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Tech Podcast Network
Monday
May252009

SCL Photo Podcast 46: Free Photos For Inspiration

SCL PodcastA short chat about how I'm getting on with the Canon 350d / Rebel XT and M42 Lenses, and a few places to look at photographs for free, that will inspire and motivate you.

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!)



Interesting Photo's On Flickr!

Galleries At Life.com.


Flickr group photo assignment - "Long Exposures", come on over and have a go!


Cheers, Rob.
Monday
May252009

More Practice With The Canon EOS 350d, Digital Rebel XT

Progress continues with me trying to master the 350d / Rebel XT and my old M42 Lenses.

I'm getting more used to where the buttons are on the Canon, have discovered that the Pentacon / Soligor lenses need about a stop of (under) exposure compensation in Evaluative Metering Mode, and manual focusing can be damn difficult!

Anyway, here's the extremes of focal length:

Spinaker Tower - Pentacon 29mm.
Spinaker Tower


The wide-angle Pentacon is a challenge to focus when the main subject is a way away - so what I've been doing is stopping down, to say f8, then relying on the Hyper-Focal distance markings on the lens barrel to (hopefully) keep things sharp-ish. (Check out the full-size version). I've also added a lens hood to reduce flare.

Tower Viewing Platform, Soligor 90-230mm Zoom With 2x Teleconverter.
Tower Viewing Platform


This one was taken at full zoom, with the huge lens resting on the barrier at the edge of the pier that juts out into Gosport Harbour. The photo was taken from the same vantage point as the photo taken with the 29mm Pentacon. The Soligor really throws you into the scene, exposing shapes and contexts that you wouldn't otherwise notice. It also tends to flatten out perspective, and obviously needs to be well supported to avoid camera shake, especially when stopping down to sharpen up the shot. (Check out the full-size version, and look out for the chap having his picture taken!)

So, these lenses aren't the sharpest in the world, and at the moment I'm just really "playing", taking shots at full zoom, in light that isn't the best, because at the moment all that matters is getting to know the kit.

Cheers, Rob.
Sunday
May242009

Interesting New Photo-Sales Site, Wozfoto

I just got an email from Jon Vanderplas telling me about a great new photo-sales site with an interesting twist.

Over at wozfoto.com they have an image of the day, which you can buy a print of for $10. Sounds like a good way to pick up fine-art photography prints for a lot less than normal...

Anyhows, check it out, and put it in your RSS reader or favourites.

Cheers, Rob.
Sunday
May172009

SCL Photo Podcast 45: In Our Time, The World As Seen By Magnum Photographers

SCL PodcastA brilliant Photo-Book, got at the local car-boot sale for £2....

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!)



"In Our Time" at Amazon.co.uk.

"In Our Time" at Amazon.com (USA).


Flickr group photo assignment - "Long Exposures", come on over and have a go!

Martin Bailey's Photography Podcast on Long Exposures.

Cheers, Rob.
Saturday
May162009

Photowalk 70 - A Bad Case Of Wind

Last night I grabbed my Canon EOS 350d / Digital Rebel XT dSLR, jumped into the car and did a quick run to the beach, then back up towards Portsdown Hill with an eye towards a motorway shot and perhaps a pano.

However, the wind was blowing, the light was disappearing fast, and I didn't have much time...

Stokes Bay, Looking East
Stokes Bay, Looking East


There's two main beaches in Gosport - the more developed, touristy Lee-On-Solent, and my favourite, the much emptier Stokes Bay. No sand on either I'm afraid, but they both look across the Solent and can be the location for some great shots.

In the above photograph I'm looking away from the sunset - I saw the interesting clouds, and the stone slabs for foreground interest, set up my tripod and shot a 3 bracketed exposure burst for a Photomatix HDR in post processing.

Stokes Bay Looking West
Stokes Bay Looking West


I turned around and shot towards the Sunset. The light wasn't great, with little real contrast in the sky, so again I went for a bracketed exposure to turn into a HDR. Shooting "stony" beaches is always a bit dodgy, and this photo could do with some foreground interest, plus the top of the sky is pretty empty.

Portsmouth Harbour From Portsdown Hill
Portsmouth Harbour From Portsdown Hill


After visiting Stokes Bay, I headed back away from Gosport, through Fareham, and up onto Portsdown Hill, to take a photo looking down onto Portsmouth Harbour. The wind was blowing hard, so my tripod again got some use.

It looks ok large, but if you look at the original, it's very soft. Needs re-visiting!

M27 Looking West
M27 Looking West


Determined to have a crack at this months photo assignment on long exposures, I parked up near to a motorway bridge, and set my tripod and camera up near the edge. My technique was simple - I just set my ISO low, then closed down the aperture to really limit the amount of light entering the camera, shooting in Aperture Priority Mode. I think I ended up with about a 13 second exposure - and I just turned the shutter delay on, and took a few shots.

What I didn't take into account was the wind, and how wobbly my £6.99 Asda Tripod is with a heavier dSLR on it.... You can see how bad it was all moving by the light trails, which are really jagged!

Anyway, it was good piece of practice, and as I'm writing this I'm listening to Martin Bailey's latest podcast, which is all about taking great long exposure shots, so hopefully I'll get some inspiration for better shots, but I wanted to include this one in my stream to share my learning's.

Cheers, Rob.