In Focus with Ingrid Turner

With a diverse range of subjects in her portfolio, photographer Ingrid Turner captures the true essence of the moment, be it music, documentary or street photography. Here, she shares some favourite shots and experiences…

‘My name is Ingrid Turner and I’m a photographer based in Manchester, UK.

My interest in photography was initially sparked in 2009, when I was employed at a charity and went to the Philippines on a research trip. Even though I had pretty much no idea how to use the expensive Nikon DSLR I’d been equipped with I liked the process of talking and connecting with people and taking photos with them and of their community.

Once I had my own camera, I started out with street photography.

Salford Central

Lisbon 

Left: Corfu Town, Greece
Top right: View of Stretford House from Turn Moss
Bottom right: Cagliari, Sardinia 

A couple of my street images from Dublin were included in Breaking Glass Magazine’s recent B&W feature.

I’m also an event photographer and often work with the bands Henge and The Age Of Glass, as well as other Manchester-based musicians and performers.

Henge, Scala, London

Drift, The Lowry, Manchester 

Henge, Glastonbury 

Shunya, Carlton Club, Manchester 

The Age of Glass, Beatherder Festival

Paddy Steer, Scala, London

During events, I love spotting intimate, special, humorous moments when people connect – either with each other or with the performers.

Henge, Pennabilli Festival

Henge fan, Bristol Fleece

Egg Pondering, Pennabilli Festival

Henge fan, Manchester Academy 

Over the last couple of years, I worked with various charities to illustrate the stories and experiences of the people they help and support. Covid-19’s impact on the arts sector means event photography will be impossible for some time. The charity sector is struggling financially so photography may not be a priority, or even a possibility, for many organisations. In the meantime, I am trying to stay positive and am planning on developing street and social documentary project ideas.’

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All photos are taken and copyrighted by Ingrid Turner. You can view more of Ingrid’s work and make contact via her website. Follow her new posts on Instagram / Facebook / Twitter.

1st July 2020

 

Gallery – Images in Black & White

It’s often said and holds true that there is something timeless about a black and white photo, as is apparent in this lovely collection of images by multiple photographers. The shots featured are in no particular order other than to be mixed by genre and subject matter so please scroll all the way through and enjoy…

Header photo by Ingrid Turner, details in article

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On the Sea

By Barbara Vitoria Vitale

Website    Instagram

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1. The Timekeeper
2. Reflecting Chords

By Alan Cruickshank Photographic

Instagram

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1. Derelict Landscape
2. Elvira, Mistress of the Canal

By Gary Hough at allthecoolbandsphotography

Website    Facebook

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1. Musicians in Action
2. Tuning Up

By Jennifer Mullins

Website    Instagram

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1. Lonely Instrument
2. Staircase

By Kristy-Lee Gallagher

Instagram

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1. Romantic Memories
2. Nostalgic Memories

By Carl Copeland

Instagram

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1. McNeil’s Pub Regulars, Dublin
2. Dublin at Night

By Ingrid Turner

Website    Instagram    Facebook    Twitter

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1. End of Charity Cycle Ride
2. Pre-lockdown Train

By Clare Ratcliffe

Instagram    Facebook

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1. The Gig – Artist: Les Johnson and Me, Glasgow 2018
2. The Edge – Model: Mary Fisher-Kane / Timeless 000, Balloch 2017

By Karen McKay

Website

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1. Eddie Myer of Turin Brakes, March 2020
2. Tony Visconti, March 2020

By livemusicsnapsuk

Instagram

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1. Chain of Ripples
2. Kite

By Derek Rickman

Instagram

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Dare You Not To

By Milly McPhee

Website    Instagram

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Black Lives Matter Protest, Napoli June 2020

By Oriana Spadaro

Instagram

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1. Bridge
2. Mirror

By Jake O’Brien

Website    Instagram

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1. John Dwyer of Oh Sees, Leeds Academy 2018
2. John Robb of The Membranes, Manchester Ritz 2019

By Steve White

Instagram    Flickr

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1. Lone Walker, Lyme Regis
2. Streatham Common

By Petra Eujane

Website    Instagram

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Rhydian and the Residuals

By MC Photography

Instagram

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1. Vertical Dance, Host for Worthing Theatres
2. 2100: A Space Novelty, Cut Mustard Theatre for Brighton Fringe

By Siobhan at 16 Beasley St Photography

Website    Instagram    Twitter

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A huge thank you to all the fantastic photographers who have shared their images for inclusion. To see more of their work just click on the links shown.

All pictures are copyrighted by the photographer credited; please do not use without gaining their permission first.

23rd June 2020

Pride Inside

Amidst what has become a very bizarre existence, pandemic life has put a stop to all major public gatherings this summer with events cancelled across the world. But it’s Pride month and where there’s Pride, there’s a way.

Whilst the streets of towns and cities across the UK will miss the Pride street celebrations, a new campaign, Pride Inside, has been created to ensure that the LGBTQ+ community can still be visible and have its voice heard.

With a massive marketing reach, 1,000 digital billboards have been donated by Clear Channel to be filled with photographic images created by and featuring members of the LGBTQ+ community celebrating Pride from their homes – a huge achievement considering that everything has had to be produced within lockdown guidelines.

From today and for the next two weeks, the images will appear across the country with the potential to reach in the region of 10 million people. The marches and parties might have to wait until next year but Pride Inside is making sure that its message will be out there, loud and clear, social gatherings or no social gatherings.

More details from the press release here:

PRIDE WILL TAKE TO THE STREETS THIS SUMMER AFTER ALL – WITH A NATIONWIDE CELEBRATION OF QUEER LIFE

New grassroots campaign Pride Inside will see queer people take over digital outdoor screens in all four nations of the UK with stunning images of what Pride means to them to ensure their continued visibility this Pride month.

The initiative – the brainchild of writer, performer and drag star Ginger Johnson – is supported by Out of Home media and infrastructure company Clear Channel, which has donated 1,000 digital billboards the length of the country from Glasgow to Southampton, including iconic Storm sites on Lambeth Palace Road and Hammersmith Tower in London.

The campaign aims to represent the full spectrum of the diverse LGBTQ+ community, with more than 120 queer contributors and photographers teaming up to create images from their homes or local public spaces, all socially distanced of course. They include the lead singer of a Belfast queer punk band – together with her pet rat, a Newcastle drag king, an NHS nurse in south London, original members of the Gay Liberation Front and an award-winning engineer who came to the UK as a refugee and went on to be named one of the BBC’s top 100 influential women in the world.

Pride Inside hopes the campaign will inspire other queer people across the UK to carry on the Pride celebrations at home and create their own images, posting them online under the #PrideInsideUK hashtag.

This unique opportunity will also raise awareness of the work of grassroots LGBTQ+ charities, with Pride Inside partnering with LGBT+ Consortium to collect donations to be distributed to organisations across the UK who provide vital services for the queer community. A specially designed website will feature resources to allow people to learn more about Pride, those taking part in Pride Inside and how they can engage with each other.

The not-for-profit campaign was pulled together in less than a month after the Covid-19 pandemic prompted the cancellation of Pride events across the country. The photography was co-ordinated by award-winning music and events photographer Corinne Cumming, who said: “We’ve managed to source photographers and subjects from across the LGBTQ+ spectrum, throughout the UK and from many different ethnicities which is so exciting and unique. For LGBTQ+ photographers and their subjects to be able to choose how they want to be represented via their art on a national platform, that’s really special.”

Paul Roberts OBE, Chief Executive of LGBT+ Consortium, said: “Covid-19 is having a real impact on our LGBT+ communities. Pride would ordinarily be a time for the visibility and increased awareness of issues facing our communities. This campaign offers a digital alternative and Consortium is delighted to see the diversity and intersectionality of our communities captured through these photographs. I hope this campaign let’s LGBT+ people know you are not alone and there is support out there.”

Clear Channel’s Chief Marketing Officer Martin Corke said: “As part of Clear Channel’s ongoing commitment to support and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, we are proud to be partnering with Pride Inside this year to showcase people from all parts of the community celebrating at home. While Pride events may not be happening on the streets, we hope to create a sense of shared experience and bring that community spirit Out of Home with our very public medium.”

Ginger Johnson, resident MC at Sink the Pink, the UK’s biggest LGBTQ+ collective, and co-presenter of breakfast TV show Wakey!, said: “Usually we take to the streets for Pride. We take to stages, demos and dancefloors. We climb onboard floats or walk shoulder to shoulder with our families and friends but this summer that just isn’t possible. So it’s crucial that LGBTQ+ people from all walks of life are visible and proud in our public spaces even if we can’t be there together in person!”

Ginger added: “Pride is also a chance for our community to reach out to the people who haven’t found pride in their lives yet, who don’t feel safe, who are hidden. It’s our chance to say to them, ‘You are not alone, we are here and we are proud of you.’ Pride has always been an opportunity for us all to learn about each other – to honour our shared experiences, our differences and our collective resilience. It’s taken the combined efforts of a whole team of amazing queer people from all over the UK to get this project off the ground and we can’t wait to share it with everyone.”

Check out Ginger’s video here and share to promote the campaign with the hashtag #PrideInsideUK

You can follow Pride Inside on Twitter / Instagram / Facebook for updates and more photos; head to their website for more information and opportunities to get involved

Intro by Siobhan – all press details and photos above are used with permission from Pride Inside, big thanks to Leigh Holmwood for helping us with this

15th June 2020

 

 

In Lockdown with Breaking Glass

I’m Siobhan, editor of Breaking Glass. Given that much of the magazine’s content comes from live music, exhibitions and the like, as we got a few weeks into quarantine I wondered whether there would be enough content to keep things going. When I asked if any photographers wanted to have their lockdown photos featured I was amazed at the responses and the beautiful shots that came in. I’m hugely grateful to everyone who contributed, not least because you helped motivate me to take some of my own – I thought maybe it was time I shared a few…

I live in Worthing on the south coast (this is usually followed with ‘near Brighton’ for anyone not local). I work part time as a mental health advocate and usually spend the rest of my time shooting gigs and festivals and working on the magazine. When I started Breaking Glass at the end of 2018, I’d no idea of where it would take me. It’s been, and continues to be, an absolute pleasure to have so many talented people get involved along the way.

I’ll be honest, I find it inordinately difficult to photograph things that stay still and with natural light on my side – stick me in a dark venue with a moving target any day! Nonetheless, it’s been interesting to look at what I normally take for granted on my doorstep in a different light, and these photos are all taken within about a mile or so of my house. Some of them are currently making up a digital exhibition for Worthing Museum.

All photos © 16 Beasley St Photography – aside from on here you can find me on my website and on Instagram and Twitter

Links to the rest of our series of features with photographers in lockdown can be found here

9th June 2020

All My People / All Mankind

All My People / All Mankind
by Oriana Spadaro

Covid has completely changed my life from one day to another. I found myself stuck in my hometown, could not go back to the city where I live and work. No job, no friends, no going out for almost 70 days. The life I knew before doesn’t exist anymore. But I decided to take this period of time as a personal challenge; I wanted to make the most out of it. So I filled my days with the things I like: photography above all. I have been studying and shooting everything I could within my poor means.

All My People / All Mankind is a series of portraits of friends in Italy and abroad, that I have been taking via webcam during quarantine. I have titled this project after a song by Liam Gallagher because it has a double interpretation. ‘All my people’ are the people of my life, whoever has been there during this difficult time, everybody in their own way. They are the people who have always sent a message to ask how I was or just to make me laugh. I have never felt so much empathy for people before like in this surreal and difficult time.

These photos are my tribute to them. This pandemic will be a distant memory one day, but I want to remember how they were. Each person has been photographed in his/her favourite corner of the house or while dedicated to his/her hobby or passion. The link between me and many of these people is music. My intention was to catch the empathic connection between me and them despite the distance and the devices (our webcams and my camera) dividing us.

‘All mankind’ is the second interpretation. Each person has their own story and the Covid emergency has had consequences on everybody’s life. Some of those people in the photos have been isolated for three months trying to protect their elderly parents, have struggled against the virus living in complete isolation without even going out to buy food, have lost their jobs, had planned to get married and could not, could not visit their families in other regions for months, had to work from home while taking care of a child.

These are universal stories in which everybody can recognise themselves. They teach us that mankind has a great power to adapt. Some people have started teaching online, have started home radio stations, have recorded music, have made drawings out of my photos, have volunteered. Together we have done photo shoots, guitar and yoga lessons, birthday parties. We have not given up, because life always prevails.

All words and photos © Oriana Spadaro

You can view Oriana’s previous In Focus feature here

3rd June 2020

The Way Forward

By Caoimhe Clements

Life has changed dramatically.  We have given up our freedom in a sense to save lives. It is time to be more grateful if you and your loved woke up this morning still breathing – be happy, because thousands of people today didn’t get to breathe again. Together, we can get through this. We can protect each other. Please stay home and stay safe.

My name is Caoimhe Clements and I am a photographer from Ireland. Growing up in the Irish countryside inspired my landscape photography. Moving to Belfast inspired my continuous growing visual language, which is giving people a voice to speak through imagery.

I speak passionately about mental health, epilepsy and climate change through my photographic work. It’s time to talk. Let’s support each other.

Within the past two years, I have exhibited in Ireland and Scotland in group and solo exhibitions, become a photographer for the Woodland Trust, started two long term photographic projects and taught a fashion photography workshop in collaboration with Belfast Design Week 2019.

In June 2019, I began my project From the Inside Out; I exhibited the collection in November 2019. This project takes the viewer on a journey of emotions and how an individual lives with epilepsy, a subject matter very close to my heart.

From showcasing this work, I met a Professor from Trinity College Dublin who studies the brain and epilepsy. Professor Mark Cummingham expressed an interest in an image during launch night of the exhibition. In February 2020 I was invited to Trinity College Dublin to present the photograph to Mark. I am continuing to further and deepen the narrative of this project, through more in-depth research and development of imagery.

A fact about me… I currently attend university, studying my undergraduate in Photography with Video. I’m going into my final year in September 2020, I will embark on my masters after this.

During my second year of my degree I began my project A Global Crisis – an investigation into how people feel and think about climate change, the idea of starting a conversation, giving an individual a voice to speak.

I began to photograph individuals in the studio, inspired by Rembrandt’s painting style – I used the technique known as Rembrandt lightening or the Rembrandt effect.

The idea was to capture their raw emotions in a sad emotional statement, to reflect on how damaging climate change is, the sad reality that human activity is causing a dangerous increase in the change in climate – from extreme environmental changes such as raising sea levels to extreme weather events.

By mid March, Covid-19 had reached the UK and Ireland. Lockdown was introduced. This put a stop to my project; I was in state of feeling depressed, not known what was going to happen. Everything that I and other creative people where working towards had been affected. We had to find new ways to adapt and keep our creative mindsets alive.

But I am staying positive and finding new ways to communicate my concept to the viewer. I feel what is important now is supporting each other and reminding people that we can get through this phase. Stay home.

Since March, I have continued to add depth to my research and develop my project further. I have found interests in the fields of study in Psychology and Social Sciences. I began to read articles and essays into how psychology and climate change is linked and I became very interested in human behaviour and how this impacts the environment. I feel this is the way forward.

I hope you have enjoyed this article, and hope you and your loved ones are safe.

Caoimhe

All words and photos © Caoimhe Clements

You can read Caoimhe’s previous In Focus feature here

27th May 2020

The Enduring Power of Film Photography

The Enduring Power Of Film
by Geoff Maxted

I once sold a car and almost immediately, as it disappeared up the road, I regretted the decision to sell it. Many people, usually men, instantly rue the day they disposed of this or that item, be it a camera or just a ball of twine because they forgot the golden rule: One day there might be a use for it.

Back in the days before the digital revolution swept over us in a tsunami of technology, I owned several film cameras from Nikon and Contax. To this day I regret being suckered into buying digital cameras: ‘It’s just so much more convenient’, I told myself, ‘no more chemical fumes’. Gone were the camera bodies and assorted lenses; the dark room enlarger and the trays and the changing bags and the dev tanks; yet curiously somehow two Nikon AF-D lenses survived the carnage. I found myself still in possession of a 28mm and a 50mm prime, both in mint condition. They must have been in a drawer somewhere, hiding, because they didn’t reveal themselves until some considerable time had passed.

The Camera Doesn’t Matter

Surprisingly, they still had a value but rather than move them on to a new home, I decided instead to buy a budget film camera. My Nikon F55 is made of plastic, is in almost new condition and cost £35 plus P&P from a trusted used retailer. The first roll of Kodak 400 lasted a year but just lately I have set aside the Sony and the posh Nikon digital models and instead stocked up on Kodak ColorPlus. I haven’t looked back since and there is a good reason why: Others have said this in other ways but the quote I’m using is from the legend that is Sir Don McCullin; “…digital doesn’t transform the atmosphere like film”. Never a truer word.

The camera is irrelevant. The brilliant and rather garrulous American street photographer, John Free, is still going strong aged almost 80 years and still uses a Nikon F3 HP with black and white film that he processes himself. It’s just him, a camera and a single lens yet he continues to produce great work.

They Just Look Right

Sir Don McCullin is not wrong. I recently had on a wall a pin board festooned with small prints and although the content may not be of prize-winning quality, the ‘look’ of the images is always what struck the casual viewer and it is hard to describe. The pictures just look ‘right’. Digital images have been described as being cold and I think that might be it. It isn’t just about grain; that can be added by software. There’s a pleasing warmth to the film images that simply cannot be replicated, despite the plethora of presets that make that claim, rather like my favoured fake film Kodachrome 64 and of course the photographer has to get it right first time in camera; no chimping, no machine-gunning, no second chances, as with the image of the tourists on a boat trip who prefer their phones to an actual view.

One Day My Prints Will Come

There’s an enduring power to film and that power is once again being manifested by the rise of a new generation of film fanatics, be it returners like me or the bright young things in the Lomography crowd. There’s no need to bother with colour or B&W home processing either, there’s plenty of C41 establishments who will develop, print and/or scan those lovely rich negatives. There are also some very interesting new emulsions on the market. It has to be said that it is thanks to the internet and digital science that having decent quality scans and prints made is both fast and reasonably cheap, so there’s no excuse for not shooting the odd roll and then waiting with bated breath for your prints to come.

The lesson here is that if you have some old film camera gear knocking about in the loft, then clean it and treasure it because one day you are going to need it. Even if the cost of a roll of 35mm is temporarily beyond you then hang on to the kit, because one day you will be able to treat yourself to some old-school snapping. Then you’ll be hooked.

All words and photos © Geoff Maxted

26th May 2020

In Lockdown with Lauren Fautley

In today’s feature, photographer Lauren Fautley shares her current project reflecting on the recurrent themes of day to day living in quarantine…

Lauren Fautley, Lincoln

‘As a nation and worldwide we have had to adapt to a new way of life. My series, 9 days in Self-Isolation, documents 9 days of this newfound state of inertia with my partner in our Lincoln flat. My work focuses on the mundane, repetitive nature of my daily routine during this self-isolation period.

9am

Portrait

8am

Facetime

I normally work as a portrait photographer but during this time I have geared my work towards a more documentary approach.’

11pm

Window

You can see more of Lauren’s photography and follow her on Instagram

Links to the rest of our series of features with photographers in lockdown can be found here

20th May 2020

 

 

 

The Lakeland Blogs

The Lakeland Photo Blogs / 2015-2019
By Derek Rickman

I’ve made numerous visits to the Lake District with my brothers over the last few years and, with the lockdown still in place and no prospect of any further hikes there, it felt like a good time to compile these blogs which I’ve been posting on my Instagram account. I’ve edited and expanded the text and sourced additional images for the purpose of the article. I’ve used iPhone 7 Plus and Canon SX for the photography.

Breakfast at Rydal   26/09/19

We’d just completed the The Coffin Route and reached Rydal Water where we were looking forward to a late breakfast. We were in good spirits because we’d just heard that England had beaten New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup. My brothers have unparalleled expertise in finding the best spot for setting up a camping stove (I’m usually just crashing about in the background with my camera). The light rain that had followed us from Grasmere was still falling as we unpacked everything but the trees provided excellent shelter. We usually have croissants or cereal bars with our hot drinks though I think we had rock cakes at Rydal, they were pretty good! We sipped our coffee becalmed by the tranquility of our surroundings, the gentle lapping of the water and the flurry of a distant swan the only sounds breaking the chill air. The clouds were still lingering on the fells as we departed but the light seemed sharper as we traversed the breadth of the lake and we were treated to a pageant of autumnal hues reflected in the lake below Silver How.

Scafell Pike   28/04/19

This was our reward for the long arduous trek up Scafell Pike last week. We were incredibly fortunate to experience these views as we had arrived at Wasdale Head the previous day in pouring rain, and the forecast for our ascent wasn’t favourable. Luckily the cloud base had lifted as we approached the rock strewn summit which is England’s highest (978m). We could see the whole range of peaks from Eskdale in the west to Blencathra in the east.

In the first photo the clouds are just clearing the jagged teeth of Crinkle Crags with Lake Windermere a thin silver ribbon emerging on the left. There were breathtaking views of Bowfell cradled in the clouds and the remote and mysterious Styhead Tarn which sits at the foot of Green Gable like a frozen teardrop in the encompassing wilderness.

Easedale and Helm Crag   30/08/18

I really enjoyed this climb up to Helm Crag through the pastures and woodland of Easedale. I understand now why this part of Lakeland inspired so much of Wordsworth’s poetry. We passed the house at Lancrigg where he wrote much of his famous work The Prelude. It’s in a beautiful setting and overlooks some of the finest scenery in Lakeland. I can only imagine how it would look in early spring. It requires little effort to reach Helm Crag but despite its low elevation the views are exhilarating, and there are plenty of jagged rocks to scramble over to satisfy the more adventurous among us. We had coffee in a sheltered crag below the summit and watched the sunlight piercing the clouds above Grasmere’s glimmering Lake. As we descended I felt the spirits of many contented souls lingering on the fells who, like me, passed through this glorious landscape rewarded and enriched.

The Bowder Stone   23/04/17

Weighing 2000 tonnes and standing 9 metres high, the Bowder Stone is an andesite lava boulder which can be found in secluded woodland below Bowder Crag in the jaws of Borrowdale. Either a glacial erratic or the result of a cataclysmic rockfall, this geological behemoth is a favourite with amateur rock climbers as it has a low level under-hang. There were guys with climbing ropes and a mattress placed underneath when we were there. However there is a ladder available for anyone without crampons who wants to stand on the top. There’s just enough space for two people standing upright.

Above Buttermere   28/09/18

If you’re a photographer hiking in Lakeland there will be countless viewpoints and perspectives to consider on any ascent, but it’s important to maintain a balance between enjoying the experience of the hike and weighing up photo opportunities. On this occasion I rapidly discarded my trekking pole and ran 30 metres up a slope leaving a trail of dust (much to my brothers’ consternation) to capture this view of Buttermere and the distant sentinels. Despite the heavy cloud and diminishing light, I really like the textures and hues set against the blue water, and the lone wayfaring tree breaks the outline of the lake.

Great Rigg   22/04/17

The Fairfield Horseshoe is a classic Lakeland route and encompasses many outstanding viewpoints, Great Rigg being one of them. It’s the third highest peak (766m) out of a total of 8 on the round. It sounds like a tough day’s hiking but once you’ve made the initial climb from Ambleside or Rydal, negotiating each of the peaks doesn’t seem like such hard work. This was one of Wainwright’s favourite ridge walks. The distance is around 16k and takes about 4 to 5 hours to complete. There are boggy areas but generally the paths are well defined. I would recommend it to anyone who is reasonably fit and is contemplating their first hiking adventure in the Lakes.

Cloudburst at Coppermines   02/10/17

A day of contrasts and fluctuating emotions. It had been some months since our Mother had passed away and knowing how happy it made her to see the three of us hiking together added a touch of poignancy to this outing. We left the outskirts of Coniston climbing through dark swathes of cloud, a silent procession in a ceaseless downpour. Church Beck thundered in our ears and the boulder strewn paths gushed beneath our feet. The whole fabric of the landscape seemed to be reverberating with the force of the deluge. I imagined water coursing through fissures in the mountain and filling hidden chambers in the bedrock. The heavily laden trees shuddered in the rasping wind, showering our faces with icy droplets and twig debris, but a steely resolve had set in and we marched on grimly. We crossed Miner’s Bridge and paused, the rain still unfolding in silver veils across the heather. I smeared the beads from my device and watched the clouds drift over the ruined walls and spoil heaps of a derelict past. Yet the mountain had begun to quell the storm, dark shapes dissolved into flickering waves of sunlight on the shoulder of the mountain. As we approached the Tarn, the wild beauty of our surroundings began to reveal itself. The cobalt surface rippled in the breeze and shards of light danced between half sunken rocks. Far on the other side through the coiling mist a thin ribbon of water fell into an impenetrable gully. By the time we reached the summit of The Old Man there were groups of fellow hikers chatting noisily amongst themselves, relieved like us that they had conquered the elements. We sat beneath the cairn drying out and warming our hands on our coffee cups. A solitary bird soared over the deep blue of the tarn as the clouds parted and we felt the spreading warmth of the sun. It seemed as if a weight we’d been carrying had suddenly lifted. I looked at my brothers, both silently staring into the distance. Through half closed eyes I softly recited the words to a Wolf Alice song..

‘Go Heavenward
Like all earth angels should’

For Mum

Helvellyn   15/05/16

When I look back at all the hikes we’ve done, this was the toughest but also the most rewarding. I suffer with mild vertigo so negotiating a crowded Striding Edge and scaling The Chimney were big personal achievements. Helvellyn is the most popular route in Lakeland but there’s no doubt it strikes fear into some hikers. (There were 13 deaths there the year we climbed it). As we were tackling the first part of Striding Edge a guy gave up the ghost and promptly slid down to the Tarn butt first and later another hiker got crag-fast on The Chimney and had to be cajoled off the rock face. We all felt like we’d been walking a tightrope by the time we scrambled up to Helvellyn summit (950m) so there was much relief and celebration as we enjoyed the views. But we still had Swirral Edge to contend with before we could relax. Although it’s a shorter ridge compared to SE, it needs to be treated with respect and I was soon scrambling on my hands and knees as we descended for a well earned coffee break. After the thrills and spills of the mountain it was good to cool our boots and watch the silent drift of the clouds above Red Tarn. It was pretty much plain sailing all the way back to Glenridding and we had time for a brief stop at the tree fringed Lanty’s Tarn where for a few precious moments I sat in the dappled shade by the water’s edge in a state of zen like calm.

To Future Days

A slight air of melancholy descends on me when a day’s hiking is nearly over but it is always tempered by a sense of fulfilment and wellbeing. Those feelings are magnified by Cumbrian Ale and a lively retelling of the experience just gained. In many ways a walk in the fells is self perpetuating, diverging paths and peaks tempt the eye, new perspectives spring up and vie for your attention imploring you to explore further. In spring I stood on Scafell gazing across a fractured landscape to a distant tarn sparkling in the sunlight. Beyond it lay a deep corridor of verdant slopes caressed by fleeting cloud shadows. How I longed to feel the wildness of that place and look into that mirrored pool. Moments like these sink deep into the soul and provide a rich visual harvest to be replayed on long artless days when there is nothing but work and idle chatter. So perhaps those feelings of melancholy are misplaced, for it is not an ending, merely another beginning.

For Martin and Trevor

All words and photos © Derek Rickman

You can follow Derek’s photography journey on Instagram and read his previous In Focus feature here

14th May 2020

Photography – The Very Familiar

We’re delighted to introduce Geoff Maxted, a freelance writer and photographer. Here, he imparts some practical reflections and ideas on how to get the best out of shooting in your local area – especially when that’s the only place you can go…

Lockdown Breakout!
Photographing The Very Familiar

No, I’m definitely not encouraging people to burst out of their coronavirus bubble, but it is a fact that we can get outside and take daily exercise. That’s the ideal time for a bit of breakout photography to find something new in that which we see every day.

That’s the catch; our daily lives are filled with the familiar. We go about our day to day work and play at similar times and on similar routes. That’s how it has to be. High days and holidays define the different but mostly we remain in the mundane. This routine has been magnified during the 2020 virus crisis and more than ever before our location variety is restricted.

Familiar Surroundings

As many keen photographers will have realised time and time again, the more familiar something is the less we see in it. There is no possibility of photographing the same place over and over again and still strive for originality we assume, but is that just looking at the big picture? Are there in fact new ways to document that which is familiar and be able to make a set of worthwhile images. Your toughest critic is yourself; if you like what you do, others may too. These are shots I made during the winter and into the situation we find ourselves now. We have to make the best of what we have access to.

A Respectful Distance

Those fortunate enough to live in rural areas perhaps have a little more leeway, but the majority live in suburban or urban areas surrounded by neighbours and strangers who might take exception to an inquisitive lens. In short, don’t push your luck in the quest for the different image; if in doubt ask and above all stay safe.

The Weather

If there’s one thing we are not short of in this country it is weather. We get plenty of it. We can experience snow, rain, sunshine and winds, sometimes on the same day. Now, in this climate-sensitive era the boundaries between the seasons may be blurred but they are still there.

If travel opportunities are limited, the local park holds many photographic secrets if inspected closely enough. It may have small areas of woodland, a lake or a broad expanse of open country and it changes all the time. The seasons are magnified by nature; there is winter’s cold hand and new life in spring. Then there are the people; the regulars, the dog walkers and the exercisers: People who are often happy to strike up a conversation and maybe even agree to a photo or two.

Parks demonstrate seasonal weather very well. Chilly frost and snow-covered ground devoid of life contrasts with rain-soaked vistas and baked earth festooned with sweltering bodies. Mud can cake boots and pollen invade noses and eyes. Expect snowdrops and crocuses early on, followed by the nodding heads of daffodils. Watch as the male swan chases off last year’s fledged offspring at nest-building time. Avian visitors arrive for summer or are perhaps just passing through for warmer climes. Ice cream vendors appear. Cafes open up (in the not too distant future, we hope), but in all too short a time the nights start drawing in and we begin the slow descent into winter once again.

Nature and human lifestyle offer boundless opportunities for photography, if you look beyond the obvious scenic views and sunny days. Explore more, delve, look, listen and ask.

The Personal Project

Try to move away from random shooting. Set targets and plan a series of images of a certain type or place, whatever the local environment. A set of themed images makes for a good creative whole. Winter gloom in evocative black and white or summer’s lease in glorious colour. Local hedgerows are a haven for wildlife as much as for festivals of litter. Does your area need cleaning up?

Would the series be of interest to the local press or community group? Is the topic about your community or garden or shopping precinct? Every picture tells a story, at least according to Rod Stewart, but a series delivers the whole album.

Down Our Street

There’s a tendency these days for newly built estates to be bland and featureless, but during the building there are plenty of images to explore as the landscape changes. Does the work despoil in any way sensitive areas and is this worth documenting and reporting? Progress often brings dissent among the locals. They might even protest. Be there with your camera. However, once the properties have bedded in they begin to take on the patina of other peoples’ lives. Gardens change for better or for worse and community activities increase, all of which goes to demonstrate how much an area can change and how much variety it can offer.

There is much to interest the enquiring eye in older, more established areas too. The sweep of a tree-lined boulevard or the faded elegance of a Victorian terrace; the open plan nature of a developer’s sixties’ dream settlement, possibly featuring ‘award-winning’ high rises and suspect pedestrian underpasses that have all seen better days. Neon-lit night-time cityscapes and colourful markets; reflections in a puddle after rain.

There is, in the local high street, mixed shopping, street vendors, a rising tide of charity shops and forlorn ‘To Let’ signs on boarded up premises. Small independent shops, especially good old-fashioned ironmongers or butchers’ shops are a disappearing breed, it’s time to document their passing, like the photographer who once shot so many old-fashioned Woolworth shop fronts before that famous name faded away.

So, a good long walk around your local area with eyes peeled, an idea in mind and a camera at the ready is a great way to occupy your permitted exercise time while working on your fitness. Work to see beyond the obvious and poke your nose around the back. Don’t venture alone into troubled areas and don’t be too blatant. Adopt the guise of the seasoned street photographer and study their methods.

Your street. Your district. Your town. Maybe it’s not all that familiar after all.

All words and photos © Geoff Maxted 2020

You can find and follow more of Geoff’s photography on Instagram 

11th May 2020

In Lockdown with Nigel King

It feels very fitting to close this week’s quarantine features with photographer Nigel King, giving us a glimpse into how one community is managing to get together whilst following all the rules on staying apart…

‘I’m Nigel King from Nottingham.

Local residents near to me organised a socially distant game of community lockdown bingo. This was my opportunity to get my camera out at last and shoot an actual event rather than just the cats and plants in my back garden. It was a rather jolly event with everyone wanting to do it again soon. I certainly hope so.

During the lockdown I’ve been spending time looking back at shots from my archive library, doing a bit of reprocessing where I think I could make some improvements now. I’ve also been having a go with my macro lens with some not entirely successful attempts at focus stacking in Photoshop.

When it’s all over I’m looking forward to getting back to the live music, festivals and other public events that we are normally well served with here in Nottingham.’

All photos are taken and copyrighted by Nigel. You can see more of Nigel’s work, including his music and events photography, on his website. For regular posts, find and follow Nigel on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Links to the rest of our series of features with photographers in lockdown can be found here

8th May 2020

In Lockdown with Brian Smith

Today’s lockdown feature is with Brian Smith, whose love of photography across a range of subjects and styles is apparent in this varied collection of shots…

‘My name is Brian Smith, I’m located in Oldbury, West Midlands and am an enthusiastic amateur photographer. I run a photo club at work which includes both our suppliers and clients. I have a mixed approach to photography from still life to portrait/person, and love low key images.

I have been working from home now for five weeks, only going out for essentials or taking the wife to work. It’s been challenging with some days more productive than others.

I love all things old and have included some photos of my 1943 German typewriter; if only it could say what it has written

Following on from old things, I’ve Photoshopped some images to look old

My favourite images are low key so I had to include some of those too

And lastly, wildlife with birds in our garden…’

All photos are taken and copyrighted by Brian. If you’d like to see more of his work, you can find and follow him on Instagram and Facebook.

Links to the rest of our series of features with photographers in lockdown can be found here

7th May 2020

In Lockdown with Steve White

Taking a fresh look at the everyday things around him, photographer Steve White’s isolation shots take on a documentary style, capturing the unusual times we’re living in…

‘My name is Steve White and I’m in Northallerton, North Yorkshire, with my wife and twin daughters.

I’d normally be out shooting gigs a couple of times a week in Leeds, Middlesbrough, Stockton and York and then spending far too much time processing all the images.

Lockdown has been an interesting time so far. My day job is a teacher and the transition to online teaching and learning was a very steep learning curve for myself, students and a lot of parents of those students. I’m missing the gigs. Rumours that venues, clubs and pubs will be one of the last things to reopen isn’t good news but if it keeps people safe, then so be it.

On a positive note it’s given me much more time to spend with my family and it’s been great spending more evenings together. I’ve also spent too much money buying music by bands I’ve now got more time to listen to.

The last time I picked up my DSLR was to shoot The Boomtown Rats in Minehead at the beginning of March. Since the lockdown I’ve just been documenting daily life with my phone or my Olympus. Walks around our now deserted town, daily exercise strolls, home haircuts, games in the garden. Photographing the things I always notice but rarely shoot – sunlight glinting through a sprinkler, car parks, daft shadow shapes. Anything that catches my eye. I suppose it’s just a record of a time in history I hope we never have to go through again.’

All photos are taken and copyrighted by Steve. To see more of his work check out his Flickr site and follow him on Instagram. 

Links to the rest of our series of features with photographers in lockdown can be found here

6th May 2020

In Lockdown with Jake O’Brien

Using the changes in natural light to frame his photography, Jake O’Brien is staying busy and creative during lockdown…

‘My name is Jake O’Brien, I’m from Banstead in Surrey.

These photos have been taken during the isolation period. The majority consist of exterior shots that I have taken whilst I was in my garden, which has revealed a lot of beautiful shots. For example, the blossom was shot during sunset on Easter Sunday. The campervan shot was taken whilst I was in week two of isolation and I went to Epsom Downs for a recce as I know that it offers beautiful views of London as well as forms of transportation that you wouldn’t normally expect, such as this vehicle.

The shots of the sunlight seeping through onto a bed and guitar were taken during the last stages of sunset, the blinds deflected the sunlight onto my guitar that was standing upright against my wall. Throughout the majority of the shots I’ve used the sunlight to my advantage. I have been able to see normal household features in a completely different way because of it, therefore it has made a huge contribution when it comes to my motivation behind the photos that I have taken.

Usually I would be shooting bands and artists in the Surrey/London district. I thoroughly enjoy taking photographs at musical events as it intertwines my two main passions, music and photography. As well as that I get to meet fantastic people, whether it’s the band  members themselves or people from the music photography community online. As a result of music photography I have been able to discover Breaking Glass Magazine, so I am thankful for that.

In terms of coping with lockdown I have managed to distract myself whether that’s through music, guitar, writing books, taking photographs, exercising and making short home movies that don’t have any significant meaning, but they are a great way of diverting my mind from this terrible virus. Subsequent to lockdown I am looking forward to taking photos again at musical events, playing music with my mates, seeing family members and eventually going to university in September.’

All photos are taken and copyrighted by Jake. You can check out more of his work on his website and follow him on Instagram.

Links to the rest of our series of features with photographers in lockdown can be found here

5th May 2020