John's Photographic Ramblings

John's Photographic Ramblings

Monday, 30 December 2013

30 December 2013

Today I have been trying a new technique - going up. In most large towns and cities there are a number of buildings where you can get an good elevated view point. This afternoon I tried multi-storey car-parks.

Broadgate car-park
I was disappointed with the roofs - they were surrounded by wire mesh to prevent suicide attempts. At lower levels they made do with railings. The issue for me is the gap available to photograph through. I need around 50 mm to poke the camera lens through and the mesh was just a bit too small. on the lower levels, there was no problem as the gaps between the railings was a foot or more.
Debenham's restaurant
I was able to walk around the perimeter of the car-park on each level over the level of the roof tops - or at the level of the roof tops at lower levels. There were some obstructions ( a usual feature of city photography!) - a large hotel has been built against one side of the car-park - but in general the view over the city was refreshingly new.
Broadgate car-park
We have four multi-storey car-parks in Lincoln and over the next few weeks I shall be trying the views from each of these.
Broadgate car-park
There are other buildings that offer high views. A couple of Lincoln's department stores have restaurants on the top floor with nice large windows, and I am sure that if I put my mind to it, I could manage a pot of tea and a few photos in each.

Broadgate car-park
The castle, of course, is not only high but also on top of the hill. I have been on the castle wall previously and most of Lincoln is visible from there. The downside is that there is an admission charge.
I have a long-standing project to photograph buskers. Mostly, this is in Lincoln but not entirely. lately, Buskers seem to need amplification which does not quite seem to be playing the game, somehow. We even have a (pretty good) rockabilly trio playing fairly regularly.

I much prefer the acoustic approach. We have a number of fairly regular buskers here who play acoustic guitar and accordion.
I have a couple of other projects in hand - each of which requires me to print some pictures on paper. One is for a portfolio - 20-odd A4 pictures that are representative on my style -  and the other is for a small exhibition - again, 20-odd pictures but A3 this time. I have general ideas for both but I have hit a bit of a brick wall with deciding precisely which pictures.

One part of the exhibition will be based on the three fishing boats stranded outside Salen  (an t'Sailain) on Mull. I have at least 100 pictures to choose from and a name (the Norns) for them but I just cannot decide which pictures.
Three old fishing boats at an t'Sailain, Mull (only two visible here)

The other part of the exhibition is even harder to decide. It will be based on Lincoln cityscapes and be in monochrome. I have a good 2,000 pictures to choose from (I have been photographing Lincoln for just over ten years now). I think that is a good part of the problem - too much choice: buildings, streets, people, activity, town centre, out-skirts.

Tempus is fugiting as it does and I need to decide very soon.
I currently have a picture in the Lincolnshire Artists' Society winter exhibition in the Ropewalk, Barton-on-Humber. It is always gratifying to have a picture selected for showing. I also enjoy looking at what the other LAS members have offered and see what inspiration I can glean. In addition to the LAS exhibition, there is another by the Ropewalk Studio Artists and their guests. 

One of these is a photographer whose photographs are very different to what I do. She appears to be photographing through muslin or similar (or is a good hand at Photoshop) and does not have sharp focus. They were also large - certainly over a metre high - which means expensive to produce and to store if they do not sell. The other down side of large pictures is that I cannot print them myself - I am limited to slightly wider than 420 mm, I don't think width is a limit if I can get the paper. Paying for commercial printing is another, very significant, expense.

Of course, I could always use Andy Warhol's technique of producing large pictures by sewing a series of smaller prints together. And I do mean 'sew' - he used a sewing machine and white thread to achieve the task.

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