Nik Efex

I downloaded it, as I’m sure many of you did. Then, I avoided it, as I’m sure some of you might have. Now, if I am to make the most of what seems to be some powerful filters, I’m sure I shall have to go through the process of over-using and abusing it before I find some presets I like. So, lets get on with the over-using and abusing so we can get it out of the way sooner and start calming down again. I’m sure you’ll see immediately which ones have been ‘Nikked’.




Processing the beach

There is so much to learn about Photoshop. This week I discovered Photo Filter and have been playing madly with some shots I took on the beach (yes, sorry, the beach again) last week. As it becomes less of a novelty, I hope to be a little more subtle with my editing but until then… Hey!

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Film Processing Disappointment – Calling all Photoshop experts.

On two accounts has working with film thwarted me this week.

Firstly, being a novice photographer, I don’t want to pay too much to get my films processed as I still take loads of c**p images. This was fine as Tesco supermarket were only charging a couple of pounds to process the film and give me the disc – cheaper still if they put several films on one disc. I say were. They’ve stopped doing it in house and now, send it away for 7 days and charge £5 a film. Damn!

So, I went to the little independent camera shop in town who still charge a fiver a film but do it in 24hrs. OK, I’ll have to shoot less film until I get a better success rate on the digital camera. Well…. No! Looking at the images that have come back, most of them have a horrible white line right through the image.

Was it me or was it them? Has something gone wrong with the camera since last I used it? Looking at the negatives, it’s not just the picture as there seems to be a green ink blot that goes from the top to the bottom edge, beyond the image and into the area where the little square cut-outs are (What are they called?). It seems it might have been them but regardless, what am I to do?

Any Photoshop experts out there who can advise me on the easiest way to remedy this?

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No light meter, no cropping, no editing… ‘No nothing!’ #2

My last post showed some images taken on an old Fujica 705ST camera whereas in this post, I shall be uploading some images from a Zenit 11. The difference being there is no light meter reader on this camera. The first time I used it, I used my digital camera to set the aperture/shutter speed combination. This time, I relied on the Sunny 16 rule (I now keep a chart in my camera bag) and although slightly under-exposed compared to how I usually expose my digital images, it kinda’ worked.

I am so enjoying taking analogue photos that I am waiting for a delivery of black and white film – I can’t buy that in the cheap £1 shop – and I have booked myself into a workshop to learn how a darkroom works.

So, here are the 6 images: no light meter, no cropping, no editing… No nothing!

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No light meter, no cropping, no editing… ‘No nothing!’

Having read Doublewhirler’s post about his uncle’s camera, it reminded me that I had two roles of film to develop. At the moment, I’m practising with two old cameras, circa 1970s I think.

The first camera, a Fujica ST706, came to me through a house clearance. It was daunting to use it the first couple of times but I can buy film for £1 a roll in a well known discount store and the photo booth at the local supermarket will record it on to disc for about £3 and if I put more than one film on a disc and it becomes even cheaper than that, so it’s affordable to experiment. There is no auto focus but I quite enjoy twisting the lens and although this camera doesn’t have an ‘Auto’ mode, at least it does have a basic light meter to get the exposure almost right. Because I only post 6 images, I shall next do a second post on the Zenit 11 which doesn’t have a light metre.

I need more experience to be able to explain why I love the quality of these compared to images from the digital camera. Here are six of the 27 Images returned on a 24exp film, untouched in any way, Perhaps someone else has the terminology to explain the difference of quality.

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Playing with Pinholes

This week, due to seeing a fabulous post by ‘naturehasnoboss‘, I have had a strong desire to play with the idea of pinhole photography. Being a Blue Peter child, where make do and mend was very much the theme of the XXs years, I thought I might do it myself for the first attempt. Although I am pleased to have had a little success, I think there might have been too much light bleeding in so, I now have some cheap body covers on order with which I plan to make something a bit more reliable. But here’s how I did it. And, here’s what I got – after bringing the colours up a little with curves in Photoshop. Any constructive comments gratefully received.


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Space Travel

What happened to the media coverage of space travel? Is it so costly that no one is pursuing it? Have we come much further than Melies’ fantasy adventure in the early moving image ‘Voyage dans la Lune’? For something that was a constant topic of conversation in the late 60s, early 70s and a theme of many a child’s play, the British Science Museum didn’t have much new to say on the subject either.

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6 Patterns in the history of the computer

Looking at the composition of early computers, it sort of becomes easy to see how computers work in patterns, repeating the same processes over and again.

However, as for taking photos in a museum…. Hum, I need to learn more. Especially, how to improve image focus when the light is extremely low or extremely high… I REALLY didn’t want to be walking around with a tripod, getting in everyone’s way – not that I’ve used mine yet.

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New Lens – Lucky Girl

Having jumped from a Fuji Finepix that had a 12x optical zoom to a 18-55mm lens that was supplied with this Nikon DSLR, to say I was a little frustrated at times might be an understatement. I’ve spent a while drooling over lenses on t’internet but feeling, as yet, unworthy so have, up to now, abstained. However, today, as I walked past the camera shop, I suffered a self control crisis and, before I knew it, I was walking out with a tasty, new Sigma 70-300mm barrel attached to the end of my camera. Although even I know they leave much to be desired, and hopefully I will continue to make some progress to better photography, here are some offerings from the first batch of my new accessory. Now, to familiarise myself with tripod use.

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2014 And into a new era of photography

Having recently followed a MOOC ‘The Art of Photography’ with O2S (you can see my notes here, this year will be the year I learn to swivel the button thing on the top of my camera to a setting other than Auto. Here are 6 (of course) experiments I carried out at the weekend.

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