Watercolour

Having seen some of the wonderful art work on blogs such as Christine's Arts I thought I'd try my hand at a watercolour.




Not brilliant I'm sure you will agree, maybe I should stick to the photography.

Update of Lincolnshire Project

Hi I've been out again following up my project of photos at the same spot taken every few days throughout the year.



The weather was much better for this shot allowing me to capture some definition in the sky, which sadly some of my earlier attempts had lacked.
Having blue sky gives the landscape much more definition, adding depth to the picture which had been missing in the shots with the uniformed grey sky.

Day before spring

According to the calendar tomorrow is the start of spring.

Well someone forgot to tell our daffodils which are already in full bloom giving much needed colour to the garden.


The fields I am following with my through the seasons in Lincolnshire project are starting to look greener. I'm not sure what the farmer has planted in them this year but I don't think it won't be long before we can tell.



Though you can't see it yet very well the hedge is starting to bud and greenery is appearing on the tree.
Thought I'd add a few semi-candid shots I took this morning outside church.

I've tried to catch the shot quickly so avoiding the sometimes awkward smile you get when they aren't quite sure what to do in front of the camera.


Esther

These are my children so they are used to their dad snapping away and just tend to ignore me most of the time lol.


Keziah


Harriet

I think I've managed to capture just a little of their personality in each shot.
I prefer a portrait that says something about the person.


If any one visited my site earlier this evening I apologise for the layout problems. I was tweaking the HTML code and got it a bit wrong, but its all sorted out now.

Feel free to leave any comments about the blog whether its about the photos, my comments or even the layout. I will attempt to reply to all and return the favour by dropping by at your blog too.

Thanks for visiting.


Pebbles in the garden

I decided yesterday to play about taking some photos of the pebbles in our front garden.

I know it sounds pretty boring as subject matters go. So I tried to make them more interesting.



This was one of my first compositions. Not so good I thought especially as I seem to have chopped the top of the plant off.



Next I thought a closer crop to try and make more use og the foliage, (probably should have tidied uo the dead wood on the plant, but then that's nature).



Going in even tighter, gets rid of the dead wood but emphasises the shapes of the stones more.



Finally I went for the full zoom. elliminated the plant completly relying solely on the colours shapes and textures of the stones to pull it off.

Tell me what you think, I'm always looking for viewpoints.
Which do you think is the best and maybe more important why?

Changing seasons Project update

You would think looking at the pictures I have taken so far that the weather stays the same and doesn't change. Well so far it has. Overcast skies, mild temperatures and very little wind.



I do assure you though that the photos I take for this project are taken on the day that I post on here.

As we can see from today's photo the trees and the native hedging are still bare in this part of Lincolnshire. The grass reeds growing in the dyke though still look nice and adds a focal point before the eye leads off accross the greenery of the field.
The sky was a blanket of grey when I took this shot so unfortunately it appears a tad washed out.
I will have to experiment for future shots to improve on that.

Waddington Air Show

I have been rummaging through some of last years photos and came across a batch I took at the Waddington air show.

Here we have a World War 2 Lancaster bomber with its Spitfire escort.




As you can see I've used the rule of thirds again to try and help the photo.
Although good, this photo doesn't work as well due to the propellers being frozen in place taking away some of the illusion of movement.

The Vulcan bomber was returned to the skies in October 2007 for the first time in 14 years after its retirement following 33 years of service in the RAF.

Here we have it climbing into the sky at Waddington Air show 2008 one of its first public appearances.



And later seemingly chasing the Lancashire bomber across the sky.



By keeping the flow of the photo across the diagonal it helps to add drama to the shot. Also the cropping out of any land gives a further illusion of height to the action.




Also on display was the Euro-fighter, here doing an aerobatic display with its World War 2 counterpart the Spitfire. By taking careful notice of the angle of the shot it looks as if this photo was taken from another aircraft even though I was stood on the ground amongst a crowd of people at an air show.
It proves with some thought a photo can be changed from an ok shot to a great shot.

The Waddington Air show is a great opportunity to try various photo techniques some of which I have shown here and some which I will keep to show another day.


Lincolnshire project update

Hi quick update on my Lincolnshire photo project.



As you can see not a lot has changed though this photo was taken at a slightly different angle due to a car being parked in the way.
Typical a lane in the middle of nowhere and I still have to move for a car!

Wood Carving

Just thought I'd share with you a couple of shots of my other passion, wood carving.



These hearts I carved for my wife for valentines day.
I found a piece of fire wood that just shouted this shape to me, so whilst watching a weeks worth of late night films I carved this using a couple of knives.




A Fathers Love was carved for my daughters birthday,



Her love of books, my love of her and my love of wood carving combined to create this wooden book I aptly named A Fathers Love.

Pets

Taking photos of pets is not always easy.

Some pets seem to love their photos being taken, where others stubbornly either move away or come so close that the camera can't focus.

I am therefore lucky with my dog Blaze, she is one of those dogs who is very laid back and will quite contentedly lie there and let you shoot away.

Here she is chilling out



Composing the shot using the rule of thirds I have placed Blaze in the intersection of the thirds grid of the picture, cropping in close to get the full benefit of those eyes.

The rule of thirds means you split the photo into a grid like shown here.



The idea is that you place the points of interest at the cross points of the lines.
This allows the photo to be balanced and its been shown that a viewers eye automatically focuses on these cross sections of a photo.




I've tried to get each of the eyes and the nose as close to the intersections as I can.
In doing so I have created a picture that stands out and eyes which leap off the page.

Go on try it yourself.

New through the seasons photography project

Well I've started a project to see me through the year.

I will post a photo of the same scene taken in Lincolnshire, England, every couple of days.

Here is today's shot.



I took it with my Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi

Aperture was set at f/9.0 with an exposure of 1/100

focal length 74mm

Today the scene looks fairly uninteresting, though I have tried to add depth to it by including foreground interest in the form of the tree and hedging.

My hope is as the seasons unfold and the lighting changes and plants bloom you will be able to appreciate just how much nature does change around us.

By taking the same shot frequently we will be able to see all the subtle changes as they unfold.

Please, follow it with me.


The art of photo composition

One of the key arts of taking a good photograph is its composition.

Have you ever had a photo like the one here that was just, well, boring!




There's no focal point. The eye has nowhere to rest. The eye may flow with the water but it doesn't lead anywhere.

If you change the perspective and perhaps add a bit of foliage you get this.




This shot gives a bit more by showing the fast moving stream with a strand of foliage.

Its better but still not brilliant.

Lets try yet another angle.



Here the stream has been framed by the tree.

This allows a good comparison with the fast movement of the water and the stillness of the tree.

Its not perfect but of the 3 it is well on its way to getting there.

Eye of a Camera

Creating the perfect image isn't as easy as pointing the camera and clicking the shutter button.

There are myriads of things that can go wrong.

Here I will attempt to walk you through some of my experiences with a camera stuck to my eye;

from finding that elusive subject, composing the shot and getting the camera settings right.

Taking photos, whether it is simple snaps of the kids for posterity or that carefully staged portrait or patiently waited for sunset, should be a joyous experience.

Take for instance this shot that I took whilst out and about with my children.




1/200 sec at f8.0

It was the vibrancy of colour that attracted my eye. I Created a simple composition, centered on the flower keeping in the shot some of the green foliage to add contrast. I didn't have a tripod with me so had to settle for an f8 exposure. I still think it gives a good entry level photo though.

On the same trip I took this picture of some carp in a pond by the flower bed,




Again its the composition that makes the shot what it is. Filling the frame with fish travelling in the same direction, all with varying brightness of colour helps the eye to flow along with the picture.

As you can see composition is vital in photography. The eye tells a thousand stories.
Well it does when it has a camera attached.




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