The Test Strip Photoblog

The Test Strip Photoblog is the mini-blog for richardflintphoto.com featuring new, archive and experimental photography, comments on photography, reviews, travel and more.

Looking for a Rainbow

By |2024-05-20T14:11:57+01:00May 20th, 2024|Categories: Blog, The Test Strip Photoblog|Tags: , , , , , , |

A rainbow over Campbeltown, Scotland – 2023

Rainbow Rising

The recent images of a rainbow over the harbour the Campbeltown got me thinking about previous rainbow images I’ve taken over the years. There’s something about the colours shining through, sometimes along with a bit of rain, that has the ability to lift the spirits and acknowledge the wonder of nature.

The Campbeltown rainbow came about during a walk along the harbour front. The weather was starting to turn to rain but the blue sky and sunlight fought a good fight right to the end. Within seconds of taking the photograph the colours had started to fade and then suddenly the rainbow was gone. I did have to run a short distance to get to the right position for framing the image. Had i walked i would have missed it. The Edniburgh rainbows taken on a visit to Calton Hill stuck around for a couple of minutes before fading away. Plenty of time to get those photographs taken.

The Cornwall images were rainbows that just appeared in front of me, sat at a cafe table in Falmouth or walking by an old stone seat at the impressive Minack Theatre on the Cornish coast.

Somewhere over the Rainbow

You don’t always win with photography. Often you can see an image but actually being able to capture it with the camera can be foiled by other events. As i was passing Kennacraig in Argylle and Bute, a rainbow was shining down on the CalMac ferry MV Finlaggan. It wasn’t a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow but a Scottish ferry instead! It would have made a brilliant image but the lack of a place to stop the car and take the photograph stopped the picture taking opportunity dead . I learned long ago not to mourn for missed images. If the picture is made then success, if the photo is missed then it just wasn’t meant to be.

Photography Prints

If you would like to purchase a print of one of the rainbow photographs seen one this page, the Richard Flint Photography RedBubble store has a range of images available.

Framed prints, canvas prints, art boards, metal prints, acrylic blocks plus lots more can be found on the RedBubble store HERE.

Island Tones

By |2023-11-12T15:33:38+00:00November 12th, 2023|Categories: Blog, The Test Strip Photoblog|Tags: , , , , , , |

Ailsa Craig – 16 km west of mainland Scotland

It has been a year of surprises. Not all of them have been pleasant but one surprise I did like was how my photograph of Ailsa Craig turned out. It turned out to be one of those happy events where all the elements come together to produce something outside of my usual photographic style.

Tonal Forecast

Considering the weather conditions and visibility the photograph has a lovely pastel quality. It’s probably BECAUSE of the weather and visibility that the image took on the tonal look it does. Over the years I’ve come to regard my photography style as typically from the documentary school of photography. Gritty, contrasty, sometimes with an element of humour, more often containing some dramatic elements to add some punch to the image. The Ailsa Craig image has something else to it.

Kentmere Days

Many years ago, during my time as a student, my documentary group started experimenting with different paper types. Kentmere produced some wonderful fibre-based papers including one called Art Classic. Sadly the paper is no longer manufactured with the last batch produced in 2017. That’s a big shame because we found that the paper was very good when using toned. My personal favourite was selenium toner. My old documentary group went a bit mad for the art paper (they bought a lot of boxes!) although I personally chose to stay with my regular Ilford Multigrade paper. I loved the Kentmeere paper but found it lacking some of the contrast punch I liked.

Perfect Tone

Although my Ailsa Craig image is in colour, the tones just reminded me of the Kentmere days with my fellow photo mates at college. The tones, a few surprises and a small amount of experimentation reaped great results. Great times. With this image though it seems that it was a heady mix of atmospheric conditions, exposure settings and a bit of magic that came together to create the image. The tones might be a departure from my usual style but I like the end result.

RedBubble Prints

The photograph of Ailsa Craig in the Scottish mist and rain has been added to the RedBubble store and is available to buy as prints etc HERE 

Waiting for a Bus?

By |2023-09-13T16:40:12+01:00September 13th, 2023|Categories: Blog, The Test Strip Photoblog|Tags: , , , , , |

I rather like this photograph. It came along quite by chance as I was having some food. I especially liked the juxtaposition of the people within the frame. It was taken at Lochranza on the north coast of the Isle of Arran. The ferry terminal to get back to the mainland is just a short distance away.

The couple in the bus shelter did not appear to be waiting for a bus. I think they had just decided to shelter from the squally showers and have a rest using the chairs in the bus shelter. It’s quite common to find a chair or two in the shelters on the Scottish Islands.

I managed to get this image with my phone and some others on the DSLR without them noticing.

Thinking outside of the Phone box

By |2023-07-21T15:05:10+01:00July 21st, 2023|Categories: Blog, The Test Strip Photoblog|Tags: , , , , , |

The mobile phone has got a lot to answer for. The benefits of having a smart communication device in the pocket are very evident. Indeed a couple of the images above were shot using a mobile phone, but there is at least a small cost to our mobile world. For the ordinary phone box in recent years, there has been a gradual but dramatic change of roles.

Red Icon

Recently I started to go through the images stored on my computer. I usually have a few editing sweeps over images stored on the machine as good images can often be missed, especially if the numbers of photographs are high. Amongst all the Scottish landscapes and other images were several good shots of a British institution. An icon of Britishness that is gradually fading away. The classic red telephone box.

Peak Rate

At their peak, there were 92,000 telephone boxes located around the UK. That number is now around 21,000 and with the telephone system switching over to digital by 2025, that number is likely to drop even further over the next few years. With mobile phone ownership at high levels (96% of adults have a mobile according to the telecoms regulator Ofcom) phone calls from these bright red boxes have dropped considerably.

The Right Change

The phone box featured in the images taken in September 2021 was located on a remote road near Pitlochry in the Highlands. The local community had changed the box to become a very small, but perfectly functional, library complete with a noticeboard. A few bags of books were also on the floor. Over 6000 phone boxes have been changed over to a different use according to OFCOM with communities able to ‘buy’ their phonebox for as low as £1.00. As well as libraries some community phone boxes have been utilized to house life-saving public defibrillators.

Future Calling

It will be interesting to see how the old red phone box fares over the next few years. Ofcom has said that a number of phone boxes will remain in service where mobile signal reception is not good. The active phone boxes will have to earn their keep though. Usage targets of at least 52 times over a 12-month period for it to stay in service will be applied. A call box in an accident or suicide hotspot can’t be removed.

RedBubble Prints

Three Scottish phone box library images have been added to RedBubble and are available to buy as prints etc HERE, HERE and HERE

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