This shot was taken at Kings Weston House in Bristol. Kings Weston House is a grade 1 listed building and was completer in 1917 and was designed by Sir John Vanbrugh and was the home of Edward Southwell. During World War 1 the house was converted to a hospital. In 1935 the house was bought by the Bristol Municipal Charities and leased to the education authorities to be used a s a school. It went on to be Bristol Technical College of Architecture which later went on to be Bath University School for Architecture. During the following years the house was used for a verity of functions including a police training centre. The house is now used for conferences, weddings and private events, there is also a cafe which is open to the public and lovely walks around the surrounding estate.
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.
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.
This is a head and shoulders shot of a girl doing an Irish dance. I went for this particular shot to avoid a lot of distraction in the background. It was taken during a dress rehearsal so there were lots of bags etc. on show. This also made for a more dramatic composition. Shot at ISO 6400, f/4 1/400 sec.
I set the alarm for an early morning stroll in the hope of catching a sunrise. There were plenty of clouds around which made for a dramatic sky but the sun was not going to play ball. I used a tripod for stability and an ND grad to balance the exposure of the sky. This shot was taken at 17mm at f11 and using hyperfocal focusing. Using the hyperfocal point of the lens is something that I have not really used before, although I have heard of it, so I thought it was about time to give it a go. There is a formula for working out the hyperfocal distance which is…hyperfocal distance = (focal length x focal length) / (circle of confusion x f-stop)
The circle of confusion is commonly 0.02 for a full frame dSLR and 0.03 for a 1.6 corp sensor typically found on a canon crop dSLR. Anyway, I didn’t sit down and work out my hyperfocal point for this photograph; I simply downloaded a free Android app called hyperfocal pro. This took away all of the pain of the math and let me enjoy my photography! By the way, if you want to read up about the circle of confusion there is plenty about it on the internet but it is quite technical and at times, confusing!