Tag Archives: photo

Street Photography

So to my great surprise, I seem to enjoy ‘street photography’ more than the other kinds of photography I’ve tried over the last few years.  I’ll be the first to admit however that much of my street photography is ‘photographs taken in the street’, rather than the more classic street photography.  By that I mean, the form is really about capturing ‘decisive moments’ in a candid way, usually at quite short focal lengths.

At the moment, I tend to use longer focal lengths, and often my results are more candid street portraits than actual street photography.

Despite that, and with all the respect due to the real tradition, I’m enjoy what I do none-the-less, and over time hope to improve my confidence, and my technical ability, to switch to shorter focal lengths and capture more moments rather than interesting faces.

When I bought a DSLR, I really thought I’d be spending my time shooting pictures of animals and wild life, and early on, I did that.  However, wild life photography (good wild life photography) requires a large investment of time, spent waiting, watching, and planning for the moment in which to capture the animal.  Taking a thousand pictures of swans, however beautiful they are, isn’t in the long term wild life photography.  As such, I haven’t invested the time, or found a place in which I want to invest the time, to carry out high quality wild life photography.

Landscape photography is as time intensive as wild life photography, and certainly requires just as much planning.  Taking an occasional picture of a stream, and capturing a brilliant image of a landscape are two different things, and the latter requires a lot of planning, preparation and timing to get the right light and the right shot.

Portrait and event photography both interest me, probably for the same root reason as street photography – they’re about people and I find people fascinating.  However, I don’t have the confidence yet to take portraits and I don’t have the opportunity to take shoot many events (although I take the chance whenever I can).

So I’ve found the immediacy and unpredictable nature of street photography to be the most engaging activity I’ve been involved in since getting the camera.  I love looking at the pictures and finding hidden gems of human behaviour that might not have been obvious at the moment I pressed the shutter button (see the guy on the left in this picture, https://www.flickr.com/photos/eightbittony/19423003901).  I love seeing the emotions of people’s faces, and I love building a narrative that may or may not be real based on the instant the picture was taken.

I’ve always been fascinated with the idea that truth is based on your perception at the time, and street photography really encompasses that philosophy for me.

Hopefully my confidence will increase, and I’ll get better at shooting at short focal lengths.  I’m not going to stop trying to improve at wild life, landscape, event, sport, portrait and the other forms of photography of course, it’s just that street photography is both accessible at any time, and more thrilling so far than anything else I’ve tried.

What did the fox say?

I’ve taken a lot of photographs, before and after I bought my DSLR, and I think this is probably the one that I’m most pleased with, and which seems to get the best response.

What did the Fox say?

As is often the case, right place, right time.  This little cub ran out of the cover, stood still as it saw me long enough for me to lift the camera and get off 10 shots, 1 of which was miraculously in focus.

Pointing and Shooting for 32 years (warning – photo heavy)

I had a camera when I was a kid, or maybe I borrowed my mum’s or sister’s camera, I’m not sure.  I know that it used 110 film though, because that I remember very well.    At some point, we changed to a 35mm instant camera, and I remember finding the film depressingly complex compared to the 110, and blew a few trying to wind it onto the spools and failing (before any of that stuff was automated).

I enjoyed taking photographs, and remember one school trip to Warkworth Castle, or maybe it was somewhere in York, when I took lots of photographs, mainly of ducks.  One teacher had words with me, about wasting film on ducks, but I quite liked the idea of taking some wild life shots.

Continue reading Pointing and Shooting for 32 years (warning – photo heavy)

Houses, and sleeping and gardens and grass.

WillowTreeI am so tired all the time at the moment, it’s just insane.  I think I’m getting plenty of sleep, despite the heat, but the driving lessons are just screwing with our routine, and myself and Greté are all about the routine!  Driving seems to wear me out as well, even if it’s just the 30 minute drive home, so by the time I sort food and then settle down I’m knackered and just want to sleep.  Everything else is taking a back seat – including the garden which is now officially out of control again.

GrassWe’ve half managed to stay on top of the grass, and I actually did get rid of a patch of moss on the front lawn and get it replaced with grass (which now looks nothing like the rest of the lawn, obviously), but otherwise, the borders have gone crazy and the grass is patchy and full of weeds.

Despite that, we’re loving the wildlife in the garden – we’ve got pigeons nesting in our tree (which we were thinking of cutting down until we saw the nest), we’ve got dragonflies the size of small birds, and when I do cut the grass I’m often picking up and moving frogs out of the way.

FlowerSadly, the snails and the slugs eat just about anything we put in the ground, and they’ve worked out how to climb up the side of the water bucket thing and are eating the lilies and their flowers.  I can’t feel too angry at them, since they’re officially wildlife as well, but sometimes I wish they’ve give the stuff we plant a chance.

The sudden bout of insanely hot weather is doing the garden some good, drying it out after the first half of the year and the willow tree is really flourishing.  There are ants nests all over the bloody garden as well, and what used to be a flat lawn is now a small mountain range!

WoodBeforeOn the house, we noticed toward the end of March that the window sill on the outside of the bedroom window was warped, and we got a joiner to come and quote for a replacement.  He was great – except we had to chase him about 4 times for the quote, and then it took him 8 weeks to come and do the work (he kept pushing us back due to other stuff).  We got him to pull down the woodwork between the bedroom window and the downstairs window as well.  The brickwork behind it isn’t bad but it needs re-pointing.  £315 for the pleasure of replacing a single wooden window sill, and taking down the rest of the wood.  Could have done without it, considering how much I’m spending on driving lessons, but there you go.  The joiner also thinks we’ll need all the window frames treated, so we’ve asked a guy to come over and quote for that too.  That’s the royal we, obviously, since Greté actually sorts all this stuff out for us, I don’t.

WallAfter We’ll need to try and remember which bricklayer we used for the re-pointing last time and give him a call as well.  Looks like the previous owners did some ‘repair work’ with their normal quality.

I have a question, does anyone have any idea what the following bugs are?  They’re in the willow tree, and there’s loads of them.  Nearly every leaf has what looks like a tiny one underneath curled up, or larger ones moving around.  They’re black with a shock of red and they look spiky!

EDIT: They’re ladybird larvae.  Awesome.

Bug
Bug2
Bug3

And lastly, here’s Bubbles enjoying the shade offered by the willow tree (which made me very pleased we’d planted it).

WillowBubbles

And here’s our pigeon.

Pigeon

Hero Quest Mummies

I finally finished painting the Hero Quest mummies.  I think I started some time between 2000 and 2008 and finished two of them, and then in the last week I’ve painted the other 6!  Hmm, checking back, it looks like I painted one sometime between 2000 and 2008, and then did another in 2010, so not quite as bad 🙂

Looks like in 2009 I got quite excited by painting them all (which I then never finished, obviously).  Also, that post says I have 10 mummies, but I can only find 9.  Looks like I’ve lost one somewhere!1

Anyway, here are shots of the finished 9.

Pretty much ‘actual size’.

Larger version, click for full size.

All of them.

  1. aha, found him in the box, painted up []

Stars!

Took this last night while waiting for Bubbles to come in (she didn’t).

No post-processing (other than re-sized to 1024)

Same resized image, but lightened,

And the original full size dark image (won’t display well if you click on it, unless you’ve got a really wide monitor).

I’m calling the big one Adam

The miniature willow tree we planted is doing really well.  Looks pretty healthy to me – but it’s clearly still got a strong ant and aphid infestation.  Click to embiggen any of the photo’s.

Here’s the garden in general with the tree,

And here’s the ant infestation.

Cold you say? (Picture heavy)

Some of these are a little out of focus, sorry about that, it was cold and I was in a rush (to get the car sorted and get to work).

Our tree – looking like someone dusted it with icing sugar.

Our poor willow tree – small but feisty, looks so sad despite the natural decorations.

Couldn’t get this close-up (of one of the last remaining leaves on the willow) to work well – my hands were too shaky in the cold.

Nature’s natural Christmas decorations – frozen spider webs.

Spider webs up-close (sorry for the terrible photography).

It’s the Cavalry

Finally have some aphid eatin’ Ladybirds on the Willow.  During the day, they’re fast little buggers, this one was hoovering up aphids as fast as it could!

I have about 50 shots of it, blurry, running all over the leaves, it paused here just long enough for the autofocus to get it.  And then a moment later, it took off, this next shot was pretty lucky timing.

Went out a bit later, and there’s another one sleeping on the tree (looks asleep), which is good news for me, and bad news for the aphids.  Also, I think this ant was interested in me too.

And this one, I’m really pleased with, very pleased with this shot indeed.