Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Crop circles? and Mumbles

Anybody remember all the fuss about crop circles? I certainly do, I also can't help wondering what happened to them. Did the aliens stop visiting us? Was it the students who got fed up of hard work at night? or was it simply that the poor farmers started shooting the culprits and burying the bodies in drainage ditches? I suppose we'll never know.
Todays images are of sunny Mumbles. Wayne

Monday, June 29, 2009

What is it with kilts?

What is it with kilts? Now I'm not knocking the traditional national dress of the Celts (and others) I'm talking about the men who wear them to weddings.
Blokes with no real Celtic connections insist on wearing the most inappropriate dress for men ever designed, lets be honest here guys, we were never designed to show off our legs, they are not smooth elegant things, they are scarred lumpy knobbly things that scare small children on the beach. And worse... far worse, is the pulling up of the kilt and giving the world a flash!
Why in the name of all that's sane do grown intelligent men insist of giving us all a flash, these normally respectable hard working blokes throw common sense and decency out the window as soon as a kilts buckled on. If our legs were meant to be hidden there's other parts that definitely shouldn't be on shown in public.
So please people, don't wear a kilt, not now, not ever! No honestly, really don't! You will look a wally, it's insulting to the people who have real claim to wear them, and you'll end up showing the world your "bits" and trust me that makes you look even more stupid.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Scotts pit (again)

Heres another shot from my last Scotts pit visit, been pretty busy the last few days so nothing much new. Wayne

Friday, June 26, 2009

Farrah Fawcett.

Another well know face to pass away this week is Farrah Fawcett age 62, she is probably best remembered for her TV role in Charlies Angels.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Back to Scotts pit.

While over visiting my mother yesterday I popped down to Scotts pit which is near her house and took these pics, they have been given the proper HDR treatment, 3 images with bracketed exposures blended together.

Michael Jackson.

Back in May I mentioned I'd eat my hat (or something silly) if all Michael's concerts took place, I was pretty sure then they'd never happen, my suspicions about his health and the fact he wasn't rehearsing were not good signs. Now sadly it seems I was right.
Michael has been a controversial figure, much of his own making, and the butt of many jokes, but we shouldn't forget the guy was a brilliant singer and dancer.
I remember staying up to watch the first ever tv showing of thriller, and it was worth it. We all know about the allegations of child abuse, the dangling his baby out of a hotel window, and the claim's he lived in an oxygen tent, but maybe it's time we remembered the man for his music instead.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Lightships and portraits.

I'll start with the lightship, here's a shot I took on the weekend, it's the Helwick lightship in Swansea marina.

Now the portrait bit, back in March I talked about Portrait pro, and a great bit of software it is too. Trouble is it does have one big failing, you have to set up a sort of simple grid so it knows where the face is, this means it cant deal with two people in a shot.

The good news is now there's a way to do it, Imagenomic portrait, this clever bit of software gives a similar effect but although it doesn't have the face sculpting Portrait pro has it does have the skin softening effects, and the beauty is it works out which bits are skin, so it'll work on a shot with any number of faces. And unlike PP it'll apply the effect to any skin, so if your lucky enough to have your model in a bikini, it's smooth all the skin, not just the face.

When I have time I'll post a before and after comparrison. Wayne

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Really weird dream last night.

I had the weirdest dream last night, it involved a large twin engined aircraft crashing.
I was on a coach in a built up city area, I looked out of the window and saw the left engine separate from the plane, it appeared to be on fire (the engine) the plane then dropped and hit the tops of some tall building before crashing to the ground to the right of the coach while the engine passed over the top and hits houses on our left.
Why am I mentioning this, because it was so incredibly realistic, I felt the impacts, I heard the debris hitting the coach, I smelt the avaition fuel, it was the most realistic dream I have had in many years.

Time travellers.

I bumped into a few fellow time travellers today, although I don't think they realised I was one as well, they are from an earlier period than myself. They were exploring the marina at Swansea.

Friday, June 19, 2009


Yesterday was ladies day at ascot, always worth worth a pic or two.
Here's a portrait taken in the marquee, a single flash used here off camera.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pixles, do more make a difference.

In the race for the more bigger megapixle camera, we seem to have forgotten that the photographer makes a difference.

Today I edited some images for a web site, they were shot on a high quality 12mp camera, and they were bloody awful!
By the same token heres a B+W pic I took a while back, nothing special you say, no, but it was shot on a 2mp compact, yes thats 2mp.
Maybe more isn't always better in the wrong hands!
If your wondering thats the top of Pen-y-fan in the Brecon Beacons, taken from Corn-du.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The road to nowhere.

Here's a recent image called the "road to nowhere" I liked the feeling that theres nothing at the end of the road, and if you knew where it went you probably wouldn't want to go there anyway.


Friday, June 12, 2009

Back to Lucis.

I have been having another play with Lucis pro recently, and it's much cheaper alternative Topaz.
I have also been doing a fair bit of reading, Bruce Fraisers "real world sharpening" and "Industrial-Strength Production Techniques" I thought I knew a lot about sharpening untill I read Bruces book, what an eye opener, I can highly recomend both these books if your a serious photoshopper.

Todays images, both have been given the Lucis treatment, two different variations, ones given an almost painted effect, the others a gritty almost illustrated feel.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


ETTR or expose to the right. What am I talking about? I'll explain.
With digital ideally you need to ETTR, by that I mean expose for the highlights (the right side of the histogram) Why you ask? Well it's simple really, it's to do with the way digital works.
You see digital data is linear and the way it's broken down is half of all the data is the brightest stop, then half or the remaining data is the next stop etc etc, so very little data is used to record the darkest area.
If you are tempted to under expose significantly to preserve the highlights your loosing a lot of the data (because it's in the brightest parts of the image) so when the data is converted, either as an in camera jpeg or in your raw converter, in effect your stretching out the darker tones (but remember these have a lot less data) so you have more risk of banding, artifacts, or noise.
Ideally you go as bright as you can without blowing the highlights.
Why am I telling you this, simply because I have spent 2 days editing a wedding that should have taken a few hours, sadly the photographer has never heard the expression ETTR, or indeed the words white balance, correct exposure or composition! Even the word focus is in doubt!
I have had to individually correct 700+ pics, many needed separate noise reduction, and a lot of shadow/highlight work (time consuming) and I'm not even going to get into the colours, how anybody with a modern state of the art camera can get so many different colours in one batch of shots never ceases to amaze me.
But I think the thing that worries me most is lack of attention to detail, such as shooting 5000 iso on a bright sunny day, WHY!!!! you don't need it. Or not noticing a set or railings, a lamppost and a bright Orange fence behind the bride and groom, how in the name of all that's sane could you miss it! Ray Charles could have b****y seen it and he was blind!

Saturday, June 6, 2009


Today's the 65th anniversary of D-Day, the day when over 200.000 allied soldiers stormed the beaches in Normandy. The beaches codenamed Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword claimed the lives of many of those men and also the lives of many of the German soldiers defending them.

Sigma 10 - 20 mm lens

The Sigma 10-20 mm lens is something I have lusted after for ages, as someone who takes a lot of landscapes a really wide angle lens is very useful, they are great for loads of foreground interest etc, they are also really handy for working in confined spaces on group shots.

I have posted a few shots taken with this lens over the last week or so, but I haven't actually done a comparison test to show the difference between a normal wide angle and a super wide angle.
Here's an example photo, the inner red rectangle shows the 18mm wide angle of the normal DX digital wide angle lens (equivalent to 28mm on a film camera) the outher red rectangle shows the 10mm super wide shot (equivalent to 16mm on a film camera) as you can see theres a heck of a difference in the amount captured.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Heres a pic for today, an abstract B+W. Sorry too tired to post much, the weeks catching up with me. Wayne

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Isn't it funny how the mind works, how we associate certain smells with things.

I was walking down the local shop a few minutes ago to get some munchies and I smelled the Calor gas from somebodies BBQ, instantly it brought back memories of caravan holidays as a child, I can even remember the campsite where we often stayed, and the tree I tried hard to chop down (it was massive I had no chance lol)
Surgical spirit has the same effect, it always reminds me of the old Swansea hospital on St Helens road, long gone now.

Today image a colour one for a change, it's King Arthur's stone in the Gower, the story goes Arthur was walking, got a stone in his shoe, threw it away and Arthur's stone was born.
The truth is a little more boring, it's actually a Cromlech, a neolithic burial chamber, dating back to around 2500 bc.
The big stone on top is supposed to weigh over 25 tons, so best not to play under it without a hardhat.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The farm.

Heres some black and white shots of an old farm house, it's been empty for years, 25+ what a waste. Wayne

Monday, June 1, 2009

The future.

I saw a huge sign today saying... "The future is coming!" No kidding? so using the same logic "the past has gone!" or "the sky is up!" would also make great adverts, I wonder how much some ad executive got paid for that masterpiece, any amount was too much if you ask me.

I hear on the grapevine that Ghostbusters 3 is on the way, I'm told this time our heros actually have to travel to hell to fight the devil, although whether we'll see all the old faces is another story.

Todays pic, another Black and white conversion, again taken with the 10mm sigma lens.