Keeping it local

One of the challenges for photographers, especially those for whom it is not their full time profession, is in maintaining a level of output that enables one to keep practicing and honing your skills.  My favourite way of keeping myself photographically active is to have a few long-term projects on the go at all times.  These are not time-bound but ongoing series of images which I can return to whenever the need or indeed the opportunity arises.

Today, we are in one of my favourite haunts – Dean Clough in Halifax.   I visit Dean Clough most days as my wife works in one of the offices there and of course Olivia has her studio there.  My approach to this location could loosely be described as psycho-geographic as I rarely have a set agenda and therefore just turn up with  my camera, wander and see where my feet or indeed my eyes take me.

I’ve been looking back through my 2014 diary and found this entry from the summer, when I was recovering from an illness and which I thought I’d share today. So, imagine that the sun is beating down outside, the pavements are uncomfortably hot and there is a refreshingly cool pint of lemonade on the table.

It’s far too hot for me to be out for long at the moment but I had a quick stroll through part of the Dean Clough complex this morning, a short detour back to the car and I was glad to get some exercise at least.

I’ve walked this snicket before (no, it’s not that snicket although it is 100 yards away) and today with a high sun the shadows and contrasts were compelling. I had a compact camera in my pocket so made a small series of images. Back home they were all processed virtually identically to maintain a consistent look and feel across the set and all have been digitally toned selenium.

The lack of progress on some of my other projects is frustrating but at least I was able to spend a little time today exploring a small area with the camera and producing a pleasing set of images. One thing that occurred to me whilst working on this series was the concept of consistent processing.   My experience recently has shown that such an approach can bring a set of images together visually and avoid any jarring from differences in appearance.

© Dave Whenham
Shadows – Dean Clough

As photographers it is important that we are continually learning and challenging ourselves. Working a few local spots regularly over a long period of time is one way that I try to keep myself challenged. Being relentlessly dissatisfied is another way although it can lead to frustration if not tempered.

Dean Clough is such a regular haunt for me that there is a gallery given over to the location on my website. Any of these images are available for sale of course but they were not made with a sale in mind but as part of my ongoing commitment to honing my skills and keeping my photographic eye fresh.

And “that snicket”?  I shall reveal the story behind that comment tomorrow!

Some festive frivolities

© Dave Whenham 2014
Day one of my project sees me in Scotland heading towards a photographic bonanza on Skye.

As a photographer I am constantly looking to improve my skills particularly with the camera and have spent many hours doing just that. It is one of the things that we offer, years of experience, trials, tribulations and experimentation go into making that “special” image.

Making my plans for 2015 recently I decided that I would add taking my post-production skills to the next level to my personal learning plan for the coming year. As an exercise therefore I photographed the view from my study window (a main road with houses opposite, hardly inspiring) and set about producing a virtual office which I have been posting to my Facebook page this week.

Those who know where I live would have realised straight away that it was a bit of fun but many have commented on how lucky I am to have this view …

The success of these composites is in the small touches. Matching the direction of light in the outside scene to the highlights on the window frame and also picking up the nuances of colour that result. The compositing process is straight forward, if fiddly at times, but what is most important is understanding light and how it works. So the photographic skills honed over many years are still important when sitting at the computer playing in Photoshop!

© Dave Whenham 2014

© Dave Whenham 2014

In the Studio – On Sale Now!

In the Studio
In the Studio – available now!

I am delighted to confirm that In the Studio has come to fruition with the publication of the book, available in several formats via the links below.

Twelve months in the making, this is a unique visual record of the work of artist Olivia J Brown as seen through the lens of award-winning photographer Dave Whenham. These are not posed studio images but a warm, eclectic collection that capture a year in the life of this extremely talented artist.

You will find options for soft or hardback books, an e-book and even a PDF version. With prices starting at just £3.99 why not treat yourself?

Print or PDF versions