Saturday 23 July 2011

Sunset from our window

My non-wedding photography has reduced to this: a sunset from our window! Mind you, I think it was quite a sunset, so I forgive myself.

I did post another blog in my other blog earlier today, though - have a look!

And that's all for today...

Wednesday 13 July 2011

Mobile phone photos...

I amused myself today by inventing a new way to play with my mobile phone camera. I have no idea whether anyone else has done it before, but my guess is that at least 1000 people have. I was walking our dogs in the woods as usual and I saw this scene of sun shining through the leaves... and I thought "I have used soft focus filter in a situation like this before". I only had my mobile phone with me, though - no proper camera. So I thought I'd see if I can create a soft focus filter for my mobile phone camera.... by blowing hot air on it. And what do you know - this is what I got! (Ignore the intruding dog in the foreground)

So then I started trying it on different scenes as I walked along with my dogs.

Cool, huh? Well, at least I thought so, as I was getting more and more excited about playing with breathing on the camera... and taking the shot just at the right moment before the glass in front un-fogged completely.

I knew that the soft focus effect would work best with some specular highlights in the scene, so I had to wait around for the sun to come out at this spot.

Next, one of my favourite trees in Stanmer Park - and not only because it is a source of water for the dogs whenever we walk past it.

Here they are... my walking companions... As crazy and silly and fun as usual...

Getting back to photos of trees... thought I'd do a black and white conversion just for the fun of it.

And when I did that, I thought back to some other photos I'd taken recently and did a B&W conversion on another photo taken in the woods. Not that I like trees or anything...

And this last one... another favourite tree of mine in Stanmer Park.

Same in old fashion slightly tinted black and white.

I am still amazed just how much one can do with mobile phone cameras nowadays! I mean, seriously - if someone showed me these photos three years ago and said they'd been taken with a mobile phone, I would have laughed until I cried.

But not anymore!

New Weddings And Portraits Blog

Apologies for having been so quiet for so long! I have been working my little socks off and created a new blog for weddings and portrait shoots only. If you are interested, have a lookie here:

If the photos or the blog in general raises any thoughts, please do leave a comment in the new blog somewhere - just so that I know I haven't done all that work for nothing, and that at least someone has seen it!

Tuesday 14 June 2011

Wedding photo edit

I have been too busy to do blog posts about weddings recently! One reason is that I'm planning on creating a new blog for weddings and portraits... so I'm kind of holding back on them until I have the new blog up and running.

In the meantime, I just edited one photo from my cousin's recent wedding and thought I'd post here what I did. See, sometimes, to get natural shots (especially of people who don't like their photo taken!), you have to grab one when it happens, even if you don't have time to frame the shot well. This is one of those times... The groom kissed his bride and I had to shoot even though I knew the shot wouldn't be well framed. One of those 'blink and you miss it' moments.

This is how I would have wanted the shot to be framed:

I had already edited the above photo to take off the distracting blue sign on the wall, so I took the kiss shot and placed it on this edited photo.

But then, of course, I realised that I need to edit out the groom from the background! I hoped that I had a shot without anything obstucting the doorway on the left... and I did!

So, using the area on the left from the above shot, I placed it on top of the groom...

A few tweaks of levels and tidy-up of lines, and here is the final image:

So there you go - bit of trickery pokery to get the shot I wanted, but I really wanted to capture the spontaneous, natural kiss as it happened rather than pose one, so I was happy to do the editing afterwards. If you have read my previous blogs about my camera shy cousins, you will know why I was so keen on grabbing any spontaneous, natural shots. ;-)

Thursday 9 June 2011

Another flowery field to run in...

I've taken quite a few photos of our dogs running in fields of flowers this year. And I'm not going to stop just yet! I went to find another poppy field near Devil's Dyke today. Yes, I did.

Let's do a fine, romantic edit for that one... Awww...

Oh, yeah, Tigger was there, too!

Have a look at Tigger's sideways leap on this one:

Zebedee tasting some of the grass...

I think it wasn't that good...

I was getting a little nervous in this field as it was right next to the road and there were sheep on the other side of the road, so I wanted to go somewhere else for a little walk where I didn't have to worry about the doggies being run over or mauling the sheep, so I drove to Devil's Dyke. And there was a cute little 11 month old Field Spaniel to play with there.

Close-up of the above. The Field Spaniel's face cracks me up.

As usual, Tigger was just watching from a distance...

...and doing his own thing.

Sunday 22 May 2011

Windy fields

Boy was it windy today!

And it's not easy to run in a field of long grasses when you are only small...

You have to spring like a proper springer spaniel to see where you are going!

Zebedee was feeling the wind in his hair, too.

One last spring from Tigger.

Saturday 14 May 2011

How to use polarising filter to reduce window reflections

Have you ever tried to take a photo of a shop or a restaurant from the outside, and instead of getting a glimpse of the venue through its windows, ended up taking a photo of the reflected houses on the other side of the street? I have.

While I was waiting for the sun come out in order to take some sunny terrace garden photos for a local restaurant, The Old Bank, I thought I'd take a couple of shots to demonstrate the effect of a polarising filter and how you can use it to reduce window reflections.

So, standing outside in front of the entrance, I took a photo of the window on the left.

Then I put a polarising filter on and turned it slowly until I saw through my viewfinder the window go dark, and took another photo.

See what difference it made? Now that the distracting reflections are missing, you can actually see the indoor tile wall of the restaurant through the window. You can still see the sky reflected at the top of the window, but look how much more clearly you can read the notice board in the middle of the window!

Turning to the right, another window - first without a filter.

...and then with a polarising filter.

Again, the bright reflections are greatly reduced and you can actually see through the window, and especially you can see clearly what is written on the notice board.

To get the best effect of the polarising filter you need to be in a slight angle to the surface - in this case, the windows. But basically it's a very simple tool to use for this purpose: all you need to do is screw the filter on, then - looking through your viewfinder - turn the filter slowly and see when the window looks darkest, and take your shot.

Here's another thing I had to do while waiting for the sun come out today: eat a delicious cheese & bacon beef burger. It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it.