Archives For July 2013


Yesterday I had to run an errand in London so, as is usual, I check my camera. Format card, press the [INFO] button to see the battery life, check my spare battery and card are in my bag.

Slightly digressing, but do you have a going out routine so you don’t forget your gear? And remember, spare cards are for corruption, not just for spare space 😉

Then I check the weather. Rain. Oh.

Historically, I have been a little meek with camera gear in rainy conditions. Definitely not a comfort zone for me, especially knowing my Monochrom sucks dust like a vacuum cleaner. Hardly weather sealed!

I have since learned…

– Umbrellas don’t mix with shooting. At least not my small ‘executive’ brolly. I wonder if a storm chaser big one is better?

– Wet is a new shooting workflow with new reflective conditions and exposure highlight niggles

– Walking with your lens pointed to the ground is all very well until an exuberant splashy child is on scene! Arggh!

– Find a dry spot with a great back drop. Wait for the composition. Patience!

But I love it. I’m a convert.

The day dried quite quickly and the density of tourists went up a factor.

Staying Alive

Evening Standard!

HTML is a bit tricky. I hope I got the syntax correct for, ‘I had an ice cream on the way into and out of Kew Gardens’.

* Edit, looks like html tags, even for ice cream, are not valid in WordPress titles. Have some BB code instead.

I think a great deal of the flowers aren’t in bloom right now, but there was plenty to see.

This is a personal take on my visit.

Santa Cruz Waterlilly
Lots of people

Tree, Kew Gardens
If trees are your thing, you will swoon with delight

If you do go, it’s a lot of time out in the sun. Take and drink lots of water!

I needed a couple of shots of Angel for a London article for Travel & Spa and what a perfect excuse to wander round London’s streets!

One Second In Leicester Square Underground
Literally a “One Second [Exposure] In Leicester Square Underground”


Chapel Market, Islington

Trying to frame accurately with a rangefinder is, well, it took a few shots to get this shot of the N1 Centre.

N1 Centre, Islington

And a slightly alternative view of Tower Bridge.

Looking Up To Tower Bridge

I walked past this construction worker, apparently on his break, as I headed over to Soho Square. Through no sound logic I walked past him again 30 minutes later and he was in precisely the same position.

On Break

Have a super weekend all


This post was going to be about sharpening your images. Its effectiveness for maximising impact in your own photography, most especially when showing work for competitions.

And here’s an image, from a cell phone, to show how effective sharpening can be.

2012-08-23-0028  2013 comp

Except it doesn’t really work, because I processed it. I boosted the saturation and the contrast which, let’s face it, is the very definition of sharpening. The improvement in this image is attributed to a balanced effort of colour processing and additional sharpening which, if correctly applied, should be crisp without noticing any pixels!

So, the direction of the post has stepped back to the importance and effectiveness of processing your images.

I don’t know why but I am still surprised to find people who don’t process their images. They’re quite accepting of this fact and, a significant proportion, are quite proud of their images straight out of the camera.

I’ll state this clearly and concisely for the record – capture your photographs to the best of yours and your camera’s ability. Get the best light you can. if you need to and can move, do so, use a flash, whatever. Forgive my language, but you simply cannot polish a turd. Photoshop is not an excuse for your shortcomings at capture time. Don’t get me started on people ‘rescuing’ their images by converting to black and white. That’s another post entirely!

Where was I. Oh yes, those deluded people who don’t need to process their images…

If you’ve set up your camera’s picture mode for a bit of extra contrast, sharpening and, possibly, saturation. Or you’ve set Vivid or Landscape Mode, etc. You do realise you are post processing? Well, your camera is and at capture time. You don’t count in my subset of misguided photographers.

These days the sub set of cameras I consider extremely capable of capturing scenes properly is just ginormous. Literally the base to mid end of the compact camera market and cell phones comprise the sub par machines.

The principal reason for editing images is to exert your own particular style on your photographs and this has been going on in dark rooms well before the digital era.

Another reason for post processing is to compensate for the additional layers on top of your sensors. Colour cameras need to deduce colour and require a Beyer filter. In addition, your camera probably also has an Optical Low Pass Filter to correct colour and reduce moire patterning.

My camera is one of the few with a ‘naked’ sensor and still I would not consider putting forward unprocessed images.

Take this one. This image is as captured. No additional settings or processing, but a correct exposure.

LMM1001458 no processingMy good friend, Jarret, drying his underwater housing for his Nikon D300

Processed with Silver Efex Pro 2

Try not to get distracted by my choice in processing. What is evident is the detail and textures that were present in the image data and 2 minutes of work has produced this markedly different result.

Here’s another example, again from my Monochrom.

Maintenance - Unprocessed, as shot
These Underwater Photographers are constantly fiddling with their cameras!


Do get serious about processing your images. If you need pointers or assistance, let me know.

Nokia occasionally lends me a handset and asks me to take photos for them. I see the results from the current swathe of mobile phone cameras and Nokia’s 808 Pureview remains up there with the very best of them.


Leigh on Sea taken with Nokia 808 PureView

Hot Hot Hot!

July 18, 2013 — Leave a comment

Last week I was at sea. The heat, at least 40º Celsius, was bearable with the constant wind across the ocean. Back on terra firma, in Sharm El Sheik, it was windless calm and the heat really beat down.

I was shooting all the time and these two images I exposed for the subjects, however the intense sun really blew out – well, just a little thanks to Monochrom – the backgrounds. It occurred to me this could really work in my favour to convey a sense of the intensity of the heat.

No wind and ridiculously hot!

Na'ama Bay

Does anyone else agree?

Stuck on a boat with 30 other people provides plenty of moments. Here are a few.

Calling Home

Image Review

Aki + Dome Port

Polka Dots



Preparing for the next dive