Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Killing house.

Been pretty busy the last few days, so a quick update, all well with us, although I could do with a proper break away from everything and everyone, really need to just wind down.

On to todays image, "the killing house" used for close quarters combat and room clearence training. Wayne

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Mobile Phones (the return)

I have mentioned before that I doomed with Mobile phones, honestly I'd be better off with two tins and a long piece of string.

Over the years I have had phones with a better camera than my first proper digital camera, they have had thermometers, decibel meters, calculators, stopwatches, a torch, compass, games. The one thing they all had in common was an almost total inability to make phone calls.... a fairly important point in a mobile phone.

Curiously when they first started and phones were the size and weight of a house brick, they actually worked reasonably well, now that wafer thin mint size piece of exotic metal is a waste of space, even if it doesn't take up much of it.

On to todays image, another grab shot from a wedding, lets call it, oh let me think "Pink Wellies".

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Bloody Sunday!

Now I'm not talking about the incident in Derry in 1972, but something much closer to home, I'm talking about the peace and tranquility of your own home.

What I'm getting at is the fact every fine Sunday morning all through summer, some moron is out with a bloody lawnmower at the crack of dawn, first of all the grass is still damp from the dew so it's not really the best time to cut it, second Sunday is the only chance many people get for a lay in, why don't these idiots have any consideration for other, thirdly in most cases these wallys ain't going anywhere later (a reasonable excuse) so no real reason they couldn't do it after lunch say.

I'm going to suggest a new law, let make it illegal to use ANY noisy power tool before 12 lunchtime on a Sunday and after 6 in the evening, this means some of us could enjoy a little peace in our own gardens in the evenings, and just maybe a lay in after a midnight finish the night before.

Failing that I just might be tempted to hire 1 Paras to come around and give a repeat performance here!

Today's photo, here's a grab shot of a little lad at a wedding, he was swinging around the pole (reminded me of "singing in the rain") I just couldn't resist grabbing a shot.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Michael again

A few days ago I mentioned Michael Jackson and my suspicions his concerts wouldn't happen.... well it seems my sources were on the right track, some of his concerts are postponed until 2010. His management claim it's for technical reasons, one newspaper claims it's while he has surgery... now that would be a first!
Personally if all 50 concerts take place with Michale I'll eat my.... err (better play safe) well I'll eat something silly anyway.
A few black and white shots. Well one semi coloured and one fisheye. Enjoy. Wayne

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Global warming

On the BBC news this morning was the scary news that the west Antarctic ice sheet is melting, according to the experts the sea level will rise 10+ feet when it does. Mind you these are the same experts who told us recently the sea level would rise 60+ foot, it seems they were slightly mistaken.
Where have I heard this before.... Oh yes, the early 1980's, it was confidently predicted we'd all be swimming by now due to... yep you guessed it global warming! That was after they told us another ice age was coming.
Curiously it's not significantly warmer now, indeed in my childhood back in the 1960's it was a damn site hotter in the summer, and even more curiously the sea level is in exactly the same place it was 55 years ago maybe the sea's a late starter?.
Or more lightly dare I suggest a few scientists are trying to make a name for themselves? after all predicting diddly squat happening isn't going to get your name in New Scientist magazine is it, but doom and gloom is. There's also lot's of grants for ecological projects.
Is the Earth's temperature changing? of course it is, it always has, that's why we are not in an ice age now, back in the 1500's it was warm enough in the the UK for vineyards to flourish in Northumberland, equally the Thames froze over in Victorian times, neither can be blamed on your carbon footprint (does that mean walking in soot??) it's just natural changes.
The earth was here long before us, and I suspect it'll be here long after we have gone, we are far more at risk from some deadly disease (probably lab created) than the tide coming in.

St Catherines church.

Here are a few shots of St Catherine's church in Baglan, it's local to where I live.
I mainly went to photograph the remains of the old church at the back, but was totally disgusted with the state of it, it's completely overgrown.
Even the grass around it was knee high. I'm shocked a church would abandon it's history like that, I can only assume they hope it will fall down and they can use the ground for something else.
The pics have been given my favorite B+W tratment. Enjoy. Wayne

Fake HDR (a return)

A little while ago I posted a contrast masking action, to give a sort of HDR (high dynamic range) effect. Well here's an even better method, assuming you like the over the top HDR effect, better still it works fine with a single image so moving objects are fair game.
This works in Lightroom or Photoshop with RAW images and will work with jpeg provided you have CS3 or 4
First step open your image in photoshop camera raw or lightroom (in CS3 or 4 you can open a jpeg from bridge by right clicking and choosing open in camera raw)
Recovery slider all the way right.

Fill light slider all the way right.

black slider move right to suit and to bring back some contrast.

Clarity slider all the way right.

Viberance slider move right to punch up colours to suit.

You may need to adjust exposure or brightness sliders a bit after this to get the image to look right. You should end up with an image similar-ish to bottom right. Wayne

Monday, May 18, 2009

Yet more black and white shots

Yes I'm afraid I'm still on the B+W kick at the moment, so a few more, these all taken today when I had a little walk.
Actually I lied a bit, ones got colour in it! the so called "spot colour" these seem couriously un-popular with many photographers.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

More B+W

Here are a few more black and white shots, taken in colour and converted to B+W in photoshop.

Michael Jackson and Madeline McCann

Odd subjects for my blog you might think, but both have been in the news this week.
Michael Jackson has 50 concerts planned for this year in the UK, will they ever happen? Personally I doubt if any will take place, I'm fairly confident all 50 wont happen. Why? well first off I hear Michael isn't rehearsing (not a good sign) then I hear his health isn't great, plus there's the lawsuit just started against him for I think it's $45 million, there's also the claim he's under contract to play with the rest of the Jackson five in the US during the middle of his UK tour. Hmmm gets complicated doesn't it, there was even a report that the person who announced the concerts was a look-a-like, so who's going to turn up at the concerts???

Madeline McCann made the news again this week, it seems her parents are suing the former Portuguese police officer who lead the inquiry into Madeline's disappearance over his claims in his book. Mr Goncalo Amaral book "The Truth of the Lie" tells his thoughts on the case, should make interesting reading I think.
I hope the McCanns are using their own money for this and not the find Madeline fund.
Personally speaking I'm surprised two professional people, doctors to boot, would leave a 4 year old child alone in a strange apartment while they went for a meal, I certainly wouldn't but then I'm just an ordinary bloke!

Friday, May 15, 2009

A few pics for the weekend.

Here are a few images for the weekend, the car one is taken with the Sigma 10-20mm wide angle, the other is the old Vivian arms pub in Port Talbot, I have good for a slightly illustrated look here. Wayne

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Expenses and MP's

Well I don't know about you but I have been following the MP's expenses scandal with interest, some of the stuff claimed for is incredible, how on earth they were allowed to do it for so long using public money is scary. Remember these are the people always whinging there's no money for new hospitals or schools, or life saving drugs for the NHS, but there's enough to get their swimming pool cleaned, or a new chandelier. As my dear old Dad used to say "we have the best politician's money can buy!" it seems he wasn't far wrong!!!
One MP is paying back £40k, the very fact he can afford to do that without worrying suggests he's an overpaid waste of space.

Storm troopers and wide angles.

I was trying out a Sigma 10-20 mm lens today, here's a shot from it, converted to B+W in silver effects pro in photoshop. Personally I love the really wide angle effects, this is a lens I have drooled over for some time.
Oh yes nearly forgot the storm trooper bit, well some thieving git has stolen.... wait for it! two Star wars storm trooper outfits from Briton ferry, it seems they were left in a parked car.
Police say the thieves shouldn't be too hard to spot, I'd say they'll be easy enough to spot, we don't get many storm troopers in Baglan! makes you wonder why somebody had them in their car in the first place???
On the SC-FI front it seems Terminator is making a return to the big screen. Wayne

Monday, May 11, 2009

Black and white shooting in camera.

Today I went over the Gnoll in Neath for a good walk before taking my mum shopping. For a change I decided to shoot in black and white. Many digital cameras have the black and white option built in. The camera I'm using here also has the option of "dialing in" a colour filter, in this case a red filter.

One problem in shooting in B+W in camera is if you get home and decide a shot looked better in colour, your kippered.... Well not exactly, you see if you shoot RAW+JPEG the camera applies the B+W conversion to the JPEG, but the RAW file has all the colour data as well, so you have the choice later.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

More from the explore

New explore

Well things have improved slightly, although it's been a very expensive week, one way or another.
today We went out for a wander, checking out some WW2 remains, it took us about 3 hours to find, but was well worth it.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Roberts prom.

My eldest Robert had his prom today, he looked very smart in his prom suit, I took a few pics, here are two. Proud Dad!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Rubbish few day.

It's been a pretty rubbish few days for one reason or another, so I'm feeling sorry for myself today, hopefully things will get better soon.

Heres a pic for today, another shot of a wrecked building.


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Red Dwarf

Recently Red Dwarf made a welcome return to our screens after a 21 year gap. The show picks up Dave Lister, Arnold Rimmer, the Cat and Kryten 9 years down the line as they try to return home. In true Red Dwarf style nothing goes quite to plan.
Shown on the Dave channel over the Easter weekend, this hopefully will be the start of possible new series???

Heres a pic, here Arnold Rimmer trys to study for his exam while Dave Lister irons one of his sneezes!

Saturday, May 2, 2009


I went out for a walk this morning with my youngest son Sam, we must have done 4 or 5 miles I would guess, took us a couple of hours, and worked up an appetite for lunch anyway.
While out I took a few pics, not many, but more of the dreaded bluebells, I say dreaded because I was hoping to find and photograph either fungi or the puma that's claimed to be lurking on the mountain.
The puma may not actually be that keen on a portrait sitting it has to be said, so I took a Mars bar as bait (it work's for me!) Well we couldn't find either, probably just as well in the pumas case. Actually I haven't seen any fungi around this year, so maybe the weathers affecting it?.
Heres todays image, zoom bluebells, yeah I'm not too sure either. Wayne

Friday, May 1, 2009

The streets ran red with blood!

I can't remember who said that now (memories going lol) but it's the title that comes to mind with this shot, fortunately it's not blood in this case but dye.
Swansea sound or the wave or whatever were having a funday in the centre of Swansea, and for reasons best known to themselves they dyed the fountains red, they had signs up warning it stained, so what it's done to the sandstone of the fountains is anybodies guess, silly idea if you ask me. Wayne

Waynes contrast masking action

Well I did say I'd post it when I got it to a stage I was happy, so here it is.
A photoshop action, theres 2 different actions, the contrast masking, and contrast masking and shadow/highlight.
In the first one the contrast masking it adds a layer at 50% opacity, for a stronger effect take opacity to 100% and likewise for aa lesser effect lower the layer opacity.
In the second action if you need to ajust the effect use the history palette and step back.
To install the actions use winrar (or similar) to open the rar file, open photoshop, on the actions palette theres a drop down arrow, use that to open the options, and click load action, brows to where you put my action, and Bobs your uncle.
It's made in CS4 but should work in anything from CS onwards, it won't work in the earlier version. Heres the link to download it. Enjoy. Wayne