Monday, 27 October 2008

Camera Club Competitions

Tonight I took place in my first judging evening at the Mold Camera Club. I really did not know what to expect from this. I wondered what the standard(s) would be like and just how critical the judge would be.

The judging was split into two classes (amateur and advanced) and two types of entry (mounted and electronic images or slides).

On the basis that I had just joined and never been a member of any club before I was placed in the amateur category for this year (fine by me!!).

The standard all throughout was very good, with a real bias towards particular types of images (interesting to see judges individual tastes coming into play).

I was over the moon to come out with a 3rd place in my first judging evening. This was for the image below which received a score of 18/20:

Jeep Safari

The other two entries that I put in are below:

Contemplate (16/20 I think)
Sun Sets over Lynnau Mymbyr (18/20)

A good friend of mine Eddie Miller (also new to Mold Camera Club) also grabbed 3rd place within the advanced category for his excellent image of Manchester Chinatown

I made some notes however on critical points to be aware of when submitting entries in future. I hope that these are of use to anyone submitting images to any club(s).
  • If there is lots of sky within a landscape image, ensure that there are items of interest within the sky i.e colours, clouds
  • Do not over sharpen
  • No lettering on the print mount (Image title)
  • Smaller images that are sharp are better than large images that have lost their crispness due to over enlarging
  • In full body shots, do not cut off any limbs (keep feet in image)
  • Pay particular attention to detail lost through blown highlights and pure blacks
  • watch for colour cast
  • Avoid strong lights in corner of compositions this detracts from the main subject.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Getting ND10 Exposures Right

After seeing some great shots by a Flickr photographer Ian Branham I was keen to attempt some similar slow shutter exposures during the day using an ND10 filter.

An example of Ian's great work is below:Upon reading the description I rushed down to my local camera shop to purchase the darkest Cokin P Series ND filter I could.

I was informed to stack an ND8 along with my current ND4 to produce a similar effect. This by no means produced the same results and gave a horrible artificial red tinge (OK I know the picture above is black and white but I am sure that it was correctly coloured from the offset). I scratched my head for ages and thought that it must be something that I was doing wrong.

It turns out that this is a common complaint and is summed up perfectly within the following thread/entry:

Cokins not so neutral density filter

I am therefore going to switch to either the B&W filters (as used by Ian, thanks for the info) or the Lee Filters, yet more cost!! Hopefully I will have some results to post soon and will be happy with the output from these.

A useful article that I found for determining the rating of these filters is:

Single Serving Photo - Neutral Density Filters

Monday, 20 October 2008

Chasing The Light - Day Three

My third day of 'Chasing the light', and I think last from this location. Unless I can get hold of a wide angle lense at some point I am farily limited to what shots I can get from the same place all the time. I need to find another good location, Any suggestions would be gratefully accepted.

It was a perfect morning to go down to the woodside Ferry Terminal as a)it was nice and dry and b) HMS Illustrious was docked in Liverpool.

Unfortunately HMS Illustrious is still in the shade quite a bit at this time. On some it obviously shows up better than others.

HMS Illustrious' Blue Patch

HMS Illustrious' Purple Patch

Clockwork Orange

Flickr Explore - At Last!!!

I know that you shouldn't allow it to become an obsession but.... For a long time now I have been wondering what the hell you need to do to get your photos picked up by the Flickr 'supercomputer'. Well the answer is clearly, get up really early in the morning and go an catch the sunrise.

Unbeknown to me until I clicked the good old Big Huge Labs Flickr Scout my picture of the ferry at Seacombe front 'Sittin on the dock of the bay' made it to #449 on 8th October 2008. A momentous day!!!

I have found peace at last!!!

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Prison Cell Block M......

....M for Malmaison that is!!!

I have just got back from a short stay with my wife in the Malmaison in Oxford Castle. This was previously a prison ( and as such the camera had to come along.

The hotel can be found at

I have started to put together a series of photographs that I took.

Welcome to Cell Block M... M for Malmaison!!

The Belly of the Beast

Room with a view (B&W)

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Chasing the light - Day Two

My second attempt at getting a good shot of the Liverpool waterfront. Another morning another early start (06.30 leaving the house).

Much happier with this one on the whole. I took it from a slightly different location and obviously the sky was far more active than the last image I got. The cloud cover seemed to be pretty low and therefore the clouds were moving quite quickly above me.

Took on the advice offered within Flickr and blog and modified the composition of the blog to change the feel of the photograph.

Very slight adjustment to the image just to add some slight grad to the sky otherwise this is straight out of the camera.

I have some others that I am quite happy with that I will try to get posted soon. This was probably my personal favourite though.

Sittin on the dock of the bay...

Flickr photo page with larger format image can be found here:

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Chasing the light

Yesterday whilst on my way to work there was an amazing sunrise over the Liverpool waterfront. Unfortunately as is alway the case I did not have my camera. It inspired me to get up nice and early and attempt to get the perfect capture of the sunrise behind the Liverpool waterfront, no matter how many attempts it takes. I have seen a book called 'Chasing the light' and to an extent I think that is what I am doing.

I will keep posting my attempts until I get the perfect capture. Please help me by commenting on how the image could be improved. Or by simply passing comment.

My first attempt was made this morning, just before 07:00 am (I had to get out of the house for 06:30 to get this). Unfortunately there was no dramtic sunrise just the gradual change in sky colour. I quite like the cool blues of the image, it is by no means the image I am after though. I actually think that the buildings aren't as sharp as they should be as the tripod took a bit of wind on the Seacombe front. I'll take a weight with me next time.

Good Mornin' Liverpool

Watch this space, for more (hopefully better captures).