Beginning Photography

The musings of a budding photographer

Self portrait

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I recently received a free copy of a magazine, Digital SLR Photography, after seeing an advertisment on a forum I frequent. I have to say the magazine has been good inspiration for getting the camera back out. One shot in particular got me interested in portraiture so I thought I’d have a go at a moody self portrait. The following was the result.

I was trying to make this pretty moody. I frowned at the camera to try and get some character in there. For now I only have lightroom available so the range of filters I can apply is slightly limited (photoshop would be nice), but I really like how this turned out. Fairly sinister. In hindsight I should have worn a leather jacket, but this was more an experiment than a finished article. I expect to try this again in the near future.


Written by James

February 3, 2011 at 9:26 pm

Posted in Photography, Photos

Black and white portraits

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My girlfriend and friend in black and white. The room was very dark for these, I bounced flash off the roof and have done a B&W conversion in lightroom

Written by James

January 4, 2011 at 2:00 am

Posted in Photography, Photos

2010 in review

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The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meterâ„¢ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 3,000 times in 2010. That’s about 7 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 57 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 112 posts. There were 229 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 51mb. That’s about 4 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was January 8th with 51 views. The most popular post that day was Sun, snow and good timing.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for water drops, water drop, beginning photography blog, spinning coin, and beginning photography blogs.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Sun, snow and good timing January 2010


Fun with water December 2009


Thumbnails November 2009


About October 2009


Ash in the sky for a sunset over the lake April 2010

Written by James

January 2, 2011 at 11:02 am

Posted in Uncategorized

My New Toy: A Flashgun

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I’ve been a good boy this year so Santa brought me a nice pressie for Christmas: a canon 430EX 2 flashgun. Yay. Having never before used a flash other than the one on board this has been on the desirable list for quite some time. So, Christmas day dawned and I spent a lot of time annoying the family with my new toy. Two here to show, the first a “standard” portrait, the other an attempt at a high key image


Anna high key

In the first image I bounced the flash of the corner of the wall and ceiling behind me. Both are white/light in colour so make a great reflector to diffuse the light nicely.

In the second I’ve bounced the flash off the wall directly to Anna’s front, serving to highlight her features and blow out the light wall behind her.

Written by James

December 27, 2010 at 9:15 pm


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I decided to see what the nifty 50 could do wide open. With aperture set to 1.8 I descended on ice covered bushes in the garden, the following two images being my favourites.

One thing I’ve learned, this lens isn’t quite as sharp wide open as it is when stepped down to around 2.8. It’s good though, as these photos attest, certainly sharp enough to produce very nice images.

Written by James

December 6, 2010 at 11:16 am

Posted in Photography


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With the snow sorta melting we’ve had the most amazing formations of ice coming off the roof. Icicles up to around 5 feet long all along the fascias and guttering. Before I knocked them off I got the camera out and had a bit of a god, the following two are my favourites

Lighting here was provided by the security light hanging just out of the image to the right.

This one made use of the onboard flash in addition to the security light.

Written by James

December 3, 2010 at 7:22 pm

Posted in Photography, Photos

Mum, snow, and a new lens

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Today was my first serious play with my new lens, the canon 50mm 1.8 mk 2. As primes go it’s a cheap as they come, cheap as chips build quality etc, but it’s a very sharp bit of kit.

Subject for the day, my Mum. It’s snowed, loads.

Things to note: Metering a black coat in the snow is HARD. In the end I set to manual and chimped like hell, and I still over exposed everything slightly. Alas.

Shooting with a prime forces you to make good use of foot zoom. You really notice the issues when you don’t have much room to back up.

Written by James

December 2, 2010 at 9:21 pm

Posted in Photography, Photos