Friday, April 25, 2008

Pictures of the Bay

These are the four photos I've picked out to submit to the competition marking twenty years of the nature reserve on the Bay of St Brieuc. I'm not sure what the rules are about publishing stuff first but no one's likely to see this, and I don't stand a chance anyway; there'll be people with fantastic eyes who got up at the crack of dawn with fantastic light and fantastic cameras with fantastic lenses to capture shots of flocks of rare birds doing fantastic things ...

I left it late to go there, just a few days ago and the deadline is the end of the month. It was a lovely trip anyway, not least because spring is quite a lot further advanced on the Hillion peninsular than it is up here, and the lanes and gardens were foaming with leaves and blossoms. It was quite a fine day, but still quite hazy with mist, and everything was very flat. A few little sandpipers twittered past, there was the odd egret in the distance, but clearly bird photography was not going to be the thing to do. So I went for simplicity and humble subjects. This was my final cut, though I'm not quite certain even now it's the right one, so I won't publish any of the others in case any of you say ' Oh you should have chosen that one instead!'

The categories were:

Human activity: this is one of the vehicles that collects the mussels from the mussel beds at low tide.


Fauna: I told you I was sticking with the small and humble didin't I?


Flora: likewise. Otherwise it was yellow wallflowers or thrift, and none of them came out very well. I liked the spareness of this, it echoed the forms of the umbrella pines on the cliff edges, but couldn't be lined up in such a way as to reflect this. There is a backdrop which shows clearly where it is too.


Landscape: difficult to decide whether this was landscape or human activity, but landscapes without any human reference points or activity in them looked a little empty. The sepia is perhaps a cliché, but it does make the scene kind of timeless, and black and white was a bit too cold.

They say they'll display the winning four; a photo exhibition of just four pictures seems to me rather small, so whether they'll mount any exhibition of other submissions I don't know. It was nice to make the prints, to have something concrete to hold and show, and they didn't look bad, the colours in the rock and lichen in the snail one came out well. Worth going to the trouble , really.

24 comments:

Dick said...

They're fabulous, Lucy, particularly the last one. Surely they'll display all the finalists from Commended to Winner. Bonne chance...

marja-leena said...

They are all fantastic, not sure which is my favourite. It's a different and satisfying feeling making a print of them, isn't it? Good luck!

Jean said...

I like them all - the first one most, I think. Wish I could see the prints. I think it's a really good thing to get used to putting your work out there and experiencing (as you probably will in time if you keep on doing so) every shade of rejection and commendation, so these cease to be the point. Good luck!

Dave King said...

Hi, I just hope you do get some success with your entries. They deserve some recognition. I particularly liked the middle two. A lot of good things to be said about them both.

Julia said...

I keep coming back to Fauna. I like the way the shell works with the pied rocks - taking the randomness of their splashes and forcing them into design through its own pattern.

Zephyr said...

These are all very evocative...beautiful. i like the sepia on the last one. Sometimes i like to make an image warm-silvery instead of black and white or cool-silvery, which makes it a smidge different than sepia for a welcome change from straight black and white....but I do not think using sepia is cliche at all with that image...not at all.

Well done, Lucy! They are deserving of ribbons and exhibition!

Mike said...

I like them all, but I love the last one. And I don't think the sepia is cliche at all. It goes very well with that last picture.

Zhoen said...

Sorry, none are slick or trite enough to win.

I hope they do see how lovely these are, and choose them, though. They deserve a place where everyone can admire them.

Lucy said...

You are all so nice! I know I'll always get confetti here.

The exercise was fun anyway.

julie said...

Not much I can add that hasn't been said, but they're fabulous, and I'll be very surprised if you don't win something.

HLiza said...

They are all fantastic! Good luck..I can't pick a favourite..I love them all. Hey..you don't have to win to know that you had done a splendid job. You're already a winner..

Rosie said...

it is especially lovely for me to see the place that I walk so often shown in all its beauty. I'm so glad that you caught the horse and driver, because they are such a special part of the place. Tell me when you win and I'll come and drink champagne with you!

Lucy said...

Thank you J, Hl and R!

Interesting though, how everybody likes different ones best, so it's really very subjective.

Rosie, we'll have to go again very soon! The prize is vouchers to spend on stuff in camera shops, where I don't think they sell champagne, but in the extrememly unlikely event of my winning, I'll treat you to champagne anyway!

jzr said...

These are really lovely, Lucy! I like small, humble images and spare landscapes. All of these images are appealing to me. Hope you win a prize. These are all worthy of recognition.

Jules said...

Nice job Lucy. They all look good, but I'm going to vote for the last one. The horse and cart, and the cows in the field make the picture look very old world.

MB said...

I actually found myself preferring the next in the series each time, and then going back and realizing I really like them all for entirely different reasons. The last one, of course, gives a recognizably specific sense of place. I don't necessarily think that makes it a better photo, but I wonder if it'll be the sort of thing they're looking for? One never knows, I suppose, til seeing the results. Good luck!

Reluctant Blogger said...

I like the last one best too. Good luck.

Where I used to live was twinned with St Brieuc. Well, I assume it is the same place anyway. Not that I ever went to the twin town but a lot of people did.

Plutarch said...

I had to look over them again. The last one appeals especially, and the snail! They win my vote.

Beth said...

Good luck, Lucy - these are all winners in my book! I especially like the snail - how perfect it would have been for the current qarrtsiluni theme, too. I hope the judges will like these as much as your readers obviously do.

Lucy said...

Thanks again, all this praise is prize enough!

RB - that would have been Aberystwyth then... it's not an inappropriate twinning, except no one in St Brieuc speaks Breton, and people in A. do speak Welsh. Some of my students have visited Aber.

Joe - I think the snail's my favourite too, I do love a spiral!

Lucy said...

Beth - you sneaked in! Yes, it certainly is nature in the cracks, which was such a splendid and compelling theme, once you start seeing it you see it everywhere. I found a whole little colony of those big Roman snails in a collectoin of rocks in the garden today, too.

Reluctant Blogger said...

Yes Aberystwyth. One of my friends recently had a party over from St Brieuc to stay with her. But yeah - Welsh is spoken very widely in Aber - most of the village schools are Welsh medium.
the person who bought my house when I moved was working on an EU funded project (Mercator) looking at the minority languages of the EU, including Breton. I presume there are very few native speakers left?

Lucy said...

They're were never many in this eastern part of Brittany, where they always spoke a kind of old Gallic French patois. The French state has the worst record in Europe on minority languages, but there are Breton medium schools (Diwan)further west, which have a certain following, and some of the older people still speak it there. However, globalisation and the media has done what years of cultural oppression and suppression couldn't, and without the very pro-active use of it in local government and favouring of it in the job market that you have in Wales, which has created an educated middle-class who see it as desirable for their kids even when they themselves don't speak it, it is fading away, I think. I'm sure this isn't the whole story, but something of my perception of it.

apprentice said...

Yes good luck with these. I like them all too, but I think the last one is my fav - life seems stacked up on every level.