Tilt – Shift a visual reflection

This post is a visual reflection of the works exhibited at Tilt Shift an exhibition of artists on the MA- Fine Art and Education programme at Northumbria University.  I exhibited 3 works, of multiple 3d and 2d pieces, two of which were working as a coherent installation together. The exhibition took place at Gallery North, Northumbria University and ended on 4th September 2016.


The above three photos show fuller views of the installation from square on and two views looking across the gallery. This comprised formally 3 pieces of work:

  1. Scrolls (36 views of a steam flue), 2016

Photo paper and transparency film, metal and chipboard fittings



2) Anatomy of our flatpack desires, 2016

Floor installation in printed chipboard and laminate.

Dimensions variable


printed vinyl on laminated chipboard furniture components



Aydon Castle (J.W.Carmichael)

In the footsteps of J.W. Carmichael and the engravings made from his drawings, in this case the Cor burn with the dominant Aydon castle in the background.  This exact view was not surprisingly hard to find on the ground. The work could be created at some difficulty from a view above the castle where it was almost possible to see the castle through the trees, but the reality was that the engraving undoubtedly shows the crossing just below the castle – and a view similar to the one depicted cannot show the castle in the distance in this way.  So a composite, then.




gliding free

A train came in a warning clap and roar 

September thunder in a barking blast.

The yellow leaf drew a super rapid curve

accelerated across time and space

blown up and over the tracks, trees 

shot beyond her maternal canopy

held for a moment then let slide 

into the eddy and turbulence, 

random gliding into see saws 

down the shimmer tracks

out of my sight,


Then dust,

a sheen of ochre

rubbed into eyes

motes of reflected light

blurred like a vintage filter

caught in coat and throat

and the slow rattle from a train

departing from its turbulent wake.

Gliding free – 1st draft film poem here


Flood pumps 2015

I found a lost film from december 2015 – showing the flood pumps working the river back into its banks from the flooded fields.  The pumps ran for a number of weeks to clear the backlog that would not drain away

My beautiful picture
flood pumps pushing water back over the flood defences


My beautiful picture
The flood debris jammed against trees

Still Water (The river Thames, for example)

[no title] 1999 by Roni Horn born 1955Further thoughts on Roni Horn’s series of works on the river Thames.

[no title] 1999 by Roni Horn born 1955

In the video below, recorded for the Witney museum, Horn describes the fascination with the river its history and her creation of a specific viewpoint to examine the river from – using a tugboat – observing over time the changes of the ‘fetch’ of the river.

at the end she says: – ‘…….I go back to these images and keep looking for or longing for something that I know is there but I just need a little more time to find it’.

This seems like a method statement for an approach to collecting images.

Tyne Pilot

I found these old slides in the Northumbria Library – apparently part of an audio visual presentation to go with a voice over – describing the work of the Tyne river pilots.

My beautiful picture
Title Slide

Not sure if they are nostalgia or something finer.  The following in sepia tone show the river from a boat.

My beautiful picture

more in black and white:

My beautiful picture


My beautiful picture

Bottles – a studio shoot.

Using bottles reclaimed from last year’s flooding as a first subject for a studio based photoshoot in Northumbria Uni – phenomenal resources available to create a ‘set’ with control over lighting – all using the studio’s flash based systems – a change from my ‘continuous light’ based thinking.


initial set up

Importance of camera angle/vantage point and relative strengths of the overhead light and the front/angled lights

Dropping the overhead light so the grey background reads much darker – loses the heavy square reflection visible in the first few.


now starting to work on white balance – yellows in blacks are the problem here


Using the grey card


Final shot 1 – grey reads as grey – reflections are modest – bottles are 3dimensional – mud and patina are visibly part of how the image reads – colur ‘feels’ accurate.


The single bottle portrait.

Riverbank observations


Developing diffrent perspectives of water. The foamy flotsam on top and the stony middleground and the darkness below.

Using a 16×9 format – seeing the light change across the surface of the water – it is almost like the water surface bends and curves. Colour changes and colour reflections visible in details as you look into the image.

A sky island – and an island of sky – the physical presence of the light. The island surrounded by reflected sky. The light reflective water surrounded by dark stone.


The riverbank – nicely divided as thirds- with human activity


The full depth of field space of the riverbank – curving composition.