Another brief snippet from our amazing holiday this year. This time a Timelapse of the drive between Red Lodge and Cooke City, Montana over the simply stunning Beartooth Highway US 212. When we started the temperature was a nice 22 Deg C at the top of the pass, some 11,000ft up we hit -2 Deg C and Snow.
If you have been having trouble getting those display settings just right on your monitor, or are finding it hard to match the display output on multiple monitors, pop over to Cafetography and read my guest review of the Spyder4Elite Display Calibration tool by DataColor.com.
It’s a great little device tallied with some fantastic software and so easy to use.
I’ve had a really busy few months hence the complete dereliction of duty of updating my blog. What have I been up to I hear you ask? …. nothing much just lots of work limiting my free time for Photography.
Things will hopefully start to change in the coming weeks, fingers crossed. Since my last blog on the MUVI HD action camera, I’ve bitten the bullet and also now got a GoPro Hero 3+, I’ll likely blog about the differences in future. However the most exciting acquisition in recent weeks has been probably the most expensive accessory available for the GoPro…… a DJI Phantom 2 Quad!!! That’s right I’m starting to play with aerial photography/video.
This will be the subject of a number of future blogs as I get to grips with the Phantom and getting the best from it with the GoPro attached, but for now please see a little example of what is possible after only a couple of days flying…. admittedly I have flown Toy Quadcopters before but this is a different challenge entirely and a little more hairy given you have about £1000 worth of kit floating up to 1200ft up!!!!
Enjoy a snippet of the stunning Farthing Downs near Coulsdon, just 14 miles from the centre of London and stay tuned for further updates.
I recently submitted one of my images to the local newspaper, the Croydon Advertiser as part of their #visionsofcroydon theme. The image as you can see was of a beautiful summer sunset looking across Farthing Downs towards what was Cane Hill Hospital just south of Coulsdon town centre, it is a really stunning area. I feel lucky to live here being able to enjoy the countryside and be within a stone’s throw of London – the best of both worlds.
Yesterday I found said image taking a prime double page spread. Fantastic, but it was a favourable comment from a local conservative council candidate that got me thinking.
“Looks Amazing” he said, “it is I thought”. However the very same conservative council that run Croydon are, it would seem hell bent on taking away such views for future generations. You see the Cane Hill hospital site is due to be redeveloped for housing after many years of laying derelict and unloved. Now I am the first person to recognise the acute housing shortages that have been building up in London over the last 30 years and agree there is need to build more homes and quickly, but what is being proposed for Coulsdon’s Cane Hill site represents over development and these views are very likely to be consigned to history.
So please enjoy a few of my favourite images of Cane Hill and Farthing Downs, lets hope the views aren’t damaged too much.
Following on from my previous blog I thought I’d update you all on an early success. I mentioned that I’d recently transferred across to using Lightroom 5 from DPP to be at the core of my workflow and was getting used to using Lightroom by watching the immensely helpful video tutorials provided by Anthony Morganti via his YouTube Channel. Well I’ve been ploughing through some of my back catalogue to see if there were any previous shots that I’d overlooked for publication that could be “bettered” using my new found skills, then publishing on my Flickr Photostream to gauge interest.
I started to publish a few shots this weekend and struck gold today with a shot I’d taken back in early 2012 at Stone Henge in the UK. So starting with the shot below.
I added a few tweaks using the techniques I’d learned recently (thanks again Anthony Morganti) and ended up with this shot
The net result was nearly 7300 views and 140+ favourites in less than 24 hours via a promotion to Flickr’s Explore page.
So a lesson to all when it comes to Lightroom, do your homework before you dive headlong into the product in order to reap the benefits. Keep an eye out for more of my back catalogue appearing on my Flickr Photostream and Website, can’t wait to see what other Nuggets I can reclaim over the coming weeks and months only problem is I’ve barely taken my Camera out of it’s bag these past few weeks.
After a number of years avoiding having to spend a fortune on 3rd Party software and managing my workflow using a combination of Canon’s DPP (Digital Photo Professional) and Picasa to organise my photos, I’ve finally decided to give Adobe Lightroom a look.
I have actually tried Lightroom in the past (probably version 2-3) but I never really got on with it. The omission of various features and functionality that I’d grown used to via other tools meant I wasn’t prepared to shell out extra cash for something that would mean either dropping parts of my workflow or continuing to use additional software, as well as lightroom.
This has all changed now after I recently downloaded a full trial of Lightroom 5.3. Those missing features are now included so I thought why not give it another go. It seems that you can’t really consider yourself a serious photographer if you aren’t using either Photoshop, Lightroom or both at the core of your workflow or that’s what most of the photography press would have you believe.
Now being new (relatively) to Lightroom can be quite a daunting prospect. There is a steep learning curve to switch across from DPP which I still find more intuitive in terms of RAW processing if I’m honest. I thought I’d hunt out a few tutorials on the Adobe site and possibly look into getting a book on the subject to make sure I was setting up Lightroom correctly and understood the various “modules”, I really advise newcomers to Lightroom to do the same, avoid the temptation of jumping straight in at the deep end and take your time to familiarise yourself.
My saviour in this process was quickly found via the extremely helpful and unsung hero of Lightroom, Anthony Morganti. When searching for Lightroom tutorial videos on YouTube I stumbled across Anthony’s Channel, opened the lid (so to speak) and discovered a wonderful world of photography tips, tricks and tutorials including a playlist specifically geared at teaching Lightroom with over 8 hours (30+ videos) covering the subject, best of all Anthony provides these resources for FREE!!! So if like me you’re new or returning to Lightroom you really can’t go wrong with Anthony’s videos and you will save having to buy further material to help you get into the software.
So after watching a number of videos I’ve started on my journey of moving across to Lightroom. Two weeks in and I’ve purchased the full license so I guess you can say I’m committed now and am making my way through the back catalogue . I’m sure to blog more on this subject in due course but in the meantime if any of you ladies and gents reading have lightroom tips to share, please do by commenting on this post. BTW the picture above is one of the first pictures I’ve re-processed using Lightroom 5 – I’m going to have to be very selective about which of my past photo’s I have a play with using Lightroom or I’m going to be here a while!!!!
A little while ago I was contacted by Calvin Dexter, the editor of a popular Spanish speaking Photography website Como La Hice regarding one of my most popular macro photographs that I have on my Flickr photostream and website. He was interested in covering my photo and how I setup and took the shot. So I wrote a small piece which he helpfully translated and on the 18th of December it was published.
All I can say is the site has generated a lot of traffic to my website from areas of the world I’ve had no previous visits. So a lesson to me and a lesson for us all, don’t forget that not all of the world speaks english as a first language and what more can we do to make our content more accessible to all our buddies spread across the globe.
For the photographers out there Como La Hice certainly seems to be very popular in the Spanish speaking world so why not take a look and help to support the wider photography community out there.
On another note, this macro image was taken without a dedicated macro lens and as I’ve mentioned before it goes to show what is achievable with some technical knowledge a little bit of creativity all without breaking the bank on expensive macro glass. I’ll go into further detail in my next blog about how you can achieve results such as this, what equipment you’ll need and how to setup your camera.
I had read about Trevor Sehrer, a Google Engineer, who in his spare time was looking to establish a service to help combat the theft and resale of photographic gear back in the summer. To be honest I’d largely forgotten about the article until today when I saw mention that Lenstag.com had now launched Apps for both iOS and Android. So with that little reminder I thought I’d download the App and give it try.
It is always good practice to make a note of the serial numbers of your gear and this service aims not only to give you the ability to store your gear and serials online but also can be used to report stolen gear across the wider community. Essentially Lenstag works by registering your gear and serial numbers to the site which you can do via the website directly or now even easier via the Smartphone App. Once Lenstag receives your registered gear it verifies your ownership by matching the entered serial number against the picture of the serial number you have sent. Apparently verification is completed by a human at the other end and Lenstag aim to complete the whole process within 24 hours.
The concept works by reporting your gear stolen with Lenstag along with the police if the worst should happen. Lenstag maintain a list of stolen gear which you can check at anytime from the website. But what happens if I want to legitimately sell some of my gear? You would correctly assume that if another user attempts to register an item that is registered to another user there would be a few eyebrows raised!!! No worries…. Lenstag has this covered as you can transfer gear between registered users… bingo.
With support from US Lens rental behemoths BorrowLenses and LensRentals this new Service has all the makings of becoming an industry standard, but to do this WE ALL NEED TO USE IT. The more of us photogs that register their gear the harder it will become for those dirty rotten thieves to ply their ill gotten gains on eBay, Craigslist etc.
So why not give it a try it is free and if you’re in the market for second-hand gear ask the seller for the serial number first and double check it on Lenstag before you are parted with that hard earned cash.
Note: I’m in no-way affiliated with Lenstag.com but think the concept is great.