Photographing Candles

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Photographing candles can be tricky as the candle flame can trick the camera meter very easily, likewise using auto-focus is not a good option and its best to switch to manual override instead. Lighting is another consideration to take into account, as it can have a dramatic effect on your pictures.

I decided to try out two different approaches with respect to the lighting, I therefore took some shots with the lights on (just our normal household lighting) and then with none on at all. I liked the effects that both methods had. Another thing worth trying is to deliberately shoot your subject out of focus for an intriguing effect (see below right).

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See the new “General” Gallery for the complete set of images…

Sigma 18-200 OS

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I took delivery of my new Sigma 18-200 OS lens today and I have been testing it out on a few subjects. It is going to take some getting used to, as I am so used to switching between a wide angle and a separate telephoto zoom when out on a shoot. The new lens is unlikely to replace my existing array of optics but will become my default in most cases. I decided to get it as I am planning to do some serious travel this year and need to travel lightly.

It will seem quite weird not having to carry around a large Lowepro rucksack brimming with Nikkors and Sigmas, instead this will be replaced with a smaller bag!

Winchester

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New images taken today that are on their way to Alamy, all of which were taken in Winchester. 3 very standard shots and 3 detail shots. The light was lovely towards the end of the afternoon and this led onto a stunning winter sunset across Hampshire (sadly not enough time was available to stop and capture the scenes we witnessed whilst driving back home).

The end of the year and what is planned for the next one…

Alamy

812This year I have put a lot of effort into bolstering my collection of images with Alamy and it has paid off, as sales have dramatically improved over the course of the past 12 months. The highlight of the year being when Alamy launched their upload service as this has enabled me to send over images taken on the very same day which in turn has improved productivity and efficiency. Big pat on the back for Alamy!

Lightroom

157The release of Lightroom has also made a huge impact on my way of working and its so good being able to actually find images when I need them! There was a lot of concern over the Beta version of the product, it seemed sluggish, buggy and was literally unusable. The release version right up to 1.3.x (the latest) has been rock solid and I love it, couldn’t live without it. So a big pat on the back for Adobe!

Article Writing

535Thanks to FPME magazine and also Professional Photographer, I am now writing articles and its a new venture that I am enjoying immensely. I am in the process of writing a third installment for a series at the moment and have plans to write other articles in 2008.

2008 – the way forward

1012My plans are to write more articles for FPME and other publications. To double my Alamy collection by visiting a large number of locations. This is all taking a fair amount of planning. I shall announce more about my planned European trips soon, I can tell you that we’ll be going to Brussels in March and the next destination is likely to be Krakow, Poland. So 2008 should build upon 2007 and its successes to take things even further forwards.

Last of all I’d like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2008!

Holiday cottages in the Forest of Dean

My second cousin runs 3 holiday cottages in the Forest of Dean area and I only found this out yesterday! I have had a look at her website and they look very nice indeed. They are all located around Parkend, Gloucestershire in a stunning area that’s very close to Wales, so you can explore two countries in one holiday!

Fellow photographers, take note – It’s a very photogenic area and worth visiting if you are looking for a good base to stay at. More details at www.forest-cottages.co.uk

FPME article goes to press

My latest article has just been published in FPME magazine and they’ve done a fantastic job on the design using loads of snazzy stock images and graphics. I am really pleased with the way it looks. My article is the first of a three part series which goes into some depth about the web. The first installment covers the process of starting a site and the next two go into more detail on more complex things!