Monthly Archives: August 2012

Pebbles in a swirl

This may not be one for the purists but the colours, pattern and energy appeal to me.


Filed under Abstract photos, Colour, Minimalist, Pattern, photography, Shore, Texture, Uncategorized

On the quay

A quay or harbour can be an plentiful source for a photographer with an interest shapes, patterns, textures etc as the selection below illustrate:

Mooring ring

Disused fishing net

Fisherman’s keep box

Lobster pots

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Filed under Colour, Minimalist, Pattern, photography, Sea, Shore, Texture, Uncategorized

‘Summertime, an’ the livin’ is easy’

The echinops are in bloom.  For the bees this is paradise!

Meanwhile, the hoverflies enjoy the origanum.


Filed under Colour, Flowers, Garden, Nature, Pattern, Sunlight, Texture, Uncategorized

From the garden

White Agapanthus

Blue Agapanthus

Water Lily


Filed under Colour, Flowers, Garden, Nature, Pattern, photography, Texture, Uncategorized

Seaweed Doodles

The beach at low tide is a treasure trove for the photographer.  Along the high tide line, fragments of seaweed form natural, abstract patterns.  This is nature ‘doodling’!

In the images below nothing has been added and nothing taken away, other than the sand!  Removing the texture of the sand gives clarity to the design.  A little colour saturation has sometimes been used for artistic purposes.


Filed under Abstract photos, Colour, Minimalist, Nature, Pattern, Sea, Shore, Texture, Uncategorized

Web of spheres

Would you trust this spider to knit a sweater for you?


Filed under Abstract photos, Colour, Minimalist, Nature, Pattern, photography, Texture, Uncategorized

Seaweed at low tide

Interesting patterns comprising contrasting shapes, textures and strong colours can often be found among the wet seaweed at the water’s edge.


Filed under Abstract photos, Colour, Minimalist, Nature, Pattern, photography, Sand, Sea, Shore, Texture, Uncategorized

Driftwood. Poverty or piety?

It is not uncommon to find ‘interesting’ pieces of driftwood that resemble fantasy creature, such as the ‘Ksarmathaurus’ I posted in April.  The image below is of a piece found on the same beach near Agadir in Morocco.  I am fairly sure that it is what remains of a decaying palm trunk, but whatever it is I was attracted by the rather gentle, downcast figure it seemed to suggest.  It could equally be a devout young lady.


Filed under Abstract photos, Imaginings, Minimalist, Nature, Pattern, photography, Texture, Trees, Uncategorized

Abstract 128 revisited

I like this picture, a lot!  In fact, it is one of my favourites.  And yet it was created from a mistake.  I was actually trying to photograph a cobweb, but my little compact was set on Auto and was unable to detect the web.

I tried every Photoshop trick I know (that doesn’t take long!) in an attempt to ‘find the web’, all to no avail.  But then I realised I had something far more interesting.  I zoomed in on part of the image and this abstract was the result.

So what attracted me?  Why do I find this picture so satisfying?

The obvious magnet was the strong contrast between the blues and the golds and the patterns they created.  There seemed to be a tension between the two  –  the calm of the blue and the energy of the gold.  It was something akin to night time on a camp site at a pop festival!

I also felt a spatial awareness  –  a sense of environment.  I could physically move around.

The association with music intrigued me.  I wondered what music might be used to accompany the picture  –  in the manner of film music  –  and acknowledged that the viewer’s perception of the picture could be influenced by the choice of music.  For example, Debussy’s Clair de lune would reinforce the mood of night time stillness; the sinister, threatening mood of an impending attack on an enemy could be suggested by an extract from Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring; a gradual change from the one mood to the other by using Ravel’s Bolero, and so on.

By definition an abstract image does not give specific answers.  It invites the viewer to use whatever connections, experiences or strategies he/she finds helpful.  I’ve suggested a few  –  pattern, contrast, colour, spatial awareness, sense of environment, sound, association with music, emotional response.  Above all, abstracts don’t have to tell a story.

[Use the link to read the responses of Elena and Gigi to the original post:  Abstract 128]


Filed under Abstract photos, Colour, Imaginings, Nature, Pattern, photography, Texture, Trees, Uncategorized

Sea watching

There are few things in life more relaxing, more therapeutic, than the rhythm of the sea, especially on an otherwise deserted shore.

See also At the Water’s Edge 2, At the Water’s Edge 5,


Filed under Minimalist, Nature, Pattern, photography, Sand, Sea, Shore, Sunlight, Texture, Uncategorized

Palm leaf pattern

I enjoy the freshness of the greens, the crispness of the lines and the overall design effect of this random, natural pattern.

See also Lilac leaves pattern


Filed under Abstract photos, Colour, Garden, Minimalist, Nature, Pattern, photography, Texture, Trees, Uncategorized

Rooftop in Rye

Patterns, patterns everywhere.  As we relaxed over a cup of coffee I was attracted by the lichen and moss on the old, weathered tiled roof on the opposite side of the street.  If a roof can be said to have character, here was a perfect example!

See also LichenThe Picture on the wall, Boat Shed Door, Change and Decay: Retired Rudder


Filed under Abstract photos, Colour, Nature, Pattern, Texture, Uncategorized

Dancing grass seeds

I was fascinated by the seed heads of the Stipa dancing daintily in the breeze.

Click the photo for greater detail

See also Grass silhouette, Grasses in the Breeze (2)




Filed under grasses, Minimalist, Nature, Pattern, Texture, Uncategorized

In the garden today

This picture was taken in the garden today: cotinus, lavatera and crocosmia.

See also Crocosmia


Filed under Colour, Flowers, Nature, Pattern, Texture, Uncategorized

Church of St Thomas, Winchelsea (2)

For centuries following the invasions by the French and Spanish, the church fell into a state of serious neglect and disrepair.  The seventeenth century diarist John Evelyn described the ‘forlorn ruins’, and in the early nineteenth century it was described as ‘almost unfit for public worship.  The restoration of the church to its present beautiful condition has almost all been completed within the last 150 years.

Because the church originally formed part (the chancel) of a cathedral-size building, its proportions are consistent with that initial intent.  Most imposing of all are the stained glass windows.  The windows were designed by Douglas Strachan (1875-1950) and were dedicated by the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1933.

Click images to enlarge

The theme is Death and Ressurection

The main theme is the First Death. Adam, the first man, stands over the body of his dead son and shows in his face the agony of the first realisation of death

In the bottom right of the above window, Edward I examines the new church.

In the north and south walls are effigies which, it is believed, were retrieved from the church in Old Winchelsea before it was completely submerged.  They would therefore be more than 700 years old.


Filed under Colour, Pattern, Sunlight, Texture, Uncategorized

Church of St Thomas, Winchelsea

The small, sedate village of Winchelsea is the offspring of what was once a significant port and essential component of the line of ports defending the south coast of England against invasions by the French and Spanish.  They were identified as the Cinque Ports.  Although Rye and Winchelsea were not included in the original five, they became Associate Ports of Hastings to strengthen that port’s resistance.

But during the thirteenth century disaster struck, twice.  In 1250 Old Winchelsea was partly submerged by excessively high tides and in 1287 the town was totally destroyed by further flooding, probably due to subterranean subsidence.  At the same time the estuary silted up.  Winchelsea’s days were done.

But King Edward I wasted no time in rebuilding Winchelsea, this time on higher ground a mile or so inland.  The king ordered plans to be drawn using a grid lay-out, similar to that of the bastides in France.  At the heart there would be a splendid church, built to the highest standards of Gothic design and craftsmanship.  Work on the church began in 1288.

It is obvious from these pictures that the church as it is now is not as it was originally planned.  Three theories have gained support: (i) that the church was never completed (although excavations in the twentieth century indicate that a nave did once exist); (ii) that part of the church was deliberately demolished because of the cost of maintenance and upkeep; (iii) that the destruction was caused by the invading French in 1360 and then, twenty years later, by the Spanish.  Local legend prefers the last of these three explanations although there is little evidence to confirm the belief.

Footnote  The comedian ‘Spike’ Milligan is buried in this churchyard.  He had once quipped that on his gravestone he wanted the epitaph ‘I told you I was ill!’  Sadly, the diocese officials felt that this was inappropriate.  But a compromise was reached.  It was translated into Gaelic, accompanied by the English words ‘Love, Light and Peace.’!!


Filed under Colour, Nature, Sea, Texture, Uncategorized

Abstract 128

Pause for a moment and ask what feelings this image evokes and why.  What aspects of the photo prompt your response?  Are there elements that are particularly evocative?  Are the colours more significant than the shapes?  Are there shapes that suggest links to other experiences?


Filed under Abstract photos, Colour, Imaginings, Nature, Pattern, photography, Sunlight, Texture, Trees, Uncategorized

Just think about it! (12)

‘One is an artist not because one can be but because one must be.’        Arnold Schoenberg

Couldn’t the same be said of musicians, teachers, doctors, priests …..  to mention but a few?


Filed under Just think about it!, Opinions, Quotations, Sayings, Thoughts, Uncategorized

That’s odd!

Some people say these wellies are odd.  I don’t think so  –  I’ve a similar pair in the shed!


Filed under Colour, Minimalist, Pattern, photography, Texture, Uncategorized

The Groynes of Winchelsea

Often when I look at a line of disintegrating and decaying groynes I am intrigued by their resemblance to human beings in appearance.  For example, the posts in the photo below  –  closely related to each other through their original function  – are different heights, varying girth, have individual ‘hair styles’ and distinctive, gnarled personal features.  They could well be characters in an identity parade or, perhaps, children in a playground anxious to be picked by a team captain.

Click to enlarge

This second photo I have titled ‘Meet the Groynes’.  Surely we have here a father, a mother and their three children (of different ages)!

Meet the Groynes

See also Cruel Sea, Winchelsea beach


Filed under Colour, Imaginings, Nature, Pattern, photography, Sand, Shore, Texture, Uncategorized