Another relaunch!

usa97-09-12I have a bad habit – I tinker with my websites. I’ve been tinkering with this one for a while now and it’s time to relaunch.

So, here it is. A new blog, and a new way of laying out the galleries. I wasn’t planning to relaunch until it was “done” but I’ve decided there’s no such thing when it comes to my websites. I still need to tidy up a bit of the content, and add some stuff to the galleries.

As for the galleries, you’ll see that the homepage lists the recently updated ones. At the moment that just represents the order in which I built them, but as I add content it’ll be reflected in that list. Although there are some nudes on this site, they should all be in the “reasonably safe for work” category. My other site has the stuff that isn’t quite so safe.

The image above is a random old one, and is an example of the work still to do – going through old slides and adding them to the galleries. I want to concentrate on new stuff as well, though, and hopefully having a shiny new site will prompt me to get myself in gear to shoot stuff to show on it!

 

A handy coincidence

P1000053P1000066I was in London on Saturday and taking my camera for a walk. That’s what I usually do when attempting street photography – take my camera for a long walk and come back with a handful of photos. Well, a handful would actually be a good haul – more often than not the camera stays in the bag, or at best around my neck.

Street photography, I may have to finally concede, is not my thing. I’d love to be good at it, I’d love to be one of those photographers who has the confidence to even do it, but I just find it hard to get past the self conscious stage. It’s a vicious circle, I know. The more you look self conscious about taking pictures, the more likely you are to be noticed. The confident street photographers snap away as if it was the most natural thing in the world and are probably never noticed. Read More…

Cheating with Nik

20090917_0001The Nik Software collection of plugins has recently come down in price from $499 to $149 after they were bought by Google. At that price I felt it was worth a punt, so I’m currently evaluating the set.

It makes cheating very very easy! The Color Efex package bundles a range of filters that apply creative effects to your photos. Most could also be achieved via Lightroom presets, although the Nik software has a sophisticated control point system to fine tune the results. I’m still getting my head around that, so to start with I just had a play. Read More…

Rather them than me!

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P1000019With a bitterly cold east wind blowing it probably wasn’t the ideal day for the motorbike run to the coast.

I wandered down anyway and took a handful of snaps. It was an opportunity to give a new toy a quick run out although it wasn’t long before my hands were getting too cold to operate it! I’m no biker – unless it’s pedal powered – but I can’t imagine it was a great day to be sat on a bike for any length of time.

It was busy, though, so plenty had braved it, and some weak sunshine took the edge off the cold in sheltered spots. Photography has taken a back seat so far this year because of the weather, and I’m crossing my fingers that a miserable March will give way to a half decent summer for once.

A couple of bikes demonstrated the only way to maintain a semblance of comfort in the cold… I’d still rather be in a car myself though!

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Neil Armstrong

160I hate to repeat myself and post an image that I only aired on the blog back in April, but it seems fitting for a short off topic post to commemorate the achievements of Neil Armstrong, who died yesterday.

The first moon landing happened before I was born, the last when I was just over a year old, and this December will be the 40th anniversary of the last manned landing. The are any number of reasons – the landings were born out of the cold war, unmanned probes are more cost effective and can travel further, there are arguably better things to spend the money on and perhaps the appetite for risk has changed over the last forty years.

Whatever the reasons, I think it’s a fitting time to celebrate an amazing achievement, and to raise a toast to a man who was, by all accounts, a science geek rather than your typical test pilot. And I mean that very much as a compliment!

Olympics

157An offtopic post today, as the Olympics gradually winds to a close.

I didn’t get to any of the events, but then I generally prefer to watch sport on TV anyway – you get the best view that way. I must admit to being less than enthusiastic about the Olympics in the buildup. Over the last week or two, some of my cynicism has evaporated and not just because of the British successes.

A large part of that cynicism stemmed from the reports of draconian restrictions brought in to protect the sponsors. I understand that sponsors spending millions will expect exclusivity, but this seems to have been taken to rather silly extremes. Read More…

The model village effect

156The model village effect is an attempt to make real life scenes look like models. I’ve seen it done in exhibitions and even TV advertising, and thought I’d have a go.

The idea is to replicate the shallow depth of field that you’d get when shooting a small model. Read More…

Not an Olympian effort

155The Olympic torch came through yesterday. As it virtually passed my door, I felt the least I could do was wander down and take a look.

Initially I was tempted to take my SLR and try to get some proper pictures, but in the end opted for the little compact zoom. Hardly an effort worthy of a serious photographer, and I probably should have made more of an effort.

The shutter lag and delay between shots meant that the compact was absolutely not the right tool for this particular job and I only got one picture showing the actual torch. By the time the camera was ready to take another shot it was too late.

It was probably the right decision in the end, as the weather decided not to cooperate and I’d have ended up with a very soggy SLR. It was spitting with rain when I went out, and as the torch approached the heavens opened and it lashed down. Almost as soon as the torch had passed it cleared up and the sun came out. At least it gave me an excuse, after the event, for not bothering with the big camera kit!

Folk Festival

148I had a quick wander around the Leigh on Sea Folk Festival today. I’m not exactly a fan, but then most of it wasn’t what I’d call traditional folk music anyway. There were some slightly more traditional elements, including the morris dancers, although I can’t help wondering when a pink nightie was traditional dance costume… Read More…

Southend Airshow

145146It’s that time of year again, time to go to the airshow and come back disappointed with my results.

I went for a few years after getting my first SLR, then when I got my first autofocus SLR and then, after a long break, when I went digital. I know the results won’t be great but I seem to have to keep trying.

Southend isn’t the best venue for an airshow from a photographer’s perspective and it’s probably better to just go and enjoy the event rather than attempt to take pictures. It’s all about the direction of the light and, since you’re looking south, you’re almost always shooting into the light, at least until the middle of the afternoon. Read More…