Tuesday, June 30, 2009


For those wondering (if anybody at all) here is the current list of topics.

Current one :-

Still to do :-
F5.6 1/1000 what can you do with it?
Car (Singular)
Up the creek
Standing still - theme to shoot your feet in interesting locations.
Paradise by the dashboard light
Self portrait
Shooting from the hip.
Camera Phone
Slow Down
Minature / small world
Toys at work
Things that go bump in the night
Burj Al Arab

Done :-
From a child's perspective
The Over 50s Club
Looking up at the world
A Formal portrait of Wife / Girlfreind / Mistress

Richard B.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The early works, AKA all the other sh1t

Here are some of my other photos before we started to try and get organised and post on this blog.

Reflections :-

Symetery :-

Looking Up at the World :-

Lines :-

Childs Perspective :-

Richard B.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Stary Stary Shots - Shutterbug desert challenge

High on the excitment of the forming of the Dubai Shutterbugs, the inaugral meeting next week and the creation of this wonderful blog a group of us decided to get together and have our first club outing. We headed out into the desert to take advantage of the new moon and relatively clear sky and take shots of the night sky.......and here are my offerings

YBOD by fire light
I like the soft warm light on this, and I still maintain it is WAY more pleasing on the eye than all those harsh and complicated flashes.

Overlaid Stars
this is 110 photos overlaid in exposure blending software. Believe it or not this is actually my favourite star shot so far from a technical point of view as I am now happy that I have finally got the exposure/aperture right to actually catch the stars and get good quality trails. Lots of scribbles in note books have been needed to get to that point.
Sadly, as it was already dark when we got there I didn’t have any dusk lit foreground to make this a good image and the tree and stars are lost in a sea of dark. But mission accomplished as I can now concentrate on composition knowing the settings are right.

Maybe a bit of time on photoshop at the weekend and I’ll be able to reduce the hallowing, but not sure its worth the effort as the image itself may not be worth it. The majik numbers for these shots are:
f5.6, ISO 200, Time = 30seconds per shot.
All noise reductions turned off (otherwise you get dashed lines instead of streaks as the stars move while the camera does its noise reduction).
Light leak tree & Tree black and white
This was taken on Imogen’s camera more as a comparison of a 1 hour single exposure vs the overlay technique. Sadly my eye piece cap didn’t quite fit Imogens camera therefore I’ve ended up with light leak still.

Still, by converting it to Black and White its not so bad. Maybe not a wall hanger but certainly a screen saver/electronic photoframe effort.

Thanks all for now folks


Last night it was off to the desert for play with the stars last night.

These are particulary dificult as you can have a 60 minute exposure and with my brick of a camera there is another 60 mintues of post processing before you can see the image. This means 1 shot a night, get it right first time ! (or not in this case).

This was designed as a composit of a lit foreground with a long exposure for the stars.

This is the end result after much abusing of electrons in photoshop. (Click on the image for larger size.)

Okay ? Comments, Critique and abuse welcome.

This is the foreground image.20mm, F5.6, 2 sec, ISO 400. Two off camera flash, one left 14mm to light general for ground, one right zoomed to 10omm to light the tree.

This is the "money" shot. As I said they don't always (if ever) go right.20mm, F5.6, ISO 400 (that was the school boy mistake ! grr). Shutter 1 hour 9 minutes.

Anyway I'm sure the project will continue for years to come !


Richard B.


Check out latest underwater exploits :-




The assignemnt before was sand, these are my efforts, hope you like them.
As always comments, critique and abuse welcome.
The effects are all in camera, no Photoshop (for once) except for the crops, B&W conversion and the watermarks.
Dune105mm macro,
ISO 100,
AP= f45, 2 seconds.
Needed a small aperture to help drag the shutter but also any DOF issues in the sand around the edge.To create the effect this is a foil take away tray with a hole in the bottom. Filled with sieved sand and the sand then allowed to drain out. The size of the holes was changed to get the right amount and speed of flow in the time.
Dune, the directors cutI liked the idea of a black and white, not quite as stunning as I'd hoped but still pleasant. I like the speed from the moving sand in this one.
Again 105mm macro,
ISO 100,
AP= f29,
1 second.
Chesil beach.
105mm macro,
+4 diopter,
ISO 100,
AP= f9,
1/6 seconds.
So close it actually looks like pebbles not sand, I love a macro with big diopter.
No movement in this one just played with the aperture to control the amount of boketh.
Richard B.
Check out latest underwater exploits :-


Hi Guys,

I know you have all seen these before, hence my comment about Cookie Monstor copying ;-) However he has far suparsed my orignal photos.

These are staight out of the camera, except for minor crop and (c) logo, no electrons were hurt in the making of these.
It's cars going down the road with a hand cut apperture.

EXIF data :-
105mm Macro
f2.8 (full open)
AP mode, around 1/8sec
ISO 400
Had to ballance shutter speed and ISO otherwise the cars were moving to fast.

I think they are cool, but I would have liked to add in a forground image (car?) in focus. I spent a long while trying to work out how to do it with the car in the foreground in focus (and lit) but the close focus of my macro lens ment that even stood on the bumper for the car to be in focus the all the image was almost in focus so no bokeh.
Might have been able to pull it off if I had had a wider prime lens such as a 50 but I've got enough glass already.

As always comments, critique and abuse welcome.

Richard B.
Check out latest underwater exploits :-

Monday, June 22, 2009

June 2009 - Bokeh

The homework subject for June 2009 was simply "Bokeh".

Not wanting this to turn in to a techy-geek knee rubbing session a quick explanation of what Bokeh is can be found on that font of all knowledge - wikipedia

Basically it is a technique that takes advantage of the blur caused by shallow depth of field to add something to the photo. This could be as simple as bluring a background to the more creative use of intentional blur to add elements to the shot.
So here is my homework offering:

Cookie Monster Love Cookies
And here is how I did it. Based on details given on DIY Photography I produced a homemade lense hood with a shaped appature approximtly equal to focal length/appature (in my case 50mm/1.8 = 25mm nearr as damn it):

I then set cookie monster up with a wall of lights behind him but with the distance between the camera and CM half that between CM and the lights to get a good amount of blur.
And just to demonstrate the effectivness of the bokeh hood here is are two shots with and without the hood - see how the left has near circular light blobs (the shape of the appature inside the lense) and the right is heart shaped.

Without hood With hood

The Dubai Shutterbuggers

For a while now a few keen photographers of varieing degrees of amateurness have been exchanging emails on a biweekly stretching to monthly basis to share photo's, critique and abuse on a range of homework topics.

In order to ease teh burden on peoples inboxes, and to provide a place to store photos, comments and idea I thought it a good idea to set up a blog where we can psot our homeworks before getting together once a month to hurle abuse at each others pictures.

So here it is. Feel free to leave comments, upload picture or jsut trawl through our ideas and reasure yourself that you don't have to be able to be keen.