28 February 2011

Photowalk around Winchester

Just before the end of the year (2010) I found myself in Winchester with a couple of other photographer friends doing a little photowalk around the city.  After a big fat lunch in "The Royal Oak", apparently the UK's oldest bar, we set off.

Also in the city that day were lots and lots of old fashioned buses on some kind of bus convention rally thing.  One thing I learned that afternoon is that its apparently not okay to say "calm down it's only a bus" to a group of bus nerds who'd rather rudely asked me to get out of their photo that I'd accidentally stepped into.

27 February 2011

Old Walls of Southampton

It had been raining for most of the day and I nearly decided to stay home, but I forced myself out and went out on a little photowalk around Southampton this afternoon.  Although cold, the skies cleared a just enough.  We were treated to a wonderful sunset from the townquay.

These are a few shots I took of  the old walls of the city, photographed a little differently than I ever have before.

Camera used: Canon S95.

24 February 2011


To make up for the "rubbish" photos I posted earlier this morning, here are a couple of shots of some pretty snowdrops.

They were taken in the gardens of the lovely Fallowfields Country House Hotel while I was there last week shooting falcons.

Southamptons Mess

I wouldn't normally use my blog for things like this, but while walking the dog this morning I was so disgusted with what I saw I started taking photos.

In less than 10 minutes this morning, without really looking I found...

The remains of several beds

A mattress

Builders rubble

Loft insulation

The obligatory Sainsburys trolley

Computer monitors

Fitness equipment

Several items of flat pack furniture

and lots more.

All of this was found in what I believe is called Aldermoor Copse, an otherwise rather pleasant small woods which has the unfortunate position of being surrounded on all sides by housing.  Some of it has been there for months, others just a few days.

The last time I looked Southampton City Council would make a couple of  bulky item collections a year at no cost, but now it seems they charge £25 for each one, which probably explains why there is so much more stuff being dumped now.

I don't pretend to know what the solution is to stopping the anti-social dumping of household crap, but it would be nice if the council could clear what's currently there up.

I took lots more photos, but scroll down a bit and you'll get the idea.  I didn't go looking for this mess, its all there on the normal route I walk my dog.

Update: I've just had a reply to an email I sent to local Councillor, Don Thomas.  He's in agreement with me, and promises to put forward a "forceful case" to tidy up the woods.  Fingers crossed you can get something happening Don!  Thanks for the reply.

(Excuse the poor quality of photos, all just snapshots taken with my phone camera)

16 February 2011

Lunch time for a falcon

I'll probably get a few "complaints" for this photo, but it's just nature doing what nature does.

Here you see a peregrine falcon eating a day old chick.

Nature is a cruel thing at times.

15 February 2011

When owls attack

A behind the scenes shot from a shoot I was doing yesterday with falcons, hawks and owls.  I rather like it.

Proper photos and to find out why I was photographing these amazing birds coming soon.

13 February 2011

Is smoking sexy?

Is smoking sexy is the title of the college project I was asked to photograph today.  I believe and hope the conclusion of the project is going to be a big fat "no".

These are a couple of my favourite photos from the shoot, and one "silly" behind the scenes shot.

Update:  Although it would have made for a more powerful photo, I was quite glad when told we weren't allowed to "light up" in the house.  I hate smoking!

07 February 2011

Chinese New Year Celebrations in Southampton

I arrive at Southampton's Guildhall Square as everything was finishing, and just before the march through town. That'll teach me to find out what times things are running.

I'm not particularly happy with the photos I got, but considering I arrived late, the wind was blowing a gale and the lighting was "kinda meh" at best, they're not so bad.

Anyways, enjoy, or not.  :-)

Happy New Year!

03 February 2011

Making a DIY table top studio

From the outset it was my aim to make a table top studio while spending as little money as possible.

First stop was Argos.  They had a sale on their GU10 spotlamps at just £1.99 each.  I bought 8.

Next stop, Wickes to get some wood.  I needed a little bit of help from the boys and girl at Wooden Tiger to chop it up into 10cm squares.  Next was to stick the blocks together so I either had light stands 2 or 3 blocks high.  After a quick sanding and varnishing all that was left do it was to drill a hole for the cable, and attach the spotlight.

I already had a bunch of GU10 LED bulbs left over from a previous project so I didn't need to buy any, but they can be had now for around £5 each.  I have them in a variety of colours, green, blue, orange, red and of course white.

The backdrop is just a simple bit of white card.  Granted the lights aren't going to win any awards for beauty, but they do the job.

Shopping List
GU10 Spot Lights x 8 @ £1.99 each = £15.92

Wood = £5.99

Electrical Cable 50 metres (way more than required) £10.99

Plug Sockets x 8 @ £0.92 each = £7.36

GU10 LED bulb x 8 @ £5.00 each = £40.00

So for a shade over £40 (£80 if I'd have had to buy the LED bulbs again) I have myself a table top LED light studio that I can use for photographing small products.

My next DIY project is already half way assembled, a 100cm x 60cm light box.

First shots with my DIY table studio

I've finally got my DIY tabletop studio online and working.   More on how I made things a little later, but for now he's my first product shot taken on it.

Not quite perfect, but for only 2 minutes of moving lights around I'm fairly pleased.

Much more to come!

Below is a wider view of the shot, so you can see how the lights are set up.

I'm using LED GUI10 spotlamps, which is just about bright enough to be able to handhold the shot.

01 February 2011

The hat never looked so good!

It was nearing the end of our shoot and I asked Sarah McLean to do something "funny" for the photo.

This was my third shoot with Sarah, and I think probably my favourite.  Being cooked dinner and being force-fed chocolate brownies after the shoot of course had nothing what-so-ever to do with this decision!

Thanks Sarah!  Here's to many more great shoots together!