Shooting in the Dying Light

The moor in late evening

The moor in late evening

All summer I have known my vision was deteriorating. I could no longer read the road signs as I drove, reading was getting harder and computer work was a nightmare. Then on October 20 the verdict came. I have developed wet macular degeneration. A good part of my vision is lost and will never return.

Friends were with us when the letter came. I had planned to drive out to Minions to do some shooting. It was a perfect autumn day and the weather might shift any time. Everyone offered to drive me, but I wanted to go alone. There was plenty of time before darkness fell and its always easier to work when no one is waiting for you.

I arrived and set up, conscious that this might be my last solitary trip to the Minions site. There are two 3500 year-old stone circles, several burial cairns, standing stones and a vast moor. I have loved it ever since I set eyes on it.

I shot from several angles and spent a lot of time savoring the evening and the place. Dogs and their owners walked by, a buzzard circled the the day moved to an end., It was not to be a dramatic sunset, but it was the one I got.

The photos that follow are from that evening. Two are views of an old engine house that I’ve been wanting to shoot for a long time. The third is over the moor.

 

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Posted in Cornwall, life in the UK, partial sight, photography blog, Reflections, Exhibits and Research, travel, Uncategorized, Workshop | 17 Comments

Faces of Galway

I was over in Ireland last month in county Galway and Galway city. I fell in love with the area and the people. Galway City was especuially rich in street musicians so I took a few shots.

Not really a musician, but he was singing away at tghe top of hs is lungs.

Not really a musician, but he was singing away at tghe top of hs
is lungs.

This pair were playing folk music and charming us all.

This pair were playing folk music and charming us all.

He is a singer who told me he had performed in New York.

He is a singer who told me he had performed in New York.

Streets are full of folks like this with their signs. All wear hoodies and seem buried in their electronic devices and removed from out world.

Streets are full of folks like this with their signs. All wear hoodies and seem buried in their electronic devices and removed from out world.

Could they be space aliens?

Could they be space aliens?

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Madron Holy Well and Chapel

We were down in West Cornwall, the oldest part of the county called Penwith. Just outside the town of Madron there is an ancient holy well which probably dates back to prehistoric times. Just down the path is a Celtic Christian chapel dating to the 7th century c.e. I found simeone had placed a wreath on the remains of an altar and a memorial to a deceased father on a corner by the holy well.

The altar is on the rear wall. Someone has left a wreath of white and yellow flowewrs.

The altar is on the rear wall. Someone has left a wreath of white and yellow flowewrs.

The holy well is to the left. To the right someone has left a memorial to a fallen soldier.

The holy well is to the left. To the right someone has left a memorial to a fallen soldier.

People come to the holy well to leave prayers and requests for healing. They tie silk ribbons and little objects on the trees. Some leave notes, which fade in the rain. All ar asking for something.

A decorated tea bag left on a limb.

A decorated tea bag left on a limb.

A tiny purse hangs among other items.

A tiny purse hangs among other items.

A woman happened by with her dog and asked if I was a healer. I told her I was sorry no healing, only photography.

 

Posted in Cornwall | 2 Comments

At the Beach

    As an immigrant, I am always interested in English customs – morning coffee, afternoon tea, Christmas crackers and the beach. In America we go to the beach when its hot. We lay in the sun, stand in the water, drink too much beer and soak in the sun.  Over here, I have observed, people go to the beach because 1) they’re near the water 2) they’re on holiday; and 3) they are too proud to admit that they should have booked a trip to Spain.

Last week I was in Swanage Dorset where the changeable August weather gave me plenty of opportunity to observe my new countrymen in their summer plumage.

This is a day when no American would go to the v but the hearty English are not about to wast a moment of hliday.

This is a day when no American would go to the v but the hearty English are not about to wast a moment of hliday.

 These English people are out on a sunny day, but then one can't be too careful.

These English people are out on a sunny day, but then one can’t be too careful.

You'd never see these windbreaks in America. When the wind is that chilly, we stay home.

You’d never see these windbreaks in America. When the wind is that chilly, we stay home.

In all, my admiration for the English is undimmed. They are determined and will not something as trivial as inclement weather disturb a holiday. Well done.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Shearing Sheep

A couple of years ago I got a chance to photograph a couple preparing their Zwarbles for the Royal Cornwall Show. It was a fascinating project, taking me into the world of sheep, county shows, pedigree lines and small farming. I learned that getting a sheep ready for show is no easy task, and that is just where it starts because once they’fre cleaned and groomed you still have to train them to parade with you, stand for inspection and put up with other sheep from strange herds.

They start looking like this

This is how they come from the paddock.

Fresh off the paddock

_DSC0359

This is the hard part.

It takes a lot of this.

It takes a lot of this.

 

To get to this.

To get to this.

But heres the payoff.

But heres the payoff.

Posted in Cornwall | 2 Comments

I Really Like This One

Lanhydrock

Lanhydrock      I took this photo at Lanhydrock Gardens while I was wandering around. Although I suspect most people won’t like it, I just love it. The three people on the right are like soldiers at attention while the woman with her camera is absorbed in her work and oblivious to her surround. The trees just complete the scene – they are cropped, orderly and completely unnatural. This like a surreal grden out of Alicein Wonderland. All we need is the doormouse.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

New Lens and Shooting from the Hip

At Lou Smith’s suggestion, I got a new lens for the current assignment – Shooting on Public Transportation. The little honey is a Nikon 24mm and I just love it. Lou suggested buying from AmAZON. note to Lou: As writers we boycott Amazon because of their monopolistic approach to publishing and their failure to pay UK taxes. I used Wex instead and got excellent service and speedy delivery.
This little lens just takes in everything and it is a treasure shooting in low light. I got my chance to put it to work the day after it arrived when I had to go to London for a meeting. We had to be at Exeter station by 6:00 to catch our train so I went to work as soon as I got there.
The second part of the assignment was to try shooting with the camera at your waist without cutting off everyone’s head. The idea is to shoot without being noticed, although the way I do it (looking through tghe viewfinder, faffing around with the settings, putting it in my lap, fussing over the balance, checking the whole thing again) probably attracts more attention than just taking a shot. Nevertheless, Below are three examples of shooting from the hip. Not great photos, but they get the subject, they are reasonably straight and not blurred. For now tLondon Transport (180 of 233)hat will do.London Transport (182 of 233)

London Transport (133 of 233)London Transport (182 of 233)

Posted in London Photo Workshops | 1 Comment