.