Thursday, 31 March 2011

Today is even mistier

Wonderfully misty day today. Had to take a proper camera with me when I went for a walk with the dogs.

Thought I'd go to a different part of the woods today so that I'd get photos of different kind of trees from my usual.

Loved the bright green new leaves!

Visibility about 100 yards or less...

This tree is great. Look how it has grown a massive root across the path. Wonder what it does with those who trip over it?

Here's Tigger gracefully springing over the root.

It's so difficult to get any photos without at least one dog in it. Whenever I stop to take a photo, they come over and enter my shot. They are such hams.


It was a great walk. So spooky in the woods when it's this misty.

Even spookier in black and white! ;-)

Monday, 28 March 2011

Brighton Rock'ed Photo Shoot

Hey, I don't really know what this Brighton Rock thing means... I've never seen the film - original nor new - so I haven't a clue what it's all about. What I do know is that Dade Freeman organised a Brighton Rock themed photo shoot for photographers, models, vintage clothes shops and make up artists. Oh, and Mods. Not that I even know what they are.

Anyhoo, here are some shots I took during the couple of hours that I was there:

Well, I think he might be a Mod:

It's something to do with Vespas, I think....

...but I enjoyed photographing the models more.

What a great get-together for all. Huge thanks to all who made it happen!

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Simone's portrait photo shoot

I haven't blogged much recently... but today I'm going to be good and post some photos from a studio shoot. The lovely Simone had her portrait shoot today - and what a fun and gorgeous model she was!

Actually, we started with a dark background and grey top...

...but I thought the top wasn't working to Simone's advantage and I wanted to change the background, too, and when I did, things started looking better.

I've been using a dark background too much recently... glad I switched to the white one early on today.

The background is white... it is! It just looks grey when you don't blast it with a background light.

One more shot of the gorgeous Simone.

Photo shoots are so much fun... I should do this for a living! ;-)

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

How to take fantastic photos with your mobile phone

Yup - seriously, you CAN take fantastic photos with your mobile phone nowadays. Don't believe me? Read on.

Just about all (smart) mobile phones have pretty good cameras in them nowadays and more and more people take more and more photos with them. In these tiny cameras there is hardly anything that you can set manually, though, so the only way that you can put your own skill and vision into the photos you take is to consider the composition of your photos.

Here are some pointers for taking more impressive and inspiring pictures with an all-automatic camera:

Tip no. 1. Use framing

This means introducing some kind of framing element at the egde(s) of the shot, normally something that is in the foreground of the scene. It will give your photo a sense of depth and dimension, and the scene a reference point. If you take a photo of a beautiful sunset, for example, a simple photo of the sky can look quite flat and uninspiring:

Compare to the next photo where I included some branches in the foreground to frame the photo with. Immediately it gives the scene more depth.

Reeds in the foreground give more interest in this photo.

This photo would be very boring without the beautifully silhouetted tree framing the setting sun.

You can go even further and fill the whole frame with a "see-through" foreground subject

Tip no. 2. Use 'rule of thirds' in composing your photo

You'll make your photos much more interesting by not placing the main subject of the photo in the middle of the picture, but slightly to the side.

If you photograph a person, place them either left or right of the frame, rather than the middle. If the person is looking away from the camera, leave space in front of the face, to give space for the person to look into. Same rule goes for animals.

A shocking self-portrait, taken with the low-res secondary camera of Nokia N8

Also avoid placing the horizon in the middle of the frame. By moving the horizon to either the top or bottom third of the image, you immediately create more interest and room for the eye to move around the image (which makes it more compelling to look at).

Tip no. 3. When taking photos of pets and children, take the photo from their eye level.

(Avoid having a tree growing out of your pet's head, though!)

Speaking of pets, have fun with them. Take action shots.

Get close.

And every now and then, fill the frame.

See how much more intimate the above portrait is compared to a photo taken from further away and too high up.

Tip no. 4. Get creative and experiment!

One late afternoon when I was walking my dogs in drizzle and quickly disappearing light, I thought I'd see what happens when I take a photo of drizzle with the flash. After a few tries, I got a picture of a magical tree:

Not just drizzling, but raining? Take a picture of your umbrella! ;-)

Foggy days are great for photography, too.

See if you can capture the sun in between the branches of a tree...

Are you convinced yet? There is so much you can do with your tiny little mobile phone camera... and it's great fun to do something new, and be creative. These are just a few very simple tips to help you get going... see what you can come up with and show me your results! Send a link to a photo you have taken, and feel free to ask any questions.

Happy snapping!

(All photos taken with Nokia N8 mobile phone)