Inside this issue
Subscribers 4×4 Portfolios
Ajit Menon, Gilly Walker, Matt Hale & Vladimir Kysela
I am a hobbyist photographer based in New York City. Professionally, I am a computer graphics artist but I love to travel and see the world around me whenever I can.
Gilly lives and works in Newark, Nottinghamshire. She writes about and teaches photography and is particularly interested in the intersections between photography and other subjects, especially psychology, philosophy and art. Her own photography is mostly centred around abstract nature and landscape, and she is at her happiest when spending time in wild spaces.
My Name is Matt Hale I'm 31 and a professional Landscape Photographer from Tynemouth just outside Newcastle. I named my company Time Freezer Photography and I've been full time for 6 years now. I opened my own gallery (Time Freezer Photography) in 2012 and I absolutely love the North East.
I enjoy the freedom of choice and understanding of themes. Landscape photography in a specific place is partly a project, partly entertainment and partly a professional challenge. When I began systematically pursuing photography, everything revolved around mastering techniques – whether with the camera, or during the post process in Photoshop and the subsequent artist’s print.
Our 4x4 feature is a set of four mini landscape photography portfolios from our subscribers, each consisting of four images related in some way. You can view previous 4x4 portfolios here. Please click the images to see them in full.
If you would like to submit your 4x4 portfolio, please visit this page for submission information.
Stormy weather can be challenging but can also be intensely rewarding. These images bar one were taken in the Lofoten Islands during a three-day long storm during the beginning of the year while the last was shot on Bamburgh Beach a few years ago.
Of course, the physical challenges are quite great - between clambering to the exact position for the best possible composition to the pure logistics of keeping gear (relatively) dry and not getting caught in receding waves - and is probably not advisable to all and sundry. But if you do live to tell the tale, it can be quite rewarding.
Writing on water
I tend to visit the same nearby places for photography, time and again, and most of my work over the past year has originated in a small area close to home. I don’t often have the time or opportunity to travel to scenic locations, and I live in Nottinghamshire, which is not renowned for its picturesque landscapes, but I believe in making the best of what you have on the doorstep.
A daily walk from my home takes me through a Victorian cemetery and then round a small, tree-edged lake. I walk it in all weathers, all lights, all times of day, and I always take my camera even when I think nothing will come of it. I do get bored with it sometimes, but I’ve found that boredom, far from being a bad thing, often leads to creative breakthroughs.
On one particularly dull grey day, I was feeling very uninspired and eventually abandoned the effort to find anything worth photographing. However, having let go of the attempt I began to notice how the ripples and small waves on the water were distorting the complex reflections of the surrounding trees and bushes, making amazing calligraphic patterns on the water. The more I looked, the more fascinated I became, and the result was a whole body of ‘water calligraphy’ images, from which these four were taken.
Black & White Coast
I've been working as a landscape photographer for six years in the North East; we're blessed with a lot of beautiful landmarks which I would always go and try to get a beautiful sunrise and sunset image of but there was no real theme - just a lot of great individual images. Last year I set myself a challenge of taking a series of images that would all work together in a series.
My first aim was on my doorstep, the coast of Newcastle from Tynemouth to Whitley Bay. (hence the name Black and White Coast) I wanted all my images to be high key, iconic-but only to those that know the area. They're all long exposures either just before or just after sunrise, and I think they work well.
I decided to make a project as a tribute to Mácha. Karel Hynek Mácha (1810-1836) was a Czech poet and novelist, representative of Czech Romanticism and the founder of modern Czech poetry. He is famous for both his life and work, which is dominated by lyrical song Maj. Here example:
Late evening, on the first of May—
The twilit May—the time of love.
Meltingly called the turtle-dove,
Where rich and sweet pinewoods lay.
Whispered of love the mosses frail,
The flowering tree as sweetly lied,
The rose's fragrant sigh replied
To love-songs of the nightingale.
In shadowy woods the burnished lake
Darkly complained a secret pain,
By circling shores embraced again;
And heaven's clear sun leaned down to take
A road astray in azure deeps,
Like burning tears the lover weeps.
This poem, called May, is in fact very tragic and the tragedy is coming into place when it is not expected, to the world full of love. The whole poem is evolving from pretty nice, lovely scenes, gradually into horror, ending very badly (see: http://www.lupomesky.cz/maj/may.html). E.g. Contemplation #02 is blend of the two images, the overexposed lines are coming from rising sun. I purposely wanted to create the effect of peaceful scene distracted by painful attack - this is very much close to the story behind - breaking the rhythm of the image - is exactly what I wanted to achieve and it is very much related to the poem May behind.. In fact, poem is about two young people, girl and burglar, and burglar is hanged after he murdered father of that girl. Pretty nasty story. So I wanted to convey this feeling of unexpected horror, which is not yet there, but it is already prefigured.into the lovely scene.
I purposely wanted to create the effect of peaceful scene distracted by painful attack - this is very much close to the story behind - breaking the rhythm of the image - is exactly what I wanted to achieve and it is very much related to the poem May behind.. In fact, poem is about two young people, girl and burglar, and burglar is hanged after he murdered father of that girl. Pretty nasty story. So I wanted to convey this feeling of unexpected horror, which is not yet there, but it is already prefigured.into the lovely scene.