Couldn’t hit a barn door…

For those few who come here often you’ll know that a couple of weeks ago I had my first ever Instameet in Lacock. I did manage to get couple of shots but there was one that I missed and it’s bugged me.

The Tithe Barn sits in the middle of the village looking out to the street. The detail around the barn door from the inside is beautiful and I wanted to catch someone walking by framed by the door. The problem was that I didn’t have a tripod so had to shoot hand held and for me to get detail on the inside of the barn I needed to shoot with such a high ISO which blew out the outside or a slow shutter speed which introduced camera shake making the subject blurred and the photo unusable.

I knew there was a solution and I thought long and hard (Yep, I am that sad) and a couple of days ago I managed to put my thoughts into practice…

Armed with my tripod and a plethora of ideas I set up my camera in the same place in the barn, looking at the door, waiting for my unsuspecting subject to poke their head or walk unsuspectingly by the door. My exposure settings were for the outside only, fast enough shutter speed to freeze the frame and exposed correctly.

Once I had that shot it was time to get the detail of the inside of the barn, ISO100 same F stop and focus but an exposure of a second. Ok, the doorway was blown in this shot but that didn’t matter because… Photoshop!

A combination of both shots and some layer masks / brushes later and Bob’s yer uncle and Fanny’s yer auntie!

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So, to cut a long story short, if you need to composite to get the shot then do it!

Oh, and the Black and white / colour edit is down to a poll on Instagram… Now, that is fun!

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That Path…

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Just a little observation. This is the path from the Cemetery in Mere down towards the Meads. I’ve walked it for the last 40 years (I’m not going into detail because it’ll involve soft pitch between toes,  John Player Blue, fishing, bottles of cider and missing wellie boots, oh, and scary cows!) It’s only just struck me tonight looking at this image I got last night… Why, when paving a path across a field from point A to point B did they decide to put a kink in it?

 

It’s A Long Time Dark…

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But not quite as long tonight… A reminder to my UK readers, the clocks go forward tonight but you’re phone’s got it covered… The car, on the other hand, can wait until July.

I want to give a massive shout out to Igerswiltshire and Visit Wiltshire for arranging a photowalk around Lacock today, followed by a lovely slap up meal at Neston Farm Shop and Kitchen. A great location, and it’s nice to actually meet the people who live in my phone! Great to meet you Guys and look forward to the next Meet!

Now, is the sundial connected to wifi or not?

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#snownextweek

 

 

Mind The Gap…

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Platforms, my oh my how many platforms?

There’s the obvious; WordPress , It would have just been rude for me not to put this first even though my hit rate here is lowest and I really need to get my website (same platform) updated and refreshed focalthingy.co.uk if you’re wondering.

Facebook, obvious too but their pages feature just feels like a cash cow, eleven quid to “boost” my posts to half the people who follow me anyway, don’t get me wrong, my personal page, great… ish but eleven quid? Come on! I worked for those followers and now you’re monetising them??? That’s my frickin’ job! (Love you followers, really do and you don’t have to buy a print… yet)

Twitter… Come on Twitter, admit it, you don’t like photographers do you, or is that just me being paranoid?

Maybe, I’m being a little too harsh, a little too short minded. If I’d have taken up photography thirty years ago I’d have a couple of albums of pretty pictures stuffed, forgotten in the back of a cupboard somewhere and a dusty old camera sat looking a bit downhearted in the loft, so now I’m going to try and be a little bit more optimistic…

Instagram…  Now we’re getting somewhere. Reactive, responsive and (at the moment) quite subtle with the adds and restricting views (Unless you go Instagram for business… for crying out loud Facebook!) There’s a difference with Instagram though, a more tactile feel to the place a more honest feeling. It might just be me and I know that you do get the followers asking you to pay $25.00 for 10,000 followers and they’ve only got 12 followers themselves… Never been able to work that one out… But, from my experiences, I’ve met people who I would never had through my posts on Instagram, gained insights and inspiration from a fleeting glance of a wonderful photograph and, because I follow the people I do, get to see familiar places with a different eye… That’s invaluable! And, I’m off to my first Instmeet in a couple of weeks at Lacock, which I’m really looking forward to.

See, real, tactile people! I’ll be sure to post a few here… #loveyouwordpress

I’d be awful to not mention a few of the old school and some new kids because they have helped me in their own special ways… Flickr, 500px, Ello and Vero… Or, just Google Focal Thingy… I do, often! ;o)

Oh, and the photo’s one from Lacock a couple of weeks ago. The light in this place is phonominal!

52 Faces, We Are Stardust… But, bloody hell!

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Art is subjective, you can love it, hate it or even a bit Meh! It’s completely up to you and that is the great thing about art… Street furniture on the other hand is a completely different ball game.

We are the universe observing itself but I think we keep missing the obvious…

DSC_1221Thank you Photoshop  for your assistance and to the architects of Solstice Park… WTFF?The hotel didn’t help either!

And, a little side note, The Human Universe by Prof Brian Cox and Andrew Cohen. A great listen.

For Lucy!

Turners Preference…

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There’s a story around these parts that once Sir Henry Hoare (The Magnificent) had completed the gardens at Stourhead he invited the renowned landscape painter Joseph Mallord William Turner down for a ganders and maybe a painting or two… Unfortunately Bill was not impressed with Harrys’ arrogance with regards to the new gardens and chose to paint the second lake down. not part of the gardens and known to this day as Turners Paddock. I’m not sure how you give the bird in 1799 but that seems pretty close to me.

On a personal note, the fishing is good (permit from the Gillingham angling club required, mine elapsed 30 years ago…) and I used to catch Jack Pike here when I was a lad and will never forget when a Starling murmuration passed overhead and they all poo’d at the same time… The fishing kind of die a death after that, apparently Starling poo tastes better than maggots… I’ll take the fishes word on that!

That’s Life…

Wow, what a rush! I’ve just completed my first day exhibiting at the Beaumont Gallery in Mere, Wiltshire featuring yours truly… (Who had his first life modelling session yesterday and loved it!)DSC_1000.jpg

Rodney Waymen who’s twists and observations on local scenes is something to be seen and some absolutely stunning sculptures by Sarah Coward 

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Even though the weather was horrible we had a fair number of people through the door and I’ve also sold 2 images. It’s so great, as always, to get real, natural engagement to my work.