Spent a happy 4 hours on the circular walk from Steps Bridge to Clifford Bridge and back in the snow. Captured this row of saplings in the distance with a 300mm lens and reduced clarity and saturation in Adobe Raw to get a more mysterious effect.
Fab photography exhibition at the National Theatre. Winners of the Landscape Photographer of the Year Award.
Blown away by a Madonna and Child sculpture in Southwark Cathedral when I was in London in September. Just tracked down who it was by – Peter Eugene Ball. Have made it into a Christmas card. Very expressive.
Startlingly beautiful beech woods, but blink and all the leaves have fallen. Went down to Clifford Bridge and caught an hour of morning light before the rain came in. I took this one in RAW with tripod, polariser etc.
This was the best of the bunch. I think the muted sunlight and the green edging to the path give it just/almost enough lift.
Only a week ago there were many more leaves still on the trees.
These ones were quick snaps handheld with the Fuji and no editing.
This one isn’t pin sharp but I just liked the shiny chestnut peeping out beside the fallen leaf.
Took my camera in to Devon Camera Centre yesterday where they were as helpful as usual and said the problem was definitely sensor dirt. Choice of leaving it with them for £35 collect on Monday or pay £30 for a kit to do it myself (several times). Opted for the Introductory Digital SLR Cleaning Kit and all seemed fairly straightforward. Photographed a piece of white paper (aperture shut down and with the telephoto lens where the problem had been most obvious) and can’t find any marks. So here’s hoping. What I should have done was take the same photo before the exercise to check before/after and that my test photo was indeed picking up the problem. Anyway, will keep an eye open.
Spent an absorbing few hours on the footpath from Forder to Dogmarsh. My head says this one of birch trunks isn’t especially interesting, but something keeps bringing me back to it. Maybe the softness of the atmosphere.
The fungi really caught my eye clustered in the centre of a beautiful rotting tree stump. The stump was in shade with rather bright light behind so I had to frame in really close. It’s beautiful quality printed up but the complexity of it makes it not so easy on the eye.
Actually managed to get myself out of bed for an early morning outing with my camera. Clear skies and cold night so hoping for some atmospheric effects. A pair of nice oak trees in a field near Sowton Bridge so I headed across the field only to find it full of 50 frisky steers who dribbled on my lenses and resolutely parked themselves between me and my trees as the light came up. Took a few photos of them for good measure then headed up the hill to see lots of nice mist forming in the valley.
Lots of the pictures troubled with blotchy marks and I’m not sure at this stage whether the dirt is on the sensor or somewhere in the lens. Need to get it sorted anyhow. Don’t show up so much in a cropped low res picture but here they are …
Think this was my best picture of the morning. Needed quite a lot of work with the patch tool (thank God for Photoshop!) but plenty of others were not realistically recoverable. I like the artefact of the shaft of sunlight burst across the picture. First attempt to print up hasn’t come up quite as well as it does on screen. Need to lighten/brighten a little more maybe.
The second time in the day I got very cold with a camera was on the touchline of the rugby pitch. Unfortunately my favourite pictures don’t actually include the young man I was there to support. Set camera on sport mode which I hadn’t used before, and handholding the 70-300mm zoom with image stabiliser on. Sharpness pretty in impressive on some and disappointing on others. Frankly I admire the bravery of the boys – horrible, brutal game!
Was taken on a 6 hour trial walk on Dartmoor with a fundraising challenge in mind. Great weather. Took my Fuji compact as I wanted to grab some flavour shots but knew I wouldn’t have time to hang about taking careful shots and didn’t want to carry a bigger camera anyway. Most of them do the job, but had a look through to see if any have artistic merit. The carpet of gold sycamore leaves caught my eye on the one above.
I quite like the moodiness of this one (and it’s always easier to get a shot when pausing to admire the view than walking at full speed!
This one is my homage to the iconic Buzz Aldrin moonboot print – the bootprints of my two walking companions. Although as I (think I) know from the lecture last night it’s an iconic sign in that it bears a resemblance to the boot, but it’s an indexical sign because it is caused by the action of the boot, and maybe a sinsign because it’s a singular instance rather than created according to a rule. Or something like that. It was late. But very interesting!
Having lived with the black and white version of my Hawthorn tree for a few days I decided it was too harsh and contrasty, and the horizon looked wrong with the artefacts from the layer mask. So have just started again from the RAW files, not converted to b&w, been more subtle with the sky and more careful with the horizon, and think I’m now happy with the result. Live with it for a few more days and see. I should remember that really on the lightest touch adjustments work well. Heavy handed stuff looks just that.
The OP theme for the month is clouds. Have looked back over 3 years of photos and there’s barely a cloud in the frame let alone a cloud worthy of submission. Will keep my eyes peeled.
Got out with my camera for half an hour last Sunday with mist moving through the valley at about 7.30am. Quite cold and I didn’t think I’d captured anything of much interest. Then I downloaded the few I had taken and really like this hedgerow Hawthorn. Could be any hedge in any field except for Haldon Belvedere perched on the horizon. I thought the touch of colour in the hedgerow was good and boosted a touch of pink in the sky. But when I printed it didn’t look right so went back to the RAW file and converted to monochrome instead. Did 2 conversions with different exposures, layered the lighter one ontop and then brushed out the sky as a layer mask. Gives it a moodier effect and highlights the horizon. Also patched out the small bright streak of sky as it was distracting. Here is the original camera-converted JPEG.
Thought I might never take another photograph after seeing the John Gay retrospective at the Guildhall in London a couple of weeks ago. I had googled fairly extensively looking for photographic exhibitions without much luck, and just chanced upon this one. Really is a must-see. So many pictures just utterly perfect. So different seeing them printed up large, and there are lots of them. Great to have a chance to look at some books of contact sheets as well. This one of the the old man wading at Blackpool was the only one with him in – lots of others that were ordinary photos (mostly closer up to more people and people facing the camera) and then bam – there’s the one. The reaction to never photograph again was feeling everything possible had been done and said. Which of course it hasn’t! Seeing the contact sheets was helpful because it’s a reminder that the next frame could be “the one”. The John Gay archive is with English Heritage.
Have decided to keep an eye for photographic competitions and try and regularly submit material. The series “if you only do one thing this month” from Outdoor Photography magazine has been running for a while now and several times I’ve looked at the winners thought it might have been worth putting something in. Entered 6 for this month’s subject “trees”. Considering what a tree lover I am I could find remarkably few photos in the last 3 years that were worthy of entering. Took surprisingly long time to get them all into the right size, dpi, file format and mode, along with needing a high res and low res version then burning to CD. Some of the photos (like my hedgerow Hawthorn) could have done with a bit more tittivating before entering, but I was up agains the deadline.
Have received my 6 copies of the Environmental Art 2010 calendar with my picture for October. Have just looked on the Green Museum website and rather surprisingly can’t find any mention of their own calendar there. This is the only place I could find it for sale, and nowhere in the UK. Very nice to be in print, and the $200 has been spent several times over on paper and frames.
Exciting looking project at www.wild-wonders.com
Reckoning we’re more familiar with images of wildlife from continents other than our own.