Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Snowflake (Winter Wonderland Wheel), Hyde Park

Playing with my second hand Zenitar fisheye lens at Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland fair. Definitely one for viewing "large". Not sure of the final WB on this, so I posted B&W. Original colour is in the comments below. Hope everyone is having a super week.

Colour Version of Snowflake - Winter Wonderland Wheel, Hyde Park

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Seastate (Peverill Point & Rain), Swanage

This is one from an ongoing series trying to catch the ferry going along the horizon in long exposure. I'm only down in Swanage once every couple of months and with weather, tides and daylight hours all varying, it's taking a while to catch it. The timetable seems to have changed, so I missed it again.

Out at night, with a high tide and thick rain thrashing against the rocks, I shot this one anyway, and kept it for the impression it gives of the storm - that purple sky is SOOC. By the time I'd finished (this is a twenty minute exposure!), the tide had trapped me on the point and I had to climb up the crumbling defense tower to escape.

Have a wonderful week everyone!

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Willow The Wisp, Mill End

Willow The Wisp, Mill End, originally uploaded by flatworldsedge.

Same scene as last winter's Meltwater shot, taken last week in the thick mist. White balance was a hard call on this one; so I've left it as shot. Light pollution dominates this version, rather than sunset as per last year.

The pillars of light behind the bare tree are torch/flashlight held in a few static positions over a couple of minutes.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Love In A Cold Climate, Windsor

One from last weekend's fog in Windsor Great Park. A more thorough catching up beginning now. Way behind, as is typically the way at the moment, and I missed some people last week. Apologies if that was you! Hopefully it won't be for long!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Incoming (Landing Craft Light Trail), Göcek

One from back in September in Turkey. Hundreds of shots sat on my HDD and I thought I should get some shared while I have a moment.

Göcek is nicely set up for long exposure enthusiasts. This one and the two (previously posted) shots below were all taken from posts, walls or boardwalks - improvised tripods waiting for you everywhere. I really like the way the antennae have come out, even if the blur from the rocking boat has blurred the text strangely.

Have a great weekend all!

Goatzilla (West Caucasian Tur), Tallinn

Tallinn Zoo has the biggest collection of mountain goats and sheep in the world. This is a West Caucasian Tur, rather than a goat. They're pretty big beasts, as you can see. It's a neat display, in that the beasts get rocky hillocks to roam about.

The light and distance wasn't quite right to go for an f/22 all in one job, so, whilst nothing has been added or moved, this version did rely on CS5 to get both in focus. I've just upgraded from PS 7.0 - the selection along the gravel line took a couple of seconds, compared to maybe half an hour in the old version. Very neat software.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Falling Literally (Autumn Leaves & Stream), Hertfordshire

Well, I'm back after a fortnight's hiatus, lots of work and a short break. This is a quick one as so many of my recent postings are to prove that I'm not dead - just pedaling faster than I'm currently geared for.

Hope everyone is well - sporadic catch ups through this week and hopefully another couple of weeks of more consistent activity to come.

For this shot - yes; I did drop the leaves myself. They're real leaves though, and real gravity pulling them down.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Sea Sick, Göcek

Sea Sick, Göcek, originally uploaded by flatworldsedge.

Taken from the boardwalk working as an improvised tripod. Not sure there is quite enough "stable", but the crazy effect of the light on the boat's glass frontage was so cool I thought I would post it anyway.

Catching up now!

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Two's Company (Stray Dogs Sleeping), Dalaman

Two stray dogs sleeping in Dalaman's central square, sheltered only by the circle flare. Got some strange looks kneeling with the camera on the floor taking these.

Hope everyone is well - catching up now, after a busy week.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Stray Kitten, Ortaca

Stray Kitten, Ortaca, originally uploaded by flatworldsedge.

Well, I did warn there would be more of these. All in camera, bar a very slight crop. Just f/4 105mm at minimum focus distance to get the bokeh, and, most importantly, a willing sitter.

Hope everyone is having a great end to the week.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Central Asia Lite, Dalaman

One of the best thing about Turkey is that it feels like you're visiting a "Central Asia Lite". It's like Tashkent without the longhaul flight and problematic visas and nervous feelings about terrorism and language barriers.

Wandering around these farming areas at night I could explain myself in German, and feel safe, and all much cheaper than Central Asia - but still with the strange mix of Soviet blocks threaded with fragrant vines.

The ghosts in this image are an interested family of concerned elders pleading with and commanding excited kids not to talk to the strange chap with the tripod.

Hope everyone is having a terrific week!

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Articles of Faith (Backlit Cow), Dalaman

Articles of Faith, Dalaman, originally uploaded by flatworldsedge.

Some different ways of seeing the world in the notes on Flickr. Another one for lightbox if you have a moment though. The tiny white dots next to the nose are flecks of cow saliva caught in its whiskers. This is pretty close up - I got spray on my filter from the cow's snorts, which caused problems with some later shots.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

White Gold (Bees Foraging On Blue Cloud), Wisley

Shot with a Canon 50mm f/1.8 with 21mm of extension tubes. Thanks to ok2smile for some incredible advice on how to use DOF preview to trick my lens into staying at f/8 when on my entry level, no connection extension tubes.

Focus was on manual, but achieved by swaying back and forward like a seasick porcupine. No small number of frames taken to get one sharp one that way, but it seems to work much better and keeps hands away from the front of the lens. I would guess this was shot about 8cm from the bees, so manually focusing on the ring would certainly have spooked them.

It's my first non-abstract macro posting, and hopefully supports the argument that an £80 lens and £5 tubes (and a £5 lens hood) shouldn't be judged on price alone.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Star Board (Boats at Harbour), Göcek

Another shot from the recent holiday in Turkey. One for lightbox, really, if you want to bring out some interesting distant light trails as the taller yachts come into harbour. Göcek is a super place for long exposure shots of an evening, as it is full of boards, posts, walls and other improvised tripods. This was taken on just such a wall.

Much of Göcek is given over to yachts (in the discreetly named "Mega Yacht Super Marina"), but in middle of everything this quirkly little plank pier still stands to moor small local craft. Ten minutes after the last boat trip gets back in you see a little swarm of pancake, ice cream and similar vessels all dock here - having spent the day pursuing the tourist fleet like seagulls (with an inverted business model).

My favourite part of the image is the funny underwater sail suggested by the reflected lights to the left. Hope everyone's having a great week!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Stray Kitten Prowling, Sarigerme

Back from holiday with lots of pictures to process and post, and plenty of catching up to do. I hope everyone is well and enjoying life. Look forward to seeing your latest images this evening.

I'm afraid I have a number of stray cat/dog shots. I'll make the apology now with the first, and leave it at that. This one is a crop from landscape, with a nice feline prowl and bokeh shoe shop frontage in the background. Hope you like it!

Monday, 29 August 2011

Diptych, Polesden Lacy

Diptych, Polesden Lacy, originally uploaded by flatworldsedge.

Two shots from a weekend meeting with my parents, featuring our daughter JSH. Not my usual subject matter, but I was shooting them for the "family record" and liked the way these two worked together. The tables at the National Trust cafe here are great for the 70-200 - the radius is exactly the minimum focus distance, for nice sharp subjects and decent bokeh.

Another infrequent posting I'm afriad, and apologies for my slow reactions of late. The creature above is one reason, as is a busy workload preparing for a short holiday. Thanks for everyone's continued patience. I'm looking forward to carving out a bit more time come September. Meanwhile, I do hope you're all well and enjoying life.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Red Admiral On Heather, Godlingston Heath

No macro here - just a 70-200mm on a tripod - shot on a quick visit down to Dorset. Some incredible heather out right across the New Forest and heaths all along the coast.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Twilight, Swanage Bay

Twilight, Swanage Bay, originally uploaded by flatworldsedge.

Food poisoning and workload keeping me off Flickr recently. Just a quick one, as per the last to prove I'm still in the world of the living. Hoping to catch up properly and get back into regular postings soon. This one needs to be seen way larger than computer screens allow!

Close Ups From Swanage Harbour Shot

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Hereafter (World Trade Center), NYC [Film Scan]

Quick re-posting of an older shot, currently enjoying some coverage on the Flickr homepage. Full text and a meditative ramble at Flickr - just click the image. Have a superb day in any event.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Strega (Spider Eating Fly)

Significantly nicer on black, if you have a moment to hit "L".

Proof, if any were needed, that I need to practice a little more before straying into the realm of macro. The £4.70 tubes I acquired from eBay are superbly good value, but used with the 50mm f/1.8 without electronic contacts, you are left at a permanent f/1.8 and thus a crazy narrow plane of focus.

I wish I had a back to front sharp shot of this spider eating a fly, but, given that I don't, I do rather like the smokey quality of this one; like a vision into some austere, mist-thronged circle of Dante's hell. This one is shot outside against a bright summer sky. Converted to black and white, but otherwise SOOC.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Entangled (Moonlit Mist), Cassiobury Park

Quick one from the weekend, on a first visit to Cassiobury Park. An eerie mist lingering beneath moonlight on a humid, restless evening. As with most of these shots, the colour comes from cloud on the horizon picking up the city's light pollution, against a blue hour sky above.

I hope everyone is well - I've not really been on recently much, looking forward to catching up over the next few days.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Light Painting 101

Light Harted (Reindeer Light Painting), HertfordshireLove At First Light (Light Painting), KentSome Corner Of A Field (Black and White Light Painting)Being In The Universe (White Witch Light Painting), DorsetField Of Dreams (Penalty Kick Light Painting), RickmansworthFor Those In Peril On The C (Kraken Light Painting), Mill End

Light Painting, a set on Flickr. Over the last few months I've had some success shooting light paintings. I'm lucky enough to get Flickrmail asking about the basics, and whilst I've got plenty left to learn, here are the things I'd recommend as a starter for ten.

1: Sketch the scene first - Successful light painting means drawing images in the air, without seeing your progress as you go. Meeting this challenge is made much easier the fewer lines you need to draw. Sketching your idea on paper before going out with the camera allows you to simplify the image so that the fewest lines need tracing, and the image will be easier to produce.

2: Use the background - Remember that the light painting itself is just one aspect of the image. A great set of flashlight painted lines are super in themselves, but the magic really happens when you weave them successfully into a background scene that could also stand on its own two feet.

3: Use your body - Especially when drawing human figures, you can use your body to guide you when tracing in the air. Run a test shot, remembering the points of your body where you turn the torch. This makes it much simpler to avoid overlapping lines or distorted scales. Measure movement between positions in clear steps, counting them in your mind so you can repeat and control the process time after time.

4: Use bright torch for lines - A dim torch moved slowly and a bright torch moved quickly both have their pros and cons. I favour a bright torch. This allows swift movements, leaving smoother lines. The danger is that the bright torch causes flare at the end of lines. Dim torches are better for flare, but the slower movements they demand are often harder to keep smooth.

5: Use a smooth, non-grip torch - Especially when tracing against or near your body a grippy rubber torch will catch on clothing and ruin images. A brushed aluminium or plastic flashlight can be traced against clothes or through undergrowth without catching, allowing for smoother, more accurate lines.

6: Use flare - Whilst you won't want it on smooth lines, holding your torch in one place creates a neat sunburst effect. This can be used for creative effect, as in some of the images above.

7: Control aperture - Light lines, as well as the background, are best shown in focus. At night, when focusing is difficult, first use live view and your torch to focus midway into the scene. Then set aperture at f/8 to f/11 - giving enough depth of field to keep lines distinct. Tighter apertures are generally too slow to give good lines at acceptable ISO levels, and just a little blur makes the lines smooth.

8: Dark clothing and move fast Wear dark clothing and get out of the frame quickly, especially if you are stood against a relatively bright background like the sky. You needn't rush things; move deliberately though and do not dawdle.

9: Once you're happy shoot it again - However good your image looks on the back of the camera, shoot as many additional frames as you have time for. Tiny details on light paintings can undermine the image and they're hard to see on LCD. Once you know you have a decent image on your memory card, you can relax and try adding details. Many of the movements are like kata - the more you do them the better they become.

10: Shoot a backing plate - When you have a few images you are happy with, shoot a blank shot of the scene at an identical exposure as your most successful. Correcting errors or errant lines in light paintings is very difficult through cloning, and having a blank background layer makes it much easier to delete details that don't work.

Good luck and enjoy!

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

For Lust Of Knowing

Life passes bykiruna aurorario de janierowinter blue [explored ♥]waterfall of the godsSerenity
Hanalei Mist - Kauai, HawaiiTwo million eyesSahara ExpressLandscape Photo of the Year on - Circle stars - Dolomites - Nikon D3 + 14-24mm f/2.8 (Single Exposure) - Dedicata al mio caro amico Andrea MaggiFog at the Golden Gate #1 - San FranciscoBaobab avenue
Energetic Sporthallseascape paradise over undermorocco cuisineMoscow State University (MGU). Just before sunsetOutback Ruins

For Lust Of Knowing, a gallery on Flickr.

Any traveller who has read Hassan by James Elroy Flecker will regonise the sense of enthrallment and addiction conjured in the poem which opens the play.

"We travel not for trafficking alone, by hotter winds our fiery hearts are fanned. For lust of knowing what should not be known, we take the Golden Road to Samarkand..."

This is a collection of travel shots which reminded me of that feeling; clearly communicated, infectious and urgent. The lure of the crooked road into worlds unseen.

The poem is copied to the comments in Flickr - just follow the link above if you haven't encountered it. Enjoy!