Email from a Photographic club

On Tuesday I visited Stratford Photographic Group to give my talk “British Landscapes in Colour and Mono.” I found them to be a very friendly club with some excellent photographers in their number. It’s always a slightly daunting thing to give a talk when a club has such a good reputation and the thoughts that run through my mind include; “will they enjoy my images,” “am I helping to pass on the knowledge I have gained over my years of photography”

Well it seems on this occasion I need not have worried as the next day I received this email.

Hello Bill,

As I drove home last, I thought I must send you a note of thanks, for a thoroughly entertaining and inspirational evening. Well, it seems my friends and colleagues have done the job for me! It’s only 10:00 am and already I’ve had a flood of emails saying how much they enjoyed your talk.

Here are some of the comments:-
“I don’t think I shall become a landscape photographer any time soon (already too many camper vans on the road) but what a refreshing view on photography shown by Bill last night. He seemed to confront and break all the conventions to great effect. Also what a genuinely nice guy he was.”

“Bill is an engaging speaker with a refreshing attitude to his photography.
His images were pretty good too!!”

“Completely agree that he was an excellent choice of speaker. Some stunning images, all from the UK, and within reach of all of us.”

I couldn’t have put it better myself.

So, thank you very much – from all of us at Stratford Photo Group – and I wish you and your wife a very Happy Christmas and Prosperous New Year. I hope 2016 presents you with many more opportunities to produce beautiful photographs.

Thanks and Best Regards,

Peter Gilbert
Programme Secretary
Stratford Photo Group
MCPF Small Club Champions of the Midlands 2015

Wide angle comparison

I Thought it would be interesting to demonstrate how much difference there is between an 8mm wide angle lens and one of 10mm (that’s 12 mm and 15mm to full frame cameras).

Here are four pictures that illustrate the difference. The room is 350 cm / 11’6″ wide and the desk 160 cm /5’3″ long.

It only sounds like a small difference but in practice it is a lot! The 8mm lens is difficult to use, the level of distortion can be contained in use by carefully placing the horizon near the frame centre and avoiding having straight lines in the corner of the frame because they will distort. In practice however those rules cannot always be followed while achieving the desired composition. Sometimes I can correct the distortion in Lightroom using a preset there for an 8mm Sigma lens and just a little tweaking, on other occasions I have to resort to the “Free Transform” tool in Photoshop.

Fuji 10-24 at 10mm before correction of verticals.
Fuji 10-24 at 10mm before correction of verticals.
Fuji 10-24 at 10mm after correction of verticals.
Fuji 10-24 at 10mm after correction of verticals.
Samyang 8mm before correction of verticals.
Samyang 8mm before correction of verticals.
Samyang 8mm after (rough) correction of verticals.
Samyang 8mm after (rough) correction of verticals.

 

 

 

Wide and wacky

Father and daughter pre-Christmas day yesterday so off to Birmingham with the 8mm Samyang (12mm in English money) nailed on the front of the X-T1 for some different views around the Bullring.

The bridge from the car park to Selfridges building in Birmingham.
The bridge from the car park to Selfridges building in Birmingham.

Continue reading Wide and wacky

Christmas – Sorted!

Well Santa came early to my house, he brought me a Lee polarising filter and a geared tripod head. Only trouble is I need a Sherpa, any volunteers? The damn thing weighs almost as much as a small car!

Well that’s it then I have no more interest in Christmas 😉 Now to get down to some more serious photography!

BiAll20151202015
BiAll20151202006

Damp days and photography

So you wanted to go out and take some landscape pictures but it’s raining? So what! You have heard the saying “There is no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes” well if you’re a photographer it’s still true just add “and something to keep the rain off the lens.” If you have top flight gear that’s weatherproof a lens hood may be all you need, if the camera and lens are not rain-proof then you either need to be VERY careful or take along an assistant and an umbrella.

I prefer to work alone, no one to help admittedly but no one to distract either. Truth to tell I am a loner by nature I suppose. So if setting up a camera while holding an umbrella is more than my two arms can accommodate then I need to find some other way of keeping the rain off so I head for the woods. The odd drop of rain will penetrate for sure but I no longer need to fight against direct rain landing on the front of the lens so it is easier to work and with grey skies the light inside a wood is much less contrasty and control of both highlights and shadows is easier. It’s win, win!

An ancient oak in Charnwood Forest.
An ancient oak in Charnwood Forest.
Start moss growing in Swithland woods a Sites of Special Scientific Interest.
Star moss growing in Swithland woods a Sites of Special Scientific Interest.
The roots of an ancient oak tree cling around rocks on stony ground.
The roots of an ancient oak tree cling around rocks on stony ground – a panorama of seven frames which really needs to be seen much larger than this web page allows to appreciate the detail.

To see more of my images and to buy a print please visit Bill Allsopp.co.uk

British Landscape Photographer – blog and news. Main website www.billallsopp.co.uk

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