Beginning Photography

The musings of a budding photographer

Archive for the ‘Photos’ Category

Self portrait

with 3 comments

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

with one comment

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

My New Toy: A Flashgun

leave a comment »

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


with 3 comments

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

with 2 comments

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

November the 5th

leave a comment »

It came and went, and I took piccies of fireworks. More specifically, Catherine wheels. These are my two favourites after a quick look through. No changes other than to levels and curves.

Technique for these was simple, but involved a lot of guesswork.
1: Position yourself downwind of the Catherine wheels. That way you get a face full of smoke and the images are crap
2. Realise that you made a complete screw up with 1 and re-assess, no longer standing downwind.
3. Set camera on tripod, set ISO as low as it will go, aperture as high as it will go, and focus on something in the vicinity of the firework.
4. Light the catherine wheel and run like hell, camera on bulb and hold down the shutter with a remote release. Try everything from 4 seconds (no no and no) to about 1/5 of a second, and everything in between (in other words, guess). See what works, and take loads, hope for a nice effect.
5. Pretend you knew what the hell you were doing when you get a few nice images.

Written by James

November 8, 2010 at 10:01 pm

Posted in Photography, Photos

Back to nature

leave a comment »

Having woken at the ridiculous hour of 5:30am this morning in order to fetch my parents from the Airport (lucky blighters have just been to Rhodes), I grabbed the camera and headed out the door. The reason was simple, on the way back over the Pennines the scenery was gorgeous, a low lying mist juxtaposed with the autumn colours just looked fantastic. There wasn’t a breath of wind, so I thought I’d head down to a local lake that I haven’t visited with the camera in the hope of getting some great scenary.

The best laids plans of mice and men, however… as it turned out there was the feintest breeze that was rippling up the lake, and the mist was obscuring the lovely colours. A quick change of plan and I started harassing the local birdlife. These were the result.

I think my favourite is the one with the swan dipping it’s head, but I couldn’t put my finger on why. The white background here doesn’t suit these images, they look best on a black background. Check them out on flickr (hit the zoom icon) for a better look).

Written by James

October 31, 2010 at 9:46 pm