Thursday, 24 July 2014

A Day on the Solent

Spent the day out on the Solent last week and here are three of the photos I took. The Solent is the stretch of water separating the Isle of Wight from the England mainland. 
Buy canvas print of Spinnaker Tower
Spinnaker Tower
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Spinnaker Tower is a 170-metre (560 ft) landmark tower in Portsmouth, England, UK. It is the centrepiece of the redevelopment of Portsmouth Harbour. The tower, designed by local firm HGP Architects and the engineering consultants Scott Wilson and built by Mowlem, reflects Portsmouth's maritime history by its being modeled after a sail. The tower was opened on 18 October 2005 and the Spinnaker Tower is taller than the London Eye, Blackpool Tower and Big Ben.
Buy canvas print of Spirit of Gosport
Spirit of Gosport

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The Spirit of Gosport , part of the Gosport Ferry fleet, which has been operating between Portsmouth and Gosport since 1875.
Buy canvas print of Commodore Goodwill
Commodore Goodwill
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The Condor Ferries ship the Commodore Goodwill sailing up the Solent into Portsmouth. A purpose built Ro-Ro Cargo Ship operating a daily service between Portsmouth and the Channel Islands and a weekly connection between the UK, Channel Islands and France.

As usual, my work is available to purchase as original  Wall Art, in a variety of formats including stretched canvas, metal or acrylic prints, framed prints, or simply as standard prints for you to mount in your favourite picture frame. Simply click on the links below each image - Fine Art America for international buyers or Photo4Me if you are from the UK.

Choose your favorite Solent canvas prints

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Tripod Buying Guide

Need a new tripod? Perhaps you’re not sure what to look for? This complete tripod buying guide, courtesy of WEX Photographic, explains all the options to help you find the best one for your particular style of shooting.

Tripods can often be a much-overlooked item in the photographer’s arsenal. So simple in design – essentially, they comprise just three adjustable legs and a method of attaching a camera to the top of a centre column – yet there are many times when using one can mean the difference between securing a great shot and missing a golden opportunity altogether. In this respect, tripods should be treated just like any other item of camera gear – i.e. you should choose wisely when purchasing and, with frequent use, understand how to get the best out of them, specific to your requirements.

From the outset, there is one simple fact which you should be aware of: not all tripods are made equal. Yes, they all share a series of common basic features but this can be where the similarities end. From price to build quality, weight to portability, picking the right model for you is a process best approached with a little research.

In this guide, I’m going to give you a basic overview of what’s out there. Of course, not all designs and specifications will suit every photographer (or their budget), but there will be something that is right for you. With a little thought and some pre-purchase fact-finding, you can be sure of spending your money wisely when the time comes to invest in a sturdy tripod.

To read the full guide, follow this link to the WEX Photography Blog.

If you are looking to buy a tripod or monopod, and are based in the UK or European Union, find the perfect one for you at the WEX Photographic selection of video and photography tripods by Manfrotto, Gitzo, Giottos, Slik and Velbon. Whether it needs to be aluminium or carbon, lightweight or professional heavy duty, they have 'the' tripod for you!

If you are in the US or other parts of the world, go to B&H

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Views of Tenerife

Visited Tenerife for the first time last month and really enjoyed the volcanic scenery. Here are some of my photos from there.

My favourite trip was to the Teide National Park. Mount Teide is the largest mountain in Spain and the third largest volcano in the world,  reaching to a height of 3,718 m above sea level and 7,500 m above the ocean floor.
Buy Wall Art of Mount Teide
Mount Teide
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If you look carefully, you can see the cable car towers on the right hand side of the mountain. Here is a view of the cable car from the top.
Buy Wall Art of Mount Teide Cable Car
Mount Teide Cable Car
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The park has an area of 18,990 hectares and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and apart from Mount Teide itself, it is renowned for the geology of its volcanic rocks. Here are three more images which I think show the coloured layers of the rock to full effect.
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Teide National Park
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Buy Wall Art of Los Roques de Garcia
Los Roques de Garcia
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Buy Wall Art of Volcanic Rock Layers
Rock Detail

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The evidence of volcanos is evident all over the island, and here is a view of the sea water rock pools at Garachico, Tenerife formed by molten lava after a volcanic eruption in 1706.
Buy Wall Art of Garachico
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Moving away from volcanoes, we spent one morning whale and dolphin watching off the resort of Los Gigantes. The boat was rocking too much and the pilot whales and dolphins were too quick for me to get any good images of them, but I do like this one.
Buy Wall Art of Dolphin Watching
Dolphin Watching
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While we were watching the dolphins, other people were doing something for more adventurous, parasailing!
Buy Wall Art of Parasailing
Fine Art America                                  Photo4Me
As usual, my work is available to purchase as original  Wall Art, in a variety of formats including stretched canvas, metal or acrylic prints, framed prints, or simply as standard prints for you to mount in your favourite picture frame. Simply click on the links below each image - Fine Art America for international buyers or Photo4Me if you are from the UK.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Learn Really Easy Retouching!

We are delighted to bring you details of a new video tutorial from our friends Rob and Lauren at Photography Concentrate.

Their aim was to help their readers to be able to do simple, natural retouching, fast. That's why they've created Really Easy Retouching! 

In this video tutorial, they walk you through Adobe® Photoshop®, showing you which tools to use and how to use them, to address common problems. You'll get 12 HD videos – totalling just over 1.5 hours – that show you how to remove blemishes, smooth out uneven skin tone, whiten teeth, swap heads, get rid of distractions and more! 

Best of all, it's easy to learn, because you are shown visually each step of the way. You're going to have great skills, super fast. Woo!

Here's What You'll Learn

With Really Easy Retouching, you're going to learn a ton! Here are some of the big things covered:  
  • Lightening dark circles under eyes. 
  • Removing blemishes. 
  • Removing scars, scrapes and stray hairs. 
  • Smoothing uneven skin (without making it look like plastic). 
  • Whitening teeth. 
  • Giving eyes extra sparkle (super helpful when you're dealing with backlighting!). 
  • Removing distractions – like trash and signs. 
  • Slimming down chins, arms, waistlines and having it look natural. Creating a single image from multiple photos (great for big groups, when you can't get a shot of everyone looking at the camera). 
  • Essential Photoshop® tools, tips and shortcuts that make retouching a breeze. 
  • The hardware that'll make retouching even easier. 
  • What to leave, what to retouch, and how far to take it. 
This tutorial comes as a .zip file with 12 HD videos (in the .mp4 format). They'll work for both Macs and PCs. Download them and they're yours to keep forever! Re-watch them and brush up your skills as much as you like. 

This tutorial isn't going to teach you every single little thing about Photoshop®. There's no need! To do great, natural retouching, you need only a few tools and the know-how. And that's what this tutorial is all about!
This Is The Secret To Great Retouching...

So what makes for great retouching? It's all about keeping it natural. The most powerful retouching is so subtle that only you, the photographer, know it's there. 

Let's see simple retouching in action, shall we? 

#1. Remove blemishes & even out skin tone

Pesky blemishes and uneven skin tone can draw our attention away from our subject's eyes. Even subtle smoothing of our subject's skin helps bring the focus back where we want it. 

#2. Remove background distractions

Even with your best effort, sometimes you can't help but include distracting elements in your shot. But they don't have to stay! I'll show you how to make features like that fire alarm and door frame disappear in a flash. 

#3. Create a composite image (AKA swap heads!)

When you're photographing a big group, sometimes you simply can't get everyone looking at the camera at the same time. But you still have to deliver! I'll show you how to build a single shot from multiple photos and have it look totally natural. Easy! 

Ready to see exactly what were done to these images, and a bunch more? Pick up your copy now for a sweet deal! To celebrate the launch of Really Easy Retouching, Rob and Lauren are giving you 30% off for a limited time!

The tutorial is normally super affordable at US$24.95. But if you pick it up now, you'll save 30% and get it for only US$17.47!
really easy retouching

Monday, 16 June 2014

A Visit to Oxford

I went into Oxford a couple of days last week, first in the evening, to take pictures at twilight, and then a couple of days later for a short, leisurely cruise along the river. Here are a couple of my favourite images from both days.
University Church of St Mary the Virgin Oxford
University Church of St Mary the Virgin
Fine Art America                                  Photo4Me
University Church of St Mary the Virgin, Oxford at twilight. This is the largest of Oxford's parish churches and the centre from which the University of Oxford grew. It is situated on the north side of the High Street, and is surrounded by university and college buildings. The rear of the church, which this shows, overlooks Radcliffe Square.
Radcliffe Camera at Twilight
Radcliffe Camera at Twilight
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The Radcliffe Camera is a building of Oxford University, England, designed by James Gibbs in neo-classical style and built in 1737–1749 to house the Radcliffe Science Library. 
The Library's construction and maintenance was funded from the estate of John Radcliffe, the royal physician. 
The Camera now functions as the main reading room of the Bodleian Library. The finished building holds some 600,000 books in underground rooms beneath Radcliffe Square.
Merton College Tower Oxford
Merton College Tower
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Merton College Tower, viewed from the River Isis in Oxford. The Isis is the name given to the part of the River Thames above Iffley Lock which flows through the university city of Oxford, England, past Christ Church Meadow and the focal point of rowing for Oxford University.
Folly Bridge Oxford
Folly Bridge
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Folly Bridge is a stone bridge over the River Thames in Oxford, England. 
The bridge stands at the site of oxen ford where oxen could be driven across the River Isis, the ancient name of the reach of the Thames between Folly Bridge and Iffley Lock. This is the likely derivation of the name Oxford.

As usual, my work is available to purchase as original  Wall Art, in a variety of formats including stretched canvas, metal or acrylic prints, framed prints, or simply as standard prints for you to mount in your favourite picture frame. Simply click on the links below each image - Fine Art America for international buyers or Photo4Me if you are from the UK.

Oxford acrylic prints and Oxford acrylic art for sale. Choose your favourite Oxford acrylic prints from thousands of available designs. 

Monday, 2 June 2014

Travels Around England - Wiltshire

Spent a couple of days in Wiltshire last week, mainly visiting Caen Hill Locks on the Kennet and Avon Canal, and the village of Lacock. Here is a selection of the photos from there.

This flight of 16 locks at Caen Hill may be the most impressive anywhere on the UK's waterways.
Caen Hill Locks
Descending Caen Hill Locks

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The 16 locks of Caen Hill are the middle of the 29 locks that make up the Devizes flight and were completed in 1810. The boatmen came to know the locks as ‘the steps’ and were vital in the completion of the link between the ports of London on the Thames in the east and Bristol on the Avon in the west. 

The locks and ponds were the last stretch of the Kennet & Avon Canal and are all packed into just over two miles. They are designated as a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
Side Ponds On Caen Hill Locks
Side Ponds On Caen Hill Locks
Fine Art America                                  Photo4Me
In order to construct such a steep flight of locks and maintain the flow of water through the locks to enable their continuous use the engineer John Rennie constructed huge side pounds at each lock holding vast volumes of water, the biggest of any canal of the day.
Mute Swan with Cygnets
Mute Swan with Cygnets
Fine Art America                                  Photo4Me

Caen Hill hosts for a rich variety of wildlife including swans, dragonflies and damselflies, mallards and moorhens and the locks are also a regular haunt for bats in the early evening and water voles can also be seen.

Set in rural Wiltshire, Lacock village is famous for its picturesque streets, historic buildings and more recently as a TV and film location. Cottages and inns dating back to the 15th century form a breathtaking backdrop, much admired by film makers, and has been used for such films and TV series as Pride and Prejudice, Harry Potter and Cranford.
Tithe Barn and White House Lacock
Tithe Barn and White House
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The Tithe Barn and the White House in the centre of Lacock. The village is owned almost in its entirety by the National Trust, and attracts many visitors by virtue of its unspoiled appearance. 
Tithe Barn Interior
Tithe Barn Interior
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The Tithe Barn, in the heart of the historic village is a limestone barn with a raised-cruck roof and a very long wagon porch. 
St Cyriac's Church
St Cyriac's Church
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The original church was Norman and while the dedication to St Cyriac is unusual in this country it is not in Normandy. A major rebuilding took place in the late 15th century by which time Lacock was a thriving township involved in the wool trade. 

Although the main part of the church as we see it today was built about 1450, the Lady Chapel predates it by about 30 years. The spire was added in the 1700s. 
Stained Glass Window
Stained Glass Window
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Further restoration took place in 1861 when the transept arches were raised to their present height and old box pews replaced by the present pews.

As usual, my work is available to purchase as original  Wall Art, in a variety of formats including stretched canvas, metal or acrylic prints, framed prints, or simply as standard prints for you to mount in your favourite picture frame. Simply click on the links below each image - Fine Art America for international buyers or Photo4Me if you are from the UK.

English Canal canvas prints and English canal canvas art for sale. Choose your favourite English canal canvas prints from thousands of available designs.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Black-backed Jackal

I am pleased to report that my image of a black-backed jackal has been used in a new book, A Field Guide to the Larger Mammals of Tanzania (Princeton Field Guides)

The book has been produced by the  Wildlife Conservation Society and all the author royalties will go to the Society. It is now available to buy on Amazon and it provides:-
  • The definitive, most up-to-date field guide to the larger mammals of Tanzania, including marine mammals
  • Features detailed species accounts and numerous color photos throughout
  • Provides tips on where to see each species
  • Includes species checklists for every national park

If you dont want to buy the book just to see my image, here it is:
Black-backed Jackal