MAY THEME: A sense of place

Forums Monthly Theme MAY THEME: A sense of place

This topic contains 77 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  meg cumming 4 years, 8 months ago.

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    I thought people might like the ‘One Way’ shot. I’ve taken a shot of it before with my phone and tweeted it but this is the first time I went out specifically to get a more refined shot.

    I think you might be right about the second picture Peter. It doesn’t look too bad on my laptop (I wanted it fairly dark anyway) but I looked at it on my PC at work and it looked overly dark.



    Time for a splash of colour.

    Home to roost


    Ian McNab

    End of the day

    …or a gritty BW version:

    (I think the BW version gives a more desolate sense of place.)



    Ian McNab

    Water hole


    Pete Robinson

    I think your shot of the birds suits this months theme aptly Melvin. Another well spotted shot and I like the position of the birds. It has a touch of humour as well.

    I prefer the black and white version of the trolly shot Ian as it eliminates the eye catching green in the background. I like the way the shape made by the white lines is similar to the shape the trolly and curb stones make.

    I like the pun in the title of the third shot.  Would it have worked better in B&W?


    Ian McNab

    Thanks, Peter. I think I prefer the BW version of the trolley, too – for both the reasons you mention: it removes the colour distractions; and it enhances the visual rhythms in the frame.

    I tried ‘Water hole’ in BW. The tonality was a bit too uniform, and it left the picture a bit flat.


    Ian McNab




    Now the poetry
    The hooves of the horses as bewitching and sweet
    As the music earth feels from the iron shod feet
    No whisper of lover, no trilling of birds
    Can stir me as hooves of the horses have stirred

    They spurn disappointment and trample despair
    And drown with their drum beat the challenge of car
    With scarlet and silk for their banners above
    They are swifter than fortune and sweeter than love

    On the wings of the morning they gather and fly
    In the hush of the night time I hear them go by
    The horses of memory thundering through
    With flashing white fetlocks all wet with the dew

    When they lay me to slumber no spot you can choose
    But will sing to the rhythm of galloping shoes
    And under the daisies no grave be so deep
    But the hooves of the horses shall sound in my sleep
    Will Ogilvie

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 9 months ago by  wbaxter.
    • This reply was modified 4 years, 9 months ago by  wbaxter.

    Pete Robinson

    Three different images from you again Ian. the first just makes me feel hungery!  The second one makes me feel like a drink. I think I would have liked to have seen the right hand side of the glass. I like the connection and depth between the glass and bottle. The third uses the same focusing technique. Did you deliberate take it because of the matching curves of the hat, the shirt arm and the basin?

    Wallace you also give us a bonus. Quite a thoughtful verse. Thanks for sharing. I’ve seen your flick polo shots and as usual you’ve got some crackers. Very sharp images, well composed and horses in flight.


    Pete Robinson

    I’ve just returned from a weekend break in York/Haworth. The coach dropped us off at York station so my first stop was to the wonderful railway museum next door. I could have stayed there all day Lots to see and so many different angles. Here are four of my more creative efforts. I hope they show a ‘Sense of Place’.

    I which the guy in the background would have been a bit to his left so the carriages would have led directly to him.

    I was trying to find a suitable foreground, but could only find this chair. Not sure if it works though?

    Obviously, the exhibits are static. I wanted to inject an impress of their power and movement by using this waky angle.
    Do you think it works?

    I found taking this photo an interesting exercise. I was initially photographing the carriage through it’s window. Then noticed the reflection of the couple sitting so placed them in the composition. I thought it might work if someone peeped through the window on the opposite side of the carriage, but when the did they were too bright. So I waited until I got a reflection of the walking couple through that window. There’s lots of distractions and unwanted reflections that cause problems. As it was dark I had to use a wide aperture so chose to focus on the teapot and let the rest go soft. I think it sort of works. I would entitle it time travelers. Help! Ian please analyse it for me.


    Ian McNab

    Wallace >>> Great illustration for the poem! (“And drown with their drum beat the challenge of car” – shouldn’t that line end with ‘care’?)

    Peter >>> I rather agree with you about the right hand side of the glass, but I’d had rather a lot of the contents already! 😉

    Re the last shot, you said “Did you deliberate take it because of the matching curves of the hat, the shirt arm and the basin?

    I can’t say I consciously planned all that – it just looked right and interesting in the viewfinder; it’s only afterwards that you start to work out why, isn’t it?



    Ian McNab

    Great sense of place in your set from the York Railway Museum, Peter. The picture of the platform with the Midland Region coach and the hinted-at presence of a man in the distance is very evocative. And using the Dutch angle for the Mallard makes for a dynamic photograph of the classic engine. Photographing the armchair against that heavy engineering background produces a rather surreal effect, doesn’t it?!

    I really like your last photograph – so many layers, so many disparate elements brought into a strangely coherent whole by the clever multiple framing and composition. It has allusions to couples and being together in different ways, to generations, to age, to time, and to the subtly different, separate spaces that we live our lives in. So rich!

    One of the main purposes of composition is to move the viewer’s eye round the picture in a way that supports – and helps to create – the meaning(s) of the picture, and this works so well here: I first notice the prominently in-focus, bright tea service (set for two people), move along the diagonal to a couple – the older people – (where the light tone of the man’s hair and book helps to pull the eye), and then on along the diagonal to the next bright area in the upper right, where I find the passing young couple (the man’s clothes making another pale note against a darker ground); the eye then moves back across the frame along the pale, patterned coach to a bright shape that echoes – and takes you to – the standard lamp on the left and then back down to the tea service. Very neat! I hope the judge takes time to appreciate how very well composed this photograph is! (But don’t hold your breath! 😉 )

    [PS: I know you almost certainly didn’t think about any of this when you were actually taking the picture. We move around a bit, adjust what’s in the frame and where; but there’s something missing, so we wait – just as you describe – for something else to move into the frame; and then there’s a moment when it all just feels ‘right’ and we press the shutter release. It’s only afterwards that we can analyse carefully why the picture felt ‘right’, and understand something about why it works (assuming we’ve also been a bit lucky, and it does work!). And I think it’s important to try to do this, because the understanding feeds back (sometimes intentionally, but mostly unconsciously) into how we take photographs.]


    Pete Robinson

    Thanks very much Ian for your detailed comments. You were spot on by saying I’d had an initial idea in my last photograph, but didn’t consider all the elements at the time and didn’t know if it would ‘work’ until I studied it deeper later. Like you say, I think it’s on the right tracks, (excuse the pun), but needs refining a bit. This type of photography does make you think a bit more of why a photograph works.



    Another simple one …

    You are Here



    A great collection of images so far from everybody.  I apologise for failing to contribute so far but I have started a new job last week and getting into the swing of it is taking up all my time and energy.  I like Ian’s last barbecue picture.   The one with the bread and the woman in the background.  It is like  an advert for a Sainsburys barbecue waiting to happen.

    Looks like you had a great time in Haworth Pete.  I especially like your last one.  It’s one of those images that a judge would struggle with … but if someone famous had taken it would be lauded.  Mervin you are putting most of us to shame.  Some very interesting shots.  Keep up the good work. Loving the poetry Wallace … but I would have to go for a closer crop on the polo players.

    Hopefully I will find the time soon to get some shots taken and join in again 🙂

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