2015 – May – Street Photography

Simon and I went to Glasgow for a bit of urban street photography.
(We also bumped in to and assisted a friend who was having a shoot in the park that we were in … and none of us knew that the other party was going to be there, in that city, on that day, at that time. Spooky)

Being us, we don’t really do traditional street stuff, so here’s my take …

2015 – May – Focus Stacking

Focus stacking is used when ever you want … but mainly when you have an object that goes outside of the depth of field and you want to get the whole object in focus.
Normally, you can do this by increasing the length of time that the shutter is open for, and by changing the f-stop, although this isn’t always a sure fire way to get a result as the shutter being open for longer means more chance of over-exposure.
Focus stacking reduces this risk as it allows you to set the correct exposure throughout the stack images, as you only have to expose for the bit you are shooting.
It’s great for shooting macro – where you normally have a shallow depth of field – but can also be used on landscape to ensure a truly front to back sharp image.

Focus Stacked Garlic
Focus Stacked Garlic

2015 – May – At the Church

Simon and I went out for a couple of hours to a few churches in the area. Unfortunately, all bar one of them were locked.

It did however give me a chance to shoot a few images with a view to testing the new merge to HDR feature in Lightroom …

Abercorn Church
Abercorn Church

This is a HDR image made up of several individual frames shot at different settings and merged together as a HDR image. The different settings allow for an underexposed, a perfectly exposed and an overexposed images (or however you want to do it) to be merged and so the resultant image features the best of each individual frame

2015 – May – Macro Flowers

I’ve downloaded a bit of software for my phone called Slingshot (www.brainylantern.com) that enables me to control the Canon 7d through my phone as if tethered to a computer. This gives me full control over the camera without having to be near it, as I can view it all on the screen of my Android device.
It can be pretty handy, especially when used on a 7″ or above tablet for checking focus on small objects as you can enlarge them on a bigger screen.

Anyway, I wanted to test the software, so off I went in to the woods; I don’t have a macro lens yet, so these were shot using an old MD fit manual lens, a MD to MA adapter and a Sony to Canon adapter.

Flowers in the woods
Flowers in the woods
Flowers in the woods
Flowers in the woods

2015 – May – UrbEx

I don’t do a lot of Urban Exploration (Urbex) but when I do, I like to find the crappiest, wettest, rainiest day possible …

Simon and I went exploring and came across this place and we had a good look around it. There are plenty of rooms within the complex, but not all of them are interesting or big enough to photograph. Some of them are just too bloody dangerous.

All images are shot using the available light and at ISO2000 and f4. Shutter speeds vary between .50 and .20 seconds and all were hand-held. [Image stabilisation certainly seems to be better on the Canon than the Sony’s that I’m used to]

It wasn’t the best of conditions to shoot this place in; it was raining and the available light was a tad flat … but as we were there, it would have been rude not to have done so.

2015 – April – The Chemical Works

Grangemouth is a massive, sprawling petro-chemical plant in central Scotland.
Different sections of it produce different products, ranging from fuel to polyethylene. When in full flow, the steam from the cooling towers and light from the flare stacks can be seen for miles.

It has a futuristic skyline, born out of requirement, and it wouldn’t look out if place in Bladerunner …


2015 – The Kelpies

The Kelpies are sculptures found at The Helix, Falkirk.

The two giant horses heads, sculptures by Andy Scott, stand about 30 meters tall and weighs approximately 300 tonnes.
More information on the Kelpies can be found at The Helix website

For such large items, they are pretty difficult to take photo’s of. The area is a photographers night mare – but a clone tool users dream!

Everywhere you look, there is something detracting in the image, from overhead high-tension transmission lines, to motorway signs, to vomit-ugly buildings.

It’s only after getting home and looking at the images subjectively, I realised just how emotionally detached I am from them. I have no compulsion to  spend  hours cloning out power lines and ugly builds, and I take my hat off to people that do. And as for finding a new angle to shoot them from … well, mights as well bark at the moon.

This isn’t to say that there is anything wrong with them, it’s just from my point of view, their just there. I don’t think I would be too upset if I didn’t photograph them again.

I shot both sculptures from different angles, and these are the shots that I am happy with; both are very tight in-camera crops – to get rid of the background clutter – and both have had minimal post production work

2015 – April: night time

I thought that I would take the Canon out for a spin; I also wanted to see how the Sony to Canon adapter worked in the darkness.

Neither of us we particularly healthy, so we just stayed local – Abercorn.

Abercorn is a beautiful little hamlet, boarding the grounds of Hopetoun House, and has access to the Firth of Forth.

It’s also a great place, with a long enough lens, to shoot the bridge construction

North Bridge Pier
North Bridge Pier

We then went back to the church and did some more traditional night stuff …


Abercorn Church
Abercorn Church

There was a really bright full moon, and this was the only light source for the above image

A meander through my life