A really quick blog post today with a throwback from about this time two years ago, in the lovely village of Selborne, Hampshire. We visited the medieval church when on a walk in the area, and I know I already shared a couple of photos from this place. R is in the distance, looking at a display below the stained glass of St Francis. Down the nave you can see the main altar, and (barely) Gilbert White’s resting place. Right now it all feels like a world away.
It’s rather windy today on the rock, so instead of my planned archery practice I decided to anticipate this week’s blog post. This is the last shot I wanted to share from a series of telephoto shots taken at Lapsi about a month ago. As the sun was about to set, the sky over the sea in the distance was very hazy, scattering the light and making the horizon indistinct. I saw a merchant vessel in the distance and framed for that. There was a sense of solitude with the ship heading towards the horizon as night was creeping in.
This Thursday I’m sharing another photo from the same visit to Ightham Mote last year. I took this primarily because of the ornate carvings in the woodwork surrounding the fireplace. The directional light from a large window really brought out the three-dimensionality of it all. I have a thing for woodwork, and I couldn’t just pass this by. It’s also something I wanted to be able to show my dad – I knew he’d appreciate it, for he’s the one who taught me most of what I know when it comes to wood. I’ve done a fair bit of woodwork but I haven’t tried my hand at carvings. Who knows, perhaps one day I’ll find the project to try it on.
This week I decided to postpone a few more photos that remain from the visit to Lapsi, so I can start sharing more recent photos. Today’s is from a short walk in Dingli about a month ago, just to enjoy the sunset. I took my camera with me (obviously) but I wasn’t sure if I’d end up shooting anything. I had already taken some photos from the same place in winter, and I knew the sun would set too far north to light up the cliffs at this time of year. Still, I did take a few photos.
In the end I find it can be better when I have no specific plans. Anything interesting that comes along I can greet as a pleasant surprise, and if nothing does there is no frustration. This was pretty much the mindset I adopted a few years ago for my walks in England. It allows me to enjoy the walk for what it is, while still having the freedom to pursue interesting photos as the situations arise. The key thing, I found, was to limit the gear I carried to what I consider to be a comfortable limit (about 10kg total, 80% of which is photography related). That way if I don’t use anything I’m not annoyed with myself for having carried all that gear for nothing.
Anyway, some details about today’s photo. What you see is the radar station at Dingli, with the cliffs below and the setting sun behind. I exposed this for the sky, to retain the colours and tonality, but decided to process the photo as a quasi-silhouette. That way, I could keep enough detail for some foreground interest and a little sense of the form of the cliffs, while keeping the focus as much as possible on the sky. In any case, the light on the foreground was very flat at this time, so there seemed hardly any reason to attract attention to it. It’s a rather unusual setup, but it seems to work for me. What do you think?
Not so much of a throwback this week, as I only took this photo in early spring last year. On this visit to Ightham Mote we toured the house itself, a unique medieval moated manor that has been in use throughout its history. When visiting National Trust property we tend to spend more time in the gardens and estates than in the houses themselves, with a few exceptions. However, we do enjoy our time visiting the houses – there is something quintessentially English about them, particularly with the woodwork and panelling of the newer structures and the stonework of the older ones.
This photo shows the study of the house’s last owner, who gave Ightham Mote to the National Trust in 1985. This particular study resonated with us, as it was rather well-lit, unlike those in many older homes. It also felt cosy rather than grand. R and I have a thing for books, and visiting the libraries of these old properties is always a highlight. While our own library doesn’t have these inset bookcases (even internal walls are built with stone here in Malta, so this arrangement is hardly possible) we do have wall-to-wall bookcases covering every conceivable space in our study. And that still leaves several books we keep elsewhere, with a dedicated bookcase for R’s cookbooks in the kitchen/dining room and all my academic/research books in my office at work.