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ORIGIN: Illuminate Studio Exhibition - Matt Finch

ORIGIN: Illuminate Studio Exhibition

The time has come, I will be exhibiting my work at Illuminate Studio at Brightwell Barns situated on the road to Waldringfield. I’m part of the Origin Exhibition alongside a number of other artists. 

If you have scanned my QR Code you are in the right place.  

When is it open? 

The exhibition space is open from the 2nd and 3rd July, and will subsequently be open until the 21st August. The opening times are below for the rest of the week.

Illuminate Opening Times 2
Illuminate Opening Times 2

Origin: The Theme

When it comes to outdoor photography, the coast is my first love.It’s where I really learnt my work flow, in the field and ultimately how to use a camera. That’s the ‘Origin’ of my own work as it is today.

The biggest focus of my work, is the first light; those moments where no other souls are awake and the world is preparing for another day. So all of the images I have chosen are taken in the morning, at sunrise or around the first moments as the night turns.

The images follow the coast from north to south, starting in Walberswick. Along the Suffolk coast passing through onto the Rivers’ Alde and Deben. Back along the coast and up river to Pin Mill on the Orwell.

I thought this quote sums up what the theme meant to me, and to the images I chose. 

We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time. Through the unknown, remembered gate<br />T S Eliot

That encapsulates, why I keep going back to a number of the places around Suffolk. Because every trip out can be something new. 

Origin: Images

These are the images I have chosen to be part of the exhibition. They follow the coast from Walberswick to Pin Mill on the River Orwell. 

In the Moment, Walberswick

Canon 5dmkIII | Canon 24-70mm @24mm | f11 1/125 ISO100

In the Moment, Walberswick

In January this year, Walberswick was on my list of places to visit. And in the middle of winter, the sunrises are not too early. After a visit in September 2021, I knew what I was looking for.

So set myself up and prepared for the sun to rise. I had planned ahead and that’s what this shot was all about. There is an app called the photographers ephemeris, it helps to predict the suns position at any given time during the day. So I had my plan and it was just about executing the final image.

I took a couple of images  both landscape and portrait. Then I was ready to capture this composition. Just as the sun rose, and broke the cloud on the horizon, I took the image. It was worth the preplanning, and having a good idea of what was around before hand.

Windswept, Sizewell

Canon 5dmkIII | Canon 24-70mm @24mm | f13 1/200 ISO100

Windswept, Sizewell

Sizewell, has been a place that has alluded my photography really. For no real reason other than not going there. I hadn’t been for a long time, the last time would have been back in 2012 when I was doing my Duke of Edinburgh award hike along the Suffolk coast.

I set out with an idea of an image or two, inspired by some of the images that I had seen of the cooling towers. So I took those and made my way south along the coast to the fishing boats on the beach. And then took my self back towards the marram grass, and with all my sunrise trips out I finished with a coffee and bite to eat.

As I waited for my coffee to brew, I saw this composition. I sat amongst the grass, I loved the fact it almost over powered the towers in the sea. So I framed the shot up. I was careful not to include the sun, which is just out of shot on the righthand side.

Times Like These, Aldeburgh

Canon 5dmkIII | Canon 24-70mm @34mm | f6.3 1/125 ISO100

Times Like These, Aldeburgh

This was shot on a trip out for work. One of the jobs I was doing was to produce a video for an event. To start the video I chose to capture the sunrise on the coast. Two of the hotels I work for are in Aldeburgh, I felt it would be good to capture the sunrise to represent their location.

One morning in September I took myself off to the beach at Aldeburgh to capture the sunrise around The Shell. I have been a few times and never really been lucky enough to capture the right conditions in Aldeburgh. On this occasion I was in the right place at the right time.

Rising, Iken

Canon 70d | Canon 70-200 f2.8L @ 73mm | f11 1/15 ISO100

Rising, Iken

I took this back in 2018, and it was left on a hard drive until 2020. During lockdown, I spent time working my way through my archive, and found it to work on. For some reason, it didn’t stand out at the time. So the story behind this image is more about re-finding the image.

This is a scene I have photographed a number of times. And I know it can be a place that can be quite magical. I have been visiting this stretch of the river Alde since I was a a child.

Looking at the image, I was drawn back to it,  I took both landscape portrait versions of this image. And I opted for the landscape version originally. So this was left behind.

I love the way the colour is perfect across the whole image, the way the gradual change goes from a light peach to a darker orange colour. The reflection, the slight movement in the water. There seems to be a stillness and peacefulness as you look into it.

Sweeping in, Shingle Street

Canon 70d | Sigma 10-20mm f3.5 @ 10mm | f10 1/100 ISO100

Sweeping In Shingle, Street

I took this back in 2016, it is still a favourite of mine. The shingle has changed so much since then and I still love the way the pool in the middle was being filled with the channel in the foreground. It’s probably one of the best views of the shingle I have seen since visiting there.

This particular morning the sun rose and with it came a heavy rain cloud in the distance, it slowly engulfed the sky. I just love the way the light seems to bounce off the shingle. It remains one of the most fulfilling experiences, and one that I will remember as I look back over my photography, o was blessed to have captured this moment.

Delta, Bawdsey

Canon 5dmkIII | Canon 24-70mm f2.8L @28mm | f11 1/60 ISO100

Delta, Bawdsey

This was taken on one of my first trips out afterthoughts third lockdown had lifted, in April 2021. This stretch of the Suffolk coast is one I love to visit. The shoreline is lined with London clay deposits and remnants of old WWII defences with pillboxes that have now been taken by the sea.

 This place is great at both low and high tide. On this particular morning the tide was low, and as the sun rose, the clay deposits that would usually be engulfed by the sea were slowly being enveloped by the light.

Working my way up the coast, but as I looked back, southward, seeing the light just starting to hit the edges of the clay.  There was a feeling it would benefit from the pillbox being part of it.

The way the eye was drawn from the foreground by the clay to pillbox there is a great set of leading lines to the main focal point at the back. I remember thinking the sky was not what I had expected. I’ve seen so many good conditions when walking along here and I’m glad I found this shot as the focus was not on the way the sky looked.

Glossed, Bawdsey

Canon 5dmkIII | Canon 24-70mm @25mm | f11 38 seconds ISO100

December - Glossed, Bawdsey, Suffolk

Taken back in December 2021, on one of my many trips to Bawdsey quay. It’s become a regular haunt at high and low tide. This particular shot was at a mid tide as it was rolling in.

The forecast was for high cloud, and as you can see the sunrise seemed to be perfect. With a mackerel sky overhead, and the changing light breaking with the rising of the sun. As it rose light started to reflect on the base of the clouds with these pink and oranges hues.

This was taken using the Lee little stopper. The aim was to try and smooth out the water and capture the a little movement in the clouds as they were moving over head.

Hazed, Woodbridge

Canon 5dmkiii | Canon 24-70mm @24mm | f10 1/500 ISO100

Hazed, Woodbridge

This was taken on a walk before I went into the office in March 2022. I work in Woodbridge one day a week, and on this particular occasion, I was nearing the end of a full on couple of months. I always go on a walk before I get into the office. Just a habit I have thankfully kept doing since getting back into the office after COVID. Without much time to go and capture my own stuff so I thought I would be good to get out and just use the time for my own work. I hadn’t been in the office for around 4 weeks due to a a job I had been doing to open our training centre at work.

The conditions were pretty hazy, the sun laying quite low in the sky. And this composition was on my mind from previously walking the same route every time I had been in to the office in the months previously. So I stopped off at the tide mill to start with, and walked along the path to this small bend where boats, canoes and dinghy’s are moored. As I had an idea for the shot, I just had to find the right spot, and set the camera up and capture the shot I wanted. Again a shot in time, that I remember because it was part of my everyday life.

Rhapsodic, Waldringfield

Canon 70d | Sigma 10-20mm f3.5 @ 15mm | f11 0.3 ISO100

Rhapsodic, Waldringfield

I took this in July 2020, on the banks of the River Deben, at Waldringfield.  I remember walking up and there was this heavy cloud overhead, but there was this faint view of a sunrise on the horizon. As it the clouds closest to the horizon were lighting up.

I spent some time just capturing the wider view of the river and then set my focus on the boat. It was sat in a position where it was isolated. It’s something I had been looking for in the past. Due to the tides and the way the other boats were on the shore it never really was in the right position.

So I spent sometime framing up, and I took around 4 or 5 compositions. All based on trying to use the boat in the foreground and then the river and the clouds making up the rest of the frame.

I proceeded to take a few shots. I loved the way the light seemed to go from light to dark across the whole frame. The way the clouds were so heavy, but the sun still was break through the across the whole image.

Exuberant, Felixstowe Ferry

Canon 70d | Canon 24-70mm f2.8L @ 30mm | f11 1/50 ISO100

Exuberant, Felixstowe Ferry

I shot this back in May 2020, I took it on one of my first trips after we’re allowed out from lockdown. Having been to Felixstowe ferry a number of times, I had never focused on this part of the coastline. Instead opting for the beach, and the ferry jetty.

I took myself along towards to Martello tower. On the cliffs looking south the valerian was in full bloom, and as it was lit by the sunrise the colours seemed to look brighter.

So I set up the shot, and aimed to try and include the Martello tower in the background. It was partly because of the juxtaposition between the old and the new. With the older building, and the new blooms of the valerian in the foreground. I remember looking at the image on my Mac after the shoot, I really felt the image captured that feeling of being there with the sunrising.

I went back this year to capture the valerian on the edge, but instead of looking southward, I composed my shot to look up the river Deben.

Compress, Landguard Point

Canon 70d| Sigma 10-20mm f3.5 @ 11mm | f8 0.3 ISO100

Compress, Landguard Point

Still to this day I think that encapsulates a point where I thought my photography was going in the right direction. Taken back in 2018, I was on the Suffolk coast again down by Landguard Point. I had been a few times to the jetty, but hadn’t really got lots of images I was really happy with.

On this occasion, the weather wasn’t great. I had been ready for a sunrise.But the rain just came down, as we stood there at the point where it was suppose to rise. With the tide rising and flying in pretty quickly the chance to capture the movement of the waves on the foreground was one I relished.

I aimed to capture the movement, and breaking the waves around the jetty. It took a few shots to get the one I was happy with. It wasn’t until I was on my computer that I found this shot to be the best one in the selection.

Phantoms, Pin Mill

Canon 5dmkiii | Canon 24-70mm @25mm | f11 3 minutes ISO100

Phantoms, Pin Mill

Pin Mill, a place I have visited frequently and I seemed to always come back disappointed, until this trip. Previously the conditions, the tides and the location have all been against me and what I had planned. I had always wanted to get down to visit the wrecks, while the tides were higher. I spent my first few moments setting up for a long exposure and took my shot to get the composition correct and then went for it. It ended up being a 3 minute exposure.

There is a little waiting around for these sorts of images, so I usually try and spend a few moments looking for other compositions. You could argue this location doesn’t have loads of chances as the boats can be quite chaotic when you aren’t seeing them in order as you do here.

Thanks for the support, if you have been able to go and see the work, if you haven’t then please do go and check it out.


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©  2022 Matt Finch. All rights reserved.

Graphic Designer and Photographer
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