Inspiration, December 2014

Category: News 12 December 2014

Corfe Castle in the mist at dawn, Dorset, England. Canon 5D mkIII, 70-200mm lens @ 75mm, 15secs @ f11, 0.6 ND grad filter.

Inspiration; it's precious stuff. There's no telling where you may stumble across it. In London last week I expected to tap into a rich source at the Take a View Exhibition, but a bookshop on Oxford Street was where it really hit me between the eyes in the form of Sebastio Salgado's Genesis book. As soon as I saw the cover I was inspired, and knew I had to add it to burgeoning library of coffee table photography books. Salgado is an inspiration and a reminder if any were needed of the power of black and white. Ever since I've been in a monochromatic frame of mind, hence the predominance of B&W images in this newsletter. Thence I came straight back from London and turned my attention to the editing and processing of my images from our recent Jurassic Coast Workshop with Salgado's inspiration fuelling my endeavours.

Two Sunday's previously in mid-November the light from the low sun dipping over Portland towards the south west was just perfect, side lighting the coast with warm, crisp, slanting rays under a sky laden with white puffies. As we arrived on the crest of Bat's Head the view looking to the east was stupendous. Below the beach curved gracefully towards Durdle Door as the enticingly named coombe of Scratchy Bottom curved in from the north. Beyond the famous arch Dungy Head hid Lulworth Cove, while in the far distance St Aldhelm's Head completed the trio of receding headlands. We only lost a couple of guests over the cliff edge and had a magical hour up there beholding the stunning vista accompanied by the pounding of the waves on the beach, the wind in our hair and clicking shutters; it's the sound of happiness, surely. Incredibly on a stretch of coast I consider my own home patch I had never shot from there before, let alone taken a workshop group. Why? I know not. It is a classic view of the Jurassic Coast, and one I know so well from countless weekend walks. We all got to work, striving for the perfect exposure, inspired by the epic view and clarity of light.

Durdle Door and the Jurassic Coast from Bat's Head, Dorset, England. Canon 5D mkIII, 24-70mm lens @ 53mm, 1/15sec @ f11, polarising filter.

Inspiration is of course what we strive to bring you every month in the Chasing the Light Online Magazine. This month we have the second instalment of my Behind the Lens feature with accompanying Video Blog from high in California's Sierra Nevada. Chris Weston The Storyteller gets inspired in Antarctica, while f11 regular Ross Hoddinott shows just what is possible in your own garden when the snows of winter close all roads out. Our inspirational Guest Feature this month is by Scandinavian landscape specialist Jonathan Andrew, while I step back in time to recount a shoot on a Pacific island often associated with paradise, yet where inspiration was elusive, at first anyway; Moorea. Online Magazine Editor Freya Dangerfield makes sure each and every very month alongside all the inspirational stuff there's a healthy dose of solid practical advice and features, hence our usual two Fundamentals of Post Production Video Tutorials, plus the first in a new series of the Low Down on Exposure, and a How it's Done on making a vertical panorama in a deep limestone gorge in eastern France. There are also your inspiring images with appraisal by myself in the f11 Member's Gallery.

 

 

 

An image from this month’s Stepping Back feature in the Chasing the Light Online Magazine; Oponohu Bay, Moorea, Tahititi (French Polynesia).

But speaking of your pictures we want to see more of the fruits of your inspiration as entries in the Your Vision 2015 f11 Member's Photography Competition. You could win a day's tuition with me in the field of your choice or a host of category prizes. But you'll need to get your skates on; the closing date for entries is midnight on 31st December 2014. Entry is free for all f11 Members. If you're not yet an f11 Member evidence suggests you're missing out, especially as there are now 35 and counting inspiring back issues all there for your perusal. Here's a video you can watch if you're not yet sure what it's all about.  Dare I suggest at £39 for a full year's f11 Membership; it could be an inspirational choice of Christmas present? We have Gift Vouchers available to make it all so easy for you.

The Workshop posse on Bat’s Head. Photo: Wendy Noton

That last Jurassic Coast Workshop was a revelation, inspiring really. I keep thinking what more can I possibly do on that stretch of coast I've been photographing for well over thirty years, then one shaft of light provides the inspiration and I'm off again. By popular demand we'll be running that Capture to Print Jurassic Coast Digital Workflow Special Workshop again next March 26-29 2015. We've just gone Live for bookings, as we have for next autumn's Photo-Explorer Course on Exmoor. And while we're talking Workshops we've had two cancellations on one of this winter's Iceland Adventures, so if ice on black sand beaches, glaciers, volcanic landscapes and northern lights inspires you could still join us late next February 2015. If you're tempted there's a video you can watch to set the scene.

Two cancellations mean you could still join us in Iceland this winter.

Inspiration is what gets us out of bed before dawn to trudge up a hill, inspiration is what drives us to stay, just a little bit longer, in the hope of a last ray of light penetrating the cloud laden sky. Inspiration is what make our pictures special, to ourselves, and maybe, hopefully, to others as well. Inspiration is so valuable, there’s a whole chapter on it in my latest book, The Vision. Inspiration is the life blood of our creativity. We here at David Noton Photography trust you have had a creative and inspirational 2014, and will continue to do so next year. We'll do our best to help. From all of us have a very Merry Christmas, and all the best for an inspirational 2015.

Keep exposing.

Old Harry, Studland, Jurassic Coast, Dorset, England. Canon 5D mkIII, 24mm TS-E lens, 4 secs @ f11, 0.9 ND filter.

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