Saturday, 31 January 2009

Divine Light


I had an image printed today. Just on a whim really I thought I'd try a local town center lab and see what the results were like.

I ordered online to be picked up in store (not that I saw another option). So I went through the motions including payment and asked my wife to collect it for me. When I got a confirmation email it stated that the item would need to be paid for on collection, I also noticed that they'd specified gloss when I clearly ordered matt. I phoned my wife and asked her to pop in and change it to matt and ask when it would be ready. They changed the finish but said it would be extra to have it the same day! Now I might have told them I'd pick it up later in the week but she paid the extra. Also she assured her that payment had not been taken as this store (a franchise) doesn't use the online payment system??? I'd added my own border so specified none and they done this but it's not even, perhaps because of cropping? The very worst thing though? It's not bloody straight, argh!! That, more than anything, really ticks me off! I think I might take it back, don't think I'll be ordering again either......

Sorry, rant over ;O)

This is another HDR from last weekend. I took this because the sun low in the sky had really made the windows glow but I didn't want that over saturated HDR look so pulled the saturation down and just masked the effect a little on the windows.

On a side note I think that the textures on yesterday's post may have been a little overdone, I like them but perhaps should have pulled the opacity down a little? Anyway if you are interested you can see the straight version here which might give you some clue as to whether I overdone it or not?

Enjoy your weekend everyone.


Friday, 30 January 2009

Train One, Save Many


Phew, well as you probably gathered it's been a busy week and on the whole a lot better than last week thankfully :O)

Just work tomorrow to get through and I'm hoping for dry weather for the rest of the weekend so as I might get out with the camera somewhere-need a plan!

I couldn't help using some textures again today so I hope you'll forgive me? I think they suited the subject.

This is part of the RNLI lifeboat station in Cromer, Norfolk and looks out onto what is essentially their workplace. These people do an incredible job. When you consider that what they do is as volunteers for an organization that relies on charity it's even more incredible. It's a cause that I always support whenever I get the chance, I only hope that I never have cause to need their services.


Thursday, 29 January 2009

Young & Carefree


Another busy day and I've only time for a quick post.

I've posted this one today because it fitted the themes on lensday and photosharks this week (one being young the other ocean) so I hope you'll forgive me for posting another view of this beach?

You'll notice I restrained myself from adding a texture to this one. Actually they just didn't suit the image ;O)


Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Time n Motion


Another hectic "Youth Club" Wednesday and I'm beat so just a quick post tonight.

I shot this a short while back underneath the Southbank Center.

Whilst it could be classed as just a bad photograph I thought it caught a sense of speed and motion that I probably couldn't replicate if I tried.

My shutter speed was just 1/25sec at ISO 800 to give you some idea of how poor the light was!

I'm working on some other things but not enough time to complete them in time to post tonight!


Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Don't Stray Off The Path............


I was listening to radio debate today concerning the use of mobile phones whilst driving.

Bearing in mind that it is illegal here in the UK to use a handset whilst driving, there really are some half wits out there. One guy claiming that he's a businessman so he HAS to use his phone whilst driving!? Will he still say that after he's mounted the pavement and mown someone down, smashed into someone else etc? Hands free kits are not that expensive so if you must talk at the wheel then there is an option, personally I don't even do that, you could be taking the call of your life and a moments lapse could cause untold carnage but as I say it is a legal choice there for you to take.

There that's my little moan over with and on to the image for today. I've really been excited by the textures thing and this was directly inspired by an image from the tutorials I've been reading. I guess that's this has gone so far as to not be called a photograph anymore but what the hell it was fun and I like it.

Making the textures is half the fun, when you really look around you and see what can be used or you can make yourself. For instance one of the layers used on this was a sheet of mylar that I took outside and stamped on a bit then attack it with some really course sandpaper and just scanned it, great :O)

I'll post something straight tomorrow honest, anyway let me know what you think, good or bad.


Monday, 26 January 2009

Sort of Linked To......


OK I'm going to hold my hands up and say that I didn't exactly get my facts straight yesterday regarding the Zeppelin!

I was going by memory (something which one should never do when getting old) of a book I had read "Hornchurch Scramble".

Said Zeppelin was in fact part of a large raid on the night of 2nd/3rd September 1916. It was indeed caught in search lights and shot down very near to here. However there was another close by which made off and dropped it's bombs (presumably to lighten it's load) and it was these that hit the church. There does seem to be some conflict as to where the crew were buried. The book states this church, another website here states it was Potters Bar. In any case I was also wrong that the bodies were exhumed and laid to rest in Germany, in fact (according to the website) they were re-buried at Cannock Chase.

I'm going to dig around just to satisfy my curiosity and see if I can find out the truth, there must be something in the parish records.

I'm sure I've just bored you all to tears! Anyway "sort of linked to" this is our local forge, in the raid two sisters were tragically killed and were the daughters of the village Blacksmith, although the forge was sited just over the road at that time.

This is another HDR and like yesterday's I do not think the exposures were far enough apart, we live and learn by our mistakes eh?


Sunday, 25 January 2009

Not So Easy

Not a nice day for image making today, I don't think it's stopped raining for more than ten minutes at a time.

I did however go out yesterday afternoon to shoot some frames in order to have a stab at HDR.

First I'm not sure I took exposures that were light/dark enough to really get the full effect but I had several sets to work with and thought I'd give it a try anyway. I have to concur with my friend over at id7 that it's nowhere as easy as it would seem. So I realise that HDR is almost a love/hate thing but the time and skill to construct them should still be appreciated even if not liked.

I can say that I like the tonality that I have ended up with but I could have got that with any shot I guess. I haven't achieved that HDR look with all the detail jumping out which is what I was aiming for but as I said I don't think the exposures were quite right.

As a side note this is my local Church and has quite some history a little of which is inscribed on the plaque to the left of the frame. It was actually bombed by a Zeppelin airship during the great war. Not only that but said Zeppelin was then shot down very nearby by a fighter from Hornchurch. The crews bodies were subsequently buried here before being returned to Germany some years later.

Being an old building that has also been repaired made fixing the converging verticals something of a challenge, I'm not sure there are any two lines that are parallel to each other!

So let me know what you think, at least I didn't post another textured image today-it was a close call if I'm honest ;O)


Saturday, 24 January 2009

AV Gas & Paint Fumes


The less said about this week the better, I'm glad it's over and it can only go upwards from here right? Honestly it's been a crappy one that I won't bore you with the details of.

I have had a blast with these textures and/or layers this week though. It's really been fun experimenting with them. So I hope you'll forgive me for posting another?

The theme over on Shutterday this week is Aviation. Those of you that know me, have been reading long enough or indeed unfortunate to live in the same house, will know that this is another passion of mine, especially WWII aviation.

So you would have thought it'd be any easy one for me but to be honest I've hundreds of aircraft images, mostly taken with the old Fuji (to which I seem to have some aversion to posting, (should I?). I had quite a few to choose from then, one of my choices was this which was taken with the old Fuji and I love this one, would have pleased the purists too as I haven't touched it.

However I'd been working on an image of Sally B (star of the Memphis Belle movie), the UK's only airworthy B-17, for no particular reason other than I liked it. When I got home today I started to play around with textures on it and I have to say I'm really happy with the way it turned out. You can see the straight(ish) version here. She's been grounded this last year through engine trouble but I know the new engine had been delivered and was close to being fitted when I last saw her so I'm looking forward to seeing her back in the air this year where she belongs :O)

As a side note I was saying the other day that I wish I'd could put up an alternative image, as I have done today, so you can see the difference but you can't do that on blogger without creating another post. A light bulb came on, dimly, in my head this morning that I have a photobucket account. So there, another problem solved!

Phew that was a long one today, let me know your thoughts please, it's always nice to get the feedback.


Friday, 23 January 2009

Brake Light


Well what a fun day that was. Spent an hour with my jaw held wide open, which frankly now is aching like an aching thing that aches a lot, had two fillings, a tooth ground down and paid for it handsomely! There's something wrong with that, when I've figured it out I'll let you know

At the risk of repeating myself a little, buoyed I admit by yesterday's post being well received, I thought I'd try this again. I'd already processed this image but thought I'd try adding a layer to it. I must admit it's an intriguing process that appeals to me greatly. So let me know what you think?

Oh and for those of you that don't want to comment there's a little widget at the bottom of the post where you can simply rate an image if you so wish.


Thursday, 22 January 2009

This Old Town


I'll not be sorry to see the end of this week and to round it off I've got to go to the dentist tomorrow for some fillings, oh what joy!!

This is an image that I'd worked on some while ago now and there was something that bugged me about it, I mean I liked it but there was something still bothering me. After gaining two opinions (thanks folks) I fixed the problem.

Now I've been reading the latest tutorial over at Chromasia which covers textures/layers and thought I'd give it a bash on this image. The layer is nothing more than a dirty window pane shot during my lunch break today. I thought it suited the mood I wished to convey. This is my home town where I grew up and is not so far from where I live now, it still looks like a nice place and I guess on the whole it still is but I turned around after taking this shot and took a few more of the rats running in and out of the hedges. You're never more than ten foot away they say, sometimes not even that far I reckon.

Let me know what you think about the image and the layer, I know one of my regular readers is great on this stuff so I'd be interested in your (honest) opinion ;O)

On another note I adjusted the option for the thumbnail to the largest version, of course still click it to see the full sized.


Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Lost & Forgotten


Well I said fat chance things would improve so the less said about work the better today I say!

This is one of the images I worked up yesterday and really I just liked the glimpse of the forgotten spades through the breaker.

Always something about abandoned children's things that make me feel sad, still perhaps someone will take them to Emily's shop and Bagpuss & Co can put things right? Do you remember that one or am I showing my age?

And Professor Yaffle was just a carved wooden bookend in the shape of a woodpecker.............;O)


Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Remains Of The Day


It's being one of those weeks full of niggley work problems that really should be insignificant but snowball until it buggers everything right up. Perhaps it will improve tomorrow and everything will go smoothly eh? Fat chance I reckon!

I've sat here for nigh on two hours working up two images that I thought I might post today and ended up posting something completely different, go figure! I think I'd looked at them so long I just wasn't sure about them after all, probably look ok in the morning ;O)


Monday, 19 January 2009

Wax On, Wax Off


So this is the image I said I might post today.

I had it as a straight version which was ok (another limitation of Blogger, wish I could post it somewhere for you to see) but a little boring.

So I went and took a bath, pondered on it for a while. Thinking about wood, what a great material it is to work with, how versatile it is and if managed correctly will always be there. "Ping" I remembered shooting this tree trunk from a fallen tree a couple of weeks ago, thinking at the time that it might make a good texture/layer and what better subject to use it on? Anyway let me know what you think, good or bad, I can take it!

Oh and before I'm asked-yes I did all the woodwork by myself, didn't ask my Mum to help, or even another grown up ;O)

On another note thanks to for your suggestions and help on moving the blog folks, much appreciated. I shall look into it a bit more, feels a bit like moving house, got to pack up all my images and shift somewhere else!


Sunday, 18 January 2009

Halfway Down The Stairs


Halfway down the stairs is a stair where I sit.
There isn't any other stair quite like it.
I'm not at the bottom, I'm not at the top.
So this is the stair where I always stop.

Halfway up the stairs isn't up and isn't down.
It isn't in the nursery, it isn't in the town.
And all sorts of funny thoughts run round my head.
It isn't really anywhere, it's somewhere else instead.

Halfway down the stairs is a stair where I sit.
There isn't any other stair quite like it.
I'm not at the bottom, I'm not at the top.
So this is the stair where I always stop
A.A. Milne

Feeling a little flat, photographically speaking, today. I went out but it was the same old walk, I only took one frame that I might use and that's only because it was an unusual find rather than a remarkable photograph.

I got back home, rubbed some dirt and mud off of Tez here (not so clean today) and got on with waxing some of the wood around the house, something which I quite enjoy really. Tez tried to help, then took up his usual spot and supervised from there instead. So I got the camera out and snapped a couple of things, might post one tomorrow.

Anyway this, I know, is not a remarkable picture by any means but I love this little chap and the look on his face (don't be fooled by it, he practises it) just kinda summed my feelings up. Hopefully I'll get out somewhere more interesting next weekend, I'm not lacking in enthusiasm just bored with my surroundings!

P.S. this formatting on the blogger software is doing my head in and I'm seriously considering moving the blog, any suggestions let me know!!

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Tardis-2009 Model


Posting a little early today and not really much to say. Went to work and went for a walk with the mighty Tez. He got covered in mud and had to be bathed. He's still talking to me cos I didn't bath him, I'm not that daft you know ;O)

I thought I'd post this because the theme over on Shutterday is "Up In Lights" this week and I'd had this for a while, waiting for a reason to do something with it. It was shot at Piccadilly Circus-London and I was quite amazed to see this over sized Police Box on the corner of the street (you can tell I don't get out much) plus the lighting on the building behind was quite something. I was pressed up against the railings and this was the only angle in which I could fit them both in.

On another note don't forget to pop over to my pal's blog at id7 as he's been posting some awesome shots these last few days, especially yesterday', Cushty Bruv ;O)


Friday, 16 January 2009

Summer Loving


Thanks for all your comments and words of encouragement yesterday. Perhaps I will give the comp a shot, there quite a few months before entry closes so I have time (famous last words).

Can you tell I'm missing the sunshine? I shot this on a gorgeous, sunny, cloudless day when I just wandered along the beach for ages with my camera. I really can't wait for at least spring to arrive, hope we get a summer worth having this year.


Thursday, 15 January 2009



So I thought you might have had enough of the whole hand tool thing.

So I thought something different might be in order, although I guess this is a tool of sorts too. It's an old fisherman's tractor and as I think I've said before (often repeat myself these days) it's amazing that some of these rusty old relics continue to work. Long may they continue, I love 'em.

On another note I stumbled across a photographic competition for Hertfordshire today, running in order to raise funds for a charity. Might be fun I thought even if I've no chance of winning. I read the rules "manipulated images" are not allowed only minor edits IE resize. So if I go out, shoot a landscape with a ND grad filter that's pure photography and ok, if I don't use the filter and make a dual raw conversion or simply make a selection and adjust the sky (for instance) that's manipulated and not allowed? I wonder how they draw the line, how will they tell what has and hasn't been manipulated? This pure versus digitally enhanced argument will go on for a very long time I feel but it seems to me a little more leeway is needed these days.


Wednesday, 14 January 2009

By Request!


Another full up to my ears Wednesday. Work is pretty busy (thankful for that mind). Dashed around after work then off to youth club, phone call from my brother to sort a PC problem. I've only just sat down! Never mind, keeps me out of trouble.

There was a great disappointment today, we were turned down access for the project I mentioned the other day, I'm gutted really, was looking forward to it. Teach me to get my hopes up.

So following yesterday's (tongue in cheek I suspect) request for some evidence that I actually use the plane (cheeky sod ;O) here's as much of a close up as I can get with either of my lenses. Oh and I cut the dovetails too that can just be seen in the background, all by myself, didn't even ask me Mum to help.

I'm tired, night all!


Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Hand Me Downs

There was a lot of talk on the radio today about the release of the 1911 census.

I'd been wanting to have a look at this to try and piece together some of my Grandfathers life as a young boy (if they didn't charge so much I would have had a look already but that's another story).

Anyway it got me thinking about him and I remembered this plane, along with some other tools that came from his shed when my Grandmother moved house.

It was dirty, rusty and the cap iron was missing together with the front handle. I found another cap iron, rescued the blade and honed it back to a razor sharp edge (something which I find quite therapeutic), cleaned up the sole. The rest I left as is, just as he would have used. Despite the handle being missing, being only a No3 it's light enough to use without it. It's one of the best planes I own and fills me with fond memories when I use it, I shall keep it always.
Plus it's a quality, British made, tool unlike much of the rubbish around these days (there, wouldn't be right without a little gripe eh?) Feel better now ;O)


Monday, 12 January 2009

Twixt Sea & Pine

It's another boring Monday, what's to say about it?

Well quite a bit actually. My old pal Craig (yes we share the same name to avoid confusion, or create it, not sure) has been out shooting this weekend with Dave from Chromasia which has resulted in two great images from them both today, some of the most subtle HDR's I've seen. So I encourage you to go take a look and keep checking back over the coming days because I'm sure they'll be more great stuff from them both.

As for myself, this image is from a while back (you can tell because the sun is shining). It's one that I've looked at a few times but didn't process for one reason or another. I like it but wished there was a little more clarity towards the horizon.

I've also made some enquires today regarding a possible location for shooting some new stuff. I hope it comes off as I'm itching to get my teeth into something new.


Sunday, 11 January 2009

Life from a Window

I've had what can only be described as a real lazy day.

Full of hot mugs of tea, thick slices of toast and snoozing with my dog (his favourite pastime after eating). So that being the case I don't really have a lot to say.

Yesterday's post was, I have to say, a bit weak and I'm not sure today's is much better. I do like it though just because it's an unusual view of London that I certainly haven't seen before, either first hand or in an image.


Saturday, 10 January 2009

Somewhere Inside

Not a bad day in all despite the cold. (-3 C)

Work was accomplished, lunch was good, shopping cost me little and dinner was tasty ;O)

A shot from my recent visit to Carnaby Street.

Where do you get those blue blue jeans, faded, patched secret so tight? Where do you get that walk oh so lean, Your shoes and yer shirts all just right? ( The Who, Quadrophenia 1973)

Good times eh boys?


Friday, 9 January 2009

Untold Story

Getting back into the swing of work has been difficult this week, getting used to the routine I mean. Funny how after a few days off you get out of the habit eh?

I shot this a short while back. It makes me feel sad, he seemed lonely, deep in thought whilst staring (texting maybe). I shall never know which, as I've said before, is why I like these kind of shots.


Thursday, 8 January 2009

The Look Of.........

This is the last of these in this series that I'm going to post for fear I might just bore you all to tears!

This precedes the previous one if that makes sense and I liked this just for the look on the girls face. I'd love to know just what it was she was thinking about the guy behind the doors, we'll never know and that's one of the things I love about these sort of shots.

OH and P.S. I was voted fourth over at Photosharks for my entry in Anti so thanks to those that voted for me :O)
And placed over at Unique Exposures Challenge under the Bench theme so thanks to everyone there too!

Wednesday, 7 January 2009


Sheesh, finally got this uploaded. Blogger had some sort of problem last night and wouldn't upload the image.

Shot this back in the summer and I liked it but the processing is not the best. I was going to do it again but inexplicably I don't have the raw file, something I always do (well obviously not but I thought so). Anyhow I still like it but it could have been better!


Tuesday, 6 January 2009

All Art?

I've been reading various comments around different blogs regarding HDR images. They're are definitely two camps on them.

I don't mind them, some can be subtle and some outlandish but they all have their place in my book. Some people are quite offensive in their opinions and I don't see the need for it. To me it's all art, an image for me does not have to be a faithful copy of what the eye saw, the over the top images are clearly not trying to be that. One comment I read claimed they were a fad that would disappear, I think the method will be refined and become so subtle we won't be able to tell half the time.

I guess what I'm trying badly to say is that there's room for everything folks from purist images to outlandish HDR's and everything in between.

So that brings me to today's image, whether it's art or not is up to you ;O) oh and no it's not HDR!


Monday, 5 January 2009

Last Gasp of Christmas

The decorations are down, back to work today & to top it off we woke up to snow, brrrr!

This isn't much more than me messing around with 2nd curtain flash before the decorations went away for another year.


Sunday, 4 January 2009

Goodie, Goodie, Yum, Yum!

I thought I'd round off the holidays with a bit of a fun image.

I did go out today and try to take some serious pictures but this little fellow was with me and as usually is the case they weren't much good because he's usually pulling me along.

He wasn't supposed to be in this one either but every time I laid on the ground trying to get a shot he'd come dashing up to see just what I was doing. My wife reckons he looks like one of the over sized characters from the opening sequence of The Goodies, which if you don't know was a rather crackers 70's British comedy show.


Saturday, 3 January 2009

Swarming Like Flies

It doesn't seem like five minutes ago that I was gloating about finishing work and having some time off.

Apart from the usual festivities I seem to have achieved very little with my time off and there's only one day left! I suppose that's what holidays are for but I always seem to think in terms of "what can I get done over the holidays" perhaps the rest has done me good eh? We'll see ;O)

From the same series as a couple of days ago, shot from the hip again and I thought I'd go for B&W today as I liked the other that way too (though you didn't see that version I know). The Kinks track "Waterloo Sunset" always goes around & around my head when I'm on the underground, which is ok because it's one of my favourites and it's where pinched the title from today!


Friday, 2 January 2009

Forty Winks

I've spent most of the day installing hard drives, transferring data, re-installing programs etc and sitting on your backside is indeed tiring.

The upshot is that I've had precious little time to work on my own stuff and come up with an image for today.

It never ceases to amaze me the places that people can fall asleep, this chap was sparko-also a bench has crept in again, told you they were everywhere!!


Thursday, 1 January 2009

Sun Sets on 2008

I really should have posted this yesterday but as I often am I was torn between two images.

I've posted a shot of this building before here but flicking through some raw files yesterday I came across this and I like it more so.

I overdone the celebrations a tad last night, I paid the price this morning ;O) never mind, I'll try and get the balance right next new year! Several of you have been in touch to let me know what tosh I was talking, thanks folks, keep rubbing it in!!