Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Blackpool Beach

Another shot taken from the 'Creating Dramatic Images' workshop run by David Nightingale. I actually spent a fair bit of time (for me!) thinking about how I wanted this to look before I pressed the shutter and, whilst not quite where I thought it would go, I'm quite happy with it. 

It was the shallow water that drew me to the scene and I liked the way it shimmered and reflected whilst leading to the pier. I used a few of the techniques I had picked up on the workshop whilst processing and, whilst overall, I'm satisfied there is still a couple of things I would have done differently.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Blackpool - Creating Dramatic Images

I've not posted for a while and that's because I've been away on a photographic course. Now, in all my years of taking photographs, I've never been on any sort of photo course. Never belonged to a camera club. Nothing. It just never floated my boat to be honest. 

But, I've longer been an admirer of David Nightingale's work and decided to take the plunge on his 'Creating Dramatic Images' workshop. Why? To be honest, I think my work had become a bit 'formulaic' in that I was taking photo's and processing them quickly without giving too much thought to what I was trying to achieve or indeed, could achieve. 

Now, whilst I've always advocated not spending too much time in front of the computer fiddling with your images, I was moving at lightning speed!! Most of my images could and would be processed out in less than five minutes. Truthfully. 

I had found a workflow that suited me and I refined it to the point of (almost) automation. So I thought it would be a good thing to learn a different way, something new. Enter David's course.

An interesting man is David. The author of three books on the subject of photography he was one of the first to embrace HDR. His book Practical HDR: The Complete Guide to Creating High Dynamic Range Images with your Digital SLR remains a useful starting point to understanding the finer points of HDR. To be fair, he has moved away from the 'grungy' type images that first defined and brought HDR to people's attention and when he works with HDR, it's of a more realistic nature.

The course is a mix of classroom and practical set over two days in Blackpool, UK (with an optional evening shoot) and teaches you the value of shooting with an idea in mind of how you want the image to look before you press the shutter . I don't suppose that's anything new really but, for me, I had gotten a bit out of the habit of doing it. But that mind set forces you to slow down and think about what it is you're doing and that's not necessarily a bad thing is it?

There really is too much to discuss here but suffice to say, it was a jam-packed weekend full of extremely useful technical and creative information and I can only highly recommend the workshop to you.

Of course, no man is an island and David is no exception being ably assisted by Craig Judd, a fine photographer himself  and an all round good guy. Craig, if you're reading this, thanks for your time.

Have a look at these images all taken with my X10 on my arrival on the Friday evening. I went walkabout to get a feel for the place. I'll post up some more images from the weekend later on.

Monday, 14 May 2012

An Angels Wings....

The Canon SX40HS really does produce quality images and this, believe it or not, only had a medium level of sharpening applied in post processing. I'm pretty impressed with the amount of fine detail its resolved.

More than good enough for the interweb methinks!

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Any One For Dim Sum?

I just got a hold of the Canon SX40HS on a trial basis. From what I've seen of it so far it is an impressive piece of kit. As you know, I primarily shoot with compact cameras these days. I have a Canon S90 and a Fuji X10 (which I love to death) and I'm debating whether to add this  SX40 to my arsenal.

The image quality is superb and, of course, there's the huge X35 optical zoom(28-840mm) but, what's impressing me most, is its low-light performance.

Shot at ISO 400. A bit of touching up in LR3 but basically, a good, clean image to start with.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Something Fishy....

When I saw this guy working I knew I wanted to catch him with his face masked by the plastic and was drawn to they way the frame naturally split in two. I could have framed it to completely obscure his face but just wanted to catch a bit of it. Makes me wonder what  he looked like.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Just Buy It!

Fred and Rene just couldn't make their minds up. It all looked so very....foreign.
Actually I have no idea who they are - I just have strange things rattling around in my head when I work...

Saturday, 5 May 2012

You Don't Look Too Clever....

The thing with churches and Cathedral's is, they always have something interesting to shoot. These places may not be your cup of tea (I know the feeling) but there is some fantastic marble inside and it give you the opportunity to take some photos of models that don't move around! How cool is that?

Try it out for yourself. Great fun!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012


The windows of this shot were a tad blown out so I duplicated the base layer, darkened it down until the windows looked better, masked and painted the image to balance it out as you see here. 

I've got to stop posting up churchy pictures. You'll all think I'm a God botherer...