Archives For July 2012

Jeff Butterworth is the founder of Alien Skin Software. He’s passionate about travelling light whilst maintaining a serious focus on photography, even with camera phones. After stumbling across my post lunch Dorset country side walk post, he linked to me to further establish his sensible views on travel photography.

You can read his post here:

I am a big fan of Alien Skin products, so this is a personal boost!



London is in everyone’s Olympic thoughts at the moment. Here’s one from a local.

View of London's Southbank - City Hall and The Shard


Photographers have to deal with stolen images. Just this morning, I have contacted one ‘photographer’ who stole 2 images from elsewhere. The artists were not aware, which is usually the case. In this case, there was a quick and happy resolution, but it’s not always the case.

What to do?

I use google image search and tiny eye.

And here’s my tick list

  • Limit the physical size of the image. Mine are 950px wide due to 1x’s requirements, but I would think 800px wide is safe.
  • Add copyright information into your camera, which is then written to each image. Careful in photoshop not to ‘Save for web’ as this may well strip this information
  • Add a visible watermark to your images. This is a tricky one as some sites do not ‘like’ watermarks. Also watermarks can be cropped out; if not the images are less attractive.
  • Add a non-visible watermark that can be tracked by various image tracking sites.
  • If you find your images elsewhere, comment on the image that it is yours – visible humiliation to the site’s visitors – and also send a firm, but polite email to them. Very often, this is sufficient to resolve the matter.
  • Send the thief an invoice for double your usual license fee – damage costs. If this is sourced from a Solicitor, it shows you mean business.

Do this on a regular basis.


Daily Awesome Photos

July 22, 2012 — 2 Comments

I wasn’t going to title this post as I did, but then I had a slightly miniature moment of clarity where I came to 2 conclusions. Not new ones in the very least, but great and humbling ones for all…

  • The best camera is the one you have on you
  • Your local country side is likely to be awesome, just look deeper

I make no bones about these images from a post lunch walk; they’re from iPhone, but I like them.


Compton, nr Shaftesbury

Compton, nr Shaftesbury

Compton, nr Shaftesbury

Compton, nr Shaftesbury

Compton, nr Shaftesbury


July 16, 2012 — Leave a comment

Slightly too much to the left. Did I mention getting lines straight earlier on?

Kings Cross

Daily Awesome Photos

July 15, 2012 — 1 Comment

There won’t be a monday awesome photo post, so please soak these up for the duration :D

You have to view this one large, so please click to view large and on black.
In Transit

Kings Cross

Westminster Underground Station



Desert Within

Desert Within

If anyone’s interested, this was actually a significant post process. I shot for each exposure within the room; Sand, walls, window ledge and frame, outer sand and then sky. Photoshop, aside from the composite layering, split tone layer, soft light for contrast, paper texture layer as well as a ‘dust n scratches’ layer with a vignette for overall effect.

Daily Awesome Photo

July 13, 2012 — 2 Comments

Dreams of flight

Dreams of flight

I have a little mental checklist i go through when i pass a building that catches my eye. So I hope this will help others look at different styles for shooting architecture.

Why did it catch your eye? How do you capitalise on this feature?
Price Waterhouse Cooper Building

This is the Price Waterhouse Cooper building and, as you look up near the entrance, you are clearly reminded of Batman! Think about this feature and whether you need to frame in on it or that it enhances the whole building. Can you shoot against the sky?

Can I shoot an elegant composition with the whole building?
Angkor Wat Sunrise Free Desktop Background Wallpaper 2560x1440 iMac 27

Notice this is Cambodia? That’s because I shoot in London and it’s definitely a challenge. Don’t be discouraged though, surrounding buildings often provide a contrast that will contextualise your building; out of place or the opposite?!

So, which bits can we shoot?  Is there a decent Facia?
Moorfields Eye Hospital

I was literally 15 feet from the building, restricted by roads and walls. Look for geometry in a single building face.

  • Are there intersecting lines in the features and fixtures?
  • Symmetrical or seemingly random window placement?
  • How does the sky reflect off this building’s facia?
  • Is there a contrasting object like a sign or lamp post in the scene that would complement the rigid geometry of the facia?

Look up!
Reflected Perspectives

I’ve said this before, but shooting skyward is effective. Reflective buildings will contain more detail where there is a bright day. Some cloud will provide texture. Try to line up the prominent edge or facia with the frame. If it helps, fall back on  golden triangles and thirds for framing. The building’s lines and geometry should be respected, so wonky levels won’t be tolerated!

Leading lines; Shooting to a vanishing point
Urban Landscape [Explored]

Okay, there’s a building in my vanishing point, so this example isn’t a best fit. But the concept is sound. Shoot leading lines into the distance. Train tunnels and corridors, spiral stair cases. We’re talking about buildings here, so is there a repeating geometry or line? It doesn’t have to be the span of the structure, but can be on a wall or a single walkway. I can well imagine a sky scraper will entail shooting to the sky – don’t be dull though, so compose and frame well to make a simple scene grandiose and appealing.

Recap: Single Feature, Entire Building, Facia, Leading Lines, Sky and Vanishing Points.

So, hopefully you have a little to work with when you pause as you walk past a building!