Posts Tagged ‘holiday pictures’

Silloth 2010

Saturday, August 22nd, 2020

Ten years ago today – 22nd August 2010– I was standing on the Cumbrian coast at Silloth, my first visit to an area that I had previously known from the photographs of Raymond Moore (1920 – 1987) who had moved there in 1978 and spent the last years of his life there.

Ray was one of the first real photographers who looked seriously at my work – at a workshop at Paul Hill’s the Photographers’ Place in Bradbourne, Derbyshire, where I went to a series of three weekend workshops with him, and Paul Hill in 1977-8. He very much set me working in a far more disciplined way, investigating the areas which really interested and involved me rather than simply making pictures.

And of course I was highly impressed by his work and attitudes toward it. So much that there are a few pictures that I took in those years and a little after that are perhaps too clearly me trying to make a ‘Ray Moore’, though never really successfully. But over time I think I managed to integrate a little of his influence more successfully into my own work. I met him a few times in later years – and was able to send him some of my published work – but was shocked at his early death, and regret greatly that I never took up his invitation to visit him in Cumbria.

I wrote a piece about my experiences in those workshops for William Bishop’s Inscape magazine around 2000, under the title ‘Darbis Murmury‘ and ten years later put the text online with rather more pictures from them.

Raymond Moore was one of the first UK photographers to achieve wider cultural acclaim, with a major retrospective at London’s Hayward Gallery in 1981 – I think then the only photographer to be honoured in this way since Bill Brandt in 1970 (though that came there from MoMA in New York.) Since his death his work has largely disappeared from view (in part for legal reasons) and he had been forgotten. There are no dealers with his prints to push and maintain interest in his work. I gave a presentation on his work (and that of Tony Ray Jones) at Bielsko-Biala in 2005, but had to use the reproductions of his pictures without permission. My text there – which you can still download – ended:

The British photographic establishment seemed by the time of his death to regard him as an unfortunate and rather embarrassing episode that was best brushed under the carpet. Many photographers who knew him or have come across his work in the few slim volumes, myself included, still regard as a major figure in photography.

Ten years ago I was on holiday with friends, and the pictures that I took that day are more an illustration of that day out than a serious attempt at photography.

Yorkshire Dales

Monday, February 10th, 2020

Writing this at the end of a day of lousy weather, wind and rain that caused transport havoc somehow seemed an appropriate time to think back about our week’s holiday last year in Wharfedale, one of the Yorkshire dales. The weather forecast for that week was little more encouraging, but in fact the weather turned out rather better than the forecast. Folowing our great gale back in 1987, when BBC forecaster Michael Fish had told us not to worry about it, according to Wikipedia, “major improvements were later implemented in atmospheric observation, relevant computer models, and the training of forecasters. Perhaps the major aspect of that training was to make all forecasts on the pessimistic side.

And while today there have been floods in some towns, trees blowing down and blocking roads or falling through roofs and it must have been terrible for those concerned, as well as for the many homeless on our streets, it hasn’t been a great disaster for most of us. And many photographers will have been out taking ‘weather pictures’, and a few living in the worst hit areas may have made decent sales. It’s not a speciality I’ve ever had much interest in, though I have sometimes gone out to take pictures in the snow because of the very different look that places have.

So although the forecast for our holiday week was pretty dire, it didn’t turn out quite so bad, though we did get quite a bit of rain, but there was also some unforecast sunshine. And that rain did make the several waterfalls we visited rather more impressive than in a dry summer.

I took only one camera with me on holiday, travelling fairly light with the Olympus E-M5 II  and just a couple of lenses. No flash, no tripod but several spare batteries made up my kit. It would have been a very light kit with just the 14-150mm, but I also took the slightly buliky but outstanding Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm f/2.8-4.0 ASPH, something of a mouthful. To be fair it is well less than half the weight of an equivalent full frame lens, but for a holiday I could perhaps just have taken a fixed focal length ultrawide. But such things hardly exist.

The Olympus is a fine camera for holiday use, and I have used it for photographing events, but there I find it just a little disappointing, espcially in low light. With both a physically smaller sensor and a smaller file size the results have sometimes not quite had the image quality I want.

One thing I was pleased to have with me was a poncho. I’d bought one after seeing another photographer working wearing one, but hadn’t yet worn one myself at work. I generally rely on the Met Office’s forecast and dress accordingly and somehow it hasn’t yet been poncho weather, but up in Yorkshire it certainly was on several days, with at least light rain and reasonably warm. Warm enough to work up a sweat walking up hills in a jacket while a poncho gives plenty of ventilation. Most of the time the camera sits in the dry under it, and you can just pull it up on the outside when you want to take a picture.

Here are some links to the pictures:

Kettlewell and Starbotton
Bolton Castle
Wensleydale waterfalls
Kettlewell & Arncliffe circular
More Kettlewell
Skipton Castle
Litton Church & Falls
Buckden circular
Kettlewell final
Conistone walk

My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

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