Long Exposures and stuff.

Good afternoon, you.

Well it’s been a while. You know this whole blogging thing would be a lot easier if I had good computer at home, or at least a working internet connection.

Anyway, excuses are for the weak, like me.

So this weekend just gone I was off out and about trying to get some water shots for work. I needed to head down to Hengistbury Head really, and get a couple seascape images. This was no problem at all – it is close to my house and I have transport (more on that later).

However, I also wanted to try my hand at some long exposures with the water. Something I have never really done, but something I’ve always loved. Now I didn’t necessarily have the ideal kit for this, but none the less I was going to give it a good go.

I was using a Nikon D300s – brilliant camera. I also had a Sigma 10-20mm lens – excellent lens, although the autofocus had decided not to work. This definitely becomes a problem when you’re looking through a dark filter in the late evening.

Anyway, excuses, for the weak.

Now it wasn’t a particularly nice evening. It wasn’t raining, but the sunset wasn’t brilliant. However the amount of photographers, with tripods an’ all, down there was crazy. Also annoying because one of them was stood exactly where I wanted to be, meaning I couldn’t get the shot I actually wanted.

Here is my little setup for taking the shots. Just a little behind the scenes, because i know you want to see it.

So, on to the actual photos. This one is simply a shot of the water and sunset, nothing special I know. It is also very similar to a shot I got before of this area, but I needed to be here for work.

I also took some general shots while I was waiting for the sun to go down a bit. This one is my particular favourite. A lone fisherman was casting his line out to sea, although it didn’t look like he was having much luck. He seemed very happy though, and was probably enjoying the peace and tranquillity more than anything.

This next shot is what I managed to get using the ND filter and a looooooong exposure. It was originally only one photo, however using the RAW file I turned it in to 5 with different exposures. I was then able to put it in the Photomatix Pro and make a HDR long exposure shot. Now I haven’t edited it brilliantly, so I will re-do this one when I get the chance.

That’s about it for the photos I took. Now the other thing I was occupied with this weekend – my new steed. Recently passed my big boy bike test, so I have been riding this. It is not mine, but is my friends old bike that he is very generously letting me borrow for the time being. It’s nothing special, but is faster than anyone actually needs off of the race track. Enjoy.

That’s it for now. Maybe I’ll even put some more photos up soon, rather than writing all this nonsense.



Sunset race.

Good morning, you.

Well as you may know, over the weekend I was out and about quite a bit with my camera. I was trying to capture a number of subjects, and generally just take photos.

So Friday night saw me waiting anxiously for the sun to go down. I knew it was going to be around 9pm. However, through no fault of my own (honest) I was quite distracted. So when the clock ticked to around 8:45 I started to panic. I really wanted to get a good photo while the weather was clear.

Off I hopped on my bike and I raced to what I thought would be a good location. This is a favourite of mine as it presents such a rich selection of photo opportunities, from the beach to vast fields and a small nature reserve.

Possibly the most annoying thing about the English weather is its ability to be very annoying. So naturally the clouds began to form just as the colours in the sky were getting interesting. I took a lot of photos of just the sky, with very little foreground. These looked ok, but were far from what I wanted to achieve.

I trotted on down towards the beach to see if I could maybe get some nice coastline photos. I don’t usually like doing this, as living by the sea means a lot of my photos turn out similar. But I was not going to let this sky get away.

I settled on a nice quiet point on the sand, right next to the sea. The water was actually brushing my feet, so I had to take the photos quickly and then make a quick run each time. Good fun.

This final shot is one of many I took, but it is the one I am most happy with. There is a lot I don’t like about it, and it could possibly do with some more editing. However, here it is for now. It is a blend of 5 photos (I think), tonemapped in Photomatix.

When I originally got this shot, and processed it on Friday night, I didn’t like it. It didn’t turn out anything like this, and all of the colours were off. I thought I’d done something wrong when taking the photos, so pretty much discarded them. I came back to them yesterday however, and re-edited to look like this. I don’t know what I did wrong the first time.

Anyway, I’m rambling. Here is the final shot. I may put some of the others up some time.

I hope you like it, and if you don’t, please spare my feelings and lie. It is how the world works.


HDR play.

Good evening, you.

I have always been a fan of HDR. However, it is not something i seem to do too much. It takes more time and effort, in shooting and processing. Often it is worth it though.

These are a few of the shots i took recently with the D7000 and kit lens, which i am actually quite impressed with.

This shot i took of the war memorial in the centre of Bournemouth. This was the only one i used a tripod for as it was a shot i went out for. I’m not sure if i like it, and the furthest position back still meant i cut off the edges of the walls. Needed a wider lens really.

This next shot was taken underneath Bournemouth pier. Nothing special, but i believe this area could provide an excellent picture, even though this probably isn’t it.

This final shot may look familiar, because it is the main entrance to the church i shot recently. Nothing special, but i thought the tones leant themselves to HDR so had to grab some shots. This was handheld though, which wasn’t ideal.

Each of these images are a combination of 3 exposures, and have been tonemapped in Photomatix. An all round excellent program if you ask me, so very simple, and requires a surprisingly small amount of processing power to run.

Well that’s it for now.



Top of the pile.

Good afternoon, you.

As you may have read, i went to Vienna recently on a trip with Olympus to preview the latest camera in their PEN range; the E-P3.

While i was out there, i was given the camera to play with for a day. This was done while out on a sight seeing style tour of the wonderful city. As a group we were instructed that this would turn in to a little competition, so we all set about trying to get the best photos we could.

Now the deadline for this little competition is tomorrow, and i have just sent off my 3 entries. So i am here to show you them. I took upwards of 300 photos using the E-P3, and these 3 seem to have landed themselves at the top of the pile. There are many more that i could happily enter, but i think these 3 are diverse and interesting enough to actually put me in with a shot of winning. After all, what sort of photographer would i be if i couldn’t at least place in the top 3 out of our 30 or so strong group.

So here is shot number 1.

It is a 5 shot panorama of the courtyard at the Spanish Riding School.

It’s not the best panorama. I could have been stood in a better place, and i could have probably covered more of the important bits.

2. This shot is of the Hofburg, using the PEN’s in built dramatic tone art filter.

Once again not the greatest shot in the world. I did love this art filter though, and found myself constantly jumping back to it throughout the day. As you’ll see in the next photo…

3. This is a shot of the Stephansdom (St.Peters Cathedral) in the centre of Vienna, taken from the opposite building.

I have blown the highlights a lot here, but again i’m not bothered really. I think it is an interesting shot and so have entered it in to the competition.

So there it is, my 3 choices. There were probably ‘safer’ shots to go for, but i’m not sure safe shots are going to stand out in a crowd.

I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes. Probably.



Camera…check. Tripod…check. To the beach!

Good morning you.

Decided to hit the beach a couple of days ago. I was out to get some specific photos, of which these are none of them. However i was testing out a new tripod – Redsnapper, and thought it would be good to get some HDR done.

This pier shot is ok, although im not happy with the sky. The wide angle meant i could get quite a bit f foreground detail in, as well as the expanse of the pier.

This second one is my favourite. These life guard towers are fairly new, and quite American if you ask me. I set up this shot to try and get a detailed sky, but thought the sand and lifeguard made for an interesting shot. I had to wait a while for him to stand still, and as soon as he did i pressed that shutter as fast as i could. Anyway, enjoy.

Both of these shots were processed in Photomatix Pro, and were shot with a Nikon D7000 + Nikon 18-105mm lens.

I’ll try to pop up a review of the tripod at some point. Spoiler alert…it’s excellent.

For more shots, visit HERE.


Do the HDR dance!

Good morning you.

Just a quick note on my fun with HDR. I have always loved it, and think almost any scene or photo can benefit from using the HDR technique. Over processing some shots will ruin them, but others it suits and turns them in to excellent shots.

Here is my most recent HDR. Taken yesterday, it is a 3 shot HDR, handheld. I had a tripod on my back, but laziness took over im afraid. Can you blame me?

Anyway, here it is. Enjoy, but please don’t steal it without at least telling me. I won’t bite.

For more of my photos, click HERE.