Archives for category: Dorset

 

2nd issue of Gavin magazine

2nd issue of Gavin magazine

In the 2nd issue of Gavin magazine is a feature on Orangutan rescue in Borneo. This thought provoking story shows the plight of one of mankind’s nearest biological neighbours.

Also in the magazine is a fine art project on Britain’s ancient trees, the look at the work of British Divers Marine Life Rescue, ragged tooth shark migration and a photo project on the 1st World War battlefields.

So there is pretty much something for everyone. The link to the free magazine is: http://issuu.com/gavinparsons/docs/gavin_magazine_issue_2

I hope you all enjoy it.

Front cover of Gavin issue 1

Front cover of Gavin issue 1

Over the last few months I have been working on an exciting project which combines many of my creative skills. And this weekend just gone I released Gavin magazine. Gavin is a showcase for my photographic, written, and design work and has been published online on the issuu platform. There is a link to the magazine at the bottom of this blog post.

I have opted for a soft launch rather than a grand fanfare as I am just finding my feet with online publishing. I have been involved in the publishing of hundreds of magazines over the years, but this is the first time I have used an online platform such as issuu, so I wanted the first issue to be stunning, yet reserved.

More issues will follow and they will include both personal projects that I have worked on in recent years and commercial work I am able to publish. Some of my work I am not allowed to use for certain reasons, which I always respect.

As always when creating a magazine I used Adobe’s Indesign and worked hard on choosing complimentary fonts, I hope you like what I’ve chosen. I decided many of the images needed to have the background story, which is so difficult to do on a portfolio website, which is another reason for working on the magazine. So some of the images have a caption, but others are part of a much larger story. This is fairly limited in the first issue, but the articles will increase as the magazine grows in popularity.

Since my first job, I have always been involved in photography and magazine creation, so this is a logical step for me. I have the writing, design and photography skills needed, but the process has been a learning curve.

At the moment the magazine is just online, but I am looking at offering a hard copy (although this will be a paid for service as buying any magazine) and as the readership grows I will possibly offer advertising opportunities for business looking to advertise their services and wares alongside my editorial (The adverts in the first issue were donated to companies who have helped me obtain images or offered advice).

I hope you enjoy reading it and please let me know what you think and also if you have any questions, comments or requests for areas of my work you’d like to see included in the magazine let me know.

You can find Gavin magazine at: http://issuu.com/gavinparsons/docs/gavin_magazine_issue_1

 

 Gavin Parsons. All rights reserved.s permission

Copyright Gavin Parsons. All rights reserved.

Fishing tails is a website (www.fishingtails.co.uk) run by fishing guide Sean McSeveney. Sean appeared on the first King Fishers programme that has aired on the Discovery Channel recently. He landed the largest White Sturgeon I have ever seen in the first programme.

He guides and fishes the coast around Weymouth and Portland in Dorset, UK and throughout the summer I’ve accompanied him on several trips to record his life as a fisherman.

Last week we had a cracking early morning photo session. We started with a perilous scramble down the cliffs on Portland. The weather wasn’t looking promising and heavy rain was forecast for the day ahead. The sea conditions were looking good for bass fishing, which is all a fishermen thinks about. A photographer though looks at the light and I wasn’t keen. However, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

As the sun came up, a break in the cloud cover produced a stunning sunrise and even as the cloud cover moved over us, the light produced gave me something different to work with.

The water was rough enough to produce a decent amount of surf, which we both used to our advantage. Sean loves fishing in these sorts of conditions and I made the most of his willingness to get soaked by the large waves.

I chose my moments carefully, I’m not a machine gunner when it comes to using the camera. I watched the waves as Sean did and took a few rapid shots as a large one beat against the rocks and exploded in a pile of Spume.

I now have a collection of images I am happy to show and while this is still a work in progress I thought I’d share the pictures which can be seen at www.gavinparsons.co.uk/pages/fishermen.html.

 

© Gavin Parsons. All rights reserved

© Gavin Parsons. All rights reserved

Sunrise is a romantic time so they say. Poets pontificate about it, writers get all lyrical describing the subtle hues and colour changes at the start of a new day. But when your alarm goes at 4.45am, the pontification and lyrical prose are far from the mind.

At 4.45am the world is a dark, cold, silent place. It’s not a time to be up and packing camera gear in the car. But off we set in search on the sunrise some 10 miles out into the English Channel. That’s roughly how far Portland Bill sticks out into the sea from the coastal town of Weymouth in Dorset. It is one of the haunts of my photo workshops.

Portland’s lighthouse is famous and it is so well photographed I could almost see the dimple marks of a million tripods in the rocks that overhang the rippling sea. But I set up my shot and waited. The sky was lightening and turning red and pink. It was a moment of anticipation, like waiting for a blind date to arrive.

It looked promising, like sitting in a bar watching the front door to see a stunning brunette walk in. But then metaphorically, the brunette stepped aside and behind her was my date who’d fallen out the ugly tree and hit most of the branches on the way down. All of a sudden, the wonderful sunset waned and vanished as a bank of cloud obscured the rising sun. What promised to be a marvel flicked and burned out within 30 seconds. I had grabbed a shot at the start, but it was not what I’d hoped for.

The cloud though stayed on the horizon and as the sun broke free from its shade the light gently kissed the lighthouse and rock face that tumbled to the sea. So we repositioned ourselves to make the most of the light and sticking on my 10 stop neutral density filter I made the most of the early morning light.

© Gavin Parsons. All rights reserved

© Gavin Parsons. All rights reserved

 

This well shot scene was never going to be a earth changing moment for me, but I do like to turn my hand, and eye, to many disciplines and the idea of a bit of landscape photography, was reason enough for the early morning.

I’d like to thank Samantha Dunnage for the suggestion of the early morning rise and I hope she enjoyed the excursion as much as I did.

Image

There really is only one surefire way of making a picture look like it was taken in the 1920s. You can forget Lightroom, Aperture, Photoshop or any other sophisticated sofware. The latest offering from Canon or Nikon won’t help you either. What you need to make and authentic looking picture from the 1920s is to use a camera from the 1920s.

I used an All distance pocket Ensign circa 1920s. It was made in England, takes 120 film (Anyone who started photography this century may have to look up what film is on wikipedia).

The pictures have a certain quality about them. The focus isn’t tack sharp and the clarity is softer than you’d get with a modern camera, and, in my opinion, all the better for it.

A steam train came through the village station last week and I took the opportunity to run a roll of film through the camera. A massive 8 shots is all I had, but I like shooting like that. Each shot needs to be considered. The trouble was the tiny viewfinder is reversed and framing will take some getting used to.

For a first attempt I don’t think I did too bad. More shots will be taken soon.

Image

Image

I’ve recently been working with a local fishing guide on a new selection of portfolio images. I hooked up with him and a couple of his guests on a beach near Weymouth a couple of weeks ago. The fishing conditions were challenging and so too were the photographic ones.

A sea mist was rolling off the English Channel and kept messing around with the light levels, light conditions and the drama of the setting, but over the course of the afternoon I managed to collect a decent set of pictures that I am happy with. You can see a few on my portfolio website at http://www.gavinparsons.co.uk/pages/fishermen.html

I liked the challenging conditions almost as much as scrambling over slippery rocks, wading through water a little deeper than my waders and swatting flies away from my eyes. (I’m serious I loved it all). It was a great afternoon and I’m looking forward to the next shoot.

Celandines

© Gavin Parsons. All rights reserved

© Gavin Parsons. All rights reserved

I apologise for the lack of a Behind the picture last week. I was too busy to create one. So sorry about that. This week’s behind the is a bit different as it is not from my archive, but rather a picture I took just a couple of days ago. This year the celandines in Dorset have had a bumper year. Last years incessant rain allowed them to grow like they’ve never grown before. They like damp soil and we’ve got a lot of that.

On Saturday I went for a walk along the river looking for insects to photograph and ended up half buried in the bank of a local lane photographing the celandines. I’m not one for just straight flower photography, I find them a bit boring, so I like to get in among the flowers and look for interesting angles with lots of out of focus elements to create an ethereal feel to the image.

This one I was pretty pleased with as it is more like a painting I think than a photograph.

It was shot with a 60mm macro lens along with a ZigView viewer which, as I;ve said before, means I can get the camera at a really low angle without lying in the mud.

 

Heathfire rescue

Copyright: Gavin Parsons all rights reserved

Copyright: Gavin Parsons all rights reserved

This week’s ‘Behind the picture’ has a bit of a sad tale. In 2011 a massive area of low land heath close to Poole in Dorset was deliberately set alight. Low land heath is one of the rarest habitats on earth. Rare habitats are, by their nature, inhabited by rare wildlife. Upton Heath, as it is called, is home to smooth snakes, adders, grass snakes, sand and common lizards, raft spiders and a host of others creatures.

As you can see the fire devastated everything. Two days before that picture was taken the man would have been lost in a sea of ferns, gorse and shrubs. Even the trees where destroyed. The area looked like the surface of the moon and I wanted to show the complete devastation.

I followed one of the reptile rescuers who was looking for adders and stayed back a little when he got to this tree as I could see its potential as a graphic image. As he walked passed it, he glanced at the tree and that’s when I took to shot. The person now has a face, and therefore a personality, but the moonscape landscape is as dramatic as when I saw it.

We saved dozens of reptiles, amphibians and insects over a couple of days and other teams saved even more. I captured the whole thing. BBC Wildlife magazine ran a story on it, but sadly only showed one shot – not this one. The rest of the news media ignored the story. So I thought I’d share it with you.