Collections

Loading images

All images loaded

We have been visiting Greece for more than thirty years and it was inevitable that our modern world would collide with Greece’s more ancient past. Beyond the glorious beaches, photogenic villages and equally photogenic people lies a land with an enduring history. It is difficult to visit any part of the country without stumbling across a crusader castle, classical temple, amphitheatre or Mycenaean palace. Many are grand examples of what was once a golden age. Some are the stuff of legends. Others are unassuming and almost forgotten piles of stone kept alive by folklore. From Thermopylae’s battlefield to Dodoni’s haunting amphitheatre, it is difficult not to be moved by their past. Stories…like their characters, are larger than life, embellished with god-like status thanks to bards and poets who preserved their memory for us to enjoy today.

This exhibition is from a collection of work photographed over two visits to Aston Hall Mental Hospital during 2014 and represents our first Urbex shoot. The hospital opened in the 1930’s and did not close until 2004, when the last of the long term patients were absorbed into community care. The site is large covering around three acres, and consists of several blocks including community, kitchen and living quarters. These images are taken from all of these areas, but some of the blocks could not be accessed. All buildings seem to have suffered extreme vandalism over the years, but this only adds to the sense of dereliction and decay. The site is earmarked for demolition, although it is unsure what will replace it. Our bet is on an extension to the nearby housing estate which borders the grounds.
For those who are interested the address is: Maple Drive, Aston-on-Trent, Derby, DE72 2DG

This is the second in a small series of collections created to showcase the beauty of the humble postage stamp. Using a macro lens to enlarge often unnoticed detail, these miniature works of art take on new beauty and appreciation when viewed at a greater size. They are also highly decorative, making superb wall art. We have several stamp albums, some of which have been stored for more than 40 years. Their contents exhibit collections taken from all parts of the world and date back to the beginning of postage stamp history. What started out as a rainy day experimental project quickly became engrossing and we ended up spanning the shoot over several days. Lighting and a stable environment were key to the shoot’s success. We used a Novoflex Magic Studio to achieve the results, along with an assortment of focus rails and tripod heads. All images were captured using a Pentax K-5 DSLR and 100mm f2.8 macro lens.

I am sure all photographers amass a whole bunch of images that elude categorisation and form a body of unspecific, undefined lost souls, doomed to haunt the edges of beautifully labelled image libraries. We occasionally review our collections, exorcising them of such misfits and dumping them into our ‘Odd Sock’ collection. Not good enough to stand alone but just the right side of the delete key, we present to you 2013’s Odd Socks.

City shoots are something we have become increasingly interested in. The images displayed here were shot in Sheffield on 27th December 2013, during our Christmas and New Year break. They have remained unseen since then, so we thought that as part of the PhotoArk relaunch, we would include a sample of them here.

Being the keen walkers that we are it was inevitable that, over the years, we would find ourselves with an expanding collection of inane subject matter. Sorting through such vacuous output we noticed there were some hidden gems buried within that formed a collection we had no idea we owned. Ladies and Gents, we give you our signpost photography of 2013 :-)

This is the first in a small series of collections created to showcase the beauty of the humble postage stamp. Using a macro lens to enlarge often unnoticed detail, these miniature works of art take on new beauty and appreciation when viewed at a greater size. They are also highly decorative, making superb wall art. We have several stamp albums, some of which have been stored for more than 40 years. Their contents exhibit collections taken from all parts of the world and date back to the beginning of postage stamp history. What started out as a rainy day experimental project quickly became engrossing and we ended up spanning the shoot over several days. Lighting and a stable environment were key to the shoot’s success. We used a Novoflex Magic Studio to achieve the results, along with an assortment of focus rails and tripod heads. All images were captured using a Pentax K-5 DSLR and 100mm f2.8 macro lens.

The Orton Technique is an effect pioneered back in the days of film by Michael Orton. It is a method of blending two different images of the same scene, one of them usually being slightly defocussed. The result is a surreal dreamy effect that can add considerable atmosphere to a wide range of subjects. Some of the subjects we have used it with include portraits, macro and selective landscape work. It is a technique that can be applied to digital images by duplicating the original and adding a light gaussian blur to the duplicate. The beauty of digitally applying the effect is that the amount of blur can be controlled easily – once the desired effect has been achieved the result can be saved. If the effect needs to be modified simply return to the originals and try again.

Cross Processing is a technique that deliberately processes a type of film in chemicals that are intended for another film type. Originally, the technique was probably discovered by accident, but unusual and surreal effects can be achieved that give heavy red, green or blue bias to the results. It is easy to simulate the effects digitally by adjusting the RGB channels, saturation and contrast in image manipulation packages, although some of them come with a cross processing filter to achieve the results quicker. Like the Bleach Bypass process, not all images are suitable for this style of working, so experimentation is key.