White Horse Project #3: Westbury

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The biggest and most well known of the white horses in Wiltshire, somewhat upstaged here by a gate, lamp post and black and white rainbow or two. Oh well, shit happens…

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Murmuration of Leaf…

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I knew that this was going to be beautiful.

It’s just a small spot on a river on the outskirts of Salisbury but as the water passes beneath a bridge cause a “calm” area where, to the normal passage of time, the water looks almost still. A series of 17 shots  3 seconds apart and then blended in photoshop illustrate that it’s anything but…

White Horses Project #2 Alton Barnes, Swinging Jack…

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A local farmer, Robert Pile, commissioned the cutting of this white horse back in 1812 and paid the handsome fee of 20 quid to a fella named Jack The Painter, aka John Thorne a Journeyman Inn Sign Painter, who in turn sub-contracted the work to a local lad, John Harvey and then proceeded to bugger off with the cash.

Unfortunately for Jack, this was a regular occurrence and 19th century justice caught up with him and he was later hanged for a series of similar crimes.

Fortunately we live in more enlightened times and the “vandals” who adorned the horse with “an extra limb” or, and I’m quoting the Wiki page, “turned the horse into a stallion” would have got off slightly lighter if they were ever caught.

Please, head over to the wikipedia page for this horse for load more details and I know for a fact that I’m going to be digging a bit deeper, deeper than Jack ever did, for the stories with this horse.

White Horses Project #1 Cherhill from Mile Elm

Because, you know, I’m so good at keeping up with my existing projects I really need another project… 365 Faces is ongoing and it will be, no matter what, 365 faces. It might take me a year or seven but I will get there in the end.

This project on the other hand has been rattling about in the head for a while now and originally I was thinking about utilising a film camera that I’ve acquired which, to be honest, I might still do, as the project progresses.

The aim of the project is to-

Photograph all eight remaining white horses in Wiltshire.

“Piece of piss!” You might think and I would agree so I want to take it that little bit further, I’m not going to park in the recommended parking spots or stand my tripod in the three holes worn by a multitude of photographers who’ve stood there before me.

The White Horses are a focal point but not the whole story. I’m going to try to encompass the horses come rain or shine and also involve the wider environment. I’m also going to locate the further 5 horses that have grown over and see what they have to offer.

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This is going to be fun.

 

 

Sic Erat Scriptum, Or not as the case maybe… Warning: Lots of yellow!

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You know what? I think it’s going to be a great year! I just need to stop getting writers  block when I sit down to do a blog post. I need to try and be as articulate (see, I can do it) with my words as I am with my camera. So, let’s give this a go…

… Nope, nothing there… Oh, hang on….

I’ve just been looking back over the last week of photographs and to say there’s a plethora of yellow is a slight understatement.DSC_7463-Pano-Edit-2.jpg

The days have, on the whole, been bright but there’s been cloud that’s defused the light perfectly to bring out the colours in the crop and enhance the plush greens of the newly emerged leaf. Everything has taken on a healthy, optimistic air that is Spring and that gladdens the heart!

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There, that didn’t hurt too much now, did it?

 

 

I Measure My Time In Bluebells

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We in the UK are lucky to have the highest density of Bluebells in the world and many of my Springtime memories are of wandering through beautiful woodlands carpeted with purple / blue (delete as applicable)

I’m so lucky to live in an area strewn with ancient woodland, the best habitat for Bluebells, but also most of the best woods are off the beaten trail and normally quiet apart from the woodpeckers, birdsong and the occasional dog walker.

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These images were taken this morning in a small wood in the village I grew up in and, 40 years on it’s almost exactly the same as I remember it.

Couldn’t hit a barn door…

For those few who come here often you’ll know that a couple of weeks ago I had my first ever Instameet in Lacock. I did manage to get couple of shots but there was one that I missed and it’s bugged me.

The Tithe Barn sits in the middle of the village looking out to the street. The detail around the barn door from the inside is beautiful and I wanted to catch someone walking by framed by the door. The problem was that I didn’t have a tripod so had to shoot hand held and for me to get detail on the inside of the barn I needed to shoot with such a high ISO which blew out the outside or a slow shutter speed which introduced camera shake making the subject blurred and the photo unusable.

I knew there was a solution and I thought long and hard (Yep, I am that sad) and a couple of days ago I managed to put my thoughts into practice…

Armed with my tripod and a plethora of ideas I set up my camera in the same place in the barn, looking at the door, waiting for my unsuspecting subject to poke their head or walk unsuspectingly by the door. My exposure settings were for the outside only, fast enough shutter speed to freeze the frame and exposed correctly.

Once I had that shot it was time to get the detail of the inside of the barn, ISO100 same F stop and focus but an exposure of a second. Ok, the doorway was blown in this shot but that didn’t matter because… Photoshop!

A combination of both shots and some layer masks / brushes later and Bob’s yer uncle and Fanny’s yer auntie!

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So, to cut a long story short, if you need to composite to get the shot then do it!

Oh, and the Black and white / colour edit is down to a poll on Instagram… Now, that is fun!

That Path…

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Just a little observation. This is the path from the Cemetery in Mere down towards the Meads. I’ve walked it for the last 40 years (I’m not going into detail because it’ll involve soft pitch between toes,  John Player Blue, fishing, bottles of cider and missing wellie boots, oh, and scary cows!) It’s only just struck me tonight looking at this image I got last night… Why, when paving a path across a field from point A to point B did they decide to put a kink in it?