Thursday, 25 March 2010

Wednesday, 24 March 2010


My first official photoshoot! This was for solo 1 fitness who wanted some clean and simple headshots for their website. Solomon didn't want to smile at first, but his four year old daughter soon fixed that!

Monday, 22 March 2010

Camden Food Stalls

These are just two of the many food sellers at Camden Lock. Lovely bright colours and gorgeous smells!

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Camden Lock Bridge

I went to my optician in Camden this afternoon and had a wander around the market while I was there.  This is one of a series of bracketed images, of the market and surrounding areas that I have combined in Photomatix Pro. I will upload the others as the week progresses.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

London Eye

This close-up shot from yesterday completes the exercise on diagonal lines. I wasn't hopeful about getting good shots because it was so grey and overcast. But I think the drab sky presented me with an uncluttered background which may have benefited this image.

Westminster Bridge

This image, taken yesterday, completes the exercise on curves. I've applied a gaussian blur to the background and cloned out a post that was sticking out of the water.

Friday, 19 March 2010

"Shifting Perspectives"

I went to the gallery in the Oxo Tower today. I vaguely remember reading that there was on exhibition on, but I couldn't remember what it was about. I learned that this is in its sixth year and looks at the lives of people with Down's Syndrome.

In one section, there is a write-up about a woman who gave birth to a child with Down's Syndrome, and was told that she would not be able to breastfeed since it would be 'too difficult'. She persisted and was successful, and this spawned a collection of images of various women breastfeeding. The aim of which is to both highlight and celebrate the importance of breastfeeding.

In another section a number of young people with Down's Syndrome have been photographed with objects that they see as representing their human rights. The objects are interesting - a cinema pass, a mobile phone, a cookbook and many others. The accompanying stories are both insightful and amusing.

The pictures are of very high quality but I was more interested in the subjects and the stories they had to tell. For once, I wasn't really thinking about rules of composition, colour and lighting, although I found the pictures aesthetically pleasing so perhaps they were being registered subconsciously.

Re-lighting the Millennium Bridge

I saw this guy hanging beneath the bridge and his foreman asked me to take a picture as his camera batteries had failed. He explained that they were fitting new lights to the underside of the bridge. He gave me his business card and asked me to email my pictures to him.

This was shot in infrared and I made two new exposures in RAW (+2 and -2) then combined all three in Photomatix Pro. I'm disappointed with the result because I've carelessly focussed on the bridge and not on the workman, but I will send the picture on anyway.

Positioning a Point

I looked down from the bridge and saw people scurrying past the Royal Festival Hall.

I've placed this man right in the centre because I think this position magnifies the difference between him and the surrounding space.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Salsa Masterclass

On Monday evening I went to a spinning masterclass. I have done spinning classes/courses before so I thought I'd concentrate on trying to get some good pictures instead. I took my tripod because I wanted to show motion rather than freeze the action.

I'm pleased with the results (after a little trial and error). There is the suggestion of movement but the participants are still identifiable.

In this image, I particularly like the contrast between the teacher and the participants. In both images, the shutter speed was slow enough to provide sufficient ambient light to illuminate the background.

Saturday, 13 March 2010


I have picked out the shapes created by this fountain to represent curves. I applied a gaussian blur to the building as it was a little distracting, but it was still tricky trying to lift the fountain from the background.

Rhythms and Patterns

Produce at least two photographs. One should convey rhythm, the other pattern.

This image shows rhythms created by the repeated shapes leading the eye into the image. This is also another example of an implied line.

This is a cropped section from an image of a reflection. The repeated design creates a pattern, but the close crop curtails any suggested rhythm.

Positioning a Point

I've placed this boat in the top right corner of the frame purely because of the suggested direction of movement.

"A Positive View"

I went to this photography exhibition at Somerset House this morning, which includes over 100 images from photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Norman Parkinson and clients of the charity Crisis. The exhibition is to raise awareness of the charity. The images are mainly portraits with the occasional landscape and still life.

What have I learned?
I've developed more of an appreciation for the quality of film photography and can now see that some images are better suited to this gritty medium. I will experiment with some of the film filters in Nik Efex Color Pro 3.

Real and Implied Triangles

This was taken on Waterloo Bridge this morning. The railings form a triangle as well as leading lines which converge to place the person on a rule of thirds hot spot.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Hampstead Heath

I took this on Sunday on a very windy but sunny day. The sunshine brought lots of people out with their crazy dogs. Actually the dogs are ok, it's the owners that are the problem!
This was shot in infrared and converted to black and white before applying my favourite filter - tonal contrast by Nik Color Efex.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Positioning a Point

Take three photographs in which there is a single point placed in a different part of the frame in each example.

In this shot, I've positioned the pigeon off-centre mainly to allow room for it's shadow.

Real and Implied Triangles

  • Find a subject which is itself triangular
  • Make a triangle by perspective

As far as real triangles go, I guess they don't get any more real than this! I took this shot of the Great Pyramid on a visit to Cairo last October.

Horizontal Lines

This image, taken on Hampstead Heath today, uses the perimeter of one of the ponds to show a horizontal line. There is also an implied line formed by the trees and the posts.

Implied Lines

This is an example of a line implied by points, taken on Hampstead Heath this morning. The wooden posts lead the eye into the picture and then the cars and the road continue up and out of the image.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Implied Lines

Plan and take two photographs that use the following kinds of implied lines to lead the eye:
  • An eye line
  • The extension of a line or lines that point

I took this picture last Summer while on a composition course. I've resurrected it here as it demonstrates an implied line. This was a colour image converted to black and white.

Diagonal Lines

Take 4 photographs which use diagonals strongly.

I took this picture in my local park on an overcast day, hence the featureless sky. Though it provides a plain background and contrasts with the fence.

This was taken in Hyde Park and I had to wait for all of the posts to be occupied!

This image is of the shadows cast by some railings in Hyde Park.

What have I learned?
As stated in the notes, I found it alot easier to show diagonal lines than vertical or horizontal. Although horizontal and vertical lines are prevalent in many structures, it was difficult to try to be creative and avoid lines that are staring you right in the face.

It's Springtime!!!!

I saw these just as I was leaving Hyde Park, and just had to go back and get a shot of them. It's still quite cold but, if these bulbs are anything to go by, I think we've seen the last of the snow.

Horizontal Lines

This was taken over Hyde Park this morning. The smoke trails were visible, but the smaller details only ever show up in infrared photography. I'm always presented with unexpected results when taking photographs of the sky in infrared, and that's one of the reasons why I love it so much.

This was also taken in Hyde Park and in this one, I'm using the shadows of the trees to denote horizontal lines.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Canary Wharf

I took this last Saturday after exiting the station and just before being stopped by security. I always get approached by security when taking pictures in Canary Wharf!
Once again, I produced two additional exposures in RAW (+2 and -2) then adjusted levels and curves in CS3. Finally converted it to black and white then added a tonal contrast filter from Nik Color Efex Pro 3. I'm thinking about creating an action in PS3 for conversions to black and white as I seem to making the same adjustments (more or less) for this process.
The use of a fisheye lens introduces previously non-existent curves which draw the eye through the image to the top of the tower.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010


My tickets have arrived for the Irving Penn exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery (6 April). I don't know much about him, apart from working for Vogue magazine in New York, but I'm looking forward to seeing his work.
I've also just received my pass for Focus on Imaging 2010 courtesy of the OCA! and  will be my first visit. This is my wishlist:

1. Meet the OCA staff
2. Get advice on how to promote a website once it's established
3. Buy a Sekonic light meter (L308-S or L358)
4. Buy a VR panoramic head (Nodal Ninja if I can find one)
5. Buy a Nikon flash remote cord (SC-28)
6. Buy a Nikon SB-800 or SB-900
7. Circulate my business cards

If I can achieve a couple of the above, then I'll be happy. However, I have a feeling that I'll probably end up coming home without achieving any of the above, but having bought all sorts of other unplanned items!

Monday, 1 March 2010

Canary Wharf Station

Look for and take four photographs using curves to emphasize movement and direction.

I took this on Saturday while travelling up the escalator. I had to go up it a few times (four to be precise) before I got a shot that I was happy with - I particularly wanted the view of the office block through the window. I produced two additional exposures in RAW (+2 and -2) then adjusted levels and curves in CS3. Finally converted it to black and white then added a tonal contrast filter from Nik Color Efex Pro 3.
This image uses curves with the aid of a fisheye lens and the escalotors act as leading lines.
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