The Peaceful Atmosphere of Abandonment

The theme of our latest photo contest, “Deserted Places,” was ideal for 29-year-old French photographer Romain Thiery whose image “Villa Romantica” was awarded third place.

Romain Thiery Photographer

 

“South West France in a region full of history,” says Romain. “I started photographing my region’s forgotten legacy following the photography work of my mother. Since 2009 I became professional and specialized in abandoned heritage photography all over Europe. I started exploring abandoned places with my camera and soon became fascinated by those unusual places, forgotten by all, empty and out of time. My main art purpose is to capture the peaceful atmosphere of abandonment and perfectly show the mood, the texture and the light of places people are no longer attracted to. I dive into these spaces that everyone believes are empty and I will stroll for hours, trying to offer a universal and forgotten vision which is majestically renewed. Currently living in Montpellier, South East France, I am now exploring the rest of the world and still looking for abandoned places. My images are now exhibited in France and America and they have also been published in many magazines.”

 “Romain entered a number of impressive images,” comments Roger Driscoll, owner of the Alverton Gallery and joint host of the contest. “However the twisted tree forming the central focus of ‘Villa Romantica’ made the image a standout top three choice.”

“Villa Romantica is an abandoned villa in Italy,” Romain explains “It has been  abandoned for a very long time and nature reclaimed its space inside the building. The villa is very close to a small village, lost in the fields and totally surrounded by high trees and plants growing under the walls. It was quite hard to find it. I really like the way nature reclaimed here and how the tree has grown. Unfortunately I can’t find out anything about the villa and to recover traces of the history. I can imagine it was a large farmer’s family because this villa retains traces of a past grandeur (large rooms and stairs), even though most of the frescoes and paintings have been stolen in the past few years.”

For “Villa Romantica” Romain used a Sony A6000 with a 10-18mm wide-angle Sony lens. This is his preferred combination when  capturing the peaceful atmosphere of abandoned buildings. 

A framed and mounted print of Villa Romantica will be exhibited at the Alverton Gallery, Penzance, Cornwall UK during October 2017 along with the first and second prizes in the gallery’s “Deserted Places” competition.

For further examples of Romain’s work please check out his website and social media:

Website: www.romainthiery.fr 


Pushing the Boundaries

Finnish photographer Janne Kahila always strives to push the boundaries when discovering that perfect landscape shot. Janne’s determined approach earned him much praise from the judges of the Alverton Penzance Photographic Competition as well as second prize in their recent “Deserted Places” contest for his image “Tilted in Time.”

Janne Kahila Photographer

 

“By day I work as a solution consultant in a cool software company,” says Janne. “But I’m also a keen traveller and passionate photographer. I spend most of my holidays searching for new fascinating locations to travel to and my spare time is spent editing the photos I have taken from these trips. Lately I’ve been mostly exploring the northern Europe like Scotland, Faroe Islands and especially Norway, which is my favorite due to its great mountains and proximity to Finland.

“My technical day-job and photography go surprisingly well together as my analytical mindset and meticulous touch come handy in both fields. I’m self-taught and over the years I have developed my own techniques both in the field and in post-processing that have carved my style into what it is today. Characterised by the attention to details and technical variety, I really enjoy discovering new challenging methods that help me in achieving my vision. Another side of photography that drives my passion forward are the great vistas and memorable travels that inspire me to push my skills and vision further. I love wandering outdoors and climbing the mountains to reach for even better landscapes. I’m constantly trying to improve my skills by exploring new tricks and techniques in search for the perfect photograph.”

Janne Kahila Photography

“It’s difficult to imagine a more compelling subject for abandoned places photography,” comments Roger Driscoll, owner of the Alverton Gallery and joint host of the contest. “Janne tells me that the photo features  an old abandoned sauna building, that was built on top of a small rock. Now the sauna is severely tilted and worn over time and looks quite forlorn. If anyone were to try to enter, it would probably fall over.”

Janne Kahila Photography

 

“I shoot with Canon gear ,” Janne explains. “My camera being the old but trustworthy 6D that has seen many places and performed well. Other essentials in my kit are a sturdy (but light) Velbon tripod and a good set of ND and GND filters. I have a special interest in ultra-wide angle images, which is why my go-to lens that I use 90% of the time is the 16-35mm f/2.8 II from Canon. But I often want to go even wider so I have started taking panoramas extensively which is currently my main niche I try to master. Going ultra-wide opens up new photographic possibilities and I also like the challenge in it – it’s not easy producing a natural looking perspective when going above 180 degrees’ field of view while simultaneously combining exposures to keep the dynamic range in order. The greater the challenge the greater the reward!”

A framed and mounted print of Tilted in Time will be exhibited at the Alverton Gallery, Penzance, Cornwall UK during October 2017 along with the first and third prizes in the gallery’s “Deserted Places” competition.

For further examples of Janne’s work please check out his website and social media:

Website: www.jkahilaphotography.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/jkahilaphotography

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jkahilaphotography

 


The best photos can be right there on your doorstep

Many serious photographers will travel hundreds of miles for that perfect picture. However the best photos can often be found only a short walk or drive from home. Lucie Averill admits to being more fortunate than some in terms of her location, a factor no doubt borne in mind by the judges of the Alverton Penzance Photographic Competition when they awarded her  second prize in their recent “Month of May” contest for her  image “Celebration.” In addition Lucie was awarded an Honourable Mention for “Spring Cliffs.”

 

“I have lived in West Cornwall for 30 years,” says Lucie. “And much of my work is a direct response to the landscape around me. Over the years I have revisited a number of locations close to home that hold a particular resonance for me and I am fascinated by the way the changing seasons, weather and light continually redefine a familiar place. Often I am out early in the morning and after the sun has set. I find shooting before sunrise and after sunset results in longer exposures – smoothing the water or blurring the clouds in a more abstract and painterly way. Often the colours are more subtle and enable me to create a sense of place rather than purely a reality image.”

“We all try for those perfect sunrise and sunset shots,” comments Roger Driscoll, owner of the Alverton Gallery and joint host of the contest. “Lucie produces stunning images on an almost daily basis. Am I jealous? Yes!”

The Penzance to Scilly ferry forms the story behind Lucie’s Silver Award-winning entry. “My firework image shows the celebrations of the 40th anniversary of the Scillonian III,” she says. “It was taken after sunset and a 1.6 second shutter speed captured the colours of the sparks, the reflections on the boats in the foreground and the illuminated Scillonian III in the background. In my image of the thrift along the cliffs at Godrevy Lighthouse, a 20 second exposure enabled me to highlight the flowers and also slow down and smooth the water so it became more glass-like.”

Lucie Averill Photographer Cornwall

For further examples of Lucie’s work please check out her social media:

Instagram  lucie_averill

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lucieaverillphotography


The Difference Between a Hiker with a Camera and a Serious Photographer

What’s the difference between a hiker with a camera and a serious photographer? Perhaps for the former there’s a greater element of chance whereas for the latter each visit to the great outdoors counts as a photographic expedition. Either way there can be no guarantee of success. Nigel Waters can’t be quite sure which category he falls into, but the judges of the Alverton Penzance Photographic Competition made up their minds when they awarded him first prize in their recent “Month of May” contest for his image “St Nectan’s Glen.”

Nigel Waters Photographer

 

“My full-time job is an Engineering Manager in the Automotive industry but my passion is nature and the great outdoors,” says Nigel. “I’ve always been into photography for as long as I can remember but I have only really started taking it seriously over the last couple of years.  I love the great outdoors and have spent many years hiking up and down mountains all over the county where most family and friends just thought I was bonkers when I tried to explain how magical and rewarding it can be.  I used to try and capture the moments on a camera phone to explain show people how amazing it can be but I found I needed more than what a phone could offer so I decided to start taking my DSLR and it evolved from there.  My influences are the likes of Bruce Percy, Elia Locardi and also Thomas Heaton who I think is a great inspiration for a new generation of landscape photographers via his Vlogs.  My own photography has evolved over time and although not always possible I love to be out in the harsh weather to capture the drama and that’s where my true passion is for both Landscapes and Seascapes.”

“St Nectan’s Glen is one of those iconic Cornish locations,” comments Roger Driscoll, owner of the Alverton Gallery and joint host of the contest. “I love the area around Boscastle and Rocky Valley. As for Nigel’s winning entry I’ve never seen a better image of St Nectan’s Glen, he captures the scene and atmosphere with such stunning clarity.”

Nigel also has a few tips when it comes to post-production. “Post editing I try and do as little as possible,” he says. “Because I like my images natural and to portray the moment as close as I can or the mood I am try to portray.  I do use Lee Filters to enable me to get a balanced image which I feel is key or in extreme cases I will Bracket exposures and blend them together in Photoshop.  My current camera is a Nikon D750 with various lenses but mostly paired with my trusty 16-35mm or 70-200mm when in the mountains.”

A framed and mounted print of St Nectan’s Glen will be exhibited at the Alverton Gallery, Penzance, Cornwall UK during July 2017 along with the remaining top ten winning Month of May competition entries.

For further examples of Nigel’s work please check out his website and social media:

www.nigelwaters.photography

Instagram:- nigelwaters.photography

Facebook:- NigelWatersPhotography


“Moorhen Chick” by Alice Smith

Congratulations to Alice Smith whose image “Moorhen Chick” received an Honourable Mention in our recent “Month of May” Photographic Competition.  

Alice Smith Photographer

A framed and mounted print of “Moorhen Chick” will be exhibited at the Alverton Gallery, Penzance, Cornwall UK during July 2017 along with the remaining top ten winning competition entries.


“Robin” by Amanda Wells

Congratulations to Amanda Wells whose image “Robin” received an Honourable Mention in our recent “Month of May” Photographic Competition.  

Amanda Wells Photography

A framed and mounted print of “Robin” will be exhibited at the Alverton Gallery, Penzance, Cornwall UK during July 2017 along with the remaining top ten winning competition entries.


“Thrift and Fire” by David Haughton

Congratulations to David Haughton whose image “Thrift and Fire” received an Honourable Mention in our recent “Month of May” Photographic Competition.  

David Haughton Photographer

A framed and mounted print of “Thrift and Fire” will be exhibited at the Alverton Gallery, Penzance, Cornwall UK during July 2017 along with the remaining top ten winning competition entries.


“Spring Cliffs” by Lucie Averill

Congratulations to Lucie Averill whose image “Spring Cliffs” received an Honourable Mention in our recent “Month of May” Photographic Competition.  

Lucie Averill Photographer

A framed and mounted print of “Spring Cliffs” will be exhibited at the Alverton Gallery, Penzance, Cornwall UK during July 2017 along with the remaining top ten winning competition entries.


The Agile Photographer!

Tony Empson’s passion for photography began back in 1984 when he bought his first Pentax SLR camera. Tony was seventeen at the time and photography has been a huge part of his life ever since. More recently he has embraced the digital revolution and now Tony’s image “Porth Nanven” has been awarded First Prize in the Alverton Penzance “No Label” Open Theme International Photographic Competition.

Tony Empson Photographer

Porth Nanven by Tony Empson

“Work and family life have often placed my love of photography on the back burner,” says Tony. “Now my three girls are older, and have film cameras of their own, I am determined to find more time to commit to my hobby and hone my skills as a photographer. In recent years moving to digital has enabled my photography to become more creative.  Although the technology has changed, 32 years later I still shoot with Pentax equipment, with my weapon of choice now being a Pentax K1.

“Born in Penzance and a proud Cornish man, I am spoilt living in an area where it is hard not to find an inspiring image, only the lack of available time prevents me from catching images daily.  I always try to project the feelings I experience in the moment whilst viewing a scene through the lens of my camera.

“Much like my submitted image which was taken on my one day off in less than favourable weather conditions, my initial feelings were that it would only ever have worked on a better day and the resulting image did not aspire to the one in my mind’s eye.  As usual it was my partner’s enthusiasm and her persistent encouragement that made me enter the image into the competition.

“It was an incredible surprise that my image was awarded gold, my joy magnified all the more by seeing the incredible standard of the other images entered.  I am an amateur and enthusiastic photographer and learn new things every time I pick up the camera.  Today I have learned not to hide my images and be brave.  Maybe they are not so bad.”

For those who don’t know the area, Porth Nanven is located in Cot Valley, St Just, West Cornwall.

Photo Contest Cornwall

View of the Brisons by Tony Empson

“A full appreciation of Tony’s winning photograph requires a visit to Porth Nanven,” comments Roger Driscoll, owner of the Alverton Gallery and joint host of the contest. “I’ve been there several times myself and I still haven’t quite managed to work out how Tony scrambled among the boulders to take that shot. Maybe he received training from the Royal Marines! That aside I love well-executed long exposure images – and the silky, almost mirror-like water effect makes the photograph all the more exceptional.”

A framed and mounted print of Porth Nanven will be exhibited at the Alverton Gallery, Penzance, Cornwall UK during May 2017 along with the remaining top ten winning No Label competition entries.

Cornwall Photo Contest

Men An Tol by Tony Empson