Albatros, Mum’s best photo

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Albatros : Wells Next the Sea, Norfolk – 2007  | Photo by Enid M Flint

Well the blog has been quiet for the last few months due to my Mum’s death in December after a five month battle with cancer.  She was 69 years old.

To be honest i think i’m still processing the events of last year. The whole horrid situation in 2016, from Mum’s cancer diagnosis to the day of her funeral, seemed surreal at times and moved with a speed that was hard to keep pace with. Then it’s over and you have to pick up the pieces, and get on with life again. Not exactly easy.

Fortunately Spring is nearly here and I’m starting to turn my thoughts again to  photography. It’s a sort of therapy if truth be told. To start with I’ve been going through my archive and I came across some of my Mum’s photographs saved alongside mine.  Ten years ago  she got a small Pentax Optio S7 digital compact after the photo bug bit. Over the next decade she enjoyed taking photographs here and there, but one image always did stand out from the rest. Her best shot.

The photograph above is what i always referred to as her ‘best photo’.  The one she had to beat. It was taken just as the Albatros ( a sailing ketch with a fascinating history) was being tied up in the harbour after a trip out. My Mum was always fascinated by the people in the image. Were the two figures on the right hand side of the photo related – mother and son perhaps? She always thought so. Was that the father leaning forward? Only the crewman with the mooring rope is obviously identifiable.

It has the look and feel of a painting. The way the figures stand on the deck, the light, the framing of the photo and even the subject matter all lend themselves to canvas. Sadly my Mum never had the opportunity to surpass this photograph, though it has to be said that it would be a tough image to equal, let alone surpass.

Stalking Seagull

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This guy was lucky that the wooden pallet was there to stop this aggressive bird from taking his fish. The bird made several attempts to get at the food but each time backed off at the last minute, uncertain of how he would escape if he did get the food. All the time he was doing this, the poor tourist guy was keeping a watchful eye on his hungry stalker.

Aggressive seagulls come from people feeding them. The most aggressive I’ve ever come across were at Conwy, Wales back in 2003. where waves of brash, delinquent seagulls would literally mob you and try and snatch the food out of your hand using fly-by attacks.

It was annoying and also quite scary as the birds were quite big – probably from being so well fed. The easiest thing was to wrap up the food and dash for the car making you feel like you were in a scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s classic film ‘The Bird’s’.

More images from last month’s trip to Scotland can be found HERE

Pressgram Arrives

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So Pressgram has finally arrived, and was the wait worth it? Well it’s early days but I’d say a definite yes from what I’ve seen so far. If you want to post images to your own blog and take part in a photo social network without worrying about terms and conditions or the service stealing your work , Pressgram may be the answer.

I’ve decided to link it into two websites. The main website has it’s own Pressgram section and this website will also feature Pressgram images too. I have the perfect test scenario for it too. Keep watching these websites for more Pressgram images coming very soon!

Another Photography Book

I’m currently in the early stages of making my second book that i plan to release later this year. It’s an ambitious book idea and there’s lots of work still to be done but I’m having fun and learning a lot.

The book will bring together a collection of images that i shot over a ten year period in the English county of Norfolk. A book seems the perfect format to show the work. The images below come from one of my favourite locations in Norfolk called Little Walsingham.

A place of pilgrimage, Little Walsingham has a remarkable blend of new and old world. It’s one of the most peaceful places i know. The perfect place to unwind.

More details about the book project can be found HERE

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Two Priests walk through Little Walsingham, a village in Norfolk that has been a focus for religious pilgrimage for centuries

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Three Crosses in a church garden – Little Walsingham

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Lit Prayer Candles  – Little Walsingham

A Year on Instagram

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Twelve months ago today i posted on this very website about Instagram and how I’d started using the photography network. A year later I’m still using that little app and yet the way I’m using the service has changed quite markedly since that first walk with the photo app.

Filters are often mentioned when criticising Instagram. Strangely I’ve found that I very rarely use the filters built into the app. I use other photography apps to take, alter the image and only then do i  use the Instagram app to upload to the stream. In many cases two or three iPhone photography apps can be involved in the process of taking and getting the image to Instagram. Within about three months of using the popular photography app, I’d come across a separate process I preferred for creating images away from the usual app filter results of the big I. I used my customised system during my time in Scotland in September of last year and still use variations of the same system now.

So why don’t i touch the Instagram filters? To some extent it appears to stem from my documentary photography background and controlling what i produce. I really don’t like to manipulate images too heavily. If i can’t do it in a darkroom then I’m probably not interested. Even with PhotoShop i tend to think of the software as a digital darkroom rather than the all powerful image alteration tool. This appears to have extended itself into my mobile photography although i must admit I’m not too keen on the visual styles filters on offer in Instagram. The traditional areas of contrast and saturation, dodging and burning are my main aesthetic vices rather than a look or style from a particular camera, lens or film.

So really the main role of Instagram over the last nine months has been that of a distribution engine. It’s quick, simple and ridiculously easy to use. Following other photographers on Instagram is a breeze and there are some really talented people using the service. I just hope that their are no more foul ups like the terms and conditions issue that eroded huge amounts of trust and led many photographers to delete their accounts and leave Instagram.

Finally i need to mention a similar service called EyeEm that i  heard about during the terms and condition’s fiasco. Similar in many ways to the Instagram system, one of EyeEm’s winning features is allowing full frame uploads of phone images. While i love Instagram’s square format, it can be rather restricting so its nice to have an alternative place to show full size images. EyeEm could do with a few more active users but it does work exceptionally well and offers something subtly different to Instagram’s service.