Hmm – catchup posts seem to be becoming a habit.
This catchup seems to be mostly flower related. The above is a rose from my front garden which got rained on substantially last week. There was so much red in the frame that the image off the camera was a bit overwhelmed and flat. So I’ve mucked about with it in gimp quite a bit to get some of the contrast back, it seems to have worked reasonably well.
The bulk of it was: duplicate the image layer, desaturated the new layer, fiddle with curves until it’s more contrasty, then chang the layer blend type to “value” to get the colour back. There was a bit of sharpening etc as well, but nothing else too unusual. I might try this technique again when faced with a similar image.
This is some kind of plant that we found a couple of weekends ago when walking in the Brecon Beacons, works really nicely in black and white. I also took some panorama shots, the best of which is this one…
For a *massive* version, see this one (1.8MB) Other photos I liked from that trip include these:
All shot on the Olympus. I’m still learning my way around this camera, I keep finding things I really like about it, but then finding something that is annoyingly easy to do wrong with it. I really should distil my thoughts about it down into some sort of coherent review. The best thing about it is definitely that it’s small enough to carry with me everywhere, without causing me the back ache my Nikon D80 did when I was doing photo-a-day.
Fruits of the Vine
This weeks photo challenge was “fruits of the vine” and as I’ve been a lazy sod recently when it comes to entering I thought I should give it a go. The subject naturally makes you think of grapes or wine, and *everyone* is going to take a photo of a glass of wine – so I thought I’d go for a glass of another vine-fruit. Tomato Ketchup.
Simple lighting for this one, cardboard-and-straws grid snoot on a Vivitar 283 positioned top left, slightly behind the glass aiming to backlight the tomato. That’s it, one lightsource. I’d probably have used a second (big soft strip light ideally) to wrap a bit more light around the front of the glass but the battery is dead in my second radio trigger so I could only fire one strobe.
I really should get some triggers which take AA batteries (or at least work out a tidy casemod for the ones I’ve got)
Oh, and the super clean reflection? Sorry, I cheated. It’s an identical glass upside down underneath.
On Saturday, I’m going walking in the Black Mountains with a group of people from work. It’ll be the first proper walk I’ve been on since I went wandering up a hill in the lake district with Jay about 7 years ago (which reminds me, my walking trousers don’t fit any more. I’ll have to see about sorting out some new ones before the weekend. I wonder what time the shops shut tomorrow evening)
In a miraculous bout of unprecidented pre-planning, we met up in the pub after work with an OS map to decide where we’re going, sort out a route etc.
After much faffing about, unfolding and refolding the map, scouring it for amusing placenames etc we eventually determined that the map we had didn’t cover the area we wanted to go walking in after all, we should have bought a slightly different map. So no doubt the whole exercise will be repeated later in the week with the-next-map-over.
This one did have a place on it that I want to visit though, just so I can say I’ve been there…
Jonathan and I did another lunchtime photowalk yesterday in search of some more public sculpture. We wandered down towards the Royal West Of England Academy which is currently hosting “Charity” by Damien Hirst – a 22ft high sculpture of a 1970s charity collecting box. The main bulk of the sculpture itself was too high up to get any decent photos, but there was an oversized crowbar and several coins scattered around at street level.
I like this shot because at first it looks like a closeup of a coin, then you look closer and realise that the texture of the background is too fine for it to be a closeup.
After that, we wandered back to Royal Fort Gardens where there’s a maze made of mirrors installed, called “Follow Me” by Jeppe Hein. There are lots of obvious photos you can take of it, but I liked these two:
I’m quite enjoying this “find a piece of public art and take a non-obvious photo of it” idea. I might continue with it for a while.
I have actually been shooting recently, but I’ve not been quite so good at updating the blog. So since the last update I’ve:
Been to the National Vintage Communications Fair to hang out on the THG stall
Been on holiday to the BBU circus festival
Been on a photo walk, looking for public sculptures to take photos of for this weeks photo-challenge
And I’ve been playing a lot with my new camera trying to work how best to use it.
So now I’m up to date, I just need to work on staying up to date.