Day 218 – Highlights from Lincolnshire

Two days away of 520 miles covered and yet still we managed to relax and enjoy a fantastic walk on a beach on the East Coast with one of the photo buddies, and discover more about the past by visiting Tattershall Castle.

I used my Sigma 17-70mm lens throughout the weekend, I shot handheld and was incredibly brave to walk 5km before along the beautiful sandy beach with the dog and my camera….  and with Emma’s challenges still in mind…

  • Viewpoint – High, low, extreme, intimate, abstract, predictable, unexpected – your point of view is what links you to the person looking at your photograph.
  • Framing – A simple technique to focus attention – use the foreground to frame your subject
  • Negative space – Also known as whitespace, this is where you deliberately provide lots of breathing space around the subject.
  • Diagonals – A very strong composition device. Diagonals suggest energy and movement.

At the beach, I thought about getting down close to the sand to capture the detail in the retreating tide, my view point was somewhat lower than I would normally capture an image as I am very wary about sand, sea water and cameras.

Getting down low on the sane
Getting down low on the sand

Staying low, I was pleased to be able to capture the action on the beach of a game of ball with one of my photo buddies. I think my view perhaps could even be that f another dog… it create a unique view of the location.

A different view point
A different view point

Changing view and moving up to the sand dunes, I wanted o catpture the vast scale of the beach but without a person or scalable reference this is tricky…

A different view point
A different view point

Looking back – often I am following up behind as I have stopped to take photos – this is a different view for me, as I am looking back to see some of my family following me up the beach. I just love the warmth the sun brings to the image and the face that my hubby is paddling bar foot, very unusual – but it was a great beach to do just that!

My hubby and the photo buddy
My hubby and the photo buddy

This one is in black and white, the photo buddy was waiting for us to throw his ball, I thought about ensuring I had plenty of negative space in this photo hence the portrait crop. I love how he has left his mark though on the wet sand and that you have a clear pawprint in the foreground of the image.

photo buddy and his ball
photo buddy and his ball

My final beach image – a groyne.I centralised the groyne surrounding it by the natual framing of the sea, I got down low to ensure the details of the sky were included and chose a short shutter speed to capture the movement of the waves.  I have really enjoyed exploreing different beaches this year

at the beach
at the beach

A new location

At Tattershall Castle I tried to continue to think about different view points…  but first of all it was important to set the scene.

The view from afar
The view from afar

Looking at the view from one of the many windows created a great natural frame, although it was quicky tricky to line myself up so the church was not cut off but the bars in the window.

The view through the window
Looking at The view through the window

At the top of the castle is was the perfect spot to experiment with the looking up and looking down view point. as well as thinking about diagonals and capturing the flying flag at that angle.

The view looking up
The view looking up
The view looking down
The view looking down

Back at ground level and I wanted to capture the old english village feel to the place and a sense of scale. It was a lovely spot to explore.

Tattershall Castle refecltions
Tattershall Castle reflections
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Day 199 – Home Town Photos and Shutter Speeds!

I recently read on a blog post about how photographers often forget to look at their local town for inspiration and ideas, so I know I often visit the New Forest and the Coastline, but today I headed into Lymington to capture my home town and some of its characteristics.

Lymington Quay - ISO400, F16, 1/400 sec
Lymington Quay – ISO400, F16, 1/400 sec
The Quay from a different angle -ISO 200, F16, 1/160sec,
The Quay from a different angle -ISO 200, F16, 1/160sec,

These two photos show the Lymington Quay area, very popular with tourists and difficult to expose for as their are lots of shadows. I have not photographed this for a while, as I tend to avoid the area in summer, but I am delighted with how well they turned out and they have a lovely summer feel!

ISO400, F16, 1/100 sec - Feeding the Swans on the Quay
ISO400, F16, 1/100 sec – Feeding the Swans on the Quay

At the bottom of the cobbled street is the harbour, the photo above was taken standing down on the slipway and you can see people eating ice cream, and feeding the ducks – a popular summer past time. I thought about the angle here from which I took the photo … something slightly different as I am below the people which gives the image a sense of scale.

Old Lifejackets - ISO400, F5, 1/5000 sec
Old Life jackets – ISO400, F5, 1/5000 sec

This photo made me smile. This elderly couple carefully put on their life jackets – the lady in the rear is still doing to string up on hers … it was great that they were wearing life jackets, but I felt that they had seen better days, were a relic of the past and I don’t know if they would be that much help in an emergency.

I then had the opportunity to shoot some photos of some young people on the Quay doing a very dangerous activity. They were jumping off the Quayside into the water – there are signs up warning you not to do so, there are also rocks in the water below… but these teenagers were taking random runs along the quayside and leaping off the edge. I decided it was the perfect change to try high speed photography, and I have merged each series of jumps together in Photoshop.

Jumping in - ISO 400, F6.3, 1/2000 sec - 3 shots merged
Jumping in – ISO 400, F6.3, 1/2000 sec – 3 shots merged

The first one was a somewhat gentle jump, here I have merged 3 photos together but I am delighted with how well the jumper was kept in focus.

Jumping in - ISO 400, F6.3, 1/2500 sec - 3 shots merged
Jumping in – ISO 400, F6.3, 1/2500 sec – 3 shots merged

Suddenly his friend then leaped in – I was not at the right angle to get his take off but was able to get him landing fully in the water. I am not sure photographing a dangerous activity such as tombstoning, but if something does happen I will have accurate record shots.

Jumping in - ISO 400, F6.3, 1/2500 sec - 3 shots merged
Jumping in – ISO 400, F6.3, 1/2500 sec – 3 shots merged

There was then a gap, they didn’t jump in any more and I had almost put my camera down to enjoy the view when the eldest team did a running dive into the water, I just hit the focus button, and clicked – I did not have time to raise the camera to my eye, hence the crocked horizon but I did manage to capture the dive!

I then looked at changing my settings, and the camera I am using has a high speed shutter burst – so I switched to that and waited patiently for them to jump in again. I almost gave up, when they decided to have one more go.

Jumping in - ISO 400, F6.3, 1/2500 sec - 9 shots merged
Jumping in – ISO 400, F6.3, 1/2500 sec – 9 shots merged

The above shot is nine shots, roughly merged into one – you can see how the young man has made a running leap off the quay and into the water and how much movement his body makes during the jump. I was amazed at home many shots I could fire off in one go – and amazingly each individual shot was taken in camera raw.

My final shot is of the eldest teen – one of his friends was still in the water when he leaped, and I managed to capture the whole jump from standing on the quayside, leaping outwards over the water, his changing position and the splash. This was a sequence of 11 photos merged together in Photoshop.

Jumping in - ISO 400, F6.3, 1/2000 sec - 11 shots merged
Jumping in – ISO 400, F6.3, 1/2000 sec – 11 shots merged

Today was a great day – the teens did not die tomb-stoning, and I got to capture some photos in my home town just be being there with my camera, it pays to carry it with you.

Day 149 – Shooting Wide

Back home and I was challenge in one of the facebook groups I am in to have a go with a zoom lens and shoot as wide as possible and see what the result of those images are. I thought it would be an interesting experiment to try, so on a dog walk out to Hurst Castle I thought about keeping my lens as wide as possible. I had one or two problems, the first being my photo buddies – they kept getting into shot making the composition harder especially as due to the birds one had to be kept on the lead.

ISO 100, 18mm zoom, F6.3, 1/1000 sec
ISO 100, 18mm zoom, F6.3, 1/1000 sec

To show you the range of the lens, this is the same lens fully zoomed and cropped in. The shallower depth of field is much more distinctive in this shot.

ISO 100, 250mm zoom, F6.3, 1/1400 sec
ISO 100, 250mm zoom, F6.3, 1/1400 sec

I cropped this image top and bottom to make a stronger composition … it is quite interesting how much can be included in the shot when you go wide… and you have to make sure there nothing is bring cut out on the edges.

ISO 100, 18mm zoom, F11, 1/640 sec
ISO 100, 18mm zoom, F11, 1/640 sec

This next image shows just how important composition is – the bridge stops you looking at the amazing background. I also notice in processing that my 18-250mm lens had crept forward … it is not uncommon in zoom lens… and it is something that I am aware happens, but I had not realised it had during today’s practice.

ISO 100, 21mm zoom, F11, 1/200 sec
ISO 100, 21mm zoom, F11, 1/200 sec

With the camera wide, it was important to consider the lines that draw you into the image, the placement of the horizon and foreground interest. This shot (below) was not strong enough.

ISO 100, 18mm zoom, F11, 1/250 sec
ISO 100, 18mm zoom, F11, 1/250 sec

Moving closer and moving down – I felt I got a much stronger composition.

ISO 100, 18mm zoom, F11, 1/250 sec
ISO 100, 18mm zoom, F11, 1/250 sec

Another wide angle shot, and once again my photo buddy has crept into shot… now if he turned round and faced to camera he would have made a good foreground subject 🙂

ISO 100, 18mm zoom, F11, 1/200 sec
ISO 100, 18mm zoom, F11, 1/200 sec

Got Sparky back and got the shot… though I did not notice the lens had crept … and I was no longer shooting fully wide.

ISO 100, 35mm zoom, F11, 1/125 sec
ISO 100, 35mm zoom, F11, 1/125 sec

From exactly the same location, I shot this photo of the lighthouse… this photo was also shot wide – but with a lens with a bigger zoom – my 150-500 sigma lens.  I love the detail that has been brought out in the compressed grass layers, and because of the distance covered, this kind of shot of Hurst Castle Lighthouse with the Isle of Wight behind is only possible on a clear day.

ISO 100, 150mm zoom, F11, 1/250 sec
ISO 100, 150mm zoom, F11, 1/250 sec

My final shot is a large panoramic image – this was shot with my camera in the portrait position, on my 150-500mm lens, with the camera resting on a monopod so I could keep the height the same – so all the images were taken wide and then joined together and cropped.

150mm zoom of 150-500 mm lens, several photos merged together
150mm zoom of 150-500 mm lens, several photos merged together

Future Challenges

If I am stuck for ideas in future Emma Davies has posted some ideas for a 30 day challenge – there is a whole list of different photos to try and take and it is a place to start it I am looking for inspiration or am suck for an idea … there are all sorts of ideas of subjects to try – so I am going to save the page for inspiration as I attempt to complete my own personal challenge.

Emma’s 30 day challenge can be found here: emmadaviesphotography.com/make30photos/

emmadaviesphotography.com/make30photos/