This is a post about technology… (and probably procrastination too!)

All this technology to maintain an online presence and how often to a write a blog post? – Well most of you will have no doubt spotted the answer to that one: over a year! Why is this so? Well, it’s simple. I just keep putting it off. Not because I can’t be bothered to write something, more the case that in order to publish images; I first have to process them and that’s the bit I keep putting off. I have no patience to sit in front of the computer for hours on end making minuscule adjustments. If I can’t process an image inside five minutes then it just doesn’t happen and that’s where technology has finally come to my rescue in a way. I’ve discovered DXO Optics Pro. In fact I’ve been using it for a while but, in keeping with the theme of this post, have only just got around to writing about it. Not only is it the best RAW file converter I have used, it also allows me to process images quicker; a lot quicker in fact. Couple this with the FilmPack plugin and we now have a mix of technologies.

FilmPack allows me to make images look like they’ve been shot on film (my favourite being Kodak Ektachrome 100 VS for colour), or at least use that as a starting point; thus being able to mix technologies: the look of analogue film coupled with the ability to adjust parameters digitally. Basically, post processing just got enjoyable at long last!

And so to the image or images that always have to be included in a blog post: some of the oldest technologies know to man – fire and the fashioning of simple tools.

Photo of a fire
Fire…
Photo of a simple spoon carved from wood.
A simple eating implement…
Photo of two spoons carved from wood.
A vast improvement on the first…

The post processing has resulted in quite a “gritty” look which seems quite appropriate.

As always, click on the image for the full size version etc (opens in a new window).

 

A Moment of Clarity…

Over time, I’ve gradually become a member of the “get it right in camera” school of thought as opposed to the “I can fix it in post later” approach. Now this doesn’t mean I don’t do any post production on my images – far from it in fact! It’s just that I find that I simply don’t have the patience to sit at the computer for long periods of time pushing and pulling sliders; creating layer upon layer of adjustments and brushing in and out various effects etc.

These days I keep it pretty simple: basic adjustments in Lightroom (mainly contrast, noise reduction & a little pre-sharpening) and then into Photoshop for re-sizing and sharpening for output. I may remove the odd distracting element, but that’s about it.

One adjustment control in Lightroom I’ve always kept away from, although others love it, is the Clarity slider. Whenever I tried increasing the clarity, it simply degraded the colour (at least to my eyes anyway). I only ever found it useful in either softening faces in portraits or adding local contrast in black & white images, and even then I only used it occasionally. That was until now…

On it’s own, I’m still not a fan, but when combined with vibrance and saturation adjustments (something I hardly ever touched before), I now get a “look” that I like. I know it’s not going to work every time, but I’ll certainly be trying it out more.

The following couple of images show what I mean:

Girl Rock Climbing
The basic edit: tones, contrast and sharpened to suit size etc.
Girl Rock Climbing
Basic edits as before but with some clarity, vibrance and saturation adjustments…

As always: click on the image to view full size.

Images now available as downloads on the website.

I’m now offering images on my website (timwilcoxphotography.co.uk) for sale as full resolution files to be downloaded so that you can print them yourselves or by a third party lab of your choice. The files are set up so that you can make a print up to 9″ x 6″ at a resolution of 300dpi and have a colour profile of sRGB – which shouldn’t need changing for the majority of cases.

Images in the Landscape gallery can also be purchased for use as Facebook Cover Photos. If you go for that option, please read this first: http://www.timwilcoxphotography.co.uk/purchasing-facebook-cover-photos.

 

 

New Year… New Website!

Happy New Year folks; let’s hope 2014 is a good one!

This time last year I promised myself that I’d try and take my photography to “the next level” – a terrible cliche, but possibly not far off the truth. Whilst I’m a long way from “living the dream” (should have tiled this post: “How many bad cliche’s can you cram into a paragraph…”), the start of a new year sees me taking a step in, hopefully, the right direction with a new website:

www.timwilcoxphotography.co.uk (click to open in a new window).

The old URL: http://www.timwilcox.net no longer works, so please update any bookmarks/favourites etc.

So you may be wondering why the change? Well, quite simply I needed to upgrade to a hosting service that offered more features to move things forward; not least of which being the ability to sell work through the site. There’s nothing available yet but it will slowly come online as I get to grips with the technicalities etc. Having said that, I’ve got most of the detail in place behind the scenes so it really is a case of putting the finishing touches to it – Watch this space as the saying goes!

One of the other features that is already active is the Guestbook. So if you’d be so kind as to leave an entry when you visit I’d appreciate it.

Thanks.

 

On a Misty Morning…

Not a lot to say about this really: went for a walk on a nice autumn morning; took camera; got this shot.

Well, actually, I took about 30 shots. Most of them were ok but this stood out. And when I converted to black & white… it seemed even better.

Black & White shot of sun light through trees on an autumn morning.
“On a misty morning…”

As always, click on the image to view full size.

On a Wing and a Thermal…

This was down to to a good bit of timing: my mate Mark getting a tandem paragliding flight for a birthday present; me being available on the day he went; conditions being good for flying and being allowed to get close to the action as normally spectators aren’t allowed on the field, but I was thanks to Mark Leavesley of Leavesley Aviation.

Tandem Paragliding Flight
Mark and Mark… in the air (click to view full size)

Here’s the full set on Flickr: “Paragliding”

 

The Battle of Bosworth.

Well, not the real one – that was in 1485. This was a re-enactment which was basically a weekend of skirmishes, jousting, lots of canons (loud ones at that) and a re-enctment of the battle itself which is basically a load of people dressed in the costume of the day pushing and shoving, bashing each other with assorted weaponry and getting shot at by archers and artillery etc.

And the end result for those who don’t know: Henry Tudor – 1, Richard III – 0. In fact it didn’t go too well for Richard…

The end of the battle for RichardIII - his body paraded round the battle field...
The end of the battle for RichardIII – his body paraded round the battle field… (click to enlarge).

One of the amusing moments: an ingenious hiding place for the booze – in the knight’s lances! Now if they can only get the cork out…

"If I can just get the cork out, we can get seriously drunk..."
“If I can just get the cork out, we can get seriously drunk…”

There’s a few more on Flickr: Battle of Bosworth Re-enactment.

Appeal of the Portrait (aka The Power of Social Media 2)

This is following on from my last post, which was about a portrait session generated as a direct request to my friends on Facebook etc. Whilst that initial appeal attracted some interest, posting some of the actual results generated a bit more; not least of which being from my old friend Jim to photograph his family; in particular their 3 month old daughter Evie.

So one snowy Saturday afternoon, off I went to do another session – and once again it was great fun.

Group Family Portrait.
Jim, Evie & Liz Morshead.

As usual, click on the image above to enlarge and some of the results from the shoot can be found on my website www.timwilcox.net. Also check out my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pgtim as I often put one or two different shots on there; particularly behind the scenes or amusing stuff etc.

The Power of Social Media?

A few weeks ago I made a small appeal on my personal Facebook page for any of my friends who wanted portraits of themselves, families, pets etc to let me know. All I asked in return was for the right to use the images to promote my own photography; either on the web or in print.

The first session was a couple of weeks ago with Mark and his daughter Phoebe (Ok, mainly Phoebe). There’s a small selection on my website: www.timwilcox.net in the “Images: Portrait” section. Hopefully there’ll be more from some of the future sessions added over the next few weeks etc.

For now though, here’s a couple more (as always click on the image to enlarge):

Picture of Father & Daughter.
Mark & Phoebe.

 

Picture of Father & Daughter
Parental Control!