Year Two – April

April Highlights… I find it interesting when I look back at my monthly highlights to see what I enjoy taking photos of….

Year Two (35) – Playing in the Woods

I have been shown one of two different abstract effects recently that I you can take in camera, so this weekend I headed off to visit the bluebells with a prop, and some ideas to try something different.

These are the results of my experiments.

Back in the Bluebell wood
Back in the Bluebell wood

This is the same wood that I visited recently … but there are lots more bluebells out and it is a lot harder to just choose that one perfect flower Continue reading

Year Two (34) – Learning your camera

Last night at the Old Bakery we had a go and capturing the moment with drops dripping and glasses smashing … there was only a limited number of people shooting due to the demands of the set up which meant there was a lot more time to talk to each other and to share knowledge … and to my amazement I was asked loads of questions about setting up the flash, and I actually knew a lot more than I thought I did, it was great to hear tonight that one of the newer members thought I was a pro 🙂 Made my evening!

Setting up the shot
Setting up the shot

This evening highlighted to me a lot …knowledge which a year ago I didn’t have…. and now I am glad I have… some of wish I am going to share: Continue reading

Year Two (33) – Understanding Light.

Last year I experimented with Eggs and the effects of aperture and shutter speed, this week on #Ayearwithmycamera – Emma challenged us to look at the direction of light and thought that this was a great opportunity to put my camera in manual and take it through its paces … and I thought I would share my results. Continue reading

Year Two (32) Bluebells Revisited

It’s bluebell season – last year I took photos of bluebells at the end of April … and shared my topical post here and another one here – this year I knew I had to try again, to see what I remember from last year and to experiment more with different lens and because I just love the delicate nature of the flowers.

The morning I choose was overcast and there had been rain the day before – so the results included some lovely water drops on the flowers. I started off with my 100mm macro lens, shooting without a tripod, aiming to select one flower from the background.

100mm lens, ISO320, F9, 1/80sec
100mm lens, ISO320, F9, 1/80sec

I then had a helpful photobuddy, Continue reading

Year Two (31) Netherlands

An incredibly short break in the Netherlands saw us doing over 800 miles in the car and spending some time exploring with our god daughter, it is wonderful to be part of her life – frustrating at how well at 3 year old she can understand English and yet we struggle to communicate anything in Dutch -but it is lovely to see how she has grown through my photography… and also how much my photography has improved between visits.

Just over a year ago – February 2015 – I blogged about the family photos I took, and in the last 14 months Fenna has changed significantly but so has my photography.

The Channel Tunnel

Above we are heading into the channel tunnel – a tricky shot, no flash, it had to be fast enough to freeze the movement but I had to capture the details inside the dark cab of our camper and outside in the train. Continue reading

Year Two (30) – Almost One

A special friend of mine is one on Monday… and I got to have him all to myself at the weekend… so it was time to take some natural baby shots or play – I love this kind of photography, not staged, just natural – capturing moments that a parent would treasure and I really wish I had the camera skills I have now when my own were at this stage.

I had a special morning, we ate, we explored, we discovered, we played and we napped … a great morning for Freddie and some great expressions to enjoy…

Breakfast time
On the move
In the garden
Freddie – exhausted!

Hopefully he will come and play again soon. Happy First Birthday Freddie!

Year Two (29) – Night time and ISO

A lovely evening stroll in the blue hour at Boscombe in Dorset, Boscome pier is an icon local spot that I have wanted to visit in the evening for a while … but I also wanted to try and capture a different view – to make my own image of the pier.

I was without a tripod, not idea for evening light, but it was a good opportunity to experiment with the ISO settings on the full frame camera – so I shot in aperture priority, dialed in exposure compensation where needed and captured the evening light.

Sunset - ISO1250, F8, 1/50sec 24mm
Sunset – ISO1250, F8, 1/50sec 24mm

This is alongside the pier, I had missed the sunset cause I was having dinner in a lovely pub… but I waited till the couple were separate from each other to capture them in the arch of the pier, adding to the sense of scale and the location. Continue reading

Year Two (28) Food Photography

This week’s themed shoot at the Old Bakery is food photography, I have no idea what is planned as I am unable to tutor this week, so instead I decided I would try an Old Bakery food themed shoot at home and share it instead. There is a really simple post on food photography here – but I had an idea to try something a little bit different.

“The Old Bakery” is the perfect logo for a food photo – so I thought I would create something a little bit different and shoot my food in the dark using my Ipad as the background.

My miniature fairy cakes

These were baked by my 16 year old daughter, I took them in manual mode at ISo100, F2.8, 1/200 sec with window light behind -this is my subject but I wanted to create something different without really using photoshop. One of the photographers who comes to the group commented recently that it was easy for us that knew how to edit, he wanted to get in in camera… so my thought was to capture food creatively in camera with the help of technology, but adding the artwork in camera.

Behind the scenes – not very exciting!

So this is my set up – my dinning room table – my camera on a tripod with a flash trigger on top – a sheet of black paper with glass on top to make a reflection with the cakes on, my ipad with the logo I wanted on, and my flash with the trigger and a homemade snood (a piece of paper rolled round it to create a narrow beam of light).

The challenge was to get the blacks black, the whites white and the cake to show up… I experimented a little and ended up with 1/128th manual flash – ISO 124, F2.4 and 1/20th sec.

Old Bakery Cakes – in camera no editing, except a square crop!

I then took the Old Bakery Image and inverted in (ctrl i) and took the same image again with a white background and changed the crop. The white image added more light to the image so I had to change the settings – I love the clean lines of the end result, and it is amazing that the set up is exactly the same as the above shot. The font is very soft, due to the shallow depth of field, and the light bleeding into each other – but I love it.

Settings ISO100, F2.8, 1/15sec and flash still 1/128th power. The only editing was a different crop and adding a border in photoshop.

Old Bakery Ipad Image

I could not leave it there I had one more idea to try, what happens if you increase the aperture – less light enters the photo, which means that I can increase the shutter speed – which therefore means I can move the Ipad and drag it across the image to use it to paint light into the image – the moving Ipad adds the curving lines, and the flash at the start to the image lightens the cakes. The basic image was just 4 coloured stripes on a black screen.

ISO 100, F20, 4 sec exposure, ISO100 and 1/128th flash, and no editing other than to choose my crop, you can even see where my movement of the ipad was not completely smooth.

Food photography with a moving Ipad background

I am looking forward to seeing what the group photographed and I would love to hear whether you have used your ipad as a image background before … it is definitely something I think would come in useful.