E for Exposure
Under the heading of ‘Exposure’ I would like to look at 3 different areas.
Exposure to/in Art
As a child, I was captivated by Tony Hart’s Vision On programme. Several years later I became seriously interested in Art through the BBC television series ‘The Story of Painting’, presented by Sister Wendy Beckett. I was disappointed when the first programme ended and couldn’t wait for the next instalment!
The only way I could explore my new found interest was at the school library. This was not a place I was familiar with, but the lady librarian was wonderful to me and helped me find art books and information. She also suggested music I might enjoy listening to.
Nowadays, the biggest library is the internet. Most art galleries have their own websites and most artists have an on line presence. There is almost too much art to research and learn about, and I can sometimes feel overwhelmed by it all. Where to next? Art does not staystill, it is always changing and moving on. Art is very subjective and there is no right or wrong answer to the question, ‘what is art?’
Exposure to/in Photography
This started for me as a young child, enjoying family members’ photographs. Nowadays, almost everyone has a mobile phone, and everyone can be a photographer! But does this make them an artist?
Having used my mobile phone as a diary and a notebook, I decided - when going on holiday one year - that I would use my phone as my main camera. I am so glad that I did because,come rain or shine, my phone was with me. It is said that the best camera is the one you have with you! And that certainly proved true in my case. Interestingly, I have discovered that I didn’t fully know my phone or its capabilities as well as I thought I did. With most phones using AI programs, I am not sure I will ever be the entire master of it!
So would I ever use my phone to photograph an entire holiday instead of my main camera? No way! I don’t think I could do that psychologically, let alone emotionally. After all, l am an artist – at least that’s what I tell people I am!
Now, you may have thought I was going to give a technical explanation for photographic exposure. However, I am instead going to refer you to Nick Carver, a You Tuber who has produced many videos that will teach you his whole photographic and technical process.
Exposure to the Weather
Our British obsession with the weather is something of a cliché, but photographers have very good reasons to ‘chat about the weather’.
As a child I noticed that both of my grandfathers were outside men, keen gardeners who grew their own veg. Although they liked to listen to the radio, they had their own way of telling the weather. They liked to go outside! They would look, listen and feel: looking for clouds and shadows, feeling the wind direction and temperature on their skin and hands. One lived near the sea and used the seaweed to assess the weather (a piece of seaweed becomes slimier when humidity is high apparently).
Times have changed! We now tend to look at some kind of a screen for the weather forecast and use apps on our phone. So much choice – how do you identify something that suits you best?
There is the standard weather forecast after the news (ITV’s seems friendlier in tone ...) and the week’s forecast is included in the programme Countryfile.
Forecasting the weather in this context underlines its relevance as it is an important tool for farmers, just as the shipping forecast is important to fishermen. They need to know the weather conditions both to make a living and for their own safety.
Similarly photographers need to be aware of the weather, though ‘good’ weather and ‘bad’ weather will mean different things to different people depending on the kind of image they are aiming to capture. Phone Apps that I use
I use the Met Office app on my phone and computer. This includes wind direction and speeds, especially useful for coastal shots as high winds can give rise to
technical problems. There is a clear indication of sunrise and sunset times, and a UV forecast (do I need sun tan lotion?). Personally, I am also interested in their air pollution figures as I prefer to be somewhere where I can ‘breathe easier’ e.g.
Ashdown Forest has consistently good air quality. I am a seaside kid at heart and love the fresh air. There is a ‘weather warning’ facility.
My favourite Phone app, however, is that provided by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute which is global. This will particularly appeal to those who are very visual, as photographers are likely to be. It gives images of the current weather with clear
visualisations and wind/temperature graphs. There is a ‘weather warning’ facility which can give you notice of the weather coming your way in the next 1.5 hours – this is very usefully indeed. My colleague needs to be informed of the pollen levels for health reasons and it reports on this as well. Do browse www.yr.no/en and see what you think.
Exposure from the weather
Alfred Wainwright a famous walker said “there is not such a thing as bad weather, Just the wrong clothing” My wife, Jacquie, has always enjoyed walking, and learned from a bad experience
during her teen years the importance of wearing the right clothing (and taking the right equipment). She went youth hostelling with friends in the Yorkshire Dales.
One day they had a long walk planned over one of the highest peaks in the area – Ingelborough. They were wearing jeans, their usual attire for activities outdoors, and had cagoules to keep them dry. It started raining in the morning, and it continued raining all day. The girls were exposed to the elements as they walked
higher and higher, over the top and down the other side. It was very hard work walking in jeans which were wet, as they had no flexibility and stuck to their legs. The girls arrived in a village absolutely soaked to the skin – the cagoules were not
waterproof enough to keep out heavy rain. Their backpacks leaked as they did not have waterproof liners, and the entire contents were wet. Fortunately for the girls, they were able to empty their backpack contents into the drying room at the youth hostel that night. A lesson had been learned the hard way.
Taking the right equipment and wearing the right clothing are other factors to consider. Knowing what sort of weather you may be meeting is crucial to your preparation and planning. At its basic level this may mean not leaving your coat in
the car several miles away! I have several Paramo jackets suited to different temperatures which are comfortable and work well for me. It is worth researching to find out what suits you best and, of course, it is your choice as to ‘weather or not’ you use any of the above!
Having done our research, I'll explain why we choose to where Paramo Directional clothing Systems. We consider what we need at first, given years of hiking and walking in the great outdoors. At a quick Look, they can look like a great expense. However in the long-term, we have found them to be great value for money. We also enjoy the fact that they have a mandate of being efficaland very careful in the production of there products. Please look up their website to see and understand them and there aims.
We choose to use a layering system for our outdoor clothing pursuits. This means that we use different layers for their different properties. We start with our base layers. The base layer is obviously as it says the base and used to help remove any perspiration from close to our bodies. Hence, this is generally where most moisture is produced. So in our opinion this is the most important layer to get right? You need to move the perspiration away from your skin contact because it will create a feeling of being cold. So the next the next layer should be breathable maybe with some heat if that's what's needed. Maybe with at a softer lightweight fabric to provide a second layer which is also capable of wicking any moisture. This leaves to top or last layer. This will e windproof waterproof or with a form of padding to keep us firmly warm or cool depending on the expected weather conditions. We also normally have some way of removing a layer or two and carrying it with us because overheating certainly is not good. Most of all, you do need to consider your hydration. Have you got enough fluid to last you for maybe the day till the next stop? Is it open so many things to consider when it comes to the equipment that you might need to wear and what you might need to carry with the equipment that you're wearing? Good research what is always recommended?.
We also enjoy the fact that there products that we wear can be waterproofed. This thankfully Jacquie does given the appropriate materials from Nikwax, which we also use and recommend. These materials are also mentioned on their website. The other thing, should you get tired of a garment or feel that you need to replace it with maybe something of a newer design that fit you and it is more suitable for your requirements. You can recycle/trade in to Paramo. Another thing which sadly I have had to use is the fact that they also offer a repair service. This went extremely well and I can thoroughly recommend it. If you are looking for the ultimate in bargains, you may also be able to check out Paramo outdoor clothing on their eBay shop. So it's very personal whoever you choose whoever you use, do you research well? Spend your money well? Spend your money once.