Keen eyed readers of this stuff will have noted that the venerable Nikon D700 was celebrated by using it's menu system to take 10 in camera multi exposures to celebrate ownership for the, aforementioned 10 years. Now I like this old skool Digital behemoth, weighs a ton but it's still going so I've gone and mated it up to a 50mm F1.8 and had a rummage in the menu system to set it up to what I want.
So, first of all I've set it to Fine quality Jpegs......Jpegs!!!! Well if you shoot Mono in Raw when you download them then the colour is hoicked back and all that Mono moodiness will have to swiped back in with Lightroom or over in Photoshop...let's not bother...Phasers on stun...set to Jpeg Fine. Now then in the Monochrome setting there is a submenu, so now you can get a bit tricksy, so I've added a Red Filter, other colours are available and reduced the sharpness just a tad. I really don't want to be over faffing in LR or PS trying to drag highlights back or nudging shadows into play I want something that out of the can looks and feels like old worldy mono.
Okay note to those who care, you can shoot Raw and Jpeg...I don't want to, my other cameras are set up for colour, RAW and Video so I'll just leave this as it is, I may, however slip in the odd bracketed or manual exposure depending on those tricksy autumnal lighting conditions.
Let's See what I can capture over these next few weeks as we scoot around Scotland
I was asked by a neighbour last month if I was doing any photography at the moment, well the answer was NO....but in recent weeks things have changed. We all know the effects Covid has had and the restrictions it has imposed on all of our daily lives. But as lockdown eases it has made it easier to go out and try and remember settings that were once instinctive and natural. Now I mentioned in an earlier blog post this year Panoramas, I used to do a lot of wide angle panos, 20mm on an FX sensor used to give some eye boggling results. Now though I have settled on a standard 50mm, still shooting 7 images, always left to right....always RAW, faffled in Lightroom with the odd exception being given a tickle in Photoshop. So here are a few, all of my output is heading onto online image libraries, time is a bit of a killer at the moment so I may post a link to all the new stuff in a while.I also have a pile of ICM multi long exposure madness breathing deeply on it's own hard drive so will tickle those into something sensible once winter appears, Anyway here are a few Pano landscapes from around the West Coast of Scotland.
So here we are, the dying embers of Round 1 of covid lockdowns, more on the way probably.....so in those moments between downpours we are off out and exploring. Bumbling down the A77 towards Stranraer lies the little coastal village of Ballantrae, at this point the road sweeps away from the coast so this time we took a right and ended up at a car park overlooking an enormous shingle/pebble beach. Always amazed at this bit of Ayrshire coast in the diversity of it's beach structures. As ever , there was hardly anyone there, the complete opposite to those scenes from Bournemouth the other week. So besides collecting some more Driftwood (have a look on my instagram account) it was a 50mm lens beachcombing bumble. Now I only explores a small part of this coast so this is just a snapshot of what was there. Bisous.
Well after all these years of posting Image and Video files off to Getty images, I honestly had no idea that they sold the image files as Prints and framed goods, well I don't think it has been at the top of their promotional drive but hey....they do. A quick google search shows they have been doing it since 2015..must have passed me by. I'll have to build a link into this site as I sometimes (rarely) get asked for framed pictures.
Well here's a link to some of those wafting around in the digiverse....
Lots of other stuff under the maxblack monicker as well as a stack of Video and b-roll clips on there as well
Well I wrote previously about the demise of Fotolibra, an image library that had over 5,000 of my images lifting their skirts and winking at prospective buyers. Gone now as of the 1st of June but what it made me do was dig out all the old hard drives (there's one that has gone missing) and see if there was anything relevant and useful that I could work on and post to another online library. Turns out there is. Libraries will almost invariably ask that they have exclusivity on the image file and I always try and ensure that that is always followed. So this batch dates back to when I was doing all the work for Manchester discovering all the long forgotten rights of way and footpaths across the whole of the Greater Manchester area. It did take years to build a database but along with the Nikon Coolpix they provided....well I took along my gear as well......
So this is a selection of things I found that had been dumped...from Wythenshaw to Ashton all the way to Ramsbottom...people dump things
I think I may have mentioned my dislike for High Dynamic Range images (HDR) ascribing most of the images produced to being like Barbara Cartland putting on her make-up in the dark whilst being violently shaken by the shoulders ( younger readers here is a Barbara Cartland link ) Now mainly it was an abuse of HDR , with it's ability to extract heaps of tonal and colour information, far too much usually being applied for dramatic effect and the whole thing looking like a dogs dinner. It does seem to have faded from view though.
But here I've used it to extract the maximum from a very low light level Long Exposure set. Late evening, 3 exposures using an ND100 10 times Neutral density filter, camera perched on a tripod and exposure times of 30 seconds, One minute and 2 minutes. Now you could mess about with each image, select and load as layers in Photoshop and mask and blend until life becomes meaningless and the futility of sitting in front of a computer screen only emphasises the vacuity of existence or you could watch this toot sweet video, starting with the 3 images.
So White balance checked for each image file, all selected, right click and stroll up the menu to Merge_HDR, click auto align and using the default settings, select merge, when it's all merged up clean up any dust (do it on the final image as you only have to do it once!) and a bit of personal faffery and your Father or Mothers brother is called Robert.. Oh Ailsa Craig once the sun had set.
Now this was the first Image Library that I uploaded images to back in the day, we are talking the noughties here but in Digital years that really is a lifetime ago. I really can't quantify how many hours I put into this with the image prep, uploading and keywording, cataloguing and finger crossing....but I managed just short of 5,000 unique images...so yes a lot of the noughties was spent hoping that the upload speed was just a bit faster than an asthmatic one legged chicken trying to cross the road...so here is a link... www.fotolibra.com/seller/portfolio/manage.php?collection_type=0
This was one of the first platforms to offer a totally digital image download platform, no slides or negatives but competition is fierce and with Getty switching to a Royalty Free system and driving down prices there had to be casualties. Always friendly and great communications from the owner and sales team it did feel as though you were part of a small team with a common goal of getting digital images out to an online market, but all this comes to an end on the 1st of June so if you want to have a look at what I spent many an hour mashing into some form of easily found, keyworded file, then bob in now a the 1st of June is almost upon us.
Oh yes I had that is until Ian Dickinson on Facebook posted some Photoshop Twirlers which had me jumping straight into Photoshop and , using the image above, swigged a glass of creative juice and set about...well creating. Now I have to say you can possibly set this up as an action , load a photo and press go and all will be done whilst you sit back with your hands behind your head, probably like me humming The Baked Potato song... But what if that envelope was pushed a bit further...
Now there are plenty of training vids on that Youtube so I'm not doing one but I have given you a screen shot of how the finished video is produced
It all looks more complicated than it actually is....no hissing and booing or throwing things now...I suppose a video might be in order....anyway it's just the worked on image opened in a time line...dragged out a bit and then, using pan in the dialogue box set to motion...which looks like this
Right these seedlings wont pot themselves on and I have some Paul Klee type paint splashing planned. Any questions.....
Rain, we all remember when it used to rain all the time before Covid 19 changed everything, But just as the curve starts to flatten the rain returns, New found freedom from hosepiping all the new plants and seedlings wooohooo, so what better way to use this than to lock and load the D750 and take a wander along a country lane. The Road to Pinwherry, one of Bob Hopes and Bing Crosbys least known road movies....anyway one of those spring mornings when the rising sun in the east met with grey clouds in the west. So mainly wild flowers with added stark spring landscape...stay safe out there mes amis.
A quickish walk along the Water of Gregg here in the village, mainly punctuated by Ewes and Lambs castigating us and sending us on our way. Low sun and not much cloud cover with the added bonus of so many wildflowers poking out through the undergrowth...some of which I've never seen before or, which is more probably the case, have forgotten about in the fugg of old age. So some sunlit macro shots from along the riverbank. Stay safe out there.
Showing my age now, yes I was pointing a camera at things way back then and this little slice of history dates back to 1977, the Queens Silver Jubilee, you can see they painted the top of Blackpool Tower Silver....woooohoooo.
Now these are all Ektachrome shot with a Bronica S2a 80mm Nikkor standard lens and exposure with a Weston master IV which is in another box somewhere. So the ravages of time have not been kind to some of them but besides a bit of spotting in Lightroom these are all 100 % original. In those days the thought of bracketing exposures or shooting multiple shots of one image were a big no-no mainly due to the costs, after all I was doing my summer job working on the Parks department and the wages were hardly astronomical and I had to feed the Cibachrome habit....
I have ring binders of 2 1/4 negatives as well which have suffered over the years, maybe if it's a grim winter I will invest some time in them
So this is a slice of what Blackpool promenade was like back in the day.
Next post will be how I made a large format slide copier out of an old ipad, tracing paper, some cardboard and the spirit of 'this is one I made earlier' Blue Peter style.
It's a funny thing taking over a new garden, well especially in winter. What lies beneath? So we have been patient and cracked on with removing all the Thug plants we could find, well not all but a lot! I've pushed forward on the Hard landscaping as we all seem to have lots of time at home at the moment.... So thought I would go out and record where all the spring plants were popping up and this turned into a macro shoot then a macro video shoot and ...well it is a bank holiday, I sat down and jimmied them into some semblance of order as a video...now it was lovely and sunny when I shot this but now I've just heard the crack of thunder out there...Bank Holidays eh!! Oh I've rendered this at 720 youtube so the quality might be a bit off but keeps the file size smaller. Shooting info, Nikon D750 Manual mode SS 1/50th. 1080p at 25fps, Nikkor 105 Micro Iso 100..Lightroom to Photoshop CC. Oh and I didn't use the Gimbal or slider for this as I need to get my head around those bits of kit again.
C'est le bon moment pour terminer tous ces projets. Vérifiez vos disques durs et voyez ce qui s'y cache.
C'est d'une époque antérieure à l'auto-isolement, lorsque nous avons socialisé et que le soleil brillait. Un moment de plaisir, un temps entre amis Fête de Kernevez.
There was a time when I worked for a famous High Street purveyor of all things Photography, remember the High Street, after the times we are going through now everything may be different in the aftermath. So anyway camera shops......used to deal in Secondhand gear and I had the opportunity to buy a complete Hasselblad Xpan kit or a Fuji GSW690...oh lord they were both cheap but the Fuji more so....idiot....have you seen how much Xpans are now????? But it's the format I wish I had gone for, okay the fuji had monster sized 6 x 9 cm negatives...the xpan had size 65 x 24 mm but it was the format, the letterbox shape...mmmmm. And I've been looking at the Fuji GFX 50R with panoramic mode...that's a lot of cash..so time to think of an alternative
Create a crop profile in Lightroom or Photoshop, 65 x 24 and train your eye to see in panoramic mode... yeah right...but I've tried and my first gallery of 2020 is Panoramics of the area where I now live.
So with travel restrictions, self isolating, time on your hands and the wind in your sails...well why not.
Don't let the format you see through the viewfinder of your camera limit your vision, enjoy.
To warp boldly where no one has warped before...so more and more tools become available in Photoshop CC 2020 and other tools are enhanced, it's an ongoing thing and sometimes hard to keep up with the rate of change. I discovered facial recognition warping the other day in Photoshop...who knew?? Anyway this is an extension of the Transform tool Ctrl or Cmd T but then right click the menu again and it opens up a new transform menu which is split warp transform, Now there are plenty of videos on the University of Youtube, here's one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TrVYkJ53Dg something that has all kind of possibilities.
So it gives you targeted transform above is a shot of the SECC in Glasgow when I walked around and tried desperately not to repeat images from 2013 when I was last here . Watch the video and have some fun getting swoopy and bendy with any of your images.
There was a recent petapixel article about the 6 different types of photographer. https://petapixel.com/2020/01/27/there-are-6-photographer-types-which-one-are-you/
Nothing quite like being pigeon holed and being squeezed into some understandable conformity
Now the image above is engineered, just 2 shots that when brought together create their own reality. To create this I used the sparkly new tools in Photoshop...which was in its most basic form..select subject...mask...errrr job done.Now I'm old skool Photoshop from the day when masking not only was very complex but also sucked the life out of you computer chips and with the added possibility of it all ending up a bit meh... But in the latest iteration of Photoshop masking, even the complexity of hair against a background becomes fizzingly quick by just following some simple actions...have a look here https://www.behance.net/live/videos/4507/Photoshop-Daily-Creative-Challenge-Selecting-Masking
So the image above..shots taken by me, put together by me with a simple click in Photoshop...but is it still a Photograph?? a graphic, a montage, photo-realism???? Maybe we need more pigeon holes, maybe we need to stop pigeon holing, labelling, categorising, ha I still smile when after one of my camera club talks my images were described as 'Quirky'....so lets add that one to the petapixel article, I'm sure there are more and I'm sure every individual who shoots in their own way will have a category they could define for themselves, you know how you see...so label it, categorise and above all pigeon hole yourself
Some fine examples of street art under the arches along the A814 running close to the Clyde in Glasgow.
Properly grim and grisly weather up in Glasgow this last weekend, so here are a few from a wander down by the Clyde. Thee are some colourful Graffiti images to come after this but it was a proper grey fug out with the light.
Since I was last here , probably about 10 years ago, the place has become a bit tatty around the edges, well here by the Clyde at the SECC and Transport Museum....hmmm...just saying.
Okay I may not be posting a lot of photos to social media, but copious amounts of video and stills photographic work has been heading off for a new life to my online agencies where, being ignored for great chunks of time awaits them.
So what, in these dreek grievous winter months have I been up to..the new garden has had the burden of all it's thug and bully plants removed...for the moment ...but everything needs some dryness and warmth out there so we will await for that fleeting moment to arrive .....so artwork, the making of. You may remember a blog post from last year where I used printing to push my photographic work onwards... so rather than just leave things I started to experiment and although there have been a few disasters...well at least they made good firelighters...mostly the learning curve has been of the upward sort. So the following images are combinations of acrylic, ink, chalk, oil pastel torn paper , collage and charcoal.....
Well here we are and it's 2020 and I've thought a lot about blog posting....and that's as far as it has got. There has been a lot of photographing and videoing going on but the vast majority has been for online image libraries which are often accompanied by a major 'YAWN' factor as that's what they are....library shots.
Surprisingly large amount of wild bird/rough weather/woodland walk video clipping sometimes a combination of all 3 has been uploaded and told to go off and have a life of it's own out there in the digital netherworld..but I have squeezed a bit of wonky quirkiness in as well so here are a few.
What's all this then????
An unyeilding torrent of Photo babbel full of unconfirmed facts and manufactured photo drivel.. take from it what you like, it won't change the world but may leave you feeling nauseous...