For a while one of my photography goals has been to get accepted to the Alamy stock agency, I particularly wanted to get accepted as they are a proper agency, rather than microstock and they are pretty strict about who gets in, with your images having to pass a stringent QC test.
Every Flickr account seems to have a picture of a random door, so when I spotted this whilst out with my Dad (Bob Craik LRPS) in Rothwell the bright blue door on the orange brickwork really caught my eye. It’s just a shame about the flaking paint…
Something I have been meaning to do for a while is to get a rogues gallery in my office of people that I don’t really see enough, so after collecting some prints (at the same time as a processed roll of Velvia!) from the lab, some frames from Ikea and a few hours cutting/sticking I have the following 4 pictures on my office wall of some people who are important to me.
This picture was taken on a walk along the canal at Union Wharf in Market Harborough, Leicestershire, with an old friend from school, Dan, who has just bought himself and EVIL camera (EVIL as in Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens, rather than with a plan to take over the world). It was good to take a walk somewhere that I’ve not been since the days when I was still shooting film, although I did also finish off the roll of Velvia that’s been in my film body for a while.
I took the usual boat reflection pictures, but it was this image of the smoking chimney after the sun had gone that was my favourite from the shoot as it’s a bit different to my normal style.
After a couple of days with rubbish light, we were able to get out with the cameras again, we decided to keep it fairly local and walked to Kinnoull Hill on the outskirts of Perth. I’d remembered about a pond, that was used for the sport of curling in the olden days, from a previous trip, so we took a detour to find it again. The pond was frozen and the ice was pretty thick, certainly enough to take my weight. (Don’t play around on frozen lakes etc, it isn’t big or clever)
The real reason for choosing Kinnoull Hill, was Kinnoull Tower, a derelict tower perched on the edge of a cliff, probably a look out post to spot people coming up the Tay from the North Sea/Dundee. Its well positioned to catch the evening sun and with the Tay weaving away in the background. This afternoon the Tay was fairly full, with hardly a ripple and I really like the way this image has come out.
Also in Kinnoull Woods there are a series of wooden sculptures by Pete Bowsher (aka Chainsaw Pete), this bird of prey (looks like an eagle, but buzzard sized) was up near Kinnoull Tower.
This was me well and truly out of my comfort zone, no motorsport, or pre planned landscape shots, just a post lunch wander along the river with the cameras, which is a nice way to spend a sunny January afternoon with an old friend.
With the sun being quite low and directional getting the sun in the right position was crucial, I liked this image of the two swans, with the light coming in from the front right and semi back lighting the swans, although I’m less than happy that I cropped off the tail of the nearest swan.
I also liked this footbridge for portraits, my portrait style is heading very much towards straight lines heading off into the background drawing the viewers eyes into the subject at the centre of the frame, I need to try a few with off camera flash too, but for the meantime, here is a shot of Elaine on the bridge.
Even though I didn’t post it on the 1st January, the image below was taken on my way home from a new years party.
Being of Scottish/French descent a St George’s Cross isn’t something I’d normally take a picture of, but I thought the light on it was great. I was taking the scenic route home from my parent’s place and stopped at Fairfax’s viewpoint, just outside Naseby, hoping to capture the vista that Fairfax would have seen prior to the Battle of Naseby, minus all the armies etc obviously, but a farmer had dropped a huge pile of manure in the foreground of the shot, so a flag is what I took.
As I’ve already hinted at, 2010 is going to be a busy year, the motorsport season is going to start for me on the 14th February, with some rallycross at Mallory Park (being single on valentines day does have some benefits), with the Ma5da Racing season kicking off towards the end of March. As per 2008 & 2009 I will be covering all rounds of the Ma5da Racing Championship, including their add on series for the Mk3 MX-5s. When I have got more reliable dates for the events I am covering I will put a post on the blog, this should be in a few weeks after the Autosport International show.
My aims for 2010 photography wise are to get published in Autosport magazine again, get my website 100% finished and most importantly to take more photos for myself. In my personal life I’m aiming to snowboard more than I did in 2009, which shouldn’t be too tricky and to get my flat sorted out, before the 2 year anniversary of moving in. I will also make sure that I update this blog (and my development blog) more often.
I’ll leave you with a bonus picture from my new years eve celebrations, regular readers may recognise Simon, my little brother, who threw a nations themed fancy dress party to bring in 2010, any guesses as to which nation he is?
Yesterday I made a large format print of one of my favourite landscape photos from 2008, this view across Derwent Water taken in December.
The detail in the full size print is incredible, it will be hung in a 70×50 frame and has been mounted with proportions similar to the mock up above (when it is hanging I will post a photo of the real thing).
To get to the required file size at 360 dpi for the printer we needed to create extra pixels, Lightroom 2.2 seemed to do this very well and quickly, however for the file we printed Genuine Fractals was used, this is a plug-in for Photoshop and is the industry standard for enlarging images. It had more controls than Lightroom (an took much longer to generate the file), but to my eyes the resulting 192Mb tiff files looked the same.