Thursday, May 26, 2011

Chocolate Box Photography

There are very many superbly artistic photographers out there

I don't count myself amongst them

However what I do think I can do is appreciate a nice view

Like Castel Coch in Tongwynlais near Cardiff where I live

It's a place I know well. it should be... I got married there

And yet when I look through my photographs there was hardly a picture of the place in the collection

Thankfully this has now been rectified in part, but it;s also left me realising that I need to do more. I had a walk I was leading in the area so rushed off to check the paths were OK before the day and realised I was there, the light was nice and I had seconds with one lens and a few seconds before a hoard of people walked into the shot

So here's my chocolate box view of Castel Coch and I think I could see it adorning many a suitable box of local delights..

Now I just need to sell the idea to someone :-)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

What you can get away with

On a recent event in Dan yr Ogof (Wales Premier show cave) I was asked to take some pictures and record the event

However as I was also organizer, part event leader, rounder upper of people and general dogsbody as well I found the whole timing aspect quite a challenge

Suffice to say that I rapidly decided that setting up tripods and even using creative flash was out of the question as there were too many people doing too many other things

So I went for the click and prey approach to taking pictures and it's amazing what you can get away with in Digital

Take these for instance

These are both taken on the E-30 with the 14-54 lens and they are taken hand held, no tripod, and using the show cave lighting which was only on for a short period of time as we went through ( the caves were not open yet for the season). ISO 800 and F2.8

OK I'm not going to win any competitions with them and they are to be honest not pin sharp when you look at them full sized on a good screen, but a few years ago I would not have considered taking such pictures. Even when I stated with the e-Series my E-500 was not up to these type of pictures and I would have had to do noise reduction, but these are straight out of the camera, resized and posted.

As I say - an example of what you can get away with

Thursday, May 12, 2011

My Tree in Spring

In an earlier post I claimed a tree

I can't keep away .. it keeps calling and last night I caught it with the dun in the perfect position for some sunset silhouette pictures

In taking these type of pictures I admit to being entirely in my comfort zone because it's almost impossible to mess them up and only very limited skills and technique are needed

Take this for example

Stand in such a position that the sun is behind the tree.. it makes a nice silhouette and puts a glow around the tree.

Compose a picture on the basic rule of thirds (most interesting object 1/3 in and 1/3 up from the bottom)

Wait for the cloud to move far enough to not mess up the nice glowing area

Press click

OK so maybe that's too much cloud in the picture ...

Stand still for another 2 minutes

Press click

Well that may be a bit too much tree for some...

zoom out

Press click

Too dark?

Zoom in so a bit less bright sky shows and the camera picks up only the lighter part of the sky

I admit that I feel in my comfort zone taking these type of pictures

Some people have wonderful artistic vision and can see the unusual in any scene. I'm not one of them, but I think I can appreciate a nice view when I see one and if no-one else likes them at least I can say that I enjoyed the 20 minutes I spent standing in the sunshine appreciating the beauty of the skies

Monday, May 9, 2011


A While ago I posted one of my personal favorite imaged I took last year down on the banks of the River Severn at Goldcliff, near Newport South Wales

That prompted me to think that I have never put a selection of the pictures I have from this fine piece of coast on the website so I have finally made a start on doing just that and I have created a new gallery on my website of pictures from the banks of the River Severn

It's never that clear to me what I should think of as banks of the River Severn. Clearly when you can see right across to the English side it's still a river, but it's also tidal and therefore an estuary rather than strictly being a river.

Recently I see a lot of definitions stating that the River ends at the Second Severn Crossing Bridge, but it must have had a start and end before that bridge was built.

The next section is called the Severn Estuary which take us The Severn Estuary is said to extend to a line from Lavernock Point (south of Cardiff) to Sand Point near Weston-super-Mare. so I think I can still call those pictures Severnside (which is a good job as the one above is taken in that section.

Then we come to the section which is referred to as the Bristol Channel which in my mind is a very strange name for the section which is increasingly further from Bristol so what do I call pictures like this from Southerndown?

Luckily the old name for the Bristol Channel was the Severn Sea and in welsh it is still named: Môr Hafren, meaning 'Severn Sea' so I think it's quite reasonable for me to put those in the Severnside section as well when I get a minute

As to Pictures of Tenby, well these are also contained within the strict definition of the Severn Sea as I will call it, but for me these deserve a section all of their own