Archive for September, 2009

Day 10 – Locked away

September 30, 2009 Leave a comment


I started out today without having thought of anything to shoot and I struggled. Inspiration like the toilet roll was nowhere to be found when I needed it. So after racking my head for ages on what to shoot I followed Freeman Pattersons advice and for a bit of fun locked myself in the bathroom and didn’t leave until I had ten images. They didn’t have to be great images, just images that were thought out. This exercise really makes you look at things you take for granted everyday. I’m not saying that I did this toilet holder any justice but I it conveys a message of sorts.

Manual Reading

White balance Correction on p68 was the topic I choose today. I understand the idea of doing this but I think I’ll stick to lightroom for this one. I think I’d probably forget to return it to the default settings after playing around with it.

Professional Photographers Images Studied

Because of my lack of inspiration today I choose to check out the abduzeedo and the smashing magazine websites. Hopefully some of the images will spark something in me for tomorrows shot.

One more from the bathroom

Looks like I was in a bit of a tilt mode today.


Day 9 – Puppy power

September 29, 2009 Leave a comment


So this is Millie, my sisters new chocolate lab puppy. She’s 13 weeks old and like all puppies is impossible to get to stay still for a moment. She was dropped up to me this evening for a bit of puppy sitting so I tried my had at pet photography. Hats off to those of you who do this professionally.

I never realized how had it is to photography puppies. I’d just get focused and she would move, very frustrating. It something I’m going to need to practice a bit more I think. I had the camera on manual, off camera flash (for this image) and in AI Servo mode. I just wasn’t quick enough or experienced enough to get the image I wanted.

Manual Reading

Today I read about “Using the eye piece cover” on  p100. I must admit I used to use the cover when I started out but now I just block any stray light from entering the eye piece bu shielding it with my hand, a hat, or a cloth. It just seems like too much hassle to do it the correct way. Maybe manufacturers could implement a system that when mirror lockup is used another shutter would close behind the eyepiece. Maybe I’ll try out a few comparisons with it on and off the next time I’m out to see the effect.

Professional Photographers Images Studied

For a change I looked at the wedding gallery of Bjorn Thomassen. This is the type of photography that I am really lacking in. I’ve shot as a guest at a few weddings but they were just candids. I’m not sure if it is a type of photography I would pursue as a career but it is  certainly something I want to try at least once. Anyone looking for a gopher an assistant in Cork give me a call. All I ask for in exchange is for you to teach me something about wedding photography.

Day 8 – Happy to experiment

September 29, 2009 Leave a comment


I almost didn’t shoot today. In fact I was unable to use my dslr so resorted to using my iphone. The image is an abstract of some autumn leaves overhanging a wall on the Rochestown Road, Cork. I had spotted these leaves a few days ago and planned to shoot them with a tripod mounted dslr and golden hour light striking across them. So much for that plan, at least I had a plan this time. The image is straight from the iphone with just a little crop and auto tone in lightroom. Basically I moved the iphone in a downward motion while releasing the shutter. I must get the Best Camera app that Chase Jarvis released this week. Anyone using it?

Could this be printed large on canvas or would it be better to go back with the dslr and try and repeat it?

Manual Reading

Today I read about AEB – Auto Exposure Bracketing on p97. This is something I used to use quite a bit before I progressed to shooting in manual. Back then I used it as my “fail safe” to make sure I had a choice of exposures when I got back to the the computer. I guess shooting in manual I do the same sort of thing but I feel I have more control over it. I expect I would use the AEB if I was shooting for HDR processing but it’s not a processing technique I like at the moment. I prefer to stick on a set of ND grads and get the range that way, or at least I try too. Anyone have a link to a good resource on using Lee filters or ND grads in general?

Professional Photographers Images Studied

Today I looked at some images by Freeman Patterson. I used one of the techniques he suggests for todays image too. I really like Freemans style of photography and his writing also. If anyone is looking for an inspirational book to read then I would suggest looking at “Photography and the art of seeing“. It’s a book I have read a few times and will probably read again. I tend to do that with my books, read them over and over for fear I might have missed something.

Random rant

On the subject of books, can anyone recommend a good abstract photography book for me? I’ve been looking for a good one for some time now but cannot seem to find one.

On another note my self diagnosis of the trapped sciatic nerve was almost right. Turns out I have a prolapsed disc. Can you believe that I went to the doctors this morning and and wait for it…. managed to get an MRI the same day. Now that’s what I call good customer service. No sitting down permitted and a concoction of multicoloured pills to be taken over the next 10 days. I’m allowed to lie flat on the floor and must walk as much as possible. I’m not going to let that stop this path I have set out on though. Come to think of it I don’t have many images from floor level……………….

Photography and the Art of Seeing: A Visual Perception Workshop for Film and Digital Photography

Day 7 – Planning a shoot

September 27, 2009 Leave a comment


Todays shot is of my planning a future session. I spent a bit of time positioning the different element, adding this, removing things but this is the one that portrays how I feel a shoot plan would start.

All too often I end up without a plan and just heading off in some general direction in the car without a destination in mind. This often leaves me frustrated and feeling like another great sunset has gotten away from me. Sunrises always elude me, something else I must work on.

So now I am going to force myself to spend at least a few hours a month researching and planning a sot list.

As you can see from the image I use OS maps, a compass but also a sunrise and sunset position indicator and the Golden Hour website to determine sunrise and sunset times.

Do you plan your shoots in advance or do the same as myself and just wander?

I keep trying to go back to what David Noton says, “Location finding isn’t rocket science, it’s just about getting mud on your boots”. He makes it sound so easy!

Manual Reading

Today I read p90 TV: Shutter-Priority AE

As an estimate I would say that I shoot 95% of my shots in manual mode. Sometimes if I’m just wandering around I leave it in aperture priority, but that is only if I haven’t gone out specifically to take photos. My camera never leaves my side, it goes in the car, comes to work and follows me around the house. Sometimes I wonder if I should try to keep my hands off it for a week but I don;t think I could.

I’m going to make a point of shooting in TV mode a few times this week just because I never do.

Professional Photographers Images Reviewed

To I’m enjoying the work of Drew Gardner. The planning this guy must go through in organizing his image must be huge. His DVD has been on my shopping list for some time now but I can’t find somewhere that has it in stock and will ship it to me for less than the price of the DVD.

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Day 6

September 26, 2009 Leave a comment


Todays image was painful to get. I have a ‘suspected’ trapped sciatic nerve which is causing me extreme discomfort. It feels like the subject of the image fell on my backside. Normally this would have been my perfect excuse to not shoot today but as they say the show must go on.

So this is one of those things they attach to the end of a crane and load / unload things like grain into ships. Not sure what it’s called but there was a whole row of them just sitting against a wall. I tried my best to get a few in the frame but was unable to contort my body into the necessary position to avoid the fencing and trees that obscured my line of sight. Anyone know what it’s called?

A few other photos from today are at the bottom of the post.

Manual Reading

Today I read p98, AE Lock. This is something I use frequently and the manual held no hidden secrets for me on it’s use.

Professional Photographers Images Studied

Today I looked at the work of Joe Cornish, yes he is another UK landscape photographer. I liked his images so much that I went and ordered one of his books so I could see some of them printed.

Other photos taken today

Colour tap

Garden SnakeThe end

Caged Nature


Day 5

September 25, 2009 Leave a comment


I had a bit of a struggle today in that the the only opportunity I had to take photos was during my lunch break. So I went for a walk in Ballincollig Regional Park.

Without a cloud in the sky I found it very hard going. It’s not a time I would normally go out to take photos that I intend to do anything with but more of a time I go to look for new locations.

When I got to the park I had intended to practice using flare in images but I could not get any. I tried everything but could not get a single bit of flare. I didn’t even have the lens hood on. I knew the Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro was good at preventing this but I didn’t think it would be that good. I ended up abandoning that idea after about 15 minutes of head scratching.

So then I went to try out the different metering modes in the camera. Before this project I’d have probably just given up completely after failing with the flare but now I seem to be more willing to experiment. In fact all the images I have been taking for this 365 project are imported to an “Experiments” folder in lightroom.

Manual Reading

So as you have probably guessed I read page 95 of my manual, selecting the metering mode. Most of the time I use evaluative mode and on occasion spot metering. So today I experimented with all modes taking 4 pictures of each scene so I could understand the differences and when best to use each in future. Just as well I read my camera manual page(s) in the car park before work every morning. I’m one of those people who hate to be late for anything so I usually end up with time to kill while I wait for whatever it is I’m early for.

Professional Photographers Images Studied

Today I studied images by Dennis Keeley. I’m not sure of how I feel about his image yet. I really enjoyed his landscape and still life images but not sure of the portraits. I’m not much of a portrait person myself so that probably has a lot to do with it.

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Day 4

September 24, 2009 Leave a comment


I had intended to get out to take a few landscape photos this evening but yet again work got in the way.  So yet again I resorted to the back garden to provide me with an image.

Little did I know that the plant I have hated the most would be the one I would turn my attention too. I figured that there must be something about this plant that I like. We inherited this plant with the house when we bought it about two years ago. I had been meaning to dump it but never got around to it. Just as well I didn’t.

Now if only I could pick which version I prefer (see below). Which do you think looks better?

Manual Reading

Today I read about creating folders on the memory card p72 and p73. Even after reading it it’s not something I think I will use. I can see how it might be useful but for now I’ll just stick to the default.

Professional Image Reviewed
Today I was examining the work of George Barr. I think this may be the reason I took a picture of the cordiline plant in the way I did.

Cordiline cyanotype