Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A Bluebell Wood in Fog

Oh well -I got that off my chest. Do I feel better about it all? Not really but back to business as usual, such as it is.

One of the things I like doing very much is walking in the fog, it always seems to me that things are being created around you as you walk and the scale of the world diminishes in size to the small space surrounding you. It also does interesting things to sound.

I remember that where I grew up many years ago near a busy port that I would go down to the beach at night when it was foggy and could hear the voices of people talking on boats and ships a long way out on the water, it must be something to do with sound travelling better through the medium of water or something and also because it was very quiet anyway. I always enjoyed the sounds that would come out of the fog on such nights such as foghorns and various bell sounds and it was these early sonic soundscapes that stimulated my interest in ambient sound recording and production, something that I still enjoy.

One of my favourite recordings is Brian Eno's Ambient 4 On Land which has just the sort of stuff that I am attempting to describe and although it is not really an ambient recording as such it does seem to describe places and their moods very well, and it is something that I always find very relaxing to listen to. At some point I will try to put some of my own pieces of recording of this nature onto the intertube for you all to listen to.

I also enjoy the work of Chris Watson who is a sound recordist who works in radio and television although I am old enough to remember that he was in the band Cabaret Voltaire who produced some very interesting music in the 80s. I also listen to a recording made by the late Roger Deakin, a naturalist who made a bbc radio 4 program of the sounds around his house recorded over one year which is called "The house" very nice and recommended indeed.

Anyway I hope that you enjoy these photo's of my walk in the fog, it is a shame that I couldn't get a photograph of the very large fox that I saw but I was attempting to be very still so that I could see what was coming, as I could hear the sound of something approaching and scaring the birds, who flew towards me, as the fox was not being very quiet about its business.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Minnie the Cat

Oh dear. I haven't blogged for a while as I haven't been feeling very creative at all lately due to the fact that I had to get my cat put down a couple of weeks ago. She seemed a bit grumpy for a few days which wasn't all that unusual for her but a few things didn't seem quite right so she went for a trip up the vets and she was diagnosed with kidney failure and was put down the following day so it all happened very quickly and came as a real shock.

As anybody who has pets and loves them will know it is extremely upsetting to have to kill the thing that you love even if it is the best thing that you can do for them. What a terrible lesson of love this is. The thing is that if I have felt this bad about losing a cat who knows what other people have been going through when they lose a son or daughter or other loved ones. Necessary death is bad enough but why as a species do we tolerate all these wars and genocides going on all around the world? Wars for profit and control of resources seem crazy to me as none of this profit is of any use; it is only a temporary gain as none of it can be taken with you when you die and what is the point of money if it is not used to any good effect?

Losing my lovely cat just made every material thing I had seem irrelevant; what is the point of all this stuff when the things that are really important can be taken away so suddenly? All lessons that are of any value have to be learnt the hard way I suppose but what hard lessons are the lessons of love. Good luck Minnie wherever you have gone, it was a pleasure and an honour to be your friend.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Dusk Photography

As anyone looking at my photography has probably noticed one of my favourite times of the day is dusk, I have always found that the darkening of the day to be a really special time. The sun catches the highest parts of clouds in a brief but dramatic burst of colour before the stars begin to fade into view and often the wind drops and things become calm.

Sometimes when I am walking I don't take any photographs at all as I find that you tend to look at everything in terms of its potential image and attempt to frame your experience as photographic possibilities once you have a camera out and it can be better to just walk and not think about taking photographs. Other times the beautiful light can be too good to resist and so I attempt to capture some of it's mood, especially when the images present themselves so forcefully.

These photo's were taken without a tripod but with slow shutter speeds and a with very high asa, something this new camera seems to be quite good at.

Expectant Field

Some pictures of an expectant field on a walk to Harpford. An interesting walk as you have a choice of following the river and woods down at ground level or walking up in the air along the old railway track, either way it's a nice quiet walk and Harpford is a nice little village. I am still trying to get the hang of my new camera and have to get used to a new set of controls and differences in framing, all of which will come in time I expect.