Well, I haven't posted anything on the blog for a long long time..
From starting Lightflows a couple of years ago, I've changed careers and am now working professionally as a photographer, which is a dream come true. The down side is, I am so busy working and promoting the business I haven't had time to sit down a post!
Any how... we've just returned from a pre Christmas break to Prague in the Czech Republic and I actually found time to relax and take some pictures for fun!
Prague really is a supremely picturesque city - with it's Christmas markets, interesting shops and alleys, wrapped up in the Eastern European architecture it's a photographers playground.
This shot is of some art installations we saw in one of the plaza's or squares in the town, there were a bunch of other interesting pieces to see, but this cage around the lights was the most attractive to me.
Hopefully I'll have more time to post over the holidays, and that just leaves time to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas!
This isn't normally the sort of shot I would post on Lightflows and it wasn't what I was intending on photographing this day, but this little chap landed alongside me whilst I was framing up a landscape shot. He was only a couple of meters away and I couldn't resist taking a photograph, so I've decided to post it!
I've been busy working on an update to the site. I am changing my hosting next month and felt that with that upgrade I would re-vamp the site a bit - It was coded when I was new to html and css and I've learned a bit since then. That said, it's not going to be a radical change, I'm going to add some new features, like a 'collection browser' , groups of images that work well together as a collection. The blog will pretty much be the same with maybe some graphical additions here and there. Should be up next month...
I'm taking a break from the Moroccan series as we've had some amazing weather over the past days and I've been out shooting quite a bit. It's been an unusually cold winter here in South England and the last few days have seen extreme hoarfrosts, beautiful white crystals covering everything. It is truly beautiful.
This is another shot from the dusty mountain village in Morocco and was taken shortly after shooting the Mercedes that I posted yesterday. Again, the main thing that attracted me to these gas canisters was the beaten up texture.
As for the processing, I have enhanced the foreground/background separation by increasing the defocusing of the background using a mask, in addition the canisters were originally blue, but I adjusted the hue to a rusty red to suit the surrounds and overall toning. Although simple, this is one of my favorite shots of the whole trip.
Today's shot was taken last week on our trip to Morocco. We stopped off in a small mountain village near to Asila and amongst the hussle and bustle of the market town I found this beaten up old Mercedes, at least that's what I think it is - the badge is missing.
I just love it's beaten up old texture and grime, it really caught my eye. This shot was taken using my new Nikkor lens - 24-70mm f/2.8, and i'm really pleased with the quality it produces, particularly the depth of field.
I'll be posting more shots of the textures, places and people of Morocco over the coming days.
Well this is the 1st time i've had the pleasure of making one of these. It been a great year and looking back over the posts from this past year reminds me of the diversity and change that has happened over the last 12 months.
Thanks to everyone who stopped by, I'd like to wish you all a very Happy New Year, and as i'm in Spain I should really say '¡Feliz año nuevo!'
Thanks to everyone who commented on the last one, this shot is not massively disimillar the last, but I like the rays raking across the tree and the warmth to it.
You know summer has ended and you are in Autumn when the mist starts to appear in the mornings.
This happens to be one of my favorite times of the year, for photography anyway. This particular morning there was a lot of fog and the sunshine was just breaking through. I'll be posting a few more of these in the coming days.
I don't post or process many HDRI's , but this one I like. The barns lined up perfectly and with a very bright sky I wanted to capture all the detail. The HDR generation was done in Photomatix Pro with 3 exposures.
Well, it's seems i'm finding it harder and harder to find time to post at the moment. My VFXY ranking is slipping all the time, if anyone cares to add me as their favorite maybe I can climb back up :-)
The reason for the lack of posts is i've started a new business, which is going well, I just happen to be spending more time building other people's blogs that posting on my own.
With all that out of the way , I can talk about this entry. We've had lots of rain this summer in England, the only positives I can take from that are : there have been some fantastic cloudscapes to shoot!
This is the calm after the storm and I have resisted processing this one much, i'm trying to focus on natural colours and improve my photography in camera.
This is a shot of our friend Maria walking her sisters dog through the streets of San Sebastian.
The blur is in camera and was achieved by quickly zooming out using my wide 12-24mm lense.
We've been away for the last week travelling around Northern Spain, hence the lack of updates.
This wonderfully dilapidated boat was sitting in the harbour at San Sebastian in the Basque country.
Another shot from the field taken on my return trip from the Goodwood festival of speed. I took a number of shots and will be posting the variations over the coming days.
I went to the Goodwood festival of speed today, as I'm building my porfolio of motorsport images. I got some pleasing shots of the cars, and on the way back spotted this wonderful corn field.
Wow, it's been a long time since I posted. Needless to say I'm feeling like lightflows has been neglected a little in the past few weeks.
The reason for my lack of posting is that i've been setting up another site for another photographic passion of mine , motorsport. I didn't really want to mix that photography with the style of lightflows, so I've split off into a seperate site. If you're interested my other pictures can be seen over at Formula 1 Photography
This shot was taken on the South Coast of the UK earlier this year and is in the boat yard in Christchurch when the tide was out.
This is Dirk, he is one of the many 'Wander gesellen' or 'Wandering Apprentice' we met at the recent party in Austria. He was a very nice guy and intriguing character.
Germany, Austria and Switzerland have a very old tradition of travelling apprentices which has seen an increase in popularity over the last few decades. They are mostly traditional trades and we met carpenters, metal workers , Piano makers and book binders. They wear a traditional costume for working which looks something like the Amish may where.
On embarking their journey, the apprentice , once qualified to a certain level, leaves their home town and travels around Europe or the World working at jobs and improving their skills. They are not allowed to return to within 50km of their home for 3 years.
We were at the homecoming party of one of the other 'Wander gesellen' and it was an amazing site to see.
Last one in this series. A close up of a young head of corn. Don't have much time to write this evening, I'm packing to go on holiday.
Hopefully have some nice shots to post when I'm back in a few days.
Another shot from the fields near Guildford. This is one of my favorite photos from the series.
I wanted to catch the beautiful back light of the poppies in the hedge row being lit up by the sun going down, I'm happy with just being able to catch a glimpse of the rays without the sun blowing out..
This is the second shot I'm posting from the session I had yesterday, and was photographed in the fields near Guildford.
This is one of the many rural footpaths that cuts through farm land.
Scratch the above, on reflection and a little fiddling I decided a mono treatment worked better on this one! If you're interested the original post is here Corn field original.
Wow, I just noticed that this is my 100th post! Happy Birthday to me :-)
Firstly, thanks for all the comments about the dog, he really was having a whale of a time and was a pleasure to shoot.
I actually got out and shot some new material today. I'm lucky that now i'm working from home for myself, I can pop down to the local coffee shop and work from there. Our local council have been kind enough to provide free WiFi for a year so I'm making the most of it.
My ride to town involves cutting through some fields, which are full of young corn and look amazing right now. I've got a bunch of pictures i'm happy with and will be posting them in the coming days.
I've been trying to practice taking action shots in preparation for the Formula 1 races i'm going to later in the year. I've also been trying to improve my knowledge of exposure and have been metering manually.
Neither of which were as successful as I wanted in this shot, because it came out a bit over exposed and blurry! :-) That's said I still like the movement conveyed and action frozen in the shot. If I had of exposed a little under, I would've got the water a lot crisper.
The dog was having great fun chasing sticks into the water and i've got a couple more pics of him that I may post in the next couple of days.
This the next shot in the series which was shot on Weymouth beach and is , unashamedly, in the Chromasia style. I've been following Dave's superb tutorials over at his site for the last few months and decided to try out some of the techniques.
This next shot in the coast series from the West Country was shot in Lyme Regis, just along the coast from Bridport, where we stayed and Weymouth where the last post was shot.
Thanks for the comments on the last one, as always much appreciated!
I just got back from a short holiday in the West of England and have had a fantastic few days. I have about 4 or 5 shots that i'm happy with from the trip, tonights being at the beach in Weymouth, Dorset. A lovely part of the world by all accounts.
Another shot from West Witterings, our local beach. It was super windy this day and there was a lot of sand blowing around, some got in the lense too :-( so i didn't hang around for long.
This is one of the shots I liked from the session and is a bit of a change for me. Normally I go for a super contrasty sky and will usually shoot with a ND grad, this time the sky is blown out , and I quite like the result, it has a more graphic, stripped down feel.
We're in the West Country for a few days and weather permitting, there should be some nice shots to be had :-)
This was shot is in the fields near to our house, there was a strange weather system coming in that day, you can see the low lying mist on the horizon, as it was creeping over the green grass it looked really cool.
I'm not mad about this shot, but have little else to post tonight. There is something however about the symmetry that I find attractive in some way.
I spent my first day working at home to day and it feels great! The office is setup nicely and my new Macbook Pro arrived yesterday, yay :-) It's very nice, and i'm really happy with it.
This shot was taken on one of my lunchtime excursions when I was still working in London and although a cold February day there wasn't a cloud in the sky.
This is the last of the shots from the foggy series I had shot in February, seems like a while ago as Spring is now definitely in the air. These are some of the other shots from this series. here and here & hereI have some great news! Tomorrow is my last day as an employee, after nearly nine years in my day job, I am leaving to run Lightflows as company and it feels great! Through this site and from contacts i've made from it, I will be pursuing my career as a photographer and (part time) web designer :-D
What this all means is that the site will be updated far more regularly and the new features i've been planning are going to be added. I will also be displaying some of my work in a few exhibitions over the summer, more news on this to follow.
I was in Wales at the weekend to shoot a downhill mountain bike race. At the top they had chopped the whole forest down, in an industrial style, the ground ripped up and the tree extracted, literally.
An interesting place , definitely. Perched in the wasteland over-looking the Severn estuary.
Well, still busy busy busy, but the end is in sight. I should be finished on my current (day job) project in the next 3 weeks and can get back to normal living, and posting more regularly again.
Thanks to all the regulars for stopping by and leaving feedback, thanks for all the encouragement, it's appreciated.
Caught this shot from the back of the cross channel ferry last summer, hordes of gulls follow the boat across and cruise very close to the deck. I may post another one tomorrow :-)
One from before Christmas in the Czech capital. It's not supposed to be perfectly straight either, I like the organic nature of the cobbles and wanted to compose it a bit off centre-ish.
This was taken at the same beach as the recent coast series. Still busy at work, so not much time to post and right, things should get back to normal soon.
Thanks for the feedback on yesterday's post.
This shot was taken in a derelict building near where I live. There is a tunnel being built through our local hill and some major roadworks underway, partly in preparation for the 2012 olympics, but also to remove the current road which runs through a nature reserve, near to the place i've been taking the foggy bracken shots.
The upshot of all of this work is that lots of houses and buildings along the route have been ear-marked for demolition, and this has been providing me with plenty of shooting opportunities :-)
On another note, i'm going to shoot some new material next week , weather permitting, fingers crossed :-)
This shot has a bit of a story attached to it. It was taken on location in New Zealand whilst filming a movie that has just come out, 10 000BC. As always on film sets, we were up at the crack of dawn, and got to see so many sunrises and sunsets in different weather conditions... it was a privilege.Anyway, without giving too much away about the film, this picture was taken in a canyon that the mammoths, which feature in the film, run through. The company I work for put the mammoths into the location as a Visual effect.
As the sun was breaking through the fog , these amazing shadows of the ridge appeared through the mist, it was quite incredible to see.
Well, still got the cold, so haven't got much to say, sniffle , sniffle :-D This was shot last year in Autumn at a local lake to us, called Winkworth Arboretum.
Well, haven't managed to post for a few days again, i've been struck down by a really heavy cold and have spent most of the weekend resting up.This shot was taken through the window of a cafe in London, that had closed up for the evening. I liked the retro feel of the place, it was just stuck in time somewhere between 1960's and 70's.
On another note, i've been busy coding some new features for the site, more about these in the next few days, i've got some bugs to wrangle out first :-)
This was taken last year in the fields near us, there is some beautiful rolling countryside around here and this tree always catches my attention when I take a shortcut through the backroads to our house.
I'm going to post a wider version tomorrow.
Hmmn, no foggy pictures today! I found this one whilst searching for some inspiration and decided to post it instead, it was taken at the delightfully named 'Hope Cove' in Devon. Maybe some fog tomorrow :-)
Thanks everyone for the encouragement, i'm feeling a little more creative and had a break from shooting today.
I'm not going to blather on tonight, just to say that I've had this image sitting around processed and ready to post for a while, so here goes. It was taken just before Christmas whilst staying with relatives of Idoya's in Morocco.
Going to post some foggy pictures tomorrow :-)
It's official - I have photographer's block! I've shot maybe 1200 images over the last few days and none of them have grabbed me enough to want to post them. I processed 5 images tonight and don't feel happy with any of them. Do you ever feel like that?
Maybe i'm just over tired, we've had really foggy & frosty mornings this last week and i've been getting up well before work to go and shoot for the blog.
So, tonight post is from last year and is from a return trip from the Le Mans 24 race in France, and was taken from the boat, I liked the textures and patterns in the sea that day.
On another note,as I was looking through my pictures from that trip , I saw some sport/racing pictures that I really like , but feel they are the 'type' or style of image I want to put up on the blog, with that in mind I feel I may need another blog to post them on!
Hello! It seems like an absolute age since I last posted. It's not for any reason, other than that life is busy at the moment!
Thankyou all so much for commenting on the last post 'Windswept'. It is now my most commented post to date and meant a lot to hear from everyone. I have just printed and framed that shot and it will be hanging on the wall somewhere in the house by the weekend.
Tonight's shot is the last of the beach series I shot at West Wittering a couple of weeks ago. It's again another long exposure as you can seem from the guy walking his dog through frame. I decided to leave that in though as I quite like it.
This is the first of the shots I'm posting from our visit to the coast last weekend. We visited Beachy Head , which is one of the highest coastal cliffs in the U.K. For that reason it is a notorious suicide spot, and was immortalized on film in Quadrophenia , the mod movie from the 70's. It is never the less a place of staggering beauty, the cliffs roll , ripple and undulate along the coast in quite an amazing way.
Anyway with the history lesson out of the way :-) This is one of the many trees that pop up along the coast and I'm assuming that it's shaped like this due the high winds that run along the coast, the trees all seemed to face the same way, so that's the basis of my assumption. Maybe some bright horticulturist will be along and can put me right!
Lastly, I agonized over the crop for this one, and eventually settled on the post, although I felt that less negative space to the left of frame was preferable, I also tried a square crop. I really couldn't choose, Idoya chose this one, which I was leaning toward anyway, so this is the one.
This is the penultimate shot from the West Wittering series that i'm going to post, and is one of my favorites. I think the object in frame is the high tide marker, and is sat at the end of the water breaks that run out from the beach.When the tide comes in is comes right up to the base of the pyramid.
I was actually caught out just before taking this shot; further down the beach near to water, the tide comes in surprisingly quickly and it was only when the waves started lap at the legs of the tripod, that I thought I better make a hasty retreat further up the beach :-)
Apologies for not posting yesterday, but we were down at the coast again, this time at Beachy Head near Eastbourne, it was a fantastic, sunny day, with not a cloud in the sky. I'll be putting up the shots in the next couple of days.