Saturday, January 29, 2011

Evening Light

Groby Pool, Evening Light. phographs by Vivien Blackburn

My much loved Fuji camera is big and fairly heavy, like an SLR, and for ages I've toyed with the idea of a pocket camera for times when I wouldn't carry the Fuji.

Last week I bought a little Panasonic Lumix from a friend who had upgraded and this is it's first outing - some very very quickly snatched photos on the way back from a family visit.

I have to say I'm really pleased with it. There was a scary bit when my computer wouldn't talk to its HDSC disk - but that was solved when I dug out the card reader that I don't normally need. Phew! relief.


The light was very low, subtle colours in the sunset and I haven't had time to absorb all of its possibilities. These were taken with aperture priority and a wide aperture, flash switched off. No tripod, just hand held - so I'm quite pleased with how they came out. The sheen of the water was beautiful.
This is an old flooded slate quarry with a very very old manor house on the other side which belonged to the Grey family (the family of Lady Jane Grey, the 9 day queen). There are deep working quarries on the other side of the road, hidden by the woods.

I have been painting but can't show the results just yet.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Digital image, playing in photoshop: Winter woods

Another digital image done at the same time as the previous one. I need to find out how to do solar plates as I'd love to do some prints from some of the digital work. Can prints be done without an etching press from solar prints? I wonder .....

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

digital images

Digital Image, Vivien Blackburn

I've been playing with my graphics tablet and and colour and having fun :>)

Marks, colours, overlays ...... It isn't painted in a traditional way but put together from lots of elements. Don't ask how! I can't remember all the steps and always go too fast to remember to write down what I've done. Someday I'll get organised and do a step by step. Layers, dodge and burn, erase, clone, brightness and contrast, drawing with the wacom ........

I love the richness of colour on the monitor.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Thistles in white pencil on black paper

Thistles, white pencil on black paper, A4, Vivien Blackburn


A couple of years ago when the thistles flowered, went to seed and became huge masses of the fluffy white 'fairies' they fascinated me. I did a large drawing at the time, closing in and working far above life size, digital images came out of the sketches, photographs and memories too.

This one is just out of my head from memories of the exploding fluffy masses of seeds, ready to fly. It was started in a cheap white pencil, emphasised in places to deepen the opacity of the white with Polychromos white and finally some marks to intensify the white even more with a chinagraph pencil (those waxy ones that write on glass).

The lightness on the bottom left is light leaking into the scanner - the paper is black