A Quiet Time

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Getting away from the noise of the city and replacing it with the noise of the open landscape. This noise has a harmony and place to it within the greater context of the music of the world than the sounds of the city, which can be harsh and jarring. Noise has been something I have been noticing more over the past few years. I am not sure why. While I love photographing in cities and seeing how they change and grow, I also find I dislike their inharmonious clatters, rumbles, bangs and booms. Give me the meditative rumble of an ocean, or the sound that twilight makes as it seeps into the world, or the birdsong of a quiet forest, and of course the sound of chirping Crickets under serious Moonlight. Quiet is often underrated. But I think we also build up a tolerance to the noisy noisiness around us where we live and should get out to appreciate some of the non-human sounds of the world more often too. Though I have noticed that we have a tendency to go into such areas and then proceed to fill them with our own sounds and noises nonetheless. So I make a habit to go to places like this whenever I can and make as little noise as possible and then appreciate as greatly as I can what I then hear.

http://www.berndkugow.photos/

The Poppy Seller

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There is a part of me that definitely prefers doing long exposures in black and white. I could say it is partially due to the colour shifts I get from filtering through stacked NDs, but I have largely wrapped my mind around those. No, my reticence comes from my frame of mind when I stop to make these types of images. One of the big reasons I do these long exposures is because of my interest or fascination with time. Often, but not always, time is what I am making a photo of here. Time is usually my subject. So when it comes to composing these images I generally think in terms of working to get rid of elements that don’t belong. And if I am building an image about time, I want to get rid of things that don’t relate, because if they don’t support then they distract. Often colour is not in this equation. It is easy to be enamoured of colour and to include it simply because you like it, but if the photo is not about colour. If it is about other things, such as time, then colour becomes a layer atop your subject that to some degree or another obscures it. So while colour is always tempting to add, I have to be careful to actually make images that make use of that colour as part of the message, thought, subject, what have you. I have to make sure that I want to direct some part toward that colour. So usually I don’t want the colour to be overtly important in these types of photos… it is not what I am trying to impart. But there are occasions where I want to mix colour and time. This is one of those occasions.

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http://www.berndkugow.photos/

Random

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The basic ingredients for this image look a bit like this: Nikon, Daguerreotype lens, Rollei Retro 80S film, Hoya R72 filter. But for spice I involuntarily added some grain issues, which left a texture across the image, and throw in a healthy dose of chance timing. So once framing and focus are achieved, you are flying blind in terms of the exact timing of an image at the moment of exposure. But I have learned many things over the years. Patience is one of them. I know few other things as patient as Mother Nature. Also the fact that nothing is ever certain, that the wind will change and nothing remains static for long. So if one opportunity is missed, it is only a matter of time ‘til another comes along. And that there is beauty in the random. One has no control over how the wind churns the waves or how the trees dance. Yet the resulting random mix of influences can create unexpected and beautiful confluences of events.

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Young Harrison Young

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Is it easy to keep so quiet?
Everybody loves a quiet child
Underwater you’re almost free
If you want to be alone, come with me
Is it easy to live inside yourself?
All the little kids are high and hazy
Nowhere to go
Everybody wants to be amazing

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The world’s rotten
Dress light-cold to be forgotten
Eat your pearls on Sunday morning
Keep your conversations boring
Stay with me among the strangers
Change your mind and nothing changes

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You should try to get some sun
There’s a little bit of hell in everyone

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Spectrum

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True to my style I will try to do something new photographically on subsequent visits to a well explored location. While not technically a new technique for me, I decided to work on some infrared photography, particularly in the Hasselblad. It has been a while since I have done much infrared and even longer since I have done much in 120. And I believe I could count the number of rolls of infrared I had shot in 120 on one hand. So that was the direction I went in.

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On a related note, this will not be the last infrared you see from me this year but the odds are decent that the next images you see will be in full colour. But that is all the tease I am giving you for now.

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http://www.berndkugow.photos/

Flaws

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A thought to share today as I was reminded of this recently… it’s simple: don’t introduce your work by apologising for it. Put another way, don’t show your images and then tell everything that’s wrong with it. This happens a lot, and mostly with novice photographers who have not yet developed a level of comfort with the presentation of their photography with others. By pointing out the flaws in your image before your audience can point them out, I guess you maintain some sense of control over it. Or maybe it is harder to hear that criticism from others, so you deliver it yourself. Or our work is so deeply personal and we have a tendency to focus on our shortcomings. Also this doesn’t seem as pervasive in other art forms. I don’t think I have ever heard a painter, writer or sculptor telling everything they did wrong, or didn’t do right. There might be something to ponder there…

It is good to be able to look at your images and see how they could be better or different. In fact, the day you look at your photography and think the photos are perfect is the day you should panic. The trick though is to learn how to let your photographs be what they are, and to present them as such, and then to listen carefully to what others think they are. You take that feedback and weigh it against your initial assessment and see what you have at that point. It is not an easy process to learn… or maybe it is just not a short process to learn. Or both. But that is my advice and encouragement for today.

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http://www.berndkugow.photos/