Focus on Imaging.

Well, the one post a week didn’t last long!

Anyway, not to worry. I’ve been up to a few photographic things lately which may very well be the subject of a future couple of blog posts.

Back to today though. As most people involved with photography know, there is an annual show at the NEC in Birmingham called “Focus on Imaging”. It’s not the biggest or most prestigious show in the world, but it’s one of those “must go to” things; well I always think like that… until I get there!

Every year, it’s packed, and I hate crowds. There’s always someone trying to sell me something that I don’t want; things I want to see but can’t because I can’t get near them and, oh did I mention… it’s packed.

And I go because…. I like it. I enjoy it. Every year I see something that gives me an idea, or I  see a demonstration where I learn something new or inspires me.

Every year, like loads of other photographers, I take a camera along; just to record the day etc. Rather than take my usual set up in my back pack, this year i just took my D700 and 50mm 1.4D lens in a small shoulder bag. I also went today, Monday, as opposed to the opening day yesterday, Sunday, on the basis that it might not be so packed… well, it was. I can only imagine what it must of been like yesterday – hell!

Anyway, here’s a few images from the show (as always, click on the image to view full size etc):

 

Scene from Focus on Imaging 2013
3 Legged Thing – gotta love their marketing!

 

Scene from Focus on Imaging 2013
Canon’s stand was … well, big!
Scene from Focus on Imaging 2013
I thought this was a nice touch: all of the demonstrations on the “Photo Training 4U” stand had a sign language interpreter. I’m not sure what she was signing when I took the shot though!!!
Scene from Focus on Imaging 2013
One of the highlights of my day. The incredibly funny, inspirational and extremely talented Frank Doorhof.

 

Scene from Focus on Imaging 2013
Frank… in action.
His demo was really what it is all about… fun. The audience was massive and anyone who wasn’t in stitches laughing – wasn’t there.

It’s simple, it’s black and white…

Well, here we are: week number four; post number four.

Now ok, I’ve cheated slightly in that these images aren’t new; but they haven’t been published before either and that’s because I couldn’t get them to look right… until now.

And what is it about them now that I’m happy with? Simple: converted them to black & white. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how many adjustments are made to an image, it just fails to work. However, convert the same image to black and white and it takes things in a new direction, sometimes to the point where what would have been thrown away is now something useable.

As always, click to enlarge…

Sign post in trees. Black & White image.

 

Canal. BLack & White image

Hell of a thing to do to a bear…

Now before everybody panics; no animals were harmed in the production of these images!

The subject/model for the photos is a small soft toy who, even though I’ve had him for years, doesn’t actually have a name. I just refer to him as “Office Bear” as he’s usually sat on the shelf in my home office until I need him to be an occasional subject for when I want to practice some photographic technique or other, but for the most part he spends his days just sat there.

Given that the UK is experiencing some proper winter weather at the moment, I wanted to jump on the bandwagon and get a few “snow pics”. So like every man and his dog (or in this case: bear) out I went.

Office Bear got placed in the snow and patiently sat there with the same resigned expression that he always has whilst I messed around with some fill flash with a warming gel on it.

About five minutes later, with some shots in the bag we came back in and to prove I don’t take my models for granted etc; Office Bear was placed on a radiator to warm up & dry out before going back on his shelf until he’s need again.

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

Toy bear sat in the snow
Out in the snow.
Toy bear in the snow
Still there….
Toy bear on a radiator
…Back in the warm.

By the way, I don’t know if any one has noticed; but this is my third blog post in as many weeks. How long can I keep that up? – check back next week & we’ll see….

“Firsts”

Today has seen a few “firsts”:

  • The first walk up The Wrekin of 2013 (for those of you that don’t know it’s an old hill fort which provides a frequent source of early Sunday morning exercise);
  • The first time that I’ve published images taken on my new Nikon D800;
  • The first time that I’ve successfully used a “Stubbs Voice Activated Light Stand”;
  • and the first time we’ve been joined by the good Doctor and as a “newbie”, he had to have his picture taken (it’s the rules).

As always, click on the image to enlarge etc.

View from the Wrekin - early morning temperature inversion.
Temperature inversion encroaching on, but not quite touching Telford.

 

Portrait
The good Doctor graciously having his portrait taken – still not sure about the hat though.

A New Chapter…

Image of Nikon D800Well it was going to happen sooner or later! Now don’t worry, this will always be the D700 Diaries regardless of whatever camera I decide to use; but since my old Fuji S2 Pro “gave up the ghost” a little while ago I’d been trying to decide what to get as a replacement second body.

After doing a lot of thinking I decided on the D800; a sort of upgrade to my D700 rather than a second body (if I’d gone down that route then I probably would have got the D600 or even a used D700 etc). It has to be said though that the D800 is not really an upgrade, certainly not in my opinion, it’s quite a different beast in some ways and the D700 didn’t suddenly stop being a great camera when the D800 was released. I certainly intend to keep using mine along side the D800 for a long time to come yet.

What I did on my holidays…

With pretty much all the children now back at school here in the UK, it reminded me of one of the first things you did when you went back for the new term, when you were in the primary and junior schools was; write about on what you did during the six week break.

Now unfortunately, six week summer holidays are a long way back in the past but I have been doing things since my last blog post way back in May although I’ve not found time to write about them.

One of the things that I did was upgrade my Flickr account. I’ve had a standard one for ages but never used it much. The beauty of it is that I can put all my images for viewing on the web in one place rather than have loads of different copies stored on my hard drive etc. Furthermore, I’m now using Adobe Lightroom as the major part of my workflow which has some really cool features for publishing and managing images online.

So here’s a couple of links to some image sets:

  1. The Black Country Living Museum  – A great day out, and it does take a day to see everything, all about the history of The Black Country, it’s industrial past and what makes it unique & famous etc. More information can be found on their website: www.bclm.co.uk
  2. North Devon – A selection of images, mainly coastal landscape, from the North Devon Coast.

Here’s a taster from the Black Country Museum…

A canal barge in dry dock at the Black Country Living Museum
"Bessie"