Saturday, 19 October 2019

Walks With My Dog - Gotts Park 17/10/19

The day before yesterday I woke up to what looked like a fine morning and decided to take my dog Midge for a long and leisurely walk in the nearby Gotts Park. As we got there the sun came out fully and cast a glorious golden light on the still and misty landscape. No words are necessary or fitting enough to describe the autumnal beauty that unfolded before my eyes; the photos that I took describe it best. However, here is a quote that goes well with this post:

"Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness
Close bosom friend of the maturing sun..."

~John Keats (1795-1821)~ "To Autumn"

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

First Autumn Photos

I took this photo in Gotts Park, the local park where I often walk my dog. I love to watch the double row of horse chestnut trees throughout the year; they look lovely at the moment with their leaves turning beautiful autumn colours. I processed the image quite heavily in order to enhance the colours and deepen the shadows and to add a bit of a mystic and painterly feel.

With its abundance of colours, forms and textures in nature autumn for me is the most inspiring season for still life photography. Colourful squashes always catch my eye and make me think of a still life image. These three I brought back from Zagreb. I arranged them simply in a straight line on the chest of drawers next to a window in my spare room, the usual place for my still life work; I added a conker in its shell to offset the pattern on the bottom of the squash on the right, and waited till the afternoon sun just started to emerge from behind the cloud to take a pic. In editing I applied a very dark texture layer which is rather unusual for my style, but is something I have been leaning towards for quite a while. I decided to be really bold this time and leave the image very dark so as to symbolize the cosy darkness of early nights that October brings about.

I brought back home lots of conkers from Gotts Park and put them in a basket for decoration in my dining room. When G saw them he immediately suggested I do a game of conkers still life. Not my usual still life type of image, but I thought I'd give it a go; so, after watching a video of the game on youtube to make sure I get things right, I made the necessary preparation and took a few shots in my garden. Here is one of the most dramatic ones.

Thursday, 10 October 2019

Zagreb, Croatia, September 2019

It's been nearly two weeks since I got back from one of my visits to Zagreb, the beautiful city full of character I was born and raised in. I had a really good time - pleasant, eventful, filled with fun and special moments, but, I must admit, I didn't take very many photos. In fact, it was only on two days, out of two weeks I was there, that I took a considerable amount of pics, and I feel absolutely fine  about it. I'm trying to slow down and be easygoing and spontaneous about everything I do in my private life now, and my photography is no exception.
I shall share selected photos from the recent trip to Zagreb in two blog posts; for this first one I have prepared some random images from around the town, most of which were taken in the historic Upper (Old) Town which continues to attract and inspire me by far more than any other part of Zagreb.

"Window to Zagreb", part of the Summer Festival installations at Strossmayer Parade in the Upper (Old) Town from which there are stunning views over lower town.  

Ban Jelacic Square, Zagreb's central square

Graffiti art in Ribnjak Park 

Autumn had arrived in Ribnjak Park

Recently reopened Passage between two streets near the main square (Bakaceva and Cesarceva Street). It is the site of Creek Medvescak that used to run through Zagreb in the 19th century.

Part of Maria Juric Zagorka's flat. She was a popular and well loved Croatian 20th century writer, journalist and feminist. The flat is a museum now, open to the public Thursdays.

View over Dolac, Zagreb's main market from the balcony of Marija Juric Zagorka's flat

Castle Prislin, Kaptol, first built at the beginning of the 16th century

Small, romantic promenade behind Opaticka Street in the Upper Town with sweeping views of Zagreb 

A staircase in one of Zagreb's old courtyards

A door to a ground floor flat in one of Zagreb's old courtyards

A typical Zagreb old doorway and courtyard (haustor i dvoriste) in the old Vlaska Street with some shops on the ground level and flats above

Outside a pub in the old Vlaska Street

Scene from the top of Stube biskupa Duha (Bishop Duh's Steps) 

Kozarska Street, little old street full of character and charm 

Visoka Street, the highest street of the Upper Town

Demetrova Street

Dvoranski precac, a passage between the houses in Opaticka Street

Lotrscak Tower, an interesting historic building in the heart of the Upper Town

No.1 Gric; I love this house and always wonder what it is like inside

Gric Park with the house at No.1 

Fountain at Gric Park

An old carriage (stari fijaker) a popular means of transport in the 19th century Zagreb; part of the Summer Festival installations at Strossmayer Parade in the Upper (Old) Town

A lovely little shop at Tresnjevka Market. Tresnjevka is a western part of Zagreb where my Mum lives and where I stay during my visits.

Some made in Croatia prezzies I took back home to England

In one of my next posts I'll be blogging about a fascinating castle situated in the countryside northwest from Zagreb.

Thursday, 3 October 2019

Image Sale October 2019

It's a happy day for me and my photography today as I have had a Trevillion statement confirming a significant sale: Ikea UK have licensed my photo for their art posters!

It's always a special pleasure for me when one of my still life images sells as those are the images I have created from scratch. This particular one of rose-hip I shot at this time of the year back in 2010. The rose-hip branches come from the bush in the car park outside my house. Each year I cut some and bring back into my house.

The client asked the Trevillion Client Account Director if I could provide a few words about the image: "Where your inspiration came from? And maybe a title (if you have something in mind)?"
This is what I replied:

I love red berries in photographs (and generally, splashes of red, for that matter) and rose-hip with its oval shape is my favourite. I am impressed by the wild and straggly look of rose-hip twigs and how each berry has its own stem. As a still life photographer I thought the plant would look interesting as part of a still life study. I liked the unusual composition it offered with the red berries scattered diagonally across the frame.  

So the inspiration for the image comes from my love of nature and the urge to visually celebrate the beauty of nature. 

As to a title, I must admit that is something more difficult to talk about for me; a simple title comes to mind: " Rose-hip, A Gift of Autumn"...."