“Flights may be grounded, but there is a chance of a fantastic sunset” the weather lady on the BBC said tonight.
Apparently the volcanic ash was going to do wonders with the atmosphere and as usual my camera battery was flat, my memory cards were almost full and I had no idea where to even think about going to take a photo.
I jumped in the car and headed towards Lough Neagh with a vague memory of some nice view points I’d seen in a past life, but no real idea where to find them. Cue thirty minutes of driving, stopping, thinking, looking…
I’d given up in the end. I was heading home with a sick feeling in my gut that I was never going to cut it as a photographer if I couldn’t even find a place to take a photo never mind actually get up the nerve to walk onto a field and set up a tripod.
And then I came across a little pier behind a pub and some people watching the the very thing I was looking for. There was even a nice woman who sat in the photo for me.
Maybe it wasn’t the best sunset ever. And I know this probably isn’t the best shot of it. But it was a good reminder that sometimes, just sometimes, you need to have a little faith.
We spend a lot of time at my wife’s family home in Donegal. And regardless of how we start, the direction we take or when we travel we always end up on the road from Fintown to Doocharry.
I’ve taken pictures along that road before and I will do again. But if you’re ever in the area, take a drive along it – enjoy the sense of isolation.
The jury is still out on this photograph, but it’s an image I’d planned and as such I’m quite happy with it.
Ever since I took the picture of the toy box I’ve been toying* with taking more photos of things like kids dolls with slightly more morbid images embedded somehow. I could get all twee and talk about how childhood is but a step towards blah blah blah. But let’s be honest, I just thought they’d be fun to do…
The setup here was reasonably simple, doll and mirror on a black cloth with a black background and strobe diffused from camera right parallel to the mirror (pointing to the doll, not the mirror). Then, swap the doll for the death figure and a little merging later…
Like I said at the start, the image was one I’d planned. It may actually be the first image I ever drew a lighting diagram for. If I was to do it again, I might try to put a reflector on camera left to lift the left side of the doll, but I’m not sure to be honest.
I always wanted to know what sort of chickens laid the chocolate eggs?
That aside, this was shot in a soft box using constant lighting. Actual real lighting as opposed to improvised desk lamps or flashes or such. The kit itself is a loaner and I don’t think I break confidences by saying it was a bit of an ebay special so could be better, but if I ever do go back to micro stock this is ideal for that sort of isolation photography – you can post process an image pretty efficiently as the starter out of the camera is pretty damn close.
Anyway, I’m getting chocolate on my keyboard. Have a good Easter.
“Not as clumsy or random as a blaster…”
OK. I did it. I made a Jedi reference. But, I guess this truly is a weapon for a more civilised time.
I spent a lot of time tonight playing with how to make the background more black and less, well crap I guess. Long and short of it is I had the sword to close to the background which meant it was impossible to isolate in camera. My photoshop skills just aren’t up to the challenge.
Still, I thought I’d share.
While taking these my 4 year old daughter asked who owned the sword. When I told her she asked “Does he use it to go on adventures?” You know, I think he might was all I could say.
A long time ago I was loaned a sword. It’s sat in my care for some time without me ever taking a photo of it. It wasn’t that I didn’t like the subject, I’m fascinated by swords – Personally I think the world lost some of its beauty and honour when we stopped muzzle loading.
I didn’t take a photo of it because I was scared or it. It truly is a thing of beauty. It probably deserves a better still life photographer than me to do it justice.
But since I need to give it back, I decided I needed to try. And for the next few nights I will try, try and try again.
Thanks for kicking my arse on this Geoff.
Yeah, it’s been a quiet few weeks. Great thing about a hobby is when you get distracted it’s not quite the end of the world. My couple of weeks staring sullenly at my camera have passed and hopefully things are getting back on track.
This time last year I was tinkering with a set of cheap Ebay triggers and whilst they were fun, there was lots of issues with range, misfires and just general reliability. So much so, that they were almost a chore to use at times. Don’t get me wrong, they had their uses and I got some fun shots with them, but I hated relying on them for anything which involved people.
I was reading Paulo’s blog again recently and he mentioned picking up some Phottix Strato triggers, so I dropped him a line to see if his initial recommendation was holding up. Whilst it was, it turns out they weren’t made anymore. He recommended a look at RF-602 triggers.
Tonight I managed to get playing with a set I picked up.
First impressions are they’re fantastic. No misfires at all. Easy, clean operation with good signal lights to tell you what’s happening. And the range is to die for – they claim 100metres, but I don’t have a house that big – I was able to trigger the flash from 2 rooms away with no line of sight (OK, not sure why I’d ever need to trigger a flash I can’t see, but….)
All in all a cool set of triggers, and at £26 for a set it’s well worth a punt.
While playing with them I took a few self portraits (using Strobist for inspiration). They’re nothing special, but I couldn’t post and not post an image now could I?
(Yes, my eyes look odd. You hold a fekking flash under your chin and see how your eyes go…)
I’ll come back to the light box and other lighting tool another night….
Macro round is just around the corner. This could be another example of how I get hooked into a photo and don’t see its bad points until much much later.
Colours are as shot. A little sharpening was about it. I’ll probably play with it in Photoshop over the weekend, but I thought it was nice as a starter for 10.