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.