Category Archives: Training

Burning Waste for Heat

Following all the political controversy about the ‘Renewable Heat Incentive’ and the sudden proliferation of wood burners in deserted outhouses and barns, one bold company in the manufacturing industry has decided to recycle all its own waste wood shavings, by installing a furnace to provide the heat for their factory.  In the interests of investigative photo-journalism, I took a look into it, and here’s what I found…

Kiln

Yes, Its a wood burning furnace, and its been photographed on the Fujifilm X-T2, F=16mm, f/9 @ 1/125th sec on ISO3200, with slight fill-in flash, flashgun on manual at 1/16th power. Sharpened and heavy contrast applied in post capture processing.

One of the interesting rules ofphotography, is that rules are made to be broken.  (From time to time).  Normally, flat light is considered unattractive – at least in portraiture, but in an image like this, the use of the fill-in flash has flattened out the light, removed the inevitable shadows, and made the whole image a little more artistic in nature.

New Image File Format for iPhone

Apple Drops its Jpegs.

If you’ve been moving files from your iPhone to your PC recently, you’ll have noticed that Apple are no longer saving or storing files as ‘jpeg’ on the iPhone.  Instead the file extension reads ‘HEIC.’  It stands for ‘HIGH EFFICIENCY IMAGE CODING.’ and it came with the latest iPhone update.  It’s not new, and iPhone didnt even invent it, but incorporating it into the new iPhone image software is seen by Apple as the way forward for the future, after all jpegs have been around the internet for about 25 years.

Continue reading New Image File Format for iPhone

Artistic Perception in Photography #1

Artistic Perception in Photography 

A series of short articles practical exercises and notes for new and improving digital photographers. 

A friend posted a nice image in Facebook and remarked that it looked better when cropped. (That’s often the case!) It prompted me to ask the question, why?  Why was the cropped image more attractive than the original photograph. And that in turn prompted me to think and talk about photographic composition; about the elements of design and the way that our minds perceive visual imagery. 

So, in a series of these very short videos and lessons, we’ll go right back to basics, and find out how to compose images that will excite the imagination. Remember, rarely are good images made by accident, they are planned, well thought through, conceived and constructed in the mind even before the shutter is activated. 

This series of talks and notes will be an Introduction to Artistic Perception in Photography.   How to SEE creatively. 

-oOOo-

Part One: Zoom with Your FEET! Continue reading Artistic Perception in Photography #1

World Politics – In Belfast

Political graffiti in the university quarter of Belfast – and why you don’t always need humans to document human interest.

An interesting aspect of documentary photography is that human influence and interaction can be implied, rather than overt.

Even if people are not actually in the photo, the human element is still present and the human story is still told.

This gable wall in Belfast points us to events on the other side of the world, and indicates the desire of locals here to show solidarity with their fellow students there.  There is a significant Chinese community in South Belfast, many of whom are students at the university, and many of them would have Hong Kong origins.

Fujifilm X-T30 shot in Acros film simulation.

F=22mm, f/11 at 1/60th sec on ISO400.

Fujifilm and iPhone – Syncretism.

Yes. I agree. It’s a totally uninteresting photograph. A picture captured by a camera, sitting on a newspaper in a cafe, looking at an empty chair. ‘So what?’ I hear you exclaim, as you conclude that I’ve finally lost the plot entirely.

So, why have I posted it? Because of how it was captured. The camera is switched on, untouched. On my iphone the Fujifilm app has connected by WiFi to the camera and is showing me the image being recorded on the sensor. I can adjust the camera settings, shutter, aperture, ISO etc etc.

Also, because the camera is mirrorless it can capture images silently. No noisy mirror to move out of the way. With the focus beep switched off, and the camera set to ‘Electronic shutter’ instead of the mechanical shutter, there is no sound as it does its work. (Ideal for church interiors incidentally).

So, to a casual onlooker, the photographer is simply sitting playing with his phone.

The camera is capturing the moment

Coleraine Street-Monochrome

Spending a windy afternoon in Coleraine, and trying to find something to occupy the time, I decided to do some simple street shots, around The Diamond – the main shopping area of the town.  Despite the cold weather, the car-parks were full, and I left the car in a side street, returning to find an enthusiastic traffic warden had ticketed my car!  So, I’m posting a photo of him (or one of his mates) below…

 

Processed with Focos

I took the Fujifilm X-T30 and a 100-200mm lens up the street, with the ‘film simulation mode’ on the camera set to ACROS.  Film simulation mode is unique to Fujifilm (I think) – for the Fujifilm people have been renowned for their range of films, each with distinctive characteristics.  Acros film is a black and white film with unique grain and mid-range contrasts. Continue reading Coleraine Street-Monochrome

Do you take photographs?

Do you TAKE photographs?

I do, sometimes. I shouldn’t – I should know better – but I do.

I was reminded of this on a sunny September morning when I was driving along the Carrowreagh Road between Dundonald and Holywood and I remembered the big field of maize that for a few weeks I’d wanted to photograph. There it was!  Looking splendid in the sunshine and there’s even somewhere to pull over and park and I’d got a few minutes to spare!  I stopped and got out the Fujifilm X-T30.  Continue reading Do you take photographs?

Coping With Loss – Data Loss!

Coping with Data Loss. 

Saturday 31st August 2019 was a big day in Ballygowan. Ninety two (yes, 92) marching bands were parading through the village in an event that was last held here 39 years ago. (And I was present then too). The next time it happens I’ll be 104, and I’m not sure if I’ll be fit to stand with a camera all day!  So, with a great opportunity for street photography right on my doorstep (literally 100 yards away) I spent the day making around 700 images.  Continue reading Coping With Loss – Data Loss!