Thursday, December 18, 2008

Crop Factor and Lens Quality

Studying lenses is my latest hobby.

It's mostly academic, as I learn about IS (Image Stabilisation)
and the esoteric world of optical glass.


Composition and the Left-Handed Right-Minded Photographer

Somehow, this photo makes me feel uneasy.

I am right-handed.

The After-Dinner Table

Monday, December 15, 2008


Vanity publishing is always in the news.

Would YOU work for free?

The recent practice of having one's work showcased on maps
and sites for free, while retaining copyright is
a hot topic in photographic circles.

I was pleased to have this photo added to Schmap.

At Howth on a Sunny Day

Friday, November 28, 2008

Location, Location, Location... and Glorious Muted Colour

Ths subdued tones in Losey's "The Go Between" recreate a world long gone.

When this film came out in 1971 I was bewitched.

So many contemporary photos seem garish, even brash,
compared with the colour tones I was used to in the past.

"The Red Pony" was on TV yesterday and the colours were picture-book perfect.

This is the closest I have come recently to recreating a similar effect.

Tree and Meadow in Yorkshire Landscape in May

Taken in Yorkshire, not Norfolk, but somehow the countryside seems right.

The Go Between

Thursday, November 27, 2008

How Not to Get in a Lather About Where to Take Photos

Most of the time photographers work away quietly and happily,
making images that document and entertain, that live to tell tales
of the immediacy of real lives.

Most work is workaday. Over a million images are uploaded daily to Flickr alone
without much of a to-do and without sending the Planet into a faster spin.

However, when it comes to practising as a professional
it is worth picking one's way through all the finer details,
in order to minimize stress, as well as to protect one's work,
which should express the freedom of spirit that
this wonderful medium expresses.

I am an amateur photographer.

I tend to play things safe.

Reading the threads on recently
it might be worth thinking about taking a few more
risks and getting out and about a bit more.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Ireland Is Not Britain, You Know...

Different laws apply depending on where you happen
to be within the British Isles.

Visitors from abroad might like to look at the very clear
advice for data protection and still photography in the UK
(found in the title bar link here).

It's worth finding out if buildings, in particular,
may be photographed. Some are protected.

After a tiring day of looking at all the legalities,
I'm off for a hearty stew.

Shan't have the energy to take photos, unfortunately.

Have a restful evening...

Better Safe Than Sorry

The question of public space and where photographers may or may not
take photos is increasingly well documented.

I have just read a sobering report from Australia where
a frighful fuss broke out when an amateur photographer was
asked to move away from a space that seemed public,
but was not.

"I am a grandma", her plea for understanding and acceptance
did not seem to wash.

I have to admit I smiled.

If I used my grandmotherly status daily as proof
of personal worth, I expect I would bring the house
down with laughter.

However the distress that can be caused when a person
is repremanded in public (even if that public space is technically private)
can be very real.

Study where you take photos.

It will save energy...
and prevent wrinkles so that
corrective filters of photo editing will not be needed...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Slide Film for a Walk Round Town

Somehow this photo expresses the warm
feeling I always get when I walk in
a Dublin street.

My Dublin

The old walls, the shoppers,
the thought that people have been settled
into a civic way of life here for
more than 800 years.

I used slide film for a few precious photos

It was worth the extra effort.

And... well... hang the expense...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Cinematography Goes Wild

"Into The Wild" was a very startling film.

The cinematography, combined with the energy of the main actor,
kept everybody in the cinema on the edge of their seats for most of
the viewing.

The story was so sad I actually spoke to the person sitting beside me,
just to break the spell that seemed to have fallen over the gathered
company, and to bring us back from the wilderness.

The scenes in the wheat fields, as giant harvesting machines bit across the landscape
were memorable.

The frantic journey down the Colorado River was truly terrifying...

Into the Wild

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Seeing How a Diffuser Filter Works

I often don't need a diffusing filter to make soft focus photos.
Opening up the aperature seems to add a vagueness to many of my shots.

The article in the Title Bar has some useful examples of how
filters can add mystery to one's work.

I've become an avid filter fan and look set
to make a collection to add variety to mundane subjects.

Smoothing Out Wrinkles?

Filters, it seems, can do anything.

Soft focus, achieved with a diffusing filter,
is useful for portraiture,
as it gives skin a soft, unwrinkled smoothness.

A must buy?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Pathway in the Shade

Originally uploaded by rosewoodoil

A calm walk in the Woodland Garden.

By George!

Not only have I got it,
it actually looks well.

I had almost abandoned my Wordpress blog
due to serious confusion and lack of
geeky enthusiasm.

Today, having found a page that allows me to
interact speedily between Flickr and Wordpress
I am uploading photos in a sensible size.

Up 'till now they burst out of their moorings
like overgrown visual Triffids that did not
know their place.

The system works with most blog platforms.

(Details are in the Title Bar above.)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Silver Tones

This photo continues to entertain me.

First Rose of Summer

It was taken with great precision during a warm spell in the garden
in early Summer.
The Canon software allowed for some enhancement,
bringing out silver toning in the spider's
highly reflective body.

I'm now wondering if it would be possible to
repeat this exact effect, starting off with
a different subject.

Insects are not everybody's cup of tea...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Memories of Our Trusty Fuji e500

We invested in a point and shoot Fuji e500
just over three years ago.
It was great, while it lasted, but a card error
developed just after it had gone beyond the year's
guarantee cover.

Sometimes I link it up as a fun web cam,
as that feature is still fully functional.

However, I remember many of the photos we took
with fondness, as the colour tones were pleasant.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sculpture in the Baroque Garden, Emo Court, County Laois

At Emo Court

RGB Swap and Irfanview


In one of its many avatars,
this photo was a virulent green.

Using the RGB Swap feature in Irfanview
gave several, less overwhelming
colour options.

Somehow the Bokeh is a bit like a heart.
The red toning was the best...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Cyclamen in Season

For some reason Cyclamen
respond really well to playing
round with DOF.

Cheerful Cyclamen Dof

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sculpture in Contest at the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin

At the Bots

People flocked to the Botanic Gardens on Sunday last
to view the sculpture exhibition.

Very well worth a visit.

Cameras everywhere.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Stating the Glaringly Obvious

Filters are essential if you want to take well exposed
photos in extremes of light and shade.

The link in the Title Bar is useful on what to choose.

Also, carrying an umbrella is very important in
many hot countries.
Photos taken at sunset in Australia were very
pleasant and with subtle tonal range,
thanks to my trusty umbrella,
bought in Singapore as a protection
from the tropical sun.

People made some interesting comments when
they saw it, at first, but gradually realised
that it was one of the most practical accessories
a photographer could have.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Creative Commons... Again

Ever so often it's worth checking up on
which sites show your photos.

Rows break out from time to time
if photographers find that their work is
being displayed without their permission.

Forewarned is forearmed.

With a Song in My Heart

Ever so often I meet someone who thinks that blogging is a
complete hoot.
"So you have a blog?"
Their eyes twinkle with mischief.
"What's it about?"

... I moved this post to PhotographeDublin and Moderntwist2
as it was posted by mistake here.

In ways, the confusion has made me sit and think
about how to proceed for the next two months.

There are so many photography blogs offering tips
and advice that it is difficult to stand out from
the crowd.

Adding links to other blogs might help?

With the weather taking a serious turn for
the worse in Dublin, photos of warm interiors
and gentle still life subjects might cheer
us all up?

For the time being, I've posted a link to
a Flickr api site in the tool bar here.

Api time for all...

Friday, October 3, 2008

Is Grain Good?

Urban Tree

When using film I often throw my hat at
any effort to control grain.

Set out on a sunny day with an ISO 100 film,
the Celtic Sky suddenly darkens and photos are
returned moody and full of grain.

Set up a good shot, full of cloud and drama,
having chosen ISO 400, and the sun blazes through
brightening and causing crazed effects.

Buying a second film camera is one solution?

No wonder people in Northern climes are so moody...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Is Film on the Way Out?

Butterfly on Daisies

Discussions about the increasing unavailability of
some film types are beginning to fill the Web.

White Balance and In-Camera Settings

In-camera colour casts can be a bit gimmicky...

but they offer the possibility of a drama
and very vivid colour.

Verbena bonariensis, Green Leaves

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Colour Tones and Exposure

On the Shores of Bantry Bay

Dreamy Waterlily

Forget the Flat Earth... It's the Flat Sky That Needs a Rounded Approach

The prospect of taking photos for the next few months out of doors has put me on edge.
I always know a recession is on the way when I start having picnics in wintery weather.
Be prepared for many photos dealing with our ever changing
grey,cloudy skies.

However thanks to a poster on Flickr, I'm getting prepared for the challenge.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Polarising Filter

Rain On the Way

Taken without a circular polarising filter
today's sky looked bleached and without interest.

This has been a great investment.

I got to buy a new lens cleaning cloth AFTER
the session spent cloud watching.

Be Prepared is an old motto worth repeating.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Watery World

The BBC has taken to watery metaphors literally like the proverbial duck.
Every morning I turn off some new thought for the day that involves floods
of biblical proportions or reminders that the waters are so high we
cannot cross o'er.

It's possible to have too much of a good thing,
so I've concentrated on photographing water in its
place... fountains, waterfalls, the sea on a nice, calm day.

However I've also returned quite often to Kyle Tunney's
wonderful photos of the 49th Liffey Descent.
The canoists must have been thrilled with this Summer
and opportunities for skilled shooting the rapids.

Perhaps if a cure has been found for this personal hydrophobia
I'll turn out next year to get some shots of the Fiftieth Anniversary?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


At Howth on a Sunny Day

At least the rain that fell all Summer kept some creatures happy....

The garden is now a safe haven for a vast number of slug and snail
species. It's good to know they are living it up thanks to
all the wet.

Slugs Love a Green Gardener

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My Favourite Colour...

has to be

Moth in a Turquoise Glow

Saturated Spring Colours (Small)

Silver Apples of the Moon


Photos of "soft" subjects seem to get the most comment
when I upload to the Web.
Within moments, a photo of a pink rose
had several comments posted.

This seems to be in contrast to mainstream media
where "hard" subjects are most discussed on
letters pages in our newspapers.

I cannot remember ever having seen a letter
where a beautiful photo is praised,
though these may well be there,
tucked away a the bottom of the page.

The Flickr "Industry" pool should be of
interest to those who work in construction
or whose scientific bias leads them to seek
"strong" images of city life and mechanical
advances around the World...

or, as in my case,

who love the textures and contrasts
found in photographing buildings
in the making.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Reminder to Tag Your Photos

If you "tag" your photos in Blogger and Flickr, it is much easier to find them after
many months.

The presentation here is in order of the "most recent".
The selection of the "most interesting" photos is also an option
if you hit the button to the left of the photo display.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Yellow and Grey

Forty Shades of Green?

What is YOUR favourite colour?

The lugubrious dank foliage matched with a grey sky
that has greeted us for months has it's joyful moments...
mostly spent indoors working on photos taken in haste
between showers.

Work Beckons...

but frankly I'm not in much of a mood to
answer the call.

Looking at the colour palette of many of my photos for the past
few months, I wonder about the effect our dark Northern Monsoon Climate
is having on the collective psyche.

I used hate the colour orange, but now with looming grey skies the norm,
it's getting worked into my top choice whenever possible.

The challenge set to work solidly for two terms on new aspects
of photography and blogging could not seem less appealing at
the moment.

Much more of "Irish" weather and hibernation will be the only option.

Talks of "Recession", while distant still may send some photographers
off to find visual metaphors for a general malaise?
I have no intention of joining them...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Penstemon in Bright Sunlight
Fountain and Statue

The Liffey Descent

The Liffey Descent will take place this coming Saturday,
13th September.

A fine opportunity for sports photographers to extend their
dramatic range.

(Details in the title bar here.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Green Light in Garden, Ferns Unfold

Fern Unfurls

A tripod helped ensure that the Sigma 70-300 apo macro was steady
as a rock for this photo.

Templates and Smileys

When blogging, it's worth looking at what other people see on your blog.

I have a Wordpress Blog that, seemingly, shows a Smiley Face for some viewers.

There's a link in the Title Bar here on how to banish this.