Journal, Photography

Stourhead

Autumn is definitely a great time to visit Stourhead and it was busy today when we arrived with scores of photographers traipsing around with their tripods. I on the other hand was quite content with capturing my photos handheld, I rarely use a tripod at the moment. However I do want to get back to using one as the Winter kicks in, so that I can dust off my Lee filters and take just that little bit more time with each shot.

It has been great to see my parents too, we are staying with them for the weekend at their home in Dorset. Stourhead is about an hour from Wimborne, such a beautiful drive up via Shaftesbury and the colours starting to make their appearance across the landscape.

The light today has been crisp and the wind biting. We were all very pleased to be wearing decent coats! I have recently purchased a ‘Rab’ coat which is very well insulated and Tina with her Swedish made ‘Didrickson’s’ long coat. We were well protected from the icy cold wind that is for sure!

Farnborough, Hampshire, Journal, Photography, Uncategorized

Twilight photography and the modern camera

If I were to tell you I took this shot handheld a few years ago, it would have sounded like a massive fib. However I did and thanks to a combination of in-camera and lens based stabilisation technology, coupled with a vast ISO range you can now pull off some amazing shots at times of day you’d be stuck without a tripod.

So in the case of the above shot it was taken at ISO 12800, 24mm, f9, 1/13sec. Sony a7riii with a 24-105mm lens.

The building is the historic balloon hangar at Farnborough with the U.K. offices of Time Inc in the distance.

I’m building up a series of shots based around Farnborough and other historical buildings. Watch out for a new gallery in the not too distant future.

Journal, Photography

Posting to WordPress from Lightroom CC

Today a few things starting with; posting directly to WordPress from Lightroom CC for mobile. It is simple, down right criminal almost and what’s more I can do this whilst on the train.

All you need is the WordPress app for your mobile and Lightroom for mobile. Choose your photo in LR and select share. It then prompts you to pick your size and then the app to share via using the standard methods. Done. All I needed to do after that, was write this bit of text!

I said there were a few things so watch out for posts on why thankfully I’ve rekindled this WordPress blog and some things around the corner. I shall come back to those!

Journal, Photography

Albanian Sunrise

NIC_0947

I decided to take a break from the computer whilst we were staying on Corfu, having had a busy time in the run-up to our trip, the priority was to relax, do nothing apart from explore and take the occasional photos. Luckily I did take quite a few but I never rush to publish my shots, I often prefer to leave them on the hard drive and return to them later. If I liked a photo when I took it and I still feel the same some weeks (even months or years) later, then I am happy. Simple as that.

The villa we rented was so well located and we could see a lot from our high vantage point. We were only 2 miles away from the coast of Albania and the land mass you can see in the photo above comprises of our “personal” mountain in the foreground, the Adriatic and then in the not-so-far-at-all distance, Albania! You could probably swim to it, if you were the sort not scared of very very deep water and able to dodge Cruise ships passing through the channel.

This shot was taken close to 6am in the morning, as I often wake up as early as that even when on holiday, but by jove! It was worth it!

So technically, for my technically minded friends out there, I used a Gorillapod and a ND grad filter for this shot. I mounted the camera on the glass panels that surrounded the pool terrace using the Gorillapod, as you can twist and contort it and affix your camera to all sorts of things. It came in very handy and I will take it on future travels. I always use Lee filters, they are just soooo good.

 

 

Aerial, Food, Hampshire, Photography

Field of gold

DJI_0021-1

The rape seed fields of Hampshire are progressing fast this year, the yellow flowers starting to fade, making way for the greener colours. I found a place to park up and a footpath to follow for a short distance. It is hard to envisage what the view would be like, because all I could see from my angle were the crops, about as tall as I am if not more so.

Once up in the air I could see the tracks left by the farmer and shot a short video. It was from this sequence that I ended up grabbing this image in Lightroom. I then edited it, adding a little bit of a graduated filter effect to the top of the frame to bring the sky back a bit more, to add some balance to the frame.

Then I decided that I should grab an abstract and from where (more or less) the previous  photo was captured, I switched the camera to look down towards the ground below. Expect to see more of this sort of thing from me, I love abstracts and to be able to zoom in or out from above is a thrill.

DJI_0022

It has been a gorgeous afternoon with temperatures nearly reaching 20 degrees Celsius and really feeling like Summer all of a sudden.

Talking of which…

We as a family do like to use rape seed oil in our cooking and there are a number of local producers who market their goods to many local farmers markets and even to the regional supermarkets. The demand for this crop is growing ever higher but I do wonder if we export it? I hope we do, as it is really nice stuff.

One of our favourite snacks is to get some nice bread, fill a couple of small ramekins with just enough rape seed oil and Balsamic Vinegar. Dip dip!! It goes in seconds but it is definitely one of those lovely comfort foods. It is very good for you too, well at least I think so!

Recommended Links

http://www.coldpressedoil.co.uk/

https://leckfordestate.co.uk/produce/rapeseed-oil – Ooh I should write more about this one, it is a great place to visit the whole year round

Aerial, Hampshire, Journal, Photography

King John’s Castle

Having watched one or two videos by my fellow photographers that featured Odiham Castle, I decided to hop in the car and visit the location myself. The closer I got to my destination as I drove into the gorgeous evening light, the more stormy it started to look in the distance as I cruised down the A287 from Farnham towards Odiham. I was conscious of the fact that I may be heading for a storm front, I knew it was too good to be true, an otherwise horrid week of torrential downpours had subsided and had led us all into a fanciful dream that Summer was back. I decided to press on nonetheless in the hope that if the heavens did open once again, it would probably be brief and the sun would pop out again. All photographers know that when that happens, you can sometimes witness an incredibly clear, crisp form of light.

Suffice to say, the rain didn’t arrive and as I pulled up near the Castle, the weather was actually looking like it was on the mend but I had lost the best of the light. Oh well, I shall make do, I decided and made my way down the canal towpath.

The walk isn’t at all far from the nearest parking spot and it is a lovely stroll. I highly recommend it for any time of year, as you get to appreciate Nature and all of her seasons. The Canal incidentally for those of you who don’t know the area is The Basingstoke Canal. We plan to shoot and film more along it’s entire stretch wherever we can in the years to come.

I decided that I will use my DJI Mavic more for photography than video, as photos tend to be quicker to edit and to share on the blog. I shall also collect up as much footage of a location as possible and to take my time over that. Film editing is a longer process, especially if I want to go a little more to town on it, adding music, cutting clips, recording voice overs etc. So I plan to share more video once I have enough to produce a series of mini documentaries. Got to be ambitious!!! Will I follow a theme? Yes, probably quite a few over the course of time and as I practice my flying/filming skills too!

DJI_0016

I joked over on Facebook that I had miniaturised the castle in order to take this photo. In many ways it does feel like I have or maybe I became a giant with a humongous tripod to match? Joking aside, the ability to position a camera anywhere in three dimensional space is still boggling my mind. It is so exciting and I have a head full of ideas for future entries on this blog. So much so, I think I have a firm theme for this site now, which I didn’t feel I had lost at some point in time whilst writing this blog…. I digress!

The DJI Mavic can shoot both RAW and JPEG at the same time. The photos on this page were all shot in DNG format and when I got home, I imported them into Lightroom. All I changed at this point were the white balance as that was off by a long way. I then applied a preset called “Punch” and finally some sharpness to make it look really crisp. The images off the camera were all shot with no sharpness or very little. So it is a very similar process to editing photos taken off my Nikon D7000. The cameras are of a very close resolution too.

The photo below was taken as a test but it clearly shows that on the DJI Mavic, you have the ability to focus and control your depth of field. It is one of the first to offer this and that is pretty incredible. The older drones all featured cameras that are single-focus (I think, correct me if I am wrong) and also suffered from fish-eye distortion. This lens is closer to something like a 50mm with an aperture of 2.8. This makes it a great drone for filing or shooting photography that is quite tight, you can fly through tight spaces using the amazing “Tripod Mode”

DJI_0007

So that pretty much wraps up today’s post, how about a video of Odiham Castle? That will come another time, I want to go back a few more times and shoot some more sequences over the seasons.

Last but not least

It was great to meet fellow bloggers Johann and Roberta Briffa last weekend in Guildford along with two other friends of theirs. The Briffas hail from the sunny island of Malta and regular visitors to this blog, yes there are many of you (joke!) will know Tina and I love the Maltese islands and the people. We look forward to catching up with you Johann and Roberta the next time we visit Malta or when you come back to visit the UK!

Please do check out their blogs, they write frequently, more so than I do and I enjoy every post they share.

https://jabriffa.wordpress.com/

https://chorizoandthyme.wordpress.com/

Roberta, you asked me to blog more, hope this is a good start? 😉

Hampshire, Journal, Photography

The Spinney

The following short film came to me in a moments inspiration whilst I was out researching a location for both filming and photographing. The light was bursting through the trees in this small woodland “Spinney” and it struck me how beautiful it was.

This kind of shot would traditionally have been created with a camera mounted on some kind of mechanical pulley or rail system. No need for that when you can use a drone. I set my Mavic up to use “Tripod mode” which changes the behaviour of the drone when you fly in a sideways direction to operate at a very steady speed, providing the operator with more control over the smoothness of the resulting video.

I also turned off sharpening in the recording, favouring doing that in post-production. I am liking the D-Cinelike mode which provides for a greater lattitude when editing later.

 

Farnborough

First heavy frost


This morning it is very brrrrrrrrrrr. A quick glance at my weather app tells me it’s -2c out here today. So whilst walking towards the train station, I had a little bit of time to take a photo of Farnborough Hill School and it’s very frosty grounds. 

This week I’ve discovered a wonderful iOS app called Filmborn, that enables you to emulate classic film formats from the likes of Ilford, Kodak and Fuji. I used it for this photo and I’m going to play with it a little bit over the coming weeks. 

Winter is a tough season to get through at the best of times but braving the cold to take pictures is well worthwhile in my opinion. On days like this you can’t beat the light and the beauty of frost. 

The weather forecast this morning mentioned snow up in the North. Some say it’s going to be a harsh winter this year.