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Creating a narrative #photography #art

You can create a narrative using a series of photos or even a number of photos in a multi-picture. Often a narrative is about a person, the protagonist in your story. If you add words to your images then that makes the narrative more real. You can create a powerful narrative with just one image and a few words. The pictures of recent demonstrations create their narratives which are often sympathetic to the demonstrators or sometimes sympathetic to the police trying to keep order. There doesn’t need to be people in the image to create a narrative, powerful images of decay or of industrial buildings create their own narrative.

creating a narrative


Choosing a camera #photography

Over the weekend I went out and took a few photographs despite the weather. I also compared the cameras I own and the results of my comparisons weren’t what I was expecting. You might expect the most expensive camera to produce the best results. That’s what I thought. I compared a pocket camera with no viewfinder, my Fujifilm S5600, my Nikon D3200 and lastly my Nikon D750. I also compared the camera on my phone. The cameras with viewfinders were much better simply because there is less camera shake.  The difference between the shots I took with the different cameras was minimal although the more expensive D750 was the easiest to use. If you’re choosing a camera the Nikon D750 is a great camera but any camera with a viewfinder is a good way to start in photography.

choosing a camera


Sausage and ham salad #food #photography

While I’ve been in lockdown, I’ve been doing a lot of food photography and preparing meals that not only taste good but look good too! Today it was sausage and ham salad.


sausage and ham (the sausage was one of those special gluten-free ones)

rocket, cress, radish, iceberg lettuce and cucumber 

tomato, beetroot, apple and grapes

new potatoes – salad cream or mayonnaise

sausage and ham salad


Composing your image #photography

The first thing to learn about photography is composition. Most people begin with a bridge camera or even a pocket camera and work their way up to a DSLR of a  compact system camera. Some photographers follow ‘rules’. They will put their subject 1/3 of the way across the frame because that is the rule of thirds. It is important to understand the rule, however. Artists put their subject one-third of the way across the frame so the subject doesn’t dominate the image and the viewer appreciates the background too. It isn’t a ‘rule’, however. Sometimes, we want the subject to dominate the image, especially for a portrait. You can choose when you’re composing your image.

Composing your image


Isolation photography ideas #photography

I have started going out again to take photos but I’m still isolated from other people. Over a quarter of a million people have now tested positive for the virus with many of us isolating ourselves from it. I’ve seen on the news how idiots are ignoring social distancing and going to protests and queuing for Ikea so they are the ones spreading the virus. I’m going to keep avoiding the idiots. My isolation photography ideas don’t include catching the virus!

isolation photography ideas


Setting the right aperture #photography

I’ve been taking photographs every day throughout my lockdown. I’ve photographed flowers in the garden, my meals and kept a photographic record of my experience. All the photographs were shot with a wide aperture. I’ve has good light too because it has been sunny most of the time. On Sunday, I went out and did a little landscape photography. So how did I go about setting the right aperture for landscapes?  I set the aperture narrow to get the whole shot in focus but how narrowly do you set the aperture? I actually used f8 and f9 for the shots but you can shoot landscapes with a wide aperture.  I created this collage with some of my shots.

setting the right aperture


Focusing on the subject #photography

If you’re new to photography you first need to understand focus points. I usually use one focus point and that goes on my subject. I might like the whole scene in front of me but I’ll focus on one object within that scene. Often for a landscape shot where I want the whole scene in focus, I’ll have the focus pint on a distant object. On an automatic setting, the camera would set the aperture on a narrow aperture. I do that manually and if my subject is closer I might set the aperture wider. I am focusing on the subject in more ways than one.

focusing on the subject


Telling the story #photography

I am still telling the story of my lockdown in pictures. Virtually all the pictures are shot with a wide aperture and a shallow depth of field. Shooting with a wide aperture allows more of the light to hit the sensor so I can shoot with quite fast shutter speeds and still get the correct exposure.

telling the story


Design a card #photography #art

The daily challenge from 64 Million Artists today is to design a card. I did my design and shared it with the Facebook group. I took a few photographs yesterday of the bluebells and buttercups in the garden so I used one of those pictures. I wrote a little verse to put in the centre of the image. That was the hard part!

design a card


Taking pictures in isolation #photography

I’m documenting my time in isolation in pictures but obviously there are fewer things to point my camera at. I’ve photographed pigeons, sparrows and the squirrel in the garden. I’ve taken time and trouble over my meals not only making them taste good but also making them look good for the photographs. Taking pictures in isolation has passed the time and given me an archive of images to remind me of this time and also to use as part of my blog. Today I’m planning something a little different.

Taking pictures in isolation


Telling stories with art #art #photography

All artworks tell a story and when you’re creating an artwork, regardless of your genre, you need to be aware of the story. When I was trying to tell the story of Dick Turpin visiting a local pub. I decided to use a picture to illustrate the story. Of course, no photographs exist and so I looked for a picture taken from a painting. My photographs tell stories. I’m telling stories with art.

telling stories with art


Textures and shadows #photography

When we photograph a texture we also photograph tiny shadows and it is shadows that give our photograph form. You need to get your picture quite sharp to show the textures. I tend to do that with quite fast shutter speeds. That is the big advantage of a DSLR and of the Nikon D750 in particular.  I mostly shoot on aperture priority and so the camera sets the shutter speed and for many shots where I shoot at the widest aperture the camera sets a fast shutter speed. The textures and shadows stand out giving the photograph a 3D appearance.

textures and shadows


Lockdown photography #photography

I’ve been chronicling my lockdown ordeal in pictures. It not only gives me something to think about other than that virus, it will also give me a record of this historic time.  My lockdown photography tells a story in pictures and that for me is what photography is all about. My picture today is a collage of some of the pictures I’ve taken in the last 40 days. Yes, I’m on day 40 of my lockdown!

lockdown photography


My lockdown story #photography #art

We live through many stories and this lockdown is quite unique. My lockdown story is being recorded in a few words on photographs that I’m taking every day. I’m on day 33 and I have been completely isolated from other people except for phone calls and messaging. I have had some contact with people at a distance for food deliveries, etc.

lockdown story


Week four of the pandemic lockdown #ramble

It’s Sunday morning and so once again I’ll share my thoughts with you. I’m on the 4th week of this pandemic lockdown. I’ve been taking photographs each day to document my isolation. I think images capture the memories far better than just words but I have used a few words to title the images.

pandemic lockdown


Isolation day 26 – documenting my isolation #photography

It’s isolation day 26 and I’ve turned my isolation into an art project. I’ve been documenting it in words and pictures. I take photographs within my restricted environment and add a title to the bottom and post them on social media. I should use Creator Studio and post on Instagram but I have posted most of the picture in Sandwell Pride of Place on Facebook. I want to keep people interested in that group and this is an opportunity to do that. I do need to find ways of using Creator Studio and Instagram more effectively, though.

isolation day 26


Isolation day 19, taking pictures. #photography

Photography is an art when you’re expressing yourself. I’ve been chronicling my time in isolation using my camera and taking pictures. It’s my third week in isolation and isolation day 19. I only have my  house and garden to wander around looking for subjects so I decided to combine words with a picture to produce an image that says something.

isolation day 19


Isolation day 13, something to do #photography

I’m on isolation day 13, nearly two weeks already! I’ve been trying to document my isolation in photographs as well as doing the garden and planning how I will survive. I’ve also been planning the future. What will I do when this is all over? I’ll find something to do, maybe something new.

something to do


Age of the image #photography #art

Last night, I watched Age of the Image on BBC 4. It demonstrated very clearly the power of images, both still images and moving images. I think we are in the age of the image with digital cameras and mobile phones with built-in cameras. However, not all of those images are good images. Some of those images are badly composed, some will be blurred and so on. Even when we take out all the bad ones we are still left with millions of very good images on every subject, recording life in the 21st century.

age of the image


Setting white balance with the pre setting #photography

You can set your white balance and get better colours by using a white or grey card and the pre setting. On my Nikon D3200 you have to go to the pre setting in white balance and then use the view finder to take a photograph of the grey card and you get a message ‘data acquired’.

the pre setting


Only time will tell #photography

The stock market took a bit of a battering yesterday, will it recover? We can’t be sure, only time will tell. The reason for the jitters was the coronavirus sweeping China and a few other countries. It is difficult to say how the value of art will go in the future too. I read about an economist who bought a Picasso in the early days of that artist’s experiments in expressionism. The painting is worth a fortune these days.

only time will tell


Photography in winter #photography #art

Photography in winter is difficult because we have a lot less light. There are events to photograph and I’ve seen that some photographers have been trying to get good shots of the full moon. There is a super moon on the 9th of March which you might see as a challenge to photograph. I might take my 28 – 300mm lens off my Nikon D750 and put it on my D3200 with the cropped sensor to get a focal length of 450mm. That should get me a better shot. My tip for a good moon shot is to steady the camera on something and correct the slight blur you’re almost certain to get by sharpening the picture in your editor.

Photography in winter


Focusing on your subject #photography

Whatever kind of camera you have or even if you’re taking photos with a phone, you need to focus on your subject. You might see a nice view in front of you but choose something in the view to focus on. Put your focus point on that subject so it is in focus and then set your aperture to bring the whole frame into focus or set a wide aperture to just have your subject in focus. By focusing on your subject, you can see what else you have got besides your subject, to compare it with.

focusing on your subject


Eliminating camera shake #photography

We have all had pictures where a slight blur totally spoils the image. Camera shake is always a problem and can be caused by the slightest vibration. I advised someone this week who was using a 300mm lens full frame lens on a crop sensor camera. It wouldn’t auto-focus and so she had to focus manually. I thought the problem was not just focusing but camera shake. It would have an equivalent focal length of 450 mm on a crop sensor camera, so camera shake would be amplified when she zoomed in. Generally speaking, a shutter speed of the inverse of the focal length is the minimum for eliminating camera shake. Vibration from a nearby heavy vehicle can cause a lot of camera shake and cause blur at 300mm.

eliminating camera shake


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