“Pictorial Projected Images” – Competition December 2014

Competition time again!  This curiously named competition has a very unclear brief – those three words (pictorial projected images) seem to embrace images on any topic as long as it can be projected – strange!  It is however distinguished by the smartest trophy the club has – The Edenbrow Pictorial Trophy – which was presented by the founder of the club and thus carries a sort of aura.

Three pictures then, and logically I looked to the sequence of holiday snaps from Brittany, and chose these ……..OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is the interior of a church – “Basilique St Sauveur” – in Dinan.  It was a quite stunning place in which to be, and I like to think that the image captures a little of that, although that might only be the memory that it evokes.  The exposure wasn’t easy given that the interior was actually quite dark, especially in contrast with the brilliant sunlight through the windows, particularly in the sanctuary.  I wound up the ISO and leant hard against a convenient pillar and the result is I think reasonably sharp.  The preacher in me is struck by the light in the pulpit area – theologically one might even be tempted to title the image something like “Word and Sacrament” given the brilliance in sanctuary and pulpit.  Technically I am pleased that there are very few areas where the light is uncontrolled and “blown” …. I wonder slightly if I should have attempted a “portrait” format image to draw in the whole of the sanctuary arch, but that would have given a very different shape to the composition – and anyway I didn’t!


This is Pointe de la Latte (if I read the map correctly), viewed from the headland of Cap Freyel in Northern Brittany.  It was, obviously, a beautiful sunny day, and the power in this image lies in its being made “contra jour” thus silhouetting the eponymous headland.  The sky is big – as indeed it seemed to be – and largely, though not completely empty, and I wouldn’t be willing to crop it.  The sense of its “bigness” and the transition from the blue at the top edge down to the almost white above the horizon are as essential to the mage as they were to the stunning impact of the view on the day.  I was very pleased with the effectiveness of Lightroom in post processing …. and indeed with the camera’s ability to hold detail in the shadows of the foreground.  It’s not actually all that much processed.  Wonderful place to be at that moment – the one reservation being that the coffee shop almost at my left shoulder as I took the picture was closed!


Mt St Michel could I suppose genuinely be described as “iconic” and its overall shape, rising out of the mud flats and tidal salt marsh is certainly photogenic in the extreme.  I made a number of images as we approached it along the causeway, this being one of the earliest.  The light actually improved as the day went on, and there are some with direct sunlight on the buildings.  In the end though I like this for its composition, the foreground being the grasses of the salt marsh and the winding channel; and the cloudy darkness of the sky sets a mood that feels right.  There’s a measure of post processing involved here, particularly in trying to increase the brightness of the buildings against the darkness of the sky and I hope that’s not overdone.  I also made use of Lightroom’s excellent “clarity” tool, and again I hope it’s not overcooked.  Just as a technical footnote – it’s been my usual custom to make holiday pictures as jpegs rather than use Camera Raw, as much as anything else because I can get more on a memory card.  I’m not sure whether I slightly regret that and might rethink it – it’s simply the storage capacity needed to handle a large number of fairly large computer files.  Of course the answer would be to make fewer more carefully set up photographs, but that doesn’t necessarily fit with the holiday ethos and the serious business of being a tourist as well as a photographer!

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