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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Wednesday, 7 December 2016

London Christmas Lights

Took a trip down to London yesterday to see the Christmas Lights. Here are a few photos showing the variety of lights and decorations.
Angels
John Lewis
The John Lewis store in Oxford Street, London, lit up for Christmas.
House of Fraser
The House of Fraser store on Oxford Street, London, lit up for Christmas.

The Strand
Christmas decorations along The Strand, London.
Old Bond Street
Decorations in Old Bond Street, London.
City at Night
The City of London at night, as seen from Waterloo Bridge.

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, 29 November 2016

Why Photography Is Such A Great Hobby

Todays article from our friends over at Picture Correct is written by David Tong, who is a freelance photographer, blogger, and writer providing quality and free photography-related tutorials, camera reviews, and Adobe Photoshop tips through his blog and workshops. The article provides an interesting insite into David's photography and has several interesting comments from readers of the article, explaining why the writer enjoys photography. 

It’s a simple question. Why am I taking pictures? What’s so special about photography compared to other visual art forms? I’m not writing this to give you an answer, but I’m sharing why I love what photography does for me and why I think it’s such a great hobby to integrate into my life, which also resulted to me starting a photography blog site.

WHY PHOTOGRAPHY MEANS A LOT TO ME.

As I share my personal reasons to these questions and I’d like to encourage you to add yours in the commenting section as well. Feel free to add a link to your blog or gallery for everyone to enjoy as well.

I’m sure everybody has a GREAT story to tell......  To read David's story follow this link to Picture Correct.
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From a personal point of view, my first camera was a Brownie Box camera my father gave me when I was about 15 (giving away my age there!) and although I had various cameras since then and took lots of photos on holidays or family events, I did not take it up as a serious hobby in 2010 prior to going on safari to Kenya in the February, and while it is still very much a hobby, I have have been lucky enough to have photographs published in the national and international press including the UK, France and Australia as well in the local press, and I am pleased to show a few of them below.
Three Headed Giraffe
This was the first photo that I ever had published. It is of three giraffes photographed while on safari in Kenya. 
In January 2013 this photo was a finalist in the "Wanderlust Travel Photo of the Year" in the Wildlife section. It has also been published in the national press in the UK and Australia as well as several publications throughout the world.

Windsor Guildhall
A night shot of Windsor Guildhall, also known as the Town Hall, showing the light trails of a passing bus. Close to Windsor Castle, the Guildhall was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and finished in 1689. The Guildhall was the venue for the civil wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles on 9th April 2005.
Black Backed Jackal
A black backed jackal in the Serengeti, Tanzania. 
Parliament Building At Night
A nighttime view of the Hungarian Parliament Building in Budapest. The light spots above the building are either birds or bats.
Ludlow Castle Chapel And Great Hall
Ludlow Castle, Shropshire, England, showing the Great Hall and the Chapel of St Mary Magdalene with its circular Nave.

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, 15 November 2016

Tips for Using Patterns in Photography

Today we have an interesting look at the use of patterns in photography, written by Wayne Turner, who has been teaching photography for 25 years and has written three books on the subject. He has also produced 21 Steps to Perfect Photos; a program of learner-based training using outcomes based education.

Patterns are basically just repeated shapes, objects or colors either ordered in precise formations or just random designs scattered across a scene. The important thing about patterns is that they create images that are very pleasing to the eye and add a new dimension to your photos.

Patterns can be found everywhere in our world, from natural forms to our urban and industrial environments. Use them effectively in an image and you’ll create a photo that is dynamic and attracts the eye to the main subject or focal point. It will help you learn digital photography in interesting ways.

There are two ways to look at patterns. Take a bird’s eye view and look down on say a car park where you’ll see predictable rows of vehicles. Then the other way is to get in closer and look for not so obvious patterns like tire treads and grill patterns. If you really want to be successful in shooting a pattern make sure that you fill the whole frame so that the pattern extends form edge to edge.


So what are the most effective ways to use patterns in your photography? Here are a few ways.......follow this link to read the full article on Picture Correct.
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Here are a few examples of where I have used patterns in my own photography.

Lobster pots on the quay at Brora Harbour, Brora, Scotland.

The Library of Birmingham is situated on the west side of the city centre at Centenary Square, beside the Birmingham Rep (to which it connects, and with which it shares some facilities) and Baskerville House.

Winter logs seen in the mountain village of Jeravna in the Blue Mountains of Bulgaria.

The Spiral Staircase in the Vatican Museum, with a Christmas Tree at the bottom. It was designed by Giuseppe Momo in 1932. It is shaped like a double helix, made of two intertwined spirals; one leading down and the other upwards.

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, 8 November 2016

Blackpool

Blackpool is a popular seaside resort in Lancashire, on the Irish Sea coast of England. It is best known for Blackpool Pleasure Beach, an old-school amusement park with vintage wooden roller coasters as well as the UK’s tallest roller coaster, the Big One.  The landmark Blackpool Tower was built in 1894 and visitors can go to a glass viewing platform and then up the metal staircases for a magnificent views of the town and surrounding countryside.In the autumn thousands of visitors go to see the famous Blackpool Illuminations. It also boast three piers, North, Central and South.

I visited there a couple of weeks ago towards the end of the Illuminations, but the following set of images shows more natural illuminations.
Dusk over Blackpool Beach 
Sunset Over Blackpool Beach
Sunset Over North Pier
The following images were taken from the top of Blackpool Tower.
North Shore Blackpool
The North Shore is the northern coastal area of Blackpool. The southern part of the Lake District can be seen on the horizon.
The Comedy Carpet
The Comedy Carpet seen from the top of Blackpool Tower, is a celebration of comedy on an extraordinary scale. Referring to the work of more than 1,000 comedians and comedy writers, the carpet gives visual form to jokes, songs and catchphrases dating from the early days of variety to the present. It contains over 160,000 granite letters embedded into concrete, pushing the boundaries of public art and typography to their limits.
Bloomfield Road Stadium
Bloomfield Road Stadium, the home of Blackpool FC as seen from the top of Blackpool Tower.
South Pier Blackpool
A view of the South pier and Pleasure Beach and The Big One Roller Coaster.

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.