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  • Welcome to Gale Photography

    Hello, and welcome to my website! I'm Derek Gale, photography trainer and Fine Art photographer based in Worcester.

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Little things mean a lot

In our new garden in Worcester we are still learning about what plants and wildlife we have.  Putting to one side the squirrels that drop bits of part-chewed walnuts (and squirrel spit!) all over our cars on the drive, there are some interesting insects around, like this Bronze Shield Bug.

Some of you will know about Levon Biss’ fantastic “Microsculpture” exhibition where the utter beauty of insects was spectacularly displayed via huge prints.  I don’t have access to the kit he used, but I do have a macro lens, some extension tubes and a camera that does in-camera focus stacking.  This straight down shot, where I am parallel to the main body of the insect to help with depth of field, captures the textures of the carapace etc, but it’s a bit disguised against the wood of the garden table.

I went and got some black perspex to try and get a more neutral background.  The perspex still had its protective film on which was reflecting the sky.  It was a bit of a gloomy day, so I also had brought out my 64-LED light panel to help give me a shorter shutter speed.  The light reflected off the protective film giving me a white background.  The insect now stands out much more, despite the complication added by the shadows.

On another morning I spotted a pigeon feather that had been caught in a cobweb on a garden chair.  I moved the chair so that the morning sunlight shone through the feather, and so that the background was dark to give good contrast.  The strength of the cobweb, given its delicacy, is amazing, and the structure of the feather is likewise.

Just a couple of small things, but the beauty can be captured with a macro lens and a bit of light.

Light, dark, and a touch of red

I’ve touched on patterns in previous posts.  They can be natural or can be man-made.  This post is about the man-made ones.

On a wander with a friend this week we passed some huge pylons carrying cables across the River Severn.  It was possible to get directly underneath them, and the focal length of my mobile’s camera, (35 mm equivalent), was just right to get the amount of perspective I wanted.  I cropped the image square and converted it to high contrast black and white.  That took away a bit of sky detail that was distracting.  Because I wasn’t absolutely under the centre it has a slightly disconcerting pattern.

The pylon image is mostly white with black lines; here’s the opposite in terms of tones.  The lock gates at Diglis Lock on the River Severn were just open, letting a slit of light through.  The slit and its reflection made an interesting transition. I used a 300mm equivalent lens to get the composition I wanted, and made sure the line was properly centered.  It was OK but worked better inverted.  Inverted the line and reflected line look like smoke from a chimney rather than water.

In these days of texting and email and suchlike it’s still gratifying to see a pile of letters ready to post.  Selecting just the very edges of the letters to be in focus gave a nice pattern repeat, and the red tint from the stamp reflections added an extra pattern.  I’d say it was a First Class image.  Did you see what I did there?

Keep your eyes open. Patterns on a large or a small scale, are everywhere.

 

Blimey, time flies!

I must apologise to my reader (readers?) for the huge gap between this blog post and my last blog post.  My only excuse is that the house move and associated stuff did take rather longer than expected.  Anyway, I’m here in Worcester now and photographically it’s looking very promising indeed.

“Red sky at night, photographer’s delight”?  Not all the time perhaps, but here behind the River Severn at Diglis it certainly was a fab sunset.  The fish rising added a bit of extra shape to the foreground, which was very handy.

Worcester has a lot of very interesting buildings, ranging from Medieval to brand spanking new.   This is the boathouse for the King’s School Boat Club.  It was opened in 2012 and is in the shape of a boat.  The shapes and contrast worked best in  black and white.

Finally a portrait.  There’s an elephant sculpture art trail on in Worcester at present.  It’s to raise money for a local hospice.  Each elephant has been painted by a different artist of group.  This one had a fabulously green face and the eye looks a bit scary!

So, a great start to my Worcester journey.  I’m looking forward to the future.

We’re in the process of selling our house and moving to Worcester.   Until that’s finally sorted I’ve removed my phone number from the website.

To get in touch please use the Contact Me page or email info(at)galephotography.co.uk

You’ll need to replace the (at) with the @ symbol. It’s a spam thing…

Looking forward to hearing from you.

How to make litter beautiful!

Whilst on a countryside walk recently I came across this huge pile of discarded shotgun cartridges on the edge of a wood.  There were thousands!  I wondered why the people who had assiduously gathered them up could not have then disposed of them in a responsible way.  Whilst the metal parts might rust away over time, the plastic parts will hang around for decades.

In an “out of the strong came something sweet” moment, I decided to try and make something beautiful out of the ugliness.  There was a good mixture of colours, so I set my Huawei Mate 10 Pro phone camera to “Silky Water” light painting mode.

I found a suitable section of cartridges and moved the phone in a smooth straight line.  The use of such an additive multi-exposure mode has reduced the cartridges to a composition of shapes and colours with a sense of movement along the frame.  I was pleased with how such an ugly thing had been altered by a simple technique.

Choosing a smaller section of cartridges I moved the phone in more of a curve/rotation.  I kept the phone still for part of the exposure to blend some sharpness with the blur.  If you look very hard you can see more of the individual cartridges, but they are hard to recognise unless you know what they are.  Again, the ugliness has turned to beauty.

I suppose the moral is that even the least promising subject, the result of other people’s selfishness, can be used to your photographic advantage.