Highlights from March

The third month of the year – to look back over the last three months, means looking back over 90 days … That is an amazing 90 blogs, 90 photo experiments and learning experiences.

I have enjoyed experimenting with long exposures, getting out and about taking landscape shots, trying new things – solar eclipse, photographing a sphere and having my first look at shutter speeds… next month who knows – but I like the spontaneity of trying new things!

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Day 90 – Another Birthday

Today we celebrate another birthday in my household, and although the person celebrating is not into photography who could resist purchasing this cool birthday wrap and photographing the presents. This was an experiment with my nifty 50 lens and my off camera flash, shot with the aid of a silver coated umbrella and the flash on low power directing the light.

I have not really thought about whether I can create directional light with my flash … but today’s images show it is possible. I used my studio, shot the photos in the dark with a large aperature, ISO 100 and 1/250 sec shutter speed through out – the camera was on the tripod with a 2 sec delay on the shuutter so I could move the flash around.

And wow… look what moving the flash light can do to the shadows and the background of these images.

A selection of images taken by only moving the flash position
A selection of images taken by only moving the flash position

This is my favourite one – I desaturated the colours a little to give a more vintage feel, and I think it works, shame the paper is now trashed as he is opened his presnets.

Flash experiments with my Nifty 50
Flash experiments with my Nifty 50

Day 89 – Pretty in pink, photographing tulips

An attempt today at photographing a lovely bunch of tulips with window light from my lounge. I wanted to capture the delicate flowers, the vibrant pink and use only nature light, I also wanted to play around with the angle of the camera, and the distance I was from the subject to see if I can capture a range of compositions.

100mm fixed macro lens, ISO 100, F5.6, 1/50 sec
100mm fixed macro lens, ISO 100, F5.6, 1/50 sec
100mm fixed macro lens, ISO 100, F5.6, 1/100 sec
100mm fixed macro lens, ISO 100, F5.6, 1/100 sec
100mm fixed macro lens, ISO 100, F5.6, 1/50sec
100mm fixed macro lens, ISO 100, F5.6, 1/50sec
100mm fixed macro lens, ISO 100, F5.6, 1/125 sec
100mm fixed macro lens, ISO 100, F5.6, 1/125 sec
100mm fixed macro lens, ISO 100, F5.6, 1/125 sec
100mm fixed macro lens, ISO 100, F5.6, 1/125 sec
100mm fixed macro lens, ISO 100, F5, 1/60 sec
100mm fixed macro lens, ISO 100, F5, 1/60 sec
100mm fixed macro lens, ISO 100, F5, 1/30sec
100mm fixed macro lens, ISO 100, F5, 1/30sec
100mm fixed macro lens, ISO 100, F4, 1/40 sec
100mm fixed macro lens, ISO 100, F4, 1/40 sec
100mm fixed macro lens, ISO 100, F4, 1/50 sec
100mm fixed macro lens, ISO 100, F4, 1/50 sec

I like the shots where the depth of field is shallow, your attention is drawn to one flower and the background is not clutter … it is important to remember

  • Backgrounds  –  in some photos I have managed to include the window frame, and the bright outside which is distracting when you have contrast between the two whites.
  • Moving can make a difference – the wooden cupboard makes a great background when I changed my angle and creates a whole different feel.
  • Use of thirds – the stronger compositions have payed more consideration to this I think.
  • Feeling the fame with colour is an interesting option – but I don’t think it works with these tulips… I’ll have to try it with a different flower.

Day 88 – Location Exploration

Following on from the long exposure and night time images I have been taking recently – I really want to take some photos of Southampton docks and the cranes there at night – I have seen some photos similar at camera club and it is one of those locations that I would like to try for myself, however as I don’t know the area very well, I wanted to go and explore in daylight first and see if it was the right location, how accessible it was and what equipment I would need.

Container Port - ISO 100, F8, 1/400 sec - 17-70mm lens taken at 38mm
Container Port – ISO 100, F8, 1/400 sec – 17-70mm lens taken at 38mm
ISO 100, F22, 1/50 sec - 31mm, ISO 100
ISO 100, F22, 1/50 sec – 31mm, ISO 100

I even had a go at a panorama.

Panorama at Ealing, stitched together in Photoshop.
Panorama at Ealing, stitched together in Photoshop.

I came away from my shoot today thinking:

  • I need to check the tide times – there will be more water when the tide is in – it was out today and this would give more water for the reflections I hope to capture.
  • Wellies, a good torch and a companion are essential it is quite a dark isolated spot.
  • A tripod is essential, which means shutter release cable and my 17-70mm lens would be great.
  • It might be interesting to revisit in daylight too with my 500mm lens to capture the reflections on the doom building at the end of the dock and some of the wildfowl.
  • A smaller aperture would be better to maximise the depth of field, and the second photo would have been much sharper if I used a tripod.

Whilst I was there I also explore a little and discovered that Ealing Harbour was a pleasant location too – but again it would probably look better if the tide was in, turning it to monochrome make it look like a timeless location, the further I explored – the variety of scenery that was on offer – all these photos were captured within 1/2 a mile of each other – it just proves to show it is always worth exploring and looking behind you, and that you never know when the weather is going to change as it the last photo it is just starting to rain.

ISO 100, F18, 1/50 sec - taken at 28mm and converted to black and white - Ealing Harbour
ISO 100, F18, 1/50 sec – taken at 28mm and converted to black and white – Ealing Harbour
ISO 100, 21mm focal length on 17 -70mm lens, at F18, 1/80 sec - the view from the Ealing Toll Bridge of the harbour
ISO 100, 21mm focal length on 17 -70mm lens, at F18, 1/80 sec – the view from the Ealing Toll Bridge of the harbour
It's behind you - the other side of the Toll Bridge - F18, 1/60 sec, at 17mm focal length on the 17-70mm lens
It’s behind you – the other side of the Toll Bridge – F18, 1/60 sec, at 17mm focal length on the 17-70mm lens

Day 87 – Early Morning Walk

Today I got to enjoy an early morning walk.

ISO 100, F18, 1/50 sec - View over 8 acre pond
ISO 100, F18, 1/50 sec – View over 8 acre pond

The above view is looking inland over a lake, but walk a short distance on and the view across the Solent to Hurst Castle is amazingly similar. over a different pond – but the colours of the yellow gorse in flower work really well against the sunlit ocean, sky and water.

ISO 100, F18, 1/50 sec - View to Hurst Castle
ISO 100, F18, 1/30 sec – View to Hurst Castle

The Old Boat is still there… I think it has always been there – but what a difference, different light makes!

ISo 100, F18, 1/50 sec - Old Boat in sunlight
ISo 100, F18, 1/50 sec – Old Boat in sunlight
ISO 100, F18, 1/60 sec - Old Boat Again
ISO 100, F18, 1/60 sec – Old Boat Again

My final photo is this one – the bubble – I shared yesterday was brought with the idea of refracting light through a sphere – it is not perfect, and I edited it in Light room to desaturated the colours outside the sphere … but it is something I want to experiment with and I brought specifically for this purpose, and I look forward to experimenting more.

PhotoChallenge-SeaWallApril-2-17-5
Photographing with a glass sphere – F18, 1/100 sec,

Day 86 – Trapped with the enemy of time.

#Remarkable2015Emma’s challenge this week is:  “I want you to tell stories, create emotions and to speak through your photography.”  This sounds really daunting,  every photo you take communicates something or can create an awareness of an issue, and I have already discovered that through sharing my images with others.  Emma went on to say “decide one thing that you want to communicate. It might be an emotion tied to an abstract photograph, or the feeling you are experiencing at a particular time or in a particular place. You could tell a story, your own or someone else’s. You can try taking a photograph that would speak to everyone, or just to one person.”

This is my photo “Trapped – with the enemy of time….”

Trapped - with the enemy of time....
Trapped – with the enemy of time….

My journey in photography, my journey through life is influenced by those around me.

I love being outside, taking landscape photos, discovering nature, noticing changes that appear over time, I am more aware of the natural world, the seasons and how life just seems to move on as I am feel I have no control over time… time constantly moves on, the clock is ticking but at times we are trapped by our own circumstances.

We live our lives thinking that the worse will never happen, that we will go on forever and I know that is not true – we all have a certain amount of time on this earth and all we can do is live it, experience it and operate the best way we can without wasting it. We all make decisions that suit us at that moment, but we don’t always think of the impact of those decisions on others. Others make decisions and we have to compromise our own  – we become trapped by the situation. We don’t know and understand the value of time and freedom until it is stolen from us or we trapped by circumstances.

Time can be stolen in different ways:

  • My Aunt, very unwell in hospital, the outlook is not great – but she has had 76 amazing years in this world, she has 3 beautiful daughters and 2 amazing grandson’s, she was an evacuee in the war, she was of the generation where her elder brother went off to Uni, and she stayed at home to help support the rest of the family – she is one of 7 siblings, yet as a single mum of three she found her own way, and helped all of her children reach their dreams. She is a crafter – she has always sewed, baked and nurtured in her family, passed on her skills to others, been active in the community and has always been there when she is needed, until a couple of weeks ago she was still working, baking and caring.
    Time seems to be running out for her …. she is trapped in a body that is not working well. The family are trapped by the current circumstance. Update: her time has passed – she will be missed! 
  • My cousin, is wishing time away … she is at the most exciting time of her life, she is counting down the days the moment, until the bump she is now carrying because a baby – and she becomes a mum, the time to become a mum has been incredibly slow and difficult for her, it has not been easy for her to become a mum but now it has happened she is excited and can’t wait to meet the new family member.
    Time does not seem to pass soon enough…. but she has trapped by circumstances along the way.
  • My son, has a rare episodic condition where time passes him by – he just is unable to participate in life like everyone else,  he has no control over that time when he is unwell, he is trapped in a bubble, in his own world where time has stopped and stood still. The world moves on – people die, babies are born… and he can miss it cause he is trapped in his own bubble.
    Time waits for no man …. there is no answer, no solution and he is trapped in his own “normality”.

When my son is unwell he needs 24/7 care – so although he is trapped in his own bubble, we – his family are there with him – it is mainly me – his mum… so therefore time stops to a certain extent for me too … I am trapped in that bubble too where time stands still, you are an onlooker, unable to participate fully.

Trapped – with the enemy of time….

Photo Details: 17-70mm lens, tripod, focal length 50mm, ISO 100, F6.3, 1/160sec – camera focused on the glass sphere, I them tried to get myself into the shot and used a remote release to take the photo. It was then edited to remove me from the background by merging with another photo.

Day 85 – Enviromental Lines continued…

I seem to be jumping all over the place this week – after looking for lines earlier this week, today I was excited to be walking somewhere where there were pylons and I could get up close to them and take some photos. Before this project I would not have even considered that they were worthy of a photograph but they are a really interesting contrast with the natural environment.

The first shot – I tried to capture the pylon on the diagonal.

17-70 mm lens, 17 mm zoom, ISO 100, F11, 1/200 sec
17-70 mm lens, 17 mm zoom, ISO 100, F11, 1/200 sec

A change of lens – my wide angle lens and a change of perspective … what great repeating patterns it offers from directly underneath … this is definatley a case of a busy cloudy sky add interest to the photo, a grey sky would have be very dull.

10-20mm lens, 10mm zoom, ISO 100, F9, 1/400 sec - Under the pylon
10-20mm lens, 10mm zoom, ISO 100, F9, 1/400 sec – Under the pylon

My final shot, I moved away with the idea of capturing the whole pylon and the sense of scale … I wish I had a fellow human with me whom could have stood underneath to show the scale, but I love the fact I was able to capture another pylon in the distance directly between this ones legs – a sense of perspective is an interesting event to capture…

10-20 mm lens, 10 mm, ISO 100, F8, 1/640 sec
10-20 mm lens, 10 mm, ISO 100, F8, 1/640 sec

As I was leaving the area, I was able to focus on my more pylon to get a sense of scale. It is an interesting landscape – not the kind I plan to visit on holiday… but surprisingly peaceful through the lens!

17-70mm lens,  54mm zoon, ISO 100, F18, 1/160 sec - Pylons by the river
17-70mm lens, 54mm zoon, ISO 100, F18, 1/160 sec – Pylons by the river

Day 84 – Motorway at Night

Following on from my night time photo shoot the other evening, when I had a go at some simple light painting – one of the other things I wanted to try before the lighter evenings reply is capturing motorway traffic – the nearest motorway bridge is a about 20 miles away, but I was nearby yesterday evening, so I detoured and had a go at capturing traffic from above.

Equipment

  • Tripod
  • 17-70mm lens and shutter release cable
  • Torch for me
  • ISO 100, F18 I choose as I wanted a small aperture so I could have the shutter open for a long period of time without the oncoming lights burning out.
54 second exposure - from Side ! of the bridge.
54 second exposure – from Side A of the bridge.

I was unsure which was the best direction to take the photo from – so I first tried one side of the bridge and then the other. On Side A there was some building lights to the right and it was hard to keep them out of the shot and centralised the traffic so I crossed the road and tried again.

96 second exposure - from Side B of the bridge.
96 second exposure – from Side B of the bridge.

I was unsure which was best, the traffic was not very heavy – so it was hard to guess the exposure time and then this happened…

22 second exposure - Side B
22 second exposure – Side B

Sadly I did not hold the exposure long enough -I was so concerned about making sure I did not over expose the shot and therefore loose the blue lights of the Ambulance that I realised the shutter a little bit too soon, but I was delighted with the extra colour it brought to the image – and I cant imagine how long I would have to wait for another one!

I therefore took 3 exposures including the one above into photoshop – as they were all on the tripod with the same settings, it was easy to layer them on top of each other and let the lights below show through… I balance the composition slightly and this was my final shot. I am glad I am tried it, now I want to look for some more exciting bridges!

3 Night time exposures merged in photoshop.
3 Night time exposures merged in photoshop.

Day 83 – Environment Lines

Environment Lines – a strange title, but today i went for a walk and looked for lines in the nature environment that were created by man and collected pictures of them, thinking about controlling my aperture so that the lines were separated from the environment that they are in.

ISO 100, 17-70mm lens, F7.1, 1/500 sec - 21 mm zoom
ISO 100, 17-70mm lens, F7.1, 1/500 sec – 21 mm zoom
ISO 100, 17-70mm lens, F4, 1/250 sec - 50 mm zoom
ISO 100, 17-70mm lens, F4, 1/250 sec – 50 mm zoom
ISO 100, 17-70mm lens, F4, 1/200 sec - 70 mm zoom
ISO 100, 17-70mm lens, F4, 1/200 sec – 70 mm zoom
ISO 100, 17-70mm lens, F4, 1/60 sec - 70 mm zoom
ISO 100, 17-70mm lens, F4, 1/60 sec – 70 mm zoom
ISO 100, 17-70mm lens, F4, 1/50 sec - 54 mm zoom
ISO 100, 17-70mm lens, F4, 1/50 sec – 54 mm zoom
ISO 100, 17-70mm lens, F4, 1/250 sec - 34 mm zoom
ISO 100, 17-70mm lens, F4, 1/250 sec – 34 mm zoom

By keeping the Aperture wide open – with the small F numbers – the lines that can be seen in the farm environment that I explored on my walk today can be seperated from the background – by focusing in deep, you get to see the blemishes, the details in the rust, and the shadows, but getting in close – the last four photos you begin to get an abstract feel I think … an area of photography I have not explored much.