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Sunday, 13 October 2013

Shades of Grey: Part Two

Since capturing the violinist in the subway I progressed through the year utilising monochrome as and when I felt it was appropriate. Usually this was when there was a higher level of contrast in the scene and no real colour to speak of. Or if I was out doing some sort of street photography; my general preference for shooting people being in monochrome.

There have been occasions where I’ve walked into my workplace (out of hours of course) to see what images I could capture in their. On one particular day I’d gone in and found there wasn’t a great deal happening which was unusual for this kitchen. It was more or less quiet, people weren’t in a mad haste to get ready for that evening’s service, all in all it was rather calm.

I’d entered through the side entrance, to my left was the kitchen porters area where all the pots plates and dishes were washed. Nothing was happening there, certainly nothing visually interesting. However after a moment of attuning to the new environment, I saw movement through the hole in the wall directly in front of me. Looking past the metal shelving that stood on the other side of the wall I saw saucepans stacked up stock pans boiling away with the kitchen’s sous chef in the distance busying himself with something on the far table. 

I'd already increased my ISO after testing the light levels once I'd come inside. Wanting to take the shot quickly I stepped towards the hole in the wall and drew the viewfinder to my eye. Making a quick composure, I thumbed the dial to adjust for exposure. Using the nearby pans as my focal point I fired the shutter, once, twice. 

A visually interesting image (for me) which continues to intrigue me. 

Nikon D3100, Nikkor 18-55mm @ 32mm, 1/200s @ f4.8, ISO 1600


Walking the southern Cornish Coastal Path past Nare Head, I happened upon a small sheltered cove known as Kiberick Cove. I deviated from the path and ambled down the relatively steep grassy slope, hesitating in parts as I negotiated mud and gravel slides. 

The tide was out and I saw that Kiberick Cove doesn't have a beach (not even a pebble beach) but rather a ton of large rocks and boulders, most of which are covered in slimy seaweed (making it treacherous under foot). I scrambled across a few rocks to see what was around. I'd guessed most (if not all by the looks of things) of the marine life had been washed out with the tide. As per usual the sun had barely shown it's face and the day was instead marred with the drama of a coming storm (at least there was definition in the sky). 

As I looked out to sea I saw Gull Rock nestled on the horizon and I knew I wanted that as the background to a shot. I made my way towards the waterfront, struggling as I went against the seaweed and sometimes precariously balanced rocks that seemed so stable before putting my weight on them. Movement caught my eye in the last moments of my foot descending for a purchase and I halted suddenly. A small crab, half the size of my palm, had darted out from under a rock and had stopped just where I was about to land. It was all I could do to not crush the little blighter under my weight. 

As I regained my balance and footing, I wanted to capture (digitally) my new companion but before I could even turn my camera on he'd scarpered back under a rock. 

I continued on, a little more cautious with my footfalls now, and finally came to a sandy area on the waterfront. Ahead of me sat a trio of lichen covered rocks. The sky was sullen as I composed my shot and it was the influencing factor in changing from colour to monochrome. 


Nikon D3100, Nikkor 18-55mm @ 18mm, 1/60s @ f16, ISO 100

For me this image became a turning point in my photography. I had raised my own bar and I was no longer content to take mediocre shots. I became more selective in editing through my images (never before had my delete button seen so much use).