Blog : Posts tagged with 'harbour'

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Photo Post Of The Week

In which things are squared, and vintage.


Back in August, I talked about photo framing, and the use of square frames. In fact, if you’re viewing this on the main page, there’s a good chance it’s down below somewhere, I’ve been writing so few posts lately. In essence: nowadays you get a rectangular photo, and it’s very, very easy to crop your photo to whatever aspect ratio you like. Back in the day, you got a square photo,* and if you wanted to crop it you had to take a guillotine to your print.

I’ve been trying for a while to be more disciplined with my aspect ratios, and either keep all my shots to the same aspect ratio as the camera uses,** or crop them to square. And, moreover, I’ve had the vintage cameras out. Back in August, I posted a test shot I took to check exposure. Today: the actual shot I was trying to take!

Harbour and lighthouse, Watchet

This was taken on an Ensign Selfix 420. The one big problem I have with it: getting the camera straight. It has two viewfinders: a glassless frame finder on the body, and a small brilliant finder attached to the lens. The former doesn’t really tell you if you’re pointing it in the right direction, and the latter is too small to see if you’ve got it properly upright. The light leak, on the other hand, I rather like; it’s only noticeable in bright sunlight in any case.

* Bear in mind that right through the 1950s 35mm cameras were a relatively rare thing, and the majority of the photo market used 6cm film such as the 120 format. It wasn’t until the 60s that the 35mm camera really started to take over the market, even though they had been around earlier.

** 121:81, in case you were wondering.

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Photo post of the week

In which things are squared


Hot weather is not very nice. How people manage with it, never mind enjoy it, I’ll never know. The brightness of the sunlight is something; but even then, winter sunshine is much better for photography. Midsummer sunshine, in the middle of a clear-skies day, is just that bit too harsh.

Recently, our burgeoning vintage camera collection has made me reassess the use of square photos. They’ve often been a bit of an unpopular photography style, seen as a bit awkward, a bit ungainly, and hard to make interesting. Generally, I suppose this is all down to even numbers: they make it rather harder to make a composition interesting, and a square frame is as even-numbered as you can get. With lots of 120-film cameras, though, you don’t get a choice: square or nothing.

Harbour and lighthouse, Watchet

This photo started out as a test shot for one of the 120 cameras. So far the film in question hasn’t left the camera, so I’ve no idea how successful it was. As a digital photo, cropped down to square, I think it works rather well, though. Despite the sunshine.

Update, October: the 120-version of this shot is now out of the camera and back from the processors, complete with some interesting light leaks which make me worry there might be a hole in the camera’s bellows. I will have to try to get it scanned some time.

Update, November: well, I scanned it, and it is in my queue of things to upload to the internets. Which might happen some time this year.

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Photo Post Of The Week

In which we go to the seaside


By the time you read this, we will be in internet-connection limbo. The broadband will be down for a few days. No up-to-the-minute topical blogposts. No uploading photos, although, as I’m on a several-months backlog as per usual, nobody is likely to notice.

So, here’s something that’s easy to write in advance. Photo Post Of The Week. Beside the sea side, beside the sea.

Cliffs, Whitby

Whitby harbour

Pier, Whitby harbour

Cliffs, Whitby

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Photo Post Of The Week

In which we ignore the weather


Everywhere at the moment, of course, is full of photos of thick winter snow. Sometimes, though, it’s good to be contrary.

Freeland Place, Hotwells

Hotwell Road, Hotwells

Slipway, Underfall Yard, Bristol

Boats, Underfall Yard, Bristol

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Photo Post Of The Week

In which we go to Whitby


Last month we popped back up north, for a family wedding; and fitted in a side trip to Whitby.

Boats, Whitby Beach and harbourmouth, Whitby Julian does handstands
Venn Diagram, Whitby Jess gets sleepy Anti-drinking sign, Whitby

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Photo post of the week

In which we wander around the harbour


More around Bristol

"No Swimming", Floating Harbour, Bristol Ferry, Floating Harbour, Bristol Bridge and photographer, Floating Harbour, Bristol
Chain, Gas Ferry Road, Bristol Ashton Swing Bridge, Bristol Boats, Bristol Harbour

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Days Out

In which we describe Portishead


Another lazy weekend this weekend. Wanting to get out of the house, though, we took a trip to Portishead.

It’s a strange town. A strangely-shaped town. Like Clevedon, it’s a seaside town that doesn’t look towards the sea. The harbour is lined tightly with recently-built classically-themed terraces, designed to look like Totterdown or Clifton, but packed in much more densely. Further south is a muddy bay, a headland looking across to Newport; and the remains of an old fortress, little more than lines of concrete in the clifftop grass. There is also, signs said, some Iron Age defensive works; but they are well-hidden by trees and my rusty eye couldn’t make them out.

Clevedon had a pier and an interesting bookshop; Portishead didn’t seem to have any similar attractions. We tried (and failed) to find the lighthouse marked on our map,* before going home, blown back by the wind off the sea.

* taking the map with us might have been a start

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Photo post of the week

In which we visit Penzance


One new year’s resolution I didn’t mention yesterday: finally getting all of last summer’s holiday photos online. I didn’t mention it, because, well, it should be finished already by the time you read this. Not really worth calling a resolution, to be completed so soon.

K Rope, St Michael's Mount Amphibious vehicle, St Michael's Mount
St Michael's Mount in fog, Cornwall Penzance harbour Penzance harbour

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Photo post of the week

In which we photograph the deep blue sea


I grew up not far from the sea. I didn’t go down to the beach or the seafront very often, but I was close enough that you could see out to sea from the top deck of my school bus. I’ve always felt good by the sea.*

On the other hand, I grew up in an area where the sea is the colour of weak milky tea. So it’s always nice to go somewhere and find that the sea can, actually, sometimes be storybook blue.**

Mouth of the Carrick Roads, Falmouth Gyllyngvase Beach, Falmouth Porthminster beach, St Ives
Boat, St Ives St Ives harbour Boats, St Ives

In other sea-related (or, at least, tidal) news: the mystery words on the shore of the Avon, which we spotted last weekend and posted about, have been identified: an artwork to highlight litter in the sea, by an artist called Pete Dolby. Thanks to Liz for writing and letting me know.

* You could argue some sort of genetic memory, because my mum’s family’s descended from a bunch of 19th-century Cornish fishermen (and smugglers, no doubt), from Looe and Polperro. On the other hand, my dad’s family’s from Derby, which is as unsealike as you can get.

** Pure water is, as a matter of fact, very very slightly a pale blue colour. You can see it, just about, if you run a bathful of water in a white bath. That’s not the main reason the sea can look blue, though. And different cultures have seen it different ways; the Homeric adjective for it is “wine-dark”, and you know how dark Greek wine can be. I’ve heard that the ancient Greeks didn’t quite distinguish between blue and green in the same way as we do; but I don’t know enough Greek to tell you how true that is.

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Photo post of the week

In which we go to Cornwall


Not only have I been behind on updating this site, I’ve been getting behind on posting photos online. I generally stick to posting 6 to 8 photos per day, partly because uploading them is such a slow and tedious job that I can’t be bothered doing any more. This, however, means that I’m still only at the start of posting photos of our summer camping trip, down to Cornwall. That was: August. It’s now: November. That’s some delay. Here, though, are some examples, of hot, sunny, summer Cornish weather.

Derelict picnic bench, Falmouth Falmouth Docks Falmouth Harbour
Sign on pier, Falmouth Harbour Truro Cathedral Derelict hotel, Falmouth

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