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Images of the present #photography

I’ve decided to photograph some buildings before they are lost to progress and also what’s left of some of our industry. Photography is about recording images of the present that do eventually become images of the past. I started with this building that used to be the offices of the Rubery Owen’s empire.

Images of the present

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Winter landscapes #photography

Shooting winter landscapes can be difficult because the dark skies and poor light give us dark pictures. However, our eyes adjust to the darker landscapes and our camera can do that even better. You can let more light into the camera by using wider apertures, but you want them to be narrow to get a depth of field that will bring distant objects into focus. The answer to poor light then is to increase the sensitivity of the camera sensor and you can do that by increasing the ISO. If you’re new to a DSLR, then on aperture priority you can set the ISO to 400 or even higher and try to choose subjects that aren’t too far away and shoot at something like f/8.

SANDWELL VALLEY - winter landscapes

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Creativity and the creative industry #ramble

It’s Sunday morning and so once again I’ll share my thoughts with you. What’s on my mind this week? In a word, creativity. We set up a new writer’s group yesterday; The Darlaston Writer’s Group. It will hopefully encourage people to take an interest in writing and help them improve their craft. We now have a strong creative industry in the UK. It is needed because although we have goods that can be mass-produced relatively inexpensively, no one will buy them without advertising and marketing. That industry needs creative people who can write and produce visually appealing images and video. Some goods that are sold are now manufactured for a small percentage of the retail price, the rest goes on creating an image that makes the goods desirable.

creativity means creating images

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Industrial Images #photography #Blackcountry

There aren’t many industrial scenes left in the Black Country but the ones that are left can provide us with interesting subjects for photography. Industrial images with their unusual patterns and sense of decay against a dark or stormy sky can be quite dramatic.

Industrial images

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People and places #ramble

It is Sunday morning once again and so, as usual, I’ll share my thoughts with you. People are curious, that is why mankind has been so successful compared to the other animals. We roll a rock down a hill and we think about it. That simple observation led to the wheel. I take photos of people and places. People like my photos because they are curious.

people and places

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Using a long lens #photography

Using a long lens in low light isn’t as easy as it sounds. I decided to use a long lens at a memorial to the holocaust victims on Sunday. I don’t have many lenses and so my choice was my usual 18 – 105mm lens or to go with my 55 – 300mm lens. I want to do an art project which will involve candid shots of people using a long lens so I chose the 55 – 300 mm lens to give me some practice and so I could identify the problems. This was one of the pictures:

using a long lens

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Creating photographic art #photography

To begin creating photographic art you need your goal to be, to create something special. Some photographers define photographic art as images that will sell. That isn’t a good definition, I prefer to think of it as images that people will enjoy. That suggests some kind of connection with the image. An image that will elicit a response. Yesterday, I set out to create some images for the #64millionartists January challenge. I decided on the view from my car and to include a little of my car in the image. It was a conscious decision to create something different. This was one of the images I created for the challenge.

Creating photographic art

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Composition and perspective challenge #photography

Last week, I challenged you to take a few photos with a narrow aperture. This week, I want you to think about composition and perspective. When you take a landscape photo, you need to give it some perspective so the viewer sees depth. Lowry did paintings of simple figures what were once described as matchstick men. His genius was getting the proportions right and creating depth in his paintings.

good composition gives a picture depth

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Narrow aperture challenge #photography

If you read last week’s photography post you will know I set you a challenge to take a few photos with a wide aperture, in fact, wide open. This week, I am setting you a challenge to take a few photos with a narrow aperture. This is a little more difficult because you have to judge how narrow it should be. Take a look at this shot:

A narrow aperture brings distant objects into focus

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A Creative challenge #photography

This month I’m doing a creative challenge set by #64MillionArtists. There is a new challenge each day throughout January. Yesterday’s challenge was to give ourselves an award. People had different ideas on the type of award they could give themselves. I decided to design a simple certificate for my award and what else would I give myself an award for, but photography!

creative challenge certificate

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A few ideas #photography

Most photographers photograph people and for that, you need a wide aperture and preferably a fast lens. I like my 35mm prime lens for portraiture but it isn’t so good for events when the zoom lens has an advantage. The prime lens has fewer elements and so gives a much better quality image. Learning about lenses is important for the DSLR photographer but there are simpler things to learn if you have just had a camera for Christmas.

Camera for Christmas?

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How to take your Christmas photos #photography

You can take much better photos this Christmas with a little more understanding of how your camera works and by giving it a little more thought. You will probably be taking snaps of family and friends and so try to group them quite close together. You want them to be recognisable and so get close or zoom in fairly tight. One mistake I made this week was not making allowances for the smallest person in a group. Try to get the taller ones at the back and shorter people at the front. Then very small children should be held, so their faces are close to the same height as everyone else’s. Christmas photos are never easy to take and so think about it in advance and even practice a little.

Taking Christmas photos

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Snow pictures and diffused light #photography

I have been taking pictures of snowy scenes like many other people and at times I’ve had nice diffused light and at other times the sun has come out and the light has been quite cold and harsh. The snow does reflect a lot of light and so even when it was very cloudy I still had quite a lot of light. Snow pictures can be a little bit boring and so I tried to shoot with a narrow aperture and get lots of depth to the pictures.

For snow pictures like this use a narrow aperture

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Taking photos like a pro #photography

I photographed the Christmas lights switch-on last Friday. It is a difficult event to photograph and I was alongside professional photographers with full frame cameras. I still got reasonable pictures and shot some decent video. So today, I’ll try to give you some tips so you can take pictures like a pro too.

XMAS LIGHTS - shooting like a pro

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Buying a camera #photography

This morning I had a look to see how much the cheapest camera was on Amazon and found this one for just 31.99.  It is an 18-megapixel camera and has all these scene modes:

Auto/Night Portrait/Night Scenery/Portrait/Scenery/Beach/High sensitivity.

There is a note in the blurb that says to take photos in good conditions. That is the problem with cheap cameras, you need good conditions which means good light. However, you can take family photos and snaps at parties because you simply use the flash. This camera won’t be so good for landscape photography but for occasional snaps, it would be fine. My DSLR is more controllable and it has a much larger sensor and so is much better in poor light. If you’re buying a camera you have the cheap ones for taking snaps at one end of the market and full-frame DSLRs at the other end that are phenomenally expensive when you have bought the lenses and filters and all the gear a professional photographer uses.

Buying a camera

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Higher ISO settings #photography

Now winter is here I am using higher ISO settings to compensate for the poor light. Higher ISO settings make the sensor more sensitive to light and are essential when we are shooting landscape or indoors when we don’t want to use a flash. I mostly shoot on aperture priority with my Nikon D3200. That is the A setting on the camera dial. I set the aperture, how wide the shutter opens and the camera sets an appropriate shutter speed.

LITTLE STATION STREET

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Low light events #photography

I photographed the Remembrance parade on Sunday. It was freezing cold and low light and my shots weren’t the best I have taken but in difficult conditions, I’m lucky to get even reasonable shots. One professional photographer asked if I had got some good shots so maybe he struggled too. Low light events are more difficult.

REMEMBRANCE -low light events

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Raising the ISO #photography

Quite often there isn’t enough light and you don’t want to use your flash. The answer is to make the sensor on your camera more sensitive to light. This is easier with my DSLR than my bridge camera and it can help you take sharp shots indoors or when there are dark skies. I went to the art gallery this week to collect a picture that was in an exhibition and wanted a few shots of a tablet honouring Boer war participants. Raising the ISO on my camera to 400 did the job and I didn’t need to use a flash.

ART - raising the ISO

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Sharp images #photography #art

I usually go out on the weekend and do landscape photography but my plans didn’t quite work out this week and so for today’s post I have had to look through the archive. My first photo I have converted to grey scale to show what a photo really is, an image made up of light and dark. Sharp images have a sharp difference between light and dark.

New Street West Bromwich

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Objects of desire #ramble #art

It’s Sunday morning again and so once again I share my thoughts with you. This is what I do, I write and I also do social media and photography. I produce content and many of my friends who understand social media will know why content is king! Interaction is important on social media. People interact with their friends and on Facebook pages, they interact with the admins. I had to ban a couple of people from one Facebook page I am admin of yesterday and it was with deep regret. They waged a vendetta for over a year against me. If I have a disagreement with someone, I try to forget it and move on. Life is too short and hating people consumes you. Anyway, moving on, I have photography and art on my mind this week.

Considering objects of desire

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Looking for the perfect shot #art #photography

I’m looking for the perfect shot now for my art project but what is the perfect shot? I’ll know it when I see it. I think it is an image that people can relate to and I have split the subject into three parts, people, places and things. I photographed some interesting places on Sunday and then tested out the best of the images on Facebook and Twitter to see if people did relate to them.

central sixth

Central Sixth, West Bromwich

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Weekend photography #photography

Last weekend, I went out looking for something unusual to photograph. We think of landscape photography as being woodland or picturesque fields out in open countryside but there are interesting landscapes in our towns and cities too. Last weekend, I found myself sitting in the car watching cars going around a roundabout and took some shots with a 55 – 300mm lens.

weekend photos

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Thinking about composition #photography

“In the visual arts, composition is the placement or arrangement of visual elements or ingredients in a work of art, as distinct from the subject. The term composition means ‘putting together’ and can apply to any work of art, from music to writing to photography, that is arranged using conscious thought.”

good composition

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Choosing a location #photography

Last week, I was going shopping and I happened to be going near Bescot station in Walsall and so decided to make that my location for a photo-shoot. The motorway runs alongside the station with the river in between and so there are lots to photograph.

BESCOT Station a good location for a photo-shoot

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