Friday, 31 December 2010

One I found Earlier

I have been archiving some images from my hard drive and found this one from last Christmas that I had forgotten about and wanted to use, It is Imogen in here new rocking horse, I took it with my Canon 450D and a canon 90 - 300mm EF lens

And the bells we use to pretend that we can hear Santa coming and get the kids to go to sleep, one of us gets the kids to stand at the front door as the other hangs out of a window 'shakin what yer momma gave yer!'

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Bristol Trip

The annual Christmas outing of the Pixxel8 minus 3 (Ruth, Pete & Beck) was arranged, after some deliberation Bristol was the chosen location, now the next difficult decision was what time to go, I being a lazy B*!@D want a late start but I bowed to the masses so we set of at 06:30 HRS!! me driving and just 2 hours to Bristol in the fog, seeing mist scenes on the Mendips and surrounding countryside on the way.

We arrived and dully parked we search for a cafe to have breakfast and plan the day. one was found by the docks, ordered our food and found that the conveniences were inconveniently out of action, so Sub-Way next door sufficed.

I made a point of just using my 17 - 40mm wide angle zoom on my full frame camera to try and get different images of the same subject as the rest had medium to telephoto lens's, I hope I have achieved this?

It was still misty and overcast so we looked for interesting structure to fill the space of empty skies, we walked around the docks and river frontages all day, up to the Cathedral, with cafe stops along the way. At  the Bristol Museum we found a nice bench to rest whilst Eric surveyed the scene (well he was one a Quantity surveyor), back down to the docks and another walk round, stopping at a waterside pub for early dinner of Beef and ale pie (well for me anyway as they had only one portion left) Coca-Cola with not enough syrup! and Steve to pay for a pudding which never turned up!

Out again into the night to get some low light shots, Eric had forgotten his tripod so a rally round to loan one off each of us in turn, obligingly of course.

Turning 8 o'clock we headed back home for a cup of tea and bed.

Icebound at Bristol Docks



Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Little Snow Angels

Well that was a surprise, a local amateur weatherman said no snow for us..... A bet he feels a little silly now!  I got up this morning to snow, lots of snow, all 6" of it (or 150mm for the metric lot) as it was my day to look after the kids whilst 'er in doors' went to earn a crust I decided that a better way to wear out the little cherubs other than vegging out in front of the telly, was to suggest a winter walk, or in this case sledge ride.

Here are some pics to prove it, all taken wit h my Canon 5D MKII and Canon 17 - 40mm f/4.0 EF L lens.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Carols at St Marys and ISO at 2000

Attended a Christmas Carol service at St Marys Church in Stretton, and me being me I took my camera for some low light photography. Knowing that I was taking hand held pictures in low light situation I opened up my latest lens acquisition, a Canon 17 - 40mm EF L, to it's largest aperture of f/4.0  and upped the ISO to 2000 to try and achieve a reasonably hight shutter speed as I possibly could, Luckily it was a full moon....

Here are some images, edited for white balance and some crop.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Kelly Revisited

Another blast from the past, here is a shot of Kelly taken during my studio session last year, I thought it too was worth another look.

I used one bare bulb flash with barn door fitted to create harsh shadows and light fall off in the corners.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Talulah revisited

Whilst I was editing some images from a recent family portrait shoot I decided to have a look at some of my previous work, I came across this one of Talulah that was taken last summer during a location shoot on the Burton Washlands, this one has the bridge by the library and cherry orchard in the background. I thought it was worth showing off.

This was taken with my Canon 5D MKII and a Canon 24 - 105mm f/4.0L and I used some fill flash from a 580 EXII speedlite.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Winter Walk at -7

What a glorious day for taking images of the winter spectacle, very low temperatures of around - 7 (well for Burton)  a low winter sun and a riverside walk, what more could you ask for..... I even had a fellow Tog, Steve to tag along with! so off we set over the Burton Washlands walks by the river Trent during our lunch.

Here are a couple of images (only adjusted for white balance) that were taken with my Canon 5D MKII and my newly procured Canon 17-40mm f/4.0 L EF wide angle lens and of course a polariser fitted for good measure...

Views towards St Peters

The Trent looking towards the Trent Bridge

On the Bend

Friday, 3 December 2010

A Winter Walk to Work

I decided to walk to work today as the roads on our estate were like glass, so never wanting to mis a photographic opportunity I took my little 450D. My route took me from Midway along the A511 down to the Swan junction where I then detoured through the Stapenhill meadows and along the viaduct to the college. I got a couple of shots which I like.... what do you think?

 Bridge to the washlands from the viaduct

 The Trent viewed toward Trent Bridge

Trent Bridge

Friday, 19 November 2010

BPS Club Comp night

It's that time of the month again, yes I mean the monthly BPS club competition night has arrived.

All the Burton College group have done well again, Steve (digiphotoman) has moved up to the Advance projected and got a first place for his image taken at the lakes on a misty morning... excellent work Steve. Pip also did extremely well in the beginners prints section, I think a few of them should have moved up to the intermediate section to give me some fair competition, as they are well worthy and the sections are blurring between them all. If they were not tittled as beginners, intermediate and advanced you would be hard pressed to guess which section they are in.

I suppose you want to know how I did.... well OK them you twisted my arm and under duress I will tell you....!

In my section the Intermediate Prints for the second week running I managed a 1st place for my image titled Gunsmoke (and yes it was real smoke from the gun)

And I also managed to get a 2nd place spot for my image titles ' wind farm on the Dee estuary' this was taken from a field overlooking Colwyn Bay in Wales and they had to be about 2 miles from where I was so I used a 200 mm lens to reach them.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Location Shoot with Cars and Emma

Had an excellent car and model shoot as part of my college L3 Diploma course, all went well except the college flash equipment didn't have all the cables to allow me to use two out of the four flash units, we had a Rolls and Ferrari and a fabulous model 'Emma' here is a taster of the days shots, I call it 'Hi Rollin'

Here are some more from the day

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

The Water Bowser

Whilst on a classic car and tractor shoot, after finishing photographing the cars I decided to have a wander around the farm and tucked away in a field at the back of one of the barns was this water bowser, I just loved the way the light had caught it bringing out it's colour and texture.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Attempt No 2

Another attempt at my version of a Steven Le Provost pic, I think I've still got a long way to go. Didn't Steven say at the seminar each of his pictures would have upwards of 20 layers! I'm struggling with 7

I call this one Zante 97

I wanted a sharper image of Paula but more texture in the surrounding areas, Pip suggested a square crop like Stevens, But I think I like this crop as Paula has somewhere to look into? I have also used a curves layer to increase the contrast whilst keeping the scene more pastel and light.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

MCPF Seminar & Steven Le Prevost

Had an excellent day at the MCPF seminar held at our Burton Photographic Society Club headquarters in the Priory Centre in Burton.

There were four speakers of excellent reputation and quality, amongst them was Steven Le Provost a creative photographer and digital artist.... wow what great pictures, I say pictures rather that photographs as most of his work is heavily Photoshopped, items dragged from here and there and inserted into various backgrounds, foregrounds and anywhere else he feels would creatively enhance his work. One of the areas that interested me was his use of blurring, texturing and introducing noise to his pictures to create soft atmospheric scenes, as soon as I say them it was like a lightbulb switching on to that photograph that I have from years back when I first got a digital camera... this picture had been waiting patiently for years ready to show it self when the time was right.

Well as soon as I got home I dung it out and set to to bring out my creative side in the style of Steven's.... here it is:

I call it summer days.....

What have I done to it, a bit of dodging, some Gaussian blur, noise and a layer of clouds with the opacity  reduced.... what do you think?

Saturday, 25 September 2010

My image published

A while back I was asked by the husband of my friend Pip to take a picture for a book he was writing/ designing the cover for. One of his friends young son was going to be dressed up in some army uniform, his slippers and a teddy.

well follow the link as it is now published  so.. this must mean that I've had a picture published too!

Thanks Pip for giving me the opportunity to have a picture published and credited.I shall treasure it as one of 'my firsts', hopefully not my last...

Friday, 24 September 2010

Reversing the inverse square law

I receive email update of tog techneques etc from a great site called 'Digital Photography School' and thought this one was really boring....... but really useful once into it.

go to this link to see

Thursday, 16 September 2010

In the fast lane with Force India F1

I won a competition to have a guided tour of the Force India Formula One racing team factory, warts and all. The factory is based at Silverstone which was about one and a half hours away by car. As the I had to be there by 9:30am I had an earlier start that I normally have, the one bonus was not much traffic on the M1 so I was quite a bit early arriving, on the plus side this gave loads of time to inspect the magnificent piece of engineering adorning the reception...
Once all the other winners arrived we were escorted to the boardroom for tea and biscuits before the tour, this was the boardroom where the likes of Schumacher and others have graced.
This series of pics are of last years car that is used for practicing pit stops, the black line is where the tyres should positioned and the pit man kneels readdy to change a tyre as the car is hurtling towards them at 70 mph!

    You can't beat a good back shot

Each wheel is £1000

This is the front aerofoil that proves a competitor had chopped them up in a race from last year, It was a famous argument? if you look closely the black stuff is actually rubber from the tyre, It also groves how strong carbon fibre really is, which by the way is what makes up almost all of the car except for the engine and wheels....
The exhaust system all hand built every one exactly the same so that they could use it in any of their cars, each radiator is also hand built from scratch and take three weeks to build.

I had a very good day very informative and a great insight into what it take to build and run a F1 car and team.