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Winter photography #Tuesdaythoughts

I haven’t been out taking photographs so much through the winter so I was determined to make the most of the milder weather on Sunday. It was sunny when I went out but by the time I got to Forge Farm, it was dark and miserable again. I tried to make the most of it. Winter photography is always challenging.



Having an influence #soapboxsunday

It’s Sunday morning once again and so I’ll share my thoughts with you, as usual. I do have an influence on some things because I have this blog and I’m admin of several Facebook pages. Then there is Twitter and Instagram. I can say more with one picture than some people can say with a thousand words. I can’t influence the Brexit negotiations, more’s the pity but I can influence local issues. There is some political intrigue locally and we have a few local agitators who like to stir things up. I think they are planning to be more active over the next few months in the run-up to the local elections. Having an influence on local affairs requires that one behave responsibly but I don’t think everyone in authority does do that.

having an influence


Choosing a genre #photography

Many people take up photography and will photograph anything that takes their fancy. It can be better to choose a particular genre so you can improve your skill and perhaps become recognised as a landscape photographer, portrait photographer or some other genre. You might even choose to specialise in low-light photography or look for quite quirky things to photograph. Chris and Jan of the caravan gallery look for quite quirky subjects and their mobile art gallery is quite quirky in itself. Choosing a genre is about choosing what you like and what suits you.

Choosing a genre


How to take professional pictures #photography

I’ve been taking pictures with my Nikon D3200 since 2013 and I have been quite pleased with it but we have the Blast! Festival of photography this year and I want to take professional pictures for that. The Nikon D3200 is a cropped sensor DX camera and I needed a full frame FX camera. I also had to decide on a lens. The DX lenses will fit on my new FX camera. I have tried a 35mm DX lens prime lens and it takes great pictures but I wanted to do something a bit different. I like taking candid shots of people and decided on a 28 – 300 mm zoom lens which will allow me to zoom in and take quite professional pictures with a shallow depth of field.

professional pictures

Do we live in a toxic environment? #ramble

It’s Sunday morning and once again I’ll share my thoughts with you. I must admit that sometimes I over-think things. It was my birthday this week and I got a lot of messages on Facebook wishing me ‘happy birthday’. I try to be polite and so that meant saying, ‘thank you’ over 200 times. I became acutely aware of who my supporters were and who was missing from that list. Some of the missing ones are very nice to my face but perhaps harbour petty grievances. We do live in a toxic environment in the 21st century and it is because petty jealousies relating to personal status creates hidden divisions in our society. We need to support each other more.

toxic environment


Artist challenges #64MillionArtists

It is the last day of the January challenges from 64 million artists and I have quite enjoyed it and it gives me something to write about on those days when I wake up feeling quite brain-dead and uninspired. These artist challenges have done me some good and I have been thinking more creatively. I was wandering around the house photographing things yesterday. It made my arm hurt because my new camera is quite heavy with the long lens on. I realised that my elbow had swollen when I finally got into bed last night. It’s much better this morning, though.

artist challenges (more…)

Taking photography seriously #photography

I am relatively new to photography. I only started it in 2008 with a bridge camera. I had problems with my eyesight too and had to have a lens replaced with a plastic one! Some of my photos were used by a newspaper and so I decided to invest in a Nikon D3200 and start taking photography seriously. I’ve photographed nice landscapes, famous people, politicians and even beauty princesses! The D3200 has served me well but I need a better camera for the type of photography I want to do now. This is my D3200, shot with my new camera.

taking photography seriously


My photographic journey #photography

I think of my photography as a photographic journey and in these posts, I try to share my journey. I only took up photography about 10 years ago and I try to think of it as art, not just taking snaps to record events. I’ve been doing the 64 million artists challenge which is a month of daily creative challenges which has been helping me focus more.

 photographic journey

Getting the creative juices flowing

It’s Sunday morning and I’ve already been getting the creative juices flowing and it’s only 10 am. I am planning an afternoon out too. I have no idea where I shall go, but go I must. I need fresh air and exercise. I must look after my health more. I actually have a hospital appointment this week so that is a step in the right direction.

getting the creative juices flowing


The art of photography #photography

The early adopters of photography were, in fact, artists. They were fascinated by this new method of producing pictures. In the early days, photography required great skill and even today skill is still required to get really sharp pictures. Because photography is open to everyone it is often thought of as unskilled. The art of photography has therefore been seen as something anyone can do. However, good composition and dedication are still in the realm of the true artist.

art of photography


Finding a genre #photography

If you’re serious about photography it might be a good idea to think about a particular genre to concentrate on. Some photographers prefer landscape photography while those who want to earn a living at it might specialise in studio or wedding photography. There are many different genres and it is worth experimenting and finding a genre that suits you.


Intentions, plans and hopes for the year.

What is your word of the year? If you could choose one word to sum up your intentions, plans and hopes for the year – what would it be? Share your word! You could create some word art, calligraphy, poetry, or even take a photo that captures that word. That is today’s challenge from #64MillionArtists. Of course, I have done the challenge.

Intentions, plans and hopes


Ideas for composition #photography

Today, I want to share some ideas for composition of landscapes. There is the rule of thirds which basically means that putting your subject a third the way across your picture will tend to ‘look right’. It won’t dominate the picture and so the viewer will appreciate the background more.

ideas for composition


Christmas portraits #photography #Wednesburyonline

At Christmas, we take a lot of pictures of people and maybe our Christmas gifts. All these photographs are of subjects quite close to the camera and so can be taken on the portrait setting. Some cameras also have a macro setting signified by a flower icon which can be used too. Christmas portraits need a wide aperture and so if you’re using a DSLR on aperture priority, set the aperture wide-open and use centre-weighted metering.

Christmas portraits


Take better pictures this Christmas. #photography

Do you tend to get blurry or noisy pictures? Do you want to take better pictures this Christmas? The secret to better pictures is simply shutter speed. You want a fast shutter to freeze the action. If you’re using a camera, set it on portrait and it will set the aperture wide letting in more light. Whatever you’re taking a photo of, if it is a close-up, then portrait is the best setting or if you can set the aperture yourself. Set it wide.

take better pictures


Exposure compensation #photography

I find I learn something new about photography all the time. Exposure is the amount of light that hits the sensor on a digital camera. It was the amount of light hitting the film on the old film cameras. To increase the exposure, you can slow the shutter speed, open the aperture up or increase the ISO. Exposure compensation allows you to easily adjust the exposure a little while shooting.


Celebrate your creativity #challenge

The 64 million artists weekly challenge for this week is to celebrate. “We challenge you to find your moments of celebration through-out the week – the big, the small and the in-between”.  If you’re creative, then you do celebrate your creations all the time. You might just read that poem and smile or look at and consider your latest artwork and take a moment of pleasure from knowing you did well! You can celebrate your creativity with moment after moment of satisfaction.

celebrate your creativity


Winter low-light #photography

It is officially late autumn but we have winter weather and dark skies. How can we take photographs in such poor light? This is when a DSLR with its larger sensor proves to be better than a bridge camera. The pupil of the eye dilates when it’s darker letting in more light and so we can’t judge how much light we have, accurately.  You can use your camera as a light meter and get a better idea of how much light you have. I set my camera on shutter priority and 1/100 of a second. If the camera sets the aperture wide then I know I don’t have enough light and can increase my ISO. Winter low-light can give us dark misty shots or we can set the camera to use all the available light. When we do snowy scenes there is usually lots of light reflected by the snow.

winter low-light


Developing my photography #photography

I started learning about photography a relatively short time ago. I think it was 2007 when I bought a Fujifilm bridge camera and it’s only been five years since I began using a DSLR. The sensor on the bridge camera was much smaller than on my Nikon D3200 and the narrowest aperture was f/8. I can now shoot in lower light and get more professional pictures. My aim is to upgrade to a full frame camera with a sensor that is 50% wider. Developing my photography this month is all about better flash photography.

Developing my photography


Shooting an event #photography

On Sunday, I photographed the Remembrance Day parade. When you’re shooting an event like that and it’s cold and damp with poor light, you can’t expect great shots. The sky was fairly clear except where the sun was and the moving cloud meant bright sunlight and then the cloud would block out the sun. I would have preferred a cloudy sky. When I’m shooting an event, I usually use my 18 – 105 lens but for this event chose the 55 – 300 to give me some reach.

shooting an event l


Understanding shallow depth of field #photography

One of the more difficult concepts to understand in photography is the depth of field. Understand that and you’ve more or less cracked it! Most people know that the shutter button on the camera is pressed part-way down to focus on your subject and then gently pressed all the way down to take the picture. Your focus points decide what will be in focus and so be sure to know what your subject is and get your focus points on your subject. For this shot, I used a wide aperture, in fact, I shot wide open for a shallow depth of field.

shot with a shallow depth of field


Entry-level DSLR ideas #photography

Last week I wrote about the settings in a Nikon D3200 which is an entry-level DSLR. A full frame camera with a 35mm sensor is considered a professional camera but full frame cameras haven’t been out that long. Previously cameras like the D3200 would have been considered professional cameras. The cropped sensor is 2/3 of the width of a full frame sensor but still much larger than on a bridge camera or phone so can capture more light.



The Nikon D3200 #photography

A member of the Black Country toggers group has bought a Nikon D3200 like mine and so I’ll devote today’s post to the Nikon D3200. Like most cameras, it has a dial on the top where you can choose ‘scene modes’ such as portrait or landscape. Most serious photographers like to use manual settings and have more control over the camera. Those settings are M for manual, A for aperture priority, S for shutter speed priority and P for programmed auto.


Images from the past #ramble #Wednesbury

Yes, it’s Sunday morning and so I’ll share my thoughts with you once again. I’m late, I used to write this as my Sunday lunch was cooking and then it got earlier and earlier and now I’m back to writing at near lunchtime. I have been remembering a little of my earlier life the past few days doing the History of Wednesbury. I also met a friend from my school days who bought 50 sets of art cards to sell at the rugby club. Yes, I’m still trying to make my little art project a success. I’m trying to work out which images from the past people most identify with.

images from the past


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