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Posts tagged ‘Experimentation’

Introductions: Six Pixx

One of the things I love about Monochrome Madness is that I get to meet lots of new people, but I’m also introduced to lots of new blogs.  Today I am introducing you to someone who participates on a regular basis in Monochrome Madness and it has been wonderful getting to know her through it.  Maxine has the blog Six Pixx, and I am sure many of you are already very familiar with her work.  I’ve been watching what she has been doing for a while and decided it was time I asked her if I could feature her and her blog on my blog.

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I’ve noticed that over time her work has been catching my eye more and more and now I’m finding I am starting to recognise her work before I see the name.  There is something that she is doing that is making her work her own.

I asked her what in the world she was.

I’m in Hastings, on the south coast of England. It’s in 1066 country where William the Conqueror landed his invasion. We’re very lucky to have some beautiful historical sites and green scenery (it rains a lot) and yet, be within distance for a day trip to London, Brighton and even Paris with the high speed train.

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I like her compositions, she has a good eye, and she also takes images that are a little different.  You can see thought processes and how she is thinking about what to take.  I like that, I like it a lot, it is what I try to do.

The next question, when did you start taking photos and why.

I’ve always taken ‘snaps’ but was never very enthused by them until 18 months ago when my eldest son ‘lent’ me (he never got it back) the digital SLR he received for his 21st birthday present. My long suffering partner and I were heading off for a holiday of a lifetime to Cuba – the poor boy probably thought, if he had to look at a load of holiday snaps when we got back, he’d rather they might be worth looking at – most of them weren’t. That’s when I decided to start looking at how to make a decent photo.I’ve had such an exciting journey in the past 18 months starting at ‘auto’, passing through shooting some film (I must do that again soon) and doing a developing workshop in the darkroom to now, making (semi) conscious decisions about aperture and shutter speeds and editing my raw files in Lightroom and Photoshop. Sometimes, I even produce an image that I’d envisioned at the point I pressed the shutter release.

Very lucky there Maxine, that rarely happens for me.

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There is a lot of experimentation happening with her work as well which is really interesting to see. I like experimenting as well and trying different shots, seeing what I can get. It is through experimentation that great discoveries can be made and I think it is wonderful that Maxine is doing lots of it as well.

I asked about inspiration.

My inspiration? Everything! It’s a bit of a problem to me because it makes the learning curve that much steeper. I love landscapes, I really enjoy a good abstract, I admire those who do street photography well, and much to my own detriment…. I love shooting straight into the sun. I think I am most affected by weather (we have quite a lot of grey days which I find difficult in life generally, let alone for photography) and I’m extraordinarily drawn to water. But, more than all of that, it has been having a public platform to post images and look at the wonderful images of so many talented others (especially that Leanne person) that has probably been my biggest inspiration. Becoming part of the blogging community and making connections with like-minded people has been a hugely rewarding part of my photography journey and is probably the main contributing factor to how my photography has progressed.

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I love the colours in her work.  they are often soft and I guess reflect that English countryside that I envision it to be like. There are strong colours, but the colour I think is most dominant is the colour of sunrise or sunset, very warm, and something I don’t really associate with England.  I think we Australians have always thought England to be a cold place.  I like seeing the warm colours in the images.

I asked her if there was anything special about the way she worked.

Apart from not actually knowing what I’m doing most of the time, I don’t think there is anything particularly special. I love trial and error and I take a lot of images that are doomed to sit, ignored, on my hard drive for the rest of their days. Should I delete them?

No, I wouldn’t delete them, you might go back to them one day and decide they are worthy of some attention. I only delete photos that I know I can’t fix, blurred, too over or under exposed, that sort of thing.

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For someone who has been serious about her photography for such a short time it is amazing what she is doing.  Her trial and error is paying off.  I can’t imagine what she will be doing 5 years or 10 years, I am looking forward to seeing her work develop.

My final question, as always was about gear.

I recently upgraded my son’s Nikon D5000 to a D5300 – I could have kicked myself because the intention was to buy a D7000 but I got distracted. Never mind, as they say, it’s the camera you have in your hand. I have a Nikon 18-105mm kit lens (I think that’s what distracted me) and a Sigma 70-200mm lens. I have just invested in a wobbly tripod and some cheap filters because I want, one day, to take some beautiful long exposure shots of the sea. They’re OK – I’m not a professional and I can’t justify spending too much money on kit when I’m not sure what use I will get from it. The next time I have a lump of money burning a hole in my pocket, I think I’d like a fast, prime lens – then those seagulls better look out!

I have to ask Maxine, “did you give your son’s camera back to him”?

I would like to thank Maxine for giving me permission to feature her work here today on my blog.  I’ve really enjoyed getting to know her even more through this process.  For those of you who have never been to her blog, Six Pixx, I would invite you to do so, there are many more great images there, and for those that do know Maxine, I hope you will go and say hello.  I have a gallery of her images now, some of my favourites, though I think I might have done overboard, couldn’t stop picking them.  A big bunch of photos.

Playing with the Light

A few years ago when I was studying photography one of my projects was Playing the the Light.  We could do anything we wanted, but light had to be the focus.  I loved the project and I have wanted to do it again for a long time.  I needed a very dark place, a pen light and some things to light up.  I used my hallway with all the doors closed, very cramped space, but since it was my first attempt in a while it worked.

Roses getting some Light

See what I mean?  I put the light over and around the roses.  They didn’t turn out quite as well as I hoped, I couldn’t get a very good torch.  All the torched these days are LED, and they give too much light for this.  I had to put a heap of tape over the end with a small hole in it to try and close the amount of light coming out.  I also had to be dressed in black, with gloves as well so I wouldn’t be seen.  It is pretty hot here now and not really a good thing to be doing right now.

This needs practice, I can’t lie.  I also think doing it at night would be much better. I do like how the roses have come out.

Lighting the PlumsThis bowl was purchased at the Daylesford Market and this is the first time I have used it.  The plums came from a tree that my husband rides past on his bike.  The tree is on public land, so he has been helping himself and bringing heaps home.  They are very nice.

This image has worked better, but it could have been better.  I really will have to try this again.

Teatime in the LightMy daughter helped me with this one.  When I asked her what it looked like, she said electric.  It hasn’t worked brilliantly, but it gives you an idea.  The first lot I did, all those years ago, were done on film, and I had no idea if they worked until the film came back from the lab.  The others worked better than today, but I probably need to think a lot more about what I am doing.

Klara in the LightKlara wanted some photos, so I did some. I tried doing what I did with the others, but she kept laughing and wouldn’t stay still.  We had to change, so she sat still and I shone the torch on the wall.  I had to do it quickly, otherwise it burned out.  I also had to take all the tape off the end of the torch as well.  I am going to have to do more of these, but somewhere with a better backdrop.

TiddlesThis is Tiddles, our cat, he kept jumping up on the table I was using, so we thought we would try one.  I think you can see why you shouldn’t do one with a cat.  He kept following the light and wouldn’t stay still, no matter how many times we told him not to move.

Playing like this is a lot of fun, and I would like to do a lot more of it.  I just need to get a better torch, use a bigger room, and do it at night.  Lessons learned.

I meant to tell you this yesterday, and I was in such a hurry I forgot all about it.  Apparently The River Muse is doing something on me.  I was interviewed over the internet and the article was being published on the 10th.  So if you are interested check it out The River Muse.

Awards 

I have been nominated for a few more.

One Lovely Blog Award

The Year of the Warrior

Make Believe Boutique

Leibster Award

Eric M Vogt’s Blog

2012 Blog of the Year

Orbs Delight

CLF4TOLD

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Finally, from Patricia another award,

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Congratulations on the awards and thank you so much for nominating me.  Please visit the blogs.

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