Saturday, 11 April 2009


We went up to Northumberland last weekend. Amazing coast and loads of Castles. There everywhere. This shot was from Holy Island car park of Lindisfarn. I was lucky enough to be there as a storm brewed and sunlight lit up the castle really nicely. I love the tree in the foreground but I think it's a little confusing as it draws your eye away from the castle... I'll drop it out in the week when I have my tablet. I also like the black wall pointing towards the castle and the birds flying around.

The wind was incredible on the first day. The picture above captures it, I've never seen anything like it. It was like we were standing in the sea. I like the crop above with the sharp streak of black sea pointing to the people in the distance. Hopefully more to come....

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Square or not?

At the end of Project 6 cropping the same image in varying ways comes up. I try different crops for most shots, probably down to Graphic Design, but I find I may be relying on Photoshop rather than getting it bang on straight from the view finder. Problem is I love 6x6 format images, not sure why but they always stick out to me. Again with Graphic design I'm used to working with a square for a sleeve. I'm waiting on a new focusing screen for my SLR with a grid of 3rds so I'm hoping this will help me out... Here's an image I shot with a square format in mind. It works OK for the original un-cropped image but I like the symmetry the square formate creates on the sea view. For the waterfall, again, the symmetry works for me. One thing I wonder is if the rule of 3rds works the same with a square format?





Both waterfall shots {f22, 30 seconds, iso100} around midnight with a bloody great big light.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Mixed Projects at Mersea Island

We went to Mersea Island today, unfortunately I only took my compact with me but the visit has inspired me to go there again ASAP. I want to follow up on at least 3 or 4 shots here. There's a lot here and I've tried to think of many of the projects, this will also be another image sequence for Project 8 to be finished shortly.

I've tried to think of placing objects in varying positions in the fame (Project 7), the framing of the image (Project 6) and the balance of objects in the frame (Project 11, 12 and 13). I want to cover some of the later projects in a lot more detail but felt this was an OK thing to do, ultimately I will need to have all of these theories in mind to create better images in the future.

I've got to say I found the compact really nice as I didn't have to think about many settings. This made for a nice flow. It's been good to look at and see images within these waiting to be taken with a little more care and attention using my SLR and a tripod etc...

Here we go...

Friday, 6 March 2009

Project 8

Recording a sequence.

Following from Project 9's images this is where I went... I found this interesting afterwards. Odd. It seemed silly.

Again, I'm rushing through this blog as I really need to get on with the course and not worry so much about it all. It's all still a little uncomfortable learning in a structured manner.

And my final image!

{f7.1 - 1/50 - iso400}

Not exactly the same as the images in the course material but interesting to me to see where I ended up. Alot more abstract than I'd expected. nice!

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Project 9

This was a quick project using the various focal lengths I can achieve with the lenses I have.





I've used this scene as I was there for another project to be honest. The sun was above and behind the shell building in the 400mm shot so it wasn't the best time for the photos. I've also been struggling getting back in to the project since xmas so I really needed to get a move on.

In the end I prefer the first image (28mm) for the foreground detail. I understood that I can get different images from one scene with various focus lengths so this was a bit of a dull project for me TBH. Also I could have done with a 800mm to zoom right in on the angel above the door on the shell building.

This was shot in Hatfield Forest.

Project 7

Needed to get cracking! Objects in different positions in the frame.

Centered in the frame

A little off center

close to the edge


A little way off centered

Close to the edge

On the pictures of Sammy my dog I preferred the image where Sam is close to the edge. this is helped by her pose i think, looking in to the center of the image.

Again for the National Trust picture I preferred the object to be to the edge...

I found this a nice thing to try as I shoot. there 3 options that all have their own merits. Some will work better for different applications. I suppose as a graphic designer I like the space both of these preferred shots have created, perfect for some text!

Monday, 2 February 2009

Red Harry "Give me all your nuts"

Well we're snowed in at a cottage in Cumbria! Oddly email and internet work but the phones are dead and the roads are invisible.... Here's a picture of Harry the Red Squirrel. He's come every morning for a feed! More to come when I get home.... I'm still trying for one of him in the snow.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Frosty fur

I have been working, honest... It's been 2 months since I last posted, not a good start but I've been away to the states and then Xmas and work commitments etc... Any how, back to it!

I'll ad more here shortly but here's the first image from the short break.

The cows have long since gone from the field across from me but there's still some evidence of their existence! They must have rubbed against the barbed wire and then left clumps of fur. I'd noticed this a while ago but with the new frosty weather I got the shot I wanted (First image in this post). I'm hoping this will be good enough for one of Assignment 1's images on contrasts. Here's one of the early shots...

More to follow soon...

Saturday, 15 November 2008


Image 1; f7.1, 6", iso100, 105mm

I've been reading through "Photography, A concise history" and found a few images in there that really interest me. One was of an apple named, "untitled" or "Galaxy Apple" by Paul Caponigro 1972 (page 227, plate 125). Initially it looks like a really simple shot. When you look closer and then go and try it out, its a different story. His exposure is just spot on. The lighting and reflections are just enough to show you the apple is three dimensional and round and shiny, but still allows for the varying shades and bright spots to be in perfect balance. The spots have a really nice patter as they spread out over the skin from the cores centres. The background is lit either side to pick the apple out really nicely to, or maybe from behind?

So I decided to try this out. I really can't put into words how hard this has been. The end results are nowhere near as good as the ones Paul Caponigro produced but I had fun doing it and they let me play around with candles and a flash and other different lights to try and achieve the same sort of results as the original.

Image 2; f20, 25", iso400, 105mm

Image 3; f20, 25", iso400, 105mm

Image 4; f20, 30", iso400, 105mm

After looking at the images a little closer I wanted to play around with the image 4. It had a much smaller aperture and long exposure (f20, 30", iso400, 105mm) so the whole image is sharper and has more detail, this helped show more variation in the tones of the skin also. I did a little retouching to this, dropping a hair, dulling down the reflection and changing the levels to up the contrast.

Image 4; f20, 30", iso400, 105mm (retouched)

I felt this image is technically closer to the original, with the sharp edge to the apple, the background lit slightly to help bring the edges out. But the first image has a nice feel to it with the shallow DoF. it also looks a lot shinier. I'd taken time to block most of the light in the room so the highlights were less harsh in image 1 and I think it works well.

Also I found a 1:1 crop (square crop) worked best in my opinion, though my apple was very round rather than the oval one in the original by Paul Caponigro.

All in all I'm happy with the project! It also went very well with some cheese once I'd finished!

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

TAoP Project 3

Here are the images for project 3. This was to show the depth of field (from this point on I will refer to this as DOF) using different apertures. I've shot in B&W as it made it a little easer to see the effects of the aperture changes. Also I used a tripod and manual focus so I could ensure the same crop and focus point (the centre beam) each time.

Shot 1: f2.8, 1/4, iso400, 125mm

This showed a really narrow band of sharpness.

Shot 2: f8, 2", iso400, 125mm

A slightly larger band of sharpness.

Shot3: f16, 8", iso400, 125mm

Nearly all of the image is in focus but it still has a slight blur to the far edges.

Shot4: f32, 30", iso400, 125mm

Everything in focus, though at the cost of a 30 second shutter speed.

Here are the images again with the area of sharpness mapped out. running from f2.8-f32:

As I've mentioned before (project 2), the overall extremeness of the effects of these aperture changes change with the size/angle of lens and distance from the subject. The closer you are/tighter you focus the more dramatic the effect of the large aperture and small DOF. I'd like to look at this further to gain a greater understanding of how this works. I understand that setting a low f stop will give me a nice sense of depth and a hight f stop an overall sharp image, but I'm not entirely sure of the science behind it, yet! Hopefully this will come with practice or maybe further on in the course...