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.

Sunday 8 May 2011

My cousin's engagement shoot

Last year I took some photos of a cousin of mine and his fiancée. I didn't tell the whole story at the time, but this cousin of mine has a brother, and by a complete coincidence, both these brothers proposed to their respective girlfriends on the same day - in different countries, without knowing anything about each others' plans. So basically, when one of them announced their engagement to the parents and then parents called the other son to tell him the news, there was a stunned silence before he could say that he had just got engaged, too! What great news and celebration for the parents! Well, as well as both couples, of course.

A few months ago the older brother contacted me and asked whether I could shoot their wedding. Of course I said yes, and immediately after, I was contacted by his happily excited fiancée saying that as soon as she had seen the photos I had taken of the younger brother last year, she knew immediately that she wanted me to be her wedding photographer! You see, these brothers are both very shy and really, really don't like their photo taken. So, apparently, I had done a little miracle and impressed everyone who know these brothers (and how few photos there are of them) by getting the relaxed and beautiful photos that I did.

So, today we met up with the older brother and his fiancée for a little casual photo shoot and lunch. My cousin had told me that the last time he has had his photo taken by a professional photographer was for his passport photo, and it was so horrendous that even the photographer had said that he looked like he was in serious pain in the photo. He just couldn't relax and look natural, and hated the experience. So he really wasn't looking forward to our shoot! And thus, my main aim was to make him feel as relaxed as possible so I could get at least a few nice photos of them. And so I started taking some photos...

OK, the first one wasn't that great, but not too bad for a start. We were just getting warmed up. I had to come up with some ideas for poses and ways to keep the shoot fun and relaxed.

And after a little while it was starting to work! Look how relaxed he looks in this one!

Not like he is in pain at all - just happy, right? Next I had them take a little walk while I took a few shots.

My darling dogs were there to run around them and generally getting in most shots...

And then, I think I got the best shot of the whole shoot:

Cue some messing about.

This next one is not a genius pose or anything, but I really like the natural feel to it. They look like they are having fun, and I could just fall in love with the pair of them just looking at this photo.

Steady on! Haha. Aren't they sweet? I can't take credit for much, to be completely honest. Both girlfriends of these brothers did a sterling job of making their man relax and be OK about being in front of the camera. It's thanks to them that I got the photos I did.

So I'm going to be both couples' wedding photographer this year - the first one is in a couple of weeks, and the other one will be in August in Finland. And I'm really looking forward to both weddings!

Thursday 5 May 2011

More action shots

Went for a walk on the South Downs again with the dogs today. Canon 7D is performing fine! :-)

The rapeseed were a bit too tall...

Here's Tigger with his crazy tongue.

Lovely days! I love summer.

Wednesday 4 May 2011

Water games

So we're back in England, and we got to see our gorgeous little doggies again today. :-) We went for a walk in the woods at noon, and in the evening I thought I'd take them to have a swim in the sea as they were a little smelly from all the dust they had been collecting in their coats all week, due to different walking area from their normal.

As usual, Zebedee loved fetching the ball...

Hey - didn't you throw it?!

And a couple of photos from our walk earlier today on the South Downs... such a lovely summer's day.