Photo Arcturus

Just a quick post to say ‘thanks’ for following me & reading my rambling photographic posts. My journey of discovery will be continuing as I’ve now started the Pearson BTEC Level 4 HNC Diploma in Photography.

Hope you will join me in my creative endeavours.



People & The Environment Final Selection

Ok. Final selection made.

After showing the printed images to the class during the last session of the term, I picked out the following:


Listening to the feedback and having my classmates shuffle the prints on the desk, it soon became clear what worked & what didn’t. I have to admit that the selection made in class was slightly different to what I’ve finished with. Revisiting the prints after a couple of weeks gave me a fresher eye.

What struck me when putting out the images on the floor was the aesthetics of the images as a whole. I really like the way the shape of the trees ‘curve’ towards the centre of the series. The images of the benches on either side ‘bracket’ the centre ones.

Overall, the images give a real sense of being by the Thames on a chilly, but sunny, Autumn afternoon. There’s no frenetic activity, just a quiet contemplation. The benches give a really solid feel to the photos. I went with the colour photos as they encapsulate the golds, oranges & browns of this season. I just love the colours of the leaves captured at their best.

All of the images have been taken as a ‘step back’ from what’s happening – an observation, not being part of the action. While thinking about the images I’d seen over the last term with regards to this project, the ones that I think influenced me are those of Simon Norfolk. There’s a real quietness to his work. Ok, I’m not taking photos of anything as hard hitting as iced over war graves or landscapes where mass genocide has taken place. What I’m trying to convey is that I feel I’ve captured that mood of quiet contemplation.

Looking back at the progress I’ve made during this particular project, I’ve come quite far from my original concept. I’ve taken many photos, which has given me a better idea of what I like regarding my own composition & style. Recognising the limitations & making the most of the opportunities has been a good learning experience.

Criteria Ref: P2, P3, P4, P5.


People & the Environment Selection Pt 2

During the last session, I put the images I’d selected so far to both classmates & tutor. At this stage of the project, I was still not sure how I could link or group my photos to get to the final selection.

As ever, my trusted photography colleagues came to the rescue. The most obvious link that was pointed out is the River Thames. All the images either feature people or objects next to the river. Or on the river itself.

In hindsight, I should have just focused on that. As I’ve said before, the River Thames has always been part of my life. As a born & bred Londoner, there’s no escaping it.

I then took another look at the photos & selected the following to be printed. All will be printed at 12″ x 8″ on gloss paper by DS Colour Labs. Hopefully, they’ll arrive before the last session of the term so I can whittle them down to the final few.

Criteria Ref: P2, P3, P4, P5.


People & the Environment Selection Pt 1

Over the past few weeks I’ve taken many photos with a certain idea of what I would like to achieve for this project. Even though at the start of this process I was focusing on how people are remembered, the actual path has taken me through various concepts. Initially starting with specific memorials, I found that the story of the mausoleums was more interesting than the images. I also found myself enjoying & appreciating well-known areas in a different way, especially the benches & those along the River Thames.

My task now is to go through these images & decide which ones would be suitable for the final selection & what the theme should be.

These are the following images I’ve selected for print so far. I’ll be going for 12″ x 8″ which is a nice size to be able to see the details of the images. All were processed for sizing via Camera Raw (saved as JPGs at 12, which is the highest quality) either directly from the RAW file or an edited a file. The ones below have been saved at 1500px on the longest side at 300dpi to keep the file sizes small & harder to copy.

The above selection was made based on feedback from my tutor & classmates, plus reactions to images on social media. The exercise also made me a bit more ruthless in my choices. As there’s a total of 43, I’m sure there’s going to be a bit more bloodshed involved!

However, until I have these photos physically in front of me, it’s only until then I can make my final decisions.

Criteria Ref: P2, P3, P4, P5.

Bushy Park 29th November 2016

I woke up to a morning that looked like Christmas had arrived early. Blue sky, silver frost, yellow sun. Visit to Bushy Park required.

This time, I used my 50mm lens – hoping for some bokeh and sparkling diamonds. Took a little why getting used to the set focual length, but was lovely getting back into looking at details.

Certainly earned my treat of a hot cup of a coffee with scrambled eggs & toast afterwards…

Next, it’s back to the big picture & sorting out some images for the People & the Environment project.

Criteria Ref: P2, P4, P5.

Chiswick Riverside 26th November 2016

This time, I took a quick visit down to the riverside at Chiswick. The annual Scullers Head was taking place, so I took some shots. This place is quite a special spot for me. On the river opposite is Tideway Scullers School, my old rowing club. Where I met my ex husband and spent many an hour training, chatting, drinking, dancing, living.

In a way, I wish I’d focused the project on the Thames itself. However, practically all the photos I’ve taken recently have featured this river. Not too late yet…

Criteria Ref: P2, P4, P5