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Sources of Inspiration – Nighthawks

Nighthawks by Edward Hopper

Nighthawks by Edward Hopper

I have long admired the painting above. It is one of the most iconic paintings of the twentieth century and has been inspiring painters and photographers since it was first seen in 1942. Last night we were at a Beginners and Improvers class with our local camera club – The Beacon Camera Club –  and the talk was about improving your images. Nick Browne who gave the tutorial began by showcasing a number of photographs and paintings that inspired him and I was gratified to see this on the list of twenty that he showed us. It prompted me to take a closer look in this blog. Continue reading


Weekly Photo Challenge – Juxtaposition


Juxtaposition is the act of placing things side by side, especially for the purpose of comparison or contrast. More specifically, it is the placement of things together that are generally complete opposites or the placement of things together to emphasize their differences, more than their similarities. A juxtaposition in a photograph is interesting because it will generally spark an emotion, which can stem from the jarring effect of the contrast between the objects juxtaposed. It is a concept that has fascinated me for donkeys years, since my high school English lessons when I was first introduced to this word, which arguably itself is a juxtaposition when we look at the etymology of the word – from French juxtaposition, from Latin iuxtā (“near”) from Latin iungō (“to join”) + French position (“position”) from Latin pōnō (“to place”). Back in 2010 we did the classic Project 365, (have a look here) where you take a photograph every day and we accompanied it with a “Groovy word of the day” which allowed us to explore our fascination with words. Some words you just like the sound of , such as “poppycock” or the inherent onomatopoeia in a word such as here, “water plops into pond”. Juxtaposition is a word that would definitely feature in our Groovy Word selection!

This week’s Photo Challenge from the Daily Post is juxtaposition and you can check it out here –

In a perfect world we use this challenge to grab a picture in the week that the challenge runs, to force us to shoot something fresh, to challenge us. However, in a dull, wet week in Malvern, I succumbed to referring to an old picture because when we shot the photograph, juxtaposition was the word that jumped out at us, as we grabbed the photograph. We were on holiday in Venice last September and on our wanderings we paused to look at a contemporary art exhibition and the piece in the photograph here was the one that really caught our eye and drew an emotion from us. I was all over this piece like a rash doing my very best Andrew Graham-Dixon impersonation as my arms whirled with enthusiasm, as I aped the animated Andrew at his best. I loved the juxtaposition within the piece itself – the contrast between the uniformly level water which runs through the whole work from left to right, with the er… uniformly uneven shapes  and angles of each water bottle. This juxtaposition made the piece for me and would work wherever this art was displayed. Here though it was displayed hung across a doorway, allowing a view of Venice to act as the backdrop for this canvas. This created a second juxtaposition for me, as we then compared the contemporary art of the piece itself,  with the living art that is the faded grandeur of Venice, as age and water damage, and sunlight create a rich and ever changing texture on the wall of the Carabinieri behind.

To conclude simply, we enjoyed this week’s challenge – it took us back to a great holiday and a photograph that sparked an emotion in us. I hope you enjoy it too.

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Official Fujinon XF 10-24mm F/4 Image Samples

Carnival Mask

Fuji has released some official images for their new XF 10-24mm lens and it is clear to us that they were inspired by our trip to Venice back in September of last year, which you can check out here.

More importantly though here is Venice from a wide angled point of view through the new Fuji lens. Official Fuji images courtesy of Photography Life.