The Nags Head.
I’ve walked pass this children’s playground quite a lot, and have yet to see any kids playing on it. Admittedly, it’s not quite the weather yet, but still! I don’t really understand it to be honest – its pretty rubbish. It’s just got one of the sprung-loaded-seesaw-things and a slide – and thats it! If I was a kid I wouldn’t waste my time on it! So today I thought I’d give it a go and see if I could get some interesting shots.
In the end I chose this one with the horses head in the foreground, with the slide slightly out of focus in the background. I liked the original shot as I’d managed to slightly capture the clouds reflection in the horses head, but also kept the foreground detail pretty sharp. Once again, the post-production is provided by iPhoto. I simply turned it into a black and white image, and increased the contrast and played with the levels slightly. Then to give it a bit of quirkiness I added the rotation and cropped out some of the disinteresting background. Another quick blog post today I’m afraid – as I am about to embark on 300 miles journey down south to see family and friends for the weekend, and I want to be down there before midnight! This weekend should be challenging, as I’ll only have the iPad to blog with, so my posts might be short over the weekend and not much post-prod on the shots – but hopefully the content will be as equally as erm… good!
On a quick side note – I’ve downloaded Lightroom and Photoshop Elements Trial software today – so hopefully next week I’ll get the chance to try out the new software – I’ll probably blog my thoughts on both pieces of software – and yes I know still owe a blog post on my Mac! Next week – Promise!
Thanks for reading everyone!
The Day Has Arrived.
I have been waiting for this day for a very long time. I’m not usually one to shout things from the rooftops, but today I took delivery of my first ever iMac. And she is beautiful. Having already been inducted into Apple technology, with the iPod, iPhone and iPad, I have always wanted to own an iMac. It’s taken several years for me to get my hands on one, but today is that day. Unfortunately I’m not 100% to be able to play with my new toy too much as I have been struck down with manflu. So it’s just a quick introduction then back on the sofa today.
As a result, todays blog will be very short – so I chose todays shot, out of simplicity more than anything. I haven’t setup any photo editing software yet, so this is straight from the SD card. Not my best, but I have no desire to be on the floor playing with settings today. The settings for this f/3.5, 1/160 sec, ISO-1250.
Nothing too much to say about this one today – hopefully feeling better tomorrow when I can spend a bit more time thinking about my shot.
A break from the pattern today. Two colour photos in a row! I was actually able to get todays shot before 9am, which is also a first I think!
Another morning of glorious sunshine today, and I noticed the raindrops were just sitting on the washing line (that I hadn’t put away since “Chasing the Wind“) and they were just catching the morning sunshine. So before I started work I waded in out into our soaked garden and captured a few shots. It also reminded me if we ever get a long enough dry spell I MUST cut that grass!!
I chose this shot as I like how I’ve got multiple reflections in the drops, and also I like the nice bright colours of the blue sky, cream walls and the red roof tiles. They make a nice contrast for the morning shot. The only real difficult I had was trying to focus on the washing line as it blew in the breeze! The settings for this shot were f/13, 1/100 sec, ISO-100. Really easy is such fantastic light. Once I got it in Photoshop, I only tweaked the levels slightly – there was no need to mess with the colour as they were perfect anyway. All that was remaining was to crop the shot slightly.
I’d have liked to get in closer with a macro lens to get this shot, but I was stuck with the 8cm focussing distance on my 18-55mm lens. I am now beginning to find the limits of my equipment – much to the frustration of my wife, who already thinks I’m planning spend too much on my photography (and she’s probably right). So my current shopping list now includes a 50mm prime lens, then either a macro lens or a macro reversing ring, as well as a tripod, some ND and Polarizing filters – oh and not forgetting the remote control and lens cases as well. I think I need a second job! My birthday isn’t until October, so that’s a long wait!! I’ll try scouring eBay for some bargains in the meantime!
As always, thanks for taking the time to have a read.
Nope, certainly not a fan of the Beach Boys – but it’s been a while since I posted a movie or music related title, so I thought – why not?
Another black and white shot today – just looking back at my previous shots, I’ve alternated between colour, and monotone for the past 12 days. Very strange. Well, happy to keep up the pattern anyway.
So this is a souvenir from our Honeymoon in 2012. A trip of a life time to Hawaii. Needless to say, we loved it for every single second we were out there, and I’d go back in an instant – if it didn’t take the almost 25 hrs door to door. So this little souvenir sits on our lamp table as a wee reminder of what the sea feels like when it’s had some heat into it!
So the shot itself, is relatively simple – I just setup the shot with my white backboards and captured with the following settings; f/4.5, 1/80 sec, ISO-400.
I took a few at different angles, but had a pretty good idea what I wanted to achieve tonight, and it didn’t take too long to capture.
Once in Photoshop, it was just a case of cropping down the image, converting to black and white and playing with the levels and gamma before applying a little vignette and some grain to give it a bit of retro feel. Based on what I wanted to take tonight, it was mission accomplished (in my opinion!) – with the added bonus of a relatively quick shot, edit and blog post. Now time to relax after a busy (and stressful) day. Oh and by the way – No, I didn’t order my tripod, but I did treat myself to one or two other things instead! Maybe they’ll get a blog post of their own soon!
Thanks for reading.
Tonight I had the opportunity to get outside and practice my night photography. The wife was nipping out for an hr or so, so I got dropped off at the local beach and started snapping away. There wasn’t much of a moon to provide any lighting tonight, but I was still keen to see what I could capture with a longer exposure time. I am still sans tripod (going to order is next week I think) I had to make do with balancing on top of a concrete bench. That gave me the stability, as long as I was gripping the camera as tightly at possible to avoid any camera shake.
At first I was struggling to focus on the bridge – as it was so dark the autofocus couldn’t pick it up, so I was focussing manually by trial and error with reasonable results. It wasn’t until my wife returned to pick me up that I was able to use the car headlights to light up the bridge so I could focus correctly. Todays shot is one that was taken while the headlights were still on. Unfortunately for the shot I took without the headlights I’d set the ISO to 3200, which was really too high, and the image is really noisy. So for todays shot I’m plumed for this. I actually quite like the effect the car lights have given the bridge – even thought its slightly over-exposed. I do love light bouncing off the clouds, and also that I’ve managed to capture the stars through the break in the clouds. The settings for todays shot were; f/8, 25-sec exposure, IS-3200.
With hindsight, I’d have turned up a bit earlier (with a tripod) while it was still light to get the focusing correct – then it would have given me more time to play with the camera settings, and I’d have definitely used a lower ISO. But I guess that’s what this entire project is about – making mistakes and learning from them. I’ll definitely be retrying this shot (or one similar) when my tripod arrives.
Didn’t want to do too much in Photoshop today, so just the usual levels, contrast and exposure settings were slightly tweaked, and also slightly cropped the image down to bring the bridge away from the centre of the image. So overall, very happy – learnt more tonight in an hr or so that I have done for a while so a productive night I’d say!
Thanks for reading everyone.
In Search of Spring.
Rumour has it, we’ve now entered Spring. For the UK that inevitably means snow and cold weather. Until that happens I’m happy to stay under the pretence of Winter – especially if we continue to get days like this. I thought today I would go out in the search of getting a flash of colour that would indicate that Spring is here. Unfortunately I think we’re still a week or two away as there wasn’t any sign that the local woodland was beginning to stir.
That being said, there are still corners of the woods that I’m still stumbling across meaning its still a good source of photos. Todays shot is one that I literally stumbled on. Hidden amoungst all the undergrowth I managed to find this log covered in moss just capturing the last of the days light.
As usual the difficulty was getting the focus correct from not being able to get down and use the view finder. I was relying on focusing in Live View, which I think I’ve just about managed today. I like the colours, and the sea of the white from the snow drops in the background. Also the lens flare from the sun coming through the trees gives a nice effect too. The settings for todays shot were; f/8, 1/25sec, ISO-100.
Again, not too much in Photoshop, apart from the usual. I tried a few different compositions by cropping the image, but in the end decided I preferred the composition as I’d captured it in the camera.
Nothing else to really add today – just the obligatory thank you for reading! Thanks!
Music Without Sound.
Evening everyone! Today’s post will be real quick one, as I’m shattered, and would like to return to my sofa as quickly as possible! Back to home comforts this evening, but in the end I’ve not really needed Photoshop – just my portable studio. As I’m kinda lacking my usual enthusiasm today, I knew it would be a still-life shot. I think I am getting more comfortable with my still-life shots now though – I think I’m beginning to see that you can capture of shot of almost anything and make it interesting, which is definitely helping me when I can’t get out and about to get a nice scenic or wildlife shot.
So today is just a shot of my noise cancelling earphones. My saviour on long journeys. They normally sit above me in my office and just as I went to turn my laptop on to load up Photoshop, I noticed them out of the corner of my eye. So I started shooting using the white side of my backing card, but soon found the contrast was a bit too much, so flipped onto the black side of the card and tried again. I knew I’d be using a very shallow depth of field to make the shot interesting, but it was just a case of getting the sharpness in the focal point of the shot. The settings for todays shot are; f/4.5, 1/50sec, ISO-6400.
This isn’t actually a converted black and white image – all I’ve done in Photoshop is adjust the contrast slightly, and increase the yellow tint a tiny little bit. I tried converting it into black and white, but in the end I like the warmth that the yellow tungsten light gives the shot. I also decide the image didn’t need any additional graining, so in the end it was only a minor adjustments that were needed. Just what I wanted tonight!
Seeing as this was meant to be short post, I can see I’ve managed to ramble on again! Hopefully a decent nights sleep will rejuvenate the enthusiasm for tomorrow! Thanks for sticking with it!