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B17 The Mighty 8th

387bn LRGWhen I took these images I had always had in mind that they should form part of a set. It has taken me a long time to start processing them. And the processing itself has taken a few weeks; giving time for the style of these images to mature, and for me to be happy with the style and feeling they convey.

With all of my photography the artistic intent takes front stage over everything else, and I aim to present the strongest message I can to the viewer. With my aircraft photography it has always been my intention to be sympathetic to the era in which the aircraft was flown. With these images I also wanted to tell a story. It was very apparent that the story could not be told with just one picture, so a set of images that could be displayed together was required. Through these images I want transport you back to the 1943 European theatre of operations and the Mighty Eight Airforce. And for me nothing does it better than watching the B17 Flying Fortress and listening to 4 P&W radial piston engines growl and purr in unison.

I have selected a set of photographs starting with take off and ending with returning to the airfield. And to transport my imagination and hopefully yours to 1943 I had to play around with the original photographs. Now many people who follow my photography were probably expecting a monochrome conversion, and little grain to give that "olde" world feeling. And I am still tempted by the idea as I write this. For this series I wanted something different, colour film was available in 1943 just not that common. I have processed these a colour set of images complete with faded colours, a slight texture mimicking damage to the film emulsion layer over time, and added a vignette for good measure replicate light fall of at the edge of the frame from less than perfect optics.

The adages " A picture speaks a thousand words" maybe true. However all photographs or any art form is open to interpretation, photographs are created through the photographers lens and should carry his or her message. But our own lens through which we see is filtered by our own experiences so sometimes the message changes when it's read by the viewer. It became very difficult to title the images, as simple phrases alone did not provide enough direction to make the viewer think about the story these photographs represent So the short multimeida show below is accompanied by a few words to make you think about what these photographs and the dedicated enthusiasts who keep these old Warbirds flying.


 B-17 The Mighty 8th Audio Visual Presentation

 


B17 The Mighty 8th A Photographic Tribute - Gallery

 

The Westbay Methodist Church Photography Project

I have visited Westbay a couple of times, and on each visit I thought that there must be something more to the disused church on the beach than first meets the eye. So on my last visit I endeavourd to look a little closer and think a little harder. I was attracted to it's simple beauty, although rundown and unloved the building still had a unique character. I wanted to photograph the building but, it's location made it very difficult, there is a pub across the  road to the right, a shop immediatley in front of it and parked cars tucked in close to it's right hand side. So I wenr in close to focus on the details.

The photographs.

Rather than produce a factual record of the church, I wanted to capture the elements that interested and inspired me leading to this set of photographs. On first inspection the building is rather dull, drab green walls with little interest. The location is great, resting on the edge of the great shingle beach, but photographically uninspiring and due to the proximity of parked cars, shops and the pub challenging. So why bother?

The paint faded by age is exactly how it should be . The grasses beyond the fence overgrown, uncared for, unloved but adding very importantly to the run down face of what had been a very smart Chapel. A pristine white gloss fence, iron stained from rusting nails, scarred with patches of algae. The smart rendered walls once very correct with interlocking geometric lines, now struggle to shine through the weathered render and paint. This is what I saw and wanted to capture. One day when the Chapel is restored it will take on a new character. But now as I see it, it's at its best. Used a texture layer based on the stone walls to connect all the images, destarurated the colours to make more of its already faded facade. Enjoy the Photographs.