Year Two (14) – Why photography matters

The Firs

Every business sells itself by the impression it makes to its customers. The first impression that potential customers say is often the online presence – a great web site has to be designed to be mobile friendly, to be SEO and to look great and the first impression starts with the initial image.

I was asked to take some photos today of a self catering property in the New Forest to replace their old images online. Continue reading

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Day 324 – Revisit

Prior to starting my blog and 365 project I visited the British Museum and was inspired by the building… it was the first building I truly noticed and was wow look at the light.

My favorite photo from that visit is here – it is on the front page of my blog.

RoomWithAView

I got to go back and explore again… with the idea that today I would capture a similar photo as well as just enjoying and appreciating the space. Continue reading

Day 180 – Awards Ceremony

A week or so a go I attended an award ceremony for HM Coastguard where my husband was presented with an award by the Chief Coastguard for Meritorious service. I was asked to take photos. This was a real challenge, the venue was small and crowded – outside was bright sunshine overlooking the sea, inside there was a large doom ceiling letting in sunlight, a pretty sparkly chandler and pink spot lights!! The uniform of the Coastguard is dark suits with white shirts and they obviously all wanted photos of the occasion.

I made the decision before hand to use flash on TTL, but I used a bracket to set it off camera to one side, I had hoped to use a tripod for the formal shots, and I took it with me – but there was not room in the room. I asked where the presentation was going to take place and was shown, so i set my camera up for the light level there, and was ready … the presentations began to a different spot, I had my 17-70mm lens, which meant I could shoot fairly wide and close, but there was also a table full of drinks in the way and there was no way they could be moved once they started talking. I also realised I needed to use manual mode so had to set my shutter speed to work with the flash!

Some of my favorite shots from the evening are here:

ISO800, F5, 1/250 sec - 50mm focal length - Manual mode
ISO800, F5, 1/250 sec – 50mm focal length – Manual mode

This is the Chief Coastguard reading out one of the certificates.

PhotoChallenge- Commendation-8965-1This is my hubby receiving his award. It was scary to think they were looking at me before they moved onto the next shot… and next to me was a journalist from the local paper with a point and shoot camera.

ISO400, F8, 1/250 sec - 38mm focal length - Manual mode
ISO400, F8, 1/250 sec – 38mm focal length – Manual mode

I like capturing candid shots … something that earlier in the year was not in my comfort zone, but here I had been asked to take photos. This photo is the chief coastguard talking to the town major with a special police constable in shot. It shows agencies working together, something the coastguard teams are keen to capture.

ISO400, F5, 1/250 sec - 17mm focal length - Manual mode
ISO400, F5, 1/250 sec – 17mm focal length – Manual mode

These are some of the most important guests there – the wives of some of the serving coastguard, they had just got into a group for a posed shot, I saw the momement and captured it.

ISO400, F5, 1/250 sec - 28mm focal length - Manual mode
ISO400, F5, 1/250 sec – 28mm focal length – Manual mode

The Coastguards talking together… you can see in this one how the pink lights are lighting up the wall beyond yet with the flash I have managed to make the team members shirts white… as you get further away from the camera my light fulls off.

ISO400, F5, 1/250 sec - 17mm focal length - Manual mode
ISO400, F5, 1/250 sec – 17mm focal length – Manual mode

Just capturing the informal atmosphere. It was a real challenge.

ISO400, F5, 1/250 sec - 17mm focal length - Manual mode
ISO400, F5, 1/250 sec – 17mm focal length – Manual mode

I like this photo are my eye is drawn to the young lady in the right looking towards the camera. Her smile lights up to picture.

A montage of the presentation
A montage of the presentation

These are the formal shots – 10 coastguard officers all awarded a terrific, I did not get to choose the backdrop… but I am pleased I got a reasonable photo of them all.  The other photos I took of the evening I put into a photo album online and I have shared them with the team… so it will be interesting to see if anyone buys one.

Day 123 – HDR Experiments

Interior photos look great when taken in HDR, you can take a series of photos – and three different exposures and merge them together to create an interesting and varied look. Recently I download a demo copy of the Nik Collection – and I experimented with their HDR function as I have never managed to achieve the right photos in photoshop.

I was amazed at how much you can change the look and feel of an HDR image by changing the settings and working from different presets. Amazing to think they all use the same three shots!

Experiments with HDR
Experiments with HDR
Experiments with HDR
Experiments with HDR
Experiments with HDR
Experiments with HDR
Experiments with HDR
Experiments with HDR
Experiments with HDR
Experiments with HDR

Day 96 – On Location

A couple of weeks ago I got to visit a stunning Bed and breakfast property in the New Forest National Park and was privileged to be able to take some photos for it for their online advertising – I was not sure what to expect when I arrived, but it was 100 times better and the previous photos that i had seen taken maybe 15 years ago really did not inspire you to stay. It in in an idyllic location with stunning views and it would have amazing night skies.

I took with me:

  • A choice of lens but I ended up only using my Sigma 10-20mm wide angle lens
  • My tripod
  • My white balance tool that I got for my birthday – brilliant for HDR photos, and for making me look professional … always great to have a gadget people have never seen before!
  • The photos were ten processed in Lightroom and as HDR images in photoshop.

New Forest B&B Location PhotosNew Forest B&B Location Photos New Forest B&B Location Photos New Forest B&B Location Photos New Forest B&B Location PhotosNew Forest B&B Location Photos New Forest B&B Location PhotosMy favorite shot from today was this one below – it was a shot I just had to take – it would be amazing to have a window in my home with a view like this. If you would like to go and stay – their new advert and photos can be found here on the Explore the New Forest web site, I was waiting to post them once I had their approval.

PhotoChallenge-Tothill Window-6

I entered the above photo in last week’s camera club competition – the judge loved it. He said it was a simple image that drew you in, with three windows, the flowers, the lack of clutter, the roof framing the window, the paths leading you into the landscape were well balanced and it was well captured. There  were 18 photos in class and this one did really well – it was one of two top images scoring 10/10 and a seal. My first digital seal of the year.

Day 13 – Revisited

I am still indoors, so thought I would revisit the flowers… the carnations are past their best .. so I focused in close to fill the image with my 100mm Canon macro and used a tripod. It was worth getting it out, as for each shot I left the camera in the same position, the lighting did not change (natural light from a window to the left) and I had the shutter on a 2 second delay so I would not suffer from camera shake.

As I decreased the depth of field the length of time the shutter was opened also decreased … and so did the amount of mess on the cabbage leaves…  the green spots and blemishs are soo much clearer on the 1st photo with the largest depth of field, smallest aperture and longest exposure time – highlighting once again that to get the perfect flower shot – you really need to find that perfect flower to start….

ISO 100, F22, 25 secs
ISO 100, F22, 25 secs
ISO 100, F10, 5 secs
ISO 100, F10, 5 secs
ISO 100, F3.5, 1/2 sec
ISO 100, F3.5, 1/2 sec