Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Things that go bump in the night

This is back catalog stuff from Haloween this year.
Will try and think of something a bit more creative rather than just trigger happy but in the mean time may as well get the ball rolling.

Next Assignemet - "Things that go bump in the night" due 31/1/2010

Hi All,

I guess its TIME to call TIME on the last last topic, however always TIME to squeeze in a few more. For those who want to start on the next one Paul kindly picked the number 6 which gave :-


A nice creative topic, from ghosts to cars I guess.

Get snapping, deadline 31/1/2010, however never to late to post anything.

Please all those quiet masses out there, we know who you are, please join in. Post something, add to the critique, doesn't even have to be on topic. The best way to learn is to play, share and get critique.

Richard B.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Am i upto date now sir???

Is that me up to date now????

Colin's back catalog of missing homework - 3 again

3 bars on a bench,
Shot taken by a 3 year old. (bugger can't claim it as mine aside from camera ownership. Oh that was bought for Louise aswell)

It covers the home work and shows that James has better composition ideas than me any way.


Time spent with friends was done to death by Steven & Richard but just to prove I was there (and to get me over a homework issue).
Unfortunately the darker it got beyond this the worse I thought the pictures were getting.

Colin's Back Catalog of Missing Homework - 3

Back catalog and boring but as we have seen the end of the YBOD thought I might get away with it.

Colin's Back Catalog of Homework - Animals

You would expect animals to have been an easy one with a dog but I see to much of him so never have the camera around when he is doing anything worthwile.
Instead here are a few of the animal shots from the summer and a couple of older ones from last year.
The only planned submission for the homework.

There is about 6 inches of glass between me and the tiger.

Colin's back catalog of missing homework - Buildings

Don't remember which month that we were supposed to do buildings and this one was taken well outside the time period but hey felt guilty.
Straight out of the camera with some in camera messing with the white balance.
White Balance set to Tungsten
Got bored of waiting for it to go dark and the building lights to come on.

Basil ! <-- Warning Off Camera Strobe Content -->

Hi All,

Following Paul's TYME I mentioned I'd have a go, well here it is.

I wasn't actually working on the compostition to much, more wanted to illustrate the effect of off camera light, strobe power, aperture and shutter speed balance.

Single strobe, off camera left, no soft box or other modifier. Would be better with a soft box and a second strobe off camera right to soften and balance the shadows a bit.

(Click to enlarge)

This is a typical Shutter / Aperture matrix, however now LIGHT is thrown into the mix with an off camera strobe.

Appeture in Rows f2.8 top to f45 bottom.
Shutter speed in Coloumns 5 sec left to 1/50th right.

Then flash power (manual, not eTTL) on the diagonal.

You will note that the range of correctly exposed images greatly increases.
- Shutter speed controls the amount of ambient light.
- Aperture controls the amount of flash light (at same given power).
- Flash power and shutter speed can be balanced to control front / back light.

I'm going to try and refine this further to show and explain the effects better, maybe use eTTL. I keep posting the results.

As always any comments, questions, abuse always welcome.

Richard B.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Time with Friends - Steven's angle

Mr B is far more organized than I and got his SZR shoot shots together and uploaded before me.  However, still thought I'd share:

This is the best of a bad bunch taken from the Nikon which I had set up on the tripod taking shots automatically every 20 seconds (D700 has a brilliant delayed shooting scheduler built in!!).  I then wondered around with the pocket rocket Leica taking other shots from other angles and locations:

Light trails arn't as good form this angle, and the sky has already past its prime, but I prefer the composition in this one, with the lights fanning across the foreground.

TIME to nag

It's that TIME of the month again. TIME to nag !

Firstly well done to those who have had or made TIME. For those not yet I'm sure you can grab a few seconds to make some TIME.

Remember Christmas is a TIME to SHARE, TIME to GIVE, TIME to RECIEVE.
So TIME to SHARE some photos, GIVE some comments and RECEIVE some critique.

Just because it's Christmas TIME, there is no excuse. TIME to get the camera out and snap away.

If your lacking inspiration, go through your photos from TIMEs past. Then just make up a title in the now TIME honored tradition.

Richard B.

TIME THE SHUTTER IS OPEN - another from Richard

Hi All,

Yet another tenuous link to TIME, this time the shutter is open.
Actually just an excuse to share some shots.

I've been roped into teaching a friend of the wifes about photography and doing a course. As part of this I needed wanted to illustrate the Shutter/Aperture balance.
Hence the below, it is a 5 x 5 grid, from f45 to f2.5 and 1/1000sec to 2.5sec.
I know the composition isn't great but wanted to ilustrate DOF and movement in a controled manner to get 25 identical shots.

(Click to enlarge should work)

Larger Size :
Shallow DOF, Frozen Action (f2.8, 1/1000sec)

Deep DOF, Moving water (f45, 2.5sec)

To shoot.
1- Get Pen and Paper.
2- Frame shot
3- Av mode and work out Min and Max apperures for that lens.
This sets Fastest Shallow and Slowest deep.
4- Pen and Paper, divide apertures and time into 5 equal stops work out the numbers.
5- Go to M and shoot, step by step.

Hope you found interesting / informative.
Any questions, C&C or other abuse feel free.

Richard B.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Paul's TIME

The Old Court House, Boston MA.
Nikon D70s
Nikkor 18-200mm @ 26mm
1/250 sec

Boston is full of this juxtaposition of old and new. The buildings surrounding the hall are a couple of centuries newer, as is the underground metro station right beneath the old building. If that's not enough time, check out the clock on the end of the bulding.

There's a little cropping and some perspective transform in PhotoshopTM to correct some converging verticals, and I also tweaked the colour palette to bring up the rather washed-out look of the brickwork.

Times Square, NY NY.
Nikon D70s
Nikkor 18-200mm @ 22mm
1/90 sec
Taken quite by accident, this one resulted from my accidentally hitting the shutter release while zooming. It is by far the most interesting photo I took of Times Square. I just like the movement suggested by the photo.

This image is straight out of the camera and cropped to 800px high for t'web.

Thyme after time
Nikon D70s
Tokina 12-20mm @ 12mm
1/4 sec

Available light plus tripod. No 'pod Plod at home. The versions I tried with flash all looked flat and boring, so I resorted to an angle lamp just out of shot. I tweaked the white balance afterwards.

Unfortunately, the extreme wide angle distorted the image big-time, so out came PhotoshopTM and the distort transform tool. While I was at it, I noticed that the WB screwed up the colour of the thyme. It's back to a more natural green through careful use of a mask and the green colour slider. Maybe I should have used a nifty fifty (that I don't own) to blur the background kettle, knives and saucepan.

As for the subject matter, think of it as preparing to cook. There's the thyme herb, and also the kitchen timer, all poised for time to cook.

TIME - Richard's Efforts

Okay its "TIME" this month folks so TIME to get your efforts in.

Inspiration didn't strike this month and running out of TIME so though I'd follow Mr. B's efforts and just use tenuous titles ;-)

To honor the departure of the Beckett's to Australia we went for a night TIME shoot of SZ road. Just had TIME to down load and PP so here are the results.
I'm sure Steven will post his HDR'd in TIME and Colin will have shot his but not downloaded yet as no TIME.

TIME spent with friends

Canon 350D (Santa PLEASE help !)
Sigma 10-20mm
Av Mode, f22 min, about 13 sec.
-1/3 EV
ISO 100
Normal WB

What TIME is the next Metro

Canon 350D (Santa PLEASE help !)
Canon 28-300 IS L
Av Mode, f22 min, about 8 sec.
-1/3 EV
ISO 100
Custom manual WB, shot the "white" off the track sides then tweaked in camera.

There has been some photoshop in these but not much by my standards ;-)
A sort of manual HDR composite.

I'm sure the rest of you can sneak some TIME for a couple of quick shots. Just how much time does 1/4000sec shot take.

Please take TIME and feel free with the C&C.

Richard B.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Time - A Wet Play Time

Ok, I am going to openly admit right off the bat that this is a VERY spurious link to the subject of 'Time" but I have decided to name this "A wet playtime" if only so that I can use it for the homework:

Then in the Global Village carpark early this morning following the three days of rain in Dubai.  As usual comments and criteque actively encouraged, and if I think of anything better before the end of the month I'll post that as well.

Monday, December 7, 2009

iPhone Shot - Sharjah Mosque

Nothing at all to do with the current topic but I thought I share another iPhone shot with you all:

Honestly this is straight off the phone.....although there has been some 'tweaks' in phone......answers on a post card for those who can guess the tweaks.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

TIME - Next Assignement

Hi All,

Cracking response last month well done to all those who submitted.
Those who didn't, your lazy oik's, especially those who took shots but didn't down load of the camera !

Anyway it's that "Time" again, I asked Steveo for a number and helpfully got 23.75 !

Anyway the spreadsheet has thrown out the new assignement and its "TIME", due 1/1/2010.
Yes you got the rest of the year to do this one.

Get snapping and have fun,
Richard B.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Twit twoo, two

Hi All,

A cracking month this month and lots from everybody but always room for more.
Following on from Paul's this is an owl from last month in Auz at the Tangarona Zoo.

Face is sharp but wings are just a bit soft but they are in full flight just out of the stump.

Richard B.

Nicks Fish - PP

Hi Nick,

Hope you don't mind had a bit of a play in photoshop and been able to tweak the reds up. As this is only low res it's still not good but if you have the time to cut the mask you can bring color back. However strobes are much better.

Richard B.
In the spirit of combing the archives, and to avoid missing any deadlines, here's a picture of a fish. It was taken on a really crappy dive in Musandam (is there any other sort?).

I have done nothing to this pic, not even cropped it, which is why it's a bit off centre. But that kind of suggests the fish is moving into the centre. OK, it should be further to the right, but it's a real bugger getting a digital pocket camera to fire exactly when you want it. Actually, has anyone got any tips for how to do that?

In case you're curious, this was taken with a Panasonic TZ1 (with the Leica lens), f2.8 / 1/1oo / ISO-80, white balance set to Fish.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

GPP - Day 2 and 3 - Landscapes

Well it's been a long and busy two days dedicated to the second of the GPP course I attended and that was David Nightingales landscapes course.  Great course, and I'm sure I can bore you all next time we get together with all the stuff covered but in the meantime here are the assignment shots I took.  There were four assignments set before we headed out into the desert, these were:
  1. Silhouettes
  2. Sunsets
  3. Landscapes with a Prop/Person for Perspective
  4. 'The Hero Shot' - What is the desert for you?
I must admit I was a little puzzled about the first one as to how it fit into the course title of 'landscapes' but at the end of the day it was only ever a topic to get us thinking and it certainly did that so it did it's job.  Well here are my efforts:

Assignment 1: Silhouettes
(f5.6 1/1250 ISO200 -1EV, Manuel Everything, Metered off the Sky)
Tried to avoid the same old same old of silhouetting on the horizon against a blank sky and instead used the setting sun reflecting off the dunes.  I swear there is no HDR in this shot (or any of these for that matter)

Assignment 2: Sunset
(f5.0 1/1000 ISO 320 -1EV Metered off the sky)
OK, here I used the silhouetter theme as well as the sunset but there were so few othere features to put in teh foreground.  I thought of also entitling this "Nikon Merecats"

Assignment 4: Landscapes - What is the Desert to You
(f4.5 1/8000 ISO800)
What could say desert like a good set of dunes with ugly great quad bike tracks ripped through them, which acted nicely as a leading line literally leading the viewer into the desert.  The vignetting in the shot is not from the lens but added afterwards in the RAW conversion to add impact and draw the viewers eye into the frame.  And yes, we actually had cloud that day, this isn't a cut and paste from elsewhere.

There are two other shots to follow but they require a bit of tinkering in photoshop before they are ready (you'll see why) but one is a second example of Assignment 4 and the other is my efforts for Assignment 3 with the most common desert prop I know (no not a camel).

However, it's getting too late now and I am tired so I'm off to bed and will have to share the other shots another day.  As always comments and critique very welcome.

"Whooo!" not "Whooom!"

Nikon D70s
Nikkor 28-200 @ 170mm, F/5.6
1/160 sec
Built-in flash

I promise this is the last of my 'Animals'.

Camera-mounted flash produced all kinds of red-eye problems, so I did the dirty deed with that Adobe software. Cropping, and shrinking aside, I also took Richard's earlier tip to boost the colours, just to see what would happen.

Off-camera flash might have been the way forward, but I didn't have the kit with me. It was a day trip to a theme park, falconry centre and petting zoo. The birds of prey were not part of the latter.

Actually, when zoomed into the original the detail isn't particularly sharp. I'm hoping that by reducing the resolution in an 800x600 no-one will notice.

ANIMALS - Richard Again, Yesterday, WILD ORXY part 2

Part 2 and yes the last one is me in the shot ;-)

as always C&C appreciated, hope you like.

ANIMALS - Richard Again, Yesterday, WILD ORXY

Hi All,

For those whoe didn't come out and play yesterday this is what we saw, wild in the sand out behind Albwardy. Just in time for another submission to animals.

Shot AV at 5. (full open), ISO 200 to get some shutter speed back 1200-2000 at 500mm (on an APSC=800).

Will post more in a part 2.

C&C please.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

GPP - Twilight and Night time

Well GPP is upon us again and I have been waiting with much excitement as I have been able to find the time to sign up for four of the workshops.  The first of these is Twilight and Night time photography with Chris Hurt.

The course was pretty good with lots of pointers and tips and most importantly a all permission granted opportunity to take the cameras AND TRIPODS in to Mandiate - or at least the hotel part.   It therefore thought I'd share a couple of images from the course as well as a few of the top tips:

Madenate Pier With Burj

This shot is a photo stitch of two shots but other than that there are no photoshop trickery in this.  After all the aim of the course was to learn the trick to get the shot in camera.  I must admit in this low res shot it looks quite a bit brighter than the full sized.  I loved this shot for the composition and the way the longer exposure had smoothed out the water

Madinate Pier and Twilight
(f6.3, ISO250,FL20mm,bum=wet)

This shot I completely love as it caught all the things he was telling us.  Also I shot is 'shady' white balance which gives the shot a lot more warmth than the first one.  Also, focusing on the pier only and not trying to get the Burj in as well allowed me to crop a little nicer and avoid barrel distortion.

So, the top tips from the course:

Twlight lasts for just 30 minutes in Dubai so get there early and set up, because you are not going to get much time.
Best shots are taken in the 15 minutes after the sun has gone below the horizon
Always shoot dusk and twlight shots in manual mode as YOU need to do the metering.  The camera WILL get confused
Spot meter and set your Tv and A while pointing at a clear bit of sky (no sun and no artificial light).  Then frame and shoot with these settings - This works because although 100% of your composition might be focused on the item the foreground the sky makes of far more of the area of the shot and so must drive the exposure.  The camera will meter for he brightest part.
Shoot in shade mode will add warmth - shoot in RAW will allow you to play with WB afterwards
When shooting the light reflections on the water get down real low so that the water becomes a feature of the foreground
Shoot in as low an ISO as you can and put the camera on a tripod - This will give the smoothest colurs without noise and also allow the camera to soak up all those lovely colours.

For both these shots I waded in to the sea in order to get nice and close to the water and also to avoid other shooters getting in the way of my shots.  David no doubt has shots of me doing this and looking a proper wally into the bargin but I don't care, I liek the results.

Comments, critique or jsut suggestions for other was to make the shots work always welcome