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Leicester LoFi Caffenol Walk

A couple of weeks ago I decided to go on my first photowalk with a local analog photography club http://www.leicesterlofi.co.uk I've known about them for a while but I struggled to find the time to attend a workshop.  Well, I made the time and signed up for a walk,  We all meet up in Leicester City centre at the Cozy Club Cafe, we had a coffee and a chat before we were offered a camera and a roll of film, one, I hadn't used before - Kentmere 400.  As I had not long purchased my Keiv-4 I decided I would use this instead as I'm still learning to focus with it and this being the perfect opportunity to practise.  After we had loaded up we set out on the walk, first heading in to the centre, in and out of a few arcades and then around the main Market.  I really enjoyed this part, I was able to get quite a few decent people shots as they bustled though the market place.  After about 30mins we headed out of the town and down to the main canal running through Leicester, it was a fair old walk, shooting as we went, eventually ending up at the top of Narborough Road.  We all headed to the shops to stock up on some lunch and then regrouped at the darkroom that is based at the community centre a short walk away from the main road.  This is where the real fun began with the group leader explaining the developing process using coffee, vitamin c and washing powder.  After a short explanation we set about the task, each of us with our own equipment lol all sharing a single sink for the water.  Once developed and our negatives dry we headed into the darkroom proper and made contact sheets, this being my first experience in a darkroom it was like some kind of witchcraft watching our negatives come to life on a sheet of paper.  It was a truly amazing thing to watch and I can now confirm that I am hooked!  I will be visiting Leicester lofi again very soon!  Below are a couple of the shots developed with Caffenol, for the complete set you can see them Here


Street Photography In Nottingham City Centre

After being urged by Brian Venth on Twitter to get my ass out and start shooting some street photography, something I have been threatening to do for a while now, I decided to head to Nottingham City centre as I knew it would be busy and I had figured out earlier in the week that I'm not as confident shooting when it's not busy after a failed attempt shooting my local town centre.. I decided to also drag my Wife, Son and Daughter along as support as it didn't seem fair to leave them stuck at home.  My girl also wanted to have a go at street photography so it made sense and I gave her my D40 for the day.  She picked it up really fast, a little nervous at the start, as was I, but together we managed to get over it and I think she enjoyed herself as she is now asking when we can go again.  Here are some of the pictures I captured, I will put the rest in a new section of my web site where all my Street photography work will go.


Check out Brian at http://brianventh.com he's a really cool photographer always willing to help other aspiring photographers, I really recommend you give him a follow on Twitter and Instagram. 


Bo2 - 03 Moonlight

I decided to have a walk around a local reservoir with the family. On the way out of the carpark I noticed how bright and clear the moon was (granted this is a bad photo of it but trust me it is there) On it own there is nothing much to it but I had a few ideas.

First things first I moved closer to the fence and attached a ND filter as there was a touch to much light for a long exposure I wanted. Then proceeded to bend and then break the rule of thirds (I'm not one for rules sorry) and framed the moon in the middle. Set my appture to f/10 with a 30second exposure 100iso and made the shot! it looked a little dull in Lightroom so I converted to black and white added a little dodge and burn here and there (maybe a bit to much on the moon's reflection but meh I like it :) and that was that.


Japanese garden in the UK

This year we spent a week in Newquay in our retro caravan.  We love Cornwall and I would be very surprised if we don't move down there once the kids have grown up and moved out.  We go every year and we always try and find new places to visit.  This year one of the places we found is a Japanese garden and bonsai nursery, you can visit the web site here http://www.thebonsainursery.com.  It's an absolutely beautiful place to visit.  During our trip there we were told that due to a change of ownership it would be closing but thankfully that seems to have changed and they are currently in the middle of a refurb, hopefully it will be finished before next year so we can visit again.  Below are just a few of the photographs I made during my time there.


Bo2 - 02 Roller

Well I've had a bad week! Not with my photography though, unfortunately I pulled a group of muscles in my back and that has pretty much left me immobile.  So, as I'm unable to actually make any photographs I decided to look back and see what I could do with shots that for one reason or another I've not used so that I would be able to contineue my "best of 2" project.  Hopefully in a few days I will be back on my feet and shooting again. 

One of the first shots I came across while digging through my old photos was this wonderful Rolls Royce.  I do actually like the photo as it is, but I don't think it would stand on its own so well and would fit in a photo set much better..  

I decided to give it that HDR look.  It's a style I really love and I think it fits really well.  For me, a black and white conversion is a no brainer, and I think it fits with the age of the car.  Then, a small crop to tighten the shot and a slight straiten up and there we go.  I feel it now stands on its own.  Maybe there is a bit to much glow but as I said I like that style and I'm happy how it turned out.


Bo2 - 01 Elm's school

I shot this last week and thought it would be a good example for my first post in the 'Best of 2' series.

 The same shot, obviously there is quite an extreme crop going on, mainly to the bottom and the right hand side.  I would've liked to have framed it like this in camera but honestly I didn't even think about it at the time (this is why I wanted to do this project to learn as I go).  I probably wouldn't have been able to get any higher or any further to the left either.  But, even if I had thought about it,  I shot this with my iPhone so I couldn't zoom in anyway.  I've then converted it to black and white using Snapseed, and tried to give it a gritty look, basically messing with the sliders until I was happy with it. I really like this style, I know its not to everyone's taste.


Project "Best of 2"

I've been doing a lot of thinking about my little project, there are two goals I'm trying to accomplish.  Firstly I want to give myself more incentive to get out and shoot and at the same time to improve my camera skills including composition, creativity and post processing.  Secondly, I want to have regular content I can post to my blog that is simple to write and doesn't require a wall of text that I have to keep passing to my wife to edit. 


So here's the plan.

I will aim to shoot a photograph as often as possible which can be of anything I choose, using any camera I have with me at the time.  Ideally where possible I will use my Dslr but I'm not a fan of taking it with me to work so most of the shots I make during the week I will be using my Coolpix s5300 or my iPhone (this project is about learning composition, creativity and improving my photographic eye and it isn't about what camera I'm using).  I will then take a second shot of the same subject/scene but this time attempt to add a creative element to it, this can be anything from changing composition to editing in post processing.  I will then post both pictures as a blog post with a short explanation of what I changed..  I want to try and post at least once a week, it's not set in stone, sometimes it might be more other times less depending on how busy I am at work.  Hopefully over time I will find it more difficult to improve the second shot as a result of me getting better at shooting in the first place.  I might change the rules to suit my needs and I will tag all post's with 'Bo2' and create a separate page where I can archive the photos to keep them separate from my other work.


I think this will be an interesting project if anyone has any suggestions regarding the rules drop me a line on twitter or in the comments section below.


Msvr at Donington

I had a day out watching the Msvr at my local circuit on sunday its great series with all types of cars including the GT cup, Powermaxed mini challenge, production bmw's (all e30's brilliant) and a great selection of open wheel cars can't remember what the class is called. As a bonus i found a few new places to shot from and now I'm really looking forward to the btcc coming to Donington in 2016 for the full gallery from msvr at donington click here


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