close to home - halo-photographic landscape,urban &low light photography

close to home

same place different days

We seem to spend most of our times looking for something only to find it was right under our noses in the first place. This is true about most things in our life, we go looking for it further afield. The grass is always greener and all that, when we had it right in front of us all the time. This is the way I approach my photography I look to familiar places, places I know and love which are in easy reach an hour at most, places I can return to weekends before work or after work depending on the light I'm after. I normally like to shoot like most landscape photographers in the civil twilight hours the time just before sunrise and the time just after sunset when the sky is awash with blue and red and we can still make out details in our background. My landscape are mainly urban,buildings,bridges and man made landscapes as I live in a large town surrounded by other large towns but only 40 mins from London my main canvass. I am drawn in by the lights and buildings and the river Thames which run right through the heart of the city. famous artists like James Whistler,Walter Graves,Turner,set up home around the Thames and spent much of their lives painting on their own doorstep without feeling the need to be elsewhere as long as the light was right,Whistlers famous paintings which he called nocturnes where painted around The first Battersea bridge and although the landscape has changed since then the the quality of light is still there we just have to wait and be patient for it to show its face and when it does it can be as good as any mountain range,canyon,ocean etc. I set off early morning or late evening I look for the composition I'm after, just walking and observing where the light is coming from, the light from the buildings and what time the street lighting comes on apart from the street lamps I've noticed the lights that illuminate the bridges such as Chelsea and the Albert bridge are only on at night and turn off early morning, If the light is not how I envisioned I will come away knowing I can return the following night or morning weekday or weekend I will watch the forecast or just look out of the window knowing I can get to where I want to and be set up within an hour including parking,some photos I have made have been with my car just off camera, We all know the light or quality of light is the most important element in our photography it can turn an everyday scene something we pass every day without a second glance into something special all we need is the vision and the patience to keep returning until the conditions are right not just with the light but with the tide if your by a river low tide is a favourite of mine you get the light reflecting off the wet foreshore which creates foreground interest its also nice to get right down to the waters edge for a different perspective a good solid tripod is essential for this low light photography and I consider it the most important part of my kit. I also like to include people in my photography they are also part of the whole picture, the places I visit are kept alive because of the people,tourists that visit our city they bring in money make our cities more vibrant and exciting so we shouldn't moan or try to shoot around them we should use them as part of the landscape, When I look through my viewfinder i see it as blank canvass and its up to me what I want included in the scene I will move position,left or right,up backwards or forwards just to get the composition I'm after,we are governed by our surroundings unlike a painter we can still achieve the vision we are after with a little care and legwork. I like to get it right in camera using nd and nd grad filters if the need arises also having back to front sharpness is very important in fact sometimes an obsession. So before we go looking or planning that trip take a look on your own door step you might surprised.

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