Travails with my camera



At work I’m playing with contrast. Interesting just how the background affects the percieved contrast.


Dartmouth Week 2014

Taser Photography (Possibly NSFW)

Some stunning reaction shots here, beautifully lit in a studio. Wonder how he talked people into it.

Riverside Studios Photography Documentary Night

Last night I got the chance to see two fantastic photography documentaries at the Riverside Studios cinema in Hammersmith.

The Mexican Suitcase

For years the International Centre of Photography knew that a box of negatives had escaped from the Spanish Civil War. The box contained the negatives of legendary photojournalists Robert Capa, David “Chim” Seymour and Gerda Taro.

This film investigates the story of the losing Republican soldiers, their escape from Franco and their move to Mexico.

Some stunning B&W Phootjournalism is on display.

Finding Vivian Maier

This is a film about a young man who bought a box of 150,000 negatives. The images turn out to be amongst the best American street photography ever seen.

Maier, a dark, highly introverted character took some fantastic photos, including the first Selfies – taken with a Rolleiflex

Well worth seeing out.

Aventura at Tower Bridge

For some reason Flickr have deprecated WordPress support. Just trying out Gigya.

Northumberland Day Out

I’ve been looking for photography ideas recently, and Northumberland features in a lot of travel photography books.  I grew up in Northumberland, I’ve been to just about every location they list, with parents, the Scouts or friends.  I know quite a lot of it really well.  It’s an overlooked jewel in the UK’s crown.  I’ve also looked at various travel photography courses – people are paying £800+ for a long weekend in Northumberland.

So, this got me thinking, what can I do in one day?  I’m not expecting perfect, but am hoping that I can get some decent images.

My idea so far:

Dunstanburgh Castle


Harthope Burn


Steel Rigg

Yowayowa Camera Woman

Found a great blog via DigitalRev TV, Yowayowa Camera Girl.  This Japanese lady specialises in levitation photography.


I really like them, they’re fun, they’re incredibly well executed (These are not photoshopped) and they’re something I’d love to try in the future.  To find out how to do it yourself, over to Kai at DRTV:


Cornel Lucas at the National Theatre

Just returned from a fantastic exhibition at the National Theatre foyer.  A free exhibition of Cornel Lucas’ favourite pieces.

Not many will have heard of him, but many (most?) will have seen his work.  He had a few photographic jobs during his lifetime:

  1. With the RAF during the war researching innovative techniques to undertake aerial photographs,
  2. As a fashion photographer for the Littlewood’s Mail Order Catalogue, and
  3. As a portrait photographer.

Indeed, he is the only stills photographer to ever be given a BAFTA for services to the UK Film Industry.  His shots are quite well known, even if no-one could say who took them.  I couldn’t choose 2 favourites, so here’s three.  (Look at the shadows on the face creating a 3D effect to see how much effort he’s put into the image).

Joan Collins, 1952 (C) Cornel Lucas

Joan Collins, 1952 (C) Cornel Lucas

David Niven, 1955 (C) Cornel Lucas

David Niven, 1955 (C) Cornel Lucas

Marlene Dietrich, 1948 (C) Cornel Lucas

Marlene Dietrich, 1948 (C) Cornel Lucas

Getting Ready for Lightpainting

I’ve been building some nice kit to do some light painting in February with my photography club.  The equipment is all bought from eBay and requires only a slight modification to be used in lightpainting.  The Twitter link above shows some examples of lightpainting.

Colour Painting Torch

The easiest to make.  You will need:

  1. CREE Torch – a low power, high brightness LED torch – cost about £5 with batteries.
  2. Elastic Band
  3. Coloured celophane (Quality Street wrappers)

Use the elastic band to cover the torch with celophane.  “Paint” buildings, models, etc.

Light Orbs

The light orbs that you see in lightpainting photos are made using battery powered fairy lights.  You will need:

  • Battery operated fairy lights (£2 from Ebay)
  • Electricians tape
  • 2 small lengths of choc block (or soldering iron or tape – any method that can electrically join two wires)
  • 4 foot of 2 core cable (bell wire, speaker wire, mains flex …)

Bunch all the LEDs together and tape them together.  Cut the wire between the LED bunch and the battery and extend using the 2 core cable.  Beware that LEDs are polarised – you need to connect + to + and – to -.  If it isn’t working try swapping the connection around.

Light Bar

The long streaks of light are created using a light bar.  For this, a strip of RGB LEDs is needed.

You’ll need:

  1. A kit containing an RGB LED strip and Controller – you do not need a power supply (about £8)
  2. Electricians tape
  3. A garden cane
  4. A 9v battery clip

Connect the 9v battery clip to the short power flylead that came in the kit (red to red and black to black).  Connect the flylead to the controller and the controller to the LED strip.  Connect a 9v battery.  You should now be able to control colour using the remote control.

Stick the LED strip and the control box to the garden cane and you have a light bar.

LRPS Advisory Day

First the good news, the panel absolutely loved my low key portrait of a female boxer. This was the level that all the images had to meet.

I think that I could do a similar high key image of a fencer against a white background. With practice I think I could get a very nice image to contrast the low key image.

They also liked my image of a yacht in the Round the Island Race, however, they want to see the sky fixed before seeing it in a panel. The blown out sections need to be removed.

They really didn’t like either of the following, annoyingly both my favourite shots.

Both are apparently too picture postcard.

I think I’ll change the NHM black and white to the following.