Guy Aubertin Photography http://guyaubertin.com UK photographer specialising in landscape, wedding and family portraiture Mon, 25 May 2015 22:41:39 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 The MoonWalk London 2015http://guyaubertin.com/the-moonwalk-london-2015.htm http://guyaubertin.com/the-moonwalk-london-2015.htm#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 17:27:14 +0000 http://guyaubertin.com/?p=54806 Stars sparkled at The MoonWalk London, as 15,000 women and men Power Walked through the Capital City at Midnight in decorated bras, raising money and awareness for breast cancer.

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I have been photographing The MoonWalk London for almost 10 years now. This year in particular was especially sparkly, glitzy and bright! The weather was kind and the walkers had smiles right through the night. The decorated bras were incredible!! I always love how the natural loudness of the start line slowly quietens as the route uncoils. I usually head back to MoonWalk City once I have visited the half way point. At that junction, the sound is “pad, pad, swish, chatter” – walkers busy focusing on the miles ahead. That slow steady climb up and back towards Clapham revealed a pink tent bathed in a crisp spring morning. The light was sublime. Smiles and laughter. Also tears. Some for joy on completing, some for sadness for ones who couldn’t be there. It was a most amazing MoonWalk London.

Some of my favourite images are below (On a mobile? Rotate to landscape and click on the images to enlarge)

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Creating without a care for failurehttp://guyaubertin.com/creating-without-a-care-for-failure.htm http://guyaubertin.com/creating-without-a-care-for-failure.htm#comments Wed, 13 May 2015 16:11:01 +0000 http://guyaubertin.com/?p=50757 Creative failure placed out of sight. I don't show anyone. I have nothing to be ashamed of. Furtively hiding these away. Only the best reserved for public viewing. Where did this come from?

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This doesn’t just concern photographers – it’s something we all have to contend with.

My daughter was painting on a huge piece of paper, taped to the kitchen floor. Completely absorbed in what she was doing. Just letting her imagination guide her hand. A sun and flower appeared. The sun became a castle. “Can I have some sparkles to use as rain” she asked. There was no doubt in her mind. No worry about what others might think. No concern about failure.

Basking in our successes we discard the images that don’t work. Forever to languish “un-rated,” – no star, number or colour applied. Deleted. Sheets of film that fail the lightbox test; kept in the “box of shame.” Binned. Creative failure placed out of sight. I don’t show anyone. I have nothing to be ashamed of. Furtively hiding these away. Only the best reserved for public viewing. Where did this come from?

 

Curving, Horsell Common

Curving, Horsell Common (Pentax 645z FA45-85mm)

Out on the hunt again. Full of optimism and glee. A certain location to visit. An old favourite perhaps. A project to continue. Maybe something new? I have the inside edge. It is “the” spot. The light looks amazing. The weather is what I ordered. Stalking the image, caressing it into shape. I feel good…optimistic. Pouring oneself into that moment. Ignoring the “successes.” Forgetting the ones that got away. Dismissing those unloved failures. Shutter released. That’s it!

It begins. That curse – the digital preview. That anxiety – it’s film, I have to wait. Standing, focusing on what is in front of you. The eyes go slack and my mind wanders. That “in the moment” moment lost.

That voice; doubt, Insecurity. Infuriating.

“How about over there” the voice whispers. So softly. “It wont take a minute” so soothingly said. “Have a look? You don’t want a failure do you?”

The other voice counters; now rational, logical. Still Infuriating!

“Failures are a guide for future successes.” “Learn from your mistakes.” “Relax and enjoy the moment,”

Shut-up Yoda!

IMG_1474

“It’s a castle and a flower, Daddy”

But that’s the problem. It’s easy to say that I aim for calm. Or search for silence. Sometimes, I just can’t help but think that I am creating failures. Sometimes, it’s hard to create without the words entering my mind “what will others think?” I often wonder if winning competitions, holding exhibitions or gaining some moderate success comes with a price? That nagging need to keep achieving. Keep creating.

In the end my question is this: why do we loose that ability we all had as children…to create without care?


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The pursuit of silencehttp://guyaubertin.com/the-pursuit-of-silence.htm http://guyaubertin.com/the-pursuit-of-silence.htm#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 16:52:31 +0000 http://guyaubertin.com/?p=46839 My photography practice is driven by the need for quiet. An escape from the frenetic pace of life. A moment in time to step back and become absorbed.The act of creating, a balm to the soul.

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My photography is driven by the need for silence. So rare and endangered. An escape from the frenetic pace of life. A moment in time to step back and become absorbed.The act of creating is a balm to my soul.

Mentally untangling what nature presents. Working hard to flow with the rivulets of rain. Creating order out of chaotic trees. Balancing the many varied colours of green. Watching as clouds float by. Hoping for light. Wishing for weather.

The slow methodical unpacking of the camera. Selecting a lens to match the subject. Choices of technical details already subconsciously made.

Welcoming the solitude. Embracing it. Subject, light and soul combining. Committing a part of myself to the image.

Packing the bag down. Slowly. Savouring.

Driving home. Coming to the surface again. Tension returning, though softer now. Will “it” convey what I thought? Will “it” evoke something…

Often disappointment follows the first viewing. I walk away. Irritated. Sad. This is just part of the process. I know how it goes. Leave it be.

Returning days later and ever so slowly uncovering the image. Gently tuning it. Remembering the moment. Regaining the quiet. The solitude.

Spring Carpet

Spring Carpet (Pentax 645z 120mm FA)

“Solitude is a glade close-pressed by trees – great thick clouds of tress, leaf-rippled by the warm air. It is the hum of summer insects, the slow pendulum swing of a silk-held caterpillar, the beckoning of a fern frond. And a deer in the dappled green shadows, eyes half closed and jaws moving at the cud, ears turning to catch the hushed whispers of warning from the wood. True solitude is not loneliness. It is a great oneness.” – The Shining Levels John Wyatt, Norman Ackroyd

Quiet GladeQuiet Glade (Pentax 645z 35mm A)

Let me know if this resonates with you and your creative work?


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Isle of Skye with the Pentax 645zhttp://guyaubertin.com/isle-of-skye-with-the-pentax-645z.htm http://guyaubertin.com/isle-of-skye-with-the-pentax-645z.htm#comments Thu, 30 Apr 2015 17:34:15 +0000 http://guyaubertin.com/?p=46199 I became that slow annoying bumbling driver that all the locals hate. Slowly chugging my way around the Isle. My mind miles away from the tarmac in front and firmly over on the horizon. I tracked the sky for days. Up Up and Up went my eyes. Drifting.

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I visited the Isle of Skye back in November. It was a revelatory experience. Not only was it my first “proper” use of the Pentax 645z,  it coincided with a change in the direction of my work.  I have thought long and hard how best to distil the experience. Not just for a photographer but anyone who is driven by the need to create. Or those who would like to visually gorge on the beauty of Skye!

[All the images can be made bigger by clicking on them. If you are on a mobile it also works…just rotate to landscape.]

Isle of Canna, Sunset, Pentax 645z
Isle of Canna, Sunset (Pentax 645z 200mm FA)

As wonderful as the Pentax 645z is for landscape photographers it seems churlish just discussing its merits when faced with the overwhelming beauty of the Isle. 9 days in my small bothy became a slowing down and letting go. I had a routine of sorts… it revolved around just being out.

Scattered light, Isle of Skye, Pentax 645z

Scattered light, Isle of Skye (Pentax 645z 200mm FA)

Up early enough for an enormous cooked breakfast before heading out with a flask of coffee and some snacks for the day. My car loaded with gear, clothing and books. I had time to be and there was nothing better than pitching up somewhere, sitting down and reading..

Autumn Sunrise, Trotternish Ridge, Pentax 645z

Autumn Sunrise, Trotternish Ridge (pentax 45-85mm FA)

I made an image when it suited. I wasn’t in a rush. It was very Zen. I would pick and choose where to go based on the weather and the time of day. When the light faded I would make my way home, eat, read and go to bed. Rinse and repeat.

Cloud Bank, Isle of Skye

Cloud Bank, Isle of Skye (Pentax 645z 85-160mm A)

At this time of year the vegetation is sparse. Consequently you are pushed to look elsewhere to help shape an image. Weather is certainly a major feature here and one of the reasons I love the place. Yet even that remained for the most part frustratingly (and unusually) dry, bright and blue.

Neist Point Sunset, Isle of Skye

 Neist Point Sunset, Isle of Skye (Pentax 645z 45-85FA)

I was entranced, as corny as it sounds, by the sky. I spent hours sat on my own gazing up at it. Letting my mind wander as the clouds ebbed and flowed. Scattered light. Shafts of brilliance. It mesmerised me.

I became that annoying bumbling driver that all the locals hate. Slowly chugging my way around the Isle. My mind generally far from tarmac in front and firmly over on the horizon. I tracked the sky for days. Up Up and Up went my eyes. Drifting.

To and Fro, Talisker Beach, Pentax 645z

To and Fro, Talisker Beach (Pentax 645z 85-160mmA)

Then on the last afternoon on my last day I stood overlooking a particular bay. The light faded and realised that an hour had passed and I had not made an image. It occurred to me then that I was blessed with the enjoyment that I get from landscape photography.

Layers of sky, Isles of Skye, Pentax 645z

 Layers of sky, Isles of Skye (Pentax 645z 200mm FA)

That taking an image was truly only part of just actually being there. Being able to bare witness to the overwhelming beauty of the world around us was perhaps more than enough.

Isle of Rum, Sunset, Pentax 645z

 Isle of Rum, Sunset (Pentax 645z 80-160A)

My review? I have nothing more to say about the camera. It just works. It is more camera than I will ever need and I have no more GAS in the tank. If you are on the fence..push yourself over it. Many of the observations from my initial review remain.

 

Fairy Pools

Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye (Pentax 645z 45-85FA)

Robust, tactile, large (ish,) easy to use. Scottish weather resistant, ergonomic and a delight to use. There is something wonderful about using those large medium format lenses. The gnarled focus rings. Solid metal construction. It got to a point when simply opening the camera bag became part of the process of making an image. I was excited to use it. I enjoyed using it. It never let me down. I dropped it, banged it, got it wet and treated it without kid gloves.

Sligachan Falls

Sligachan Falls (Pentax 645z 45-85FA)

Part of my reason for using it is the native 4:3 format. I prefer to compose in a vertical orientation. I read so many photographers capturing vertical images on 3:2 and then cropping to 5:4. 3:2 verticals just seem so stretched to me – especially with wide angle lenses. Perhaps it’s a hangover from my Large Format days but the Pentax 645z natively gets me into the zone.

Big Sky, Isle of Skye, Pentax 645z

Big Sky, Isle of Skye (Pentax 645z 35mm A)

Sometimes a piece of kit pushes us into a new direction and the Pentax 645z has certainly done that for me. I can’t quite my finger on why. Maybe it’s the files and how they render colour. Beautiful layer upon layer of subtle tones.

Dreaming, Isle of Skye

 Dreaming, Isle of Skye (Pentax 645z 200mm FA)

Whatever the reason I felt content as I closed my bag and put away the Pentax 645z. Rain was forecast for the long journey south. At last.

 

Winter afternoon, Isle of Skye

Winter afternoon, Isle of Skye (Pentax 645z 200mm FA)

 Importantly, I knew a little place that might just work…

Winter Storm Glen Coe

 Winter Storm, Glen Coe (Pentax 645z 35mmA)

Let me know if you have ever been to the Isle of Skye and what it means to you. Lastly, many of the images featured here are available as beautiful fine art prints


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Into the blue – seeking calm through photographyhttp://guyaubertin.com/into-the-blue-seeking-calm.htm http://guyaubertin.com/into-the-blue-seeking-calm.htm#comments Thu, 30 Apr 2015 15:43:22 +0000 http://guyaubertin.com/?p=46164 I find landscape photography a tremendous way to reach calmness. The field at the back of my house is a beautiful oasis in a sea of urban expansion. It is however rather bland. Day time images are spectacularly dull. Night time however is a different matter.

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Without wishing to sound pretentious, I find landscape photography a tremendous way to reach calmness. At this time of year the other part of my life, fundraising for breast cancer charity Walk the Walk becomes all consuming. In a good way. Finding time / ways to wind down becomes very important. Some choose alcohol or sport. I choose photography. Occasionally all 3!

Switching the brain from its frenetic random jumping around is something I am also exploring with mindfulness. Meditation to you and me. I’ve practised it on and off for years. That practice has recently begun again. Yet I find that photography works better and quicker.

Looking for an image requires a focus on creativity and it is wonderfully all consuming.At times this process can be frustrating, even infuriating. On my trips away it can also be exhausting. The initial energy of the first few days fades so that by day 3 I’m often over saturated with trying to be creative.

Nevertheless when I need to seek calm I only have to look outside and see what the light is doing.

Into the blue - Landscape photography with the Pentax 645z

 

The field at the back of my house is a beautiful oasis in a sea of urban expansion. Day time images are unfortunately spectacularly dull. Night time however is a different matter.

Last night at the end of a wonderful if long day I noticed the sky turning a delicious blue. It reminded me of the ocean and I had an overwhelming urge to seek that calm.

Sunset has happened some 40 minutes before but as the nights get longer that transition from sun to night seems to stretch-out.There was a hint of colour in the west and Venus had started its slow procession across the sky.

For 20 minutes or more I bumbled around in the darkness looking for a composition. Proving that no matter how many times you visit a location there is always a new way of looking at things.

I had always approached the image here with a much wider view. The currently bare tree however was entrancing and seemed to reach up into the blue. It cried out for separation against the silhouettes behind.

Down on my knees I went and the beautifully cantilevered screen on the back of the Pentax 645Z came into its own. Fortunately the tree was backlit with the last rays of light and I was able to find focus.

I took two images 10 minutes apart. I have to say that I am not a fan of long exposures over water but long (well 10 seconds) exposures at night help to give a depth to the colour that our eyes just couldn’t see.

I walked back to the house with a smile on my face and my shoulders feeling much less tense.

[Tech: Pentax 645z FA45-80MM F8 10 Sec ISO 100]

A few more images from the field

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The Arctic Marathon 2015http://guyaubertin.com/the-arctic-marathon-2015.htm http://guyaubertin.com/the-arctic-marathon-2015.htm#comments Thu, 12 Mar 2015 12:40:21 +0000 http://guyaubertin.com/?p=36983 The goal was to back country ski a full marathon over 2 days through the Arctic wilderness, raising money and awareness for Walk the Walk. It was quite a challenge!

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The Arctic marathon for Walk the Walk has left an indelible impression on my mind.  Our 42 km trek through the Arctic wilderness was both magnificent and overwhelming.

I couldn’t ski
I fell over quite a bit
I got up a lot more
It went down to -18
I got very hot
I had to photograph as well
It was the hardest assignment yet
I watched in awe as 23 fantastic fundraisers do something amazing
I had a few bruises
I have some amazing memories
And most importantly I have the images to prove they did it

I shall always remember the moment my water bottle rolled downhill…followed shortly afterwards by one of my ski’s!

Here are some of my favourite images from five days spent in the north of Sweden. The rest are here and are available for sale

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Soft light, Black Mountainshttp://guyaubertin.com/soft-light-black-mountains.htm http://guyaubertin.com/soft-light-black-mountains.htm#comments Sat, 21 Feb 2015 08:52:20 +0000 http://guyaubertin.com/?p=33891 The ebb and flow of clouds around snow covered peaks. Lit by the rays of the last light of the sun. It sounds poetic. Standing and watching it unfold, it was

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The ebb and flow of clouds around the snow covered peaks of the Black Mountains. Lit by the rays of the last light of the sun. It sounds poetic. Standing and watching it unfold, it was.

Soft Light, Black Mountains~click to see larger~

[Tech – taken with a Pentax 645z, FA 45-85mm, ISO 160 F13 1/15]

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Sunburst, Glen Etivehttp://guyaubertin.com/sunburst-glen-etive.htm http://guyaubertin.com/sunburst-glen-etive.htm#comments Sat, 14 Feb 2015 16:25:09 +0000 http://guyaubertin.com/?p=32599 I was roaring, screaming and laughing as the wind raced up Glen Etive. Yet another dollop of hard ice pushed its way into my face. The smile turned into a rictus grin. Whether it was from being cold or just totally present, it is hard to say.

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Glen Etive, that beguiling place. Full of atmosphere, weather and emotion. Turned into something spiritual with the large amounts of freshly dropped snow.

I was roaring, screaming and laughing as the wind raced up Glen Etive. Yet another dollop of hard ice pushed its way into my face. The smile turned into a rictus grin. Whether it was from being cold or just totally present, it is hard to say.

Seldom am I totally connected on what I am photographing. There’s always something tickling away at the back of my mind. Not at that moment. I wasn’t just “reporting” what I was seeing; I had no choice but to live it.

The sun burst out from behind the snow clouds and my jaw dropped. Tendrils of snow, whipped up on the wind lit the mountains peak. My whooping got louder.

Sunburst, Glen Etive~click to see larger~

[Tech – taken with a Pentax 645z, FA 45-85mm, ISO 160 F13 1/320]

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Sage Calendar Raises £2705!http://guyaubertin.com/sage-calendar-raises-2705.htm http://guyaubertin.com/sage-calendar-raises-2705.htm#comments Sat, 14 Feb 2015 13:34:34 +0000 http://guyaubertin.com/?p=32559 I had the pleasure of working with Aly and Sage to create a calendar that involved all of Sage's friends. £2705 was raised through people buying the calendar and the wonderful sponsors that were involved.

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An amazing amount of money is donated to Labrador Lifeline

I had the pleasure of working with Aly and Sage to create a calendar that involved all of Sage’s friends. £2705 was raised for Labrador Lifeline through people buying the calendar and the wonderful sponsors that were involved. The cheque giving took place at the Camberley branch of Natural Instinct and Eagle Radio were there to do a live outside broadcast for several hours. Fortunately many of the stars from the calendar were on hand to help celebrate. Along with a number of Sage’s very special friends. Needless to say gentle chaos ensued!

All the images can be viewed here

Well done to “everpawdy” – as Sage would say!

01_Sage 03_SageLL_P0029 06_SageLL_P0029 07_SageLL_P0029 11_SageLL_P0029 14_SageLL_P0029 16_SageLL_P0029 17_SageLL_P0029 22_SageLL_P0029

Can I photograph you?

I have a passion for relaxed portraits of you, your family and perhaps your favourite pet! Prices start at just £99 for a photo session – find out more here

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In the footsteps of giants – Buachaille Etive Morhttp://guyaubertin.com/footsteps-giants-buachaille-etive-mor.htm http://guyaubertin.com/footsteps-giants-buachaille-etive-mor.htm#comments Sat, 07 Feb 2015 08:42:47 +0000 http://guyaubertin.com/?p=31273 The Buachaille is quite possibly the most photographed mountain in Scotland. Next to the A82 as you trundle through Glen Coe, your eye is constantly drawn to it. It dominates the landscape around... streams head towards it, weather floats around and over it, sunlight bounces off it.

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The Buachaille, WInter Dawn

~click to see larger~

This mountain is quite possibly the most photographed in Scotland. Next to the A82 as you trundle through Glen Coe, your eye is constantly drawn to it. It dominates the landscape around… streams head towards it, weather floats around and over it, sunlight bounces off it.

I have been avoiding photographing it for years.

All my visits to this area I have pointed my camera elsewhere. Purposely away from it or if I do have to include it then it becomes a small part of the frame. Why? Because it’s so damn popular that you feel that all the images have been taken before. In my my mind another shot of the Buachaille is not required!

Yet that beautiful crisp winter dawn I found my tripod in all too familiar position. I just couldn’t help myself. Honest

Snow, ice and that beautiful curve in the water. When a touch of pink lit the sky behind me and was reflected in the dark water….I felt like a kid in a sweet shop.

So this is only image of the Buachaille from me that you will see. Promise.

But can you blame me?!

[Photographed with a Pentax 645z, SMC Pentax-A 645 35mm F3.5, f16 1/2 sec. Soft 0.6 ND grad across the sky]

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