Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Went out early this morning for my usual picture taking Christmas day
Sweep with a car looking squashed because it was in 2 sections.
I took some sweep pix and was so set on keeping the camera level I didn't notice that car come along.
Did a little patch and repair from a set I took in attempt to join 5 pix using Aftershot.
Not a success as wide angle changed the link up and it looked a mess.
However I took  a section copied from one of them and pasted it to the sweep.
The patchwork job

Looks reasonable in small size but shows a bit in large.
Sweep gives no choice of ISO whereas I was taking the sets of pix in 6,400 ISO in Program.
I had to lighten the shadows with Elements in most of the sweep shots.
However it does make the best of a bad occurrence.
Taken from between the watch shop and the travel agency, braced against the wall. Thank God no b====y car this time.
Best viewed by right clicking on the pix and then take the option Open link in new window. The path which is actually in a straight line is at 180 degree. I reckon sweeping with the lens set at 11mm gives something like 240 degrees..

Sweep pic of Queens Square

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Original slide

Started working a long project this morning.
Jane has a series of colour slides that were taken way back in the 70’s.
I don’t know what camera was used but I expect it was a point & shoot one
I have volunteered to copy them over via my Epson 4870 scanner.
I can get 12 at a time on the glass, takes me about 80 minutes to copy them.
Best part is that the programme with the scanner is Silverfast and it allows adjustment of the image via a histogram. Saves a lot of pix that would otherwise be useless.
The rescued image saved as a 9x6 inch approximate JPG.
Even then on some the highlights can’t be made better.
I suppose I will be able to copy 1 magazine of 36 slides a morning.
Must count how many magazines there are I can then estimate how many days work there will be.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

I USED to be happy with Google Chrome as a search engine.
Now all they do is plaster me with suggestions that I start gambling every time I try to open a different page.
 I reckon I will go back to Firefox as my main standby.
Why the hell should I want to gamble on the internet. Not on your nelly. I think it will have to be "Farewell Google Chrome - Come in Firefox"
Went to the M5 Bridge this morning but not pleased with the pix.
M5 Early morning. 16-12-12
 This is probably the best but it was a little too late and it had started to spot with rain. Later pix had light bloom because of odd spots on the lens.
Next time I will try a 30second exposure and allow the lens to stop down.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

M5 early Sunday Morning.
Went out early on Sunday to see if the sun came up with a bright red sky.
Nothing - so I tried HDR on the motorway bridge from Court Lane.
ISO was set high so plenty of noise. I will think about trying it again with a lower setting I think it could be very effective with HDR set at 5 and maybe 100 or 200 ISO.
The lights of Portishead, Portbury, Avonmouth backlight the Failand Ridge and illuminate the cloud cover.
Had a message left on Flickr by Michael Rasmussen He likes the pic.
However I posted back thanking him for the comment but suggesting a crop.
Trimmed pic to Grecian standard.
I know folks decry old fashioned standards but looking at the cropped version I feel happier about the composition.
The black bit on the left can be done without, However the similar black expanse on the right is compensated? by the  string of house lights that can lead the eye back into the traffic coming down the hill?

Friday, December 07, 2012

Thoughts on Macro work.

I came across my Osram work light. Thought I had lost it but it turned up where I had put it – in the wrong place – for safe keeping.
The batteries were still producing a bright light. Thought I would record how to use it.
When doing macro it is best to use manual focus setting the focus to the closest and then moving the camera forward to the subject if extreme close-up is being done.
With a 10 dioptre lens it is simple to get life size or even bigger.
However it can be hard to find the subject. The Osram LED work light costs about £14 [$18 to $20] and can give a spot light. 
I was lucky I bought mine in Lidl's superstore for about £6.  This can be seen pretty easily and shows on the camera viewfinder allowing the camera to centre onto the subject. And the flash overpowers the LED’s so it makes no difference to the set-up.

Simple macro shots can be made using AF Minolta lenses on Sony digital cameras. However make no mistake these lenses have markings on them for Macro. They are not true macro lenses but merely close-up. That is a different thing altogether.However consider this The lenses were made to cover a 24x36mm frame Now a cheap Fox dioptre lens set can be purchased for around £15 or $20.
As a digital image is for most cameras half-frame size you will only be using the centre of the dioptre lens ! 
The Fox set is 1, 2, 4, and 10 dioptres.
Using the 10 diotre with this lens set to macro I took an image of a very small Berberis flower. A flower perhaps 9 or 10 mm in size.
The lens was stopped down to almost its minimum

This was done using my PX360 flash mounted with an adaptor. Not Ideal because the light was not directed at enough of a downward angle.

Now look at the inflatable diffuser fitted to the PX360 The curve of the front allows a good portion of the light to be deflected downwards, and the area of the diffuser gives a more scattered illumination.
These can be bought from Hong Kong for £4 to £5 $6 to $8 It is one of the best diffusers I have ever used. When collapsed they will fit in a gadget bag taking little space.
It is easy to determine just what size the picture is. Take a pic of a mm ruler using the various set-ups. The life size will show 24mm. 2x will show 12. 3x will show 8 across the pic. Not exact but it will give a good approximation. 

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Shortened line is the way to be sure

Went out to watch the 2nd's match. I found the lack of home matches is frustrating. They were playing up at the school.
The pitch there is in very good state.
Lost 3 - 19 but North Petherton were weighty in the scrum and were succesful in getting the ball and turnovers.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Told about a new site that might be worth trying. Called Cam360 it allows posting of pix for sale or to put to listings for approval.
Put 10 pix on about UK pictures asked for.
Crossing the clapper bridge over the river Barle at Tarr Steps
I have quite a few pix of Exmoor and the area around.
Might put some steam and rugby pix on as stock items too.
Worth a try in any case. It will cost nothing except my time.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Clevedon Versus North Dorset
After watching Clevedon snatch defeat from the jaws of victory playing Chard last week it was a relief to see them hold to their gains when they played North Dorset.
Despite several hard moments in the five yard area North Dorset scored only once. Final result Clevedon 22 points to North Dorset's five.
Play was often distant and I was glad of the built in 1.4 & 2 times tele extender in the A77. Must remember though to increase my shutter speed when i do that.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Wrong Corrected - Right model Sony Charger 

Ordered a battery charger with an adapter for car charger and also American converter. Wrong model arrived but it is in hand to change it. It will be handy to be able to charge a battery while travelling in car. Also should I ever win on Euromillions and go to the States and Canada on a tour it will be useful there too.
Egg on my Face
After messages to and fro from the firm in China I found it WAS the correct model. I was not pushing the battery on to the contacts firmly enough. I feared that my normal ham-handedness would break something. I apolgised to the firm for the trouble I had caused. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Busy weekend, had a message from Carol Deacon to ask if I could cover the Memorial service and the Parade. She said she was doing Nailsea one and could not be in two places at the same time.
The British Legion Chairman Rob Campbell places the wreath at the memorial Service
I found the metal pillars a nuisance but managed by moving around a lot.
Decided to try a sweep pic to show the size of the crowd.
The folk attending on a fine sunny morning was greater than they had ever had before.
In the afternoon the car park at Salthouse was crammed full by two o;clock. Cars were going in and dropping off 90+ year olds and then having to go off to find a place to park. Old Church Road by the Garage corner with Elton road was streamed with cars all along the way to Victoria Road.
Avon Glen pipers were there to lead the parade.
The veterans preceded by the Legion banners.
I got a place by the old Poor House wall and took a series of pix.
Pipe Band, Veterans, Army Cadets, Air Cadets, St johns, Scouts, Cubs, Guides, Brownies, et all.
Contrast was high and I had to edit with Elements to reduce the highlights.
Took 18 of the service and posted 8 and 20 of the parade and posted 10 on Clevedon People, Flickr, and Morguefile.
I was told on Monday morning that the church was packed with people and they had to used the side chapel as well to contain the numbers.
Carol Deacon was pleased with it. I told her it took me back 50 years to when I used to freelance getting pix and stories for the Clevedon Mercury.
Job well done so i treated myself to a bottle of Ldl's rum on the way home.
Clevedon threequarter slips tackle.

Watched a dissapointing game versus Chard. I felt that our 3s should have been given more ball. As it was Chard forwards dominated and keeping the ball tight failed to give us control

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Ill met by moonlight-2
Below is the link to the original pic, to view black it in with the cursor then right click and select 'Open Link'.


I would love to get suggestions from anyone that views this blog.

Had a suggestion on Flickr that it would be better with more contrast but I think it loses the idea of moonlight. Done like this it seems too light to be a night shot.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

First rugby match I could watch for 8 weeks.
Matt Carpenter scores Clevedon's first try, backed up by Harry Knowles and Ashley Vailes.

 Touch and go. We were winning 19 to 9 then we were a bit over-confident I reckon they levelled at 19 all  Last play of the game, Taylor took a penalty and the end result Clevedon 22 Cleve 19

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Tried a new idea with Infrared pix
I went up to the firwoods and took a series of pix.  There was still enough foliage on the trees to show and I got around 15 shots of varying pathways. When I got back I did the usual edit and then selected som pix and used Edge enhancement in P.S.P. 8.

This was done Grey then add Sepia then Onestep cool colour then edge enhance
This seems to work better than 'sharpen' because sharp exagerates the small specks and results in salt & pepper spotting over the whole pic. Whereas Edge enhancement seems to emphasise the effects of most of the edge lines between objects.
Thsi was the same editing but without the Edge Enhancement. It shows particularly in the stones on the trackway.
  The same thing used to happen when using Beutler developer in monochrome photography, back in the 'dark days' a line so sharp when using a fine grain film like Adox KB17 that there almost seemed to be a fine line around the edges. The effect is subtle but nevertheless there. ..

Sunday, October 07, 2012

The first man out

At last this year at the Arnhem Pilgrimage I managed to get a shot of the first man leaving the Dakota during the parachute jumps.
I had the SLT 77 set to high speed 12 frames a second and got 3 good pix with the 18-270 Tamron set to a 1.4 magnification with the camera body. 
Trouble previously has always been using a tele-extender the camera focus is shorted out. The in-body extender still allows auto focus.
The 3rd shot, in the ime he moved 5 feet I had taken 3 pix.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Photographers start snapping away as 34067, Tangmere approaches the road bridge at Yatton, with the Royal Duchy Express.   
As she enters the stations precincts folk on the ‘down’ platform spring into action.

She cuts power and gradually comes to a halt, stopping to pick up passengers for Cornwall.

  30 minutes later Preserved locomotive ex-LNER, Mallard Class A4 Bittern  runs through Yatton station giving the folks in the “Balcony Seats” a good view as she runs under the footbridge.

/, But also giving them a taste of smoke as she zips through the station on the way to Kingswear 

A succesful day particularly because it was the last run for the Torbay Express.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Tangmere pulls in to Yatton to pick up passengers for Cornwall.
Went out to Yatton Sunday to get shots of Tangmere with the Royal Duchy Express.
Quite a lot of passenegers waitng as well as steam buffs wanting to take pix.

Passengers and steam buffs
A good mix up at the head of the train with steam fans wanting to see "the works" and passengers getting into the leading coaches.
I got my shots from the footbridge but this meant I didn't get clear pix of the wheels. .

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Clevedon versus Paignton
I took some macro shots Friday and when I went to watch the rugby I found I had forgotten to change the lens back to the Tamron 18-270.
I was limited with the 90mm f2.8 but I got some of the best rugby pix I have taken for a long time.

Clevedon versus Paignton

Took a chance and sent one to the Plymouth Independent as we were playing Paignton.
I shall have to wait and see what happens tommorow.

Clevedon versus Paignton

Sunday, September 02, 2012

There was a change this week when ex Southern Railway Light Pacific class preserved locomotive 34067 Tangmere stood in for Oliver Cromwell with the Royal Duchy special.
Despite the murky weather by the time the train was due there were around 50 train spotters and photographers waiting.
The light “Sotch Mist” kept the smoke down and there were plenty of cameras clicking away as she ran though Nailsea/Backwell station.

Spotters begin to wave as Tangmere enters Nailsea/Backwell station
The footbridge watchers get a smell of Loco smoke

Then folk took advantage of the glass shelters whilst waiting for the Torbay Express. Bittern the Mallard class loco was running again this week and was timed about right for – as far as this photographer was concerned a calamity. The Cardiff diesel train pulled in – discharging and picking up passengers. Round the Farleigh bend came Bittern. I was placed in the middle of the platform in order to get – as I thought – the loco running under the footbridge.
It could hardly have been worse, folk were dashing to the head of the diesel or the the west end of the platform, which was clear. In both places good pictures were taken. Unfortunately 88 year old legs can’t move as speedily as they used to and all I managed to get was a shot of Bittern as she left Nailsea.

Bittern leaves Nailsea/Backwell

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

180 degrees plus sweep of the lake

Went out for a little spin and visited Blagdon Lake for the first time in years. Took a sweep shot probably around 200 degrees I expect.
Back through Butcombe, Nempnett Thrubwell, Row of Ashes and Redhill. 15 to 20 m.p.h. through the little lanes until I got out onto the A38 again. Really enjoyable.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Exploding the Myth.
There has always been an air of mystery about infra red photography. Perhaps justified in the days of film but wholly unwarranted now that digital cameras have made things so much easier.
That which we call light expands on wavelengths to each side of what the human eye can register. Light on the shorter wavelength is Ultra Violet and on the longer wavelength Infra Red.
Digital cameras with suitable filters that will stop “our light” can record light that we cannot see. For taking pictures the filter requires to stop light lower than say, under a 700 nanometre wavelength from registering. The filter used will seem to be black to us but it allows infrared light to pass through and record on our digital camera. Basically the darker the appearance of the filter the higher the number, but also the longer the exposure required to register an image.
I found that a Hoya filter numbered 72 needed an exposure in normal sunny conditions of around 20 seconds at f8. Now this is a time consuming action, because I always bracket by at least a half under and a half over exposure.
This you can see needs a 10 second, a 20 second, and a 30 second series.
However to be certain of getting a useable picture it is well worth spending the time.
Another point is that our eyes adapt to light conditions so that it can be hard to guess exactly how bright [or dull] the day is. For this reason I set up my Weston Master 5 light meter and did a test series. I found that with the light recording at 12 it required 20 second at f8. I set the meter to read accordingly and now I have an accurate exposure time for any light condition. If the light goes to 13 then the time changes to 12 seconds. The light drops to 11 the time goes to 30 seconds and so on.
Many of the old lenses had a small red dot on them to change the focus point to IR. As we will be working at manual on our camera we can use these lenses in spite of them maybe not being auto focus. Focus manually get the distance and then move the focus point to the red dot. Easy isn’t it?
Now we come to editing. It can be simple or involved depending what you want the finished image to look like. A lot of the mystery of IR is founded on the fact that the image comes out red.
So what? Our editing programmes allow us to change digital images to greyscale very easily. I work with Paint Shop Pro 8 with no problem. However when you change to greyscale you cannot treat the image as though it was coloured. If you make a 10% sepia change afterward though in Artistic Effects you find that the picture is then recognized as a colour image in spite of very little change of tone.
One of the options in PSP8 is Enhance Photo. Click on this and you will find most of the things you wish to do. 

One step photo fix.
Colour balance
Those four actions can cover a lot of editing. I make it a point to seldom write over the original red image. I save the new image with a short addition to the DSC number. Such as –sat-grey-step-clar. In some changes I also put the number of colour balance change. 


Here is an example of greyscale to the IR image with a very light touch of yellow coloured edges from PSP8 Artistic Effects

When I upgraded my digital camera I had my Sony A350 adapted to take only infrared pictures. I was made aware of the firm that did this in England for just over £300. As my interest in IR had increased I thought it well worth the cost to be able to carry with me the choice of instant IR pix rather than going through the cumbersome and time wasting changeover and necessity for using a tripod. As I am able to set the camera to •7 for under and over bracketing for a 3 bracket exposure it also saves a lot of time. It is almost always the first exposure that is the best, but it is worth the extra to be certain by having the choice of the others if needed. Focusing is also more accurate and the short exposures stop the blurring of foliage in the wind.
It also permits taking casual pix just “in case” they might turn out to be of interest when editing later. One instance was an old cottage that looked to be a possible picturesque scene but lacked enough bite when changed to grey.
A little jiggling when editing by using the Flood fill tool in PSP together with judicious use of light blue coloured edges produced a suggestive shot of a moonlit lane with an intriguing sense of mystery about it.
20 minutes of work by jiggling has produced a reasonable pic from a failure, as well as allowing practice of editing skills I called this one “Ill met by Moonlight” from the suggestion of creepiness in the way the formerly bright sunshine has been changed to blue
An Infrared pic does not have to be purely monochrome as this one shows.
Driel Church in Gelderland Holland, from the Westerbouwing heights on the other side of the Rhine.

However monochrome or sepia allows a building to stand out simply because stone absorbs little infrared light like the chlorophyll of a plant does. It is this that makes the tower of Driel Church in Holland stand out from what normally would be a mass of various shades  of green.
So why not have a try? You will find it intriguing and maybe mystifying to see the difference that infrared can make to scenery around you. Views that have become blasé take on a new appearance in infrared and can give an inspiration and freshness to your picture taking.

Friday, August 24, 2012

So according to the bank of England they have done pensioners good by pumping money out.
They have not done me any good. 
The whole trouble in the world today as far as "collapse" is concerned is because people were spending money they didn't have and going into debt even as nations were.
Now the same folk and countries, that were spending prodigiously are moaning at everybody and refusing to take the blame on themselves.
Greece has unrealistic retirement ages and spent money as though there was no worries. The inhabitants have been so spoiled they can't see if they don't curb their excesses it is going to get far worse. 
The U,K, won't face up to reality as the government allows civil servants to rule the roost instead of ordering them to do what they have been instructed to do.
Brussels dictates to us what we must do, yet France gets around things like deporting criminals that our courts get stalled on. 
The world is not going to hell in a hand basket, but in a shit bucket.

Monday, August 20, 2012

His supporters  are making a big fuss about Assange. They are  acting as though he was special and should be allowed to get away with alleged crimes. Yet I will bet that if they had a daughter say, that had been attacked, and the prosecution service refused to take the person who was alleged to have done it to court, they would start playing hell about it.
I don't know if he was guilty or not, but, the truth will never come out until a court hears the evidence.
Personally I would not put it past the USA to have rigged the case.  Has anyone made a deep enquiry into the plaintiffs' behavior or situation?   
However I don't think the Swedes would be inclined to roll over or bark 'wuff wuff' just because they were told to by the CIA or any other American organisation told them to.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

\Union of South Africa when she went through Yatton some years ago.

Had a request for Union of South Africa jigsaw. When she came through Yatton the sky was a clear very light blue so I jiggled it out and copied the pic. Then pasted it on to a landscape pic with suitable cloudscape.
If I say it myself I think I did a good job of it.The main telltale is that the shadow is on the wrong side of the clouds but it does not notice very strongly.