RSS & Email Feeds - The Easy Way To Keep Up To Date With The Blog
Please Support This Site and Podcast (Via Paypal):
Any amount.
$5USD a month. 


Tech Podcast Network

Photowalk 65 - Fort To Explosion!

Weapons Detail, Explosion Museum.It was a grey and cold day today, but I had the crazy idea of doing a Photowalk, recording a podcast while I was doing it, and to visit the Explosion! museum as well.

It actually turned out to be really good - especially in the museum where I had to experiment with different flash techniques to try and get decent pictures in challenging (dark) conditions.

Weapons Detail, Explosion Museum
Weapons Detail, Explosion Museum.

As usual, I've mixed up the order of the shots, the above probably being my favourite of the day. Taken inside the Explosion! museum, which is a collection of Naval Ordinance from the last few Centuries, I couldn't use a tripod so was forced to try some different techniques with my on-camera flash.

I was shooting in Aperture priority mode, forced flash, then playing around with aperture and flash compensation. When I was close to the subject, as above, I had to play around with the aperture and flash power compensation to get a decent shot.

The problem was that with normal settings the flash was creating too much glare off the metal, so I had to back off the power to get a more subtle look.

The Sharp End
The Sharp End. 32 of 365.

There was some great coloured lighting in the museum, but as I was having to ramp up my little Fujifilm S5700's on-camera flash to its highest setting to cover the displays, so most of that lovely colour was getting washed out.

If you're faced with this situation, where you want to capture the ambient background lighting, but need some fill-flash to light up your main subject, then slow-syncro flash can help, which is what I used on the above subject.

With slow-syncro, the camera uses a longer shutter speed to capture that background light, but then also pops the flash to light up the main subject. The difficult bit is that you should really use a tripod, which I couldn't, so it took a couple of goes to get this one.

Private Pier, Hardway
Private Pier, Hardway

This one's a simple HDR, from 3 exposures then Tone Mapped in Photomatix and finished off in Photoshop.

Highland Cow
Highland Cow

One of the last photographs I actually took, I finally got close to one of these huge hairy beasts, just wish the bar hadn't been in the way and you could see his eye...

Weapons Detail 2
Weapons Detail 2, Explosion Museum

Another macro from the Explosion! museum. I took quite a few shots, but it was hard to get decent ones - the backgrounds were too busy, or I couldn't get far enough away to really get the "big picture", so I went in close.

Firepower For Freedom
Firepower For Freedom

Not a great shot, but I like missiles... (Also, the one in the bottom left corner, with the weird looking tubes, is a Sea Slug anti-aircraft missile, and my Dad used to be in charge of the 901 Radar on a couple of County Class Destroyers, Fife and Norfolk, which was the guidance system for the weapon).

Moat Through Branches
Moat Through Branches

Ahhh... a bit of abstract for the soul....

Explosion Museum Buildings
Explosion Museum Buildings

Bricks. Walls. Just needed a bit more light...

Industrial Unit, Hardway
Industrial Unit, Hardway

Well, that's it for today, thanks for looking,

Cheers, Rob.

SCL Photo Podcast 31 - Live Photowalk!

SCL PodcastApologies for the sound quality, today I thought I'd try something different, and record the podcast while I was on a photowalk, so come with me on a stroll round my local area!

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!)

Show notes:

Featured Links:

Explosion Museum, Gosport.

Photo Assignment For February - "The Third Dimension"

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.

Photowalk 64 - Fort Brockhurst To Explosion!

Fort Brockhurst MoatWhat do you do if the the sky is grey and overcast, it's cold, wet and miserable? Grab your camera bag and go shooting of course!

This was not a good day for "pretty" photographs, everything was dull and flat, but that's interesting in itself and presents different challenges.

Fort Brockhurst Moat
Fort Brockhurst Moat

The first challenge is to motivate yourself to get out there and look for photographs. That's easy when the light is beautiful, but when it's drab it's much easier to stay in or take a trip to the shops.

I like dreary days - there's less people about, it's quiet, and sometimes ordinary places take on a spooky atmosphere.

Early Flowers, Fort Brockhurst
Early Flowers, Fort Brockhurst. 30 of 365.

Gosh, a splash of colour in my photostream! I was surprised to see these buds on a bush as I was walking around the moat at Fort Brockhurst. I switched to Super Macro Mode on my Fujifilm Finepix S5700 S700, opened up the aperture to f3.5 and got in close.

View Towards Fareham From Monks Walk
View Towards Fareham From Monks Walk

I converted all of the black and whites in this set using a variation on Victors Technique (I don't bother with the luminescence layer), in Photoshop, and I've been pleased with the results. I'm taking a lot more care with some of my adjustments so I don't blow out the highlights as often. (Apart from when I want a white sky).

Priddys Hard Walkway (East)
Priddys Hard Walkway (East)

A simple shot, but I like it a lot.

HMS Daring From Priddys Hard
HMS Daring From Priddys Hard

This was shot at almost full zoom, through haze, so I had to do a lot of post-processing, colour correction, levels, etc, so the full size is very dirty, but this size is just about OK.

Explosion Museum

Oh for some dramatic clouds in the background....

That's it for today, thanks for looking and I'll see you on Flickr!

Cheers, Rob.

BigStockPhoto Diary #4 - First Black And White Photo Accepted

bigstock4_title_250pxlsNow this is interesting. To be honest I'd never bothered submitting black and white shots from my Fujifilm S5700 / S700 to Istockphoto or Bigstockphoto, I just assumed the extra noise usually created when converting to b&w would lead to automatic rejections.

However, this morning I got an email saying that BigStock had accepted a black and white that I had submitted to test the waters. Let's take a look at that one, plus a couple of the rejections.

It's in: Bridge Railings With Strong Shadows

I took this photograph for the "Curves" assignment on the Fujifilm S5700 S700 Flickr User Group, and decided to submit it to BigStockPhoto along with a few other images that I'd done a lot of post-processing on, just to see if they'd get in.

I converted the photo in Photoshop, using the Black and White Adjustment Layer, then played with the levels. (I think I used a pass of Noise Ninja first, but I can't quite remember).

So why is this so exciting? Well, I should have submitted a b&w version and a colour version of the same image, to see if they'd both get in, and if that is the case then there's double the sales opportunities for most photographs: Just upload the original, and a black and white version!

What Didn't Get In:

Red Paving Bricks With Railing Shadow. Reason: Snapshot composition: This image is more of a snapshot than a marketable stock image. Overall problems can include poor lighting, poor composition, non-interesting subject matter, etc.

Seagull And Lamppost Abstract. Reason: Low interest subject: Probably little demand/selling potential for this image. Try for more marketable shots. thanks.

Some good learning points there, hope it gives you some pointers if, like me, you're dabbling in micro-stock photography.

Cheers, Rob.

"Nothing Personal" By Richard Avedon, Video Book Review

nothing_personalRichard Avedon, famous for his fashion and celebrity portrait photography, produced a darker, more personal book in 1964 - "Nothing Personal".

I've put together a short video to show you what the book is like, it's sheer size and it sheer quality.

So, a great book, but get it from your library, it's very expensive on Amazon.

Cheers, Rob.