On Dover beach

My husband Alan Franks and I have begun a new project, The Place of the Poem, and for the first illustrated essay, just published, we went to Dover. Here is a gallery of some of the shots. This was an opportunity to work on landscape and some long-exposure, as well as post-production skills in Photoshop.

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Reflections

With lockdown easing, and having recovered from a serious illness last year that stopped all photography and much else in its tracks, I am at last able to pick up a camera again. I completed year two at Richmond College but after the illness, decided to take time out before proceeding to year three and do an online course instead. A good one to start with seemed to be the 31 Days to Becoming a Better Photographer with the Digital Photography School. This photo, above, was taken at Wraysbury lakes, near Heathrow, for Day One of the course, ‘setting up your camera’.

Day 2 assignment: Take shots in different contexts, including: Outdoors, Indoors in bright light, Indoors in dim light.

I admit it was tempting to use an old photo for part one of this, but I made myself start from scratch with a new idea. Unlike in Australia, where the course’s tutor Jim Hamel is based, and where everyone is talking about spring, here in the UK it is autumn so I was delighted to find some lemon-scented salvia still flowering in our garden. The first picture, the outdoor shot, I used a macro lens. Then I cut the salvia and put it in an Old Albert bone china milk jug, and balanced this on the end of our kitchen table, using a wide aperture (f2) on a 50mm lens and fast shutter speed for shallow depth of field. I was delighted by the unintended bokeh effect. Finally, for the third shot, which I felt was least successful of the three, I brought the jug upstairs to our son’s little studio and used a long exposure and smaller aperture. All were done on ISO 100. I felt the need to play around with flash and tripod, especially for shot 3, but didn’t have the equipment or the know-how to hand at this time.