A shot from a recent studio night at Aperture Woolwich Photographic society

Friday, 25 January 2013

On The Brink

The recent transformation of Shooters Hill into Narnia spurred me into something photographers dont do nearly enough, shoot in your own backyard! I try and shoot locally at least once every turn of season to record the changing enviroment, but you cant beat taking pictures after, or even during, snowfall
The house above sits on the edge of the Shrewsbury Park Estate but here would look more at home nestled on an Alpine mountanside with the added bonus of that lovely wispy cloud.

At the top of my road is Shrewsbury Park, a haven for dog walkers as if Fido slips his lead its pretty tricky to run on to a main road. It always surprises me how little use this park gets, the occasional golfer having a practise and the even less occasional feral youth hacking around on a stolen scooter. When the snow falls there are throngs of sledders over at Oxleas Woods when there are normally only a handful here in comparison, even though the slope he is steep and fast , as my son's spectacular recent wipe-out and subsequent whiplash will attest! This is the pre wipe-out shot, post wipe-out withheld on request !
Shrewsbury Park along its right side boarders Shooters Hill Golf Club,  and to its left and rear mature woodland. Its crowning glory is the fantastic view towards North Kent however
view from the top⬆ and view from the bottom ⬇

If you exit the park via the entrance at the side of the golf course you will find yourself in the middle of the Shrewsbury park estate, a nice area of 1930's detached and semi detached house's and home to Shrewsbury House Community Center , which is home to numerous clubs and activities including Greenwich's only camera club - Aperture Woolwich Photographic Society of which I am vice chairman and programme secretary. There is also a really well run tennis club next to the golf club
You soon find yourself back out on Plum Lane which is home to the old fire station - seen here on the left, I found some more info about the Shooters Hill around me here and Im always available for guided tours !


Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Adventures with a £50 camera

Like most photographers with a decent camera and lenses I find myself turning into a bit of a camera snob. 
However , with the quality i can get out of my iPhone 4 and its various photography apps I have found myself using that a lot more than my 5D as it is always with me. 
I recently purchased a little Lumix DMC-FS14 after watching a frankly hilarious presentation about it on QVC. It cost a little over £50 and with the option of being able to return it with-in 30days for a full money back refund I thought what the heck. 

Some of the features on it are amazing ( face tracking and about 30 scene settings ) for the price but the proof is in the pudding - will it actually take a decent image. 

Certainly as used here on a bright spring morning I am pretty pleased with the results , the images here have minimum of no Photoshop. There is no noticeable shutter lag, something which normally plagues low end cameras, and all of these shots were taken in Intelligent Auto mode - literally point and shot at its most simple, so none of my immense photography knowledge were needed ;-)

The images are sharp with little fringing even when used with the optic zoom and im pleased with the detail in the macro mode.

So for something that you can carry all the time I think its a bargain and will try it in a variety of different conditions to see what its limitations are going to be

Saturday, 3 September 2011


                       A wet Woolwich Common from the 486 bus

I have had my iPhone 4 for a little over a year now , and apart from its failings as an actual phone ! , its a great bit of kit for the keen photographer. It's often said that the best camera you can have is the one you have with you and with this philosophy in mind the iPhone has been very liberating as i normally shoot with a Canon 5D which takes a reasonable amount of know-how to wrangle a decent picture out of it , the iPhone is literally point and shoot. The standard camera on board is perfectly fine but once you start delving in to the wonderful world of photography 'Apps' things get seriously interesting.

One of the fisrt app's I purchased was Hipstamatic which is described in iTunes as "The Hipstamatic for iPhone is an application that brings back the look, feel, unpredictable beauty, and fun of plastic toy cameras from the past." You get a series of lenses and films for an endless combination of outcomes and its fun trying them out to see what you can turn out.
Self Portrait

                                            Autumn Leaves

Hipstamatic is a very good app , it gets your eye in and creative juices flowing and for several months was my app of choice. There are some more gimmicky app's like Tiny Planet which do weird and wonderful to landscapes.

To create something like this in photoshop would take me hours , this took literally seconds and is all done in the iPhone !

My current 'app du jour' is Slow Shutter and by some electronic alchemy can turn out 15 second long exposures in bright daylight perfectly - something without expensive ND filters on my 5D would be impossible . Im currently working on a series of 8 second exposures , see below so some examples. These shots have had very little external editing and are pretty much presented as they were captured by my iPhone

Plasma TV , 8 seconds

New Cross , southbound from the train , 8 seconds

                 Blackheath rainbow and car light trails , 8 seconds


Thursday, 24 February 2011

Aperture Woolwich Photographic Society workshop evening

I recently attended a photography workshop run by the Über talented pairing of Brooke Shaden and Miss Anelia

They teach both practical and digital techniques to make it appear that people can float or levitate in shots , and since I have grasped this concept I have decided to work on a series of shots along this theme. I have been buying some costumes and masks on eBay and am currently story-boarding some ideas.

On Tuesday 22nd feb I was asked to explain and demonstrate these techniques to my fellow members of Aperture Woolwich Photographic Society

The room we use is ideal , with wood paneled walls and oak floors for that spooky old haunted house look!  My daughter donned a very Victorian bridesmaid's dress that we got on ebay and spent the evening posing for members to take their shots in preparation to a follow-up digital workshop next week , when they will be shown some basic photoshop trickery to transform their images into something a little out of the ordinary by our resident Photoshop wizards Leigh and Marshall.