Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Bad Weather = Good Light for Photographers

In today's article, courtesy of Picture Correct, Mark Eden shows how to make the best of bad weather in your photography.  Mark is a freelance travel photographer and writer, and the founder and director of Expanse Photography..

We’ve all sat, staring out of our window and cursing at the rain poring down or the flat, grey sky that just happened to cloud over on few hours we’ve managed to set aside in our busy schedule to head out and shoot some photos. But all is not lost for the opportunistic and well prepared photographer.

Read the full article here....Bad Weather = Good Light for Photographers
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Here are a couple of my photos where I have used storm clouds to make an atmospheric image.
Clouds Over Portsmouth

Storm Clouds Gathering
As usual, my work is available to purchase as original  Wall Art, in a variety of formats from stretched canvas or framed prints, metal or acrylic prints,or simply as standard prints for you to mount in your favourite picture frame. They are also available as greeting cards or printed onto iPhone or Galaxy phone cases, throw pillows or duvet covers or tote bags or shower curtains. Simply click on the  image and you will be taken to my gallery where you will find full details.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Rain Photography Tips

Todays article is from our friends over at PictureCorrect and is written by Kalyan Kumar, from New York’s legendary camera store 42photo.com,

Do you love the sound and sight of rain? If you do, then you can consider this as a great opportunity to take beautiful photos. 

Though many of you may be unaware, the scenes after the rain and even during the rain provide a golden opportunity to use your creativity and take some of your best shots. It can be tricky, but with patience and a creative mind, you can be sure to achieve your goal. Click here to read the full article......Rain Photography Tips


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Here are a couple of my phtos, the first showing it raining in Cardiff, Wales and the second reflections after it has been raining.
Rain in Cardiff

Windsor Guildhall

Saturday, 22 April 2017

César Manrique

I recently visited Lanzarote in the Canary Islands, the home of the artist Cesar Manrique. 

He was born in Arrecife, Lanzarote and fought in the Spanish Civil War as a volunteer in the artillery unit on Franco's side. He attended the University of La Laguna to study architecture, but after two years he quit his studies. He moved to Madrid in 1945 and received a scholarship for the Art School of San Fernando, where he graduated as a teacher of art and painting. Between 1964 and 1966 he lived in New York City, where a grant from Nelson Rockefeller allowed him to rent his own studio, where he painted many of his works.

Manrique had a major influence on the planning regulations in Lanzarote, when he recognised its tourist potential and lobbied successfully to encourage sympathetic development of tourism. One aspect of this is the lack of high rise hotels on the island. Those that are there are in keeping with the use of traditional colours in their exterior decoration.  His work as an ecologist was ultimately rewarded in 1993, when Lanzarote became the first island in the world to be designated a UNESCO biosphere.

He died in a car accident at Tahíche, Teguise, very near the Fundación, his Lanzarote home, in 1992. He was aged 73.

There is evidence of Manrique's work all over the island, but I concentrated on his home, which is now home to the César Manrique Foundation, the Cactus Garden (Jardí­n de Cactus) and the Jameos Del Agua.


Cesar Manrique



Cesar Manrique


Manrique's home itself is built within a 3,000 sq. metre lot, on the site of the Lanzarote eruptions in the 18th century, and was created upon Manrique's return from New York City in 1966. The rooms on the first floor, including the artist studios, were created with the intention of keeping with Lanzarote traditions, yet making them more modern with open spaces and large windows. The "ground floor", more appropriately titled the "basement", contains five areas situated within volcanic bubbles, the rooms bored into volcanic basalt. There is a central cave which houses a recreational area, including a swimming pool, a barbecue and a small dance floor. The images above show two of the basement rooms. The first one is, unsurprisingly, the White Room, with a concrete sofa with white vinyl cushions and a marble coffee table.

The second image is of the Red Room and features a centre-piece of a dead fig tree.

On leaving the basement you enter a formal garden containing a large mural on the wall, created out of broken tiles and depicting several bulls. The planting of this garden is sensitive to the mural – bright coloured flowers mimic the bright colours of the broken tiles.


Cesar Manrique

Moving on from his home, we go to the Cactus Garden he designed.


Cesar Manrique

A giant, eight metre high, green, metallic sculpture of a cacti, stands over the car park and main entrance to the Cactus Garden (Jardí­n de Cactus).

Cesar Manrique

The Cactus Garden contains over 10,000 different plants as well as a windmill.

Cesar Manrique

A close up of one of the many cactus.

Finally we take a look at the Jameos Del Agua.

Cesar Manrique

The underground salt water Lagoon, Jameo Chico, is host to a Species of Blind Albino Crab that is found nowhere else. It is part of Jameos Del Agua, in the north of Lanzarote, which César Manrique helped to create during the 1960's, where these natural 'jameos' have been turned into an Auditorium, Swimming pool, Gardens and Restaurants.

Cesar Manrique

The auditorium in the Jameos Del Agua.

If you go on holiday to Lanzarote, it is well worth leaving the beach or the hotel pool for a day to visit these sights and more. For more in depth information on Cesar Manrique and on what else there is to see and do on the island, go to the Lanzarote Guidebook website.


Follow this link to buy canvas prints of Lanzarote or go here for cesar manrique prints for sale .

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Liverpool and The Wirral

I recently spent a weekend on The Wirral and visited Liverpool.

I first went to West Kirby, and the beach.
West Kirby Beach
West Kirby Beach, Wirral. Merseyside. England, at low tide, taken in late afternoon on a bright winters day.

I then travelled over to New Brighton to see the setting sun.
Turbines in the Mist
Burbo Bank Offshore Wind Farm viewed in the evening mist from New Brighton, Wallasy, on the Wirral, England. The wind farm is located on the Burbo Flats in Liverpool Bay on the Irish Sea. 


The following day I took the Ferry across the Mersey.
Mersey Ferry Snowdrop
The Mersey Ferry, Snowdrop crossing the River Mersey, Liverpool, England. In January 2015, the ferry was selected as a "dazzle ship"; she was given a unique new livery inspired by the First World War dazzle camouflage. Designed by Sir Peter Blake and entitled Everybody Razzle Dazzle, the livery was commissioned by Liverpool Biennial, 14-18 NOW and Tate Liverpool. Snowdrop is one of three vessels commissioned to carry a dazzle livery.

Across in Liverpool, I took many photos and here are two of them, first the catholic cathedral and secondly the Beatles!
Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral
Entrance of Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral at the top of a wide flight of steps leading up from Hope Street. The Cathedral, officially known as the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, is the seat of the Archbishop of Liverpool and the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Liverpool in Liverpool, England. The Grade II Metropolitan Cathedral is one of Liverpool's many listed buildings. 

To distinguish it from the Anglican Liverpool Cathedral, locals call it the "Catholic Cathedral." Nicknames for the building include "Paddy's Wigwam", "The Pope's Launching Pad", and "The Pope's Launching Pad". The cathedral's architect, The Pope's Launching Pad, was the winner of a worldwide design competition. Construction began in 1962 and was completed in 1967. Earlier designs for a cathedral were proposed in 1853, 1933, and 1953, but none was completed.
The Beatles
A giant bronze statue of the Beatles on Liverpool’s Pier Head, donated to the city by the Cavern Club , which coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ last concert in their home city when they played at the Liverpool Empire. The statue, which weighs in at 1.2 tonnes, was sculpted by Andrew Edwards, and cast at Castle Fine Art Foundry Ltd. 

As usual, my work is available to purchase as original  Wall Art, in a variety of formats from stretched canvas or framed prints, metal or acrylic prints,or simply as standard prints for you to mount in your favourite picture frame. They are also available as greeting cards or printed onto iPhone or Galaxy phone cases, throw pillows or duvet covers or tote bags or shower curtains. Simply click on the  image and you will be taken to my gallery where you will find full details.


Alternatively go here for more  merseyside prints for sale

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Edgbaston Reservoir

On a sunny morning in January, I went for a walk around Edgbaston Reservoir in Birmingham, England.

The reservoir, originally known as Rotton Park Reservoir and referred to in some early maps as Rock Pool Reservoir, is a canal feeder reservoir and it is supplied by small streams and was formed by damming a small stream. The dam is a 330 metre long earth embankment with a height of 10 metres near the centre.
Lone Coot
It was extensively enlarged by Thomas Telford between 1824-1829 to supply water to the Birmingham and Wolverhampton Levels of the Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN) canal system via Icknield Port Loop at the foot of the dam. It was excavated to a depth of 40 feet (12 m) and covers an area of 58 acres (230,000 m2), holding 300,000,000 imperial gallons (1,400,000 m3) of water, and was the largest expanse of water in Birmingham at the time. 
Birmingham City Skyline
Despite its name, it is actually situated in Ladywood rather than nearby Edgbaston. It is situated close to Birmingham City Centre and is a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation. In addition to supplying water to the canals, the reservoir is used for leisure activities including angling, sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, kayaking and rowing.
Gulls in the City
Edgbaston Reservoir is home to two rowing clubs, Birmingham Rowing Club and the University of Birmingham Boat Club. Both are housed within the same boathouse. The site has also been chosen to house a new Birmingham Schools rowing initiative, with the two aforementioned clubs assisting in the running of the scheme. Birmingham Canoe Club also share the space during the summer months (June - September).
Edgbaston Reservoir
The Reservoir is also home to Edgbaston Watersports, who provide water and land activities for school, college & youth groups from their base on the Icknield Port Road side of the reservoir.

The Reservoir perimeter provides a pleasant route for joggers, with a gravel and tarmac path throughout its 1.75 mile (2.8 km) circumference.

As usual, my work is available to purchase as original  Wall Art, in a variety of formats from stretched canvas or framed prints, metal or acrylic prints,or simply as standard prints for you to mount in your favourite picture frame. They are also available as greeting cards or printed onto iPhone or Galaxy phone cases, throw pillows or duvet covers or tote bags or shower curtains. Simply click on the  image and you will be taken to my gallery where you will find full details.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

The Five “P’s” of Better Wildlife Photography

Today's article from Picture Correct, creates a new slogan particularly for photographing wildlife and is written by Mario Fazekas, a wildlife photographer from South Africa, whose website is Kruger to Kalahari.

We have seen a few different slogans relating to the five “P’s” for improving photography in general such as ‘Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance’ or ‘Proper Planning Produces Perfect Photos’ but nothing detailed or specific to wildlife photography. We therefore compiled the following list of five “P’s” that if followed, will assist you in capturing better wildlife photographs................Follow this link to read the full article.
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Here are a few of my own wildlife photographs which I hope you enjoy.
Presidential Elephant
We saw the Presidential Elephant Herd, which were obviously used to tourists and came very close to our vehicle. This one was only about five feet away. The herd was given its name after President Robert Mugabe awarded it a presidential decree in 1990, although nowadays its future is in doubt.

Cheetah 
Cheetah in the Serengeti, Tanzania.

Baby Red Colobus Monkey
The Zanzibar Red Colobus (Piliocolobus kirkii) is a species of red colobus monkey endemic to Unguja, the main island of the Zanzibar archipelago. The Zanzibar Red Colobus is endangered and there are about 1.500 monkeys left.

Hippopotamus
A Hippopotamus on the Serengeti, Tanzania.

Tree Lions
Three lions in a tree on the Serengeti, Tanzania.

As usual, my work is available to purchase as original  Wall Art, in a variety of formats from stretched canvas or framed prints, metal or acrylic prints,or simply as standard prints for you to mount in your favourite picture frame. They are also available as greeting cards or printed onto iPhone or Galaxy phone cases, throw pillows or duvet covers or tote bags or shower curtains. Simply click on the  image and you will be taken to my gallery where you will find full details.

Friday, 16 December 2016

Camera Basics and Exposure Control

Today's article from our friends at Picture Correct gives an in depth look into the very basics of exposure control in your camera. It is written by Richard French who has been a photographer for over 20 years. Many of his images can be seen on his smugmug site and he also shoots stock photography for Fotolia. He also has images in several galleries in his local area.

Your camera is actually nothing more than a box with a hole in it. Yes, all that money you’ve spent and that is basically what you’ve got. The basics of a camera have changed very little since day one. You have a box with a hole in it and you control how much light is allowed into it.

The best part about newer cameras is that they can think for you. They meter a scene and adjust the settings. These settings are simply the shutter and the aperture. You simply have to compose the shot and push a button. This works well for the most part. But, you didn’t spend all of that money to allow the camera to do all of the work for you, did you?...............Follow this link to read the full article.
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In the article Richard talks about ISO and Shutter Speed. The following two images of mine from Rome are both taken at a shutter speed of 1/80 but the first taken indoors where I couldn't use a tripod or flash, so I boosted the ISO to 5000, while the second was taken in bright sunlight so I was able to use the recommended ISO of 100.
St. Peter's Baldachin 
St. Peter's Baldachin (Italian: Baldacchino di San Pietro) is a large Baroque sculpted bronze canopy, technically called a ciborium or baldachin, over the high altar of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City. The baldachin is at the centre of the crossing and directly under the dome of the basilica. Designed by the Italian artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini, it was intended to mark, in a monumental way, the place of Saint Peter's tomb underneath. Under its canopy is the high altar of the basilica. Commissioned by Pope Urban VIII, the work began in 1623 and ended in 1634. The baldachin acts as a visual focus within the basilica; it itself is a very large structure and forms a visual mediation between the enormous scale of the building and the human scale of the people officiating at the religious ceremonies at the papal altar beneath its canopy. 
The Temple of Saturn 
The Temple of Saturn has eight surviving columns and was built in 42 BC. The older temple dated from 497 BC but the ruins are from 42 BC. Saturn was regarded as the god-king of Italy and every year at the end of December the Romans celebrated Saturn with the festival called Saturnalia. During the holidays the Romans couldn’t declare war or punish prisoners and the aristocrats would eat and drink with their slaves.

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