gorilla 1 (lympne)

Well hello to all out there.

Sorry I’ve not been able to post much of my photography for the past few months. So busy with one thing or another. I’ll start putting some up, going back through the year. Starting with a batch of images taken from a recent family trip to Port Lympne wildlife park.

Some photographers will say zoo or wildlife park photography is not like going on safari and capturing the real thing and perhaps an easy way to build up your library. Well firstly, not all will have the opportunity to afford the safari experience. Secondly, zoo photography is by no means an easy task. With wire, barriers, artificial surroundings and non native plant life.

Also, a great deal of patience is needed, waiting for animals to come out from there skulking dull hideaways.

Personally, I love the challenge of zoo or wildlife park photography, and would challenge any photographer, whether hobbyist, amateur or professional, to go to a zoo for the day and leave with more than a handful of images, worthy of putting to print.

Whilst doing this post, I’ve had thoughts of perhaps starting a photography workshop on the subject, with tips on how I go about creating such images. Probably one to one, or small groups. If you might be interetsed, please let me know, or conatct me through the contact form on this site.

I hope you enjoy the photographs below all taken at Port Lympne Wildlife Park.

batrian camel (lympne)
Batrian Camel
giraffe (lympne)
Giraffe
giraffe 1 (lympne)
Giraffe
gnu or wilderbeast (lympne)
Gnu or Wildebeast
gorilla (lympne)
Gorilla
gorilla infant (lympne)
Infant Gorrila
gorilla infant 1 (lympne)
Infant Gorilla
little monkey (lympne)
Little Monkey
macaque (lympne)
Macaque
pallas cat (lympne)
Pallas Cat
white rhino (lympne)
White Rhino
white rhino 1 (lympne)
White Rhino
wolf (lympne)
Wolf

 

 

“He who works with his hands is a laborer.
He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.
He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.”
― St. Francis of Assisi

Scissor Arches
The Scissor Arches

(This post first appeared on Alan’s own website http://www.alanfrostphotography.com)

I came across this quote recently and I couldn’t help but think of some of the truly magnificent cathedral buildings in this country. One in particular came to mind; – Wells Cathedral in Somerset, arguably one of the most beautiful in England and without question a favourite of mine.

Looking down the nave and up towards the Scissor Arches, one can only marvel at the work of the labourer, the craftsman and the artist. The use of hands, heads and hearts are all very evident.

For the historians, the site of Wells Cathedral can be traced back to 705, although construction on the present cathedral began in around 1175. The scissor arches were added in 1338-48 and they resolved a real problem. As well as being quite beautiful they stopped the complete collapse of a tall tower which had been built in 1313 on weak foundations.

Photographically speaking the great Henri Cartier-Bresson said –

‘It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head’.

Remarkably similar to the quote by St Francis of Assisi don’t you think?

ARPS Panel-7

Alan Frost, a member of The Image Circle, has recently been awarded an Associate Distinction by The Royal Photographic Society. The Society’s distinctions are internationally respected and sought after by professional and amateur photographers. Over 1200 applications for Licentiate, Associate and Fellow of the Society are received each year with around 800 being successful. Submissions are held in different categories and are assessed by a qualified Panel of senior members of the Society. The Society takes great care in maintaining standards and in promoting excellence amongst photographers.

Alan’s monochrome submission was in the Conceptual and Contemporary category and featured 15 church images some of which are shown here, together with the hanging panel. In addition a statement of intent was submitted explaining what Alan hoped to achieve.

ARPS Panel-5

Alan was naturally delighted to be awarded this prestigious award. He said – “I have been working on the panel for nearly 18 months prior to it being assessed. I was fully aware of the very high standard required by The RPS, so it is a great honour for me to have achieved this success. I have every intention of becoming a Fellow, but I think this can be likened to climbing Everest, so we shall see!”

ARPS Panel

ARPS Panel-2

ARPS Panel-8

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The Hanging Plan

Do visit Alan’s website where you can view all fifteen images and read his statement of intent. Please click here.

 

So a few months ago me, my brother and our friend decided to take a trip to Wales. We had recently started a You Tube channel which aimed to cover everything about the outdoors. But we needed content.

Seeing as there is only so much you can do in Bognor Regis when it comes to outdoor activity, we chose to go for a long weekend in Wales with the main goal of visiting a small place called Gigrin Farm.

Wales is quite rightly known as one of the top places to visit for walks, fantastic views and diverse wildlife. As well as terrible weather. So, it was no surprise to us that, when making our way through wales we saw amazing views of valleys calved by distant rivers. As well as birds of all kinds darting through the woodlands and soaring over mountains. Of course, as I alluded to earlier, this comes at a price. We arrived to the wake of a hurricane. I can assure you this is not an exaggeration.

When we arrived at our very remote (but amazingly situated) accommodation the internet was out and we were told the entire day had been spent clearing the 2 mile track of fallen trees just so we could get through. Still, the next morning we packed out bags and headed out to Gigrin Farm which was about an hour away.

When we arrived it was clear that I was the one who would be getting the most out of the day as the other two didn’t seem keen on paying to sit in a hide. However, the day was cold, wet and windy. This meant that we were the only people at Gigrin farm that day. We had the place to ourselves. To my surprise this meant that my brother, Lewis and our friend, Adam were able to join me in the hide I had pre-booked for the purpose of photography.

The wait began. We were there to see what must be one of the biggest gatherings of this particular species in the UK. After about 20 minutes we saw a few silhouetted shapes gliding around a tree on the horizon. Soon, there was a shout, “guys”! We spun round to see what could only be described as a cloud of raptors sweeping in from hills to the left of the hide. They were following the approaching meat trailer.

The meat trailer pulled up by the hide, by this time the tension was mounting.  The kites’s frenzied state resulted in the clashing of wings and screeches of authority ringing out around us. The sky was full (and I cannot emphasise the word “full” enough at this point) with Red Kites, England’s largest bird of prey. And what a site it was.

Wales L.A.M final edit -7

The first spade full of meat was flung from the trailer and madness erupted amongst the red sky. Birds dived erratically, scooping up pieces of meat from the ground without landing and eating them on the wing.

Wales L.A.M final edit -8

Wales L.A.M final edit -12

I took a moment to watch and really take in what I was seeing. This is a bird of prey that until very recently was a birder’s prize sighting, something you would rarely see with your own eyes. Now thanks to projects like this one in Wales they are recovering, arguably thriving ! There is a lot of controversy though. Some say that sites like this are bad for the British ecosystem. These raptors in Gigrin farm are almost dependant on the meat provided. And there is some evidence to suggest that they are not getting enough variety in their diet which can lead to health problems.

This controversy is well founded and I have given a lot of thought to which side of the fence I would fall on in the debate. Personally, I think that the future of wildlife, in the British isles especially, is a very fragile thing at the moment. As always, its security can help to be ensured by the next generation. How many people nature enthusiasts would say they found a love for wildlife through a trip to a zoo or an aquarium. If there are ways of providing arguably more memorable experiences, without the fences or glass. As well as showing native wildlife instead of flagship species from countries that people may never get the chance to visit, then I say we need to have places like Gigrin Farm.

Wales L.A.M final edit -13

If you ever get the chance i would highly recommend you visit. I can promise you a sighting that you will never forget. For more photos or to see the red sky from another perspective feel free to watch the YouTube video below. Thank you for reading :).

Red Kites and Gigrin Farm: Video

 

So this weekend I went to Brighton with my girlfriend as part of her 21st birthday celebrations. It was a great weekend with lots of lovely moments to remember. Thanks mainly to the Brighton sea life centre which, although small, is very much worth a visit. However, all the tourist saturated amusements and fancies we enjoyed aren’t what seem to be lingering in my mind 24 hours later.

Click here to read the rest of the blog and see Matt’s first attempt at street photography.

brighton-smaller-again-1

 

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Although The Image Circle exhibition does not take place until November, preparing a portfolio of images ready for curation at a later date has to begin now. In fact it started some weeks ago when I decided my theme would concentrate on the landscape and environment of Chichester Harbour. Now, whenever I am out walking […]

Last week Alan Frost posted an entry on his blog, and wrote about his thoughts on the topic of the parameters he would be using ahead of the Exhibition. There are five images in the entry including the one featured here. To read about his thoughts click on the link –  Exhibition – my parameters — alan frost photography

So, picture the scene, its a cold day, its nearly Christmas, and everyone is scurrying around the garden centre with loved ones in mind and presents to find. An act that although very generous or even altruistic can result (ironically) in a tunnel vision of sorts and things being missed. I had driven my mum to our local garden centre and whilst there, feeling smug as I had (for once) finished my Christmas shopping early, I diverted my attention to the garden bird area. Here, I was able to relax amongst the relative calm. Until that is, something caught my eye. Click here for the rest of the story and to see more photographs.

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Although I have generally had a love/hate relationship with social media I feel that ultimately it has many more positives than negatives. Without it this group would not exist as most of us would never have met and at this point, I’m sure we are all the richer for it. As much as I enjoy admiring and contemplating the work of other photographers, you can’t beat a bit of face to face discussion. This is one of the main motivations for forming the group and as well as other advantages, not least the shared cost of our previously mentioned exhibition.

That then brings me to my point in that although social media works for many people, it can sometimes leave you wanting once the novelty of a wider audience has been achieved. Perhaps even more so with the proliferation of high quality images now posted and the popularity of landscape and nature photography. I in no way mean this in a negative sense, as I’m generally very much inspired by the work I see, however the snippets of thought that accompany the images can leave me with many unanswered questions.  With the group I now have a slightly louder voice and other photographers to share my thoughts, images and highs and lows with (although they may not always agree). As we know photography is very much a cerebral and emotive pastime (mostly) and it is enlightening and encouraging to share ideas, opinions and work. Although we only formed the group about six months ago I feel we are heading in a good direction intellectually and creatively whilst still maintaining our individuality.

I also find it both stimulating and challenging to share time with photographers who work in other areas to me, especially wildlife. This is helping me translate my love of the natural world into photographic aspirations as well as broadening my knowledge and appreciation.

We meet once a month and during the winter months this has very much become a forum for discussions ranging from our own work to that of others outside the group and dare I say it, gear! The lighter evenings bring trips out, followed by a pint and a bit of banter for those of us who dare to offer a a little camera LCD preview of our labours. Both the images below were captured on such evenings last summer, something we all look forward to once more daylight hours are with us and we are once again released from the dark clutches of winter. I have little doubt that as time goes on we will share trips to exhibitions, days out and maybe even share accommodation and the expense on a foray further afield.

East Head, West Wittering
Summers end, Iping Common

There is no doubt that we are all very different people and if it wasn’t for our collective passion for and appreciation of photography it’s likely our paths would not have crossed and friendships would not have been forged. There is no competition, no egos and there is no hierarchy, we share the group as equals eager to learn from each other and share our experiences and personal successes as well as as the odd failure. Photography is indeed a universal language and one that possibly speaks louder than the written word. Although that is a discussion for another day perhaps.

There are many reasons why I am looking forward to this year. In early April I have been invited to present an evening talk to my local camera club; something which I have not done before. Later that same month I will be traveling to The RPS Headquarters in Bath with a panel of fifteen […]

via Exciting new challenges in the year ahead – including my first exhibition — alan frost photography

Click on the link above to read the post in full.

I’ve never been one for New Years resolutions but have to admit that this time of year offers the opportunity to take stock and for renewed vigour of past endeavours. For some time I have been playing with various photographic projects and with the recent formation of the group and the prospect of an exhibition later in the year I find my thoughts returning to unfinished work. It would seem to be the perfect vehicle to motivate myself and to a large degree this has been the case. Projects can obviously be separate entities but in this case I find that they are beginning to merge to one end, that being printed works to be hung on a gallery wall. This also brings the added bonus in that, hopefully, I won’t be frantically chasing around later in the year with nothing to exhibit.

One of my projects revolves around a local common, somewhere close to home that I can visit without always committing too much time but equally somewhere that inspires me to create. I find myself visiting often and in all weather to ensure a full body of work and to ensure I can give a clear representation of the changes through a calendar year, as well as conveying some of my own feeling for the place.

Although this image is certainly one of my favourites of the last few months I don’t necessarily see it as representative of the finished work, I would like that to feature quiet images too. I was there only yesterday morning and came home with a couple of images that I quite enjoy but which certainly won’t have mass appeal. Very different from the drama of the first image but still very relevant to what I would like to convey.

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However this is yet another advantage of a project. So often images have to stand up to scrutiny in their own right but as a wider body of work a more contemplative image can find it’s place. Whether either of these images make it to print remains to be seen but both have given me a great deal of pleasure in the making.

As the year progresses and my mind turns to what to include and how I’m going to present them I shall share my thoughts with you again. So far I am confident that I have ended each month with an image or two that I would like to use irrespective of how they may be received. Mind you I would like to think that the best is yet to come, even if not this year.

So as you start the New year I wold urge you to consider a photographic project or two. If, unlike many of those resolutions, you stick with them I can pretty well guarantee that you will create something that you will most likely find very fulfilling. If, like me, you choose a small area of your local patch you will also find that familiarity often brings it’s own rewards. As the seasons unfold and you learn to see the less obvious it can be very surprising what a visit can reveal, inwardly as well as outwardly .