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Community ideas


Preparing for an event #photography

There will be a few events in the coming weeks and months that I’ll try and photograph. Preparing for an event means considering the right camera settings. On Saturday, we have an Easter Eggstravaganza in and around the town square and so I’ll go to photograph that. Mostly, I’ll be photographing people using my 28 –300 lens and often zooming in from a distance away.

Preparing for an event


Recording history #photography #history

There are many different categories of photography and I enjoy most of them. I try to photograph historic buildings and I am very aware of how quickly these buildings can disappear. I photograph streets of terraced houses as well as the larger listed buildings. Recording history for future generations is worthwhile and it can be done in a few different ways.

recording history


Three skills to depend on #ramble

It’s Sunday morning again and so I’ll share my thoughts with you. What am I good at? I do writing, photography and social media. These are my three skills. I used one social media channel to support local councillors who are up for re-election next month today. I’ll get some criticism for that but we have to resist the forces of hate and extremism. I try to do what is right and I pointed out that a couple of local councillors do a lot of good volunteer work. There is a division between them though so maybe after this election they can forget past problems and see what they have in common.

three skills


White balance, apertures and shutter speed #photography

I went to West Bromwich Manor House on Sunday and I was taking photos inside the Manor House and outside too. It was a cloudy day and so I set the white balance to cloudy to compensate for the grey sky.



Using different settings #photography

As usual over the weekend I was out taking photographs. On Saturday, it was an event and I was taking photographs of people and on Sunday it was landscape and I was photographing scenes and buildings. I was using different settings for different types of subject.

using different settings


Sandwell in all its authentic multifaceted splendour #photography

I’m pleased to say we received the first entries in the Blast photography competition which is part of the Sandwell Pride of Place Project. Please join our group on Facebook and share your photos there. You can see the first entries to the competition online now. The Photography Competition is open to anyone living in the Black Country or beyond. Jan and Chris are looking for photos with “interesting and unusual observations”, showing Sandwell in “all its authentic, multifaceted splendour”.  You don’t actually have to live in Sandwell but the photos must have been taken in Sandwell. You can submit up to 3 photos.

authentic multifaceted splendour


Giving everyone an equal chance #ramble

It is Sunday morning and so once again I’ll allow you into the neural labyrinth and share my thoughts with you. What’s on my mind this week? Well, as usual photography and as I’m involved so much with social media I’m also trying to promote the Blast Photo festival photography competition. I don’t always agree with the way photography competitions are run because they can favour certain people unfairly. This one, however, will be fair as the judges won’t know the entrants and people who are new to photography will still be in with an equal chance of being a finalist.

equal chance


Sandwell photography competition #photography

When I enter photography competitions I think about who the judges are likely to be and read the terms of the competition to try to identify the type of picture that is likely to win. The Sandwell Pride of Place competition asks what does Sandwell mean to you? The image in the competition notice has bread pudding and faggot and peas in it, both Black Country delicacies! There are clues there to the sort of image you should be considering. This is a Sandwell photography competition worth entering even if you’re only going to take a photo of a bag of scratching or some battered chips with your phone.

Sandwell photography competition


How to take a great photo #photography

I am admin of the Sandwell Pride of Place Project Group on Facebook and over the weekend there was some interest in the photography competition that will be part of the Blast Photography festival. So today, I thought I would give you a few tips on how to take a great photo for a competition or a print.

take a great photo


Capturing light with a full frame #photography

Photography is all about capturing light. In fact, the light reflected off things and people. I am developing my photography as an art and so I have recently upgraded to a full frame camera which gives me pixels that are approximately twice the size that they were on my D3200. I’m not quite ready to review my new camera but I’ll share some of my insights.

capturing light


History and art #Sundayramble

It is Sunday morning once again and so I allow you into the labyrinth of neurons and share my thoughts with you. What’s on my mind this week? I went to the local history event at Glebefields library yesterday and met up this Chris and Jan of Caravan Gallery fame. They were taking photographs for the Blast photography festival. It was an interesting outing but I did get a bit lost around the lost city. We were looking for the horses that are always tethered there but didn’t see any. It really was a history and art outing.

history and art


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


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