clash

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The nights are drawing in, and I’m in love with these clashing colours which take me back to happy memories of deliciously vibrant, colourful summer days.

© images by Emily Hughes, 2016

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Peruvian woman

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Peruvian woman, 2016

taken with Rolleiflex on Ilford pan 50

We were lucky enough to visit Peru this summer. This woman sat outside our hotel in Cusco every day, all day, and that sad, faraway look in her eyes still haunts me now. She wasn’t begging, exactly; it was almost like she just sat there out of habit. She was resigned, but she was also proud. Whilst others ran after us begging us to take their picture with cute baby limas and kids in papooses, all dressed in their finery, she would sit, and wait.  I don’t often take portraits of strangers. I’m far too British and generally worried about embarrassing or inconveniencing people, but I decided to ask her on a whim. She said no at first – I respected that and walked away. She looked so tired and weary of being an object of the intrusive tourist gaze that I felt instantly ashamed, but at that moment my husband was buying a piece of art from a street vendor who worked his patch next to her and he saw and came over, persuading her to agree, so I paid and quickly took my shot, then thanked her. It was a bit of a rushed job: no light meter or tripod and the framing is a little off. I wish I had included her hands. I think there may be some light leakage which explains the weird specks. My rollei is so old and battered now it doesn’t perform at its best and the winding mechanism frequently gets stuck, but I persevere with it. So in the end, I got the shot, I suppose, although, taking this picture of this woman made me sadder than taking any other picture I have ever taken.

 

© image and words by Emily Hughes, 2016

dancing with light

Sometimes it’s fun to play around with the theme of ‘writing with light’ and create something a bit abstract using long exposures. Festival time is the perfect time to do that, with all the lights and bright colours. I was literally dancing with light here, experimenting to see what explosions of colours, shapes and patterns my camera would record in time to the beat of the music.
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© images and words by Emily Hughes, 2015

full of the joys

Jostling, whirring and bouncing in to town. A pair of dizzy bumble bees on the first sunny day of spring!

 

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© images and words by Emily Hughes, 2015

scapelands

In order to have a feel for landscape you have to lose your feeling of place.

(J.F. Lyotard, from “Scapeland” 1989)

 

In his essay “Scapeland” (1989), Lyotard apprehends a sense of landscape as a kind of non-space which defies topography, history and geography. His is a bleak picture of a guarded, clandestine, unreal, uninhabitable space without destiny. For Lyotard a landscape is a violent, disruptive force; like a freeze frame of a camera it seizes time, interrupting the linear narrative and the order of place (1989: 216). It is impossible to describe with words – somehow they become cumbersome and heavy – which are powerless because the landscape has already worked on the mind, dissolving it, and has “made it vomit itself up towards the nothingness of being there” (1989: 20-21). […] I often feel that the act of taking a photograph is intrusive, almost aggressive […] The negation of place which is landscape is violent in its passivity. It is there, yet it arrests us, and denies us something at the same time.

[extract from an essay I wrote about in-between space in 2002]

 

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© images and words Emily Hughes, 2014

 

 

little fishing boat

little fishing boat

 

This image was inspired by a recent trip to the lovely harbour of Lyme Regis. I pegged the boat shot, and when I got it I visualised immediately how I wanted it to turn out, so I was excited to get home and work on it. I’m really pleased with the result. A few people have asked me how I achieve the layering effect. I may try to write another post explaining in more detail when I have more time, but in essence I use Photoshop to layer up the images and then I work on each layer, effectively ‘painting’ parts in and out of the image to achieve the effect I want. It takes a bit of practice to get the hang of it, but I find it a very rewarding and creative process. You also have to make sure you start off with a really strong image which is well composed. This way it will carry the layers much more successfully.

 

© images and content Emily Hughes, 2014

Rolleiflex

At last I have some recent images from my beloved rolleiflex to share.

These were all taken this summer in Sidmouth, Devon and various locations in France.

I didn’t make any adjustments to the images apart from the odd minor crop or straightening of a wonky horizon as I wanted to show them as they are (although some of them would work really well in black and white) This constitutes two rolls of film (you get 12 to a roll), so I was pleased I got so many images I liked considering focusing was pretty hard (the focusing screen is very dark on my camera), and framing can also be quite tricky. I was also guessing a lot with exposure as my light meter is broken.

For those who are interested I used Fuji Reala which is a print colour film (C-41) 100 ASA. It was out of date which probably accounts for the graininess and the slightly antique colour cast they have. For some I used a tripod but most were handheld.

© images and content Emily Hughes and searchingtosee, 2012

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