Andy White selects his favourite photography from the Shed Gallery.

It was a pleasure to look through all of the creative’s contributions to The Shed Gallery. I had not realised that we now have in the region of 95 fellow creatives most of which have more than 40 images on the web site. The range of subject matter is immense which makes the choosing of just 5 pieces of work extremely difficult.

I have started with a photograph of a relatively local scene ‘Durdle Door’ by Ollie Taylor.

Durdle Door by Ollie Taylor

Durdle Door by Ollie Taylor

Living in Dorset I have seen countless pictures of Durdle Door from all angles but this is one of the best. The composition is faultless with the viewer being led down the steps to the chalk outcrop and the door and then onto Portland in the distance and finishing with a beautifully coloured glow in the sky.

My second picture is ‘Reflections’ by Charlotte Fielding which I love because it is different and holds the viewers attention for a long period as it has so many facets on different levels.

Reflections by Charlotte Fielding

Reflections by Charlotte Fielding

Such was my interest in the detail that I had been looking at this photograph for some time before I realising that it was a reflection of a well known landmark.

My next photograph is ‘Frost patterns 3’ by Colin Tracy. Such is the diversity of Colin’s work that choosing only a single picture is so difficult.

Frost Pattern 3 by Colin Tracy

Frost Pattern 3 by Colin Tracy

Other misses which had to be left out were Shadow on ‘Crocosmia leaf’ and ‘Leaf in ice’. The frost patterns are beautiful and yet understated. It is a shame however that you have entitled the abstract patterns rather than leaving the viewer to their own conclusions as you have done elsewhere.

My fourth picture is ‘Winter abstract 1’ by Rachael Talibart.

Winter Abstract 1 by Rachael Talibart

Winter Abstract 1 by Rachael Talibart

I have seen lots of attempts by many photographers to capture the natural world by panning the camera whilst using a slow shutter speed.  This abstract image ranks as one of the best with its wonderful restful colouration and pleasing composition.

My final photograph is ‘Have a vision’ by David Walker.

Have a Vision by David Walker

Have a Vision by David Walker

Such a simple composition – a window and a blue wall – but it asks so many questions. What is the building used for?  Why is the window so high up on the wall?  Is the window bricked up inside or is that just a reflection?  If it is bricked up what is the point of having a window there?

Over the last year I have been greatly inspired two people, one an artist and the other a photographer. 

The late Andrew Wyeth was a brilliant artist who spent nearly all of his life painting the landscape and people he knew in a very small area of America. His painting technique was with dry brush egg tempura which gave his paintings extraordinary vibrance and depth of colour. By chance I saw an exhibition of his work in Farnsworth, New England in the fall of 2012 and was blown away by his work.

I was recently introduced to the work of Nick Brandt who for many years has recorded the plight of the wild animals of Africa. He is an ardent campaigner against the ivory trade and many of his stunning photographs record the life and death of the elephants. What is so extraordinary is that he never uses a telephoto lens, preferring to gain the confidence of individual or groups of animals over days or weeks before taking photographs from close by with a medium format camera. Most of the images are presented with sepia toning which fits perfectly with their dry and dusty environment.

Andy White, The Shed Artist of the Week.

Having been a photographer off and on for nearly 60 years I have been lucky enough to witness the evolution of the very simply made Box Brownie through to sophisticated film SLRs and onto the current crop of all singing and dancing digital cameras.

Potato field by Andy White

Potato field by Andy White

The digital age of photography really only took off in the early 1990s but now continues to amaze us with new innovations with a plethora of cameras and digital devices. More photographs are being taken today than at any time since the invention of film and cameras. We are fortunate to have instant replay of our images and the ability to share our images with the world through social media in an instant. Long gone are the days when we took only a few photographs, due to the cost, waited for the processed film to return and then either stored them away in albums or if darkroom enthusiasts began the process of producing final prints.

Receding tide, Holkham by Andy White

Receding tide, Holkham by Andy White

As a discussion point, I have yet to be convinced that creative photography is a legitimate form of photography. Taking several images and blending them together to form another image is in my view another art form. I have to applaud the ingenuity of the creative workers and must admit that I do like some of their images but do they deserve to sit alongside what I would call straight photography or does it really matter if they do?

Winter storm at Lyme Regis by Andy White

Winter storm at Lyme Regis by Andy White

I appreciate that we should judge an image as it stands but as photographers we are always asking ‘how did they manage to produce such a photograph?’  I am intrigued by some photographs which I am unable to decide whether they have been manipulated in a creative way or not. Some images are just too good to be true and that sets alarm bells ringing but there are some which you would be hard pressed to say yes or no.  The same is true with using HDR. Some photographs are spoilt by over processing whereas those photographers with a subtle touch can produce the most wonderful images. Don’t get me wrong I am not against some manipulation of images. The dark room printers were the first to find ways of improving their photographs. They used coloured filters, dodging and burning, and a whole raft of different paper to enhance their photographs. They then used tones such as sepia or selenium to further enhance the finished prints.

New England barn by Andy White

New England barn by Andy White

Much of this type of manipulation is now carried out on the computer to one degree or another. The use of adjustments such as levels, curves, hue and saturation can transform a fairly dull image into an acceptable image and the choice of printing papers can only enhance the finished article.

Mist in the vales by Andy White

Mist in the vales by Andy White

Finally on behalf of all the Shed Creatives I would like to give a big thank you to Chelsea and Ben for setting up the website, running it on a day to day basis, processing, printing and dispatching the orders and above all setting up the exhibitions. I am sure that very few of us realised that we would have the opportunity to have our photographs and artworks exhibited in London, Barcelona, Bristol, Lyme Regis and worldwide on the web.

Cliff top flora at sunset by Andy White

Cliff top flora at sunset by Andy White

Rob Coombe picks his favourite images from the Shed Gallery.

There are some amazingly talented people that exhibit their work through The Shed, and none more so than Stephen Banks. I have admired his work for a long time, the nightscape images he has created around Durdle Door are phenomenal, and you can’t fail but to be impressed. 
Milky Way above Durdle Door by Stephen Banks

Milky Way above Durdle Door by Stephen Banks

I have also have recently discovered Tony Antoniou, and I really like his style. There are so many images of his I love, but I particularly like his take on the floods:
The Floods by Tony Antoniou

The Floods by Tony Antoniou

How can you not love “After the Rain” taken at Stonehenge?
After The Rain by Tony Antoniou

After The Rain by Tony Antoniou


Kris Dutson is another who’s style I really like. He really knows how to capture a great landscape scene. Looking at the images that someone like him produces really inspires me to want to go out and capture something similar myself. His Colmers Hill Sunset is quite simply beautiful.
Colmers Hill Sunset by Kris Dutson

Colmers Hill Sunset by Kris Dutson


I would also like to mention Gina Williams. She’s given me some really good feedback on my images in the past but she has a great talent of her own. She likes to capture scenes in their natural state without editing the images afterwards and I think there’s a lot to be said for that. Her Vacant Deckchairs image is fantastic, and a shot she should be very proud of:
Vacant deckchairs by Gina Williams

Vacant deckchairs by Gina Williams

 

Shed artist of the week Rob Coombe on his Photography.

What first drew you to photography?

I really fell into photography by accident when I was playing golf with a friend of mine who told me about the concept of blipfoto. The idea is you take and upload just one photo a day, every day, and the thought of documenting a whole year in photos really appealed to me. It started off as a laugh but soon became an obsession! As the days went by I started caring more and more about the quality of the photos I was taking and as a result started looking at the world in a different way. Since then I really haven’t looked back.

What is your favourite photographic memory, and why?

I was lucky enough to get a press pass for the Red Bull wake boarding event in the harbour in Lyme Regis a couple of years ago. I’m a huge sports fan and being able to get up close to some of the worlds best wake boarders and capture them in full flight jumping over the harbour wall was amazing. It was an incredible experience and one I definitely won’t forget!

Wake Board Jump - Rob Coombe

Wake Board Jump - Rob Coombe

What would be your ideal camera, and where would you take it?

I’m very much a Nikon man and would love the new D4s. If I had one I don’t think it would ever leave my side! However for me it’s all about prime lenses at the moment. An 85mm f1.4 is next on my radar!

Tell us what you enjoy most about your own work, and what has inspired you recently.

I really enjoy where I live and the immense amount of natural beauty we are surrounded by in the West Country. The recent storms have been a huge inspiration, capturing mother nature at her full force was pretty awesome and acts as a little reminder that we’re not indestructible!

Force 10 Gale on the Cobb by Rob Coombe

Force 10 Gale on the Cobb by Rob Coombe

Do you have bursts of creativity – and when/where are you most creative?

Very much so. I have quite a lot of different interests and go through phases with everything so sometimes I don’t pick the camera up for a while. I do always come back to it though and find I’m at my most creative when I haven’t taken any shots for a week or two. If I do too much of something I find it becomes a bit stale and boring and I start to lack inspiration, so doing it in little bursts definitely helps me be more creative. That said, I am inspired when there is good light or something dramatic happening, when things are grey and dull I find it a lot more difficult!

What are the most important elements of a successful photo?

For me it’s all about light. Lighting can make or break a photo for me, but that doesn’t necessarily make a photo successful. Everybody’s different and likes different things. I quite often find I’ll take a set of photos I’m really pleased with and some people won’t be particularly bothered by them, and yet sometimes I’ll take some that I’m not overly happy with and others will see something in them that they really like.

Tell us about your favourite photograph, either your own or someone else’s, and please send us a copy/link from their website if you have can!

Living in Lyme Regis and having an interest in photography you can’t fail but to be inspired by Richard Austin. The recent storms were incredible in a number of ways and Richard captured some unbelievable images. However the absolute stand out for me was his shot of wave shaped exactly like a white horse crashing over the cobb. I’d love to have a big canvas of that on my lounge wall!

Stormy weather mixed with very high tides made for spectacular seas coming over the Cobb wall at Lyme Regis in Dorset

Stormy weather mixed with very high tides made for spectacular seas coming over the Cobb wall at Lyme Regis in Dorset

How do you spend a creative day? 

My most creative days are never ones I plan. I find when I go out specifically looking to be creative and specifically go looking to find something special, more often that not it doesn’t happen. My best shots are always the ones where I just so happen to be in the right place at the right time, and am lucky enough to have the camera on me.

The work I’m most proud of:

I am slowly building up my portfolio and am really proud of what I’ve achieved so far. Although I feel that I’m still learning, I do have some images that I’m really pleased with that I was really excited to share through the Shed.The image I’m probably most proud of is my British Beach Huts photo that has proven really popular. I’ve sold a couple of them at the Albion exhibitions, and had some great feedback. The thought of knowing that people have seen my work and liked it enough to have paid for it and display it in their own homes fills me with a sense of immense pride.

British Beach Huts by Rob Coombe

British Beach Huts by Rob Coombe

A few more I’m really pleased with are:

Bluebell Pathway: 

Bluebell Pathway by Rob Coombe

Bluebell Pathway by Rob Coombe

Surfers Paradise

Surfers Paradise by Rob Coombe

Surfers Paradise by Rob Coombe

Driving into the Sunset 

Driving into the Sunset by Rob Coombe

Driving into the Sunset by Rob Coombe

Cobb Cauldron

Cobb Cauldron by Rob Coombe

Cobb Cauldron by Rob Coombe

Latest from the Barcelona gallery…

So spring has arrived in Spain too and the gallery in Barcelona is flooded with light and full of wonderful images!

We had a rehang and look forward to meeting new clients and welcoming back old friends. Do drop in and say hello!

Paintings by Fiona G Roberts, Megan Players, Chelsea Davine and collage by Silvia Ragel Serrano, prints by Paula Youens, found objects by Kirsty Fenton. Drawings and ceramics by Odile Moreno. Photography by Andy White, Rachael Talibart, Lois Wakeman, Tricia Scott, Maisie Hill, Sarah Broome, Philippa Gedge, John Hunt, Terry Batten, Michael Gardner among many more.