St Clair Pier

 Posted by on November 22, 2011  Add comments
Nov 222011
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This place is almost a iconic as the Octagon. Has anyone in Dunedin not photographed the pier?

It was a freezing cold day. I was with Ferg, the meeting had gone well and we needed to get the cameras out. So why not photograph something that works….

But is there an angle on this that hasn't been done. No not really. So what – no one is photographing it here, today , now. There is value in making images which may not be something brand new and original.

So I looked and tried to see the pier with my own eyes. The tide was in far enough that the occasional wave came in all the way. Soon I had wet feet to confirm that!!!

The symmetrical view with the island in the distance didn't really work – probably because that view is less about the water.

With the tide in this far the water dominates the image.

So stand on the sand dune with the tele end of the zoom to compress the view and bring all of the waves into the composition. Nah…

Wide angle end then, and get close to the waves. Wet feet coming again I think.

Looking at the wave patterns I see that the most interesting time is when a bigish wave has come all the way in and is then retreating. So find my spot set up the camera and wait. The process now becomes wait, shoot, wait, shoot until I feel that what there is to capture is captured.

It doesn't always work and sometimes the view on the computer is all rubbish.

It's was cold and time to go.

My picture making process is normally in three phases. 1/3 seeing and thinking about what I'm photographing, 1/3 capture and 1/3 post.

Sometimes the three phases can be days or even weeks apart.

But not this time. I loaded the files straight away onto my iPad. Then I processes in Snapseed, which is a new app produced by the people who make the Nic suite of photoshop plugins. Less than $5 and a no brain must have.

The image seemed to suit the contrasty, gritty style that iPad/iPhone apps do so well. So contrasty desaturated with a dark sepia to go with the old historical feel of the place. Then a texture overlay to bring out the what's there in the waves, the sand and the old timbers. Finally, since we are redoing a cliche, one of those border effects that are becoming a bit too common.


So new and original work? – no.

But does it say what I was thinking and was it fun? – absolutely.

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  4 Responses to “St Clair Pier”

  1. Does it matter if it is not new and original -it is how YOU see and create? AND I LIKE the old fashioned borders and enjoyed doing them in the dark room. So what is wrong with doing them on today’s images? They may be cliches for some, but like movement and blur – “more than one is a style” not a mistake. I think we should create how we enjoy and how we see and how we want to present. Our human brain and creative forces sometimes stump at creating a new “seeing” – how do we find that “new” presentation that hasn’t been done before? Maybe it is the “how we feel” aspect of imagery that gets us there

  2. Hear, hear! to Barbara’s comments Ian, I like what you’ve done because it fits with the image, it adds something valuable to our perception. I think we start to feel effects are clichéd when they are applied without reference to the subject matter or the thoughts behind the work. Most processes used have some basis in analogue techniques so they’ve all been used (and abused) before. I think the key to any of them is subtlety and informed reference.

  3. I think doing things just because they are fun is a perfectly good reason.

  4. Guess you have set down a challenge for me to post my image from the day havent you. There is no such thing as overdone there is always another way to look at something as you have proven here.

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