A night out with Antony Gormley

So then, while flatmate, couch-surfer and CT were at judo last night, I went to Crosby Beach and spent about two hours there.1. As visible in the entry just before this one I now have an external flash for my camera. My father donated the one he bought many many years ago to me as he’s now using a compact digital with no hot shoe. It’s a manual flash – that is, the only communication between camera and flash is that release of shutter and firing of flash is synchronized. I have to manually set up the power of the flash light depending on distance from object and aperture & ISO used by the camera.

It was (almost) pitch black as there are no street lights. My head torch desperately needs new batteries and hardly gave any light, so finding the statues at all was a quite fun experience. Because of the darkness I couldn’t see anything whatsoever through the viewfinder2, and, given that the flash only fires on shutter release, autofocus was completely useless, too. So this was really a return to quite old-fashioned photography: Guesstimate or, if doing a more long range shot, pace out distance to object (Yay for Outdoor Education skills!), roughly select lens focal point and the flash settings and then pray a lot.

Given all that I am really, really happy how these turned out, especially as this is the first time I used an external flash, ever. I had only a few that were really badly out of focus. All in all there’s 49, but I cut them down to 20 for this post (plus a bonus empty beach one, at the end). I want to add some of these, as slightly more high-res versions, to the Liverpool gallery soon. With those that are very similar to each other which one is your favourite? I have ideas for titles, but usually need quite long until I am happy with them. Feel free to contribute on that end, as well, please.

You can hover your mouse over some of the images to get some extra explanations (via alt-text) now and then.

The idea here was to have the statue "appear" out of the darkness, as if about to step into the light.


I particularly like that the water flowing past is visible in this one.

Bonus photo of nothing!

Err. Yeah. Flash on maximum power, aperture at 23 and then digitally reducing aperture further.


That reflection ... makes it look as if there actually is an eye?



This was the most involved one of the whole set. I marked the spot I started walking from, toward the statue, to create the trail, then went the long way round to get back to starting point.


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    1. For those that don’t know: Crosby Beach features an installation by Antony Gormley – Another Place (links to wikipedia) – composed of 100 bronze figures facing and, depending on the tide, vanishing in the ocean. []
    2. I am using a Pentax *istDs … too old a model to have fancy things like Live View []