Thursday, 22 December 2011

Friday, 16 December 2011

Rain Rain Go Away...

Just a short post today, as I have some unpacking to do!  On wednesday I decided to go into town to see if I could get some photos.  Luckily I put my raincoat on, thinking it might rain a bit, and sure enough the heavens opened!  Too make matters worse, there were incredibly strong winds making it even colder.  I also discovered that my raincoat isn't that waterproof....oh well.  I seemed to be seeing red everywhere, maybe its just the colour of the season.

Sorry for my lack of posts recently, I will try to post more over the coming weeks.



Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Just a few.....

Just a few photos from last weekend.  I shall hopefully be making a project/book with these images, so I don't want to give too much away....


Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Away in York...

This past weekend I went to stay with the wonderful Sarah in York.  The day before I was due to leave (Friday), I learned that I would finish college early, so I changed my coach ticket to arrive a little earlier than planned.  I got up early on Friday, got some work done, then headed to the coach station.  After waiting for the coach driver to finish his lunch break, I was on my way to York.  

When I arrived in York, It was very windy and rainy, and I got a little wet!  I managed to find my way to Sarah's accommodation, and was met with 'What are you doing here, I haven't tidied my room or done my nails!'  I think she was surprised!  

Over the weekend, we watched films, went shopping, and just generally had an absolutely awesome time!  On Sunday, we went on a walk (which was where the photos were taken) and it was freezing!  Both our faces were hurting from the cold, and it was also rather muddy!  I was using a flash and a graduated filter (to darken the sky) for the photos above, besides the one of me.  That one was taken by Sarah, and I really like it! I do look a bit gormless though....

I've had a new idea for a project that will hopefully take a long time.  I will try to document mine and Sarah's time together as best I can, which will mean having a camera, whatever the size or shape, with me all the time.  I have a book module coming up soon at college, and I could perhaps use some of the photos I take for the book.  We'll see!



Sunday, 20 November 2011

The Fog....

My brother Henry came to stay with me on Friday, and we had an awesome time!  I took some portraits of him, which you can find on my flickr.  Whilst out on our walk we went throughout the uni campus, and I found some new interesting pieces of architecture to photograph.  

So this morning I woke up to thick fog, it was so thick I could just about see 30 metres in front of me. I thought I would try and get some photos in the fog, so I went to photograph at the new locations I had found.  I think I will go back and photograph them from new angles, as I am not entirely happy with the results.  I will go back when it is cloudy and see what I can get.    

My camera decided to play up as well.  Normally the camera writes files to the memory card instantly, but today it was taking several minutes to write files to the card.  I don't know if this was because it was so cold and damp, but I will need to keep an eye on it.  



Monday, 14 November 2011

Colour Calibration......

Sarah came to stay this weekend, and we had a lovely time!  We went shopping, watched films, chilled, and we treated ourselves to some cookie dough ice cream, which was amazing!  We also found a nice little Costa Coffee shop, with a downstairs which had some really comfy sofas, that you just sink into when you sit in them.  I think I'm going to have to get books from the library and do some research there!  

The weather over the weekend was very strange, it was sunny and clear blue skies on Saturday, which was beautiful, and on Sunday it was misty all day, and had that dusk/evening feel.  I love shooting in these kind of misty conditions; it makes for some very mysterious photographs! On our walks, I took a couple of photos of Sarah that she liked, and we saw a coach parked in the middle of one of the parks near Woodhouse Moor.  This is one of the more random things that I have seen since being here in Leeds I must say!

Today in my digital workshop, Paul (the tutor) shared some tips on how to create a digital workflow working with RAW files.  This included; ensuring that you try and do as much as possible at the shooting stage, post production, saving and organising your files, getting the best results from your chosen output (printers) and backing up your files.  Paul suggested, rather strongly, that we all get our computer screens colour calibrated, so that when we work on our images, the colours and tones appear how they should do.  The devices that are used to do this calibrate screens to an international standard, so wherever you go to process digital files with calibrated screens, the colours will render the same within a very small tolerance. I'm going to look for a calibrator that works with OSX Lion, so I can calibrate my screen properly.  I apologise to those of you that do have calibrated screens, as I know that the colours in my photos will probably look funny, and you might think I'm colour blind.  This should hopefully change soon!

Anyway, I need to get on with some work, so I shall stop procrastinating, and get on!  



Sunday, 6 November 2011

Parental Visitation.....

This weekend I had some very special people visit me....Mummy and Daddy!  It was nearly two months since I had seen them last! That's the longest I've been away from home!  They took me for meals, did a food shop for me, and we even went to see the fireworks and the bonfire in Hyde Park!  It was lovely to see Mum and Dad again, and I can't wait to see them again at Christmas!

On Saturday, Mum and Dad took me to Malham Cove, which is in the Yorkshire Dales.  When I woke up, the sky was a flat pale grey.  Not very nice to be taking landscape photos in!  I was picked up at 10 O'Clock, and we made our way to Malham Cove.  After a little detour around some roadworks, we finally arrived in Malham!  The sky had completely transformed.  There were now light clouds, and the light was amazing!  It was the sort of light that you get in the evening, but it was half one/two O'Clock!

After we had walked up to the top (I say walked, it was more like a climb!), I set my camera up.  The view from the top was amazing! I could see for miles, and they was a slight hazy mist on the horizon, which was perfect.  The limestone pavement was spectacular, I suggest you go if you ever get the chance!  It was like standing on giant teeth made of stone!  And to my surprise, some of the rocks moved when I stepped on them!  I would love to go back, there are so many photographs I could make!  I also shot a panorama, which Blogger couldn't upload, but you can find it on my flickr page, here.  May I suggest that you click on all sizes, and then original.

I would like to say thank you very much Mum and Dad, for a lovely weekend!



Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Good, but Not Good Enough......

Today I had my first test shoot for my portrait brief, which you will find a brief explanation of on my college blog.  Whilst I was waiting to begin my shoot at 4, I cycled down to Merchants Quay, where this photo was taken.  My flatmate Brendan had mentioned to me that he had walked under this bridge (bottom Photo), and thought it might make for a good photograph.  He was right!

I struggled with exposures for the bridge photo.  The sun was coming under the bridge from the right rather harshly, as you can see from the blow-out bits on the right.  Had I had my ND grad with me, I perhaps could have controlled the brightness a bit better.  Oh well! At least it gives me a chance to go back and shoot it again.  Also, I would have liked more reflection of the steel beams in the water, but the water was flowing a bit too fast for a crisp reflection.

The top Photo was just along from the bridge.  I'm not entirely sure what it is, I think its a cooling tower and silos of some sort.  I'm glad I found this location, and when I reshoot here, I will put some more thought into the composition.  I think I might ask if I can get closer to get a better perspective/composition.

That is all for today,



Tuesday, 1 November 2011


Oh my lord.  Halloween was mental.  The party in my block of flats was amazing, there were some very creative costumes, which is what I expected from art students.  These are just a select few photos that I took with my 7D, I was also using my 35mm camera, with the flash gun attached, which was new to me! I can't wait to get in the darkroom and develop them!

Tomorrow I have my first test shoot for my studio brief, which I'm really looking forward to!  I shall let you know how it goes over on my College blog.

Anyway, I suppose I'd better go and help tidy up....



P.S Pinch, punch, first day of the month, No returns!

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Once Again......

Once again I headed up to Hyde Park this morning.  On my way up to Hyde Park, I thought I'd photograph the hill I now have to walk up everyday for college.  I may even use this image in my landscape brief.  I took two photos, and merged them in photoshop.  I took one exposure for the sky, and one exposure for the foreground.  In photoshop, I then masked out the sky in the foreground exposure, to reveal the sky of the sky exposure.

The light was amazing this morning; it had that warm but cold feeling to it, the kind of light you only get early in the morning in the winter time.  Its my favourite light to photograph in!  I love the shadows and pools of light leading my eye through the bottom image.  Even though i've taken many photos in Hyde Park, I find the light is forever changing, and I always find new compositions, and different things to photograph that I didn't notice the last time I was there.



Friday, 28 October 2011

Monsters in Leeds.....

Hello good people of the internet, many apologies for my lack of blog postage over the past few days, I've been visiting my lovely girlfriend Sarah, who is the best,  at university in York.  York is a wonderful city, I suggest you go if you should ever get the chance, there is a fantastic fudge shop, that gives free samples. I'm yet to try this, but I'm going to take multiple outfits with me and keep walking past, maybe even get a fake moustache....You lucky people are getting two blog posts squeezed into one today, just because I'm too lazy to write two individual ones. 

Anyway, back to the matter at hand.  Sarah and I went on a walk, and it was like walking into another world.  Its odd; if you turn left out of Sarah's accommodation, you find yourself in the uni campus, but if you turn right you end up in the middle of some fields!  The light was really strange; there was bright sunshine, and there was this strange mist in the distance that made everything seem to fade away.  I have a feeling we will be walking along here quite often.  

I went on a walk around the back streets around my accommodation today, to get some photos for my Landscape brief.  I'm happy with the results, but will keep shooting, refining my ideas and shooting style for this brief.  

On my trip, I had a horrible surprise.  I was walking along minding my own business, looking at how the light was falling on the street and the houses, when suddenly I stepped in something squidgy.  I thought to myself, 'please don't be what I think it is!'  I looked down, and sure enough I saw a monster pile of excrement, spread allover the pavement.  Now, there must be some sort of creature stalking the streets of Leeds, because no dog I know of could have produced something as rancid as that.  But don't fret, I've cleaned my shoes and they're all squeaky clean now.  

Anyway, here are the results of my travels.  



Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Wet, Wet, Wet....

Today I went into town for a walk, to see if I could get some photos.  It was raining, windy, and cold. Lovely weather for taking photos!  I didn't take many photos, and this is my favourite from what I did shoot.  I really like the lines in this photo, the red in the barrier catches my eye, leads it to the two ladies, and across the image.  I played with the colour balance in photoshop, to give it a colder feel.  Also, I increased the contrast to help give the photo some more depth.  There was a very soft, but warm light today, which is what I prefer to shoot on the street in.  The light reflecting off of the pavement really helps to emphasise the two ladies, and as you can see, it was quite slippery!



Saturday, 15 October 2011


Today I thought I would go out and try out my new ND filter.  I spent ages trying to find something to shoot on google maps, and eventually I found this.  This is the structure of a footbridge in Merchants Quay.  It was a bit of a trek to get there, I went past it, got lost, then found it!

Anyway, this new filter is a 10 stop Neutral Density filter.  This means that it reduces the amount of light hitting the sensor/film by 10 stops; so if you were trying to photograph a tree, and the shutter speed for a correctly exposed image was 1/100sec.  The filter reduces this time by 10 stops, so the new exposure time would be 1/10.

I also had an ND 8 and 2 ND4 filters stacked on top of the ND110 (10 stop filter).  This gave me a 17 stop reduction in shutter speed!  So with that said, would it surprise you that the image above was taken at 2 O'Clock today, in bright sunshine, with a 8 minute exposure!  I'm going to have a lot of fun with this filter!



Friday, 14 October 2011

A successful day in the darkroom...

Today I had my first day in the darkroom since I did an introductory course a few years back, and it was good to be in the red light again!  Yesterday we were given a film and told to go out into town and shoot until we had finished it.  Then today we developed the film, mixing up the correct amount of developer and water, making sure it was at the correct temperature.  We then made contact sheets (bottom image), and then Ross, the tutor, said if you know what you're doing, you can make a print.  

So I did a test strip, which is where you cut a strip of photographic paper, and expose it to the image, but holding some card over the majority of the paper, leaving only 2cm's of paper exposed to the light.  You then move the card along 2cm's every 5sec exposure, so you end up with a strip of paper going light to dark (after you've developed it of course!).  From this, you can tell how many second you need to expose the real print for, 5, 10, 15, 20 seconds etc. 

I printed the top image on Illford multigrade paper, which means you can print any contrast grade on to it, and it won't come out looking funny.  A 'Grade' is basically how much contrast (the difference between black and white) the image has.  The scale goes from 1 to 5, in half stops, for example; 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5 etc.  The colour of light also changes, grade 1 is yellow, then orange, red and then 5 is magenta.  

Anyway, I hope you enjoy!


P.S My hands STINK of chemicals! but I do quite like it :)

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Long Exposure.....

Went up to Hyde Park again this evening.  I wasn't looking to get anything in particular, and the sky was pretty bland.  I wanted to try a new panorama technique, which in the end didn't work how i wanted it to, but hey.  When I first saw the bottom photo on the LCD screen, I was surprised to see some cloud movement! I liked how the clouds were picking up some colour from the distant city lights.  



College work....

If you want to see what I'm doin at college, there is now a link to my college blog in the helpful links bit


Saturday, 8 October 2011

Mystery Light Source....

It was Light Night here in Leeds last night, so my friends and I went around the city, looking at the exhibitions.  Although I won't be putting those pictures in this post, I will share a link with you soon to my Personal Professional Practice blog.  I will be posting college related things on, which you can look at if you wish.

Anyway, I was walking through the back streets near college, walking into town, and came across this scene.  I thought it was odd that just this section of the wall was lit up.  I looked for a light source, but couldn't find one....How strange!



Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Live Brief......

On Tuesday, my course leader announced that he had managed to organise a competition specifically for the Leeds College of Art Photography students.  The Park Plaza Hotel in Leeds is having a refurbishment, and they want some photos for the rooms, corridors and reception.  There are 3 categories, an architecture, people and landscape.

These 2 are for the architecture category, not sure which one I like best though, let me know what you think!

I'll keep you posted on the progress,


Sunday, 2 October 2011

Visually explore your new surroundings.....

This was shot for my assignment, re-viewing your surroundings.  Although it probably won't be used in the final 4 images I need, I think it is a good starting point.  When I looked at it on my mac, it reminded me of a photographers work, who's name I forget.  I'm just about to go on a walk now, so if I get anything worthy of sharing, I will!


Friday, 30 September 2011

Sunny Sunny Day....

Its been really sunny and hot here in Leeds recently, so my flat mates and I decided to go and sit in Hyde Park and chill.  I received my first two briefs today, so I was able to get some ideas down for those.  Hyde Park was packed, I've never seen so many people in one place!  I also had a cheeky ice cream :)

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

I saw a sunrise.....

I got up extra early to catch a sunrise this morning.  It was quite scary walking through Hyde Park, but I was ok!  I was a little late, and missed the actual sunrise, but managed to catch some of the last colour in the sky.  Just when I though I was done, I turned around and saw this beautiful mist rolling through the park.  



Went out walking....

Ive had a few days off this week, so yesterday I decided to go out on a walk and see what I could find.  The weather was lovely, with a really nice warm light.  It was good to go out and explore the back streets around my accommodation, but a bit scary at the same time!  I realise this is a lot of photos for one post....but what the hell!