Been Away Too Long…

In all sorts of ways and for all sorts of reasons my photography and associated tasks have taken a back seat – I have been prompted into action by both Tom, the happy Seagull and Martin, a fellow artist…

I tend to think of myself as an artist who uses photography rather than an outright photographer and of late have been suffering from a lack of ‘seeing’. Not that I have not been out with the camera, recce trips have featured in my itinerary searching out the Gipping Locks for winter image making when the foliage is less prominent and they can be seen…

At the moment the images I have been making tend to be in a square format and in pairs – diptychs? Well I don’t know, short series? Probably…

The first two are obviously waterside on the Ipswich Waterfront, fragments of what used to be…

The second pair are older images taken with my first digital SLR, a Nikon D70S, still have it, still a very good camera featuring as it does a CCD sensor rather than the ubiquitous CMOS in current favour. I still feel that the CCD is more sensitive but as it is more expensive to make has lost favour. Perched on a tripod in the passenger footwell of my departed ‘Bongo’ and using a remote to trigger long exposures whilst travelling on the M40…

I promise to make more regular contributions to our Blog along with Tom – watch this space!White Chain BTI Web

White Chain

 

Yellow Step BTI Web

Yellow Steps

 

Routes No2 Web

Routes 1

 

Routes No1 Web

Routes 2

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A new round of sunshine

Yesterday, Kevin Marrable and I climbed onto the roof of the James Hehir building in blisteringly bright sunny conditions. We moaned somewhat as it was just too bright and contrasty so we sat down and woofed our packed lunches waiting for the light to fade. Luckily given the pasting that the rest of the country was getting, wispy damp cloudy stuff lightened our spirits and we were off.

I had taken my Toyo 45A up for the first time and fired off 6 sheets of FP4 whilst waiting for the light to dampen down a tad. I’m looking forward to getting them in the tank and developed.

From all the visits we have had to this lofty vantage point, this was by far the best. It is I suppose a bit like growing up. I went up there with two cameras, one 5×4 field camera with B&W and a digital SLR with a prime short telephoto with the prime(sic) objective of making some waterfront panoramic images.

Tests on camera looked good. They always do don’t they? I was less than pleased with myself once I got to processing as I was a degree off vertical despite levelled heads and tripod with countless bubbles. I’ll have to sort this anomaly for next time.

Anyway here is one daylight shot with that warm late winter afternoon glow. I love making work in the winter.

Dock and townscape with yachts

The Wet Dock and Town December 22nd 2016

Eyes on the Road

The last Sky Ride in Ipswich

With Sky’s 8 year sponsership coming to an end, I decided to sign up and join the last Skyride around Ipswich.

For the most part it was a leisurely ride with many pot-holes recently filled in.

Speed test

There was the opportunity to see how fast you can go in the Sprint Zone.

Eyes on road

While at the base of the ‘Wine Rack’ you were advised to keep your ‘Eyes on the road!’

It was a pleasant day riding around and after two complete laps, with plenty of stops to take in the atmosphere, I duly collected my ‘One in a million’ medal.

Races run, shadows and fireworks

Dead bird leg with ring

Late and decapitated plus flesh-less racing pigeon

I’m slowly recovering from a marathon session with two fellow group photographers conducted yesterday in blazing sun and stiff breezes.

One week short of an anniversary, we ascended the rooftop of University of Suffolk’s James Hehir building to make a record of the events of the day and also to mark the passage of time and space associated with Ipswich Waterfront developments.

At one point yesterday morning I thought we might have been scuppered through a breakdown in lines of communication but that hiccup got resolved and soon we were hauling our precious gear up the north face of the building using ropes as we have done before. Once at base camp, we realised as ever with a shutter of photographers that the light was not how we wanted it and the wind, where was that on the forecast?

We were not in too much of a hurry to get going as waiting for the light gives plenty of time to see things. We happened upon a feathered carcass that had rings on both legs but no head and no meat left on the breast bones. A racing pigeon whose game was up so to speak but it travelled a considerable distance back and forth on the roof during the day as winds gusted to near on 25 knots.

Twilight last year was the kindest hour having had dullish weather all day. Here we were in 27 degrees and WSW winds of 17-25 knots and less activity around the dock on account of it not being a Maritime Festival – they are now to be held every other year. Twilight we hoped and yearned for but not a cloud in the sky.

That said, there were other things to make images from.Chairs and shadows

Shadows became friendly things to capture from on high as we waited for twilight and fireworks.

Sunset was 20:34 and pyros set for 21:00 – far too early but they got delayed for 15 minutes then someone lit the blue touch paper – still too light in my opinion but hey ho – mustn’t grumble.

Red fireworks

Red fireworks and smoke

 

The other intrepid photographers were Peter Ellis and Kevin Marrable. Look out for their posts.

In the meantime, check out my site for galleries of associated images.

http://tomowens.openpoint.co.uk/home/

 

Hehir today gone tomorrow

I’ve been a tad croaky of late but I forced myself out to grab some shots of our docklands project with the last rays of sunshine on 31st December 2015.

Hehir

It was hard to comprehend that three of us were up on the top of building to the left of the image for 12 hours during the second day of the Ipswich Maritime Festival in August.  There will not be a festival this year but at some point we will scale the heights again for some significant event or other as we add more images to the pot to edit from.

Is anyone else out there taking part in photoeast? We have asked for a slot but we await news on that front. Somehow I think the event is all topped and tailed. Whatever happens it ought to be a good blast for contemporary photography in Suffolk.

In the meantime keep alert and making images.

Reworking old work

The weather has been against me of late with all the best large format weather being sacrificed to painting our refurbished sash windows. That was a job I was not expecting to have to do this autumn but it is just as well that I got on as we have nothing but rain since.

I have been re-working some images as a result of new scans and here is one from Melton – it is in the Edgelands exhibition but I believe this is a far better image having re-scanned and re-processed it.

Melton

British Sugar at Sproughton never made it onto the wall but it was in my book.

Demerera

One of my Docklands images has also had a makeover. I’m not sure I have this one right at present.

Landguard

Revisiting work and re-working it after having published it is an interesting experience. I suppose it is not unlike my ethic of re-visiting locations time and time again to make the work in the first place, When will it end?

Docklands project scales new heights

Ipswich Wet Dock & Tidal berths 24th July 2015

Ipswich Wet Dock & Tidal berths 24th July 2015

On Friday 24th July 3 likely lads from the EACG group scaled new heights and road tested the procedures for gaining access to the roof of the James Hehir building in Ipswich wet dock.

A view of the Wet Dock lock and grain berth, Ipswich 24th July 2015

A view of the Wet Dock lock and grain berth, Ipswich 24th July 2015

 

The procedures went to plan. We will debrief when we next meet.

From the Archive

Hello, I thought it about time that I contributed some images to the group on the docklands project. I have selected four from my archive.

Cranes and Rigging is from May 2008  Cranes and Rigging

LT 472 is a bit later in Sept 2008  LT 472

Towering Above is a year on in August 2009  Towering Above

and Old Meets New is from Sept 2012   Old Meets New

Docklands – getting higher viewpoints

I hope you all had a good Easter weekend?

Peter Ellis and I met with a director of estates at UCS a few months ago to secure access to a high level vantage point from which to make new records of the wet dock. I have scripted both a Risk Assessment and Method Statement for us to qualify for access to their roof top.

Presently, it is only Peter and I on the list as we are the photographers who met and brokered the agreement with them. We did say that we would add others once we got the outline approval.

There is a physical impediment to last stage of ascent to the roof with a vertical galvanised ladder used for the last 14 feet. I’ll add additional photographers to the method statement that will have to be read and signed at our next meeting scheduled for 15th April. I will then send the signed copy to UCS.

Should anyone from the group not want to be granted access then please let either Peter or me know by Sunday 12th April at the latest so that I can prepare documents in advance.

Thanks

TomO