Day 265 – Babies and Brothers

I got to meet the lovely baby Jessica, her brother Max and her mum. Jessica was only 9 days old, but perfect in every way and very content to have her photograph taken, Max was happy for me to meet his new sister, he played really well in my home studio – so much so that he much rather play with the play mobile than model for any photos with his new sister … but we tried.

But fire engines and play mobile are so much more exciting! Continue reading

Day 264 – Taking pictures or making pictures

I had a lovely afternoon at the weekend talking with a good friend – we did a photography course together and from there have been inspired to take different journeys into the world of photography – I have improved my photo skills through talks, workshops, online learning and challenging myself – she is opted for formal learning first an AS-Level in photography and now amazing she is about to do a degree. She is interested in the story behind the photo – the reason the artist created that shot, although she does not believe necessarily it was the right way to create the image and her onward journey – she is going to be starting a blog and I cant wait to learn from her discoveries… Continue reading

Day 263 – Raw or jpg

I shoot Raw, I mainly edit in Lightroom – the reason I shoot raw is because back when I started someone told that this was the best thing to do … but I never really understood why at the beginning, and for a long time I shot in jpg and raw – but I was really not sure what to do with all the files I was creating. Nowadays I tend to shoot 100% raw as it is so easy to develop the images in Lightroom into the correct size files for the media that I choose … but is that the only reason….

I read an article recently online explaining the difference between Raw and Jpg – you can read it here: Raw vs Jpg and I thought that a comparison between the two files would make a great post, so today I popped out with my nifty 50 and took every photo as a Raw file for me to develop and each as a jpg.

Jpg and Raw comparision
Jpg and Raw comparison

The purple flower has more depth in the raw file, I can make it more vibrant and distinctive and the fine detail of the flower is more distinctive.

Jpg and Raw comparision
Jpg and Raw comparison

There is not much difference between the raw file on the dripping lead than with the Jog other than the fact that the shadows in the background are darker making the damp leaf stand out slightly more.

Jpg and Raw comparision
Jpg and Raw comparision

Looking upwards at a very delicate spider’s web complete with spider – I feel the individual strands of web are clearer in the raw file and the spider is a little sharper, there is more clarification between it and the background.

Jpg and Raw comparision
Jpg and Raw comparison

Only fair to include the photo buddies – using Raw I can lighten the shadows and make the details around the Border Collies eyes clearer.

Jpg and Raw comparision
Jpg and Raw comparison

A selection of leaves in high contrast light – the contrasts are much greater in the raw files on the left – the black darker and the colours more vibrant.

Finally below – a grab shot… lots of sunlight, lots of shadows, a distant person – the jpg image is processed to be quite flat with the person in blown highlights – the raw file enables me to correct some of the highlights, the sun now offers warmth rather than blown our light and there is more contrast between the leaves – they are exactly the same shot – taken at the same moment … yet the Raw file processed is a much more interesting image – I think.

Jpg and Raw comparision
Jpg and Raw comparison

An interesting experiment – it is great to compare – and these images highlight to me that I want to continue to shoot Raw so that I can develop my own images, add my own style and interruption rather than the cameras.

I really think the difference between raw and jpg links very much to the old days of film:

  •  It is the difference in sending your film off on a 99p special offer to be developed at a quick turn around lab – this would be your basic jpg
  • A jpg with incamera editing enabled to make it black and white etc.or by using a  quick tweak in lightroom with a predetermined preset is like sending it off to a lab and the lab deciding how they want to process your image – it may be better than just a basic jog but it might not be.
  • Editing the raw file in light room or camera raw, and then editing with adjustment brushes or into photoshop is like having access to your very own dark room, you have control of how long the lab develops each image, you can adapt your style to suit the image and you recover information that you can not see …  and if it is wrong in camera – you have a chance to make it right!

I think it is amazing you now have access to your very own dark room without the cost of chemicals and the fear someone is going to walk in on you and ruin your images by letting in light – instead you have a portable studio on a computer via software that you can start and stop with ease, it is not destructive and you can have endless attempts to get it right.

What do you shoot jpg or raw?

Day 262 – Making the most of Bright Sunlight

I was lucky enough to go for an afternoon walk through Wilverly Inclosure in the New Forest – I have not taken my camera out here for ages, as it is a nice circuit to run rather than carry a camera but with my calf slowly recovering today I thought it woud the perfect opportunity to explore at a slower pace and take some photos.

The bright low sunlight through the trees created some magical light in places, but it also created lots of dark shadows and made it tricky to capture the depth of colour in the scene before me – but it also meant that the scene was full of contrast and I have read that high contrast images work really well in black and white, so I decide that I would convert them all into black and white afterwards in Lightroom.

Wilverly Inclosure in the New Forest - ISO100, F5.6, 1/100sec
Wilverly Inclosure in the New Forest – ISO100, F5.6, 1/100sec

Continue reading

Day 261 – Red Deer

During the course of my 365 I have shared with you a variety of photos of New Forest Deer – there are several species that are free roaming in the New Forest and last night I was able to photograph a herd of Red Deer, which are the largest deer that can be found in the National Park – they were grazing in the early evening on an open area on forest so I got as close as I could.

I had my 28-300mm lens with me, was hand holding and I knew that to separate the Red Deer from the busy background it was essential to use a shallow depth of field – the tonal range was very similar, so I really need to ensure I had a clear focal difference between the deer (mid range) to the trees behind. I choose to use Aperture priority mode so that the camera could select the appropriate shutter speed, and auto ISO – although I have restricted how high the auto iso can go in the camera settings.

The results of the shoot are most likely to only feature on my web site and the ISO particles don’t distract when I am sharing small images, and as having the deer sharp was the most important factor, I was happy to work with that.

Red Deer - ISO1250, F5.6, 1/400sec
Red Deer – ISO1250, F5.6, 1/400sec

The Red Deer were on a slope in the distance – they spotted me straight away – so I grabbed a shot… I wanted to move closer so that I could loose the featureless sky, but I wanted to go home with at least one image – and in this image you can see the deer are below me with the hill between us, as you can’t see Continue reading

Day 260 – Growing Boy

I have had the pleasure of photographing Freddie twice this year already – as a newborn, and again at 8weeks. He is now 5 months old and is starting to develop some his unique character as well as his first two teeth.

The photos today were with studio lighting – 2 flashes with diffuses and a wireless trigger and my 17-70mm lens.

Freddie and his name in trains - propped up with a pillow
Freddie and his name in trains – propped up with a pillow

Freddie was great at laying on his tummy so that I could get down on his level and capture his brilliant smile. Mum kindly brought along lots of props to personalise the shoot – a blanket made by Grandma and a train that sits on his bedroom windowsill.

PhotoChallenge-Freddie-7167-Edit-2
Almost Sitting

Freddie is almost sitting – he can manage it for a second of two … so we managed one photo like this … but as he was so wobbly… we decided that tummy was best – so he was happy!

This rose is the button hole when his Dad married his mum
This rose is the button hole when his Dad married his mum

The rose above is the rose his dad wore on his wedding day as a button hole, made into acrylic and saved as a paperweight. I wanted to capture Freddie exploring it. Below are two wooden ducks – each named after his parents … so I have used them to make a natural frame and him.

These two ducks are named after his parents!
These two ducks are named after his parents!

Perched back on cushions – the perfect place to capture interaction and some great facial expressions. It really is a queston of keep taking photos, making eye contact and being ready for that perfect moment.

Perched up high
Perched up high
Resting on his tummy
Resting on his tummy
Resting on his tummy
Resting on his tummy
Resting on his tummy
Resting on his tummy
Resting on his tummy
Resting on his tummy
Resting on his tummy
Resting on his tummy

I think this is my favorite shot of the day – I managed to capture Freddie’s new teeth, and I left lots of space to add a caption too.

My first tooth
My first tooth

And a side note – have you seen this – Photography for bloggers – a new course starts next week, Emma has inspired several of my posts so far this year … so I thought I would give her a plug!

Day 259 – Insects and Reptiles Part Two

Yesterday I posted the first part of my photo experience evening with Captive Light and I said something was missing – I was really pleased with the photos I captured within the two hour session, I got more good photos than I would have imagined and I was interested in how the lights etc were set up… but I did say something was missing and I did not now want to include that in yesterday’s post.

First thing that was missing was the set up – what did it look like… so here is one of the areas that we had to photograph in, you can see how busy the background was, and how much a challenge it was to create the images that I shared yesterday.

Studio Set Up for the Photo Experience.
Studio Set Up for the Photo Experience.

BUT – the thing that I felt was missing from the images yesterday though was a sense of scale – how big is a Tarantula, how small was the baby Gecko … you have no way of knowing with the images from yesterday – so today’s share are images from the same photo shoot but with a sense of scale, kindly provided by one of the staff at Liberty’s.

Hog-nosed Snake - 17-70mm lens, F13, 1/160sec 54mm focl length
Hog-nosed Snake – 17-70mm lens, F13, 1/160sec 54mm focal length

This Hog-nosed snake was very lively in the evening … he moved really quickly which made it hard to focus on his eyes and to capture the action as his tongue darted in and out. He was a relatively small snake which you can tell by the handlers hand in the image.

Milliped - 85mm focal length, F8, 1/160sec
Millipede – 85mm focal length, F8, 1/160sec
Milliped - 130mm focal length, F8, 1/160sec
Millipede – 130mm focal length, F8, 1/160sec

Above these are Millipedes, they were just sleeping in the moss, they weren’t really a very interesting subject but when you see one rested on the handlers hand you can see they were pretty big. You really need that sense of scale to realise that.

Rose Trantula, 28-300mm focal length, F10, 1/160sec
Rose Tarantula, 28-300mm focal length, F10, 1/160sec

A rose tarantula on the sand, you can tell by the sand pixels that it is a good size and that it is possibly scurrying towards me … but until the handler goes to move it backwards – very carefully … you do not realise what a big spider it is!

300mm focal length - F10, 1/160sec
300mm focal length – F10, 1/160sec

Finally that baby gecko – was he large or small…  I captured a more interesting one of him balanced on a stick yesterday when the image suddenly became alive as he poked out his tiny tongue – a delightful capture, but also one where I had to crop in close and concentrate to ensure that his eyes were in focus.

Baby Gecko - 17-70mm lens, 70mm focal length, F13, 1/160sec
Baby Gecko – 17-70mm lens, 70mm focal length, F13, 1/160sec

Below you can see him being very carefully handled and places on the stick – he was tiny, and that sense of scale is totally missing from yesterdays photos., there is no reference point.

Baby Gecko - 17-70mm lens, 70mm focal length, F13, 1/160sec
Baby Gecko – 17-70mm lens, 70mm focal length, F13, 1/160sec

I really had a great time photographing with Captive Light again, it is very informal – more of opportunity to try your skills with  some fantastic subjects, everything you need except your camera in included and you come away with some great images – well I did … so I think I might request some of the workshops on my wish list.

Day 258 – Insects and Reptiles

After having a great time taking owl photos earlier in the year, I booked another photo session with Captive Light – this time an evening session with studio lights taking photos of insects and reptiles at Liberty’s Reptile Centre in the New Forest. The evening promised two hours of photography and a variety of animals for £30. Continue reading

Day 257 – New Forest 10k

Yesterday I was suppose to run the New Forest 10k, as part of my training for the South Run – which I plan to do in October to raise awareness for my son’s medical condition … but I could not run – I have been in pain in my left calf for about three weeks now and running is therefore not an option. I am disappointed – but it meant that yesterday I was able to attend the event for the very first time as a spectator — I have never watched a running event before… so I waited at the finish line to capture three of my friends run their own race instead.

 

My husband – who has now completed his 5th 10k event (he has now run the same number as me), my friend Anne, who inspired me to loose weight – although she did not realise it at the time and whom I encouraged to run in her first 10k event (she has also signed up for a 10 mile event) and my 16 year old daughter who ran her very first 10k … having only found at on Friday that she could have my place … and who had only run 5k before.

They did amazing.

We are collecting sponsors – so would love some donations: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/klsrun so if you have enjoyed reading my blog and seeing my photos … I would love it if you can help us reach our target!

Camera settings – I choose to freeze the action, I had the camera focusing on the person within the focal points, but it wasn’t easy – I wanted to be able to see the runner, to make eye contact with them and make sure I spotted them among the 4,500 runners…. at the end of the day I was delighted I had spotted all three of them as they approached the finish within about 7 minutes of each other.