Showing posts from March, 2013

Travelling with my Camera

In a weeks time I am leaving for a month in Peru and Bolivia. I will be fairly roughing it - staying in hostels, and also doing the Inca Trail up to Machu Picchu which takes about 4 days.
I have thought long and hard about what to take with me equipment wise and how best to pack it from a carrying and security stance.
I decided not to take the camera bag as it is a bit obvious. So I bought a camera and lens insert from Pacsafe and I have placed this in an old rucksack, which does have a built in rain cover. I have also bought a couple of padlocks and a gizmo for attaching the bag to a table leg if I am in a cafe.

This is the rather battered rucksack. It does have velcro bands at the back (I think originally for carrying an ice axe - hope I don't need one of those) but I can use this to attach the tripod when I am trekking.
This is what I have managed to cram inside, with room for a paperback and travel documents for journeys. On the right is the camera insert.

This comprises of my…

In the Country with the Lensbaby

Inspired by pictures taken of snow and a colourful umbrella by Jane Odell (, I spent a little time yesterday in the lanes around the village of Arkesden taking some pictures with my Lensbaby Composer.
It was a cold drear day. The snow that Jane had photographed had nearly gone leaving behind some icy slush.
I converted the first two pictures to black and white, but the rest I left with what little colour they have. There is also one of my dog Hettie who is looking up, a little mournfully, obviously thinking 'Why doesn't she get on with it?'

I have also discovered the website of an American photographer, Keith Carter who is well worth looking at

London Street Photography - Part 2

As I threatened!! More pictures from our expedition to London last week.
These were taken with the Fuji XE-1 using the 18-55mm lens. I experimented with setting an auto ISO of 3,200. We were changing environments from dark to light quite frequently and I hoped this would save me from continually changing the ISO. It did work and gave me speeds of 1/30th sec and up (the Fuji has a vibration reduction system). It's not something I would do in landscape photography, but in street where there is a need to react quickly, without fussing over controls I found it quite useful. I usually kept the aperture at f8 or 5.6.

All the photographs, bar the first one which was taken outside the Whitechapel Gallery, were taken around Somerset House, over Waterloo Bridge, through to the South Bank and ending up at Waterloo Station.
As I said in my previous post the light was overcast and misty.

A Day in London

Last week I spent a day in the company of friends pursuing some street photography. We started in the Aldgate area, taking in Brick lane and Petticoat Lane market and ended up in the National Theatre.
On the way we went to two exhibitions. One on landscape photography at Somerset House which was amazing, and then a collection of Norman Parkinson photos at the National Theatre.
The day was quite dim and cloudy, but the light, especially when crossing Waterloo Bridge had a milky misty quality which was quite marvellous.

I have a number of pictures from this set so I will post in two blogs. This, the largest number is around  Aldgate.

They were all taken with the Fuji XE-1

Pictures from the Museum

Lastweek I went into London for a lunchtime concert, and to fill in both sides of this I visited the V&A. I have not been here for a while and really enjoyed the place. I took pictures of the visitors and the objects. Here are some of the statues which I have 'doctored' a little.
The lady with the red hair was my photoshop effort using water for a texture. The other three are images taken through Snapfish (not from an iPhone as I do not have one, but from a Fuji XE-1 which I am finding great for taking to town).
I have split toned these in Lightroom to get some consistency of colour

Various Trees

I can never resist a good tree and here are three taken locally and in Hatfield Forest which has a number of really ancient trees. For good measure I am throwing in a gate and bramble picture.

The Hatfield Forest picture was taken using my new lens - the 16-35mm f4G Nikon zoom. It has Nikon's second generation vibration reduction system and I managed to hand hold down to 1/20th second and maintain sharpness (not always, it depends on how patient and steady I am!) I think this will be really useful on the NikonD800.

Wet Weekend in Cumbria

We spent the weekend with Alan's mum who lives in Milnthorpe on the southern tip of Cumbria. On Saturday we decided to go for a trip round a part of the Lakes I had not visited before.
We made a circuitous journey through Ambleside and Keswick, around the western shore of Derwentwater, over the Honister pass, past Buttermere and Crummockwater to Cockermouth. There we visited the house Wordsworth was born in and came home late via a more straightforward route.
The weather started out wet but as we went over the pass the rain turned to snow and shrouded the hills in mist. Very cold but atmospheric.
Here are the photographs from that trip, starting at Derwentwater. I really like the effect the snow has given to two of the Honister Pass photographs
I have a trial version of Heliconfocus loaded and have tried to do some stacked focus landscapes, without much success. The Derwentwater picture I hadn't actually needed to stack but when I ran about 4 pictures through Helicon I got som…