Sunday, 27 February 2011

Photo a Day 365 : Day 23 - Anish Kapoor sculpture in Kensington Gardens London

Photo a Day 365 : Day 22 - Collection Box at the Horniman Museum London

Day 22 - Collection Box at the Horniman Museum London, originally uploaded by Pete Little.

The Horniman Museum is a wonderful child friendly museum in South London. It houses a vast collection that is both unusual and eclectic and also houses an Aquarium in the basement.

We visited on the Saturday and, unfortunately, with the schools being out on holiday it was a little TOO child friendly. Lots of kids running and screaming around the corridors. Not having kids ourselves we didn't stay long but on leaving noticed the above collection box opposite the main entrance. 

Don't let the possibility of children put you off visiting though. It's a fantastic museum, stuffed full of wondrous exhibits (the musical instrument gallery alone is worth a visit) and you can even have Tea and Coffee in their Grade II listed Victorian Conservatory !!

Photo a Day 365 : Day 21 - Canal Boats at Camden Lock Market, London

Day 21 - Canal Boats at Camden Lock Market, London, originally uploaded by Pete Little.

On Friday I took a little stroll up towards Camden Lock Market in London. This is always a good place for photographs as it's so vibrant and colourful. 

Took quite a few shots there but I liked this one. The grey sky just about managed to clear and let a little blue though and the boats looked great against the dark inky waters.

I just tweaked contrast and saturation a smidge to bring out the colours a little. 

Friday, 25 February 2011

Keeping up with the blog .. Posts and Pictures and updates oh my!!

Photo taken by Luxomedia : Used under the Creative Commons Licence.
Photo Licence : Attribution, Noncommercial, Share Alike

Dammit Jim ! I'm a Photographer not a blogger !!

What is the point of this blog? This is a question I ask myself constantly and I keep coming back to the same place. I initally planned a two pronged attack on my pet project. I would post the pictures I took onto my Flickr page and put the bare information on there and the blog would link to a copy of those shots and provide some sort of background and a discussion on my thought processes behind the shot. I planned to discuss composition, techniques I was trying out and the reasoning behind the shot. This was what I was planning.. what did I get? a cut and paste job from my Flickr site!!

This is not what I anticipated. Vistors to this site would currently be disapointed if they visited my flickr page and vice versa. There's nothing new , no deep insights, no thought processes.. nothing, zilch, nada, zip !!

I underestimated the effort this project would take. a photo a day? ha! easy! one photograph is, what?, 1/125th of a second? that leaves me 86,399 and a bit seconds everyday to do something else, how difficult could it be?

Well for one, I'm not taking ONE shot. I'm taking upwards of 30 or 40 (some days I'll take a couple of hundred!) I then sit down and transfer them to my PC and preview them all. once I've identified a suitable candidate I then have to process it. I rarely post an image "raw" so to speak. Colour balances need to be tweaked, contrast needs to be adjusted, imperfections need to be cloned out etc etc. 

By the time I've done all of that it's bedtime and it's all I can do to load the picture onto Flickr and link it to this Blog. Go to bed, dream about photography wake up Lather, rinse and repeat !

I have to be more focussed. I need to drive this site forward with better content. How difficult is a 365 project? Where am I getting my inspiration from? What do I do on the days where inspiration is missing and the end of the day is approaching? What have I been doing to improve my photography? what sites have I been visiting? what equipment have I been purchasing? Etc.. all these sorts of questions need to be asked and subsequently answered !

Hopefully what will happen is I'll get into a habit of logging the background process behind the photographs. The Flickr site will remain the domain of the technical aspects but there will be some overlap and cross over but ideally the two sites should offer two different experiences of the project.

Ultimately what should be here is a diary of a Photographer's project. The ups, the downs, the plain weirds! The Pitfalls laid bare so that any future photographer wanting to embark on a similar project has something to refer to. 

Heavens knows I know it would help me ;)

SO please, gentle reader, if there's anything you want to know please ask. Anything from location queries to more technical aspects of the photographs themselves. This blog is JUST starting to get noticed now and  my small handful of followers may soon grow. The more I have to offer them the more there is to attact them.

Here's to more dialogue.. and less cut and paste!

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Photo a Day 365 : Day 20 - Warmth

Day 20 - Warmth, originally uploaded by Pete Little.

This photograph was taken for both my Photo A Day project and my friends weekly challenge (this weeks topic being WARMTH)
I tried just a candle.. but it didn't look that warm.. the warm red tones of this candle holder and some shiny black gloss card helped to reflect the light/warmth and isolate it in darkness making it stand out a little more.
no complicated strobist set-ups here.. Two pieces of A4 gloss black card, one laid flat and one propped against an empty shoebox and my tripod was all I needed :D

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Photo a Day 365 : Day 19 - Not the Moulin Rouge.. more like les pantoufle de verre

Another "Lazy" shot with my Android Vignette application. I like it though.. The people are blurred slightly (as is the car headlights just passing!) and the lights positively glow and sparkle.

There's something about it.. I can't quite put my finger on. There's no accounting for taste now is there ;)

Can highly recommend the Vignette App for Android Phones though.. very customisable. (and a bargain at only £2.49!)

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Photo a Day 365 : Day 18 - A little light bedtime reading

another last minute shot. I needed something for today so popped my glasses (my spare pair you'll be glad to hear) onto a book I've been reading and attempted some.. erm.. "creative" lighting

(and by that I mean putting some tissue over the end of a cardboard tube and slipping it over the on camera flash on my camera ;) )

I wanted the light to fall off a little and be a little soft. it sort of worked ! The things I'll do because I don't have the correct equipment haha !!

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Photo a Day 365 : Day 15 - Heart With Heart Shaped Bokeh, Still life.

This was to be my Day 15 shot.. Unfortunately due to problems out with my control I was unable to take any shots for a few days.

I have to thank my colleague and friend Blomerus Calitz for the idea,

Anyway this also fits into my weekly photo challenge shot which was Hearts.

First attempt and it's a tricky thing to master (and you can see.. I haven't yet!) but I got the heart shaped bokeh. Pity you can still see the cables for the lights :) The Mrs wouldn't be too keen on me cutting holes in her best black velvet !!

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Photo a Day 365 : Day 14 - The obligatory "Panic as I don't have a shot for today" shot!

this is my 1st ever attempt at "light trail" photography. it's not bad but far from perfect. The room was pretty dark (could barely see the camera on the tripod) and I timed for a x second exposure at y ISO then was SUPPOSED to calculate the equivalent exposure at 100 ISO .. and then completely failed to remember to turn the ISO down!!
The busy background doesn't help either but it was getting late and I hadn't taken anything for that day. Something is better than nothing I suppose ;)

Despite being a fluffed shot I'm quite happy with the result. As a first attempt it's not bad and invites being revisited and tweaked at some point . Well I do have a whole year to go back to it at some point after all ;-)

Photo a Day 365 : Day 13 - RGB - Red Green and Blue Candle Holders

Messing around with still life, bokeh and a little more reflected light this time :)

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Photo a Day 365 : Day 12 - Reflections of Glass in Water, River Thames, London

Taken while walking along the banks of the Thames on Saturday 12th Feb.

A Lovely spring day in London and the light on the water reflecting from this building caught my eye/.

Photo a Day 365 : Day 11 - Rubik Cubes

Day 11 of 365 : Rubik Cubes, originally uploaded by Pete Little.
Still life of two of my Rubik Cubes.

Still not 100% happy with my "still life technique" Similar set-up as before, only I used a piece of white card to attempt to bounce some light back onto the scene.. but I think I needed more light falling on the card so there was a more pronounced bounce as there's still too much shadow at the front of this image.

No point spending money on flash gear until I perfect the techniques with the equipment I already have but I'm getting there.

Practice makes perfect

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Photo a Day 365 : Day 10 - green crackle glass candle holder still life

1st in a series of home "Studio" shots. I put studio in quotes as it's a simple fold up thing with little diffuser screens from Maplins

This is long exposure (about 2.5 secs) to try and get the whole thing in focus. I did a couple of f1.8 shots.. the depth of field is about 2 microns front to back ;) .. excellent bokeh though.. I might post it on my flickr account anyway.

I need to invest in a couple of flash guns so I can play with off camera flash (and not have to deal with the harsh on camera pop up!)

Anyway am going to play with this for the next few nights.. mainly because I can't be bothered taking my heavy gear back and forth to work every day ;)

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Photo a Day 365 : Day 8 - Green Church Door With Shadows, Regents Park London

A green wooden door in an archway near Regents Park. it was the doorway within a doorway thing that caught my eye and the soft shadows being cast on this glorious spring afternoon.

Had a glorious walk around Regents Park. The Spring flowers are just beginning to bloom. I'll have to come back here in a few days to see how they're coming along.

Just loved the geometric composition and colours in this shot. 

Monday, 7 February 2011

Photo a Day 365 : Day 7 - Travel Triptych, Retro Cross Process on Android smart phonehone

I am a passenger And I ride and I ride I ride through the city's backside I see the stars come out of the sky 
I didn't have my camera with me today as I had to go the hospital for a routine check up. I was worried about finding time to take a picture later on for today's PAD shot but then it dawned on me.. a photograph is a photograph no matter how it's taken or what it's taken on. Be that a top of the range digital SLR, my Canon 500D, an old box brownie, a pin hole camera or even a piece of photosensitive paper held against the inverted image projected from a hole in the wall.

I took some shots with my Android smartphone , then decided (since the quality wasn't that great) to process them in the retro Lomography and Hisptamatic style that's so popular just now.

Created the frames and tweaked the images in Corel Photoshop 12 , then randomly rotated them , gave them a slight drop shadow effect and composed the Triptych above.. a Triptych of my Trip to the Doctors.

And I also think it's an interesting end to my first week. it may be day 7 of 365.. but it sounds better as week one from 52 !

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Photo a Day 365 : Day 6 - Lost boot in park.

Day 6 of 365, originally uploaded by Pete Little.

Somewhere out there a little girl has a cold wet foot.. as I found her Wellington perched on a fence in Peckham Rye Park !!

It looked so forlorn sitting there by itself.. hope it finds it's way to it's rightful owner.. or ends up in Un Lun Dun (where all the lost things in London find their way to eventually) 

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Photo a Day 365 : Day 5 - Peckham Rye Park, Spring Snowdrops

Day 5 of 365, originally uploaded by Pete Little.

Spring is sprung Da grass is riz I wonder where dem boidies iz Da little boids is on da wing Ain't dat absoid Da little wings is on da boid

A stereotypical Spring flower shot from Peckham Rye Park. It was a bit cold and grey out there again but saw these and thought to myself "If I'm going to do a 365 project I can hardly miss out the changes of the seasons" 

Friday, 4 February 2011

Photo a Day 365 : Day 4 - British Museum, Ghosts, Long Exposure

Day 4 of 365, originally uploaded by Pete Little.
Took a quick trip into the British Museum. What a fantastic place to explore but the low light levels, the wrong lens (yes.. AGAIN!) and not being allowed to use tripods or monopods I was a little restricted in what I could shoot (I don't have the steadiest hands in the world)

So I messed around with a very long shot and balancing the camera on a nearby handy plinth ;) The 2.5 second exposure gave the brick work a lovely luminance and rendered the visitors into spectral phantasms overlapping and some partly solidifying.

Hope you like it

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Photo a Day 365 : Day 3 - Colourful Terraced Houses in Camden London

I may not be there yet, but I'm closer than I was yesterday. 

I thought that quote about perseverance seemed appropriate ! This is getting tough quicker than I thought !

Today's shot is an exercise in "Using the correct lens for the wrong job"  but hey, you live and learn ! This is a fantastic street and one I'll revisit again before the end of the project for sure. It's Kelly Street in Kentish Town (I get about don't I)

Actually the hardest part of this project is not so much the taking of the photographs, but the processing, the uploading to Flickr and the blogging. 

I think from this point on I'll post a weekly digest .. I'll still take a photograph every day but post them a weeks worth at a time. This makes sense as I'll have more time to look over each days efforts , choose the correct one and perform any adjustments etc before posting it here.

anyway without further ado .. here is today's submission !

day 3

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Photo a Day 365 : Day 2 - London Graffiti Chalk farm.

Every journey begins with a single step.. but to start making headway it's usually best to take more than one
Day 2 and it's still overcast, I'm still feeling poorly and I still don't have a clue what I'm doing! At least it was dry!

Today's little lunchtime excursion was to the Camden Stables Market  although the actual photograph I've chosen as today's shot was taken further up Chalk farm road near to Chalk Farm underground station.

I found an excellent piece of graffiti taking up most of a wall. Alas the bright colours were not showing off in their best with the overcast sky. 

Unfortunately the piece is damaged in one large area which is a shame. How long before it succumbs to other, less artistic, graffiti then getting painted over by the local council.

I'll load the picture here tonight after a little bit of digital touch up!


and here it is

Day 2

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Photo a Day 365 : Day 1 - St Pancras old Churchyard

Well, my resolve is being tested to the max. It's my first day of my personal little project and not only is it raining outside, I also have a stinking cold !

Personally I'd rather be tucked up nice and warm in bed at home with a steaming hot chocolate than trudging around cold, damp and dank graveyards but there you go.

Why did I chose the graveyard? ( St Pancras Old Churchyard to be precise ) 

Well I though the inherent gloom would best reflect the sombre nature of the environment.. not buying that? hmm.. actually I chose it as it was close and I wanted to get back to the office !

Didn't really get any great shots. This is what happens when you don't use your camera for months on end. Mind you , this is why I'm doing this project. It's not about good photographs (although over the course of the year I HOPE to get at least one or two) it's about sticking with it, learning from my mistakes and seeing some sort of personal development.

Here's hoping Day 2 isn't so "taxing" 

Day 1