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Exposure compensation #photography

Most photographers know the photographer’s triangle is shutter speed, aperture and ISO. Exposure compensation confuses people new to DSLRs but it is simple to understand. It’s cloudy this morning and the light is poor and I intend to photograph an event. I’ll probably shoot with a wide aperture on aperture priority. Aperture priority means, I set the aperture and the camera sets the shutter speed. What if the shutter speed is too slow for a sharp image? I can set the ISO higher and so the sensor is then more sensitive to light and I get a faster shutter speed. When I take the first picture, if it’s a little bit dark then I can adjust the shutter speed slightly using exposure compensation. On my Nikon D3200, the +- button is pressed and then the exposure compensation is adjusted using the thumb wheel. I can adjust it slightly for a slightly slower shutter speed and my picture will be lighter.

exposure compensation

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The autumn colours #ramble #photography

It’s Sunday morning again and so what is going on inside my head this week? The neurons are buzzing but I can’t decide what to do with my day. There is a car boot sale in the marketplace so I might go and look at that. The trees near there are turning to autumn colours so they might make a good photograph. I definitely need to go to Teddy Gray’s shop and stock up on herbal tablets now the colder weather is coming. The autumn colours are beginning so this could be the best time to take photographs. What shall I do?

Looking for autumn colours

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Trying a different approach #photography #art

It was the Tipton Canal Festival at the weekend and so a great opportunity for me to continue my development of photography into art. The historian will look at finance from a different perspective to a mathematician. An artist will look at the creation of images from a different perspective to a photographer. I want to try a different approach and look at my photography from the perspective of an artist rather than thinking just about the technical aspects of creating an image. My project involves photographing people, places and things with a zoom lens and I want to zoom in quite close up. The people are easy and now I’m getting an idea of what things I want to photograph. I couldn’t park my car anywhere near the canal festival but I still got some shots from the bridge near the Barge and Barrel with the 300mm lens.

Different approach

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Developing photography into art #photography

I want to start developing photography into art with a series of images shot with a longs lens. I have in mind, people, places and things. This weekend I went to West Bromwich Manor House to a medieval re-enactment where I could photograph people in quite unusual roles and I used my 55 – 300 mm zoom lens.

MANOR (30)

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Developing your art #photography

It has been about 10 years since I decided to take up photography and only 4 years with a DSLR so I’m not an expert but I think of myself as an artist now. I strive for images that will inspire others. I know now it isn’t the camera that decides whether an image is inspiring or not. I have taken prize-winning photographs with my cheap bridge camera and I have some great photos I’ve taken with a DSLR. I want to do more than taking snaps, however. I want art. I want big prints for people to look at and be inspired by. It costs money and it also costs money for expensive lenses. For now, I just try to recognise the shots and experiment with different lenses. I like to shoot with a wide aperture now to get my subjects into sharp focus.

An image to inspire

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Looking for something different #photography

I was looking for something different on Sunday and decided to use my 55 – 300mm lens to give me more reach. I have an art project in mind but haven’t quite decided on what kind of shots I need. I’m getting closer to what I need, though. I need something quite different from my usual images and I want to zoom in with a 300mm lens.

looking for something different

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Shooting wide open with a long lens #art #photography

I’ve had an art project in mind for a while and I want to shoot wide open with a long lens. I would like to shoot with an 18 – 300mm lens but I make do with what I have. At the weekend I took some pictures at our 40s event in the park. I wasn’t too well and carrying lots of equipment was out of the question. On Saturday I used my 18 – 105mm lens which is very versatile for events. Then on Sunday, I had an idea that I could practice for my art project and shoot wide open with my 55 – 300mm lens. It also saved me walking around so much! Wide open with a long lens worked out well.

BLITZ B (3)

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Experiments in art and photography #photography

When I’m writing sometimes I imagine a particular person or group of people and write for them. It can mean I am writing with local people in mind or writing for an international audience. I have a great-nephew, Jamie, who I have never met, but he has recently taken up photography. I have him in mind today. So how do I go about my experiments in art?

BLUEBELLS IN THE HEDGEROW - experiments in art.

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Creating a sharp image #photography

Usually, I am trying to create a sharp image when I take a photograph but not always. I have been known to use a filter to soften an image. To get an image sharp I try to shoot wide open with the widest aperture I can and often zoom in too. This creates a focal plane where everything is in focus. The objects nearer the camera and farther away then tend to be out of my focal plane and out of focus. This image of pound coins demonstrates that perfectly.

Coins as a sharp image

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The Oak House #photography #art

I’ve been thinking about art this week. Many of those early photographers were artists and were fascinated by the new medium. Now many photographers specialise in fine art photography. I want to do an art project but I’m not quite sure what I want to do. I know that the images that I produce must elicit an emotional response from the viewers. I have a photograph printed on canvas on display in Wednesbury Art Gallery and that does produce a response. That artwork is called “Bluebells in the Hedgerow” and is in the Sandwell Art Trails exhibition. I hope you’ll vote for it if you visit the exhibition. I now want a work that is more than one image and I want more of a response than people simply liking it. I want people to relate to the images. I went to the Oak House at West Bromwich to take a few shots on Sunday and to get ideas.

THE OAK HOUSE BARNS

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Photographing groups of people #photography

I photographed the opening of Hill Top Youth Club yesterday evening. I don’t normally use photos from these events for my blog but this one gives me an opportunity to write about photographing groups. This particular type of photography has all kinds of problems. I did take a couple of test shots before I started. The room had off-white walls and so reflected plenty of light. There was some natural light but still needed the flash. For this type of shot, I usually shoot wide open using my 18 – 105mm lens and try to zoom in for a fast shutter speed of 1/100 of a second or better. There wasn’t too much room to manoeuvre so I did my best!

groups of people

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Shooting with low-light at events #photography

I did a few photo-shoots at the weekend and needed to cope with low-light conditions. The first event was part of the Birmingham and Sandwell Jazz Festival and was a performance by Chickenbone John playing an amazing guitar made from a cigar box.

JAZZ (20)

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Conveying a mood #photography #art

There are always interesting things to photograph and photography isn’t just about taking snaps. I look at photography as an art in itself and I look for unusual things to photograph.  I found this little chapel down a side street in Bilston and took a few shots early in the evening. The art of photography is imagining what mood an image will convey and I thought this chapel looked cold and lonely.

what mood does this image convey?

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Out at the weekend #photography #art #Wednesbury

I was out at the weekend taking photos. The Sandwell Arts Trail was supposed to be launched and I have a picture in that so I popped down to Wednesbury art gallery. The exhibition wasn’t launched and so I wandered around photographing the gallery with a particular interest in the design of the gallery. I like diffused natural light for my photographs and I think the paintings in the gallery look better in diffused natural light too. The light on the landing comes in through frosted glass skylights and makes it look great. It is perfect light for photography too.

the weekend

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Shooting events in low light #photography

I’ll be photographing the carnival in a couple of weeks and I have other events coming up. We can’t always count on getting good light and even bright sunlight gives us dark shadows. There will be some events indoors as well. Nikon and Canon DSLRs both meter the light using TTL technology. That is through the lens metering (TTL) and this gives good control over the flash. The flash can be used in bright sunlight to light up those dark shadows but if the skies are dark then another option is to use a higher ISO setting.

TOWN HALL - LOW LIGHT

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Too much harsh light #photography

I’m always assessing the light when I’m taking photos outside and I’ve seen some awful, dark photos this weekend. The weather was scorching and so lots of light but harsh light with dark shadows. I had a few photo-shoots. There were a couple of Summer Fayres at schools and then our Father’s Day event in the park on Sunday. You can’t do much about the harsh light except to use a warm filter but the dark shadows are a bigger problem. You have to use fill flash and it is preferable to use a Speedlight rather than a pop-up. I had to use a pop-up on Sunday because I couldn’t carry around too much equipment.

harsh light

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Creating art with your camera #photography

The first users of cameras in the late 19th century were professional people who could afford such devices and artists who were fascinated with the new medium. They experimented a lot and in doing so they became quite skilled photographers. Some of those early images of their models are sought after today because even though they are black and white or sepia, they capture a moment in time that will never be seen again. They also demonstrate the skill of the photographer. This week one of my photographs was accepted for the Sandwell Arts trail. The works of art  will tour the Metropolitan Borough of Sandwell going from art gallery to museums and to the Art cafe. This was my attempt at creating art with my camera –

BLUEBELLS IN THE HEDGEROW

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A beautiful icebreaker #ramble #art #inspiration

I’ve got an app on my phone and it actually counts how many steps I take, like a pedometer. I take more steps on Sundays despite this supposedly being a day of rest. I’m supposed to take 10,000 steps a day according to the app but the most I’ve done so far is 3,000 and that’s pushing it. There’s an app for everything these days isn’t there? I have an app for buying clothes, an app to find my way when I’m driving or call for help if I break down. I have an app for Aldi and another for the lottery results. Then there are the social media apps to help me keep in touch and network, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. I don’t understand Instagram yet but I’ve never been so appy…

Wednesbury - a beautiful icebreaker

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Enjoying the longest days #photography

These are the longest days before the summer solstice on the 21st of June. This is a great time for landscape photography and we have a lot more time to go out and experiment and improve our technique. The light varies throughout the day and most photographers like the warm light just after dawn and just before sunset. You do have to be careful with the sun low in the sky because there are long shadows.

Photography on the longest days of spring

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Thinking about the light #photography

I take lots of different kinds of photos. Sometimes it is landscapes and other times I’m asked to photograph groups of people. I’m always thinking about the light. A sunny day with lots of light doesn’t always give us the best conditions. A day when we have even white cloud gives us a better-diffused light than when we have bright sunlight. Often in bright sunlight, the shadows are really dark and despite the bright light we need to use fill flash to remove the dark shadows. Photographs send out a message and in this photo the message was simple. I wanted to say how busy Wednesbury market was!

THE MARKET - GREY SKY - LOW LIGHT

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Spring in the Black Country #photography

I live in Wednesbury and it isn’t the most scenic place for landscape photography but there are lots of great places within easy reach. The spring flowers have been evident this week with ‘fool’s parsley’ growing close to pools, the river Tame and the Walsall canal. I was out and about photographing nature in full bloom on Sunday.

spring photography

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A Black Country Event #photography

There are many different types of photography. I’m currently doing a couple of photographic art projects that require high-quality images and I spend a lot of time on those. My print for an art competition is printed on canvas at 300 dpi and measures 20 inches by 16 inches. For that print, I went for high quality. For a Black Country event my priority is getting the shots and although the quality is important, there are many factors I can’t control and so image quality isn’t the top priority. I photographed the Black Country Horse Drive at the weekend and that was quite challenging but it was also enjoyable. Over 300 horses and their owners came to create a memorable event and raise money for Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

BLACK COUNTRY HORSE AND CART

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Enjoying the spring landscapes #photography

Through the winter I struggled with poor light and even had a few photographs that were ‘noisy’. Noise is those little spots often white or purple that appear at the higher ISO settings. Now, though, we have great light and can enjoy walking in the country and getting amazing pictures. But all that green can be a little boring so watch out for things that will break up the sea of green such as walkers, cyclists and horse riders. The spring is a great season for landscape photography as the days get longer and the evenings get lighter.

MAYDAY (7)

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History, art and photography #ramble

It’s Sunday morning and so once again I let you into the matrix that leads to the dark corners of my mind and will share my thoughts with you. What’s on my mind this week? History, art and photography as well as publicity and markets and a whole host of other things. I’ve been designing banners to publicise things. That wasn’t very successful but we learn, move on and improve. I have also been working on a couple of art projects. One involves flowers which leads me nicely into today’s photo which is one of the photos I took for the project. What ya think?

BLUEBELLS - art and photography

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