Sunday, 27 June 2010

I Think the Lens Works

I spent a fantastic afternoon in Delamere Forest with a friend of mine, walking, chatting, and taking pictures. I'll eleborate more on that and the rest of the weekends activities later as it's rather late now. But I just wanted to share this one photo (I've got quite a few to process later in the week):

I tried LOTS of shots to try and capture a dragonfly and in the end I got this - it's a crop of the full size picture but even at 100% (click on the picture and it will show that) the image is pin-sharp. For the photo geeks, this picture was captured on a Canon 5D with an old 80-200mm lens that came from a Canon 35mm film camera. No image stabilisation, no L-series glass, nothing apart from an awful lot of luck!

Update: Another picture that came out well!

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Little Monkey

This is my other little monkey, given to me last weekend by my son. We decided he would be named the same as my son though I won't be referring to him by that name on such a public site (my son isn't old enough to decide to give up his privacy like the rest of us yet, hence no mention of his name on my blog). Anyway, there have been a few pictures of 'Little Monkey' on FaceBook but I think he's going to be appearing more on twitter and the blog, so keep your eyes peeled :D

Not Funny Anymore

I was going to write about the joys of hayfever and how it seems to be, so far at least, quite bad for me this year and that it's rather inconvenient when a) cycling, b) wearing make-up and c) attempting not to have ugly blood-shot eyes with dark bags under them. That would certainly count as "Not Funny".

But what just struck me was making (or trying to make) a witty reply to something a friend posted on FaceBook. I use to be full of one-liners and smart comments. In reality they probably weren't that funny, smart, or welcome, but at least it meant that I felt I was with it in some way and at least came across as bright and chirpy (probably also not entirely welcome in alot of cases).

So it occurred to me that I just don't have that anymore. I think part of it is me growing up somewhat; I was always pretty immature and, while I'm not claiming to be completely cured in this respect, I feel that I now have a fair amount of 'serious' experience which has an affect on who I am and how I behave. I use to write about the trials and tribulations of my life but, looking back, I think I did that in a fairly detached way. Now I feel and experience the reality of my situation and life almost constantly.

I'm not depressed or anything, and I certainly have lots of things to be happy about (for example seeing my son at the weekend, and meeting up with friends, and photography ... the list goes on), but I'm just a tad more serious, cynical, and real about life than I was before. Less naive maybe. But still hopeful I think.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Don't know where to start

I've really got behind with blogs and uploading of pictures. Everything seems to have been so busy lately and I just haven't had time to sit down and write anything. There is quite alot I need to write though. The divorce is reaching it's conclusion, I'm also getting to the point where transition gets a little more difficult that just taking pills, my relationship with my parents continues to be 'interesting', and there is so much more to consider seriously now when almost everything seems to have been dealt with. I maybe have the space to consider reality, even if I don't seem to have the spare time to do that.

From a practical point of view, I'm going to start putting all my pictures in galleries on my website, currently the 'beta' version of this is here but it'll eventually move to the main site itself. Full-sized images will still be available on my deviantART page and I'm now generating prints on there which you can buy (the site handles all the purchasing/printing and I get a small royalty - am going to try buying my own prints to see how it works later).

I really do need to get more organised at this as the photography continues at a rapid pace. I've now spent a significant amount on kit and really should be able to produce some impressive photographs and actually start to do something serious about this rather than just mucking around aimlessly. More importantly I've got ALOT to learn and I need/want to do that quickly.

I'm beginning to realise that my seemingly endless spending and obsession with things like photography and otehr gadgetry really is linked to my state of mind and other issues. It's becoming apparent that I really do shop because I'm unhappy and that I've got lots of things to resolve and deal with (including reining back the spending obviously).

There's lots I need to write about the relationship with my son aswell. The other day I stated, quite categorically that I didn't have much of a plan in life, I then found myself thinking, some time later, that I really need to fix that. I need a goal of, for example, seeing my son more and living closer too him, or even just putting even more effort into making sure that we have a strong relationship; as it is I always get the feeling that I'm missing out on so much and becoming less relevant to his life. Not nice.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Rainy Day Shoot

Well, it started out with the rather grand, and frankly over-ambitious plan of taking pictures in the rain using a lighting technique that I'd seen but only briefly practiced! Thankfully it turned into an inside shoot with some fab outfits, wonderful background and, as ever, another chance to work with an amazing model and friend, Carmina.The location in the end was the Royal York Hotel near the train station and we will certainly be heading back there again on both business and pleasure; really lovely place and they were very nice to let us shoot inside at such short notice.

I still have alot to learn about getting lighting right, particularly using the flash when bounced (it's a little easier when you have proper lighting and a studio/controlled environment as you can move things around and fiddle more ... when you have one light source on the top of the camera it's a little more interesting!) but my learning curve aside it was fun to try different thing as well. The shot above is an example of this where we wanted to get the tiles on the floor in the picture, so Carmina just lay down and we took a few shots that way! Same with the picture to the left, it was just an idea to try this, and I think it works.

Also Rachel took quite a few pictures that she later processed as black and white to great affect. I have to admit I've never really been a fan of monochrome pictures, I can see that they are more detailed and often convey more meaning and emotion than colour but I think I just like to see everything as real as possible, as if it was there in front of me. However, I thought I would give it a try anyway with a picture that was a little too over-exposed in colour but which, I have to admit, looks at least marginally better in black and white.

Anyway, ultimately it was a very productive, and most importantly, fun shoot even after the slight disorganisation at the beginning and impact of the rather too rainy rain! I've been practising more with off-camera flash and I will actually do a shoot at some point using that ... and maybe even in the rain too (with lots of big umbrellas!

[ Update: The full-sized versions of these pictures can be seen on my deviantART page under this gallery ]

Half millennium!

I seem to have been really busy over the past few weeks and haven't really had the time or inclination to write anything so I've been a bit lax about keeping things up to date. I've got a tiny amount of time now and I just noticed that I've had 499 posts so far which makes this the 500th! That's quite alot of wittering over the past ... goodness, it's only two and a bit years!

Anyway, here's to another 500 posts of complete and utter nonesense!