Lotherdale

Recalling summer days… Lotherdale sits on the moors above Skipton in North Yorkshire. It is a beautiful spot with expansive views in each direction. The clouds make this image for me; it had been a wet day but as early evening arrived the weather cleared…

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Harvest

I am trying to do a field trip every week. Yesterday I went to Shrewsbury ostensibly to see an exhibition but also to to some architectural photography around this lovely old town. It took me ninety minutes to travel 200 metres from the railway station such was the wealth of photographic interests. The exhibition was part of the Hereford Photography Festival presented by the excellent on-line photo magazine SquareMag (click on the name to go there) and was just a few yards from the station at Shrewsbury Coffeehouse. It was a great venue; the coffee and food was superb and the whole place was a community. Downstairs some kids were learning French, locals and business folk were having morning coffee and their meetings. It was joyous!

A couple of shops up was the best greengrocer store I’d seen in ages. There were boxes and boxes of fresh farm produce all beautifully laid out. For the price of a couple of apples I had a whole plethora of still life settings to photograph. This is my favourite image from the shoot. Hard to tell it was taken on a compact!

Thank you to Shrewsbury Coffeehouse, Pomona and SquareMag for a great morning!

Panasonic DMC-TZ10, 1/30 sec @ ƒ3.5 & 1/3 stop underexposed. The processing was done in Silver Efex Pro2 with a preset I’ve developed based on Kodak’s ISO 32 Panatomic X push-processed by +1.5EV.

Little Moreton Hall

Nothing gives itself more to monochrome than a half-timbered Tudor building, especially in mid-summer. Little Moreton Hall is one of the best examples of such a building in the United Kingdom and worthy of a visit not just for photography but for its history, splendour and location.

Canon 300D, 18-55 Canon, lens, 1/200sec @ ƒ9.

The Cellist

I love street photography and this is a genuine street image, not a posed shot. The subject is the leader of a string quartet who were busking in Covent Garden, London, one spring afternoon. They were tremendous musicians and a whole heap of fun throwing themselves around hamming it up for the crowd. I really wanted a picture because they were so full of energy and I tracked the leader for a few minutes. When he saw the camera he focused on me, I hit the button and this was the result.

I used the usual software to produce the monochrome image.

Nikon D700, 24-120 Nikkor lens 1/125 sec @ ƒ5.6

Trees, reflected

This is an old image from my archives taken late one November afternoon with a low setting sun shining directly onto the tree trunks. It was cold and calm allowing superb reflections in the lake. When I started to expand my interest in monochrome work I looked long and hard at this image and it reminded me of  Ansel Adams’ Aspens, Northern New Mexico, 1958 and I thought it would look great in monochrome. Ansel’s image didn’t have a reflection and these trees aren’t aspens but that doesn’t matter because this is my take on his work. When I undertook the processing of this image I tried to think how Ansel would have done it. I’m happy with the result, I hope the great man would be,too,

You can see the original Ansel Adams image by clicking on its title the title in the text.

Canon EOS 300D, 100-300 Canon lens, 1/5sec @ ƒ22

Evening Light

I made my first trip to the Jurassic Coast in Dorset during the late spring. On the second day the weather was stunning and as evening approached I found myself near to Durdle Door. The light was sublime so I set up on the beach, listened to the sea washing over the shingle and made a few images, of which this is one.

This is a processing an experiment; since I started using Raw files I’ve always used Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) and been pleased with it. A couple of days ago I read an excellent article on Andy Mumford’s photography blog about his conversion to Nikon’s Capture NX2. I was intrigued with what he wrote and dug out my copy of NX2 to do some experiments. After processing it was converted to a colour image to a monochrome 16-bit TIFF. I do have to say that the conversion is much better than that done by ACR and I shall be playing around a little more with NX2 over the coming days.

One other thing I found when I converted the 16-bit TIFF to mono; Elements 9 (I can’t afford CS2!) doesn’t do 16-bit TIFFS but Silver Efex Pro2 does! Result! The only downside is that when the conversion is complete you don’t have any additional layers and only the background is converted. I can live with that given the result produced here.

For those interested in the conversion, I used the Landscape custom preset, added SFX’s Kodak ISO32 Panatomic X “emulsion”, popped a yellow filter on, “burned” the shadow areas of the rocks by 15% and finally, added a 5% vignette to darken the corners.

You can read Andy Mumford’s blog on NX2 here

Nikon D700, 24-70 Nikkor lens, 1/0.5sec @ ƒ22

Rust Never Sleeps #1

Part of a series entitled “Rust Never Sleeps”.

Panasonic DMC-TZ10, 1/00 sec @ ƒ4.2 & 1/3 stop under exposed