Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Blog Project


I have started, gradually, to archive all our blog posts, comments and images as PDF files. Quite easy to do, but takes a bit of time. My goal is to produce a merged PDF, with all the posts, comments and images, compiled on an annual basis.

As there were only a few posts for 2005, I'll merge this with 2006's compilation.

I plan to lay it out chronologically, with all the comments following each relevant post, and with the separate images (if needed) on following pages. I'll soon have Acrobat on this laptop soon, so can merge (and hyperlink if I can be arsed) all the separate PDFs together in the correct order.

We'll have a record of each years submission, and a useful, humourous (remember the "Miksang" incident?) and hopefully educational compilation of all our efforts.

I hope to get you all your copy of the 2005/2006 Season of Critical Light in time for Christmas...

Critical Light Chief Archivist

Monday, October 29, 2007

Competition entries

It's time for me to enter a competion too. Unfortunately nothing as grand as the Cambridge Camera Club, but my companies annual competion. £100 up for grabs, normally around a hundred entries. there are several categories - i am entering Flambourgh head (below)in the landscape but this one i'm think for the 'abstract'. Any feedback welcome. many thanks, Adam.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Alex, the original

Posted just for comparison with the post-processed version. This is just converted straight from RAW to jpeg with no adjustments.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Possible Portfolio submission

This is my selection for a possible CCC competition portfolio submission. 5 images, in a defined order, on an easily identifiable subject. This one is Deal, in Kent. Not sure if it'll be a print or projected submission, but your thoughts on the images and order is appreciated.



This is one of those post-processing techniques which you'll be sick of in a few months time. A bit like that Fake DOF lens blur stuff from a year ago. gives the gist, but they're all at it at the moment.

Rich, my mate and the guy who did the photography at our wedding drew my attention to it as a technique. He shot a set at the wedding to try it out but ran out of time to post-process them - I thought I'd give it a quick go using autostitch and photoshop which is what you see above. The people are flatteringly-elongated but my wife was quite amused (and pleased) with the result!


Son of a friend of mine (my Best Man, in fact), Alex has just turned three. He's a lovely, if shy little boy and wasn't too happy about me grabbing a couple of shots of him in our hall when he came round at the weekend with his Mum and Dad.

You get to know where, in your house, the light's nice, and at which times of the day. The hall's good for us because there are large plain light surfaces, even if the buttermilk emulsion gives a bit of a colour cast. The chance for some natural catchlights in the eyes is there, and the shadows are never too harsh. Even though he's standing in the doorway to our downstairs loo, a nice wide aperture makes it all OK.

I'm pretty happy with the shot - his expression, the lighting, and the post-processing. I really don't know if it's a competition-grade shot though. Thoughts?

Details: Canon 40D, ISO400, f3.2 @ 1/50, Sigma 18-50mm f2.8 lens @ 50mm. Post-processing in Adobe Lightroom.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Flambourgh Head

While I've got time, thought I'd slap another recent snap up. this one was taken in September whilst risking life and limb on. (Eos 5D 1/10 sec, F22, 17mm, ISO100, polarising filter, wet feet). Uped the saturation a little in Rawshooter. As ever, your thoughts gentlemen.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Dead thistle

Guys, I was drawn to these dead thistle heads by their colours. how do you reckon this could be improved? (Canon 5D 100mm macro 0.6 seconds f14, flash directed with lasolite reflector). Good luck tommorow at the competition. all the best, Adam

Friday, October 19, 2007

I like Cropping (and I like to Crop)...

Couldn't help myself. I liked Gareth's bridge picture, but felt it may do better with a more dynamic crop (and lightened up a bit, with a bit more contrast too). So, here is my effort.



Tuesday, October 16, 2007


We've talked here about goals before - Ivan putting most action into identifying them. I read this today and found it interesting:

Perhaps my goal should be to read less on the Internet and to put more thought into photography?

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on this one though, guys, for a couple of reasons.

The first is the colouration. I'm colour-blind, and I was reasonably happy with this tinting, but of two other people who've seen it, one has said it's fine and the other has said it's waaay too pink. What do you think?

The second is its merits as a photograph. Ivan made a point the other day that, when you're photographing your children, you can be a little too close to the subject matter, emotionally, to be properly objective about the merits of the photograph. Now, I'm pretty pleased with this (Canon 40D; Canon 50mm f1.8 lens @ f1.8) but I'd like a two steps back opinion.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Lighten Up!

Ivan felt that the first version of this was too dark. What I posted was more or less exactly what came off the camera, which was a reasonably accurate exposure of the lighting. The sun was very low and was just clipping the flowers from behind, leaving everything else in pretty deep shadow.

Nevertheless, the image does have a different feel if I open up the midtones a little - it doesn't lose the supersaturation but brings out a bit of the texture. It's here: what do you think?

My selections

Below are my two entries for the next CCC Projected Image competition (to be held on 22 Oct)

New York Ferry Moment

This image was taken on the Staten Island Ferry in 2004. It was coming back to Battery Park (end of Manhattan), and as it was getting alongside the Statue of Liberty, I was struck by the almost reverential bowed heads of the two passengers in direct line of sight. I exposed for the Statue and sky, and with some further post-processing have accentuated the semi-silhouette feel, which is further enhanced by the dramatic sky. I like this image a lot, but realise it may not be to all tastes. Which brings me on to my next image...


This image was made around the time of a similar work entitled "Shadowman". If you recall, Shadowman came 2nd in last year's CCC Annual Digital Championship, Creative section. This is similar in feel; mono again, and trying to create a feeling, engage an emotion. I was struck by the desolation of the tower block in question. The "figure" in the window is real, but I never noticed it at the time (this is a crop from a much larger image), and it looks like an old lady, but very skeletal and creepy! I added the "graffiti" underneath, to create the message. Love it or hate it, I think it's quite powerful.

Thoughts and comments welcomed. Still not to late to submit something else...


Sunday, October 14, 2007

2 from 5?

OK guys: my picking and choosing is as bad as ever so here are five very different images in subject, approach, post-processing. Which two, and of the two, would you suggest any changes in the post-processing?

Also, Ivan, I found this link about calibrating your printer for mono work:

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

New camera for me

Well, I finally did it. I have bought the Canon EOS 40D and it sits happily on my desk as we speak. I intend to sell my 350D.

I haven't used it yet really so cannot report on much but straight off, the camera itself is very different to the 350D, being much larger and heavier. So much so, that I actually miss the feel of the 350D but I am sure I will adapt.

At some point I will give a report on how I am getting on with the camera...


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

1st Print Competition - Ivan's result

Dear All

Well, again, a mixed bag. One bombed and one did well. When will I crack this, and get two placed in one competition?

"Shove Tuppence" did not go down well. Some nice comments regarding the reflection of the hand and that it was a nice idea, but apart from that, it did not engage or really clearly show what was happening. The hand looked in a strange position and a bit unnatural. Not good overall.

"Window and Chair" did much better. Got a "First" place grading (1 of 2 on the monos). All similar comments to those that you guys raised, and it definitely benefited from being marginally lightened up, so thanks for that input!

The overall quality of the monos was very high - I was worried about not getting anything, so it was a complete surprise (genuinely) to get a First. Because they announce it in reverse order, mine was announced last of all, so I'd given up hope by that point!

So, thus far, I have 24 points in the Projected Image Serial Compeition (round 1 of 3), and 30 points in the Print Serial Competition (round 1 of 3). Last year I got 54 points in the Projected Image competition and came third overall. This year, the standard I think is higher, with lots of talented new members, so I'll need to raise my game too, but that's a good thing.


Friday, October 05, 2007

Canon EOS Digital Photo Guidebook

Available as a free PDF download

Very interesting guide for pro photographers, covering colour management, post processing etc.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

More Athens Monos

Ivan was right about the sky on the previous one being too flat.

Do we think these are any better?

Still as contrasty but I've played on that in the post-processing.

Maybe not this one though, eh? (that's me, for those of you who haven't worked it out...) :)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Chaps, Ivan and I attended an excellent talk on Monday from a guy called Tony Worobiec, who produced some stunning mono work. I revisited some recent images in Lightroom and came up with this one. Thoughts?