From Austria – 23

Just back from Zell am See in Austria – a little late with the post, but I’m trying to catch up. We’ve only been away for a week and there seems so many things to do!!

Anyway – up near the Großglockner mountain ( Austria’s highest ) in the Hohe Tauern National Park, the snow was still stacked pretty deep!

DEEP SNOW by John Allen

The Krimml Waterfall – absolutely stunning – too high to walk to the top – but you can get quite wet just by stopping to watch the water. Apologies for the water droplets on the lens. Perhaps i should have taken an underwater camera mount!!!

KRIMML by John Allen

And a perfect reflection in a small tarn, as we would call it – or is it a reservoir? – just above Zell am See where we were based for the week. Some twenty seconds later the breeze came up and the reflection was gone!!

REFLECTION by John Allen

So, just three of my 700 plus images – and some bits of video. A fantastic week – and I travelled very light – my Olympus EM-1 MkII and a single lens – my 12 -100mm f/4 Pro lens. I did take a wide angle (8mm) and a macro lens but they never left the hotel room

Advertisements

A Week In Kent – 18

Just back from a week away in Kent. We stayed south of Canterbury, on a farm in a small village called Stelling Minnis. Came back with too many images – can’t show you them all but here are a favourite four that might just interest you!

Maybe next week I’ll show you some more. On the other hand …..

The cloisters at Canterbury Cathedral. A superb building, but unfortunately covered in scaffold for a much need clean. 01-KENT by John Allen

The White Cliffs of Dover. We were lucky enough to see a ( two seater ) Spitfire ( maybe from Biggin Hill? ) that did a run past the cliffs then came back and barrel-rolled overhead the docks. Sadly, wrong lens on the camera – I was travelling light that day!02-KENT by John Allen

Coloured chairs outside the Turner Contemporary Art Gallery at Margate. Is this ‘Still Life’? Or just a picture of four chairs?03-KENT by John Allen

The evening sky the night before we left. Not quite my last shot of the week, but it certainly made me feel good.04-KENT by John Allen

More next week? Maybe. 🙂

Southend Sunday – 16

Last Sunday we took a ride out to Southend-On-Sea. It was a busy, bustling place – everyone encouraged, no doubt, to be outside in the lovely weather!

Passing the fairground near the shore-end of the pier we noticed this agitated crow – apparently concerned by the rumbling of the inverted people passing by on the yellow track.

03-SOUTHEND SUNDAY by John Allen

We then discovered why he was agitated – the crows had chosen to build their nest inside the metalwork of the roller-coaster. Not a great shot, but you can just see the crow standing on its nest INSIDE the framework! We guessed this was the first day that the ride had been opened this year – and we wondered how long it would be before the nest was abandoned?

04-SOUTHEND SUNDAY by John Allen

But at the other end of the pier things were a little more peaceful – but we were a couple of hours early for the anticipated ‘Folk Music & Beer’ event. ( Not its official title – and we didn’t stop for it.)

But we did spot the young Turnstone on the end of the pier. He (?) seemed a little distraught and kept calling but seemed to be completely alone. Lost or abandoned, I wasn’t sure – but I managed to get quite close to him and get these two shots. My favourite is the second one. Just a bit more movement!

02-SOUTHEND SUNDAY by John Allen01-SOUTHEND SUNDAY by John Allen

Dinosaur – 15

This week I’ve been playing with Chroma Key effects. ( If that is the wrong expression, I apologise!! ) To most of us we know this as green-screening, but my attempt this week was actually using a blue background because, in an earlier shot, I had something green that I wanted to retain in the final image – but I later dropped that idea, but stayed with the blue backdrop.

So this is how the dinosaur ended up in Epping Forest. First of all I photographed the animal against a blue background. The objective here is to get the background as evenly illuminated as possible. Not that I succeeded here, but I was able to rectify this later in Photoshop CC.

01-DINASOUR by John Allen

Then, using the ‘Select > Colour Range’ in Photoshop I selected all of the blue and using Select > Select and Mask ( again in Photoshop ) tidied up the selection and created a new layer with a mask of the inverted selection. ( Colour Range selects the background and, of course, that’s not the bit we want in our final image. ) This was the result.

03-DINASOUR by John Allen

Because this is a JPEG copy of that result, all of the pixels I masked out have now been replaced by white. If you save the image as a tiff or psd file those transparent areas ( where there are ’empty’ pixels ) will be preserved.

Next I hunted through my Lightroom library for a suitable new background. This one happens to be Epping Forest, just down the road from me. I copied the images into my working image of the dinosaur and dragged the ‘forest’ layer so that it was positioned underneath the beast.

A few tiny adjustments and ….

02-DINASOUR by John Allen

Success, I would say!!

SHOOTING GLASS (2) – 12

As a follow on from last week’s post, I’ve re-tried the image of the wine glass against the dark background.

Most of the shoot was taken up with trying to eliminate the reflections in the bowl of the glass – the difficulty I highlighted last time! And I think that I got there, apart from those two ‘vertical’ ( ish ) lines near the centre of the frame. I think they are reflections of the light source – maybe even reflections of reflections – the glass being curved, there must be light being bounced all over the place.

All of the other reflections – of what was either side and behind the camera ( the contents of me garage – were eliminated by draping a black cloth over the whole set and down behind the camera. It made it a bit difficult to fire the camera – perhaps I should have used a remote or tethered it to the computer ( but I didn’t ). Anyway, here’s the result!

Wine Glass by John Allen

Still one to come back to, I think!

SHOOTING GLASS – 11

This week I set myself the task of getting to grips with photographing glass. From a photography viewpoint ( pun intended ) glass is, by its very nature, invisible. Somehow we need to capture the shapes and the textures but all to often reflections spoil the outcome!

There seems to be two basic solutions: one is to shoot against a very dark background – and the second is to shoot against a very bright background. In both cases the glass is back lit with a largish light source diffused through some some type of ‘diffusion’ material – a lighting soft-box, a plastic shower curtain ( often quoted in the literature ) or a piece of translucent white perspex. That’s what I used for these shots.

The light source is a matter of choice – continuous light or flash both work well! The first image, of the wine glass, was taken using diffused flash – the others were taken with medium sized LED light panel through the white perspex.

This is the wine glass was taken against a piece of black foam board and standing on a piece of reflective black perspex. Nice enough, and quite satisfying, but those reflections don’t help. More on the lighting set-up for this one later.

01-GLASS by John Allen

This is a glass jar taken against a bright background – that same diffusion material and light source, but no black foam board. This time the the jar is standing on a piece of white reflective perspex.

06-GLASS by John Allen

And this is the set up – taken from further back to show the light source which has been masked off with black card around the jar . You can see the unmasked corners of the diffusion material in the top left and top right of the image.

05-GLASS by John Allen

This time we have the jar against a black background, exactly the same set-up as I used for the wine glass shown above – but now using continuous lighting.

04-GLASS by John Allen

An arty touch……..

03-GLASS by John Allen

And here’s the set-up. Now the black foam board masks off the light from directly behind the jar which is only illuminated by the light coming round the board to pick out the edges of the object.

02-GLASS by John Allen

So am I pleased with the results? I think I am. I just need to work on how to eliminate those unwanted reflections in the wine glass. Why didn’t they show up in the dark background version of the glass jar?  Mmmm …..