Friday, 21 December 2012

Sunset at Port Sutton Bridge

I wanted to try out HDR.

After approx 4 years of practicing photography i had never created a HDR image.

HDR or High Dynamic Range images are typically created by merging 3 or more photos together. In order to the create the images attached and HDR images in general;

I took the first photo exposing the light parts of the photo such as the sky, doing this leaves the darker parts such as the foreground or subject underexposed/dark, if this photo was the finished image it would be a silhouette

The 2nd photo was exposed for the darker elements of the photo, in the images attached this would of been the river, river bank etc doing this over exposes the sky to an usable level (this is known as blown out)

The 3rd photo taken was exposed in the middle for both light and dark parts of the scene.

The composition was the original purpose for the image; i wanted capture the port, bridge and power station  in one scene.

I love the sky and how it and the cranes are reflected in the water.

I hope you enjoy.

Monday, 3 December 2012

A Holga, Halo and Hunstanton all in one day

Picture a cold, very cold, Saturday afternoon on the deserted Norfolk coast of England, now picture a setting sun and a cold face, you've now got the gist of this post.

I decided to limit myself to using my Holga Lens.

A Holga lens with a Canon EF mount gives my modern digital SLR the ability to create images of a 50 year old Chinese camera.

Holga's have a cult following due to the quality of the images; soft focus, dark corners and lens flare, which are all attributes photographers usually do not want but with the popularity of phone photography and apps such as Instagram, Holga's and other 'toy' camera's are now proving to be popular.

I picked up my Holga lens before the summer (you might of missed the summer if you blinked) for around 8GBP and although it proves to be a bit of a novelty it comes out of the camera bag every now and then.

Back to Hunstanton.

The sun was starting to come down and walking along the beach, i thought i could finally attempt to shoot into the sunlight to create a halo around the subject; Laura in this case, by placing Laura directly in front of the camera, effectively blocking the sunlight light entering my lens. Firstly this creates a silhouette, although silhouettes can be cool, this is not entirely what i wanted. To solve this i used the built in flash to create some fill flash, balancing the ambient light of the scene with Laura's face lit by the flash.

Another image taken on the day.
I slightly softened/lightened the Vignetting (darkening of corners) at the top right corner due to it being overpowering and looking odd opposite the sun in the top left corner.

Thanks for looking.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

A cold Sunday in Ely. Shot in RAW

We took a trip to Ely, Cambridgeshire last Sunday to have a look around.

Luckily the weather remained dry, however it was pretty cold but as its November it was to be expected.

Ely, a city, is known for its cathedral, although I'm not a religious person i was drawn to the building due to it size; you have to admire the workmanship.

My favourite part of the day was walking by the riverside; canal boats, pubs, restaurants and fresh air, all a good combination.
Although the image contains lens flare, i used the foliage to diffuse the sunlight in order to achieve a decent exposure

One thing i didn't expect to find while walking alongside the river is what has dragged out and left on the side.
It seems I'm drawn to odd things.

I used this trip to shoot in raw for the first time. Although I've been into photography for a few years now I've never felt the need to shoot in raw.
I usually shoot in the finest quality JPEG and try to read the histogram to monitor weather the image is correctly exposed. Another good trick is to use the clipping display on the camera to show weather the image is over exposed.
On average i also shoot with negative exposure compensation, i think i must prefer darker images.

I hope you enjoy my images!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

One Day In Her Life; Manual Focusing and B&W With My Fiance Laura

The history behind this post is that i recently bought a Canon FD lens to reverse mount onto my camera to practice macro photography.

When buying the lens and reverse mount from ebay i also purchased an adapter to mount the lens onto Laura's Olympus E-PL1 compact system camera.

All in all, 1 old lens, 1 reverse mount and 1 adapter cost roughly 20 quid, which in my opinion isn't too bad.

Being an old lens it's fully manual, which was new to me as I'm used to controlling the aperture by the camera; this lens has an aperture ring just below the focus ring.

Mounting the adapter to the camera was very easy, just like mounting a true Olympus lens however mounting the lens to the adapter is a bit fiddly, especially to ensure control of aperture isn't lost due to incorrect mounting (this happened a few times) and now its mounted i really don't want to take it off.

It looks so good!

I really like how the camera sits in the hands with the larger lens on, it feels more natural than when it has the kit lens attached as the kit lens is tiny in comparison.

History lesson over.

I wanted to get to grips with using manual focus, so i decided to annoy Laura by following her around all day taking photos of her doing mundane things.

I really like this photo, the Laura's hands, phone and face area really crisp and sharp.
Its a very natural candid photograph.


Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Rough with the smooth

Im still loving and loathing the reverse mounted macro lens.

Loving it because its opened up a whole new world of photography for me.

Loathing it because its tricky with such a small depth of field and hard to find the focus distance.

Altering the aperture doesn't seem to make any difference either apart from making the image darker (due to opening being smaller) although i think i read this would be the case somewhere on the net.


I ventured out the other morning when it wasn't raining with the intention of capturing different textures.

Can you guess what they are?


This photo shows how shallow the depth of field is.

Please comment.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

The world is my small abstract oyster

I usually hate to wake up and open the blinds only to find condensation on the window but on this particular day it gave me a subject/reason to use the macro lens again.

Condensation is not a pretty sight.

Very abstract. Without being told i think it would be quite difficult to work out what this was.

Mission accomplished.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

My first attempts at Macro photography

I recently purchased a Canon FD mount 50mm 1.8 Prime lens in order to reverse mount on to my 450D DSLR.

I got the adapter in the post yesterday after waiting 10days for delivery from Hong Kong. I didn't think 10 days was too bad considering the distance travelled and especially considering the adapter cost less than 2GBP including postage.

To say i was excited about using the lens and adapter combo and experimenting with Macro photography was an understatement.

Wikipedia decibes macro photography;
'Macro photography  is extreme close up photography, usually of very small subjects, in which the size of the subject in the photograph is greater than life size.'

Reverse mounting a lens onto a camera is the cheapest way to get started in macro photography. Cheap has to best with me due to saving for a wedding, lets hope my fiance reads this to prove i do tell people im getting married.

When reverse mounted the lens and camera looks like this.

The first think that struck me is the incredibly small depth of field (the amount of image that's in focus) which doesn't seem to be adjustable.

Secondly due to the DOF (depth of field) and because its reverse mounted the focus distance is also very short; the lens has to be approx 5-10cm from the subject in order to achieve focus.

Good job i have a tripod.

The third issue is the small amount of light that passes through the lens either means long exposures (the time the shutter stays open ) or high ISO (how sensitive the camera is too light) are needed.

The following are examples of what can be achieved after 5 minutes of playing around with the set up.

Laura's engagement ring. This is the first photo i took.

A trophy that my car won at a car show.

Spider. I like how you can see hairs on the legs.

I really like this photo because of the colour and how well the the subject fills the frame, this photo has not been cropped.

Moisture on a weed which reminds me i need to get some Round Up.

Please feel free to comment.

Monday, 29 October 2012

My nephew gets high at the weekend

I wanted to play with my new Nissin Flashgun while at the same time keeping my niece and nephew occupied.

Ive already realised i love taking photos of people jumping, so lets kill 3 birds with 1 camera shaped stone.

If done again i would lower the output of the flash as there are some harsh shadows even though i was bouncing the flash of the ceiling.

It seems that Harriet, my 9 year old niece, likes photography too as she always wants to have a go with my camera;

Well done Harriet, nice one!

Friday, 26 October 2012

Leaf it out

Everytime i've journeyed home from work over the past week i have been confronted with a blanket of leaves on the green opposite my house and i thought, 'perfect place for an autumn photo'.

Armed with both my 50mm and 55-200mm lenses i went over and started snapping.

Ive always read how focal length can affect depth of field (how much is in focus) but have never experimented.

The first photo was taken at 50mm with an aperture of f/1.8.

The 2nd photo was taken at 200mm f/5.6 and although the composition is slightly different and the image is edited differently colour wise, the red leaf is roughly the same size in both images and and the depth of field is shallow and similar in both images.

Lesson over for today...................dare i say LOL!

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Hide and Seek

Saturday afternoon i decided i wanted to go to the woods to capture some autumn leaves and scenes. It turns out the trees in the particular woodland area don't shed there leaves......gutted!

Not to make it a wasted walk we decided to take some Hide and Seek pictures.
There wasn't a lot of natural light available as it was approaching 5.30pm and the sun was setting fast. I bumped up the ISO to 1600 and set my aperture at F1.8 to allow as much light in as possible.

Loads of light at f1.8.

When heading back out, the sun was then going behind the horizon, the colour was brilliant as it shown through the woodlands. One tree stood out as the sun's rays were projected onto it.

The loving mans bench

Taken with my canon 450D and 50mm 1.8 lens at the Grand designs live show 2012 at London Excel.

If only I had enough money to buy the items there, it was like a millionaire's paradise.