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Today’s picture and thoughts #ramble

It’s Sunday morning and once again I’ll share my thoughts with you. Tomorrow it’s Holocaust Memorial Day and it is something we should all be aware of and remember. I really can’t stand bullies and that’s what the Nazis were. Hitler appealed to the worst in people and started movement of hate driven by nationalism. I saw more nationalism in the UK last year and more hate. Racism and anti-Semitism reared it’s ugly head once again. Decent people  must always resist the ideology of people like “Tommy Robinson”. Passive resistance can be quite assertive and that is the only way to resist the bullies. Anyway, I need today’s picture:

todays picture

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Low light with fast shutter speeds #photography

When you’re shooting in low light, your shutter speeds can be a little slow. I shoot a lot on aperture priority and when you’re shooting a landscape and there isn’t enough light for the right exposure the camera will slow the shutter speed. That is unless you have your ISO on auto, which I don’t. On Sunday, I was shooting in poor light as the sun was starting to set and it was misty. The conditions were good for some atmospheric shots. I decided to shoot on manual and watch the exposure meter. My first shots were partly into the sun. I moved around until the sun was behind a tree but even though my scene then looked quite dark there was quite a lot of light hitting the lens.

low light with fast shutter speeds

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The taste of art #ramble #art

It’s Sunday morning and so once again I’ll share my thoughts with you. What’s on my mind this week? Too much, as usual! I have done the 19th daily challenge from 64 Million Artists this morning. I’ve bought a Yongnuo 50mm prime lens and I’ve been testing it this weekend so I used that for the challenge. The challenge was “The taste of Home” so I photographed my breakfast. The resulting image is just “the taste of art”.

a taste of home

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Looking for beauty in this ugly world #life

I think my interest in photography is about looking for beauty. Beauty can take many forms, even the old man sitting on the bench in  town square has a kind of beauty. The usual landscape photographs I take are appreciated for their beauty. Nature provides us with beauty but mankind makes it ugly. We simply don’t care enough about the world around us. We need to look for beauty in this ugly world because the ugliness is all around us and within us.

beauty in this ugly world

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Shooting at 300mm #photography

I went out as usual on Sunday hoping to dodge the showers and was pleasantly surprised when the sun came out. I almost exclusively use a 28 – 300mm lens now so I don’t have to change lenses very often. I shot some landscapes but my best shot of the day was of St Mary’s church from just outside my house. I had to zoom in to 300mm and so camera shake and movement was a problem. At 300mm to get a sharp picture I needed to be faster than 1/300 of a second. If you can hold the camera very still and there is no vibration then I suppose you could shoot it slower. I took the shot at 1/320 of a second and shot wide-open at f/5.6 with an ISO of 250. It wasn’t a bad picture but there was still a slight blur that I sharpened in editing. I like the final result.


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Not simply black and white #ramble

It’s Sunday morning and so as always I’ll share my thoughts with you. I’ve just done the 64 Million artists daily challenge. That is twelve I’ve done now and I haven’t missed a day! Yesterday, it took a while to come up with something good. I ended up with a photograph of the ivy in my garden which I took in monochrome and then tinted it. Monochrome doesn’t have to be black and white. Life isn’t all black and white either and we have to learn to appreciate the finer nuances. People who pin their colours to one political party for life or one cultural stance tend to be bigoted. You can pin your colours to what is right rather than what is wrong but even the differences between right and wrong can get blurred. Is it stealing if you help yourself to something to eat in order to avoid starvation?

not black and white

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Is climate change taking us to the edge of extinction?

I’m not a climate change denier nor am I about to take to the streets and protest. This week the West Midland Combined Authority announced it wanted to ban diesel and petrol cars by 2040. An ambitious and ill-thought out plan. Diesel cards do pollute more and we could stop selling new ones and we could ban all engines over 2 litres in all but specialist vehicles. That would be a step in the right direction and that is what we need, small steps in the right direction not wide ranging policies that will never be implemented or ever work.

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What use is art anyway? #photography #media #art

Sometimes people ask, what is the use of art anyway? Media studies has also provoked some less than charitable remarks. Art is all around us and gives us our advertising, television and movies. I also include music when I think about art. What would we do without music?

what is the use of art anyway

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Everyone can be an artist now#art #photography

It’s is Sunday morning and so once again I’ll share my thoughts with you. At the beginning of this week I started doing the 64 Million artists daily challenges. Today I had to take a photograph and make something look big. I decided to use Eddy the Elf again and use the photograph for an environmental message. It wasn’t difficult, everyone can be an artist now.

everyone can be an artist

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The importance of discretionary income #finance

Discretionary income is that income that you spend at your discretion. It is the money that is left over when you have paid all the bills and bought all the essentials. It is essentially the money you use to enjoy life. It pays for meals out, day trips and holidays. Your discretionary income buys you a certain quality of life.  Wouldn’t it be great to have twice as much to spend on enjoying life? You can if you become frugal about buying the essentials and also add some new income streams to top your income up a little. First you have to accept the importance of discretionary income on your quality of life.

the importance of discretionary income

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Developing artistic practice #art #photography

Whatever type of art you practice, you have to develop your skills and your style. I’m still developing a photographic style and I know one thing is certain. I won’t be copying anyone else’s style. If you Google fine art photography you’ll see that all the images are in the same style. There are a few things driving my distinctive style. Firstly, I don’t go outside the Black Country and I’m confined to a relatively small area. The camera also helps define my style and so too does the lens. The 28 – 300mm lens allows me to zoom in and take candid shots and get quite unusual shots from some distance away. It also allows me to photograph signs and the features of buildings. I hope these restrictions will drive my style and it will become more distinctive. When you’re developing your artistic style, you need to allow it to develop naturally. Developing artistic practice is about letting things happen rather than making things happen.

Developing artistic

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Goodbye 2019 – hello 2020 #ramble

It’s coming to the end of the year and so it’s time to consider the events of the last year and plan for 2020. Hello 2020, what can I do with you! I will certainly be involved in art and photography and trying to improve my deteriorating health.

hello 2020

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