St Patricks Cathedral, New York

Well the scaffolding is still there …. in fact, more has gone up. I spoke to one of the guys building it (wouldn’t take it down for the night for 5 bucks … thought it worth a try!), and he said it’s going to be there for another year or two!

Took the wrong tripod head with me (dragged it all over the US on the trip!), which meant I couldn’t do some more work on the straight up in the air shot I tried to such great effect 2 years ago ….

St Patricks Cathedral, New York

Anyway, I thought I would try this out, and I’m pretty pleased with the results ….

Wateraid / JPMorgan “Water on the Lens” Photo Comp

Excited this month to have entered the Wateraid Photo Competition being run with JPMorgan for their UK employees – the theme is “Water on the Lens”.

Sandbanks Sunset

I wanted to make an effort to get something taken specifically for the competition, rather than just pull an old favourite out (although it was going to be a worthy plan B if required!). I managed to get out for a few hours in the afternoon, tried one location (Throop Mill) which was clearly not going to offer anything up that day, and finally settled on a risky trip to Sandbanks (given how little time I had to get there).

Well, I’m very glad I went there. I got several shots I was very happy with, but this is the one that I originally ended up settling on to submit for the photo competition – got a two month wait to find out how I did!

I had two approaches to the image I was looking for – first was to freeze the water, as it was a pretty lively sea. Then as the sun continued to go down, I was able to stretch the shutter speed out to a second at times – this would allow me to get some movement, without losing the shape and definition of the water.

The final shot was from the latter set of photos. I was taking shots with the intent of having the edge of the wave touch a corner of the image, but every now and then the water would push right in over my wellies! This shot was one of these times, and I was really happy with that effect as the whole beach receded, combined with the well defined steps of waves coming in behind it.

The eagle eyed who are familiar with Sandbanks will notice that I did a horizontal flip of the image. This was because I felt that the receding water has a stronger lead in line element when starting on the left. In addition, I did some post to reduce the brightness of the penisula in the background and the sky. I also very added some clarity, which has helped with the strength of the receding water lines.

Sandbanks

Before I moved along the beach to take the photo above, I took some photo’s on the beach near where I parked. The lighting was great, as the sun was only 35 – 40 mins before sunset, and lighting from the side. I wanted to show the rugged nature of the rocks and sand, and the stormy seas. I was really pleased with the outcome, which required very little post processing.

3 hours out, including travel …. certainly one of my more productive shoots :o)))

Kimmeridge (low tide)

First time out in quite a while with the camera, so I planned where to go based on weather, etc. I thought that the time to shoot at Kimmeridge was a fairly low tide, but it turns out that I now know I’ve always been when the tide was fairly high!

Anyway, at this time of year, the afternoons are short, so once you’ve travelled that far, you have to make the most of it … and hopefully, I did!

Kimmeridge (low tide)

Given how far the tide was out, and that there were 4 other photographers stood 100m out along a rock ledge, there wasn’t too much choice of where to stand. Once out there, there was some tweaking of position possible, and gradually other folks left. Anyway, out came the Big Stopper (10 stop ND filter from Lee), and the outcome was the above image.

Bournemouth Airshow (RIP Jon Egging a.k.a. “Red 4”)

Saturday of the airshow – Thursday had been cancelled, due to a monsoon which left the center of Bournemouth under several feet of water. By Friday morning, it had all been cleared up, and the airshow was back on.

Saturday had the family down at Bournemouth Pier for Lewis to do a “Beat” show at the Pavillion. We then progressed to see the air show.

Pictured here is the Red Arrows, taken with them doing the “Enid” fly past. The Red Arrows are awesome pilots, and are respected the world over.Whilst few of us have ever met them, you feel like you know them. They bring a smile to your face like you’re still a 5 year old!

Red Arrows "Enid"

Today was a very sad day …. this photo was from the last display that Fl Lt Jon Egging would participate in. Whilst heading in to land at Bournemouth airport after the display, his plane lost altitude and crashed on the banks of the River Stour at Throop, after he had steered the plane away from houses in the area. Unfortunately, he did not survive the crash.

RIP Jon Egging a.k.a. “Red 4”

Published on Chromasia Training Gallery!

Well, very proud today that I have had one of my photo’s published on a very good website, Chromasia. I am a lifetime member of the website, and it provides a web-based tutorial system amongst other things. I have been able to get to grips with the post-processing of HDR images, one of which (the one I have had published here) won me one of the monthly competitions I entered.

Chromasia has started a new venture where they have members submit a photo to them, along with the original un-processed one. They then publish both as an overlay, with some VERY impressive results. And then the photo is open to review and constructive feedback from other users of the site.

The main site is available here, and the specific photo I submitted can be found here.

May 2011 Comp – “Iconic Images” – Winner!

City Hall and Tower Bridge

The theme for this month was “Iconic Images”. Since I do get up to the London office most months, I naturally assumed that I would be more likely to find a strong entry with something very London themed.

I had a few things in mind (old red post boxes, London Eye, Millenium Bridge, and City Hall. I took my gear up for the day, and got a full 4 hours or so of shooting in after work, taking in all of the above locations. I ended up at City Hall at Tower Bridge. It’s a well photographed place, but I wanted to do something different.

I set the scene by using the railing that curves in front of City Hall as a quite dominant lead in line, as I hadn’t seen that before. It was getting dusk when I arrived, so there was some quite bright lighting to content with along the river side, as well as on Tower Bridge and City Hall itself.

I decided to take a range of exposures, so that I could have some with the lighting well exposed, and others with the main scene well exposed – this turned out to be inspired.

When I got the images onto the PC, it was clear that no single image had sufficient dynamic range to work. I decided to try out exposure blending two images in lightroom. I had not done this before, and it proved to be a really good exercise for me to do. It took a couple of hours to get the right effect, but right effect it was …. since it won!

So the upside was it won … the downside was, yet more ignorance from folks with comments like “you’re not allowed to enter a collage of two photos”, “two clicks on the camera = two images” …. well, all I can say is boring! Stop trying to grow rules that will help you suppress the fears you have of learning and trying something new!

The theme for June is “Action”….

Misty Morning at Corfe

Misty Corfe Castle

Went out with Stu this morning, with the intent of capturing Corfe Castle in the early morning mist. Niether of us had shot it before properly, so we did a bit of research & asked for some advice. This was the last day of winter, so from tomorrow it would get light an hour later … no chance anyone else would be stupid enough to be there then (just 5 or 6 others as it happened!).

As I was arriving, I got a text from Stu asking me where I was, and stating there wasn’t much mist. When we got up on the hill, conditions were awkward, and indeed there was very little mist. Post sunrise, we did get some dreamy mist for a while, with a great sky. And then Corfe Castle suddenly disappeared! I re-read Stu’s text to him!

Anyway, as it happens, I’m quite pleased with this from my first trip out there – will surely go back again, but probably look for different conditions, and the sun rising further to the south.