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Posts from the ‘photography’ category

Fishing line found on Welsh beach

These photographs are of fishing line found on a North Pembrokeshire beach and are part of a project on plastic in the sea. More images of this project will appear shortly.

Abandoned fishing line found on a Welsh beach

Abandoned fishing line found on a Welsh beach

Abandoned fishing line found on a Welsh beach

Abandoned fishing line found on a Welsh beach

Abandoned fishing line found on a Welsh beach

Abandoned fishing line found on a Welsh beach

Abandoned fishing line found on a Welsh beach

Abandoned fishing line found on a Welsh beach

Abandoned fishing line found on a Welsh beach

Abandoned fishing line found on a Welsh beach

Giants from behind the horizon

This is part of a new project exploring consumer culture. As the project develops, I plan to look at consumption on the high street and online, the people and machinery that transport these goods to us and what happens when we have finished with them.

My interest in international trade and shipping grew from two commercial commissions that I had at around the same time. The first was for a large marine insurance company where I took a series of images on a brand new Maersk container ship.  At the time, in 1998 it was state of the art and the largest ship of its type in the world. By modern standards, the same ship would be a baby compared to the current monsters. Many of today’s ships can carry over 20,000 shipping containers.

In the same year I had a commission in Bangladesh and I had the opportunity to take pictures of the Ship Breakers of Chittagong. On one of the longest beaches in the world, gangs of workers dismantle huge ships often with little more than hand tools and with little understanding of health and safety. These ships had reached the end of their working lives, they contained toxic harmful products and dismantling in The West would be unsafe and uneconomic so this work is ‘shipped out’ to the developing world. I saw numerous workers carrying bales of asbestos from the engine rooms of a ship they were working on.

Ship breakers, Chittagong, Bangladesh

Ship breakers, Chittagong, Bangladesh

Ship breakers, Bangladesh

Ship breakers, Bangladesh

As a species, the human race currently consumes 50% more resources than the planet can provide.

Consumer spending (consumption) is often used as a measure of the strength of an economy. Advertising companies assign status to the products they promote and we the consumers acquire this status along with the items we purchase. Today’s must have item is tomorrow’s landfill. Unless we can find a way to increase the life of the products we buy or find a way to recycle them completely, consumer culture in its current form is unsustainable.

MSC Anna being unloaded at Felixtowe

MSC Anna being unloaded at Felixtowe

As a post-industrial state, 90% of what we use is imported. To make this possible, a fleet of giant container ships circle the world.

Some of these ships can transport over 20,000 containers. If all of these containers were loaded onto lorries and parked in a line, the queue would be around 330KM in length, longer than the M4 motorway.

MSC Anna about to set sail, Felixtowe

MSC Anna about to set sail, Felixtowe

Occasionally, we might see a distant shadow on the horizon but most of the time these monsters occupy a world out of our sight. This part of the project aims to link the shadows that pass in the distance to our unstoppable appetite for ‘stuff’.

MSC Anna bound for Antwerp

Dali bound for Bremerhaven

Bora Bay bound for Zeebrugge

Bore Bay bound for Zeebrugge

Maersk Mkinney bound for Hamburg

Maersk Mc Kinney Moller bound for Hamburg

OOCL bound for Rotterdam

OOCL Scandinavia bound for Port Said

OCCL Scandinavia

OOCL Scandinavia in port

There are 6 OOCL ships including the Scandinavia which all currently share the title of the largest container ships currently at sea. Each of these ships can carry 21413 containers.

Maersk McKinnery

OOCL Scandinavia

Maersk McKinney in port Felixtowe

Maersk Mc Kinney Moller in port, Felixtowe

MSV Anna can carry over 19,300 containers

The ships that bring their bounty from where most goods are manufactured in China and South East Asia have little of value to ship back. In the past, our waste products were crammed into containers where they were disposed of in the developing world. The developing world no longer wants our waste and so often containers return empty or don’t return at all. They serve a new life as glamping pods, pop-up coffee shops, stables or site offices.

Refuse centre next to container port

‘Recycling Centre’ next to container port  (the site office is an recycled container)

As ‘good’ consumers, we need to continually buy new items and obey the advertisers who tell us that we will be better, be more popular,  have greater status and be more attractive if we buy the latest gadget. Often goods fail shortly after the warranty expires, repair is expensive and difficult, replacement is cheap and easy. The failed item is discarded and often finds its way into landfill. Despite major developments in material science (lightbulbs that can last a lifetime) we have learnt to accept that items will fail and need replacing.

2 month old faulty picture frame showing MV Autosun passing boating lake at Portishead with a cargo of up to 2000 cars from Bilbao to Portbury

 

Panoramic photography with an iPhone

The iPhone panoramic photography feature can produce amazing images if used with care. If it is a process you would like to explore further, you should practice test it in with a range of situations and subjects.

Before you start, you need to consider where the light is coming from to avoid lens flare. You should also decide what your main subject will be and where it will appear in the final composition. If there are rapidly moving subjects in the scene, these may appear squashed or stretched so you may need to wait until they have passed before you start the shot.

While natural scenes containing distant buildings, trees and countryside can stitch together reasonably well, modern buildings or interiors shot from closeup can cause problems.

For natural scenes, open the camera app, switch to the ‘Pano’ option and you will see a horizontal bar with a large arrow on it. The phone detects the angle you are pointing it in and the arrow tells you if you are tilting it up or down. When you click the shutter button, you then rotate the phone while trying to keep the large arrow on the line in the middle of the bar. If you deviate too far from the line, the camera won’t be able to create a smoothly stitched image.

iPhone pano display showing how to use the feature

iPhone pano display

Once complete, press the shutter button again to finish the panorama. The phone will then process the data and show you a finished panoramic image. These can be very large files compared to standard images and will rapidly use up space on your device.

Panoramic photography iPhone

Image captured with Pano option iPhone

Subjects containing strong lines close to the camera may challenge the cameras software and there may be issues where lines don’t stitch together very well. You may need to change the way you hold and rotate the phone to reduce this. Rather than holding the phone out and rotating around your hips, you could try rotating the camera around itself and the centre of the phone becomes the point of rotation, this is known as its ‘nodal point’. This is harder than it sounds. For serious panoramic photographers, there are special camera supports which rotate the camera around the nodal point.

Panoramic photography is just one part of my short iPhone photography workshop. If you would like a mobile phone photography workshop for your course, company or for personal development, do let me know.

Mobile phone photography staff development activity

iPhone photography workshop

Our short, mobile phone workshop is an enjoyable and valuable staff development activity. The workshop explains a number of tips and tricks to help people take better pictures with their mobile phones.

Once the essential topics have been covered, the session can be more tailored to meet the needs of the attendees.

Topics might include.

  • Portraiture
  • Lighting
  • Product photography
  • Special effects
  • Flash lighting
  • Video capture

If you would like to know more, please contact mail@nigelgoldsmith.co.uk for more information.

This can be delivered to individual learners or to groups of up to 120.

The session was informative and interactive, Nigel was friendly, approachable, encouraged questions, and gave time for experimenting.  Numerous times throughout the evening, one or another member could be heard saying “I had no idea my phone could do that!”.  We have no hesitation in recommending Nigel as a speaker to any group, large or small. Arwen Beaton, Brislington WI

The workshop has been delivered at a range of organisations including; Linguarama, Microsoft, WI, University of Bath and the Royal Photographic Society and for the 24 Hours in Bristol photomorathon

Iphone photography workshop

Iphone photography workshop

Brough Superior

1924 Brough Superior SS80

1924 Brough Superior SS80

The Brough Superior S80

The Brough Superior is one of the most iconic motorcycles ever made. In their time, these bikes were record breakers and even by today’s standards are fast. These machines are highly sought after but are often only seen in static displays at museums. A neighbour of mine is lucky enough to own one, his bike was bought directly from the factory by his grandfather in the 1920s. While the bike is normally displayed in a museum, he does take it out from time to time and I had the opportunity to see the bike after it had been out on a 100 mile trip in the rain so needed a bit of a wipe down before it was returned to the display. I am a keen motorcyclist so I jumped at the chance to see a Brough in ‘the flesh’ and take some pictures.

The Brough Superior was known as the ‘Rolls Royce of motorcycles’ and for good reason. The craftsmanship is amazing and these were staggeringly fast machines when they were manufactured.  Famous owners include Lawrence of Arabia who owned eight.

I now want to be a vintage motorcycle photographer.

Brough Superior SS80

1924 Brough Superior SS80

Leather bags Brough Superior SS80

Leather bags – Brough Superior SS80

 

Brough Superior SS80 - right handlebar showing choke (top) and throttle (bottom)

SS80 – right handlebar showing choke (top) and throttle (bottom)

 

Brough Superior SS80 - left handlebar

SS80 – left handlebar

1924 Brough Superior SS80 - riders eye view

SS80 petrol tank-sight glass for total loss oil system