Spring In The Park – 07

Images of spring flowers taken this very morning on an early(ish) walk through our town park.

I won’t attempt to name them – I can just about recognise a Snowdrop – but all were taken on my Olympus EM-1 Mk II with a 60mm macro lens; all natural light with some ‘tweaking’ in Lightroom.

And followed by breakfast in the Park Café. A perfect morning.

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Stroboscopic Flash – 06

A new experience this week – I’ve had a go at Stroboscopic Flash. Impressive name, difficult technique. With a bit of a learning curve to climb!

Stroboscopic Flash – a single, longish exposure ( perhaps 2 or 3 seconds ), where the subject is moving in the frame and the strobe/flash light goes off a number of times whilst the shutter remains open. Best executed in as dark a room as you can manage with a plain black background set up as far back from the subject as possible. ( You may want to keep a low-level light on to stop you tripping over tripods and light stands, etc – but if the light is too bright and the exposure very long, that light will show in the final image ).

You’ll need a strobe that will fire a set number of times at a set frequency ( numbers such as 4Hz are oft quoted, meaning 4 flashes in 1 second ).

So 8 flashes at 4 Hz will require an shutter speed of 2 seconds ( to accommodate all 8 flashes ).

I set the Olympus to Manual mode, 1/250 sec and an f stop determined by trial and error. I told you I was learning! And I used a wireless remote to trigger the strobe.

These images are not perfect, I know that, but they demonstrate the principle and give me a base from which to improve.

If you try it, have fun. And be prepared to take LOADS of images to catch the ones that work!

A single swinging nut!01-Strobe Flash by John Allen

A toy bird that shudders itself down its shiny pole!   02-Strobe Flash by John Allen

Just TWO coloured pig-pong balls dropped onto a table. Shame about the background at the top of the frame. 03-Strobe Flash by John Allen

Ice Patterns – 05

These fantastic patterns appeared on our conservatory windows one morning earlier this week. To good to miss, I took the opportunity to take a few shots using a 60mm macro lens on the Olympus EM1 Mark II – and a tripod.

All backlit with natural light from the garden – and tweaked ( a touch ) in Lightroom Classic CC.

01-ICE PATTERNS by John Allen

02-ICE PATTERNS by John Allen

03-ICE PATTERNS by John Allen

04-ICE PATTERNS by John Allen

Texture – 04

A quiet photography week since our return from Aldeburgh ( see ALDEBURGH – 03 ), so this week I’ve been looking through some older images and, for some reason, homed in on the topic of texture.

It’s been said many times before, but it’s worth repeating – good or bad lighting can make or break a potential image. And this is particularly true if you are looking to capture texture in your image. Have I achieved that in these four images? I’ll let you be the judge of that.

An appropriate subject plus directional side lighting is often the key, although my second image is more ‘soft’ light than directional.

1 & 2 Taken on Northumberland beaches01-texture by john allen03-texture by john allen

3 Aldeburgh Boat04-texture by john allen

4 JohnB through Wet Glass02-texture by john allen

ALDEBURGH – 03

Just returned from a couple of days in Aldeburgh on the Suffolk – North Sea coast. Bracing – but beautiful. A fabulous mix of coastland and places to visit inland – Snape Maltings, the ruins of Leiston Abbey – and much more.

Here are some images from Aldeburgh itself, the last one being of Maggi Hambling’s controversial Scallop – originally situated closer to to the town, but moved because some residents felt it spoilt the beach! You decide. The shot was taken just as the sun was coming up, some of the colour on the Scallop being reflected sunlight,

01-aldeburgh by john allen02-aldeburgh by john allen03-aldeburgh by john allen04-aldeburgh by john allen

Flash In The Garden – 02

One of my previously broken New Year’s Resolutions was to get to grips with off-camera, outdoor flash photography – away from my usual safety net of a home studio and lots of time!

So eventually, a couple of days ago, I ventured outside into the garden with my Olympus OMD MKII, a 60mm macro lens and flash gun ( on an extension lead ) to catch whatever was about.

The first three images are of a clump of fungi Daphne had spotted growing in a sheltered corner of the garden. Fungi in January? A little unexpected – but then our winter, so far, has been quite mild – nothing to the atrocious weather that has struck parts of continental Europe. Our thoughts go to anyone who is suffering as a result!

01-garden flora by john allen02-garden flora by john allen03-garden floraby john allen

The final image is of grass growing in the crevices of an old tree stump (thanks, Trevor!!). This is probably the result of bird food left in the stump for the passing wildlife – but then again, we’ve not seen much of that over the past few weeks. They are obviously being fed somewhat better further down the road.

04-garden flora by john allen

London Evening – 01

A couple of days before the New Year Daphne and I went for one of our favourite walks – along the South Bank of the River Thames, between St Pauls Cathedral and Embankment Station. These are some of the images I caught along the way.

All taken on the Olympus EM-1 Mk II ( I hear there’s a new one coming out later this month. Oh dear!! ) … and a 12-100mm f4 Pro Lens, handheld. ( Yes, I know!! )

St Paul’s Cathedralst pauls cathedral by john allen

The London Eyethe london eye by john allen

Skateboarderskateboarder-by-john-allen

Sleeping It Off?sleeping by john allen

Orange Stairwellstairwell by john allen

Xmas Fairgroundxmas fairground by john allen

Lookin’ Back #2 – 52

As promised last week, another four of my favourite images from the past twelve months.

Thanks for your interest over the past months. You’ve been great company.

All the best for 2019 🙂 🙂

Storm Wave
Breathing Out
Holy Island Boats
Fruit

LOOKIN’ BACK #1 – 51

As the end of the year approaches I seem to find myself looking back over the last twelve months – thinking about what HAS happened, what IS happening and what the new year will bring.

In amongst all that I look for the favourite images that I’ve created over the year. So here are four of them – maybe another four next week to see out the tail end of 2018.

St Michaels Mount
Old Tulip Petals
Old Mine Engine House, Cornwall
Canned Flowers

Wherever you are, whatever you may be doing over the Xmas period – be safe and have a good one! And of course, my best wishes to you and yours for 2019. 🙂 🙂

Studio Flower Shots #2 – 50

Not much incentive to venture outside in this cold grey weather. So I’ve hunkered down in my (Slightly) warmer garage/studio and taken more studies of shop-purchased flowers.

Fairly weak on identifying  which is what, but then it’s the image that counts. Hope you agree. 🙂

Orchid
Orange
Purple Macro

The ‘Purple Macro’ is a single shot. I’ve just rediscovered my Sigma Ring Flash and dragged it out for this shot. With the flower-head just a couple of inches in front of the 60mm macro lens, even lighting is always going to be difficult. There are still some dark shadows in the centre of the image, but I think I can live with those.


Ornamental Kale?

The “Ornamental Kale” shot is a focus-stacked image – 18 individual layers, merged together in Photoshop CC to give the deeper depth of field.

All taken on the Olympus E-M1 MkII with a 60mm macro lens. Will Olympus ever bring out a macro lens in their Pro Lens series?