Saturday, 23 February 2013

I used to go out drinking, now i just go out thinking (how am i going to take a photo of that)

Only a few years ago i still regularly went out 'clubbing' now i only go to photography club. Oh how my life has changed.

In December i spotted an advert in a local paper advertising a new photography group starting up. Having experienced a fresh spark in interest in photography in the last half a year, due to the recent wedding photographer role, i thought id give it a try.

The group has been limited, i guess due to winter, to taking pictures inside, i personally can't wait for some warmer weather so we can go out exploring local spots together. 

Each person has been asked to bring in items they would like to photograph as well as including suitable back drops. Themes have been set, each member is able to interpret the theme and create images around the theme. Thinking of and finding objects to photograph is quite difficult in my opinion as, being honest, i have no interest in photographing objects on a table top.

Although the previous paragraph sounds negative, a positive point for the sessions is that i am learning to create images of items, objects, scenes etc that i wouldn't of previously took photos of. I suppose a professional photographer working on a job may not always be enthusiastic about the subject but they still have to create a quality piece of work regardless.

Working on a table top does test the skills; creating a scene worth capturing, finding the best composition, adjusting camera settings to capture details and to not capture others like gaps and seams in the background and finding a suitable white balance due to overhead lighting.

Most recently i was having difficulty focusing on an object using my 50mm lens. I only wanted one small object in focus however i had reached the limit of the lens and couldn't focus close enough. I had to change to a longer focal length lens and step back a bit to create the same composition. I used knowledge of how focal length affects depth of field/perspective as well as aperture to allow the desired object to be in focus and to to cause the rest to be out of focus.

There's an example of how attending the group and doing something i don't like has been an advantage of refreshing skills.

On to some of my favourite images from the sessions in December and January.

ISO 1600 f/4 1/100
ISO 1600 f/5.6 1/40 

The reflections is the ball is my favourite part of the above image.

ISO 200 f/8 1/200
The shot above was created by using the built in flash to expose the figures and my Nissin flashgun to expose the background. The reason I'm so please with the above image is that the white background was made up of many A4 pieces of paper which had horrible joins everywhere, i used my flashgun to over expose/blow out the white to create the flat background. This was my intention on the night and i was very pleased to have succeeded. The image is slightly over saturated bad.

ISO 400 f/7.1 1/200
It took many attempts to achieve focus in the desired place. The image has had the contrast increased to create a harder edge between the subjects and the background.

I hope you continue to enjoy my images and honest approach.



Saturday, 16 February 2013

Day tripping in the big smoke

Just days after New Years i received an email at work offering return travel to London and back for £5 each. So that weekend myself and Laura got up early Saturday morning and by car,coach and train went to London.

Although i have visited London numerous times as a teenager and in my early 20's i hadn't ever done much sight seeing, so armed with my trusty Canon, sight seeing was the aim of a long and tiring day.

Here are my favourite images of the day.


Ive been wanting to practice street photography for some while. I think it takes real guts to step out in front of someone you don't know and photograph them candidly. From what i read, new starters to the genre tend to use a zoom lens/long focal length in order to stay incognito, this wasn't a choice to me as i only had my kit and 50mm prime lens with me on the day.

In the first and second image i like the motion captured (particularly in the second image) and how people are crossing the image in different directions.

When walking close to the London Eye, there are a lot of street performers, i noticed the performer creating large bubbles and a child jumping to touch them before they burst. As i got close enough to take the third image, the child made his last and not so spectacular attempt.........damn!

Graffiti found on the embankment.

The third image was difficult to expose due to the different lighting sources; daylight and artificial from the overhead lights. I really like the depth of field captured by using an aperture of f/7.1 and the hard lines and angles of the different walls.

Landscape in portrait orientation of the river Thames with St. Pauls Cathedral. I was first drawn to the scene by the detail on the street lamps, i then noticed the river and buildings in the background.

Before we left for the trip i had planned to get this shot of the London Eye. In my mind this has came out better than i expected. i had originally planned for the shot to be the opposite of this but when comparing both images i much preferred this composition. I like the empty space on the left compared to the circular shape of the wheel and the diagonal lines of the cables and support structure.

Thanks for looking.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Stepping up to the challenge! My first wedding.

I thought it was about time i updated my blog.

Since my last post i have bought 2 new cameras and a new phone, joined a photography club, been sight seeing in London; all of which will receive more detail in future posts.

Most importantly i was asked to and shot a wedding.

I was asked approximately 6 months ago to play wedding photographer in December. In between the proposition and the event i went through stages of acceptance, joy, denial, worry, nervousness and im sure many more emotional states.

At times i doubted my ability and although the people closest to me, always assured me i could perform and achieve results.

I found myself at night thinking about lighting, white balance, apertures.......what if it rains, what if my camera stops working etc etc.

Closer to big day i started to prepare by scouting the church in view of finding the best locations and camera settings needed. As the wedding was in December available light was minimal, not helped by an afternoon ceremony, i knew that time would be short to get the list of photos agreed.

Winter afternoon sun is low in the sky and can make beautiful golden glow images providing you can find a location that lets the light shine onto the subject. At the church i knew available light was going to be issue, the best locations were on the wrong side of the church where the sun was blocked by the church itself.

Fortunately using my head i looked around the church grounds at the time of day i knew i would be doing the real shoot. I found a spot on the edge of the grounds where the last bit of sun sines through some trees and an old brick building. Bang! here's the spot to get the bride and grooms shots.

So on to the day.

Batteries were charged, lenses cleaned, camera bag packed, shirt ironed, Laura had a new dress, the sun was out and it wasn't raining....................however it was freezing cold! In the end it was the temperature that applied the most pressure on the day; the bride and groom were cold, families and friends were cold and my hands were cold holding the camera.

I decided on aperture's to use, so when it was time for the photo's outside; they were done in approx 15 minutes from beginning to end. Not so good when i had loads of nice ideas to try out.

On to some of my favourite photos from the day.

Great golden light.
I over exposed the background and use fill flash to create this high key image.
I love how they're are looking in opposite directions deep in thought.
A happy lady!
Lloyd, the groom, loves toys, cartoons and comics, so i knew they would love this high contrast image that has a real comic feel

This has a timeless feel to it thanks to the sepia filter that i applied.

I hope you enjoyed my write up and viewing my some of my favourite images of my good friends wedding.