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Tech Podcast Network

SCL Photo Podcast 40: Photo Dash!

SCL PodcastSCL's retirement was a little premature....

It may not come out every week, but I enjoy doing it too much to stop. Many thanks for the great emails and comments in support of the Podcast - I can't thank everyone enough.

Cheers, Rob.

Subscribe on Itunes. (Will open Itunes, then you need to click on the "subscribe" button.) (Free)

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Download / listen to the mp3. (Right-click then "save target as" / "save link as".) (Did I say it was free?)

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Here Are The Photo Dash Photo's!

Check Out Damien's Camera Giveaway

Damien Franco, over at is running a giveaway for one lucky reader to grab a brand new Canon PowerShot SD770IS.

All you have to do is write a blog post about an article on his site that taught you something about photography, link to that article, then at the end of June, Damien will randomly pick someone to have this great little camera.

One of the posts (or series of posts) that I have enjoyed the most on Damien's site was "16 Quick Tips For New Photographers" - ideas from members of the yourphototips flickr group. A must read for any photographer, new or not.

Anyway, check out the giveaway, and you never know, you could have a new camera for the Summer!

Cheers, Rob.

SCL Photo Podcast Bows Out... For Now

SCL PodcastThanks to everybody for downloading and listening over the last several months.

SCL will be back, I'm just not sure when, so please leave it in your subscription lists,

Thanks again, Rob.

Subscribe on Itunes. (Will open Itunes, then you need to click on the "subscribe" button.) (Free)

Subscribe with other Podcatchers. (Google Reader, etc) (For Free)

Download / listen to the mp3. (Right-click then "save target as" / "save link as".) (Did I say it was free?)

Download / listen to the LOW BANDWIDTH mp3. (Right-click then "save target as" / "save link as".) (Again, free!)

SCL Photo Podcast 38: Journey Through The British Isles, By Harry Cory Wright, Book Review

SCL PodcastQuick chat about a bargain book that I picked up at a local charity shop...

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Show notes:

Related Links:

Man, I Miss My Photography!

Photowalk 68, Welcome Back!

My Notes:

journey_book_coverFeature: Journey Through The British Isles , Harry Cory Wright, Book Review

Official Website of The Book

The Authors Website.

BBC article about making the book.

"Journey", available at

"Journey", available at (USA)

Yesterday Suzanne and I went on a bit of a bargain hunt. We hit an indoor car-boot sale in Portsmouth at about 7 o'clock, then went for a nice cooked breakfast, then we looked round the shopping centres first in Fareham then in Southsea, Portsmouth.

While having a dig in one of the charity shops I found this amazing book - Journey Through The British Isles, by the photographer Harry Cory Wright, so I thought I'd talk about it today.

The first thing that hits you when you pick up this book is it's size. It must be a good two and a half feet across when opened up, and about a foot high, there's about 100 full colour, mostly full-page, photographs, that look stunning, both in terms of the colours themselves, but also because of the detail within these images.

The photographer, Harry Corry Wright, spent 6 months in 2006 travelling the length and breadth of England, Wales and Scotland with the aim of capturing the disappearing beauty of the British countryside. The thing is, he wasn't using an ordinary camera - no 35mm, digital or medium format here, Harry lugged around a large format film camera that uses 10 by 8 inch film plates - that's about A4 size, and the camera itself, made from brass and wood, is about the size of a portable TV turned on its side.

While leafing through this fantastic prints, the quality in the production of this book shines through. The paper is super glossy and the printer has done a fantastic job with recreating Harry's work.

Whether these photographs will appeal to you depends on if you like landscapes, and in particular British landscapes. We're not talking about high contrast black and white granite monoliths or cavernous valleys, a la Ansel Adams, what we're seeing are lush green rolling hills, misty downs and foreboding moors.

Not many of the photo's in this book stick in your mind straight away - but on the second or third viewing you start to see more and more in the different scenes and vistas, maybe the subtle play of light on some heather, or some distant sheep on a hill - all thanks to the brilliant detail of the large format camera.

My favourites have to be the lakeside or coastal shots - maybe its because I live right next to the sea myself. Hagdale and the Keen of Hamar, with a small farmers cottage tucked into the corner, or perhaps the ever-photographed beachy head with the white cliffs a stark contrast to the deep blue of the sky and sea.

A phenomenal work of great care for the subject he's shooting - Harry Cory Wright's visions of the British Countryside are masterpieces of subtle realism, it's a must read for any landscape photographer. Order it from your local library, amazon (links in the show notes), or for £4.50 from a charity shop near you.

Any book review wouldn't be complete without a little discussion of what we can learn as photographers from the images and text in the book - and Harry rather handily has added some technical notes at the back of the volume to help us out. We may not be shooting large format, but we can emulate some of his ideas to shoot better landscape photographs ourselves.

The first point would be that to shoot a great landscape you need to explore the area and find the most pleasing view, then wait for, or come back when there's great light, which will probably be early morning or late afternoon. The next thing to do is to use a tripod - it slows you down, improving your composition and gives you time to think about the photograph you want to create. The final point I take from the book is that to take a great landscape photograph it helps if you know the area well - to know how it changes through the seasons, and so that you can explore all of it's nook and crannies to find unusual and stunning view-points. The Landscape photographer takes his or her own sweet time.

March / April Photo Assignment - "Depth of Field".

Long Term Assignment - "Where I Live"

Technique challenges (No Time Limit):

No Sky Landscapes

Fill The Frame!

Dawn / Dusk shots

A Landscape Style Shot With Strong Foreground Interest

Remember to email me your photos if you'd like to me work on them for the Photo Workbench.

To contact me, just click on the link near the top of the page under the big picture.

Thanks for listening, see you on Flickr!

Join the Flickr Group!

Cheers, Rob.

Man, I Miss My Photography!

So, here I am, sitting at my PC at half past nine at night, feeling tired after a hard days work, thinking about things to write, and looking back over some of the posts in my blog.

You see I got a new job a couple of months ago, and it's great, but I just don't get the time to use my camera's as much as I used to, and it got me wondering about what that it is that I like about photography so much and why I took it to heart as my main hobby.

I broke my elbow badly just before Christmas 2007, I spent about a week in hospital waiting for an operation, then a few months after at home recovering, so I had plenty of time to read, as I couldn't do much else.

I had an old Kodak digital, but hadn't been that much interested in photography as a hobby, but in those long months with my arm in a special cast I read a few photography magazines, and bought a Fujifilm S5700 just after Christmas 2008.

To start off with the Fuji was simply an answer to a problem I had - no digital video camera - and I needed one for reviews on, and I also thought it would make a great new section on that site, but my interest quickly blossomed and I decided to create this blog / website for the dozens of articles I wanted to write. has become something of an obsession, and even with my arm in a sling I spent many happy hours out shooting with my new digital camera, covering miles on photowalks, discovering parts of Gosport that I never knew existed. I started the Podcast to talk about and share my experiences, a flickr group, and made lots of great new friends on that photo-sharing site, especially from the S5700 Flickr group.

As I look back at most of my images I cringe. Sure, some are OK, but my early experiments with post-processing, cropping and HDR were "interesting" to say the least. I feel that I'm a little more conservative now, but I've still got a long way to go.

I digress. What is it the I love about photography? Photographs? I like looking at photographs, especially books, but I don't need a camera for that. My photographs? A little, but to be honest once they're up on Flickr I don't look at them too much. Post processing? A necessary evil on my old, slow pc.

I think its the whole experience, rather than one particular part. I like to look out of the window, see the great light, grab my camera, then go out walking just looking for moments and places where I see something that captures my eye and I try to record it. I like the physicality of being out for hours, in all weathers, not knowing what I might find, if anything at all.

I like the relaxation of spending time, mostly alone, focusing on one thing - taking photographs - when all the worries of "normal life" drop away, and it's all about the present, from step to step, where a turn of the head, or a change of direction can suddenly reveal a stunning vista.

Getting home, putting the kettle on, downloading my photo's then working on them is OK, but as I said before it can be a little slow, but I do enjoy the surprise of watching flat colour photo's being transformed into high-contrast black and whites, or detailed HDR's.

After uploading them to Flickr I like the wait for comments, to see what other people think, then writing a post or podcast about it, then thinking about the next photowalk.

That's my problem you see, I like the whole thing, all aspects of photography, especially shooting outside, but I just don't seem to have the time at the moment. I leave for work at about Seven in the morning, and don't get home until twelve hours later. Week-ends and days off are filled with DIY and the garden, so I need a new strategy.

Lunch breaks are too short - I normally only grab less than half an hour, and to be honest I don't really enjoy shooting indoors at home at night.

I think the answer is more sleep. If I can get up an hour earlier, by going to bed earlier, perhaps I can squeeze in a few short photowalks before work, and get back into the groove of my photography - the hobby I love.

Cheers, Rob.