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photography

Doing your best #photography

I am sometimes asked for my advice and my advice is invariably, do what is right or just do your best. The same can apply to photography, we can take it quite seriously and try for the best photographs that we can take or we can just snap things. Of course, we can get quite good photographs with any camera if we get the composition right but a better camera does produce better results. Doing your best with what you have is the way to go,  unless you have unlimited amounts of money to keep upgrading your equipment.

doing your best

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Images from the past #ramble

It’s Sunday morning and so I’ll share my thoughts with you once again. What’s on my mind this week? I’m running a competition on the History of Wednesbury Facebook page and it’s going rather well. I’ve asked for contributions as entries and so far we have had about 25 pictures and one poem. These images from the past are quite nostalgic and take you back to a different era.

images from the past

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Using higher ISO settings #photography

I went to photograph a fete in the town hall on Saturday. It didn’t work out too well because I was unwell but the photos I did take were better than previous years. Shooting with a full frame camera with a larger sensor makes a difference and the in-camera processing at higher ISO settings is better too.

higher ISO

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Experiments in photography #photography

If you’re going to do something different with your photography, you will need to experiment. You will also need to think laterally; out of the box. Do a Google search for fine art photography and you will see lots of mediocre images in grey scale. Those photographers copy each others style and so there is little originality. How about those top Magnum photographers who get their pictures into galleries and sell them for lots of dosh? Check those out too. Yes, lots of grey scale images but a different style. Experiments in photography should be able to produce a style that is fresh and maybe clever too.

experiments in photography

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Looking for art #photography

Art is all around us, in the design of buildings, in the design of advertising that we see and in nature which is an evolving design. We can create images by photographing the art that is around us. I went to Wednesbury art gallery on Saturday afternoon looking for art. I photographed some of the exhibitions and the gallery.

looking for art

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Entering a photography competition #photography

I helped to run a photography competition this year and helped judge it. It is surprising how many people don’t read the rules and conditions! That is the first thing to do and it can give you an indication of what the judges are looking for too. I decided to enter a competition this week and the photos are to be uploaded onto Facebook but the prize is a print of your photo. For the print I will need a photograph that is high definition and the one I have is over 5,000 pixels across but I have resized it down to 1,800 pixels across to upload to Facebook. Anyway, before entering a photography competition, read the rules and conditions to get some idea of what is required.

entering a photography competition

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Improving your composition #photography

Whatever stage of your photographic journey you’re at, you can always improve your composition. It doesn’t matter if you have a cheap pocket camera or a full frame DSLR, better composition will give you better photos.

composition

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There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about – Oscar Wilde

“It is silly of you, for there is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.” is a quote from A Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. The quote refers to the upper classes who need an admiring audience. However, we mere mortals are also talked about if we get involved in the community in some way. The question is, do people say good things about us or bad things? Last year, quite a few bad things were said about me, things have improved since then. I care less what people think now anyway, so it doesn’t much matter what they say!

Oscar Wilde

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Getting started in photography

Most cameras and phones will take a good picture in a good light. The problems start in artificial light and in poor light. On automatic settings, the camera slows the shutter speed down to compensate for the lack of light which causes blur.  Holding the camera very still is the first thing you can do to get better pictures. You can also focus on subjects close to the camera which will mean a wide aperture and that allows more light into the camera and you get a faster shutter speed. If you’re just getting started in photography choosing a good camera can also help you get great pictures.

DSC_3149

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How to take sharper pictures. #photography #art

We all want sharper pictures. Blurred images are the biggest problem people have with photography. Photographs are images made up of light and dark and if you zoom in on an image, the line between light and dark is often fuzzy or completely blurred. I zoom in and sometimes use software to make that line more defined. I took a photo of the Fountain Inn in Tipton again on Sunday. I wanted good composition but I also wanted the image to be as sharp as possible.

sharper pictures

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A new chapter #photography #life

It’s Sunday morning, bright and early so I’ll share my thoughts with you once again. The Blast festival is over and so too is the Sandwell Pride of Place project. I missed the end of the festival party but did take some photos of Brendan Barry’s caravan gallery workshop in Wednesbury Market. That was tiring with the heat. Chris and Jan of the Caravan Gallery will move on to their next project. I have been asked about a project but I’m not going anywhere! We will all start a new chapter and who knows how the story will go?

A new chapter

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When art meets history #photography #art #history

Besides being the admin of the History of Wednesbury page on Facebook I also do community photography and photograph local events. Besides promoting our history, I record it as it happens. It is, of course, a pictorial history of old photographs and I take photographs to add to the timeline. Art meets history in the production of new images.

art meets history

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Using focus points to take better photos. #photography

On my camera, I can choose to have one focus point or as many as 51 focus points and they are used to get your subject into focus. I like to use just one focus point but sometimes it is useful to have a lot of focus points. For example, if you’re photographing a large group of people you can arrange them and set the scene up so you get the whole group in focus. Using focus points is important and even if you only have one, like on my old bridge camera, it is important to get the one focus point on your subject.

focus points

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Engaging with ordinary people #art #photography

It’s Sunday morning and as usual, I’ll share my thoughts with you. I tend to ask a lot of questions in my blog posts. I don’t easily accept things. I’ve had a problem with my leg. I thought it was the blood flow to the muscles but my doctor disagreed. One year later, I’ve seen the hospital doctor and the surgeon and this week I’ll have a test to see if it’s the blood flow to my muscles! Last week was interesting, I went to the Pride of Place exhibition in West Bromwich and an artists talk. In my mind, I asked a lot of questions about art. It is an art festival but is it engaging with ordinary people in a conversation about art?

engaging with ordinary people

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Solstice sunshine and art #photography

Yes, it’s the summer solstice and the rain has stopped and yes the sun is shining! I have had an interesting week, I went to the Pride of Place Project exhibition and took photos in West Bromwich. Yes, really. I went to West Brom and down the dodgy end as well. That was on Wednesday and yesterday I went to an artists talk at Wednesbury museum and art gallery. I didn’t take pictures for reasons I won’t go into. Anyway, we have solstice sunshine. Could today be the day when I finally get to take some pictures without raising the ISO or using the flash?

solstice sunshine

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Creating a historical record #photography

Carters Green in West Bromwich will be altered at the end of this month and so I decided to photograph the road layout before the changes. I had to dodge the showers but fortunately, the light wasn’t too bad. Creating a historical record with photographs leaves something of our time for future generations. We do have to preserve our archives and I use an external disk drive and USB flash drives. All the photographs are in JPG format.

Creating an historical record

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Creating an art card #photography

There is a lot to be considered when you are creating an art card. You don’t want to lose money on them but you probably won’t make much money either unless you have a selection to sell. My art cards have been sold in the local library and I’m waiting to hear if they intend to continue selling them. I need to have 1,000 of each card printed to get a bulk price low enough to make it worthwhile.

creating an art card

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Practising your art #photography #art

I’ve been thinking a lot about how artists actually practice their art just lately. In particular, how the photographers in the Blast Festival of photography practice their art. Most of the photographers are more articulate than me and communicate verbally with the people they take photos of which helps to create a more relaxed image. I find photographing people quite awkward and I prefer candid photos of people or photographing something quite different. I’m really into photographing interesting buildings now and creating my art cards.

 

Practising your art

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Shooting wide open #photography

Last weekend, I went to two events, poetry on the canal in Tipton and after that, I went to Brook Street Community centre where there was another event as part of the Blast Photography Festival. I photographed a carnival queen at the second event. I mainly shoot wide open with the widest aperture I can at events. I do take a few shots at a narrower aperture of groups of people, typically f/8 but I mainly want sharp images of one or two people. I’ve also been in the garden shooting a few pictures of plants and flowers and again I was shooting wide open.

shooting wide open

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Photographing buildings #photography

I went to Tipton on Sunday with the intention of photographing the Fountain Inn and Mad O’Rourke’s Pie Factory.  I only managed to do the Fountain and a passing narrowboat. I like to plan my shot when I’m photographing buildings.

TIPTON (11)

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Photography, walks and talks #blastphotofest2019

It’s a sunny day in Sandwell and the Sandwell Pride of Place Project exhibition opens tomorrow in the former Poundland shop in the Kings Square shopping centre in West Bromwich. The opening event will be at 6 pm and the new mayor of Sandwell will be announcing the winners of the photography competition.

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Setting a scene mode #photography

My Nikon D3200 has a scene mode to shoot landscape, portrait and sports shots, etc. It also has the aperture priority, shutter speed priority, programmed auto and manual settings. For new users, programmed auto is really useful and gives the user some control over aperture and shutter speed. Simply putting the camera on auto will produce good shots in good light but the problems start when the light isn’t so good, then you need more control over the camera.

scene mode

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Preparation and editing #photography

I photographed Hill Top library on Sunday and I’m shooting in jpg and raw now so I took some time to edit one of the photos yesterday and chose one I didn’t need to crop so it is 6000 x 4000 pixels. I did the editing in Aftershot which gives me slightly better images, especially colour balance. It also removes the vignette. I couldn’t even see a vignette until it was removed, it was very slight. I also did some preparation for a photo-shoot using flash photography.

preparation

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Springtime in Wednesbury #ramble

It’s Sunday morning and so, as usual, I’ll share my thoughts with you. What’s on my mind this week? Well, we have sunshine which makes for a nice change so I intend to have a day out taking photos. The springtime flowers are lining the river Tame and so I might try to take a short walk down the river and take a few photos. It will be a very short walk! Springtime is a time of renewal and so I hope to have an uplifting day and blow away a few cobwebs.

springtime

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