Helen Westerbeke

Helen Westerbeke

I HAVE ALWAYS had a fascination with abandonment and dilapidation;

I love the textures and story they tell in my photography.

In 2016 I visited Svalbard Island, halfway between Norway and the North Pole, hoping to see the northern lights and polar bears.

I saw neither of these, due to the time of year, Helen Westerbeke

and at the last minute decided to visit the abandoned Russian mining town of Pyramiden,

even though it didn’t look dilapidated enough for me when I saw the images on their website.

On the day we visited it was very misty and the guide told us that they had this weather once a year.

This made it a very special day to see the town as it added to the “ghostly” feel ลาวสามัคคี วีไอพี.

I was hugely inspired and struggled to keep up with the group; I know you will relate to this.

(I was unable to find any photographic guides in Svalbard to take me where I wanted to go and so had to join regular tours.)

Because of the threat of polar bears, we all had to keep together – and the guide was armed with a rifle.

The tour of the town took only one hour. I very quickly had to “see” a shot and then stand as still as I could

and get the settings and composition right before running to catch up, sometimes with only 20-30 seconds available.

I found that because I have been taking a photo every day for the past seven years,

and always have my camera with me, I was able to do all this very quickly and to the level needed.

 When it came to working on the photos for my Fellowship, Helen Westerbeke

I looked at all 175 shots that I had taken on the tour and ended up working with around 24.

They were not enough on their own and I wanted to tell the story of abandonment and ghostliness.

I started by converting them to black and white in Silver Efex Pro and then adding a couple of texture layers.

 While visiting a salt mine in Salzburg I had taken photos of old photos that were projected onto the wall of the mine.

It occurred to me that I could add these in as “layers” and they would be my ghost miners.

I only had about four photos that were any good, so searched online for similar photos that I then projected

and photographed so that I had enough for a different photo to cover all 18 images.

For more information:  ลาวสามัคคี วีไอพี

About the author


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