Journey was the theme of recent meeting of the photography group I am a member of. It was quite a reflective and often quite personal meeting with people sharing photos and personal stories around journey.
With summer slowly fading into autumn, I am trying to hold onto the last remnants of the season. While I tend to prefer textured shots in black and white which play with light, the subject matter dictates whether I shoot in black and white or in colour. This is certainly true in summer as colours are often more prominent.
This summer, I visited Canada after a few years away. Visiting the same areas and cities can pose a challenge – how do I keep my images fresh and new? How do I keep from taking the same photos over and over again?
While photographing the same things can show incremental changes over time, I am given the opportunity to see familiar places in a different light. I had this opportunity this past July in Canada. As I was finishing off a roll of colour film in a garden, I stumbled upon some lovely orange and yellow flowers in a neighbours garden.
The colours were fabulous, and demanded to be photographed in colour. I was very happy with the results. The orange, yellow, green and blue played with each other and supplemented each other. I couldn’t have had asked for anything more beautiful and delicate.
I couldn’t have asked for anything else – the flowers were stunning and didn’t need any setting up. The colours blended and highlighted each other nicely.
Hastings, East Sussex, England
There is something about the seaside that I really enjoy. Being near the ocean is something special. It can be bracing, and calm – sometimes all at once. It can be a gateway or fortified. Some make a living by the sea, while others have lost their lives.
I visited Hastings for the first time last Saturday. I have been to other seaside towns like Dover and Folkestone in the past. I have enjoyed the all, and I enjoyed seeing the fisherman’s boats in Hastings. It reminded of times gone past where many coastal towns depended on fisherman for their livelihoods.
The circular walk I did near Hastings gave wonderful views of the city itself as well as the town. The countryside and the views were dramatic.
Walking back through the town to the train station – via a chippie – I took some photos of the fisherman’s boats and the buildings related to fishing. It was nice to see that they were still maintained. With the decline of the fisheries, it is very easy to lose this heritage.
Olympic torch, London 2012
London 2012. After a 7-year build up, one of the largest sporting events has arrived into London. The opening ceremony for the Olympics in London was well received and went off without any major hitches.
There were stumbles with the security provision for the Games, and worries about whether the transport system would be able to cope with the extra demand. However, along side this, people’s imagination has been captured by the Olympic Games.
The Olympic torch is one of the endearing symbols of the Games. Those who had the opportunity to run with the torch came from all walks of life – reflecting the British nation, and capturing people’s imagination.
I was fortunate to work in central London, and managed to see the Olympic torch twice. I arrived to the Globe just in time to see the torch and runner pass by the crowds lining the street. It took only moments, but the crowd was jubilant – and cameras and camera phones captured the fleeting moment.
The second time was when the torch was taken down the Thames towards Tower Bridge. The flotilla moved along the Thames to the delight of the crowds lining the river and office workers watching from their office buildings.
I felt fortunate to be in a city that is holding the Olympics, but also to have had the opportunity to be part of the lead up – even if it’s a very, very small part of it. It’s good to have coverage on TV, the radio and the internet. However, seeing a part of it live adds something special.
Niagara Falls, Canada
There is something rather spectacular about Niagara Falls. The sheer volume and power of the water going over the three falls draws thousands each year to see it.
The three waterfalls are the Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls. The larger Horseshoe Falls lie in Canadian while the other 2 falls reside in the US. While all three falls are dramatic, my favourite are the Horseshoe falls - although, I may be a bit biased!
While I had visited Niagara Falls many, many years ago, I had the chance to visit the Falls again this month. I did wonder whether they wouldn’t be as impressive as I had remembered them as a child. I shouldn’t have worried. They were just as impressive as I had remembered, and I had really enjoyed seeing them again.
It was amazing, and hear, the water falling over the edge of the Falls. The midst rising up from the fallen water was refreshing, and greatly appreciated, on a swelteringly hot day. As I walked away from the falls, I got some really good shots, particularly of the boats driving as close as they could to the falls.
I took photos on Kodak colour film of the falls, and used a polariser filter to draw out the colours a bit. I could have easily taken the photos in film, but I think the mood and atmosphere of the falls.
Niagara Falls remind us of the force in nature, particularly the force of water.
Heather Martin is a London based photographer who specialises in architectural, event and B&W film photography.