Don's Pages

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Wedding Nightmares: When Weddings go wrong.

A little break from Photography for a few laughs and ooohhhs and ahhhhs.
Here are some clips from Youtube that are quite funny, but not for the people involved.

Oh my goodness poor Chloe...

And for Wedding Photographers, this is a must watch clip.

Now it always pays to have a buddy with you when you are walking backwards.

Always remember to breath at weddings, if you don't then something like this will happen to you too.

And another person forgets to breath. "Oh my goodness, that must have hurt"

Feeding Time with Aminata

It's always great to see my granddaughter Aminata.
These snaps were taken during a meal time, she wanted some Strawberry Yoghurt.

I love the way the session developed; first mummy fed her, then she wanted to have a spoon to feed herself, but then she thought fingers would do a better job, finally she ended up trying to drink the yoghurt. Marvellous the logic of babies and children. She's a delightful little girl with such a wonderful personality. Always smiling and laughing.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Night Photography in London

Last night I was out in West Norwood at 10.00pm. Late, but still quite a few people around. I captured these shots of the Church and Cross. The Church has had a snow layer added to give a Christmas Card effect.

What I love about night photography is the warmth of the light on buildings and stones. There's a kind of comfort in the thick blackness of the dark sky.

St Luke's Church West Norwood London
 Capture Settings: Camera Nikon D700 with 16-35mm Nikon Lense. ISO 100, 30 second exposure, f/16.0 app setting, 28mm, tripod mounted, manual focus.
St Luke's Memorial Cross
Camera settings for the Memorial Cross Image.
Nikon D700 with 18-35mm Nikon Lense.
ISO 100, 30 second exposure, f/8.0, focal length 35mm.
Manual Focus, Spot Metering. Tripod Mounted.

This Cross image is as it was captured in the camera, no HDR effects. 

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Good News for Sunrise & Sunset Lovers

An Application for all you people who find it easy to get your head off the pillow and out with your camera.
Have you ever gotten to a location just before Sunrise and wondered where exactly the sun will pop up it's lovely shiny head? Well now there's good news for you, because there is an application you can download that has everything you need for the exact location of the sun at Sunrise or Sunset any time of the year, and any location you may happen to be in the world.

It's an App for the iPhone, iPad or iPod.

I've got it on my IPhone 4 and it works a treat. But there's one little problem I've reported on the Apps pages on iTunes, the times are not updated until you close the app and open it again, but I'm sure the producer will sort that out very soon. Other than that you can see immediately exactly where the sun will rise or set. It even gives you your current location co-ordinates so you can double check on a map or mapping software on the IPhone.

Here are the Applications Features
  • Automatic features. Without complicated setting flow.
  • Digital compass and GPS support.
  • Can quickly know any day of the sunrise and sunset information.
  • With the compass can be quickly pointed out that the sunrise and sunset orientation.
  • Automatic switch day and night interface to improve visual comfort viewing.
  • Support power saving mode, which can effectively reduce the power dissipation.
  • Support for switching magnetic north and true north
  • Support daylight saving time.
  • Support English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Japanese, French, German language.
  • Support iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 or later, and supports retinal display.
  • Buy once and upgrade function free.
I really wish I'd had this little App when I captured a sunrise down in Cornwall of St Michael's Mount. But we live and learn, sometimes the hard way:-)

To get this little App go to Itunes and the Apps section of the Apple Store and download the Sunrise Sunset Compass Application. It's great.

For more tips on Twilight Photography see my Tips Page on this Blog.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Guess I'll NOT be going on Holiday to Kuwait then:-)

How Weird is this news from Kuwait???? Reported in the Guardian UK Newspaper.
Photographers in Kuwait are facing a ban on the use of larger digital cameras in public places, according to a local media report.

Three government ministries in the Gulf state have outlawed the use of "digital SLR" (single lens reflex) cameras in public for all citizens except accredited journalists, according to the Kuwait Times.
The Ministry of Information, the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Ministry of Finance implemented the ban late last week, according to the English-language newspaper. Smaller digital cameras and mobile phones are understood to be exempt from the ban.

WOWzer! That's just crazy. How many people would love to travel to Kuwait and grab some extraordinary scenes, outstanding building and architectural shots, not to mention those wonderful people? Now, you can't take your DSLR along with you... You'll have to shoot on a Mobile or Digital Compact Camera instead.

Film cameras are OK too, but it seems they just don't like great big DSLRs poking in their faces in Kuwait.

I know there are some cultural restrictions on whom you can photograph. For instance, they take a dim view of any female photography for religious reasons. We can all understand that, but what about the stunning architecture and desert scenes? They've also got many amazing buildings that are just going to be captured with crappy compacts. Well apart from my Canon S90 that is... LOL.

Seriously though, what do others think? Am I the only one who thinks the Kuwait Officials have gone stark-raving-bonkers? Will any serious photographers still be going to Kuwait?

Massive Storage Capacity Compact Flash Cards 64GB

How Big Can Storage Cards Get?
I thought I was doing really well with my 8GB Sandisc Extreme card, but now we can get a whopping 64GB... You could take just one card with you on holiday and still have room for more pics than you could wish to capture. Now Even Faster Chech Out SanDisk Extreme Pro Below...

The FileMate 64GB

64GB Professional Series CompactFlash memory card. Speed rating 600X (read, 90MB/sec) and 300X (write, 45MB/sec). Designed for DSLR cameras and backed by 2 years warranty.

Read the Blurb from Wintec FileMate Below. Sounds Fantastic, BUT:

High Capacity Professional Endurance
Wintec FileMate Professional CompactFlash® (CF) memory cards offer high speed, reliable, and extreme resolution image capturing for enthusiast and professional photographers. Designed to work seamlessly with today’s most popular DSLR cameras, the Professional family CF cards are great for capturing action burst images with write speeds of up to 45MB/s and ultra fast read speeds up to 90MB/s. Available in capacities up to 128GB, storage space and capturing images at extreme high-resolution settings is worry free.

Here's the But:
I'd be worried that I'd loose the card from a shoot or if the card broke down whilst on a long trip taking in different locations. I still think I'd want to back up as I went, even though this one card could store a whole holiday's / photo-shoot / Assignment worth of images.

The Great Big Plus: Read / Write times are getting much faster. I'm wondering if our cameras software will actually keep up with the card's ability to store so fast?

Newest San Disk Extreme Pro Compact Flash 64GB.
Fantastic; Now Compact Flash Cards are getting even faster. There is a memory card that is fast enough to keep up with all our advanced DSLR demands: The SanDisk Extreme® Pro™ CompactFlash® card. With lightning-fast (up to 90 MB/s* read/write) speed, you'll be able to capture more continuous burst picture shooting-and get the most out of your Professional and High end Enthusiast Digital SLR cameras.

SanDisk engineered its Power Core™ Controller to take whatever your camera's buffer can dish out. By distributing image data across the card more rapidly and efficiently, this card delivers professional performance.

What does the Extreme Pro Give you? Check out this web site

Get your's from here

You could also purchase Don's Photography from RedBubble

Friday, 19 November 2010

London City Centre and the Gherkin

My wife and I went out for a wander around London's City Centre last Saturday. I captured some shots of the Iconic Gherkin. I love this building and it's awesome shape.
I'm just so grateful that my wife is so patient, she'd wait until I'd finished shooting so many times, and even suggested a couple of angles that proved to be really great too.
 Afterwards, I treated her to a lovely lunch at a restaurant by London Bridge.

In contrast to London's money buildings, the market on the other side of the river was teaming with people. Bourough Market on a Saturday is just amazing; so many terrific foods from all over the world are on offer, and sample of cheeses and meats too.

It's great to take along someone who can enjoy life in London as much as I do. Thanks so much darling. Don.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Getting out of the pits is soooo easy.

Many photographers fall into the pits of darkness and are looking for new light.
It's so easy to feel that there's nothing new to capture, but here are a few tips to get you out of the depths and darkness. Lack of inspiration can dampen your artistic gifting, be prepared to be uplifted, enlightened and inspired once again. But don't just read this, actually get up, get out and do it. You'll thank me later...

Sunlit Snowy Cross. West Norwood, London.
  1. Charge up your camera battery and select just one lense for your camera.
  2. If it's cold, as it is here in London at the moment, wrap up warm.
  3. Get out and about in your own area and I'll give you some things to capture.
We've got a cemetery close by with lots of old gravestones. It may be the place of the dead, but I love going there for inspiration.

Funny Faces

You may be thinking, how on earth does he know there's something out there to inspire me?
Well your right, I don't know your neighbourhood, but I do know that wherever you live on the beautiful planet earth, there's a whole host of photographic opportunities just waiting for you to discover them.

Even if you done this before, do it again, but get different angles, use a different lense, capture in Black and White etc...

What to capture:
  • Your House: get down low on the ground and shoot up. Climb up a tree and shoot down. Stand on top of your car or get a step ladder out of the garage.
  • Your Garden: flowers, weeds, leaves, stones, gravel, rocks, bushes or trees.
  • Wildlife: Cats, dogs, spiders, birds, slugs, snails, foxes {we get lots of these in London}
  • People: Neighbours, ask them first or shoot candids as people walk by.
  • Friends & Family: Get your best buddy to pose for you; make it fun, get them to make funny faces, jump about, play a game or act like a statue.
  • Your street: Cars, bikes, buses, lorries, workmen, bin-men, newspaper deliverer, postman.
  • Houses in your street: doorways, plants in gardens, pots, windows, make it a project to capture every doorway.
  • Shops in your town; supermarkets, petrol stations, little shops, shopkeepers, staff, delivery vans,
  • Is there any building work going on?; document the changes every day.
Inside the House: objects, common every-day items can be fun to capture. Get them into the light of a window. Buy the wife some flowers and capture them. Get your hubby his favourite beer and grab some shots; frosted glass, cool beer, hot coffee...
The fridge, the freezer, the ice that builds up. Coffee machine, Kitchen Equipment, bathroom with little ducks in the bath. Soap etc....
  • You could even capture shots of your camera gear...
  • Plates, cups, bowls,
  • Food, fruit, etc...
  • Forks, Knives, Spoons,
  • Table settings,
  • Furniture, chairs, sofas, beds, 
  • Doors, frames, windows, etc...

Once you done some of this you'll actually be amazed at what pops into your own head, there you have it that's what inspiration is. You've just fired up those little-grey-cells all over again. So now you can go and get your masterpiece and make millions:-) I hope. And if you do, don't forget about me...

NEWS BLAST: P.S. Did you hear that someone found an old Chinese vase in their house and it sold for £43 Million Pounds?
The hammer fell at £43 million but the total price, including commission and VAT on the commission, was £53,105,000.  Now that is an incredible sum... Imagine finding one? Go on have a look in your attic. The Daily Telegraph Story

Have you looked at your old things? Did you go up into the attic. Now that would be a great place for moody shots.

Have fun my friends and stay inspired. When you run out of ideas, come back here and check out my list, I'll be adding to it from time to time.

All the best,


Some of my works below for inspiration:

Friday, 12 November 2010

Southbank Photography London

About a week ago some friends and I visited both the Docklands and Canary Wharf, but we ended up down on the Southbank looking around for some amazing things to capture. The light was not very good though, and I tried to concentrate on detail shots. However, the views across the Thames are just soooo tempting no matter what light you find yourself shooing in.

Below are some shots from the day, I'll be uploading a few more over the next few days, so do pop back again. I've yet to see what my friends captured, but I'll post a link when they upload to flicker so you can also see their shots too. Hope you enjoy them.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Polarised View

Sometimes in life we get sooooo focused that we can't see what's happening all around us.
We need something to broaden our vision. I had that recently regarding an aspect of my character that I was not aware of; the effect that my being present or absent had upon others. It's so good to have friends that are prepared to open your eyes and help you see.

The Polarised glass of this roof really helps us see the details in the building that would otherwise have been washed out and flat.

Camera Nikon D700 with 28-300mm Lense. ISO 400, 1/800th Sec, f/7.1, 28mm.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Time Clocks Canary Wharf

Last Tuesday whilst out shooting (photographs) with some friends from my church, we travelled to Canary Wharf in London's Docklands. It's definitely a place I'd like to go back to. There were a few quite zealous security officers, but once we explained who we were and why we were there, they seemed to be quite understanding. You can't blame them, the UK is on a heightened security alert and Canary Wharf and is buildings could be a target for terrorists.

I captured quite a few pics that day, the one below is from in front of the main huge building. I like the clocks and the surreal feel they give.
The sun was shining here, but only for a few minutes before the sky was grey and the light so flat you could play snooker on it:-)

I bumped up the colours and saturation in Photoshop and increased the temp just a little.

An HDR produced from four exposure of one RAW image in PhotomatixPro3.

What I love about HDR is that you can really bring out the details in a RAW image. This one was so flat but I was able, with just a few tweeks to bring out marvellous colour in the glass and details in the structures of the majestic buildings.

Monday, 8 November 2010

More from Kew Gardens London.

Hi friends, I just wanted you to see a few more shots from Kew, I'll be adding more to this page over the next few days. (work commitments permitting).

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