June 04, 2013

Lightscape Exhibition

When I first got into 'serious' photography, I bought a DSLR camera and did a couple courses run by Oxfordshire County Council Adult Learning.  These covered all the basics at the beginner and intermediate level.  I then signed up for a third course of ten lessons aimed at building a portfolio for an exhibition.

The exhibition, called Lightscape, ran over a weekend in June 2010 in Witney, Oxfordshire.  My classmates and I did everything to set the event up - hiring the room, laying on some refreshments, and I even did a radio interview with the lovely Louisa Hannan.  We also had individual themes for our photographs.

My theme was 'Extreme's of Time', where I took photos with either a very fast or very slow shutter speed.  My photos from the exhibition are below.

This is the poster for the exhibition, done by one of the other students.

This long exposure photograph is my favourite - it captured me driving around town, and the long exposure meant that the lights and cars I passed created a great pattern through the windscreen.

Long exposure techniques were also used to blur a moving fairground carousel, at a fair in Steventon, Oxfordshire.  Of the many photographs I took for this, I chose this one as the world 'Galloping' is frozen and un-blurred in the middle.

This photograph, of the waterfall at Blenheim Palace, was another long exposure shot, using neutral density filters to stop any overexposures.  It nicely blurs the moving water to create a ghostly effect.

This high speed photograph shows the moment a pin bursts a water balloon - you can see the rubber contracting and the water rippling and starting to fall.  To achieve this photograph, and some of those below, I built a device to activate the flash in response to sound (meaning that the shutter could be left open in a dark room without over exposing).

With a similar technique to the water balloon, this photograph captures the moment a party popper is popped.

This photograph was less hi-tech...  simply taking lots (several hundred!) of photos of water drops reflecting a blue background until I got 'the one'.

Another high speed photograph captured using the audio trigger for the flash, capturing the moment a lightbulb smashes.

June 01, 2013

A Little Wedding

After weeks of playing with various blog settings, the 1st June 2013 seemed like as good a date as any to write my first blog.  And what better to subject for my first blog than the wedding of two of my friends, Andy and Ellie, or Mr and Mrs Little.

Andy and Ellie got married on 4th May (or 'May the fourth' as the Star Wars fans, like Andy, would say), at Caswell House in Oxfordshire.  The weather had been mixed, but just in time for the ceremony the sun broke through and a rare outdoor wedding was possible.

There was an official photographer, but all guests were asked to take photo's and share them on Facebook.  I'm no wedding photographer, I'm not sure I'd want the pressure, but always enjoy the opportunity to photograph people in an environment where they're willing to be snapped.

I took 115 photos on the day, and here's just ten.  

Ellie and Andy signing the register.

The obligatory wedding kiss.

Ellie looking beautiful in the sun, with traditional Cotswold stone barn in the background.

Using a narrow depth of field to blur the background and focus on the subject, this picture is of one of the table decorations.

During the speeches, there were lots of laughs. Andy's mum with Andy and Ellie in the background.

A very modern way to deliver a best man's speech (in fact, there were three best men!).

From my table I was able to get this shot of Andy's dad enjoying the speeches, with Andy's sister Sarah in the background.

One of the bridesmaids, Laura, enjoying the speeches too.

The cake, maybe Andy's favourite bit of the day.

The first dance. This photo was taken in a very dark room, luckily I packed a flash to bounce some light off the ceiling to illuminate the happy couple.