Daffodil

The days are beginning to get longer and the spring flowers are starting to appear . I have a Sigma 105 mm macro lens which I haven’t really used much so I thought I would have a play. This shot was taken on a tabletop with a mottled brown paper backdrop. I used a large octabox, fitted with a grid, camera right and a foam core board as a reflector. The light was provided by two cheap Aperlite speedlights, one in the softbox and one with a Rogue Flashbender grid on the background. I set a custom white balance in camera and did some basic processing on the resulting RAW file. The vignette was created by the lighting and not in post. Other processing was to bring out the vibrancy of the yellow colour of the daffodil.

 

Clifton Suspension Bridge

This is a photo of the famous Clifton Suspension Bridge, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, which sits across the Avon Gorge.The bridge spans 214 meters and is supported by two 26 meter high towers. At high tide, the bridge sits at 76 meters above the water. The bridge opened in 1864 and links Clifton to Leigh woods in North Somerset.

Clifton Observatory

Dating back to 1766 the Clifton Observatory, which sits on top of the Avon Gorge, gives fantastic views of the suspension bridge and the surrounding ares. The observatory was originally a windmill that was used to grind corn but was later adapted to grind snuff; the Observatory then became known as Snuff Mill.

In 1777 the mill caught fire, this was caused by the sails being left to turn during a gale and the equipment overheating. The mill was then left derelict for about 50 years until a Bristol based artist, William West, rented it for his studio in 1828. William West was responsible for transforming the building into what we see today, he installed a large telescope on top of the mill turning into an observatory. In 1829 the telescope was replaced by convex lens and sloping mirror which is known as the camera obscura; this still works today. Light travels through the lens and is reflected vertically down by the mirror onto a table which gives a true image of the surrounding area.

William west also built a cave below the observatory which leads to a viewing platform in the cliff face about 250 feet above the base of the Gorge. The cave, known as Giant’s cave was opened to the public in 1837 and is still accessible today.

Pero’s Bridge

This is a shot looking towards Millennium Square from Pero’s Bridge in Bristol City Centre. The big wheel is only there for a short time and I was able to frame it between the two horns of the bridge. This was taken at pedestrian rush hour but the long exposure has rendered almost all of the people invisible.

The Gym

I had the opportunity to do some photography in a local gym, I have never done a fitness style shoot before so I was up for the challenge. Although it looked bright in the gym I had to boost my ISO to 1600 to enable me to get any usable levels of ambient light. I added two speedlights to the mix, one with a shoot through umbrella and one in a small Calumet softbox which I used as a rim light. I used a Canon 6d and a Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 lens. Looking back at some of the shots showed me areas that can be unproved upon but overall I was pleased with my first attempt at this type of shoot. Shooting in a working gym was quite an experience in its self due to the fact that other gym members were busy with their workouts. I will definitely be having another go at this type of shoot.

Boxing Portrait

Boxing Portrait

 

Sand Yachts

This photo was taken during a trip to Brean Down in Somerset, this is a popular beach which is just along the coast from Weston-Super-Mare. I was trying out a Sigma 105 mm f/2.8 DG macro lens and so far I am quite impressed with the lens. Being a 105 mm lens it also makes a great portrait and short telephoto lens.The image stabilisation works really well and the lens is nice and sharp. I find this time of year great for taking photos like this as there are fewer people on the beach to get in the way.

Bristol Night Lights

This is a photo taken from a recent photo walk with Frui and professional photographer Jimmy Watkins, www.jimmyimage.co.uk. There was a group of six of us and we met at Zero Degrees; our first stop was at the top of a multi-story car park which gave a great view towards the city centre. After some coaching and a few shots it was on to our next location which was at the bottom of Park Street where there were plenty of images to be had if you looked for them. It was a great experience and an enjoyable evening spending time with other photographers.

 

Biker

It’s been a while since I have posted, mainly due to work commitments, but I took some time out to have a walk with the camera. I came across this gentleman who was taking some photos of his prize motorcycle. I ask him if I could take a couple of shots with him on this splendid machine and he was happy to oblige in return for a copy of the photo. I have always liked the idea of street photography but I have also been cautious if not looking like a spy or some bloke creeping around with a camera, hence I haven’t done much of it. Although it is not totally candid, I was able to get a shot of a random stranger and feel comfortable doing it. I am so glad I bit the bullet and went for it and the more I do it the easier street photography will become. One thing I did notice though was that standing in the open with a camera and being totally visible, no one appeared to take a blind bit of notice of me!

Corfe Castle

This is a photo of Corfe Castle in Purbeck,Dorset. This shot was taken just after 0600 as I wanted to try and catch some early morning mist. My day started at 04:45 which gave me time to drive to the village and climb a near by hill for a good vantage point. A good pair of waling boots were in order as the side of the hill was very steep with loose stones on the way up amd it was at this point that I discovered how unfit I really am. After climbing what felt like a mountain and fighting through the gorse bushes, thorns and putting up with the constant bombardment of flies I finally found my spot.

Glow

This shot was taken during a walk through Ashton Court Estate. The balloon teams rocked up just as I was about to leave so I decided to stick around for a while. These balloons didn’t fly on this occasion, it looked like they were being prepped ready for next weeks Bristol International Balloon Fiesta!