A Bootiful morning appeared out of nowhere the t’other day, so I dug my head outta the books and did a runner up the coast with Mr Nikon. I had an idea of gettin my self over to that there Orford Castle and flingin meself about, was thunkin panoramic. Now one of the things I like about old Orford castle is that its built from a light coloured stone that catches the Sun/Moonlight and really glows. Sunsets and sunrises make it almost luminous, its a sight to behold . . . . and its quite near a pub. What with the creaky bones and the unique “fall over a lot” aspect of my photographic style a medicinal pint of ale comes in handy every now and then.
So I get myself out there and its a truly glorious morning. I start off stumbling about and gettin in some handheld shots and only fell over twice. At this point I realise I’m a shooting with the ISO settings still at 1000 from the previous night. Doh! AnyHoo long story short once processed the images shot at high ISO’s were really interesting, lots of filmy type grain and all blowy and spooky. So I played around with the brightness bringing it right down in the shadows and midtones, which turned the sky almost black and made the castle really glow against it. Really pleased with the results. Tried one of the images with a subtle blue tone which adds to eerie effect. We like eerie
I got some nice early morning shots of Maggi Hamblings sculpture on Aldeburgh beach t’other morning. It catches the morning light something lovely and goes through a whole range of metallic shades as it reflects the light. Supposedly a “controversial” sculpture it has built up a following of some pretty determined vandals, Vandalised 13 times so far, Personally I think it’s an asset to the location. Being a lover of the old sea food I’d love to see a real scallop that size. That’d give that bloke on Man Vs Food a run for his money eh!
Well its been droughting so hard around here its been difficult to get out and blunder about and do any of that there photomatography malarky, whole rivers of that there drought have been upending the Royal county of Walesshire and turning caravan sites into marinas dontcha know! And over here in the desert lands of the East its been droughting so hard that parts of Essex have actually floated off towards that there Holland place . . That’ll learn em! Never seen such a drought!
So imagine my . . . less grumpiness t’other day when they said that the sun might show up for a couple of days, that constitutes a summer over here and we have several short summers every year. Ive been wanting to get out and experiment with different f-stops, timings, filters, blah blah blah and try some techniques wot I read about in some shiny magazine . . . Photography magazine before anyone says anything! And this was the gap in the drought that I had been waiting for.
So orft I blundered the next day to Aldeburgh to catch the sunrise on the beach. I found a good vantage point and set up me kit (It was supposed to be more about the experimentation than the view this particular morning) and waited for the sun to turn up. And then just as the first fiery glow of the sun hit the horizon I noticed a better spot further on up the beach. So a mad panic and dash ensued. I headed on up the beach clutching bag and fully extended tripod making more noise than a shingle extracting machine wots suddenly decided to become a shingle smashing machine . . but with added tourettes! I get to the spot just as the sun is a quarter of the way up and sort meself out and start taking them that pesky photos. Sorted.
Spent about half an hour blatting away until the sun got too bright and then my mind/stomach started to demand fried sustenance. Now it was only 5am and in that neck of the woods there ain’t a greasy spoon open until 6ish so my only option was to head on back home and start throwing stuff around the kitchen. So I packed up hoofed it back up the Aldeburgh road. Where I spotted this pillbox.
Now Ive seen this little baby many a time and its on my “To Do” list for my project “Killer Views”. And on this particular morning in the golden early morning light it was lookin particularly sexy . . . . Just described a 70 odd year old bit of concrete as sexy . . . Note to self “Seek medical attention!” so I threw the car into a ditch and had a go. The above shot taken from the roadside. Now thats not grass, or wheat growing all around it, them’s onions them is. Lots more surface area to retain water they have. I hadn’t packed my water proof trousers or me gaiters. By the time I got to the damn thing to get some shots from inside it my feet were a squelching around inside me boots, oh and I smelt of onions. But d’know from the results I think it was worth it.
These are pretty much untouched, I think some cropping maybe called for so as to bring more of the outside in to view, and I haven’t begun to convert to mono yet as massively busy with lots of other really boring stuff. But am pleased with the results so far 🙂
Righty! Managed to process some images wot I took out at Orford Ness a while back and I added them to the set “The Ness”on the website. I’ve gone back for a bit of lovely old doom and gloom, and dark and eerie mono, I was gettin far to cheerful playin around with all that colour malarky. And lets not forget that where there’s grumpy there’s creativity! Take Vlad the Impaler for example!
Quickie post from t’other days blunderings. The Row of Martello towers from Shingle Street in the north to East Lane Bawdsey in the south. The little structure in front of the furthest martello, East Lane, is the Gunnery Observation tower from the last post.
Got around to a bit of processing after busyness and some sillyness and some crunchyness. Took a trip back out to Bawdsey as there is so much to poke around in out there. I had another good nose about East Lane with all its coastal defences both modern and old. Then a trundle around Bawdsey church and met an interesting character and learnt some of that there local history stuff. And then mosied on up to that thar Shingle street for a different perspective on the Martello towers of the area. All in all an excellent day and lots for Mr Nikon to be gettin on with.
I love the old WWII Gunnery observation tower situated in east Lane. It looks really grumpy, it wanted to be a Martello tower, but they ran out of curves. The top image shows the different generations of defences built up in the area over the years. In front and slightly south of it (there is actually a road running between them) can be seen a cylindrical WWI pillbox, and then to the north in the distance can be seen three Napoleonic Martello towers up as far as Shingle Street.
The next image is taken from inside the concrete encasement of the actual gun battery. That there wet sea stuff is behind me.
You can still gain access to the interior of the tower, it has three floors, the external steps take you to the first floor where I took the north and south images. The ground floor is partially flooded so I gave it a miss. Couldn’t be Arsed, fair weather photographer me 🙂 To the North across the man made meres can be seen the line of Martello towers
And to the South can be seen Bawdsey Martello, which has been done up all nice and cosy and is inhabited.
The first thing that you notice when entering the tower is the poem on stenciled on to the far wall. After a bit of that Goggling malarky on the inteweb thingy I found out that it was part of an installation art project by artist Bettina Furnee details of which can be found Here, Prisoner of War . Its worth visiting as the text that she used, sadly no longer there, was based on the spoken memories of locals who lived in the area during the war. Some of them made me laugh out aloud.
At the end of the war the area was used as a prisoner of war camp and I its main job done the tower became part of that.
I would have had these images up and running sooner, but I had a funny old day yesterday. I went to help a mate out doing some of that there gardening work. This basically entailed me zooming around on a sit on mower all day and having great fun making whooping noises, leaping small gullies and generally having the time of my life.I can now add this to the list of things that I have always wanted to do, and done 🙂 It may nor seem that big a deal, and I have in the past driven much larger scarier bits of kit, cut down trees, jumped out of aircraft, blown up stuff etc etc. But until yesterday had never driven a ride on mower. So I was pretty chuffed.
The general feeling of Chuffedness lasted until about the time I backed my car in to the mini skip that I had failed to notice, in my defence I was trying to avoid several trees and a slightly mad Great dane at the time, and the skip remained un noticed until the the car made alsorts of hitting a skip noises. HoHum! Spent the rest of the day organising insurance, replacement car and stiffling the laughter of my friends. I must say though that my mate Sally seemed to have rather too much fun attempting to release the hatchback of my car from the skip, using claw hammers, heavy duty chisels, and a bloody great crow bar! That’ll teach me to Skip over the details . . . .
However! I shall return later with more Bawdseyness and some Shingly Streetness from the previous days photographic Blundering