Don's Pages

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Barnaby's Trip to London City Centre

The family have been visiting us here in London during school half-term, so we took our Granddaughter Amelia and her school bear Barnaby on a little journey through central London. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did:-)

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Slideshow of Don's Works

Here's a slideshow from my RedBubble Portfolio.

These can all be purchased at redbubble
Buy my art

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Superb Sunrise Sky

I wasn't out shooting this morning to get this sunrise, I was working in my study when I got a call from the wife on my mobile. She said, "Have a look out the window".
I wandered over and looked. I said over the phone "WOW! That's fantastic.
She said, "I thought you'd like it, I'm sitting in traffic and just enjoying the view. Why don't you get your camera?" "I will" I said, and I did:-) After blowing kisses I immediately grabbed Niko and opened the window and grabbed a few shots. This was the second of nine.

London Sunrise 26th Oct 2010 at 7.30am...
Camera settings: Camera Nikon D700 with 28-300mm Lense. ISO 500, f/5.6, 78mm, 1/30th sec exposure. Handheld from first floor landing window.

Now I know why I don't like double glazing {well the one's we've got anyway} couldn't open the window wide enough to get a wider-angled view of the trees. Ahhh well, I captured a lovely sky this morning.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men

Well I did intend to go to the Zoo, but couldn't. It was cold, wet, windy and raining. The kids didn't feel up to it. Ahhhhh well.

However, we did go out for a walk in the local park in the afternoon. Dulwich Park London.
Here's a capture of an Oak Tree and the ice cream van. Yes we did indulge and I even had a 99 myself.

Oak Tree Autumn Dulwich Park London
 There are some wonderful trees in this park, some of them really ancient.
For a full resolution image and to purchase click redbubble

Saturday, 23 October 2010

We're All Going to the Zoo today. Yipeeeeeee.

Family trip to the Battersea Zoo.
We've got my daughter and granddaughter staying for half-term, so we're off to Battersea Zoo.
They arrived yesterday from Plymouth and my granddaughter Bethany was so excited to be here. She just loves her little cousing Aminata soooo much, and calls her my sister:-) sooo cute.

Aminata, who lives here with us, was also overjoyed. It was great watching them play together.
Pics of the family to follow shortly. I'm looking forward to Battersea Zoo though.

Some old family pics to wet your appetite.
Aminata Eating and Smiling

Granny and Aminata in Brighton
Aunt Lydia and Aminata Hambleys London

Aminata and Mommy Park

Bethany and Amelia Plymouth

Bethany Bride's Maid Steph and Junior's Wedding

Bethany and Mommy {Abigail}

Friday, 22 October 2010

Family Friday and Yesterday's Shoot

Family Friday: My daughter and granddaughter are coming to London for a visit this weekend. It will be great to see them and hopefully share some wonderful family shots with you.

Yesterday I went to Wimbledon Common to see a Windmill that I never knew was there. It a great wide open space not far from the centre of London. I'm still constantly thrilled that there are so many green spaces and parks in London for everyone to enjoy.

Photography Notes: The Sun was playing with me yesterday. It kept on slipping in and out of the clouds, but that did make for some really interesting lighting conditions. It's quite low in the sky in Oct so the light is quite warm casting great shadows in the early afternoons.

Some Pics and the camera settings: {Please Note: These are low resolution images. Full res images can be purchased on my Don's Redbubble Site
Wimbledon Common Windmill

Windmill and Sky

Dead Tree Wimbledon Common

Sunlit trees

Wimbledon Common Afternoon Light

Wimbledon Common Fungi

Wimbledon Common Pathway

Wimbledon Common Trees

Wimbledon Common Trees and Pathway

Let's Go Fly a Kite

Thursday, 21 October 2010


I'm going on a photo shot today and will bring back something to share later on.
Wimbledon Shots

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Twilight Photography Tips

Twilight: The in-between light just after sunset and before sunrise.
There is a magical few moments when the sky is glorious and gives off a great light for night photography. It's not inky black / blue, but a wonderful tone and sometimes awesome colours too. It's so much fun I prefer the sunrise to the sunset, because there tends to be less people around and there's something magical about those quiet moments in the morning just before the sun pops up it's shiny head.

The Equipment You'll Need: I use Nikon Cameras; a D700 and for back-up a D40x. Lenses; Nikon 16-35mm f/4. Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR11. And I've just recently purchased the wonderful Nikon 28-300mm, which is really awesome.

Because it's going to be quite dark and you'll be using low ISOs you'll definitely need a tripod. A quick release is handy too, either cable or remote release. I prefer to use the remote release, because that way you don't have to touch the camera or tripod at all once you set everything up correctly and thus avoid any camera shake that could ruin your shots.

Tip: if you don't have a release, don't worry, you can always use the camera's time delay option. Press the button and after five or ten seconds the camera will take the shot for you. Simples:-)

Lenses: I use a combination of lenses depending on the scene before me. If I'm up high and there are fields and trees, and especially if there's fog I'll use my 70-200mm Nikon f/2.8 which is great for compressing the perspective, giving a wonderful layered effect.

But more often than not I'll use my wide angle lense Nikon 16-35mm f/4.0. Such a good lense and so sharp it could cut you:-)... See images below.

Other things you'll possibly need. Although most cameras have bright rear LCDs these days, you may still need a little torch. It can get dark quite quickly after sunset and if you're on rough ground it can save your life. I've fallen over too many times now... LOL And before sunrise it's great to see what you are doing when setting up and getting into position too.

Winter months are great for sunrises, but it gets very cold. So wrap up warm and cosy. Take a hat and some gloves with you and if you can a nice thick cushion to sit upon. A flask of warm coffee or soup goes down great too. That way you'll not be in any rush to leave and you'll also get some great shots.

Spare Batteries: Though my batteries have never given up on me, I always take a spare fully charged camera battery. The thought of getting to a location miles away from home and charging facilities and not being able to take a shot scares me silly.

REMEMBER: The Memory Card. I felt like an idiot a few times, getting to a wonderful location and getting ready to take a shot, only to discover to my horror that I'd forgotten to put a memory card in the camera, and searching in vain through my bags I'd forgotten to pack any spares. Ahhhhhhhhh.... Don't be an idiot like me, take plenty of spare memory cards...

How To Shoot Twilight Scenes:
If you are going to opt for shooting Sunsets, I always try to get there at least an hour beforehand to find the perfect location. It will enable you to set up all your equipment and check it all out before you shoot. You can then sit back and enjoy the peace and beauty for a while too. Getting into the atmosphere of a place is all important for me.

When the time is getting close, take a few test shots to see if you've composed the picture the way you want it to look. Check the captures on the rear LCD and don't forget to zoom in to check how sharp things are. Too many times I've come aways with great colours but blurred pics...

 It's always good to switch your camera's autofocus OFF, because in the low light it will not be able to get it right. Trust yourself on this, but check it out on the screen too. Set an aperture of f/16 -f/22 to get maximum depth of field.  Set the lowest ISO possible, this will reduce any camera noise to a minimum.
If you are shooting water you'll also be able to produce a great glassy effect or milky effect if there are waves breaking. (Sometimes I'll use an ND filter to reduce the light even more to give great long exposures)...

What to Shoot: I live in London so there are many varying photo opportunities for twilight photography. Streets with lights, the river Thames with all the wonderful bridges, majestic modern buildings, ancient Dickensian streets, wonderful crescents and outstanding parks. In the countryside there's trees, fields, rivers. On the coast, rocks, pools, cliffs, harbours, boats, quays, jetty's, piers etc...
In the UK we are spoilt for choice.

I hope you have fun with twilight photography, I know I really enjoy getting out there.

All the best my friends, let me know if you found this helpful?
Keep Clickin...

Some of my nighttime and twilight captures;

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Don's Blog Photography Updated

I've been out with my camera again:-)
Out taking some shots and getting excited by the craft of photography again.
It never fails to give me a great buzz.

Recently went to Lambeth, and in particular Bourough High Stree and London Bridge Station.
Here's some shots from the journey.

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