Friday, June 29, 2018

The Old High Street, Folkestone

I've made numerous visits to Folkestone, Kent, but until today have never explored the town itself. The Old High Street is particularly interesting (images), and is an ancient route that runs down to the harbour through what is now known as the Creative Quarter.

Although somewhat narrow - it is closed to motor vehicles - it does have its charm, and is lined with a variety of quirky shops, cafés and pubs, most of which are painted in bright colours.

24-70mm f/2.8 AF-S Nikkor. 

Top: 1/250 second at f/5.6. - 0.67 EV compensation. ISO 100
Below: 1/320 at f/5.6. ISO 100

© 2018

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

The occasional snap

The time of year has arrived when I seldom pick up a camera for fun - the light is just too vicious during the summer months for my tastes. However, it always accompanies me on the various trips I make to Kent, and there are moments when peering through the viewfinder inspires me to take the occasional snap.

Grey skies loomed low on our visit to Reculver this afternoon, but a break in the clouds produced a bit of decent light.

24-70mm f/2.8 AF-S Nikkor. 1/320 sec at f/8. ISO 100. Mono conversion in Silver Efex Pro 2

© 2018

Monday, May 14, 2018

Not many fish about

It is some years since my (only) sighting of otter on the Dorset Stour, so I have decided to up the ante and search a location where they are known to thrive. It's my second visit in three days, and as with all wildlife shooting, the subject has little (read 'no') interest in co-operating with photographers. My quarry remains elusive.

Mind you, I'm not helping myself by arriving around mid-day; the light is far too brutal at this time of year to get anything worthwhile, and the otter are probably asleep anyway. Quizzing the locals goes some way to explaining their absence, as apparently there are few fish in the part of the river that flows through Stour Meadows, Blandford Forum, Dorset, at the moment. Of course, it follows that there are no predators.

I'm reliably informed that I should set up on the riverbank around dawn or late evening; something I knew, anyway, if I want any measure of success. In the meantime, I resort to shooting the flora that grows on the riverbank, as with this hogweed.

300mm f/2.8 AF-S VR Nikkor with TC-14EII converter. 1/400 second at f/8. Matrix metering. -1.3 stops EV compensation. Tripod. Sepia toned in Silver Efex Pro 2. ISO 100

© 2018

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Early birds

Cute, or what? Photographing wildlife - even if it is in the local park - doesn't come any better than when the young of a species are making their first tentative steps in the world. The important thing is not to stress the animals in any way just to get a shot, so I am using all the optical firepower I can muster to keep a respectable distance from the family of Greylag geese; the parent birds being just out of frame.

300mm f/2.8 AF-S VR Nikkor with TC-14EII converter. 1/800 second at f/4.5. Matrix metering. Tripod. ISO 400

© 2018

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Bluebells in King's Wood

A visit to King's Wood in Challock, Kent, is usually on the cards at this time of year, purely for the display of bluebells, but as is often the case there is no guarantee that each annual event will be the same as the last. There are several places in the wood there are no bluebells to be seen, but there is enough going on to warrant the camera coming out of the bag

Whether this is down to the harshness of early spring, or that Nic and I are just too early, is a moot point. We dutifully take the standard shots of what's on offer, but it is at the end of the walk that I see the opportunity to get 'creative'. Developing my initial experiment in March with camera movement during exposure, this time I have more colour and shape to work with.

12-24mm f/4 AF-S Nikkor. 1/10 second at f/11. Matrix metering and manual exposure. ISO 100

© 2018

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

All I need to know

My location scouting of Salisbury is pretty much complete, and as far as I am concerned I have all the angles of the cathedral at ground level covered. Today's reconnaissance was of a field just north west of Harnham, but the views of my subject are obscured by trees. All this probably explains why nearly all of the images I see taken of Salisbury Cathedral are from the same angles; there aren't any others available. Access to the nearby water meadows would change that radically, so over the coming months I will look into obtaining permission to spend a couple of hours shooting on them.

Of course, I take the obligatory shots of the building while I am in the area, just because I can, because it would be a shame to waste decent light. However, after an hour or so the clouds roll in from the west and (surprisingly for the time of year), it begins to hail. It's at this point that I decide I'm done, and withdraw.

12-24mm f/4 AF-S Nikkor. Matrix metering. ISO 100

Top: 1/400 second at f/8
Below: 1/250 at f/11

© 2018

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

A walk in the park

The original intention in visiting a local park this morning was to see if the waterfowl had produced any young yet. Still a bit early in the year - there not being any is testament to that - but the spring flowers are giving dazzling displays.

The colours of the red and orange tulips in Pool Park, Dorset, are enough to knock your eye out, and too much to resist photographically. I have to be careful not to blow the red channel out on the histogram, and underexpose accordingly to retain the hues and detail.

300mm f/2.8 AF-S VR Nikkor. 1/5000 second at f/2.8. Matrix metering. -1.33 stops EV compensation. Monopod. ISO 100

© 2018