My fascination with urban photography generally, and London in particular, seems to be growing. Perhaps the fact that I no longer commute to London every day for work has something to do with it. It has become more enjoyable, I love looking around, something that got lost in the daily drudgery in years gone by.
VISION 9 - CONTEMPORARY PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION AT GALLERY@OXO, LONDON, APRIL 2018
I am excited to be showing some of my work at the prestigious OXO Gallery in London in April. VISION 9 is a contemporary photography exhibition of 9 artists, and I feel privileged to have been invited. For more information, click here
Last weekend, the LUMIERE FESTIVAL took place in London. Good reason to go to town with the camera. Despite the crowds I managed to capture some of the light, albeit mostly as abstracts.
WELCOME TO THE HOTEL BURGBERG!
Spotted in Dresden, Germany. I have always been fond of photographing urban decay. By capturing an old dilapidated building, the connection to the past becomes a very direct one. I can almost see the waiters hurrying back and forth, serving guests, hear the sound of the bell at reception and watch guests dragging big suitcases behind them as they depart.
ALL CHANGE, ALL CHANGE
A reasonably pleasing image here and there could not hide the fact that I have been incredibly frustrated those last few months with my photography. So what better way to get out of the rut than to try something completely new? Inspiration came from Steve Gosling, whose workshops I used to attend regularly, years ago. Olympus lent the camera and Steve set the task - shooting urban scenes in London. I expected nothing, and perhaps that was the key. It allowed me to look around with fresh eyes, explore and play. 3 hours - and that was all that was needed to invigorate my mind, to re-ignite the passion.
Finally, I made it to Dungeness for some photography, together with my friend Sarah Medway. Although it is a well-photographed location, I had to see it for myself, and it did not disappoint. The eerie atmosphere is captivating, and despite rather uncooperative weather I came away with a couple of photographs, which, for me, capture the spirit of the place. Dungeness was also the last location I used my trusty Canon camera, though I didn't know it then...
LAKE DISTRICT WORKSHOP
I have just returned from a successful 3-day residential workshop I ran in the Lake District, together with Huw Alban. Although during a workshop most of the time is spent helping our participants, I managed to grab a couple of shots myself. This one was shot straight into the sun, the light of which was diffused by the clump of trees.
Making photographs during a family holiday is never easy. Most of the time, it's impossible. But this summer I managed to use a ride on a heritage steam train to capture some "Dancing Trees"! Photographing while hanging out of a train window was a first for me.
ELMBRIDGE: MOVING ART
I am privileged to have been asked to curate ELMBRIDGE: MOVING ART
, an arts exhibition, which includes paintings, drawings, sculptures, photography and other art works made by artists, who live or work in the Borough of Elmbridge. The exhibition will show at the Riverhouse Barn Arts Centre
in Walton-on-Thames before travelling to other locations in the borough. ELMBRIDGE: MOVING ART is being supported by Elmbridge Borough Council and the RC Sherriff Trust
URBAN SCENES - A NEW PASSION?
I spent a few days in Bruges, Belgium and something happened I thought was impossible: I came back with some urban photographs. Bruges is a fascinating city and well worth exploring with the camera.
WORSHIPFUL COMPANY OF BASKETMAKERS COMMISSION
This week saw me back at the Worshipful Company of Basketmakers, photographing the winning exhibits of their annual competition. Quite a different challenge to my usual work, but highly interesting and educational.
DRAWN BY LIGHT EXHIBITION - RIVERHOUSE BARN ARTS CENTRE
DRAWN BY LIGHT was a wonderful exhibition at the Riverhouse Barn. Huw Alban, David Neve, Jenifer Bunnett, Rachael Talibart and myself showed a great variety of landscape work. You can see a short video about the event here.
THE WORSHIPFUL COMPANY OF BASKETMAKERS
I was very glad to be invited back by The Worshipful Company of Basketmakers, a City Livery company, to photograph the winning baskets of their annual competition. Quite a different challenge, but very enjoyable. Sometimes, one can get carried away with the beauty of things - the little thumbnail on the left is an abstract of a basket, photographed last year.
ISLE OF SKYE
I have just returned from a trip to the Isle of Skye with photographer friends Beata Moore, Sue Bishop and Linda Wevill. It was a rather wet week, but I enjoyed every minute of it. Highlight was the beach at Talisker Bay with its white and black sand. The outgoing tide created the most beautiful patterns in the sand and we spent hours photographing there. See the gallery for more images.
PHOTOGRAPHY AND SCULPTURE - EXHIBITION AT ST ANDREW'S CHURCH
"Photography and Sculpture" took place during the last weekend in February. I was invited to show my work at the new Gateway of St Andrew's United Reformed Church in Walton-on-Thames. At the same time the Gateway hosted a display of unique sculptures made by members of Zimbabwean art cooperative "Artpeace". You can find a short video about the event by clicking here.
PHOTOGRAPHY CLUB FOR BEGINNERS AT THE RIVERHOUSE - SPRING TERM 2016
The third Photography Club for Beginners is already underway at the Riverhouse in Walton-on-Thames. Between January and March students on the fully booked course learn how to move away from the Auto Mode on their cameras. We talk about aperture and shutter speed, about composition and light, and many other things that will improve the photographs the students take. If you are interested in booking onto the next course, please get in touch with me via the contact page.
LAKE DISTRICT WORKSHOP, OCTOBER 2015
Last week, I took a group of clients, some of whom attended the Photography Club at the Riverhouse before, to the Lake District for a 3-day workshop. We were based in Keswick and enjoyed beautiful light and autumn colours in one of the finest locations in the UK to make landscape photographs.
MISTRESSES OF LIGHT AT OXO GALLERY, LONDON
Contributors of 'Landscapes by Women' put on a great photographic show at the OXO Gallery in London last week. Here
you can see a short video I produced, which gives a glimpse of what the exhibition was about.
'THE ELMBRIDGE HUNDRED - A VISUAL JOURNEY' AT THE DITTONS LIBRARY
At the same time as the Mall Galleries show, I was invited to exhibit a selection of photographs from my book "The Elmbridge Hundred - A Visual Journey
" in the atrium of the Dittons Library
in Thames Ditton for two weeks. Very pleased that several visitors recognised the photographs, of which several sold.
LIGHT AND LAND ON THE MALL - EXHIBITION AT THE MALL GALLERIES, LONDON
I was fortunate to be able to show work at the Mall Galleries, London as part of the 'Light and Land
on the Mall' exhibition in August 2015. Around 70 exhibitors participated, displaying several hundred landscape photographs. I am pleased that my framed print "Seven Sisters" sold twice.
PHOTOGRAPHY CLUB STUDENTS SHOWED THEIR WORK
Students of the summer term Photography Club for Beginners at the Riverhouse Barn
in Walton-on-Thames had the opportunity to show a selection of photographs they produced during the course at the Robert-Phillips-Gallery in the Barn. A lot of thought went into selecting the images to be shown, which I then prepared for the gallery. This was part of an exhibition organised by the Riverhouse Barn to show the variety of activities on offer at the Barn.
After weeks of being tied to the office chair, preparing lessons for the Beginners Photography Club I am currently teaching at the Riverhouse Barn in Walton-on-Thames, and some commissioned work, I finally managed to get out with the camera again last Friday! ...more
GLAMORGAN AND BRECON BEACONS
I have just returned from a week's photography in Wales. Although it rained frequently, photographic opportunities presented themselves each day, ranging from coastal views (including a solar halo) and great panoramic views of the Brecon Beacons to bluebells and waterfalls. Images under "New Work" in the gallery.
Last week was filled with excitement about the solar eclipse on Friday. I had bought eclipse glasses and made a filter for my camera from cardboard and a polymer sheet. I had never followed the weather forecast so intently as in the build-up to this event, but even on Friday morning I was still unsure where I should be going as the forecasts about the cloud cover varied wildly. In the end, I decided to head north-west, towards the areas with better weather prospects, and ended up on Coombe Hill in Buckinghamshire. ...more
BOOK SIGNING AT WEYBRIDGE BOOKS
I will be visiting WEYBRIDGE BOOKS on Saturday, 18 April 2015, 2-4pm, to sign my book "The Elmbridge Hundred - A Visual Journey". Join us for a glass of wine and a chat! £2 from each sold book will be donated to Princess Alice Hospice
Lately, I have been grappling with the question of what exactly is meant by producing “original” work, specifically in the context of making photographs of well-known/famous viewpoints, those that have been visited and photographed by many photographers in years gone by. I almost felt bad visiting the Seven Sisters Country Park last week. The view towards the Seven Sisters, with the coastguard cottages in the foreground, has been widely documented in all kinds of photographs, but I have never been there before, which is why I felt I needed to see it for myself. ...more
Not for a landscape photographer, anyway. At least, that is what we say to convince ourselves from time to time, when the sky is grey, or cloudless blue for that matter, or the heavens have opened and it is pouring down. ...more
Today, I would like to share a blog post by David duChemin, called “The Voice of Fear”. He posted it in 2012, and when I read it first, I was agonising about whether I should push ahead with my first book project. ...more
PHOTOGRAPHY CLUB FOR BEGINNERS
Starting in April with the summer term, I will be teaching a photography class for beginners at the Riverhouse Barn in Walton-on-Thames. We will spend 6 sessions (one every two weeks) learning about how to get the camera off the auto mode. We'll explore the rules of composition, the effects of shutter speed and aperture, depth of field, light and movement, and much more. You will have the chance to explore the topics on your own between the sessions and we will spend time in each session evaluating the photographs of participants. Interested? Contact me or get in touch with Donna at the Riverhouse Barn
VIDEO ABOUT MY BOOK LAUNCH EXHIBITION
In case you missed the launch exhibition in November at the Riverhouse Barn in Walton-on-Thames, I have put together a short video, which you can find here on my YouTube channel
. Feel free to subscribe and/or leave your comments.
In 2010, fellow landscape photographer Huw Alban (www.huwalban.com) and I exhibited a selection of our landscape work at the Riverhouse Barn in Walton-on-Thames with tremendous success. We recorded more than 2 dozen sales of prints and frames. Considering that this was our first outing, the result was nothing short of extraordinary, and totally unexpected. ...more
ARTIST OF THE WEEK AT THE SHED GALLERY
I have recently joined the Shed Gallery and am this week's Featured Artist. Read more about me and my thoughts on photography on http://www.theshedgallery.com/blog/2014/11/astrid-mcgechan-shed-artist-of-the-week-on-her-photography/
. The Shed Gallery offers a selection of my photographs printed on aluminium, so if you are interested, please visit my profile at http://www.theshedgallery.com/exhibitor/astrid-mcgechan
and have a look at my portfolio.
INTERVIEW WITH BROOKLANDS RADIO
Brooklands Radio invited me for an interview, which was broadcast on 14 November. We talked about my book, the exhibition at the Riverhouse Barn, the preceding 'Elmbridge Hundred' history project and a bit about my background. Listen to it here
. I have added a few photographs to illustrate what we were talking about.
ESSENTIAL SURREY ARTICLE
ROYSTON PIKE LECTURE AT THE RIVERHOUSE
On 19 November I held a lecture at the Riverhouse Barn in Walton-on-Thames entitled "The Elmbridge Hundred - A Visual Journey", talking about my newly published book and the project behind it. If you would like me to visit your organisation to speak about my project and book, please get in touch via the contact page.
ELMBRIDGE LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE COVER AND ARTICLE
The November issue of the Elmbridge Lifestyle Magazine features the Fox image by Pierro Pozella, one of the winning entries of the photo competition for my book, on its cover. The double-spread on pages 20-21 has lots of images from the book and plenty of background information both about book and exhibition as well as the 'Elmbridge Hundred' history project. Check out their website at http://www.sheengate.co.uk
. Hopefully, the online edition of the November issue will be available shortly.
"YOUR ELMBRIDGE" COVER AND ARTICLE
The cover of this month's "Your Elmbridge" magazine features one of the images from my book - autumn colours photographed on the Esher Commons. The article on page 26 tells you all about the book and exhibition. Check out the online edition of the mag on their website: http://www.yourelmbridge.co.uk
. "Your Elmbridge" distributes 10,000 copies in the borough every month.
BOOK LAUNCH AND EXHIBITION
The Elmbridge Hundred - A Visual Journey
will be launched on 12 November 2014 with a three-week exhibition at the Riverhouse Barn Arts Centre in Walton-on-Thames. The exhibition will run until 30 November and the gallery (and café!) is open to the public daily from 10am to 4pm (entry free). I shall be there so please do come along and say Hello! For details of the Riverhouse see www.riverhousebarn.co.uk
Pre-order your copy of 'The Elmbridge Hundred - A Visual Journey'
Order your copy now for the special price of £14.99 (+p&p), price valid only until launch day (11 November). All orders received by then will be shipped with a free signed print of my photograph 'Light and Shadow' from the book. See 'The Elmbridge Hundred' and 'Pre-order your copy' for details.
The kind pledges by the supporters of my crowdfunding campaign helped to raise money to produce my forthcoming book "The Elmbridge Hundred - A Visual Journey". I am deeply grateful for all the pledges, which came in from the UK, Germany, Austria, Bulgaria and the USA.
My campaign was hosted on Crowdfunder UK and supported by Elmbridge Borough Council through Crowdfund Elmbridge.
BOOK "The Elmbridge Hundred - A Visual Journey" - PHOTO COMPETITION WINNER
I am pleased to announce that Bryony Ross' image of a pylon, photographed on the Esher Commons, is the overall winner of the photography competition. The image was chosen by Charlie Waite, one of Britain's best-known and iconic landscape photographers, who said about Bryony's photograph: 'Great graphics, wonderful geometry and good use of strong, bold colours make this a winning image.' Bryony studies at Hinchley Wood School. Congratulations, Bryony!
The ten best images submitted to the competition, which was open to students from senior schools in Elmbridge, will be included in my forthcoming book "The Elmbridge Hundred - A Visual Journey". See all the winning entries under 'The Elmbridge Hundred', 'Photo Competition'. For more information about Charlie Waite and his company Light and Land, Europe's largest provider of photography tours and workshops, see www.charliewaite.com
I have been awarded a Licentiateship by the Royal Photographic Society for my print panel, which I presented in April 2014.
LANDSCAPES BY WOMEN
I am delighted to have been accepted as a contributor to 'Landscapes by Women', a community group dedicated to showing and promoting outdoor photography by women. It is an honour to be part of such a group of inspiring and talented photographers. Check out their website at www.landscapesbywomen.co.uk (www.landscapesbywomen.co.uk)
YEAR OF THE PRINT OPENING NIGHT VIDEO
Light and Land have released a beautiful little film about the Year of the Print opening night, which gives a glimpse of what was on show during this wonderful exhibition. Enjoy! (vimeo.com/90745758)
'YEAR OF THE PRINT' EXHIBITION AT THE MALL GALLERIES, LONDON
From 24 to 29 March 2014 I will be showing four of my photographs as part of the "Year of the Print" exhibition at the Mall Galleries, London. This exhibition is being organised by Light and Land (www.lightandland.co.uk)
and it is being supported by Fotospeed (www.fotospeed.com)
and Outdoor Photography Magazine (www.outdoorphotographymagazine.co.uk)
CORPORATE PHOTOGRAPHY COMPETITION
In Autumn 2013 I had the honour of acting as head of the judging panel of a corporate photography competition for a multinational client, headquartered in Beijing, China. The competition will be followed by seminars on the basics of photography, starting in Spring 2014. Meanwhile, I am enjoying the beautiful calendar, which features the winning images of the competition, all taken by people new to photography.
REMEMBER, REMEMBER THE FIFTH OF NOVEMBER!
In early November I spent some time photographing fireworks displays in the Borough of Elmbridge. Great fun and a good opportunity to try something different.
NEW GROUP EXHIBITION AT THE MALL GALLERIES, LONDON
I shall be exhibiting my work in a group exhibition at the prestigious Mall Galleries in London in March 2014. Watch this space for more details!
EXHIBITION OF 'MR SHERRIFF'S ARTISTS' AT THE RIVERHOUSE
My image "Woodland #3" has been selected to feature in an exhibition of 'Mr Sherriff's Artists' at the Riverhouse Barn in Walton-on-Thames from 2-13 October 2013. The event celebrates 20 years of advancing the arts in Elmbridge and showcases work by artists who have been supported by the RC Sherriff Trust. See www.rcsherrifftrust.org.uk
DORSET AND CORNWALL
In early March I had the opportunity to spent a few days on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset and in southern Cornwall. There is so much to see; a week was barely enough to scratch the surface. To see what I found check out my "New Images" section in the gallery.
NORWAY AND FINLAND
Arctic Norway is one of the best places to shoot the Northern Lights. I was lucky to see them on the first night of the trip at the end of November - since then activity has been almost non-existent. But an excursion to Lapland in Northern Finland was worthwhile - photographing the frozen forests in twilight has been a most wonderful experience.
BEECH TREE AVENUE AT KINGSTON LACY
The Beech Tree Avenue along the B 3082 in Dorset is an impressive sight. I explored it last Saturday and found myself shooting in Black & White instead of Colour, despite it being the middle of autumn.
SHOP AND RELAX AT THE RIVERHOUSE
I will be showing a selection of my work on Monday, 10 December 2012, at the Riverhouse Barn in Walton-on-Thames. "Shop and Relax" is the motto, so why not come along to get some unusual Christmas presents?
I have just returned from a few days of photography in the Yorkshire Dales. The weather provided a few challenges but, as so often, this can result in some wonderful light. Check out "New Images" for the results.
WIN A FREE PRINT!
I am participating in a LIGHT AND LAND competition with my image LAST LIGHT #2. The ten images with the most votes will be shortlisted and one will then be selected as a winner by judges. Should that be my image I will give away a 28 cm x 42 cm print of this image completely free! To increase the odds, please vote for my image - here is the link: www.lightandland.co.uk
. Then just leave your name and email on my contact page or contact me directly at astrid(at)astridmcgechan.com. The first name I draw out of the hat will be the winner of the free print. GOOD LUCK!
The competition runs until the end of June, so there is plenty of time to vote! Those of you who have already voted are very welcome to forward their names - you have an equal chance of winning.
And what's more - I will also offer five 28 cm x 42 cm prints of LAST LIGHT #2 for only £25 (incl pp within the UK)! That's a discount of just under 40% on the list price! If you are interested in this offer, please get in touch. This offer is on a first come first served basis and is valid until 30 June 2012.
GHOST BIKE IN MEMORY OF EILIDH CAIRNS
I have spent some time at the Ghost Bike in Notting Hill, erected in memory of Eilidh Cairns who died after colliding with a lorry while cycling.
My image "Big and Small" has been chosen for the April image in the 2012 Calendar of Christian charity 'Bibel-Mission e.V.' of Germany. The calendar has been printed in Russian, Russian-Kasakh, Ukrainian, Moldovan, Polish, German and Turkish and is now being distributed in several countries.
I have added a shopping cart and payment facility so that prints can be ordered conveniently, directly from the website. Payments with credit/debit cards can now be processed via PayPal.
I am just back from spending several days photographing in the Lake District. The spectacular scenery combined with vibrant autumn colours makes it one of the most beautiful places in this country to photograph in autumn.
Earlier this month I photographed a magnificent display of dahlias, which is an annual feature during the summer months in Pestalozzipark, a park in Halle/Saale, Germany. Memories go back to early childhood, when we kids were playing hide and seek between the flower beds. That was easy - many plants are between 3 and 6 feet tall!
iPHONE PHOTOGRAPHS FROM AROUND LONDON
I have posted new images in the PLACES gallery, which were taken over the last 3 months in London on a simple camera phone. I love the results - and the possibilities to capture urban landscapes in London are truly endless.
"LANDSCHAFTEN" EXHIBITION OPENS ON 28 MAY 2011
My upcoming exhibition at the Zeitkunstgalerie in Born will open this coming Saturday, 28 May 2011, and will be up until 1 July 2011. The exhibition runs in cooperation with the Photography Festival "Horizonte" in Zingst/Darß. Please see www.zeitkunstgalerie.de
for more information.
AMATEUR PHOTOGRPHER OF THE YEAR 2011 COMPETITION
My image "Way Out" was voted into the best 30 of Round 2 "Inside a Building" of the APOY 2011 Competition.
ARTIST OF THE WEEK
"Sell My Art" is currently featuring me as Artist of the Week. Check out their website at www.sell-art.net. Update August 2013: Website of Sell-My-Art unfortunately no longer active.
February saw a trip to the Northumberland Coast, where I spent a few days with photographers Steve Gosling and David Tarn trying to capture the spirit of the place.
OUTDOOR PHOTOGRAPHY COMPETITION
My image "Red" was chosen as runner-up in the "Woodland Detail" Challenge of the "One Thing This Month" competition.
Zeitkunstgalerie in Halle/Saale and Born/Darß (Germany) has invited me to exhibit my work in Born. The exhibition will run from 28 May until 1 July 2011.
I have spent a few interesting days photographing on and around the Malvern Hills together with landscape photographers Steve Gosling and David Tarn.
I have just returned from North Yorkshire, where I spent time photographing the coast around Whitby and some of the Yorkshire Dales.
EXHIBITION "FEEL THE LAND"
The exhibition I held jointly with Huw Alban (www.huwalban.com)
at the Riverhouse Barn in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, has been a great success. Several hundred people visited the exhibition during the three weeks in February and March this year and both Huw and I would like to thank everyone for coming.
Renowned landscape photographer David Tarn commented: "Huw and Astrid are two photographers who have moved beyond merely recording light from the sun, and seem these days able to capture its warmth as well."
Our special thanks go to all the staff at the Riverhouse Barn for their help and support! For more information about the Riverhouse Barn visit www.riverhousebarn.co.uk