First time in Britain. July to December 2012.

Whitby Goth Weekend

Photos from my first time in Britain. From July to December 2012.

The following are a selection of my favourite photos taken during the first 6 months upon arriving in Britain in 2012. Only four of the fourteen photos have been shared previously to my Flickr account, the remaining are photos that were never before shared online, which I think are interesting to view as many of these include people, pets or landscape that may have changed during the past nine years. It is always fascinating being able to re-live moments in the past and its partly what makes photography the magical treasure I believe it to be. There is a noticeable change in, tones, colours, mood and overall feel between the previous post; Alicante in 2012 – and the current post, mainly I believe, due to the difference in weather and light at the time (and more generally). One change I am happy to see is more wildlife and nature in these images.

 

 

 

 

This first photo was taken only a few days after arriving to Manchester. I particularly like the contrast in the reflections and the artistic feel that the waves add by forming horizontal lines.

 

 

A day apart from the previous photo and another duck. This one won a space in my blog due to the smile this cheeky female duck seems to be giving me. It was also raining as I took this shot, and you can faintly see some of the drops as well as the nice ripples in the water from the movement of the duck’s feet.

 

 

A couple of weeks after, my photography friends and I went to Liverpool, this shot was taken whilst we were driving in the car, I was always ready for a good photo opportunity and that is how I got this shot, I would manually set my exposure and manually focus previously to taking a shot just in case. In this image I appreciate the colour coordination of the blue wall and the also blue leash, as well as the colour having a calming effect, adding to the relaxed facial expression of the dog in the man’s arms.

 

 

I previously added an image similar to this one on my Flickr, but it was a double exposure of this shot plus a photo of the sun and the clouds. I like this one as you can see more detail in the sky as well as the nice detail in the sand. The lighting was specially interesting that day, with some yellow clouds near the horizon and very dark blue clouds at the top making for some pleasing contrast.

 

 

This was one of the shots were I had to be ready from before the shot, since capturing the subject of this image poses some struggles due to movement, the short amount of time a bubble will be in the space and managing to get the light to highlight the point of interest (bubble and its colours) as well as shooting at the right moment. The light wasn’t particularly good that day, so I had to use more ISO than I would have wanted since the shutter speed would have to be pretty quick to freeze the movement. This is something that a full frame camera would be able to handle much better.

 

 

I believe this image was taken in Media City UK, just outside of Manchester. The idea behind this image was to capture the coldness of the grey metal buildings and grey flooring, adding a different perspective by shooting from low on the ground and adding a touch of colour and nature with the grass at the foreground, making the grass stand out and allowing for a contrast between nature and man-made environment. Lastly the man walking by blends in tonality with the building making him seem one with the creations of man, contrasting by the very different and natural shapes of nature

 

 

 

A rare occasion in the City of Manchester when it wasn’t too busy. I particularly like all of the vertical lines at the bottom of the image leading your vision upwards to the vertical and horizontal lines of the buildings, directing you to all of the different details of the four different buildings and tram lines. The person at the foreground adds a nice street look in my opining and it balances the weight with the tall buildings at the top left of the image.

 

 

I didn’t have to catch a train this day, however I decided to visit the inside of the station for the first time, the light coming in through the glass windows created a very nice atmosphere and some of the passengers getting out of the train made me think of a movie set, as they walked with purpose, at the same time, other passengers talked to each other happily without worrying about other people around them, so the photos were able to remain candid even though I was taking them from up close (50mm lens).

 

 

One of the photographers I followed on Flickr back in 2012 who’s account I found truly inspiring was a father of 3 little kids/ toddlers, he shot only in black and white would primarily take photos in their garden whilst they played barefoot in the mud or with their white cat, they reflected happiness and freedom, the kids were  able to play freely and the photos looked magical, with movement frozen in highly contrasted and detail cinematic styled photographs. This is a photo that reminded me of the photographer’s style and until that moment had not been able to get a photo like this, partly because I wasn’t around kids or pets often, but also because my camera didn’t have the capabilities necessary, or so I thought, because this photo proves otherwise. Though it would still be difficult to recreate; the ambient light has to be just right and so have the camera settings, as well as being able to get the shot at the right time and with the correct focus point and composition as well as the right angle – shooting from lower down for small to medium animals as well as for toddlers, to be able to see the world from their perspective.

 

 

 

This image was taken during a road trip as we were arriving to Scotland, we were stopping for a rest and some fresh air and these black headed gulls were all sitting next to each other on the railing (in their winter plumage, hence the black spot next to their eye instead of their characteristic summer black head plumage). I slowly approached closely and just as I was about to take a photo, the gull closest to me started to take off as the others watched. Thankfully I was able to capture this moment before they all flew away. This sighting just as we were arriving to Scotland promised to be full of nature and wildlife.

 

 

 

I had been reading a book that told the stories of characters who were around when people lived in these types of castles in Scotland and I actually finished the second book whilst traveling through Scotland, which made it that much more magical and special. The landscape surrounding this particular castle is truly outstanding and it felt like I was taken back to the past depicted in my stories.

 

 

 

This was my first time going to Whitby and we would go once more after this. Both times we went during the Goth Weekend, when people dress up in Gothic clothing that they would carefully search for and collect before the event started, most of them would go every year after that. The landscape and streets of Whitby are a great backdrop to the style of the Goth Weekend and many people really get into character which makes for great modelling, perhaps because they are ‘playing’ a part in a way, they don’t feel like they are their usual selves, and it is easier for them to be more natural in a way.

 

 

The same girl as in the previous photo accompanied by her mother on the left. I have many times thought how great it would be to photograph actors, because of their ability to portray a feeling and make a photoshoot that much more magical and meaningful. I haven’t had the fortune to achieve this goal yet however, moments like this one in the photo have felt really close to what I can imagine it to be like.

 

 

The last photo of these series is one of my first photos taken with my then brand new Full Frame Nikon D600. I remember how excited I was and how much I was able to achieve with the larger sensor and lenses (back then a Tamron 24-105mm f2.8). This is a shot I still love today for its feel and atmospheric quality, I haven’t shot any more steam trains since these Christmas Special trains and I haven seen any other steam trains. In the future, I hope to get a chance to photograph a steam train as its travels by the mountains. There are countless of stunning photos of steam trains and mountains online.

 

 

Some technical information for the photography site savvy:

All of the following photos were still taken with my first DSLR; the Olympus E-620, although I mostly shot with an analogue Zeiss 50mm, which I preferred for its wider aperture number at f1.8 which allowed for taking photos in lower light situations, since this camera doesn’t do well with higher ISO’s than 400. It also meant I was able to get really nice shallow depth of field when at wide apertures. This camera setup was much lighter and easier to use and therefore, much more enjoyable in most situations as it was more versatile thanks to its smaller, lighter frame and its rotating LCD screen. The ease of utilizing such a kit meant I took my camera everywhere and most importantly, I didn’t keep it inside my bag awaiting the perfect moment for a photo, so I didn’t miss out on taking photos or thinking twice about a possible shot, plus I was always viewing the landscape or environment around me in terms of photographic opportunities, no matter the occasion; inside a food or gift shop, on the street as people walked by or when dogs were running towards me, etc. In addition, I knew where all the different settings where in the menu of the camera as it was a lot simpler than my current Nikon Full Frame menu. Fewer buttons meant it was easier to press them without having to look and missing my shot because of this, and it allowed me to concentrate on  composition and the precise moment I wanted to capture instead of having to look at the buttons, it still didn’t have an assigned button for ISO, but then again, neither does my current Nikon D-600.

 

 

Thank you for visiting my Blog and I hope you have enjoyed reading and viewing my photos. Let me know what you have thought of this post in the comment section below. I will see you here again with my next post (Portugal 2012-2013)  hopefully very soon!

 

Estefania Almarte

22nd September 2021

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