Sunday, 30 December 2012

Trajectory (Wire Wool Spinning & Star Trails), Jurassic Coast

Via Flickr:
This is a wire wool spinning shot from Winspit Cove on Dorset's Jurassic Cove. The trail up to the spinning is torch/flashlight as I groped my way up the piled rocks. That is my one regret with this shot. Re-assessing things, that is my one regret with this image; I think it might have worked better if I'd used the flashlight to light the path up, then put a diffuser on it and concentrated on making sure there was a clean, single line the whole way back down. At the moment I think it's a little too patchy to be really effective.

It's another shot with the assistance of the Hooded Accomplice. It's a kind of lonely location, and this was also quite a bit of work to pull off - not least eighty odd flashes with a red gel to bring out the texture of the rock around the bowl of the quarry. We both feel the foreground rocks probably picked up a bit too much red from this exercise; re-shooting I think we'd try to mask out the bottom of the frame with some shaped black card to avoid this.

There's just one key piece of processing to note; in photoshop I masked out the sky and wire wool trails overlapping it, then changed the white balance. That helped the quarry and trails stayed red, whilst bringing out the blue of the sky for a little more interest. Apart from that it's all in camera.

Hope everyone is fantastically well.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Pipedream #1 (All In Camera Light Painting), Loose

Via Flickr:
It took about twenty minutes in the middle of the night to set up in the middle of a wintery pool, wellies full of water by the end of it. Five minutes later my flash, which I'd brought out solely to test, stopped working... If anyone knows about fixing Metz flashes, please message me! It still makes noises, and the button glows, it just doesn't flash. In this case "two out of three ain't bad" ceases to apply.

Anyway, having set up I figured I'd just trying gelling my flashlight/torch instead, and ended up with a shot I'm happy with and some neat lessons around lighting a scene.

Lighting is from a Lenser MT7 flashlight - first with a turquoise gel beneath the water (in a zip lock freezer bag), then with an amber gel aim along the wall from the right, and vertically down on the scene from the top of the wall.

More to follow from the location in future. Hope every one is having an amazing Christmas/holiday run.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

10,000 Mistakes (19 Stop ND Venice Waterfront), Venice

Via Flickr:
"The difference between a Zen master and an apprentice is 10,000 mistakes".

Like most of my Sliders Sunday postings, this is pretty much straight out of camera. There's some significant "real world sliding", however, in this case, I'm shooting through stacked 9 and 10 stop ND filters. That 19 stop ND filter delivers just over a 500,000 times increase to shutter speeds!

Thus, this ten minute exposure was taken in light that without the filters would have wanted a 1/500 shutter speed.

I'm not sure I like the result, yet wanted to share what happens when you stack these filters. The most interesting features, to my mind, are the odd colour casts, and the fun light leaks. I think the two orange spikes in the lower corners are from lit getting in between little notches on the filter threads. The really cool light leak is far right - those fierce stripped vertical slashes. I've no idea what brought them into being, but I like them. They're not something I ever thought I'd get SOOC shooting digital - a real film feel.

The semi-invisible seagull along the water's edge; he was creeping up on us as we ate our lunch behind the camera.

Anyway, I hope people find the experiment interesting here, even if the shot is a little sub-par. Have a fantastic weekend! And HSS!

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Twi'lek (Harlequin Carnival Mask), Venice

Via Flickr:
This is taken in the wonderful Ca' del Sol mask makers in Venice. It's an incredible shop, with wonderful photographer friendly owners. I'd recommend a visit to anyone and everyone, especially if you want to take pictures.

I found out on this visit that they do tours of their workshop - definitely something I will try to book ahead of our next visit.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

"Ta-daaa!", Jessica In Scarf & Hat

Via Flickr:
My first shot uploaded with the new Flickr app. If you haven't downloaded it yet, check it out! It is beyond stunning; great camera, processing and Flickr integration... and free.

This is a recent JSH shot at a nearby café, getting ready to charge about in the puddles.

Hope everyone is well and enjoying their Friday evening!

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Ferroviaria (Gondola Ferro), Venice

Via Flickr:
So the title is my attempt at a multi-lingual pun. Quick shot along the Grand Canal of all the gondola prows, or "ferri".

"The ornament on the front of the boat is called the fèrro (meaning iron) and can be made from brass, stainless steel, or aluminium. It serves as decoration and as counterweight for the gondolier standing near the stern."
- Wikipedia

"...a multi-pronged ferro, or prow. The prow's origins are even more mysterious than those of the gondola - some have five pettini, or prongs, some six (perhaps symbolic of Venice's six sestieri, or districts). The prow's single prong facing aft may be a symbol of the Doge's Palace, the Giudecca island, Cyprus (part of Venice's former empire) or Piazza San Marco. The broad-edged "blade" capping the prow may represent the sea, a lily, a doge's hat, a Venetian halberd or the Rialto Bridge. Depending who you believe, the ferro was inspired by Roman galleys, a judicial axe or the funerary barges of ancient Egypt."
- Telegraph Travel Online

Hope everyone is having a great week.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Gondola In 60 Seconds Revisited, Venice

Via Flickr:
This weekend I was back in Venice after two years away, so thought I'd try to re-shoot an older shot (see comments below). It's the same view north from the Rialto Bridge, up the Grand Canal.

This time there was no rain, so no bathmat tripod/rain cover to interfere. When dry, the edge of the bridge makes a perfect improvised tripod. Moreover on a full frame camera, the 24mm is perfect for the view - getting that building to the right in; a neat balance to the white building on the left, and home to some very nice blue posts!

Last time I was shooting late on when the black sky offered little. This time I got there just at sun down. The pale blue clouds blurred over the long exposure and bizarrely now look like clear sky to the right. All in all, I'm pleased with the revisit. It lacks some of the raw power of the first shot - the water is a bit less crazy, for instance, but it seems altogether crisper and more dependable.

Hope everyone is having a great week so far!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Sky Tide, Morro Rock

Sky Tide, Morro Rock by flatworldsedge
Sky Tide, Morro Rock, a photo by flatworldsedge on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Quick one from the summer trip to California, as like all of us I imagine, I whizz around trying to get work done before Christmas strikes. I've managed to shoot quite a bit over the last few weeks, yet not found time to post, so here's trying to get the momentum back up.

I shot this one chiefly for the droplet. If I'd had a tripod and some way of freezing time, I'd love to have caught a perfectly focused Morro Rick refracted in the drop under the (very twitchy) seagull's beak. Sadly I had neither, so this is as good as it gets. I am a fan of the texture of the OOF clouds playing against rock face in that hard backlight.

Hope everyone is having a great week!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Fall In The Antarctic (Humboldt Penguins & Leaf-Fall), ZSL London Zoo

Via Flickr:
Quick iPhone picture I wanted to post before autumn/fall has passed us by. It's the new(ish) penguin exhibit at ZSL London Zoo, made interesting by the huge drifts of swirling leaves. Kind of an odd combination - penguins and deciduous leaf-fall, especially with the bright turquoise water - and one I wanted to share.

Hope everyone is having a fantastic week!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Red Riding Hood (Jessica at Leeds Castle), Kent

Via Flickr:
Jessica looking seasonal at Leeds Castle this weekend. It's right on the border of what I'd post sharpness wise; probably too soft for most purposes. There's a neat set of lamps through the wood by the entrance, and it was too dark to shoot on other settings.

This is ISO 6400 on my 5D, recently upgraded to a MKiii. Whilst that would have been an impossible ISO on any other camera I've owned, you'll see you still have issues in terms of IQ. I have had sharper images at 6400, however so I suspect the focus was slightly off too, or one of us moved. You'll see ISO 6400, f2.8 and a shutter speed half the focal length (in Flickr's neat new display to the right), so there's plenty that could have gone wrong in terms of getting things pin sharp.

I might end up posting some others from this series, but I thought I'd start with one where the technique is a little off, but the atmosphere is on.

Hope everyone is having a great week so far.

Red Riding Hood Comments Pic Hosting

Sunday, 18 November 2012

"Let's Extensively Raise Goats In All Families" (All In Camera Light Stencil), Swanage

Via Flickr:
All in camera - single exposure. Please see "Let's Glow More Sunflowers!" for images of the kit used. In short, you print a picture on a black background, put it in front of a flash, open your shutter for a long exposure, and "zap" it onto the sensor.

No Photoshop!

This is the fourth in the series that The Hooded Accomplice and I are shooting; putting excerpts of North Korea, Soviet and Chinese propaganda into modern scenes. That's the "what". The "why" is less clear.

Hope everyone is well - catching up over the next few days after a couple of weeks off Flickr. Have a great end to the weekend.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Oed Und Leer, Das Meer ("Bleak And Empty, The Ocean"), Rye Harbour

Via Flickr:
Long exposure at dusk with a Lightcraftworkshop 9 stop ND filter. For some reason I've overlooked it until now, but it seemed an appropriate image to post whilst wishing well to everyone on the US East Coast.

Best wishes to friends in NYC and Ithaca, colleagues in DC and Flickr contacts across the region. I hope you and your families are all well and riding out the storm safely.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Planets On Earth

Planet Landing Stage - Stereographic 360° Panorama Lake Zurich / Suisse (HDR)little planet:  beijing olympic green at duskRotušės planeta | Planet City SquareBrighton Basket 'Ball'Stereographic 360° Panorama of the Val Senales glacier (HDR)BMW Welt 360° Panorama - Little Planet Munich
Siegestor München 360° Panorama - Little Planet MunichMarienplatz München 360° Panorama - Little Planet MunichStereographic 360° Panorama school building Neckargemünd (HDR)Perimeter Institute IIWorld of the NomadTheatinerkirche München 360° Panorama - Little Planet Munich
Chester Lake II Little PlanetAkademie der Bildenden Künste München, Neubau 360° Panorama - Little Planet MunichMy little WorldSunrise over Richvale GreenwayMinimundo Zaragoza360° Panorama of the Gurschlhof in Val Senales (HDR)

Planets On Earth, a gallery on Flickr.

Witching Hour (Golden Gate Bridge), SanFrancisco

Via Flickr:
This one's perhaps a little cliché... but there are some weird people up at this spot around midnight, and I endured them to get this shot. So I felt I ought to post it regardless. Getting up here late on was a pretty tense experience, with an empty, wind raked car park and a few hooded loners lurking, rocking on benches. There's an expression "do something that scares you everyday"; I think getting this shot sorted me out for a week or so minimum.

Afterwards, I made my way down to the pier at the foot of the slope. Again, I almost didn't make the extra effort in the dark, but, just as I was about to turn the key in the ignition, I saw some odd flashes in the darkness. A couple of bursts of light, then a searching beam scrambling around to describe a huge, twisted pattern. Light painting... ? Yes, a group of fellow photographers - a welcome sight, a couple of minutes chat and confirmation it was safe enough to stay out a little longer.

The top of the fort and a flagpole were cloned out in PP as they distracted a little, out that's why the foreground shadow probably looks a little odd.

Sorry to have been a little absence in the wake of the pig posting - yesterday I got some good news, a promotion at work, and the final stage of organising then celebrating that took me away from my catch up. I'm around this evening and very much looking forward to seeing everyone's photos.

Hope everyone is having a great start to the weekend!

Friday, 26 October 2012

Warm Blooded (British Lop Pig), Aldenham Country Park

Via Flickr:
Hooray, it's a British Lop Pig in the sun!

This chap is one of the rare breed animals on show at Aldenham Country Park. For anyone based round North/West London it's a fantastic afternoon out.

Here everyone is having a terrific end to the week!

Monday, 22 October 2012

Beetle Rock Sunset #3 (Circle Flare), Sequoia National Park

Via Flickr:
This is the third in the Beetle Rock sunset series. Previous postings and a tip noted in the comments below.

I've had a lot of trouble balancing this one's processing across two screens and my iPad. I do hope this middle ground offers a decent compromise in terms of light and colour. Shooting without a GND I've had to push up the shadows a little more than I'm comfortable with. I think Flickr applies a slight green tint to this one, but who knows.

Shooting at the sun like this, I find "Live View" extremely useful. You just hide behind the camera, point it at the sun and count on your LCD not being bright enough to burn holes in your retina. When something in the scene is going to move (like cows in previous shots), I'll squint through the viewfinder to avoid shutter delay. If nothing's moving though, this is certainly kinder from an ophthalmic stand point!

Hope everyone is having a fantastic week!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Zumwalt Meadow Panorama, Kings Canyon National Park

Via Flickr:
Lightbox ("L") recommended!

Until my last two uploads it's been nearly a year (4th Nov 2011) since I uploaded a shot with a daytime sky in it. Only 2 of the 28 shots I posted in that time were even taken in the daytime. Even then, you have to go back to August 2011 to find any real number of daytime shots. So I'm trying, briefly, to redress the balance.

This is my first attempt at a panorama shot. It's composed of seven handheld exposures; shot portrait on manual. You won't need too keen an eye to spot the beginners mistakes; like the artifacts from the attempts to process out the vignetting. Anyway, I'd shot the images to make a panorama, and felt it wouldn't count as following through if I didn't post them. Criticism would be, as ever, hugely appreciated.

I used content aware fill on CS5 to fill corners. When it built the other half of the far left tree, I was pretty stunned. It's more magic than technology.

This is a shot from Zumwalt Meadow; a spot at the end of California's Kings Canyon National Park which offers a little circular walk beneath these giant crags. I'd recommend it hugely.

I'm part way through catching up from a couple of week's away, so sorry for the slow tour. Hope everyone's having a fantastic weekend!

Friday, 19 October 2012

Xenobiology (Californian Echeveria Succulent), Big Sur

Via Flickr:
Coastal succulent - some kind of echeveria? - just south of Carmel on the rocky cliffs of California's Big Sur. I liked the mix of textures; there's a really light fresh feel to the flower, the horrifically withered rusty strips and then the succulent bulge of the exotic crimson and turquoise fronds. Quite a plant, with all those iterations of growth and decay exhibited in the single moment.

I only took one lens with me, so (obviously!) it's shot with that; 24-105mm f4L IS. It's a super travel lens; competent at both ends, good bokeh, solid, weatherproof. There's quite a number of them kicking around on Ebay, I guess as it's a kit lens with the 5D series and some people prefer the f2.8 24-70mm option. Even on a crop (I used to use it on my 300D) I would recommend it if you're thinking about one lens for travel.

Been away for a few days - catching up now. Hope everyone's had a great couple of weeks.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Treetops (Jessica & Sunlit Leaves), Aldenham Country Park

Via Flickr:
Just a quick JSH posting from this weekend, so comments disabled. The last blast of sunlight before the winter is upon us.

Jessica spent ten minutes shouting, laughing and trying to eat the leaves, after the fashion of a diminutive giraffe on a step ladder.

Hope everyone is having a great week!

Saturday, 6 October 2012

H2Glow (Deep Water Long Exposure), Monterey Bay Aquarium

Via Flickr:
This one only really comes to life on black; if you have a second, please hit "L" to view in Lightbox!

Taken at the deep water exhibit at the Monterey Aqaurium, this is probably the first in another mini-series. They have a neatly positioned bench to use as an improvised tripod, yet it's hard to get a single shot without too much floor and ceiling (read darkness) either side of the tank itself.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Pegasus (Winter Wonderland Christmas Carousel), Hyde Park

Via Flickr:
One I meant to post last December, yet general busy-ness prevented. Today the air had that crisp chill that catches the breath; winter is on its way. Reminder enough to get this posted before Christmas 2012 is upon us.

Hope everyone is have a great week!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Light Infantry (Chinese Soldier Light Stencil - All In Camera), Oxford

Via Flickr:
All in camera - single exposure. Please see "Let's Glow More Sunflowers!" for images of the kit used.

This is the third in a series of light stenciled propaganda posters I'm attempting with the much appreciated help of the Hooded Accomplice. Unlike the last two, this one is from the People's Republic of China, rather than the DPRK. It's also the first without slogan or text; at first I felt that would be a negative, and yet I rather like the more environmental result. If the Red Army ever do stalk into Oxford in the small hours of the morning, I've no doubt that this is what the assorted owls, foxes and windblown leaves will see.

Thankfully, should such a nocturnal invasion unfold - Oxford can rely upon the vigilance more than owls and foxes in mounting a defy. Enter the chap from the house twenty foot out of shot, who took it upon himself to "assist" on this shoot. Some notes for him:

i) Taking pictures at night is not "strange".
ii) Thank you for giving us your permission to continue with legal activities in a public space.
iii) No we couldn't have just "come back and got the photos in the daylight".
iv) The thing you called a "flash" is an LED strip.
v) It's not bright if you don't make a habit of staring directly at it.
vi) Staring directly at it takes significant effort and you'd be better saving that effort.
vii) Would be burglars don't generally start their night's crime equipped with a 4kg Manfrotto pro tripod or 4 foot square home-made softbox.

Glad I got that off my chest. Hope everyone is having a fantastic week so far!

Monday, 1 October 2012

The King Of Ai (Hidden Valley Sunset), Joshua Tree

Via Flickr:
Backlit Joshua Tree on the "Hidden Valley" hike. It was 114°F during the day, so we kept even this quick trek for the early evening, given that JSH was with us.

It's a fantastic quick hour's wander that I would recommend highly; lots of great interest and a superbly intimate little corner of the park late on. More photos to be posted from the series.

If "Live View" has a use beyond manual focusing from a tripod, then it is this kind of backlit sun shot. Definitely worth the slight nuisance of the shutter delay to avoid getting third degree burns on your retina.

Hope everyone's having a great week.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

"Compulsion To Hit Hard; Merciless Punishment" (North Korea Light Stencil - All In Camera), Oxford

Via Flickr:
All in camera - single exposure. Please see ""Let's Glow More Sunflowers!" for images of the kit used.

This is the second in a series of light stenciled propaganda posters I'm attempting with the much appreciated help of the Hooded Accomplice.

For light stenciling, you build a foil box, put an image on the front of it, and fire a flash through it from behind. The flash lights the image and "stamps" it onto your sensor/film. Then you move the box, and let the rest of the scene burn in. If you're interested, I'd recommend you check out tdub303's excellent tutorial piece here.

I put some quick thoughts down in the first of the series (linked above) as to why on earth you would choose to do it this way, in camera, rather than using Photoshop. Certainly it takes a lot of time and demands you make a lot of cumbersome kit to burden yourself with. However, the challenges it throws up are worth confronting. This is how you learn about light and cameras.

Hope everyone is having a great week!

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Articles of Faith #2, Dalaman

Via Flickr:
Second shot from the "cow" series last year that got me semi-blinded, mosquito/flea bitten and sprayed with cow saliva.

Hope everyone's having a great weekend.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Let's Glow More Sunflowers (North Korea Light Stencil - All In Camera), Oxford

Via Flickr:
All in camera - single take. Please see images in comments!

A year ago I built a big foil-lined box for light stenciling, and I've finally gotten around to testing it out. With a hooded accomplice's much appreciated assistance/contribution (for this is a two person job) this is the first of a series I'm putting together with North Korean, Soviet and Chinese Propaganda posters.

Clearly it'd all be easier and quicker in Photoshop - see notes in comments. Doing it "properly" with flash, black card, onerous stencil creation, mid-shot refocusing, balancing levels, etc. is, however, a great challenge to take on.

Hope everyone's having a great weekend!

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Beetle Rock Sunset #2, Sequoia National Park

Via Flickr:
This is the second in the series from Beetle Rock in Sequoia National Park. As noted in the first of the series, there was a black bear poking around the area an hour before the shot. I've put a picture of him/her in the comments below.

Hope everyone's having a great week!

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Light You Can Touch

"Illuminate"MiddayWrigley Building in FogGlacier National Park: Logan Pass Sun RaysSt. Peter's Basilica
Lightbiking To Work“BATALAN”Hopeb8650 The City Radiates at Nightolatuak
With a Ray of LightRay Cycles to WorkCentre Stagethe experiment itself_MG_7805Chicago, Illinois. In the waiting room of the Union Station (LOC)

Light You Can Touch, a gallery on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Commemorating black and white images with clean beams of light, so solid you can touch.

For people visiting from Twitter, thanks to those who have taken the time to retweet and share the gallery with their friends and followers.