A few Snow Buntings have made the onerous journey from the Arctic to Crow Point, North Devon. Today there was a harsh frost, temperature minus four, so they may have wondered why bother? Nevertheless a brilliant clear, bright morning, with wraiths of mist gently rising off the River Taw and Torridge estuary and frost lying white, coating the dunes with tiny ice crystals. Then typical of this Biosphere in a few moments, a sharp, freezing wind kicked up and the landscape changed from blue to grey as a heavy mist rolled in from the sea. The surf, at low tide, some half a mile away.. invisible, yet still heard, loud, Atlantic waves, at least ten degrees warmer than the air, the cause of this pea souper. Out of the gloom, random and abstract, a runner, miles from any where..
Then we saw the Snow Buntings, squat, fat little creatures, hunched against the cold, feeding on frozen seed heads in the short Burrows grass. Flitting suddenly to another station, a flash of white and they are gone.
Overlooking the wild Atlantic coast it is never easy to forget the savage beauty of the ocean or the calm sunset of a still day.
For a while I have been focussing on other photography projects but this evening I slung the lovely old Fuji Xpro 1 over my shoulder with XF18mm attached and set off along the sand. Dusk comes slowly here in North Devon. The light hangs in the air, there is a glow, cast from the sand and the sea, reflections of gold and blue. Today not a cloud in the sky, a faint mist already drifting across the sand-hills, everything calm. Around me feeding on the shoreline, Oystercatchers and Egrets, Sandpipers and Sanderlings. The haunting cry of the Curlew echoes across the River Taw. Sometimes it is awe inspiring, sometimes you have to look out and look up, how can this magic be here for me, yet others, far away suffer oppression and tyranny? So for today I whisper a quiet thank you.
Here in North Devon, U.K. the days are drawing in, full moon and high tides are upon us. So here are a few shots taken this week before the sun retires for a while….
A couple of days ago I undertook a new shoot for Clive Bowen, one of the U.K’s most respected Potters. Clive’s wonderful ceramics are made from local North Devon red clay, thrown, decorated and wood-fired in a huge traditional bottle kiln. The resulting pots exemplify the materials they are made from, with deep earthy green, gold and black tones and floating etherial trails of slip. Studio pottery was essentially born from utilitarian table ware. Objects to contain food or liquid, to store or eat food from. So here are some of the images which are intended to celebrate both the ceramics and the food.
Fuji X Pro 1 with XF 35mm 1.4
Raspberries, Devon clotted cream with pie, on slipware dish
Fuji XE2 with XF 60mm
Lunch in the studio [Fuji X 100 series]
For we coastal dwellers mountains are austere, cold and forbidding places that block out light and have no familiar rythm. I live overlooking the Atlantic ocean. Here, our life is bounded by horizon, tides, and sunsets. We see giant storms come through and watch wonderful and wierd cloud formations. We get lonely and lost away from the sea.
But I know for others it is different. You see mountains in their cool isolation as wondrous and mystical, you play on them, climb them, and ski their icy sides.
As photographers we choose to take images of what we love best. Recently travelling over the Alps we stopped and gazed in awe at lofty crags. But for me I was not content until I saw, at last, a glimpse of the sparkling Mediterranean. So there it is. You Fuji lovers take the best images with the best cameras. Let us have more Mountains and more Ocean.
FujiX Pro 1 with XF60mm
Storm gathering at Instow
a busy day at westward Ho!
Well, it isn’t often there is a freebie, so I took advantage of Google’s offer to download the complete Nik collection which includes.. Silver Efex Pro and Colour Efex Pro plus others. . These work as a Lightroom 6 plugin and seem to do the job. Here is a link
This is a quick edit of Instow Quay taken on a gloomy day, some grain and glamour glow added, taken with the brilliant Fuji XE2
Just now and again, when you strike lucky, light and ambience come together. Here is the lovely model Olivia in vintage 1970’s poncho.. golden hour, thunder clouds overhead, lit with a single fill flash, slight onshore breeze. Would you swap it for a few dollars more. Never!
.. a few dollars more.