On Wednesday, I drove up to Cardiff for a street photography workshop run by Kevin Mullins. It was a long drive from Padstow but I'd never been to Cardiff before and this was the only workshop that was in the half term holidays. Despite the trauma of being in a bus lane, with nowhere to go and a bus hooting loudly at me, I survived city centre driving and parked up~only a 'mere' £20 for just over 6 hours parking!
We met in one of the main shopping areas then headed for the nearest coffee shop for introductions and a run down of the day. Along with Kevin, there were 6 of us with a range of experience, both amateur and professional photographers. And yes, with the exception of Mark, we were all using Fuji cameras! The first lesson was how to optimize battery life as Fujis are notoriously poor for this; you might only get 400 shots. I did take 5 spare batteries just in case! The second lesson was just enjoy the day.
Cardiff has a very welcoming feel and is quite attractive with the castle walls nearby. I didn't realise the Millenium Stadium was right in the city centre! We warmed up by just taking some images then we had to look for the colour red.
Checking our settings...
How close can you get and take a photo without being noticed? Lots of techniques to try like resting the camera on your lap or using the tilt screen...I do like this image because I want to know what's in the bag but I'm also interested in all the people in the background too.
Just before lunch we were experimenting with spot metering on a line between light and shadow. Whilst the others disappeared into a coffee house, I grabbed a pasty and got a bit carried away with shadows!
The panning technique...
I'd stopped to make a fuss of a dog and this gentleman also stopped; what a fabulous character!
Back in the coffee shop, we had a quick tutorial on processing images then it was the long drive home. Thoroughly enjoyed the day, learnt lots of new techniques and now need to get out and practice. Now, where are all the crowds in Cornwall?
Knut, Bazel and I have a photoshoot at Tregirls
For the last couple of years I've been meaning to have some photographs done of me and the boys (my dogs for those who don't know me!) and I've finally gotten round to doing it! It was certainly an eye opener being on the other side of the coin looking for a photographer who I thought would capture the images I wanted....and I had a very clear idea of what I wanted!
I started by Googling as seems to be the norm these days but there are very few photographers in the south west who specialise in taking photographs of dogs. Many stated they were specialists but when you clicked through to their site, there were primarily wedding and/or portrait photographers with the odd dog image thrown in for good measure! As I trawled the pages, I made a note of those photographers who looked promising. Having found 3, I sent each an enquiry email and only 1 responded. I find that quite amazing but they are obviously in such a place where they have plenty of work and can afford to ignore emails from prospects. By the by, that's not how I operate; I read each enquiry and respond as quickly as I can, even if it's to say that perhaps I'm not the ideal photographer for the shoot you had envisaged.
Anyway, Tom of Tom Walters Photography replied and after explaining what I was after (and that he was happy with the fact that I was a photographer and might be a bit picky about some things!), we agreed to do an hour's shoot at Tregirls. Given our busy schedules, Sunday seemed the ideal day but the weather wasn't as good as it could be and we had to reschedule twice....an occupational hazard in Cornwall at any time of the year!
We met at the top of the beach and while we wandered down, Tom took the opportunity to get to know the dogs and to have a chat about what I wanted. I don't like being on the other side of the camera but once you forget about the photographer, it's really good fun! We walked across the sand, sat in the dunes and wandered through the woods behind the beach and all the time, Tom was taking images but I didn't really think about it a lot of the time!
All in all, I really enjoyed the shoot and Tom was excellent at making it relaxed and non threatening. Now I've got to decide how I'm going to present the images; I've already got my 6" x 4" prints so best go lay them out and decide!
Early yesterday morning, Harry and I set off in the mobile dog kennel for Bristol Millennium Square. The reason? Clifton Cameras were organizing a free photo walk which was hosted by Matt Hart, a respected street photographer. I wanted to pick up a few hints and tips with regard to street photography and also revisit my home town to see how it had changed. The event was also sponsored by Fujifilm so I knew that there would be a few more Fuji converts with whom I could talk Fuji!
We met in Millennium Square at 10.30 and the day was already promising to be warm....VERY warm! But that was good because there were lots of people about enjoying the summer...and shopping! After a brief introduction and chat, we set off. I knew that it was going to be impossible to get any candid, unobserved photographs being the tail end of 120 photographers; in fact, I heard the comment "oh, that must be the Bristol Camera Club", several times! But Harry and I were still able to practise our stealth street photography techniques on our unsuspecting fellow photographers and some members of the public. Harry, sporting his (heavy) dSLR, was amazed that the shutter on my XT-1 was silent!
With regard to equipment for the day, I decided on the XT-1 with 35mm f1.4 lens(which I haven't used in a long while!) and the X100s with its fixed 23mm lens in my small, light Ona Bowery bag. Harry opted for his Canon dSLR, two film cameras with a monopod and tripod attached to his backpack.
This was the planned route for the day:
It was great to be back in Bristol but I was amazed at the changes. It was only when we came out in the centre of Broadmead that I recognised where I was! It was really great to meet up with so many other photographers, many of whom had travelled some distances to be there too. I enjoyed the conversations, seeing what inspired others and practising taking photos without anyone realising....and that's much harder than it looks! Enjoy the images...
We had a great, if hot, day practising our street photography techniques and I would recommend this type of walk if you're interested. Imaging having 120 photographers on one of my photowalks in Padstow!
For those interested: the colour images were processed using the Fuji Classic Chrome simulation which seems to suit street photography very well. I enjoyed using the 35mm lens immensely but did miss the 18-135mm when I way trying to take shots of the graffiti-covered walls. The graffiti might be the subject of another Blog and I'll leave you with a couple you may recognise:
A few weeks ago I received a message from Matt regarding a photo shoot for his new dog. I'd previously done a photoshoot for him of Simka and Saffra his previous dogs some 5 years ago so I thought it would be great to meet his new dog.....until I heard that she was a whippet! Do I have an aversion to whippets? Nope. But whippets move.... quickly... and much as I love my Fuji XT-1, it's not the fastest at autofocus. So, on the proviso that 'action' shots might be a bit lacking, we finally met up yesterday at Holywell Bay.
The weather was great if breezy but it was mild, sunny and best of all, there weren't too many people about! I wasn't over happy at the £4 car parking fee in the National Trust car park and I don't suppose the car park attendant was too happy at getting it all in small change!
I must say that we had a brilliant afternoon on the beach, in the sand dunes and finally in the stream (yes, in the stream because I couldn't get the images I wanted from the bridge...and the water was exceedingly cold!). Anyway, Millie was a star and was only too happy to cross the stream from one side to the other whilst I struggled to get a (sharp) image. In fact, some frames were devoid of whippet whilst a great many others just had her rear end!
Eventually she realised that she could actually give an enormous leap and cross the stream without touching the water. But, after some practice and a different approach, I got the images I wanted and I'm really pleased. And this is without the firmware update due out on Tuesday which, by all accounts, makes the autofocus lightning fast and super accurate.
Anyway, here's a selection from the day....
I'm very fortunate to live in an exceptionally beautiful part of Cornwall, a short drive away from the beautiful beaches around Trevose, the fishing port of Padstow and the ever changing river Camel. I have walked around this area for more than 25 years and you would think that there wouldn't be anything that I haven't photographed!
The majority of my walks are dog walks.....and the camera comes too, rather than an outing with a photographic intention and the dogs tag along. Knut is well trained now: when the camera comes out of the bag, he immediately sits.....at a safe distance so that he doesn't get yelled at for being in the shot! Baz, the Jack Russell, just does his own thing which generally involves frenetic digging to oust a mouse or rabbit from its nest.
Since ditching my full frame Canon 5D mark II along with the expensive L series lenses I'd so carefully garnered and making the change to Fuji, my photography has taken on a new lease of life. I'm presently using the Fuji flagship, the XT-1 together with the 18-135mm WR lens. This lens has been on the camera since I bought it back in January because it's supremely versatile, weather resistant and beautifully sharp. I carry them in my Ona Bowery waxed canvas messenger bag, along with my Lee filter set (and lots of spare batteries!) and it's light, easy to get at at a moment's notice and, more importantly, always with me.
And that's the point of this Blog! The photographs below are just a selection from the last month or so of dog walking around the cliffs, bays and along the Camel Trail. Some are 'in the right place, at the right time' images, others are opportunities spotted on an earlier occasion and the conditions have become just right. Like most photographers, I'm ALWAYS looking at the light and at various compositions. Enjoy.....and always take your camera with you!
Let's start with this afternoon: Saturday 6th June...
And this morning. Yes, we were out on the Trail at about 4.50 a.m!
Yesterday morning 5th June....
The morning of the 4th June...
Just before Christmas, I was asked to do a photoshoot for Debby and her 4 dogs: Ola, Pixi, Herbie and Poppet. We met up one Tuesday afternoon at Debby's house and I was able to meet the dogs and see where we could do the photoshoot to get the best images (they were to be a surprise present for Debby's husband!).
The dogs were great but full of energy..and I mean full of energy! The garden seemed to be the best bet so we arranged to do the shoot the following week.
So, best laid plans and all that! Within 5 minutes of starting, the heavens opened and the rain began. We adjourned indoors and I was wondering how on earth I was going to finish this shoot and get the images Debby wanted. Luckily, Debby's dining room looked out into the garden with large French doors and as a bonus, it was the best room for the light. However, it was very crowded with the dining room table taking up most of the working space. I asked Debby if we could use the chair in the corner and also if we could let the dogs up onto the table (non doggy people will be absolutely horrified to hear that yes, dogs routinely go on tables!).
I had just bought the Fuji 56mm f1.2 lens and was keen to try it out, but I'd also brought the X100S as it had the fixed 23mm lens on it. It was not the easiest shoot I'd done but I was immensely pleased with the results. It was challenging with the space, the choreographing of the dogs (Debby's job!) and the fear that Herbie had whenever I pointed the camera even vaguely in his direction!
Let me know what you think....and if you'd like some images done of your pets, get in touch.
It's been a while since I blogged....:( so here's the first one of 2015 :)
During the Easter holidays, I met up with Ryan and Suze and their two girls for a photoshoot on the beach. We went to Tregirls which is one of my favourite spots for photography since it has everything: sea, sand, dunes, woodland, a stream with a bridge, meadows, paths...wonderful! The weather was sunny but there was a keen easterly wind which didn't seem to faze the girls at all. We all had a great time as you can see!
It's every photographer's nightmare isn't it? You need a camera bag and it's got to fit this in, but it mustn't be too heavy and it's got to be comfortable and it's got to look good...ya da, ya da....
I have lots of bags: 7 at the last count! To be fair, 4 of them were bought specifically for my Canon gear...and they are of the backpack/rucksack variety. Since changing over to the Fuji X system before Christmas, I find that I don't need a big camera bag any more and certainly not one that includes a back support system!
Welcome to my 'go to' bag...the LowePro Event Messenger 100...
This shoulder bag has the following dimensions:
And this is what goes into it....
Yes, really! So that's two camera bodies: the X100s and the XE-2 fitted with the 14mm lens; a spare battery for each camera; lens cloth; 2 cable releases; a Lee Seven 5 filter system with 2 ND grads, 1 Big Stopper, 2 adapter rings and a polariser. I can carry a Joby Gorillapod as well by sticking one of the legs in the side pocket. Oh, and I forgot the quick release neck strap.....
If I leave the X100s at home then I can fit the XE-2 body and the 55-200mm alongside it; it would also fit it if it was attached to the body. I can attach my filters without having to take the bag off and can swap cameras in an instant.
You can find many detailed reviews on the Web but I thought I would just share my personal experience of using this bag. Lowepro make quality products and this is no exception. It's weather proof but not waterproof; I just put a carrier bag in the rear pocket and it fits over the bag perfectly....not the coolest look but hey, it works!
Best thing about this bag? It only costs about £24!
And when I want to take the 55-200 and or any other lens, I use the bigger version: the Event Messenger 150...
Easter Saturday and I'm off to Perranporth to meet Cally, the black labrador, and her humans Bryson and Rachel. We had planned to do this shoot just after Christmas but, as you all know, the relentless wind and rain was not very conducive to getting great images. Anyway, the weather was set fair, if a little breezy, and the sun was shining. Cally is really Bryson's dog and Rachel wanted me to capture the special relationship which they enjoyed. With that in mind, we headed off along the beach, up to the dunes and down to the shoreline, finishing up with a welcome brew in the Watering Hole.
Don't let the sunny aspect fool you....the wind was bracing and the sea (allegedly, as I didn't go in!) was very cold!
If you'd like some portraits of you and your dog(s), please get in touch...numbers below!
We had a beautiful day for the first portrait shoot of the year....and I'm glad that we rescheduled this from Christmas!! Meet Tegan, Polly, Dylan and baby Evie....
The photoshoot had its challenges: we were in a small, but very beautiful, garden and the sun was shining. Sun shining? Surely that's what you want isn't it? Well, not really. It's far more flattering to have overcast conditions. Failing that then we need to find some shade.
"Thanks Lindsay- the pictures are amazing! I can't stop looking at them! I can't believe how good the colours look in their clothes- they did not plan to coordinate like that. Thanks again- we'll be back in a couple of years for some more."
"Lindsay quickly made the children feel at ease at the beginning of the photoshoot- you can tell she works with children and animals! As a result, we have a set of beautiful images which capture the children and their relationships exactly as they are. Just what we wanted." Sian Bannister, London
This is me...
...teacher, tutor, photographer, gardener and dog walker....in no particular order!