Saturday, January 30, 2010

Show Reel

Having taken so many photographs its easy to forget and miss some of them, so I thought I would put together a quick showreel.
I have never made one before nor for that matter have I used iMovie, so lots of learning today.
I did enjoy doing it although it did get frustrating at times.  Thinking what music would be suitable, how to get the timing right, which photographs to use and what order should they be put into; see its not just thrown together, I work hard for myself and my audience ;)

I shall have to spend some time learning more about iMovie and hopefully as my photography improves I can make another showreel; which too will have improved.

Music courtesy of Kevin MacLeod: as I figure

Hope you like it, enjoy.

Week 5 of 52

In order not to fall behind on this one I had started putting ideas together whilst completing Week 4.  Also as I didn't have to work I had enough free time to devote to this week.

The theme for this week is LIQUID.
I was like the nutty professor in my room trying out some new ideas and making myself a mini tank; to do some really close up shots with my Macro lens.
I bought some 4"x6" photo frames, took out the glass panels and left about a half inch gap between them, then sealed the edges with silicone, left it to set and in the morning I had a VERY small tank in which I could put all manner of liquids and stuff for close up shots. 
The purpose of this 'bubble tank' can be seen in the pictures.

To be honest I was spoilt for choice and I wasn't short of ideas, in fact trying to put interesting twists on the ideas was harder and took more time.  I also revisited some of my earlier attempts at some photography ideas to see if I could improve upon them.

I took literally 100's of shots and narrowing down the chosen few was difficult, as just getting the shot on some took so long, I didn't want to just discard it.  The hardest shot which has alluded me so far is the collision of water droplets, I managed to get some, but no where near as cool as the shots Ash has; HERE or even Julian's shot HERE (these are shots I'm dying to get.)
However, I tried and that's the point and I was a step closer having actually gotten some collisions.

After managing to narrow down the choices I have picked about 15 - there wont normally be this many, I just couldn't help myself ;)
Enjoy the slideshow of those shots that didn't quite make it and HERE is the one that did.

WEEK 5 - LIQUID


Friday, January 29, 2010

An Apple a day

The first thing Apple did in their keynote speech was put to bed the idea of releasing a Netbook;

IT WONT HAPPEN!!  Thank goodness for that. However, you may or may not have heard that Apple have decided to release their iPad. 
What's an iPad? I hear you ask.  Well think of an iPhone or iTouch and make it bigger.
The iPad screen is 9.7" it has 10 hours of battery life and it comes with all the gadgetry you would expect to find in an iTouch and then some!  I was wondering why Apple hadn't developed much for the iPhone knowing it was such a big product for them and now I see why.

I really like my iTouch, the fact I can access what I want and it's so light and portable, but to be honest to view the web with, it just doesn't cut it. 
The app store has had some great apps developed which makes for fun ways to while away the hours as well as being truly useful tools too.  Apple (and others) have developed some amazing looking apps and programs to run specifically on the iPad.  They have redesigned everyday programs to work simply from touch, now thats incredible!  You really do have it all at your fingertips.

Apple are revolutionary when it comes to technology and yet again I'm sure this will be a big hit for them and copies will be springing up all over the place.

I honestly believe this is the ultimate tablet which companies have being trying to perfect for ages, and I didn't think Apple would bother, but they have and have done a great job.
I would however wait for the next gen of iPads before rushing out to buy one, as Apple will continue to develop this and improve upon it.

However if you cant wait why not go and buy one, afterall the best part of this story is they are ONLY $499!!!!  Now from Apple that is EXCITING!!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Week 4 of 52

Finally....    ....I managed to get some time to shoot week 4, yes its a little late, but better late than never.  It could be harder than I thought to actually complete this thing, another 47 weeks to go!
What did I learn this week?  There are not enough hours in a day!

Anyway the theme I chose for this week's challenge was CURVES
Not to hard almost everywhere I looked I could see them in one form or another; I managed to avoid taking shots of passing ladies ;)

As this one is late I also tried to spot some ideas for next weeks theme and I have some things up my sleeve, lets see if they work as I hope :-S

Anyway yet again its silly O'Clock (3.50am) and I'm just finishing uploading, so I'm off to bed.
Enjoy the slideshow of the photos which made the short list, the chosen one can be found in the usual place - click HERE

WEEK 4 - CURVES 

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Smile please; or not

Thousands of professional and amateur photographers have lit up London's Trafalgar Square with their flash bulbs in a protest against the police's "malicious" use of stop and search powers.
The snappers claim officers are routinely using laws designed to foil terror attacks to prevent people taking pictures in public places.

source: Sky News

Well I for one am glad to see Britain's standing up for their rights, all too often we sit back and complain but do nothing about it.  Given the current situation I understand the need for vigilance but I dont think the Government or Police are right with their approach at all.
Interestingly enough the digital camera market has had a boom; especially this Christmas - so I wonder what their input is?  If we can no longer take shots in public places, surely this has an effect on them too!?

Say it loud and proud : WE ARE NOT TERRORISTS, WE ARE CITIZENS! 
With or without a camera we demand our rights back.  Nanny state Britain has to end.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Back to work

Christmas is over and the New Year has begun, so back to work it is.  Having finally gotten the schedule for this year I see I have considerably less programs; in fact I have 1 a month :-S 

At the tapas yet again we were having to compete with football - which was difficult as it was Madrid vs Barcelona (an important match, apparently).  The bar manager seemed unhappy to have us there, in fact starting clearing away the tapas before we had even finished it!?
We were missing a few Anglos this week which meant everyone had to work harder.  Folks if you do decide to do a program please try to stick to that commitment - if you cant, for whatever reason, PLEASE do let the office know in advance so they can resolve issues beforehand.

About half the group were veterans (people who have been before), which helped as they understood the program and issues we were facing this week, we also had a few repeat Spaniards which is less common; as usual it was nice to see familiar faces.
The Quemada was went well - although almost refused to be put out!
The theater pieces were enjoyed by the group and again a fun time was had by all.  We had some nice additions to the presentations from the Anglos this week as Tom brought Irish chocolates, Marisa brought an Indian Spirit and Jon brought his families liqueur and we all got to try them, YUMMY!
Marisa has recently returned from a trip to India so she kindly agreed to share her experience and photos with us, which was great - when the PD performs its an honor!  Thanks for doing that ;) 

The weather this week was OK, a little cold at night and bad weather looming, I tried to get some night shots in of the stars but sadly within a few minutes the clouds had covered them :(

As for the presentations, sadly due to the lack of Anglos the poor Spaniards worked hard on them and hardly had an audience to present to; maybe only one person and me!  This week was hard everyone was busy with hardly any freetime and quite a few repeating one to ones - ideally this should be avoided as it does getting boring for people, something to think about as the Spaniards wanted more than they got in this aspect.

The party was great - some cool photos there, I have no idea what happened to the last 10/15 minutes??  If anyone knows please send me an email - I think I was abducted by aliens or something, but the next morning I was worse for wear.  Somehow I also managed to break my Lumix camera!!!  Luckily its not my pro one or I would have been gutted!

The photos as can be found by clicking below

Vaughan Town - Gredos - Program 197

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Week 3 of 52

OK, I have to admit this week was tough.  Ariadna has been poorly and needing LOTS of attention and I was lacking energy and motivation this week which didn't help either; I have a lot going on right now :(
Also this is an early post as I have to work next week and wont be at home, which may mean next weeks will be late.

After the Film Noir week I thought it only right to bring a bit of colour back into play - so this week was COLOURS.
Now something to consider, knowing me it was not just gonna be me finding a colour and photographing it, ohhh no!  Time to get creative!

I like rainbows - no apparent reason I just like them.  So I thought what else has many colours.....    .....BUBBLES!
So I started blowing bubbles and trying to capture them on camera - now in the daylight, no worries, but indoors is a different story and what I was after I couldn't get; damn it!
Again it demonstrated how little I understood lighting, then trying to capture the bubble itself, again not as simple as I first thought, especially doing it all yourself.  In order to make big bubbles I bought a fish net (that you use to clean fish tanks with), it was a good size and worked, sort of.

I then decided I wanted to try to capture fire as that has cool colours too, but again I found it tough, I put a red gel on my flash and bought some Orujo; as I knew it made a blue flame.  Sadly a Brandy glass doesn't really work, I needed a Martini glass as its more open at the top, unfortunately I don't have one, and I couldn't find one! 
In the end I opted for all manner of things and I played with a few ideas light refraction etc, but again wasn't happy with all the results.

I think I just had a hard week mentally, I hope it doesn't last!

Anyhoo here are the shots from this week, again the chosen one can be found HERE
WEEK 3 - COLOURS

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Week 2 of 52

So for this weeks challenge I set myself the task of Light and Shadow.  Now as we all know all photos are made of these elements, but one genre in particular uses this more than any other and that's FILM NOIR.

I set about doing some research into the genre both online and by watching DVD's (any excuse :)) and I saw some wonderful effects - surprisingly even though most are done in shadow it requires more light (in order to create the shadows).  I didn't have the benefit of wonderful fog, but I did go out a spot a great location near a bridge with cool street lights - sadly at 1 in the morning they turned off the lights (and I hadn't gotten the look I was after).

As for props - well I have a few of them which came in handy for some shots items like guns, handcuffs, cigarettes and of course hats.
This was a tough subject - why can't I keep things simple?  Maybe next week?  I did however learn more about lighting, light positioning, how to set a scene and I still have SO much to learn about night photography. 
I have some great concepts in my head, but producing them is another matter - still the lessons I'm learning will no doubt be useful in the future.
Extra quick tips: 
- if photographing at 1am take a torch with you
- work on your poses
- avoid cheap remotes, cold hands and little switches bad combination
- know what time they switch off the street/building lights you want to use!
The hardest thing I am still finding is trying to do it all alone - come up with concept, setup lights, setup camera, be my own model and take the photo.  Sadly Sandra is usually too tired as she has Pitu to look after whilst I am doing my crazy things.  So when she does offer her help it is greatly appreciated as I know how hard she works.

Well as for the final results - again not quite what I had in mind, technical knowledge and props lacking.
But in general happy with the shots I took, winning shot HERE.
WEEK 2 - FILM NOIR

Monday, January 04, 2010

Week 1 of 52

Bet you didn't think I would even get my project off the ground, but I did, week 1 of 52 in the bag.
The theme I chose was LINES and we are surrounded by them. 
This in itself of course presents it own challenges, what would be of interest, what type of lines do I want?  Washing lines, lines on the road, queues, buildings??  So many questions, for what one would consider a simple photo choice; one thing about me, nothing is as simple as it ought to be.

I went to a local supermarket and whilst there, looking around I spotted lines everywhere, so I took out my camera (outside the building of course) and shot some photos of parking bays, wall patterns and shopping trolleys - whilst in the process of doing this, the local security rushed my way demanding I stop immediately.
I asked what the problem was and one of the two simply pushed out his chest, held on to the top of his nightstick and spouted off in Spanish in an aggressive tone.

2 things to tell you at this point: first, I dont speak Spanish that well and second (and more importantly) I do not take threats (or orders) well.  Needless to say I asked him does he speak English, he responded "no", so I told him to shut up (more or less), then spoke with his colleague a much more amicable person.  He did speak English; broken but none the less.
I explained my purpose and shown him the photos, he asked that I remove them and explained this was "private property" and I needed to get permission to take photos, he took my ID details and left it at that, fine.  Strangely enough had I stepped 10 yards there was no problem (or at least nothing he could have done about it).
Then as a little aside - the same shopping centre now has the Three Kings in there (like Santa Claus in UK) and low and behold all the moms and dads taking photos of their kids with the kings, WTF?!

So the new BS rules for toggers seems to be everywhere now, not just the UK :(
One thing that does pi** me off though is we cant take photos of innocent things, yet the acceptance of taking food from the garbage at these locations is acceptable?  When you also factor in camera phones and Google Earth anyone can get access if they want it, and why is it that everywhere seems to have the right to record you on 'security' cameras?  So really folks take a hard look and tell me what's wrong with this picture.

if both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable - what then? - George Orwell, 1984

Below are the pictures I took for week 1 - the chosen winning picture is HERE
WEEK 1 - LINES 

 
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