Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Autumn or Indian summer?

I've been dragging myself away from my computer and the two current contracts for short breaks. When I do, I can't understand why I took so long. Barely a few paces in any direction and the views, peace and autumn colours are stunning. Yesterday evening and again early this morning I took the car a bit further up into the hills to take some photographs of spots I'd noticed last time I came back from the airport. It's just fantastic country, and I'm pretty pleased with the pictures. The apple of my eye is on holiday and is busy with a friend making a teepee in the garden in front of my window. My partner in crime collected a few of the biggest carrots I've ever seen in my life from one of our neighbours on the way back from her daily consitutional this morning. And I've managed a bit more garden work, gently easing my back into activity after its recent problems. There are times when life is simple but just fantastic, and being conscious of it at the time is about all it takes to feel a deep happy peace.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Kurdish recipes

Back in the Massif after a week-long work trip to the UK, the order of the day is to find some Kurdish recipes to offer some friends this week. My usual infallible searches of the internet haven't found a great deal, although I'm looking forward to the spicy red lentil soup.

I'm also heading outside for much of the weekend to take full advantage of the incredibly mild temperatures (14C of a morning and 20+C of an afternoon), and the lovely light and autumn colours. My garden also needs some TLC. There are still tomatoes ripening amongs the flowers, and we took another half dozen courgettes in yesterday. It's hard to equate that with the first snowfall of the winter that was falling this time last year. Long may it last!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Number Twelve. Ice Cave

This last photo in the exhibition was taken in Switzerland. A small group of us were exploring a glacier when we found an opening and managed to get inside this space. While taking a few shots, a large boulder at the entrance moved to partly close off our way out. We didn't hang around. This is a 16"x24" print on a glacial white mount in a white frame.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Number Eleven. Spirit

This is the second one that hasn't made the transition to the web very well. The original is nice and crisp. The title is a little wordplay. I spent two weeks tracing the coastline of parts of Harris and Lews in the Western Iisles some time ago. On the way, I stopped at the Harris Hotel in Tarbet. While waiting for the restaurant to start serving lunch, I sat in the bar chatting to the barman. Just about every bloke that came in asked him, (in Gaelic) who I was, and then bought me a dram; impressive hospitality. So by the time I tucked into my meal, I was more than three sheets to the wind. But so fortified, I set off on my bicycle to cross the island. On the way, I stopped for many a rest, including a spell by this small loch. Looking down on it, this composition appealed to me, but whether it was the spirit of the loch or of the hotel I had in mind, I couldn't say. Presented at 16"x24" on an ivory mount in an antique blue frame.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Number Ten. Of the Circle of Callanish

In the Western Isles is the stone circle of Callanish. Each of the stones has a presence or spirit personality that almost welcomes you as you stand before them. At the exhibition, where, if you remember, each picture only had a number, a number of visitors called this one 'The Virgin' or 'The Virgin Mary'. It was printed at 16"x24", mounted on ivory and framed in antique blue wood.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Number Nine. Waterfall.

This one has lost more detail than the others in its transformation to the web. But I think you can still see the effect of the sunlight on the rocks in the foreground, and the unusual appearance of the water in the background. On an ivory mount in a light natural wood frame, print at 16"x24".

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Number Eight. The Unlikely Line

There are a few rocky shores around the Gower coast that are fascinating to explore at low tide. Amongst the rock pools, I spotted this unlikely line below the receding tide. I photographed it several times as the tide went out and the rock dried - and this was the best shot. It was presented at 24"x16" on a white border in a matt black frame.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Number Seven. A Distant Shore

Swansea Bay is a sweeping stretch of (mostly) sand. It is shallow, and when the tide is out it is well out. It attracts large numbers of sea birds who feed in the shallow pools that the tide leaves. I liked the spotty effect of the birds in the mid-ground and the water filling the sandy dimples in the foreground. Printed at 24"x16" on a white mount in a lightly-washed natural wood frame.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Number Six. Sea Breeze in the Reeds

Taken behind Oxwich Bay, Gower in mid-winter, the buds appear russet against the dark leafless branches forming a backdrop for the dry feathery reeds in the foreground. The reeds are so dry and light that the slightest breeze can move them. It is a strange feeling to see them moving, but not to be able to feel the breeze that is doing it. It seems as if they are moving on their own. Presented at 20"x30" on a 4" ivory mount in a 2" natural wood frame. Some people looking at it can jump to the conclusion that this is an autumn picture due to the reddish colour on the trees in the background, although you don't have to look for long to see that there are no leaves to be seen, and autumn is no undoubtedly long past.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Number Five. The Long Sunrise

There I was taken a ferry from the Malaysian mainland to a small island that was just getting developed for tourism. It was a small ferry and an overnight crossing. The bunks were built for Malaysians, who, although not wishing to over-generalise, are shorter than me. My feet would have stuck over the end, except that there was a helpful little fence around all the bunks to stop people falling off. Anyway, after failing to sleep for about 5 or 6 hours, I decided to go up on deck and get a coffee. I saw a rather dismal sunrise and was just about to go back down and wake up my Malaysian (and therefore short and very much asleep) travelling companion. Luckily i just caught this second sunrise developing as the sun rose above the bank of clouds on the horizon. I stood there spellbound for what seemed like hours, and shot about 3 rolls of film. This is one of my two favourites. I had it printed up at 20"x30" and surrounded by a 2" matt black frame without a mount.

By the way all these are for sale, in case you wondered.