Beginning Photography

The musings of a budding photographer

Archive for November 2009

The Spinning Coin

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A good one to try your hand at this, it certainly gives a good appreciation of the effects of different shutter speeds.

I had thought that the coin would appear blurred at just about any “normal” shutter speed as coins seem to spin extremely quickly, but I soon discovered that not to be the case. Indeed anything over 1/60 and the coin doesn’t even appear to be moving. This particular attempt was shot with a shutter speed of 1/13, apterture was wide open partly for depth of field and partly due to the low light conditions.

I’d recommend everybody tries this at least once. I plan on having another couple of goes at least, possibly on either a black surface or a mirror, and preferably in daylight. Enjoy this one, you will definitely learn from it. Oh, and it makes a lovely image too 😀


Written by James

November 30, 2009 at 8:45 pm

Posted in Photography, Photos

Photography up close

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Todays image should speak for itself.

Not sure why I thought of this, the image has had a pretty decent crop simply because I couldn’t get in close enough with this lens. I need something a bit longer than 55mm with macro capability to get in close enough at full size. This was taken indoors with flash, I’ve boosted the brightness slightly. I love it, and it opens the door to lots of similar options now I’ve thought of it.

Written by James

November 29, 2009 at 4:38 pm

Posted in Photography, Photos


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Today’s challenge, to find a way to display thumbnails of all images I upload in one nice looking page. I’ve been inspired by this blog, a guy who has made a great template for a photoblog. It’s not quite what I want, but it’s close. I love the random thumbnails on the left, and the gallery page is just great.

So, work today is to figure out how to do that. I’ve taken a couple of photos too but havn’t got them on the puter yet, they will get uploade later.

Written by James

November 29, 2009 at 2:16 pm

Posted in The Blog

A new image, and a different take

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After a little processing I think I’ve made the bin “pop” a little stronger, so here is the new version. It has had one of the 300 presets applied, then I reduced the blacks slightly and added a touch of fill light.

We also have here another bench, not sure why but I like benches. Need to get someone sat on one though really.

Just goes to show a little PP work can really make an image pop.

Written by James

November 27, 2009 at 9:54 pm

Posted in Photography, Photos

Another pond, but something a bit different

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Stuck for ideas I decided on a walk around yet another local pond, just out from the center of Barnsley. Lots of photos, lots of learning. Yet more of a realisation that I’m not shooting with a high enough shutter speed to freeze motion. The choice is either a faster lens or higher ISO. Higher ISO being free I guess that’s the only option, though it will introduce a bit of noise. I will eventually invest in some fast glass, something down to F2.X or similar, possibly faster if funds permit. But that can wait. I don’t want to buy my way to good photography, I want to become good with basic equipment and then specialise.

Anyways, my first ever in focus wildlife shot. 1/250 shutter speed, and lots of ducks. The nearest duck is in perfect focus, maybe I should have just cropped that.

This second image is a bit more, err. Well, you tell me if it has artistic merit or not. Maybe a bit of post processing to make it more interesting. As it is both of these are right out of the camera.

Written by James

November 26, 2009 at 10:44 pm

Return of the Camera

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I’m unreliably informed that my camera will be back with me tomorrow. Apparently the repair was completed on Friday but not in time for shipment so it went out first thing today.

Much as I would have loved to have had the camera for these three weeks I would say that in the long run my photography can only have been helped. The 300D was the first “entry level” DSLR to hit the market. It’s as basic as DSLR’s are likely to come and so I haven’t been bogged down with features. Point it the right way, get the composition right, get the exposure correct and fire away.  I haven’t played about with fancy presets because it hasn’t really got any.

As a result, I now know the things that I think are worth paying for. Better high ISO performance is great and worth shelling out to get. Fast processing is worth paying for so you can rattle off a lot of shots quickly.  Spot metering would be great. Beyond that, there is very little. You can discuss user interfaces and the only thing I would like to see added would be an ISO display in the eyepiece.

I don’t perceive increased sensor resolution to be of any use, the 6mp of this camera is a nats on the small side if you wish to crop images, but 10mp is plenty. Granted some people will need more than 10mp, but unless you can justify more than 10mp without resorting to ignorance (well, just, because…) you don’t need it.

No doubt there are features on the latest and greatest cameras that I have failed to consider. Image stabilsation possibly, though I think that has more to do with the lens than the body.

For the professional there is no doubt an advantage to having a piece of kit thats is fractionaly better, at increased costs. From my point of view I perceive little value in someone new to photography going much beyond the basics. Spend the money on lenses if you have it.

Written by James

November 23, 2009 at 1:56 pm


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A bit of a departure from the norm today.  I discovered a website,, that gives information on various objects in space. Of particular interest is the ISS, you select your location on the map provided and the site tells you when the ISS will be above 10 degrees from the horizon from your vantage point. It also tells you the time it will be highest in the sky and the angle made, and of most interest when it will actually be visible. That is, when sunlight will be striking it. Do the maths and the ideal orbit is one that occurs within an hour or so of sunset so that lots of light is striking the ISS while the sky itself is dark.

Anyways, why am I telling you all this. I’m telling you all this because it turned out there were two passes this evening for viewing in England. I caught the second one, at 6:28.  It takes some getting your head around, the ISS barely crossed England, right at the tip of Cornwall. I’m 300 miles north of it and yet could see it plain as day in the sky. The resulting images are below. In the second image you can see how the Sun set on the ISS, it gradually fades to nothing. It actually glowed a little red watching with the naked eye

Both of these images were captured with a 30 second exposure, F5.6, ISO 200. The second one is substantially more zoomed in as the track ended about 10 seconds into the exposure leaving a lot of frame.

This was pretty cool to do, I’m now trying to figure out how to make the shot a little better. Atlantis is apparently docked with the ISS right now, my plan is to find out when they separate and hopefully get a snap of them separated. One day I’ll get a pic of re-entry too, but I’m pretty sure that Atlantis won’t enter the atmosphere early enough to see from England.

Written by James

November 20, 2009 at 8:02 pm