Thursday, 31 March 2011

Inside Kelvingrove

Here we are inside Kelvingrove again. The balustrade was wonderful for taking photos without flash and there was no need to carry a tripod. Look backwards and you see the spitfire.

On the right I zoomed in and cropped a little tighter. It may not be as important to do this when you look on your computer as the quality of the photograph is not as important as when you print photos. You will still have a better appreciation of the faces.

Happy snapping

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Kelvingrove Art Gallery

This is Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow. You saw it yesterday from the inside as this is where you will see the Spitfire and the stuffed animals.

I am not keen on converging verticals. If you think of a path that is seen from the foreground to the background I think we all know that it gets smaller. The same thing happens vertically. The lines of the building on the left look like they are leaning towards the middle of the building but our eyes accommodate for this as we know that the building is really upright. The computer accommodates for converging verticals too and I have made this amendment on the right.

Happy snapping

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Motion and radial blur

I used no flash in Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. I noticed on the news yesterday that Kate Middleton and Prince William were photographed in front of what looked like an expensive canvas. Light is not good for paint. You will no this yourself if you paint your house. I am not sure how light affects stuffed animals but I don't think it will help. Look at the photo on the left and you can see the balustrade which acts as a tripod. Use the timer and there is no possiblity of camera shake.

You may not believe this if you just look at the photo on the right because I have blurred most of the scene, as if there has been a panning focus. This is when you move the camera to keep a moving subject in focus and this blurs the background. Well it is easier to guarantee a good photo when you do the blurring on the computer. I added a rotational blur for the propellers.

Happy snapping

Monday, 28 March 2011

The relevance of art

Here is more street art. The safety pin may be a little modern for some viewers but it clearly represents a useful item. On the right is a remnant of Asgo's, I mean Glasgow's maternity hospital. It is certainly a reminder of Glasgow's past and without the need to enter a museum.

If you look closer on the right you will see Glasgow's City Chambers - Town Hall to me. You may not be able to tell from this distance but it is a fine building. If you know Glasgow then it tells you roughly where this hospital used to be. Look a little closer and you can just make out the safety pin through the treees that are visible through the doorway.

Happy snapping

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Wellington and GoMA

I have just returned from two nights, three days in Glasgow and I saw this statue of Wellington on each of the three days. I was not going to take a photo because of the traffic cone but then I heard a guide on the red bus tour comment on it. It seems it is often there. The next day I was on the red bus again but this time a recorded message told me that a red cone was often on his head. Then I read the same thing in a booklet on the statues of Glasgow. I had thought that the cone would be removed after the first day but I suppose the statue and the cone are synonymous with Glasgow.

The people of Glasgow have accepted the cone and it looks like they don't bother taking it off. This isn't so much an act of laziness but of friendliness. Take my dealings with two of the staff inside GoMA which is the building behind the statue. They could not have been friendlier. One told me about the meaning behind a series of art works and the other went out of his way to answer my question on whether I could find out more information on a photographer - and yes I did.

Happy snapping

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Photography and Politics

Today I will join my two blogs as I am showing you amendments to a photograph which then became a political leaflet.

On the left is the photo you saw yesterday in the photography blog. It has already been cropped significantly and you will also notice that Lancaster Cathedral has been removed. Increasing the brightness and decreasing the contrast makes it the background in the election leaflet on the right. As for the politics, this is an amendment to the leaflet which was seen on Thursday which showed Morecambe Town Hall in the background. It is a simple explanation of how voting will take place on May 5th and readers of the political blog will know that a full explanation of our present system takes longer than an explanation of the Alternative Vote.

Happy snapping

Friday, 25 March 2011

Lancaster Skyline

I took this photo with a compact camera that I just happened to be carrying as I walked through Lancaster. I noticed the three buildings on the skyline, Lancaster Cathedral, the Town Hall and the Ashton Memorial and I thought there was a picture there. However there are a lot of distractions. Particularly in colour the bus really dominates the scene. I won't mention the other clutter in the photo as you can see it for yourself.

You will notice that clock tower is sloping too. Most of the amendements were done by cropping and tilting but the photo is now transformed. It can't be a poster because it was only a hand-held compact camera in the first place but it can be part of a leaflet. I'll show you tomorrow.

Happy snapping

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Even more changes

It is quite nice to amend photographs and to use them so that they are seen by more people and a leaflet is one way of doing this. You have already seen the photo in the background in yesterday's blog. If you thought the amendments were obvious then well they are even more obvious today.

This is not a blog about the technicalities of working on photographs but I can tell you simply that if you increase the brightness and decrease the contrast you end up with this background photo. It is a fairly simple technique but so is anything when you know how to do it. I don't think anyone is shy but I did remove the address as I haven't asked Bill - well many people get their faces blurred on the internet.

Happy sapping

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Morecambe Town Hall

You may have guessed from the title that this is Morecambe Town Hall. It was a nice enough evening when I took this photo but the reason I am showing you this particular photo is to show you how manipulation can improve the scene.

I could have waited until the car moved but I would have a long time to wait before the signs were removed. I can't remember what the distraction is on the ground to the left of the building. It is not that long ago when photographers were getting up early and taking photos in towns and cities without members of the public in view. We don't have to get up as early now.

Happy snapping

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

More manipulations

A couple of days ago I wrote that I was showing you the last couple of photos from this wedding. Well I have been asked for some amendments and I thought that I would let you see some of them. I am always pleased to amend photos as I can be sure that these amendments are wanted. Up to this point I had worked on the photos and made amendments as I saw fit. With these the couple have thought about them and I can be sure that they are wanted.

Happy snapping

Monday, 21 March 2011

A vertical panorama

This is still the pre-wedding meeting at the Midland Hotel in Morecambe which is famous for its Eric Gill medallion on the ceiling at the top of the stairs. It is possible to take a photo of the Neptune and Triton medallion from the top of the stairs but you don't get anything else in the photo, but by the magic of digital photography you can add a photo of the top floor landing...and the floor below that (seen on the left).

So in the photo on the right I have combined a photo of the ceiling with a photo of two of the four floors. The floor itself made an easy division between the photos but it made me wonder if a panoramic photos could be made of the whole of the building, and what about normal landscape panoramas? Could lamp-posts do the same thing? I didn't take a photo of the floor below but this floor (the first) is similar to the second. The ground floor is totally different as it is the main reception. So that's a challenge for another day.

Happy snapping

Sunday, 20 March 2011

You are here

This photo was taken at a pre-wedding meeting during the week at the Midland Hotel's viewing gallery. The wedding is taking place at The Ashton Memorial and both venues are great for photographs and the Ashton Memorial is visible from the hotel if you come here to the viewing gallery.

If you focus on the horizon then you won't get the foreground in focus and vice-versa and in this case the foreground is slightly more important. I was thinking about taking a photo with a tripod with the Ashton Memorial in focus and then joining the two photos together, a little like someone who paints a bump on a car and blends in the two colour of paint. It is probably easier for me as I could use part of the rail to blend the two photos. I wanted both venues to be visible and so went for the inset and the arrow but I will give it more thought. I don't normally go for the car park in the middle distance as the Platform, the former railway station has a lot more going for it.

Happy snapping

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Last two from last week

I like to take photos when bride and groom are ready and maybe there is a pretence of getting ready e.g. fastening a button that is already fastened or pretending to adjust a tiara. However the photo on the left is a genuine record of the preparation. That makes a change for me.

On the right is me being arty again. I know I showed you a photo like this last week but I liked the way the flowers came out on this. I have never shown you a photo like that on the left because I haven't taken one before. I will look out for it in future.

Happy snapping

Friday, 18 March 2011

These photos are the same

I have an A1 poster in a frame on my wall. It is a wedding scene and it is there to show that photos look fine when enlarged to this size. The ability of a photo to be enlarged does not depend solely on the technology of the camera but at least you get a rough idea of the extent to which any photo may be changed. In this example the portrait of the bride should enlarge to A4 as it is a small section of the original photo.

At first glance it is hard to see that these two photos are the same as they look so different. The tiara, necklace, earing become more prominent. As with most aspects of art if you like it that's fine. If you don't then it doesn't matter. Stick with the original.

Happy snapping

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Copyright and thank you

I really don't mind other guests taking photos. Partly this is because it gives me the chance to take photos like the one on the left and partly it is because I give away copyright anyway. I have heard of wedding photographers who deliberately break up poses because they don't want anyone else to take a similar photo. It doesn't matter.

On the right I have added two photos together. Together they make a 6"x 4" photo but cut them in half and you have two 4"x 3" photos. This is not a bad size anyway but stick them on a piece of folded A5 card on the front and the back and you almost have a fully completed unique "thank you" card.

Happy snapping

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

The first dance

It is nice to record who is present at a wedding, so I take group photos formally and informally. Similarly I take formally posed photos and informal photos of the bride and groom, but it is also nice to take candid photos. If I use flash then I am less discrete but without flash movement may become a blur.

It doesn't matter if I use flash with the first dance. Everyone is taking photos anyway and just like the cutting of the cake, you get time to wait for expressions.

Happy snapping

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Posed or not posed?

Yesterday I was writing about expressions. Well I suppose posed photos are fine but you can't beat natural smiles. I know this photo is definitely posed as it is the cutting of the cake but it takes a minute or two for all the guests to get ready to take their photo. I already had my articial cutting of the cake so whatever I took here was a bonus.

When you have a minute or two to take a photo you are bound to get natural smiles and this is no exception. I get a similar chance to take photos like this during the first dance and I'll show you some dance photos tomorrow.

Happy snapping

Monday, 14 March 2011

Expressions make photos

You know whenever I like a photograph because the bride and groom will receive the original colour version. The more variations, the more I like it and this photo was also converted to sepia with a vignette. I haven't had time to work on all the photos yet but this may be my favourite of the day.

I knew the background was good. Look carefully and you will see the cake and the candelabra doesn't look bad. The dress and jewellery come out well but the most important part of any wedding photograph is the expression and these expressions are what makes this photo what it is.

Happy snapping

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Amending Photos

I like monochrome. Sometimes I prefer sepia and sometimes I prefer colour. I know everyone has their own preferences so if I like a photo it tends to be converted in a number of ways. On the left I have picked on monochrome for this blog entry. You do miss the colour of the flowers but that is not always a bad thing.

My next change was to move the portrait to the mirror on the right. I generally take photos when the bride and groom are getting ready and if mirrors or picture frames are involved then it is an easy change to add a photo to a photo. In this case the reflection was fine but I will look into adding another photo to replace the main reflection.

Happy snapping

Saturday, 12 March 2011

And Finally...

And finally from last week's wedding...I work on wedding photos immediately after the wedding. I work chronologically which means that when I get to first dance I have almost finished my work. Anyone can take a photo of the first dance but I blur the background. In this way it looks like everyone's attention is on the dancers (of course it was).

You also know when I have finished because the very last photo that I work on is the "thank you" photo. I do this routinely and if the bride and groom choose to send to stick them on card and send them then that's great. It is an inexpensive way of getting round to thanking friends and family and as well as this my photos are seen by a lot more people - and they are my best advert.

Happy snapping

Friday, 11 March 2011

Is this arty?

This is not arty in the same sense as yesterday photo as nothing is out of focus. However these photos are arty in the sense that the bride and groom may be thinking about what is happening when they look into a mirror - yes they are mirrors.

This type of photo is a trademark for me. I tend to follow instructions as to when and where I am wanted but I try to find a moment when bride and groom can take a second to look in a mirror. I did also take a photo of the groom and best man by a picture frame. In that I placed a photo of the best man giving his speech but you can't see that one as I only ask permission from the bride and groom.

Happy snapping

Thursday, 10 March 2011

An 'arty' photo

I don't mind if I am not allowed to take photos during the wedding ceremony. If I take photos then there may be another half dozen prints to hand over but the congregation don't move much and all the photos would look very similar. In this case there were no photos but that doesn't mean that we couldn't go back later and take photos of the church.

I may even prefer taking photos like this as you can't go wrong with poses and I am able to stand wherever I wish. The photo on the right shows the narrow depth of field when the flowers are near the lens. The bride and groom become deliberately out of focus which gives a feeling of semi-privacy while they are kissing. I know it is flowery language but they are flowers and this is me at my most arty. By the way, they will receive a monochrome and completely colour version too.

Happy snapping

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

A bit of direction

I was given direction for these photos as they reflect a family photo taken many years ago. It would have been nice to see the photo because there may have been facial expressions or slightly different poses that I could see from my side of the lens. However it is just nice to get input about different poses.

The monochrome version is a homage to photos taken 60 years ago. Yes I know colour was around but monochrome looks older. The cropping in portrait and then in landscape takes the emphasis from the couple and more towards the car but it is possible to crop in many ways and place the emphasis on different aspects of the photograph. The colour version directs the eye towards the flowers, but the photo can remain in colour and the flowers could be cropped out. That's thebeauty of the digital age - so many changes can be made.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Where's Ozzy?

I showed you this scene on the 23rd February. The Viking Graves may be known to you because they have been there since the time of the Vikings! You may also know about them if you are a fan of Black Sabbath. You can see them on the cover of their "Best of Black Sabbath" album and to save you going to the shops you can see it at

It doesn't really matter if you know the graves as that is Morecambe Bay in the background and as Bill Bryson commented, it is probably the best view in Europe. On the 23rd I showed you a colour and a monochrome version of the same photo. This time I have gone for the colour and the sepia with vignette versions.

Wind can often be a problem here but it wasn't bad on Saturday. We are fairly high up and even if the forecast doesn't mention a breeze it can still be a problem because of the height and because of the sea breezes, but we managed all the photos that we had planned.

Happy snapping

Monday, 7 March 2011

A most beautiful venue

The vicar at this church said that it was one of the most beautiful places to get married in the country if not the whole of the world, and there would be many who agree with him. You can see a little of the church in this photo but the main think you can see is the bride and groom and the genuine smiles as they walk down the aisle.

Look at the detail in the stone on the floor and on the wall. I think the monochrome version brings this out more. The colour version definitely highlights the flowers but both have their focus on their faces and their smiles.

Happy snapping

Sunday, 6 March 2011

The actual day

I showed you this scene from the pre-wedding meeting on the 22nd February. Well here is the actual moment from yesterday when this bride and groom left the church. This time I have used the proportions 3:2 which means the photos are a little longer and thinner than those on the 22nd.

Again I used the colour version and on the right I used the sepia with vignette as I think this really makes the scene look like it was from a hundred years ago. They will also get a monochrome and sepia without vignette version. I picked up a few leaves with the computer but the strange thing is that if you compare this photo with the one from the 22nd then leaves have increased with time. Well I didn't pick any up last time and there are definitely more leaves on the floor in the last couple of weeks!

Happy snapping