Conveying Movement

There are many ways of conveying movement, here are just three example shots taken over two days on a recent trip to Yorkshire.

pic #1 an effective focal length (EFL) of 320mm 1/640 sec. The fast shutter speed freezes the water and the splash for the shallow water.

Riders galloping along a beach.

pic #2 EFL 210mm 1/25 sec. It is very difficult to pan slowly enough for horses cantering, a flat out gallop would have been easier, at least for me, having been used to panning to follow racing cars.

Riders galloping along a beach.
Riders galloping along a beach.

pic #3 EFL 500mm 1/500 sec but I had to be quick to catch it before he disappeared! The “footprints” still clearly suggest movement.

A snail leaves "footprints" as it crawls over a paving stone.

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Photos on the footplate or planning ahead

Recently I was asked to go over to the Great Central Railway station at Lougborough to take pictures of a prize draw. The prize was a driver experience day and the draw took place on the footplate of a steam locomotive about to take a rake of coaches laden with diners off down the line. I knew this would be a difficult picture to take, confined quarters, low light etc. so I picked the equipment to take with care whilst keeping to the minimum.

In fact it was far trickier than I ever imagined, the space of the footplate turned out to be about as I expected but the available light was not. Before I set off I had upped the iso to 1600, which is as high as I like to go unless essential with the Canon &d I opted to use, but the available light was virtually nil. The only light there was came through the open firebox door and from the tiny illuminator on the water level gauge. Whilst the carriages were on the illuminated, canopied platform the engine was right at the platform’s end and there was no external light, not even a moon! Fortunately I had brought two flashguns and a trigger so I could create light if I could find my black equipment from the confines of a black bag with so little light. I was half done when Fred, the driver, produced a small torch! What a relief and in future a credit card torch will go out with me on night-time events, the one vital piece of equipment I did not have this time.

Driver, fireman and second fireman on the footplate of a BR class 2 steam locomotive 46521 on the Great Central Railway, Loughborough, Leicestershire.
Driver, fireman and second fireman on the footplate of a BR class 2 steam locomotive 46521 on the Great Central Railway, Loughborough, Leicestershire.

The end result was a success and the magazine’s editor, seen here between driver Fred and fireman Cyril, was pleased; all that was left was an hours kit cleaning when I got home; everything was covered in coal dust! Next time I’ll leave my bag on the platform.

Realising (and exceeding) your vision

The aim of any photographer should be to get an image as right as possible in camera. Major editing or post processing is however unavoidable sometimes. Some purists will say this is no longer photography but I disagree. If the lighting on a subject is not as we wish and cannot be modified at the taking stage why should we not edit afterwards? Photographers have done so since the very early days, double exposures, developing and printing tricks such as dodging and burning were the tools of the day. The great Ansel Adams would spend all day making a print to realise his vision of the scene. All photographers are doing by such methods is applying artistic interpretation to the image.

For me it is the image that matters more than how it was accomplished. I will always strive to records the best possible RAW file in camera so that processing is made easier; how much better it is to use, for example, gradutaed neutral density filters when shooting then to have to make two exposures, one for the ground and one for the sky then blend those two subsequently in Photoshop.

Path across the moor, Sligachan, isle of Skye, Scotland.
Path across the moor, Sligachan, isle of Skye, Scotland.

This image was shot in March 2013 on the Isle of Skye at Sligachan using Continue reading Realising (and exceeding) your vision

DIGITAL MONOCHROME METHODS

Dunstanburgh castle in Northumberland above the famous boulders in the bay.
Dunstanburgh castle in Northumberland above the famous boulders in the bay.

This article deals with some of the ways in which Photoshop CS can convert
an image to monochrome. There are many ways to achieve the effect you
desire in Photoshop; monochrome conversion is no exception.
Shoot RAW – don’t shoot in mono JPEGs. Sure you will get a monochrome
image but why let your camera make decisions for you? Shouldn’t you be
taking charge of the creative process? The best monochrome images are
made by shooting RAW, colour images. This provides the maximum amount
of tonal and colour information and sometimes editing colours can be very
important to a finished monochrome image.
What makes a good monochrome?
Well first off what does not? Continue reading DIGITAL MONOCHROME METHODS

A Happy Client

I do not do a lot of commercial work that involves indoor shooting but I have just completed one such job and received the following by email in response to approval copies of the image files:

“Hi Bill

We have just received the photographs, ….. our Chairman, and I have just sat and looked through them. They are really lovely………

Thank you so much. I am sure they will all look great on the new web-site.”

So good to get a positive feedback from a client. 🙂

May the light be with you.

Bill Allsopp

(To maintain client confifdentiality no images will be posted).

What do you need to be a landscape photographer?

Looking South along the Trotternish peninsula from the Quiraing at Dawn.
Looking South along the Trotternish peninsula from the Quiraing at Dawn.
Being a landscape photographer is more about who you are than what kit is in your bag. First and foremost you must have a love of the countryside and a passion to share that with others. Different / “better” equipment will improve your results but only marginally compared to an exhaustive knowledge of how to get the best out of what you have.

To be successful you must Continue reading What do you need to be a landscape photographer?

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

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