Monday, 31 March 2008

31st March 2008

This disused railtrack runs [under the A55] near Chester, and is regularly used by graffiti artists as a legal painting venue. It’s different every time I go back and you never know what amazing art you will find painted on the concrete walls here. I would love to meet one of the artists, but I have never seen anyone here. [Sustrans] are developing a cycle route along this track soon - I do hope the permission to paint here will still stand, so more people will get access this ever changing art.

Sunday, 30 March 2008

30th March

Poor man's crème brûlée.

An ever changing combination of raspberries, blackberries, vanilla pod, crème fraîche, natural yogurt, maple syrup and sugar. This was the best one yet and only took about 5 minutes to put together. I won’t be trying to hold a blowtorch in one hand with a camera in the other again though.

All of these shots following the contemporary style for in-progress, close-up food photography. The informal presentation of the food is enhanced with the very shallow depth of field, perhaps slightly too shallow in some cases here. This style seems to be a good shortcut to the desired result of making the food look good enough to eat. I think it is probably much more challenging to get satisfactory results shooting product type food shots where everything in the shot needs to be perfectly presented and in sharp focus.

Saturday, 29 March 2008

29th March

Dough balls and herb baked tomatos, pretty much straight from the oven.

These shots both using natural light, diffused with cloud, worked fine without any additional diffusion.

Friday, 28 March 2008

28th March 2008

This shot breaks the best practice [guidelines] I just learned for food photography – mainly as the light here is overhead tungsten lighting, which really shows in the flat look of the photo. The preferred diffused natural light was in short supply at 9pm though, plus our guests were looking at their withheld food threateningly. The [recipe] thankfully, was a real show stopper and also really quite easy to put together if you happen to have some Scottish flaky hot-smoked salmon handy.

Thursday, 27 March 2008

27th March

I read an [article] on food photography earlier this week. The condensed version of the articles goes something like this; most food wants to be eaten, not photographed, and therefore looks rubbish when photographed. The advice was firstly to undercook the food, let it go cold, photograph low and close up on a non-fussy background, use natural diffused light, custom colour balance and finally to use a shallow depth of field. This shot uses most of those techniques, and although I can see I will be able to improve on this, it is my first attempt at food photography. The final point of the article is to know when not to shoot food at all, and with anemic looking cheese as a subject, this is probably one of them. More to follow this weekend with folk to cook for.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

26th March

Eucalyptus Tree, after the rain.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

25th March

Beer glass and water, glass 'borrowed' from Pizza Express

This backlit shot uses only a household lamp as the light source, but custom colour balancing before shooting makes all the difference. A flash, from the side of the glass, would no-doubt finish off the shot, adding more glass reflection.

Monday, 24 March 2008

24th March 2008

Sunset over the Isle of Arran from the mainland, Scotland.

Goodbye beautiful Arran, until next time.

The [Caledonian MacBrayne] ferry to Ardrossan.

Sunday, 23 March 2008

23rd March 2008

Beinn Tarsuinn ridge and Goatfell from Meall Biorach, Arran, Scotand

Towards Meall Donn from Meall Biorach, Arran, Scotand

The Scottish island of Arran is the near perfect landscape photography location. Being one of the southerly Scottish islands, the weather is often more stable then the more northerly west coast islands/mainland. The main benefit though, is the size of the island; its possible to shoot/walk in the early morning light on the east coast of the island then drive over The String to the west coast for the late afternoon light. This combined with a hill range rivaling Skye's cullin ridge in drama, plus many glens, waterfalls and standing stones, makes Arran a great place to find accessible photo opportunities without having to walk all day for one shot.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

22nd March 2008

Holy Island and Clauchlands Point from Merklands Point, Arran, Scotland

Cir Mhor from Glen Rosa, Arran, Scotland

I am starting to realise that to get any better at landscape photography, that the next level requires a big increase in the investment in not only time and effort, but also in (counter-intuitive) anti-social behavior. To get the magical shots means pre-visualising a shot, then going back to the location in ideal lighting (sunrise/sunset) at least once. On this trip this Easter trip, this would mean being on the hill at 4.30am, and therefore quickly using up any accrued brownie points with the already very patient other half!

Friday, 21 March 2008

21st March 2008

Meall Bhig from above Coirein Lochain, Arran, Scotland

Cul nan Creagan from Corie nam Meann, Arran, Scotland

Thursday, 20 March 2008

20th March

The [Caledonian MacBrayne] ferry to the Isle of Arran, Scotland

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

19th March

Lake overflow and log, Delamere Forest.

I did to Delamere forest expecting to find much I wanted to photograph, but once I looked a little closer, there were a lot of little natural details worth hunting out.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

18th March

I need to work on someone to have their picture taken in this location, its such a moody backdrop in early morning sunlight.

Monday, 17 March 2008

17th March

Frosty oak leaves, Winter is back today.

Sunday, 16 March 2008

16th March

Old ruin, hazy hills, Snowdonia. Even in mid-March, this felt like one of those perfect summer days that you wish would never end.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

15th March

The Golden Lion, Frodsham. I think a series on English pubs (inside and out) could be worthwhile this year.

Friday, 14 March 2008

14th March

These trails are the result of a powerkite session on the beach. The S-shaped trails tapering off into the distance come from being pulled along the sand by the kite's power - a technique known as 'skudding', or translated 'the wind is too strong or I am to scared to kiteboard today'.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

13th March

Hamish - feeling very sorry for himself - he had a wound on his paw and was stuck inside for days.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

12th March 2008

Kurly Cale. This plant has been growing none stop for two years, and the young leaves still taste great.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

11th March

My pal Sue. Sorry Sue, I know you said I made you look like an 'ugly miffer', but I kinda like the retro lighting so you are getting published anyhow.

Monday, 10 March 2008

10th March

Tree bark detail

Sunday, 9 March 2008

9th March 2008

Hodge Close Quarry, Coniston

This disused slate quarry is now a mecca for rock climbers seeking E-graded sports routes. We had taken climbing kit with us, but alas slate is a slippery as ice when even slightly wet, and in this case, water was streaming down these the bolted climbing routes.

I did some research on this quarry when I got home and found [this] most amazing autumn panoramic shot of this quarry by Gary Waidson, which quite frankly made me want to give up photography, or perhaps try a lot harder!

Saturday, 8 March 2008

8th March 2008

Jem in action on
the Rookin House Farm assault course, Troutbeck, Penrith

Friday, 7 March 2008

7th March 2008

Man in Cafe, Chester

I spotted this shot while passing. I was drawn to the reflection on the glass obscuring most of the cafe interior, apart from the well lit subject.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

6th March 2008

Cool girl in front of the Kingsway estate. Thanks for letting me take your picture.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

5th March 2008

Forest panorama, graphic details.

The original of this image is made up of three images blended to together to form a very high-resolution landscape image. Graphic icons added later.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

5th March 2008

New Brighton lighthouse.

I think this lighthouse is probably a much photographed spot on the Wirral coast. I must time going back here with lovely 'golden hour' light or perhaps when there are stormy clouds in the sky.

I have incuded this shot as reminder to try more of this technique, i.e. the contrast of the motion blurred birds and the pin-sharp foreground elements.

Dispite the overcast skies yesterday, I spotted a enough potential in New Brighton to justify popping back today, this time in bright sunshine.

Monday, 3 March 2008

3rd March 2008

Young jogger, New Brighton promenade, overcast sky

I spotted this picture while driving past. I didn't quite get sorted in time to get the chap in the foreground as planned.

Sunday, 2 March 2008

2rd March 2008

Ivy on Oak tree

Ivy on rock.

These two images are converted from colour to B&W using a new technique I learn't on a photoraphy course yesterday.

Saturday, 1 March 2008

1st March 2008

This lovely old Triumph bike was given to me by my neighbours Eileen and Frank. It was Eileen’s engagement present from Frank, over 40 years ago.