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project33 [#1]

As an amateur with no particular niche and not much time I struggle to keep a “raison d’être” for my photography.

I tried to set myself a series of challenges last year which ultimately failed due to a combination of too many rules and too much self-pressure to make each image better than the last. But I still feel I need a challenge to work towards and give me a sense of direction.

Welcome to #project33. Essentially it’s a 365 challenge to document a year in my life and to get me thinking about photography in different ways, but most importantly without the pressure of having to take a photo each and every day.

The aim is to create 365 images over the next year.  Each day an image will be posted to Instagram (follow @stuart.sowerby), and each month I’ll put a selection of my favourites here.  I’ll also periodically update the master album with higher quality versions.

Real Life and motivation allowing, the image will be taken each day.  In reality there will be a mix of daily captures and others taken recently, either with the challenge in mind or as part of another series.

As with any challenge like this, expect the quality to vary; although I always try my best to create a compelling shot this won’t always happen, but I hope over the year to see a refinement in my composition, find interest in the seemingly uninteresting, and maybe even see my own style finally emerge.

Here’s a few from my first month, all images taken with the Fujifilm X100F and, with the exception of the Milky Way, all processed using the in-camera converter and Snapseed:

3. A Light Path
5. Brown and Grey
10. A normal British summer
12. Sideways Spinnaker
13. Gunwharf
14. Arachnid Dreams
25. Play Frame
28. Milkyway over Emsworth

Kingley Vale

Kingley Vale has been on our list of places to visit for years, but despite it being less than 20 minutes away we only got around to going recently.

It’s an ancient forest and hill that provides some great views of the surrounding area, and is a great day out with the kids if they’re good walkers; the woods start about a mile from the car park and the trail to the hill can be narrow and winding.  Once you get through it though there are some lovely spots for picnicking and otherwise enjoying the setting. We’ll be planning a return trip in the autumn to see what colours it brings.

Emsworth: Along The Shore

I took advantage of the good weather a few weeks ago and went for a walk along the Emsworth shoreline to test out my new Fujifilm X100F.  The light was excellent and the camera a joy to use.  I shot in Provia and most of these are OOC (out of camera) with just a few small tweaks.  I wasn’t a fan of Provia on my X-E2 but either my tastes have changed or Fujifilm have tweaked their film simulations and so far it’s proving to be very pleasing for a lot of uses.

In other news I’m setting up a new self-hosted gallery for all my images. You can find all the images for this post and a few more here!

Stonehenge

Stonehenge, a small circle of old stones in the middle of a field, must be one of the most photographed places in the world. It does look diminutive from the road but when you finally get up close you can really appreciate the impressive scale and ancient legacy of the site.

This was a family day out first and foremost, but even though every nook and cranny has been explored by far more skilled photographers I hoped to come away with my own take.

There is a common opinion among picture-takers online that the view is ruined by all the tourists and it was indeed busy when we got there. I quickly realised however that the people, admiring the stones and absorbing the atmosphere, are actually an integral part of the experience so this is where I tried to focus my captures.

Some are best viewed on a large screen.

 

Mono-Colour Blends

At the weekend I managed to get out with my camera for the first time this year, even if it was just for a quick walk around a nearby nature reserve. As is typical for a British winter, the weather was grey and drizzly and the land brown and dull, but I still came away with a few snaps to share.

I thought it would be a good chance to experiment with monochrome processing via Silver Efex, but got I some interesting results when blending the mono images with their original colour versions – a cool, contrasty, desaturated vintage look.  Here they are:

Here are the full mono images before blending – which do you prefer?

2016 In Review

It’s been a while since my last post; 7 months in fact. A combination of photographic burnout, life, a failing train company and a big work project meant I have taken some time away from taking pictures. The site is not dead though, I plan to attack 2017 with new energy although there will not be any big challenges like last time. I do hope to find inspiration in a project or two though.

To see in the new year I’ve recently given the whole site an overhaul – please take a look around.

Here’s a selection of my favourite shots from the last year (in no particular order). I hope you enjoy!

Emsworth in May: Dawn on the Beach

My May assignment entry is thanks to my son who graciously woke me up at 5am one Sunday morning, so I decided to go down to Emsworth beach as the sun was rising.

Continue reading “Emsworth in May: Dawn on the Beach”