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Thursday, 31 January 2013

Fun: One a Day 2013


One a Day 2013

Another shot from 'The Face' shoot last Saturday.
Model Anda.

Anda was a great model on the day. It's the little things that can make or break a shoot and she's got a great character, always laughing and joking and being serious at just the right time. 

More Images from the Shoot:

The Face of Winter.

Veiled Beauty.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Big Ben: One a Day 2013

Big Ben

One a Day 2013

Captured from St Thomas' Gardens.
I found this magical fountain and gardens by accident whilst visiting St Thomas' for some treatment.

It's a wonderful place to come and relax and enjoy the amazing views of London, the houses of parliament and the river Thames. Makes me wonder how many people must have come here to pray and think about the plight of their loved ones in St Thomas' Hospital. I was also surprised by how few people were here on such a glorious day. When I looked over the wall the pathway along the banks of the Thames was teeming with people. What a privilege it was to have such peace and calm.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Beauty: One a Day 2013


Another of the images from Saturday's Photo-Shoot in South East London.

Camera Nikon D700 with 70-200mm f/2.8 Nikon Lens.
Black Background, Octabox and Triflector.

More Images from the Shoot:

Monday, 28 January 2013

Veiled Beauty: One a Day 2013

Veiled Beauty:

Another shot from Saturday's shoot in South East London.
We played around with different settings and colours.
The softness of the face was achieved by having the Octabox quite close to the subject and the triflector up close too. 

One a Day 2013. Black Background, One light source, the Octabox and triflector. Nikon D700 with 70-200mm f/2.8 Lens, electronic radio triggers, handheld.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

The Face of Winter: One a Day 2013.

The Face of Winter: 

Captured at a photo-shoot in London yesterday.

This was my second venture into studio work and it was an eye-opener. The group met up on a Saturday morning to go through setting up completely from scratch in  an empty room (studio).

We were first introduced to the picture we were going to re-create together. Then had to think through how we might achieve it by looking at the light on the subject's face and eyes.

We plumbed for Octabox and triflector a one light portrait.

The Model: After the morning session setting up the Studio, the model arrived. She was a beauty from Latvia, also she was a photographer herself and wanted to experience what it was like being a model. She now does a lot of modelling work. I'm not surprised, she was a natural. It was easy to relate and we had a lot of laughs together throughout the shoot. 

The Shoot: After only four shots, tethered to a computer we were able to achieve the same lighting effect as the original photograph. Not bad for a second time in Studio Photography. 

The Shots: Here is just one from the day, I'll post some more later.

The Face of Winter: One a Day 2013. One light source, the Octabox and triflector. Nikon D700 with 70-200mm f/2.8 Lens, electronic radio triggers, handheld.

More Images from the shoot:

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Kings Cross Station: One a Day 2013

The wonderful shapes, curves and colours of Kings Cross Station.

I really love visiting the centre of London. This was captured on a very busy Saturday morning. Getting down low enabled me to tilt the camera to see more of this amazing structure. 

Kings Cross Station
Nikon D700 with 28-300mm Nikon Lens
1/80th sec, ISO 400, f/7.1, at 28mm.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

London City Skyline: One a Day 2013

London City Skyline

There's nothing I like more than getting out of bed early to capture the morning light, be it a sunrise or the wonderful quality of light just afterwards. On this morning the skyline was mirky and dull, and I thought I captured nothing much interesting. However, one I got home and loaded the images on the computer and began playing with them a bit in Lightroom and HDR Darkroom 2 Pro, I was astounded at what I could pull out in the mirky mess.

(I must write a little review of HDR Darkroom 2 Pro)...

Today I've included the original image and the manipulated one. This view of the city is about four miles away from where I was standing, just shows how good the Nikon Lens is at 300mm.

Camera: Nikon D700 with 28-300mm Nikon Lens. Handheld. 1/200th sec at ISO 200. 300mm zoomed. 



Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Dulwich Woods: One a Day 2013

Bridge in Dulwich Woods.

Dulwich Woods are a great place to walk and think, with winding pathways through the woodland you'll be lead you to this amazing little bridge. There is no river or stream underneath, instead a steep sided valley which is overgrown with wild-woods. On this day I was taking my daughter's dog Bruno for a walk and he just loved the adventure.

I'm fascinated by the way the trees have all mingled and mangled together, there are many fallen trees and strange shapes in winter and springtime. It can be quite an eerie place at dusk and sometimes I get a sense of foreboding, but I think that helps create or capture the atmosphere of the place.

What I've noticed about people who walk in the woods, they always say hello. It's strange because you don't seem to get that with complete strangers anywhere else in London.

Camera: Nikon D700 with 28-300mm Nikon Lense at 28mm. 

Monday, 21 January 2013

Camden Market: One a Day 2013

Camden Market: One a Day 2013.

You may also like Street Photography on this Blog: Don's Street Photography.
On a Saturday Camden Market in London is a candid photographers dream. Every time I've visited there has been a noticeable increase in the number of people snapping away. I love places like this, but you do have to be careful not to take along too much gear. It gets very crowded and you want to be flexible and secure. It's also good if you can go along with someone else. On the day that I took this shot and many others, I was with a large group on an organised photo walk, but even then we lost each other in the crowds and only met up again because of mobiles. I discovered that almost everyone ended up on their own. You get caught up in the atmosphere and busy taking shots of looking for photo opps, and when you eventually look around your group has moved on and disappeared. It was great fun though, going in and out of all the nooks and crannies around Camden Lock, the Market, stalls etc... Amazing colourful people everywhere.

Candid Photography: 

Taking pictures of individuals: I sometimes ask permission or get into conversation and then ask to take a photo. However, most often I just shoot away and snap whatever catches my eye. Though I've never had anyone objecting, a few of our group did. Even one guy with spiky hair said no to lots of people, but I just got chatting with him and he readily agreed to posing for some for me. Be confident when taking candid shots, be quick, have your camera settings ready so you don't have to fiddle at all. Most important is being discreet and when approached being happy. 

The Man With Spiky Hair: Camden Market.

I know this is meant to be only One a Day, but couldn't wait to show this one.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Twilight Snowman: One a Day 2013

The Twilight Snowman.

Captured in our garden this afternoon just as the winter sun was about to set. It had been snowing very lightly in London all day and the grandchildren couldn't wait to get out and build a snowman. Their first ever and they are only 3 and 2... What JOY on their faces. These are the kinds of things we remember for the rest of our lives.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Kings Cross: One a Day 2013

Kings Cross Station London

What a great work they've done revamping the old station. It was like walking into a modern sculpture. I was surprised that I didn't get stopped by security for taking photos here, but no one bothered me and I was there for over an hour before we all headed off on a photo-shoot, walking between Kings Cross and Little Venice past Camden Market. A fantastic little walk with a great bunch of people. 

Friday, 18 January 2013

Snow Delight: One a Day 2013

Snow Delight: One a Day 2013. Aminata.

Aminata delighted so much in the snow today that I just had to get some snaps. After a very busy day with meetings etc, I went to shops with my granddaughter Ami to get some bits-n-bobs, she was leaving footprints in all the piles of snow that hadn't been trodden on yet. When we got back to our front garden, she was running around in the virgin snow laughing and clapping her hands, making snow balls and throwing them at Papa (me). LOL.

Why is it that we (human beings) instinctively love to leave our mark on this world? 

Camera: Canon S90. 

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Tower Bridge: One a Day 2013

Tower Bridge: One a Day 2013.

The iconic Tower Bridge on the Thames in London is one of my favourite subjects to capture. Here is one where I was looking for a different angle and I just love the amazing sundial sculpture, but feel that it's somehow trying to steal the lime-light.

This was captured in the early hours of the morning, it was freezing cold but the light makes it look quite warm.  

Shot Details: Camera Nikon D700 with 16-35mm Nikon Lens. 
Tripod mounted. 1/160th sec, f/8.0, ISO 250. 

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Warhorse: One a Day 2013

Warhorse Country: 

This is a view of Ditsworthy Warren Farm on Dartmoor in Devon.

It was amazing for me to be watching the film Warhorse, a great movie BTW, and to see my beloved Dartmoor and instantly recognise this farm location and the hill around about it that I'd visited so many times before. This shot was taken some years before the movie, but I just wanted to share it with you all today.

I've been to Ditsworthy many times and at all times of the year, I find it best in Spring and Winter. You'd really enjoy a photo tour of Dartmoor with such a varied landscape and different things to capture; Bridges, Rivers, Streams, Woods, Forests, Dartmoor Ponies, Stone Walls, Sheep, Ancient Settlements and Ruins, it's a place to add to your wish list of 'Places to Visit'.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Punks in London: One a Day 2013.

Punks in London: One a Day 2013.

This is an image I captured whilst on a trip to London with my son when he first moved up to the City. I took my camera to get some shots of him in the famous locations. To the embarrassment of my son, .bBut being a Photog, I was seeing things and visualising all the time. Then when I saw a group of Punk Rockers right across from Big Ben, I couldn't resist the photo-opportunity. So I approached and asked if they'd pose in front of Big Ben for me. They asked for some money first, but we got laughing and joking and then they started posing around in Typically anti-establishment poses. LOL

Some people look at Punk Rockers and make an immediate judgement of them. But I have to say, they were NOT rude at all, they were lovely people, thoughtful and well informed about the problems in society. They had something to say, if only those in authority would just sit down and listen to them. I'm sure we'd have far less radicalism in the UK today. However, they did dress differently from most folks, they stood out from the crowd, they thought they were original or one of a kind. Believe me they are, we are all different and we all have different needs, likes and dislikes and we all need to be heard. Listen to the ones that society deems less deserving of a voice. Listen, because the Good Lord had the wisdom to give us two ears and one mouth. That means we should listen twice as much as we talk. Just sayin:-) LOL

Here they are: Punks in London

BTW: I paid them for this commission; £1,25. All the money I had on me. LOL.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Artistic Bodiam Castle: One a Day 2013.

Artistic Bodiam Castle

Sometimes after re-visiting an old shoot you'll be inspired all over again as I was, and motivated to try something different with your shots. I wanted to turn Bodiam Castle, majestic though it is, into something artistic. 

I used a little known piece of software called 'Smart Photo Editor'. I like it because it loads much faster than the full version of Photoshop and is also a very fast little program. 

Here is the original photo: Captured on a cold Winter afternoon. The sunshine on the old castle made it glow as if quite warm, but I was really freezing:-)

Bodiam Castle

Bodiam Castle: This is a place to really let yourself go. It is a fairytale magical castle, and one of Britain's most romantic and picturesque. Bodiam is set in the heart of 1066 country, near Robertsbridge in East Sussex. With spiral staircases, battlements and a portcullis, 14th-century Bodiam Castle is the real thing. Windows where arrows were once fired, a tower that was once a look-out and ruins that were once walked upon by knights; this is a place where you can relive your childhood fantasy let your imagination run riot.

In the impressive gatehouse is the castle's original wooden portcullis, an extremely rare example of its kind. Enough of the interior ruins survive to give an impression of castle life. Gruesome and surprising tales can often be heard from the Miller and the Baker and other colourful characters from the past. You'll love a visit here. Let the adventure begin. 

Here is the artistic edit. 
I like all the colours and the frame for the effects tab in Photo Editor. 
After playing around a bit I got something I rather liked. 

Another Effect: I just can't stop playing with Photo Editor (soooooo addictive).

Some more Just For FUN:-)

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Remember the Telephone Box: One a Day 2013

Remember the Telephone Box?

It will soon become a thing of the past. One of the Great British Landmarks may soon disappear forever from our streets. Already they are being sold off. I've seen them in people's gardens as ornaments. So photographers, the challenge is; when you see one, snap it, because it will soon be extinct.

I saw this amazing telephone sculpture first on a friends portfolio on RedBubble and thought, I only live down the road from Kingston, I must pay a visit. I did, but it was a rainy, dull and dreary day. Still I managed to capture about 200 different shots of the sculpture.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Dawn Lights: One a Day 2013

Dawn Lights: Plymouth Hoe, Devon. England.

This was captured on the same day as yesterday's image. I really enjoyed walking up from the Barbican to the end of Plymouth's Hoe Seafront. There is a feast for your eyes around every turn and almost each step along the way. I decided on this day to just capture whatever caught my eye and looking back at these images reminds me of my own walk in life. We must make the most of every opportunity that comes our way, sometimes it will never happen again. However, thankfully, I've seen the GRACE of God and how He gives us so many opportunities and never gives up on us. We should never give up! One day you may feel the inspiration and other times you'll be searching for it. You may not even realise until you get back home and see what you've captured on the big screen, that you've got something quite unique. 

Keep going my friends, don't give up, there's someone who'll never give up on you and provide you with amazing opportunities every single day. 

Plymouth's Hoe: Smeaton's Tower, Lighthouse. 

Friday, 11 January 2013

Homeward Bound: One a Day 2013.

Homeward Bound: One a Day 2013.

This is Plymouth Sound at dawn. After getting out of bed when it was still dark, I travelled four miles to the Barbican in Plymouth, then proceeded along the long walk from the Pilgrim Steps up towards Smeaton's Tower Lighthouse, then past Plymouth Dome and overlooking the Sound. It was a cold but clear morning. The swimming pools were getting ready for bathers and the coffee and ice-cream vans were arriving, cafes were all sprucing up the tables ready for customers. Further, down at the original Plymouth Harbour the light was beginning to look magical. Just then I spotted an enormous Brittany Ferries boat coming into harbour, so I watched and waited for the right moment. Here's what I captured. 

This time of the day for me is wonderful, clears the head and makes you ready for the challenges and triumphs ahead, so it's always good to get your head off the pillow and out and about to see what the good Lord inspires you with. Thanks Lord! I love it.


Thursday, 10 January 2013

Sunrise: One a Day 2013

Sunrise Canary Wharf London.

There's nothing more magical than watching the sun come up for another day. For Photographers these magical hours are very special. The light has amazing qualities and each day is always different.

This was taken at the Hilton Hotel on the South Bank of the River Thames just opposite Canary Wharf. Before going I checked the position of the sunrise using Photographer's Ephemeris prog, which will tell you the sunrise and sunset location very accurately. I knew before leaving home that the sun would be coming up behind the massive sky scrapers on Canary Wharf and thought to myself, that might just make an interesting photo.

Photo Information: Captured with Nikon D700 and 16-35mm Nikon Lens. Tripod mounted. 

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

A Smile on the Heart: One a Day 2013.

A Smile on the Heart:

This is Leila, my granddaughter, she's two now, but I wanted to share this picture taken about a year ago when she was just one year old. That look is designed to melt a granddad's (Papa's) heart and she know's it too:-) LOL.

Photo: Leila was playing with the magnets on the freezer and I caught her and smiled. She loves investigating things. 

Camera: Nikon D700 with 50mm f/1.4 Lens.
1/400th sec, f/2.8, ISO 400.

You can get more of Don's work by clicking below:

Art Prints

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Fujifilm X100s. The Best Just Got Better

Fujifilm X100s: The Best Just Got Better.

WOW! I'm really impressed, but what else could the Fujifilm team have done to make the X100's replacement even better?

Don's Opinion: The Fujifilm X100s is too small. After considering this camera for a few days now, I think it's just a little bit too small. The X100s could do with being a few mm bigger all around. Why? For men with man sized hands it's tiny, and if it were bigger it would enable the Fuji team to install a full frame sensor, giving better resolution to the pictures. Also it would mean a much bigger rear view screen, longer lasting battery, Wi-Fi connectivity, compact flash memory cards. If the Fujifilm X100s was just a bit bigger all around they could accomplish all of this very easily. In my humble opinion Fujifilm has fallen behind modern trends, even mobile phones for connectivity. However, it's one beauty of a throw-back to the good old days of film. What will the next Fujifilm X..... look like? 

It's brilliant to see again a modern camera that reminds me so much of the good old film cameras of a bygone era. It was all so much easier to take good photos back then with so few controls to worry about. Those amazing guys at Fuji have done it again and made the world's best camera even better. I know there are many who'll say, "The BEST camera is the one you have with you at the time". Also, there were amazing ground-breaking images and film captured during Hurricane Sandy. I too was excited and enthralled by many of those scenes as they happened. It is wonderful that we live on the Earth where visual news and events can be reported all around the world in an instant.

We've also the Leica stalwarts who'll always be thinking nothing will ever come close to their camera brand for style and prestige, but they may just be wrong in the case of the fantastic Fujifilm X100s. Will they switch to the best though?

I've been a fan of Fujifilm cameras for many years, my first digital camera was a Fujifilm and it took amazing pictures. The X100s I'm certain will set people free to capture awesome photography. Why? It seems to me, that even though it has many features buried within the complex menu system, it's the ease of use and external controls, being able to adjust the camera like an old film camera, that sets this one apart from many or most of the rest. Take a look at the Fujigys video below and wonder at the awesome looks of this newest and greatest camera in the world.

How much will the Fujifilm X100S Cost? We'll have to wait and see... I'll post here when actual prices are available. 

Lets look first at the New X100s: 

Intro Video

WOW! Take a look at the New Fujifilm X100S.

Fujifilm X100S Camera.

Hands On Review:

Fujifilm's Specifications:


Effective Pixels: 16.3 million pixels

Sensor Type: 23.6mm x 15.8mm (APS-C) X-Trans CMOS II with primary colour filter.

Storage Media Internal memory. SD memory card / SDHC memory card / SDXC (UHS-I) memory card*1

File format: 
Still Image: JPEG (Exif Ver 2.3), RAW (RAF format), RAW+JPEG (Design rule for Camera File system compliant / DPOF-compatible)

Movie Mode: H.264 (MOV) with Stereo sound.

Number of recorded pixels L : (3:2) 4896 x 3264 / (16:9) 4896 x 2760 / (1:1) 3264 x 3264
M : (3:2) 3456 x 2304 / (16:9) 3456 x 1944 / (1:1) 2304 x 2304
S : (3:2) 2496 x 1664 / (16:9) 2496 x 1408 / (1:1) 1664 x 1664

Motion Panorama:
180° Vertical : 9600 x 2160 Horizontal : 9600 x 1440
120° Vertical : 6440 x 2160 Horizontal : 6440 x 1440

Fujinon Single focal length lens focal length f=23mm, 35mm full-aperture  F2 constitution 6 groups 8 lenses (1 aspherical glass molded lens included)

Aperture F2 - F16 1/3EV step (controlled with 9-blade aperture diaphragm)

Focus distance (from lens surface) Normal: Approx. 50cm / 1.6 ft. to infinity

Macro: Approx.10cm - 2.0m / 3.9 in.- 6.6 ft.

Camera Sensitivity:
Sensitivity AUTO (Control available up to ISO6400)
Equivalent to ISO 200 - 6400 (Standard Output Sensitivity)
Extended output sensitivity equivalent ISO 100, 12800 and 25600

Exposure control: TTL 256-zone metering, Multi / Spot / Average

Exposure mode Programmed AE, Shutter priority AE, Aperture priority AE, Manual exposure.

Exposure compensation -2.0EV - +2.0EV 1/3EV step

Shutter speed (with mechanical shutter) (P mode) 1/4 sec. to 1/4000* sec., (All other modes) 30 sec. to 1/4000* sec. Bulb (max.60min.) * 1/4000sec at F 8 or smaller aperture.
Auto bracketing: AE Bracketing : ±1/3EV, ±2/3EV, ±1EV
Film Simulation Bracketing: Any 3 type of film simulation selectable.
Dynamic Range Bracketing : 100% / 200% / 400%.
ISO sensitivity Bracketing : ±1/3EV, ±2/3EV, ±1EV.
Focus Modes:
Single AF / Continuous AF / MF type
Intelligent Hybrid AF (TTL contrast AF / TTL phase detection AF),
AF assist illuminator available.
AF frame selection: Area / Multi. White balance & Automatic scene recognition.
Preset Fine, Shade, Fluorescent light (Daylight), Fluorescent light (Warm White), Fluorescent light (Cool White), Incandescent light, Underwater, Custom, Color temperature selection
Self timer: Approx. 10 sec. / 2 sec. Delay
Flash: Auto flash (Super Intelligent Flash)
Effective range : (ISO 1600) Approx. 50 cm - 9 m / 1.6 ft. - 29.5 ft.
Flash modes:
Red-eye removal OFF: Auto, Forced Flash, Suppressed Flash, Slow Synchro.
Red-eye removal ON: Red-eye Reduction Auto, Red-eye Reduction & Forced Flash, Suppressed Flash, Red-eye Reduction & Slow Synchro.
Hot shoe: YES (dedicated TTL Flash compatible)
Viewfinder: Hybrid viewfinder
Optical viewfinder: Reverse Galilean viewfinder with electronic bright frame display 0.5 x magnifications. Coverage of frame area vs. capturing area : approx. 90%
Electronic viewfinder: 0.48-in., Approx. 2,360K-dot color LCD viewfinder. Coverage of viewing area vs. capturing area : approx. 100%.
Eye point: Approx. 15 mm
Diopter adjustment: -2 - +1 m-1(dpt)
Built-in eye sensor
LCD monitor: 2.8-inch, approx. 460K-dot, TFT color LCD monitor (Approx. 100% coverage)
Movie recording: 1920 x 1080 pixels (60 fps / 30 fps) with stereo sound
Photography functions:
Select custom setting, Motion panorama, Color space, Film Simulation, Advanced Filter, Multiple Exposure, Auto red-eye removal, Framing guideline, Frame No. memory, Histogram display, Preview depth of focus, Focus check, Focus Peak Highlight, Digital Split Image, Electronic level, RAW
Playback functions: RAW conversion, Image rotate, Photobook assist, Erase selected frames, Image search, Multi-frame playback (with micro thumbnail), Slide show, Mark for upload, Protect, Crop, Resize, Panorama, Favorites
Other functions: PictBridge, Exif Print, 35 languages, Time difference, High Performance mode, OVF power save mode, Silent mode, Shutter sound select Terminal: Video output .
Digital Interface: USB 2.0 High-Speed. Microphone input (only with MIC-ST1 w/adapter sold separately) HDMI output: HDMI mini connector
Power supply: NP-95 Li-ion battery (included)
Dimensions: 126.5 (W) x 74.4 (H) x 53.9 (D) mm / 5.0. (W) x 2.9 (H) x 2.1 (D) in.
Weight: Approx. 445 g / 15.7 oz. (including battery and memory card) (TBD)
Approx. 405 g / 14.3 oz. (excluding accessories, battery and memory card) (TBD)
Operating temperature: 0 - 40°C
Operating humidity: 10 - 80% (no condensation)
Battery life: Approx. 300 frames.
Accessories included: Li-ion battery NP-95. Battery charger BC-65N. Shoulder strap. USB cable. Lens cap. CD-ROM: Viewer software, RAW File Converter. Owner's manual.
Optional accessories: Li-ion battery NP-95. Battery charger BC-65N. Leather Case LC-X100S. Lens Hood LH-X100. Adapter Ring AR-X100. Shoe Mount Flash EF-20, EF-42, EF-X20. Wide Conversion Lens WCL-X100. Protector Filter PRF-49S. Stereo Microphone MIC-ST1.

More Images of the Fujifilm X100s

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Papa we're going to a Party!

Papa we're going to a Party!

That was what greeted me as I bumped into my grandchildren when I came out of my study this morning. They were all dressed and washed and ready to go. The oldest, Aminata (3) said, "Papa take some pictures?"

I readily agreed, knowing just home much they love to see themselves on the big screen of the computer...

Here they are our delightful beauties. Memories are made of these occasions.
Tip: If you click the images you'll see them in a light-box style and can flick through them.

Tip 2: Make the most of every opportunity that comes your way. Blessings are to be had for everyone. 

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