H2O water symbol in steam

H2O water symbol in steam

This has been one of my most success edits on a photograph yet. The original can be seen at the end of this post and the difference is amazing. Taken almost a year ago to the day this image came first in a local club competition and although it might not be one of my normal subjects for a picture, it does capture the exact message I was trying to get across.

Taken in my parents dinning room, I boiled a kettle next to a double glazed window with my camera mounted on a tripod. When the kettle had steamed up the window, I drew out the symbol of “H2O” in the steam. This is the major thing that bugs me about the picture, because the “2” should be lower, but I guess that’s just me being a perfectionist (I’ll retake it someday).

When the image was put on my laptop, I realised that there was a lot of greenery in the background which showed through the rain outside the window, the glass and the steam, tinting the picture green in parts. Not liking green water, I desaturated it in Photoshop to remove all the colour and make it a black and white image, the one you see below. After reading some Photoshop tutorials on the internet I figured out the “burn” tool and was able to darken the lettering, making it more obvious to the viewer. Just before entering it into the competition I was playing around the with Hue and Saturation adjustments and ticked “colourise” and the image turned blue. In my opinion this worked very well.

Industrial Waste Bins found in Manchester

Industrial Waste Bins found in Manchester

The above photograph is something that I never thought would go on the blog. It was my final day to photograph food related things in Manchester city centre yesterday and so I went out for an early morning shoot around the Deansgate area of the city. The majority of the pictures taken were looking at the fronts (entrances where customers come through) and backs (where food goes in and waste comes out). When really looking down the back streets I came across this small road behind King Street and St. Ann’s Square where some of the very exclusive bars, restaurants and shops are located.

At this point there were about a dozen industrial bins all lined up in a row, and so using a small aperture like f/4 on the camera I was able to focus on the logo of the bin closest to the camera and put the rest of them out of focus. The reason why this wasn’t to be published on here is because it was taken for my University coursework but after showing it to a group of fellow students they said that there was something about it they really liked in an experimental and artistic way. Personally, I have mixed feels about whether or not this is a good or bad picture, I guess sometimes it doesn’t matter.

Interior Details of Piano Strings and Hammers

Interior Details of Piano Strings and Hammers

The above photograph is my attempt to record what happens when you open the lid of an upright or vertical piano (as apposed to a grand piano). The camera is on top of the instrument looking down inside, obviously it is a low light situation, but on a beautiful example like this one, I feel that it makes for an interesting image.

For a little background, I was at my cousins house (well my dad’s twin sister and her families house) on Sunday night for a meal. Due to a 2008 project on instruments I thought I would try and capture a few photos, because two of my cousins are very musically talented playing the piano, guitar, flute etc. Their piano was crying out to be photographed and I was looking forward to taking some great photos of it.

I was wrong – I never knew how hard it is to photograph instruments until I tried! Despite the fact that many of them are shiny and reflective, they are often awkward shapes. The above photograph was impossible to capture hand held because I found it required a tiny aperture of f/22 to keep maximum sharpness throughout the strings and due to the lack of light inside the piano, it ended up being a 30 second exposure time. Luckily my Gorilla Pod from Joby really helped me out and enabled me to rest the camera on top, but also frame the image exactly the way I wished.

Then I took the photo and it was rubbish – it lacked something, so I thought I would press a few notes (I would say play a few notes, but that implies I have musical talent or know how to play the piano and neither assumptions would be correct). When I took this photo with the hammers hitting the strings the vibration from the whole instrument moving caused my picture to be very blurred. So the above photograph is my third attempt, where I took a long 30 second exposure, but gently moved the hammers (by pressing the keys very lightly) but not enough to vibrate the strings, make sound or cause a lot of vibrations. This photograph represents one of the largest technical hurdles / problems I have had to get over in my photography recently. Whilst writing this I am already getting great ideas about how I could improve and retake this image and for me, this is what photography is all about.

Toy Puffin on the Rocks

Toy Puffin on the Rocks

Last month I was up in Northumberland and visited the Farne Islands. When I got back onto the harbour at Seahouses I went for a little wander around the town and saw this fluffy toy puffin in the window of the National Trust shop. I walked past at first, but then came back and had to buy it as a present for my girlfriend. Still, before I left the coast I took him down to the sea to have his portrait taken on the rocks. By this time, I had official christened him “Puffter”. Also, there is a photographic competition coming up with the title of humour and curious and thought it could perhaps make an interesting entry.