City in motion

My last post showed some images that were quite static and motionless. Today I will bring you the opposite: images that illustrate the perpetual motion and activity in a city. These images were taken in the evening in the old city center of Zagreb, Croatia. The long exposure captures the movement of the trams zooming by, while still allowing some glimpses of the other side of the tram tracks and across the street.

The first image was taken from a point of view closest to the tracks (but not too close!) to give a real feel of action.

Long exposure photograph of a tram in the evening in Zagreb, Croatia

Evening Tram I

Moving away, using a larger focal distance, and having a slightly more perpendicular angle towards the tracks provided a little more background across the street, which added depth to the images.

Long exposure photograph of a tram in the evening in Zagreb, Croatia

Evening Tram II

Long exposure photograph of a tram in the evening in Zagreb, Croatia

Evening Tram III

Copyright © 2010-2015 Laura Jewell Photography. All rights reserved.

A quiet Cambridge

This is perhaps the best and most peaceful time of the year in the otherwise bustling and often jam-packed university town of Cambridge: Spring is arriving with some sunlight, the students have their Easter break, and the tourist buses haven’t arrived yet. The series of photographs in this post gives an impression of a quiet Jesus College. The lack of people and movement really allowed (and forced) me to focus on lines leading through the images, a very useful exercise.

Empty corridor in Jesus College, Cambridge

Empty II

Bench in Jesus College, Cambridge

Bench II

Overgrown court in Jesus College,  Cambridge

Overgrown I

Please Keep Off The Grass sign in Jesus College, Cambridge

Rules of Cambridge

Line of bicycles at Jesus College, Cambridge

Bicycles IV

Copyright © 2015 Laura Jewell Photography. All rights reserved.

Pas de deux in the air

A while ago I went to an air show at Duxford in England, near Cambridge. It was incredible to watch! And much harder to photograph than I even imagined: fast-moving targets maneuvering unpredictably (which, admittedly, is the whole point). During one segment two 1940’s Pitts biplanes gracefully danced with each other in the skies – whilst going at racetrack speeds.

Duet in the air at the Duxford Air Show, England

Unison in Flight I

Duet in the air at the Duxford Air Show, England

Unison in Flight II

Duet in the air at the Duxford Air Show, England

Unison in Flight III

Copyright © 2012-2015 Laura Jewell Photography. All rights reserved.

If only the rains would return

Rain can be beautiful. Bad weather makes landscapes look so much more interesting: it adds depth and structure to the sky, and can do wonderful things for color and mood. Not to mention, it would prevent California from drying out… Wouldn’t it be lovely for the rains to return.

These images were taken some time ago near the pier in Venice Beach, California at a dreary, rainy dawn, which allowed for a great mood to be set.

Rainy dawn at Venice Beach pier, California

Pier at Dawn I

Rainy dawn at Venice Beach pier, California

Pier at Dawn II

Eventually though, as it usually does in southern California, the sun broke through. The remaining clouds and their reflection on the pier that was still drenched created the most magnificent color palette.

Rainy dawn at Venice Beach pier, California

Pier at Dawn V

Copyright © 2011-2015 Laura Jewell Photography. All rights reserved.

The photographer’s voice

A new portfolio. A new blog. Just tweeted my first tweet. It is official: we have liftoff!

In the process of creating the new website, I had to very thoroughly go through my old portfolio. That was a surprising experience: however convinced I used to be that I had a tightly edited portfolio, tight is the last thing it was! Quickly reaching the conclusion that this should really be done regularly, I went about the business of cutting the weeds.

This led to yet another realization: to find your voice as a photographer, a good hard look at past work (especially the portfolio-worthy part) is crucial. Why only the part that we deem portfolio-worthy? That is the body of work that we are excited about – because it contains our creative vision. I learned a great deal about my photographic voice doing this. In bold colors or high-contrast black and white, I am seeking distinction in the ordinary, and quietude in the extraordinary. More concretely, this could mean finding striking abstract patterns in an ordinary street scene, or a clean and unusual view in a spectacular landscape for example.

Seeking distinction in the ordinary, and quietude in the extraordinary.

A few years ago I visited Upper Antelope Canyon near Page, Arizona. This has to be one of the most photographed scenes in the world; not the easiest spot to create an original image! One of the things people look for are beams of sunlight coming into the slot canyon:

Beam of sunlight in Upper Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona

Beam

A nice image, but not exactly original. With thirty-odd photographers lined up to take exactly this shot, I decided to turn the other way, where not a single soul was looking. And there it was: this stunning and tranquil scene of a large tree branch turned into driftwood, lit as if on a Broadway stage, going unnoticed by the crowds. I found my original image, my quietude in the extraordinary.

Driftwood in Upper Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona

Sunlit III

Copyright © 2010-2015 Laura Jewell Photography. All rights reserved.

A new photo journal

Finally I bit the bullet – a new photography portfolio had been a long time coming. I am very excited about turning this new leaf in my photography journey! Of course this is an excellent reason to renew my blogging efforts as well. So here we are!

Keep an eye on this space, there will be lots more coming soon.