Archive of Blog entries from my previous website
Wild Otter in River Stour, Dorset - January 2018
I've been lucky enough to see the wild otter in the River Stour in Dorset on a few occasions lately. Even the briefest of glimpses is a treat, but one day last week (Jan 2018) after a heavy rainfall, the otter seemed to be swimming up the same stretch of river for approx 20 mins catching fish. It's a superb experience seeing an otter in the wild and so close too.
Starling Murmuration 2018 - Weymouth Town Centre
I managed to get some shots over this past weekend (6-7 Jan) of a seemingly growing starling murmuration over Weymouth Town Centre. The birds start to come together in big flocks in the sky as the sun sets and create some amazing shapes and patterns as they fly around together. Apparently they roost in the trees around St Mary's Church in the town centre. The murmuration seems to be growing in size and there were a fair few people watching the spectacle despite the bitter cold evenings. I hope to get some more shots later this week.
Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society
I am really proud to be able to announce that I have been recommended for the Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society (LRPS) following an Assessment Day in Bath on Tuesday 7 November 2017.
Royal Photographic Society (RPS) distinctions set recognised standards of photographic achievement throughout the world and are a demanding and much sought-after accreditation ... so, naturally, I am pretty pleased to have achieved the Licentiate.
I had to submit a panel of 10 printed images which the judges felt demonstrated the required levels of technical and creative skills and displayed variety of subject and approach. I've attached the panel so you can see which photos I submitted.
I printed the photographs professionally on exhibition quality paper. The majority of prints were 12 x 8 (30cm x 20xm) but the four corner images were 10 x 8 (25cm x 20cm). All prints were mounted with 20 x 16 (51¾cm x 41cm) single mount 'snow white' colour card. I wanted my panel to reflect my passion for nature and wildlife photography, but I also wanted it to illustrate my creativity so I included examples of my high-speed work (bursting bubble and paint dancing) as well as some images taken with a slower shutter speed (light trails and metallic sparks). In response to feedback received at an earlier advisory day in the autumn, I selected the wildlife shots to demonstrate a range of skills and different ighting techniques and I chose the two landscapes on the basis of composition, storytelling and atmosphere.
The process was pretty tough and took up quite a lot of time and effort over the past year and so I'd really like to thank everyone who offered advice and encouragement and supported my photography along the way.
2018 Wall Calendar Now Available * now sold out
'A Year in Dorset' 2018 Wall Calendar comprises high-quality images professionally taken by a local professional photographer celebrating the landscapes and wildlife of the beautiful county of Dorset. The calendar would make a perfect gift for any occasion and is also the ideal memento of a Dorset holiday. Includes photographs of iconic locations such as Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove on the Jurassic Coast as well as the cliffs at West Bay (seen on TV as the Broadchurch cliffs).
Price includes free UK postage and packaging with a tracked service to help ensure safe receipt and quick delivery.
Richard Beech is an award-winning published photographer who is also a Licenciate of the Royal Photographic Society (RPS). Printed on premium, glossy 235g/m paper, the calendar folds out to A3 size* providing a full image at the top and a spacious calendar at the bottom allowing you to write in all of your important dates. It is wire-bound making it easy to hang and includes the full-colour images shown in this post. Brand new, wrapped in celophane and well packaged, it is an ideal Christmas gift for lovers of nature and the outdoors.
The calendars are priced at £9.99 which includes free UK postage. Click on the image to add to your shopping cart (payment by Paypal).
For non-UK delivery, please Contact Me to arrange prior to purchase.
* Calendar dimensions when hung are 28cm by 42cm.
** To make payment without a Paypal account, please Contact Me
*** All images taken by Richard Beech (LRPS) t/a Richard Beech Photography who retains copyright at all times.
Murmuration of Starlings - Shell Bay, Studland
I went to see the murmuration of starlings at Studland on the Isle of Purbeck, Dorset last night (22 January 2017). It was an absolutely incredible experience with thousands of starlings filling the sky just after sunset. Huge crowds had gathered to watch this winter spectacle and there were gasps from the crowd as the murmuration continued to grow and as the formation flew into some amazing shapes and patterns in the sky. It was quite funny that at the end of the 'display' (approx 40 minutes) the crowd began to clap loudly!
It was a great evening and I thoroughly recommend seeing a murmuration like this if there is one near where you live. You don't know what you're missing until you see one - not only did it look spectacular, but you could hear the wings flapping above you and even feel the air from them as they circled overhead.
Shortlisted for Outdoor Photographer of the Year
I'm really pleased that 3 of my images have been shortlisted for the Outdoor Photographer of the Year (OPOTY) Award for 2016.
They are all in the 'Small World' category. The first shot shows a pair of colourful (and extremely tiny) nettle beetles on a leaf, whilst the second shot shows a Hummingbird-Hawkmoth feeding on wildflowers whilst hovering.
The third shot (which also features in the International Images for Science Exhibition 2016) shows a greenbottle fly blowing a bubble to aid its digestive processes.
Weymouth Beach Motocross 2016
Some shots from the Weymouth Beach Motocross event held on Sunday 16 October 2016.
2017 ‘A Year in Dorset’ Wall Calendar Now Available * Sold Out
28-12-2016: PLEASE NOTE THAT THE 2017 WALL CALENDARS HAVE NOW SOLD OUT.
'A Year in Dorset' 2017 Wall Calendar comprises 12 high-quality images professionally taken by a local photographer celebrating the landscapes and wildlife of the beautiful county of Dorset. The calendar would make a perfect gift for any occasion and is also the ideal memento of a Dorset holiday.
Printed on premium, glossy 235g/m paper, the calendar folds out to A3 size* providing a full image at the top and a spacious calendar at the bottom allowing you to write in all of your important dates. It is wire-bound making it easy to hang and comprises the 12 full-colour images on this page.
The calendars are priced at £10.99 which includes free UK postage. Click on the image to add to your shopping cart (payment by Paypal).
For non-UK delivery, please Contact Me to arrange prior to purchase.
* Calendar dimensions when hung are 28cm by 42cm.
** To make payment without a Paypal account, please Contact Me
*** All images taken by Richard Beech t/a Richard Beech Photography who retains copyright at all times.
Torchlight Procession: Weymouth Carnival
I went to see the torchlight procession on Weymouth Beach last night (Tuesday 16 August 2016) and managed to get a few pics. It was an impressive sight seeing all the torches - there seemed to be hundreds of people involved.
I took a few long exposure shots to capture the movement of the torches as they made their way from the Pier Bandstand to the Pavillion.
Broadchurch Series 3 Filming
I visited West Bay yesterday afternoon and noticed that much of the beach near East Cliff was closed off for filming of the latest series of Broadchurch. I stayed around for about an hour and managed to get some pics - there was a football match on the beach which involved some of the main cast, including Sir Lenny Henry. The two main stars, David Tennant and Olivia Colman were walking towards the match - I didn't get to see any more of the action as my car park ticket was expiring!
WARNING: Photos may contain some cast spoilers for Series 3 of Broadchurch.
Otter Spotting at Blandford Forum
Had a great day watching the wild otters in the River Stour at Blandford Forum last week (8 June 2016).
I was lucky enough to see them on two separate occasions and I saw what seemed to be a mother with her two young pups.
Weymouth ‘Chase the Pudding’ Santa Dash 2015
Hundreds of Santas chased a Christmas pudding along Weymouth Beach on Sunday 20 December to raise money for charity.
The event was organised by Weymouth & Portland Borough Council and BustinSkin to raise money for the Will Mackaness Trust, a local water sports charity. The course was a 5K run from the Weymouth Pavilion end of the beach to The Groyne at Greenhill and back again.
Sika Deer at RSPB Arne
I visited the wonderful reserve at RSPB Arne in Dorset this week and the sika deer were calmly grazing in the meadow. A stark contrast to the last visit in October where I witnessed some stags locking antlers during the annual rutting season.
Holidays are Coming …
Holidays are coming ...
‘A Year in Dorset 2016’ Wall Calendar
2016 CALENDARS NOW SOLD OUT
After a number of requests, I have finally put together a calendar to celebrate the landscapes and wildlife of the beautiful county of Dorset. Professionally printed on premium, glossy 235g/m paper, the calendar is A3 in size and features these photographs. Available now for £9.99 with free UK postage. Please contact me if you would like to purchase one. Thank you.
Bonfire Night Fireworks - Weymouth Beach 2015
It was a bit of a rainy night but the fireworks went ahead anyway - these were taken from Greenhill beach.
I love Halloween. Here are some of my halloween-inspired shots.
Swanage Folk Festival 2015
I visited Swanage Folk Festival over the weekend (12/13 September 2015) and enjoyed seeing all the traditional morris dancing sides performing along the esplanade. The costumes were all really colourful and the music was good - the warm September sun made it an even better day!
Flyboarding and Water Jets Demonstration at WaterFest 2015
I visited the Weymouth Waterfest 2015 over the weekend and caught an amazing flyboarding display by the Aquatic Jetpacks in Weymouth Harbour.
The flyboard is propelled by water jets pointing downwards, powered by a connection to a nearby Jetski.
My Image selected for the Internation Images for Science Exhibition 2015
I was delighted to attend the Private View of the International Images for Science Exhibition 2015 on Monday 7 September and was honoured to see my bubble-bursting photo on display. The quality of images in the exhibition was amazing and it was great to meet the other photographers and scientists involved.
You can find out more about the exhibition, which tours around the country until September 2016, at the Royal Photographic Society website
There is also a good piece about the show, including some of the other images on display, on the Mail Online website.
I visited the Blue Pool in Purbeck, Dorset at the weekend and, as usual, there were loads of dragonflies and damselflies to photograph.
In particular, there were a lot of newly emerged Common Blue Damselflies (Enallagma cyathigerum) in the reeds around the edges of the pool. It was great to watch them emerging and transforming and, as a bonus, I managed to get quite a few macro shots of them too.
Sparrowhawk and a Starling
I was lucky enough to witness a sparrowhawk land in our garden recently. I noticed a sudden burst of activity near the bird feeders and then saw that it was a male sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) mantling a starling on the lawn. He was in the garden for almost an hour, moving the unfortunate starling to several different locations until he got it sheltered under a hedge. He paused only when a couple of crows investigated but they quickly left. A magpie followed the hawk around and fed on the starling when the hawk eventually flew off.
About an hour later, the sparrowhawk returned to the garden and continued to feed on the starling under the hedge before carrying off the remaining carcass. Poor starling, but it was great to see this majestic bird in action for so long
Christmas Day Harbour Swim in Weymouth 2014
I went to watch the annual Christmas Day harbour swim in Weymouth and it was absolutely packed with people. Not too cold a day, but it certainly looked cold for those braving the swim across the harbour. Here are a few shots.
Cormorant Couple at West Bay
I went to West Bay to take pictures of the sunset as it was a beautiful, bright December afternoon. I walked along the pier and saw a cormorant perched on a post out to sea. As I was taking a few shots, I was lucky enough to see a second cormorant fly in and join the first one on the post. I thought the pair made a good shot, particularly in the late afternoon golden sunlight. They stayed for quite a while as the sun set out to sea and the sky turned all shades of orange and red before flying out to sea.
Fireworks Night in Weymouth 2014
A great fireworks display over Weymouth Bay on 5 November 2014 to celebrate Bonfire Night.
Stock Gaylard Oak Fair
I visited the Stock Gaylard Oak Fair 2014 during the summer and was really impressed with the show. Here is a selection of photos from the event.
Red Arrows at Weymouth Carnival 2014
The red arrows gave a stunning display over Weymouth Bay as part of Weymouth Carnival 2014. Here is a selection of photos from the display.
Powerboat Racing in West Bay
I had a fun weekend watching the powerboat racing held in West Bay, Bridport on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 June 2014.
The events comprised powerboats circuit racing and zapcat racing. Offshore Circuit Racing (OCR) is a recognised offshore powerboat category administered by the RYA (Royal Yachting Association), Britain's national authority for watersports.
West Bay was an ideal location for this event and the weather was great too ... well it was on the Sunday at least!
Broadchurch Series 2 Filming in West Bay
I was in Bridport and West Bay today and happened to see some of the filming of the second series of TV drama Broadchurch. I managed to see the two lead actors, David Tennant and Olivia Colman, and got a couple of shots. The first series was great and West Bay looked fantastic on TV. Hope the second series is just as good.
Some of my bluebell shots taken in and around Dorset. They've been really spectacular so far in 2014.
‘Einstein’ - Baby Robin
Have just had two baby robins visit the garden. Don't know if it was their first time out of the nest as they seemed a bit jittery. One sat on the bird table for about 5 minuts and, due to his 'bad hair day' I decided to call him Einstein. The second baby sat on the arm of a patio chair for about a minute before flying into a nearby tree - he seemed to be shedding a few feathers as there were a couple left on the chair afterwards. I didn't want to alarm the birds so took a few pics through the window.
After about 5 minutes of them being on their own, an adult robin arrived with food and started to feed the one in the tree. It then flew off before returning with food for 'Einstein' on the bird table. After a quick feed, the adult and baby flew off into a hedge at the bottom of the garden. The little one in the tree stayed put for a further 5 minutes despite several return visits from the adult who seemed to be coaxing it out of the tree ... without much success. Finally, the second baby followed the adult and they both flew into the large hedge. It was good to see them, hope they visit again.
Sika Deer at RSPB Arne
I've taken a lot of photos in and around RSPB Arne Nature Reserve near Wareham in Dorset. It's a fantastic place to walk around with a range of different habitats including woodland, heathland, salt marsh and a beach; perfect for photography and a great day out too.
The reserve is home to many Sika Deer and I've taken quite a few photos of them over the years, here is a selection.
Together in Electric Dreams - Paint Bounce
My latest paint bouncing shot this time using a different colour palette and a new speaker. Possibly the paint was a bit too runny as it splashed everywhere (and also the speaker was more powerful) ... but I'm posting it anyway as I like it and think it goes well with the song it 'danced' to: 'Together in Electric Dreams' by Giorgio Moroder & Phil Oakey and probably my favourite-ever 80s track.
One of the first singles I bought, it just reminds me of the fun times I had as a kid growing up in a seaside town - riding bikes with friends; rock pooling at Newton's Cove; recording the Top 40 singles from the radio on my tape player; standing in long queues outside the one-screen cinema waiting to see classics like 'The Goonies'; ruining my new school shoes by riding my skateboard (badly) straight after school; being a hyper-annoying younger brother / youngest grandson at every given opportunity; and spending the seemingly-endless summer holidays playing on the beach at Greenhill, pretending that I couldn't swim after diving into the sea from our inflatable dinghy just to freak-out my cousins down from the 'big smoke' (sorry about that ;-P ) or just loitering around the many amusement arcades along the esplanade looking for any dropped coins we could use to play 'Dragon's Lair' ... d'oh ... now I feel old!!
Published in Better Photography Magazine
I was recently approached by 'Better Photography Magazine' about using some of my recent 'paint dancing' shots in an upcoming issue. I'm pleased to say that two of my shots appear in the latest issue (March 2014) to illustrate a feature on various photographic techniques requiring a tripod.
Leap of Faith
I was lucky enough to see the wild otters at Blandford Forum again last week. I only saw two this time and it looked like an adult with a youngster. They were running along the river bank when they noticed me and stopped. Then they jumped off the bank into the River Stour before swimming off down the river. I didn't see them again after that. Seeing these beautiful creatures in the wild is so exciting and I'll definitely be back to look out for them again in the future.
February Storms 2014 - Weymouth
The bad weather of 2014 continues into February 2014. I took these shots during a (cold) walk along the beach from the Pavilion to Lodmoor Country Park. The waves were crashing over the Esplanade and you could hardly see the sand beach at all. Further down the coast at Greenhill, the waves seemed to get rougher with the Preston Beach Road closed to traffic altogether.
Otters at Blandford Forum
I've been to Blandford Forum in Dorset many times to see the otters that live there but I have never seen them until yesterday (17 January 2014) when four of them were swimming around in the River Stour.
I think the first photo shows the mum and two youngsters. There was another large otter, perhaps the dad, swimming the other side of the river whilst these were on the river bank. All four re-grouped before swimming off further down the river. As the level of the water in the river is extremely high due to recent bad weather and flooding, the otters swam very close to the river bank and seemed to be quite inquisitive at the small group of people who had gathered to watch these beautiful creatures.
An Uphill Struggle
Cyclist pushing his bike up Gold Hill in Shaftesbury, Dorset; October 2013.
Gold Hill was the filming location for the well-known 'Boy on Bike' TV advert for Hovis Bread directed by Ridley Scott in which a delivery boy faces a similar struggle uphill with his bike.
This is what January normally feels like for me ...
Have a Smashing Christmas!
Have a smashing time this Christmas!
Zoom effect on the Superstar Ride at the Great Dorset Steam Fair; August 2013.
Whilst I was taking long exposures of the various fairground rides at the Steam Fair, I wondered what results I would get by trying a zoom effect whilst the ride was in motion. This experiment produced mixed results, but I had a soft spot for this one of the Superstar Ride.
Instead of zooming in one clear movement, I decided to try adjusting the focal length and pausing and then moving it again twice during the 3 second exposure to create a more 'staggered' zoom effect.
A selection of Christmas themed shots:
(1) Christmas at St. Paul's
(2) Hay's Galleria Christmas
(3) Shine a Little Love
(4) Christmas at the Scoop
(5) Waiting for Christmas
(6) Bah! Humbug!
(7) Chocolate Tessellation
(8) Squirrel in the Snow
(9) Destination Hogwarts?
(10) Warming up for Christmas
(11) Like stars burning holes right through the dark
One glitter-filled glass Christmas tree bauble + Air Rifle = Colourful Christmas Explosion. December 2013.
``A merry Christmas, uncle! God save you!'' cried a cheerful voice. It was the voice of Scrooge's nephew...
``Bah!'' said Scrooge, ``Humbug!''
'A Christmas Carol' by Charles Dickens
Shine a Little Love
Fibre Optic Christmas Tree macro shot; December 2013.
I last tried this technique back in December 2011. As it's now December, I thought I'd try it again with some different angles and a bit of extra light on the tree. This was taken from directly above the tree looking straight down with only the uppermost fibres in focus. Taken using a Canon 5D Mark II with a Sigma 150/2.8 Macro lens.
Give Life Back to Music
Eye-Tunes: Multi-coloured paint on the surface of a speaker bouncing in time to some Daft Punk.
Feeling inspired by the brilliant photographs by Martin Klimas, I've been wanting to try this technique for a while. Klimas's original project set out to show people what they might see if the sounds of music were visual patterns of dancing notes.
For those interested, I stretched a balloon over an upturned speaker, poured on a few drops of runny paint and hit the play button on my ipod. It took a few attempts as the paint was too thick at first and I soon realised that I needed an additional light source to the side of the paint (in addition to the speedlite flashgun on the camera).
St Jude’s Storm - October 2013
I took these on Portland Bill in Dorset on the afternoon of Sunday 27 October just hours before the 'St Jude' storm hit the UK at full force. There were some huge waves hitting Portland Bill which was quite an impressive sight. There were also a lot of people there braving the incredibly strong winds to witness the powerful force of nature.
Messing About in Boats
“Do you know, I’ve never been in a boat before in my life” said the Mole.
“What?” cried the Rat, open-mouthed: “never been in a – you never – well I – what have you been doing, then?”
“Is it so nice as all that? asked the Mole shyly … as he felt the boat sway lightly under him.
“Nice? It’s the only thing,” said the Water Rat solemnly, as he leant forward for his stroke. “Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing,” he went on dreamily: “messing – about – in – boats; messing -”
“Look ahead, Rat!” cried the Mole suddenly.
It was too late.
Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame.
ghosts in the dying of the light
Ghosts rise as the sun sets over the Stone Pier in Weymouth, Dorset.
I took this shot a couple of summers ago before I had a 10-stop filter. I made use of an 'on-the-cheap' homemade filter made from welding glass.
The filter worked a treat in that it allowed a particularly long exposure but I did have to set a custom white balance to counter the quite strong colour cast from the welding glass as well as some further 'tweaking' of the colours in post-processing. The 'ghosts' remain the same as the original shot.
A selection of shots that I've taken during the autumn months.
(1) Autumn Afternoon
(2) Primary Colours
(3) Fly Agaric
(4) Autumn Sunburst
(5) Autumn Ladybird
(6) Autumn in Blandford
(7) The Colours of Corfe
(8) Red Squirrel
Great Dorset Steam Fair
The Great Dorset Steam Fair was held between 28 August and 1 September 2013 in Tarrant Hinton near Blandford Forum in Dorset. It was the first time I'd visited the fair, despite living in Dorset for many years, and I really enjoyed it. A lot of great photo opportunities too ... here are just a few of the night-time funfair shots that I took.
Red Arrows at Weymouth Carnival 2013
The Red Arrows aerobatic display team of the Royal Air Force gave a brilliant performance at the 2013 Weymouth Carnival. Here are just a few of my shots of the display.
Perseid Meteor Shower
My first attempt at photographing stars as last night was the peak of the Perseid Meteor shower over the UK. It was a clear night on the south coast and I was lucky enough to see loads of meteors ... capturing them in a photograph, however, proved much harder. This was the best result of the night's shooting.
A collection of some of my recent macro shots:
* Bumblebee Bokeh
* Eyes of the Emperor
* Six-Spot Burnet Couple
* Chrysolina Fortuosa
* Portrait of a Painted Lady
* Skipper Butterfly
* Red-Eyed Damselfly
* Reflections of a Rustic Sailor Beetle
* Glitter and Gold
* Close Up and Personal
* Silver Studded Blue
* Large Red Damselfly
* Common Blue
This colourful beetle is also known as the Dead-Nettle Leaf Beetle. I saw one a couple of years ago and have been wanting to take another shot of one for ages - saw this little guy over the weekend in Dorset and got a couple of shots. They're only really tiny - this one was about the size of a ladybird.
Rise of the Minion
Stuart the Minion Hot Air Balloon takes to the skies over the crowds at the Bristol Balloon Fiesta 2013.
The minion-shaped balloon has been made to celebrate the release of Despicable Me 2. It certainly looked impressive as it took to the skies over Bristol
Aeroplanes ... aka ... "Here Come the Chicks"
Greylag Goslings practice their imaginary aerobatics display team in Poole Park, Dorset - June 2013
I was visiting Paignton Zoo in Devon recently and wanted to take some abstract shots of the many beautiful animals that live there. The zebra stripes were particularly striking and so I went for a close-up shot.
Part of Dorset's stretch of Jurassic Coast, Pondfield Cove is a small, secluded, south-facing cove immediately to the east of Worbarrow Bay on the south coast of the Isle of Purbeck, in Dorset.
It's a beautiful place but not exactly the easiest to visit. It is only accessible when the Lulworth firing ranges are open to the public via a walk from the abandoned village of Tyneham or a rather long walk along the South West Coast Path.
The Jurassic Coast is a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the south coast of England stretching 96 miles from East Devon to East Dorset.
Go ahead … make my day!
I wanted this shot to capture the fun of a water pistol fight with friends messing around on a sunny summer day. I chose a shallow depth of field to create a bokeh effect on the water and I decided that in order to give the photo some extra impact, the water had to be fired directly at the camera ... well, at me anyway. Consequently, I got a bit wet (particularly after quite a few takes) but I did make sure that my camera was well protected with a handy bit of clear perspex.
If Everybody Looked the Same
If Everybody Looked the Same ... We'd get tired looking at each other.
Greylag Geese and goslings in Poole Park; 30 May 2013. These 2 greylag geese were swimming across the lake in Poole Park with about 18-20 goslings in a group behind them. I noticed that just one of the goslings was yellow and had an orange beak, setting it apart from all of the others. I'm not sure if this one has been 'adopted' by the greylags or if a stray egg found its way into their nest, but it certainly stood out from the crowd.
I wanted to experiment with an intentional camera movement shot which creates a motion blur in the final image - bluebells in Thorncombe Woods in Dorset provided the ideal subject in which to practice. Using as slow a shutter speed as I could get away with without overexposing the image, I tried to keep the camera steady as I panned upwards whilst shooting. I'll probably use my tripod next time, but was quite happy with this shot from the session.
Building upon my recent work with bursting bubbles, I thought I'd try to capture a water balloon being popped. I took a few in the garden and the closest I got to capturing the precise moment of the balloon exploding was this one - I was happy with how the water retained the shape of the balloon once popped.
Don’t Burst My Bubble
Soap bubble at the moment of being burst ... it took me quite a few attempts to get a shot that I was happy with, but I'm glad I made the effort as I'm quite pleased with the result. I took this at a high shutter speed (1/2000) with an aperture of f/2.8
Time for Tea
A Great Black-backed Gull enjoying the refreshments at the Lobster Pot Cafe on Portland Bill in Dorset.
Hypnotize (Time Flies)
The swinging pocketwatch was a perfect subject for a stroboscopic effect using a Canon Speedlite 580Exii. No photoshop was used in the creation of this image other than a bit of straightening up and cropping into a square format.
I set up my camera on a tripod, manually focused on the swinging pocketwatch against a black background and then turned out the lights. The flashgun was on the 'multi' setting and set to fire 5 flashes per second. I set the exposure time as 1 second and tried about 20 to 30 times before getting a shot I was happy with.
For more about my stroboscopic effect photography, see my earlier blog entry entitled 'Schrodinger's Egg' (30/03/2013) or check out my Flickr gallery which contains more images.
James and the Giant Peach - Forced Perspective
"And now came the big moment. Quickly, the five hundred and second seagull was caught and harnessed to the peach stem...
And then suddenly...
Like some fabulous golden balloon...
With all the seagulls straining at the strings above...
The giant peach rose up"
I thought it would be fun to play with forced perspectives to make the peach look giant in comparison to the landscape.
The peach isn't photoshopped in but was rather held in front of the camera on a string which I cloned out afterwards. I used as narrow an aperture as I could in order to get as much of the landscape in focus, together with the peach, as possible. The birds and figures on the peach were added to make it a bit more fun ... and in homage to one of my most favourite books when I was a child.
Keep Britain Tidy
Keep Britain Tidy ... put a squirrel in a bin! (Only joking - the squirrel was happily sitting in the bin of his or her own accord.)
Salute to the Sun
I wanted to get a clear shot of a daffodil against the bright blue sky we've had this weekend so I used a technique that I've used before, usually with mushroom shots in the autumn. To get a worm's eye view of the daffodil against the blue sky I used a small mirror underneath the flower to capture the reflection. (I've used the technique a few times and so keep a small mirror as part of my photographic kit.)
Speed up to Slow Down
As the shutter speed slowed down, the fairground ride seemingly began to get faster!
Three shots of the same ride in Bournemouth Fair taken at 1/2500, 1/15 and 1/4.
Is our universe inside a bubble? Are there alternative universes contained within their own bubbles as part of a bigger multiverse?
Bigger on the Inside
Macro shot of a bubble floating in the garden; April 2013.
My first attempt at taking photographs of bubbles ... I liked the colours in this one and the reflections of the house and garden. Think I will try more on a less breezy day as manually focusing the macro lens on the bubbles as they floated in and out of focus was hard!
This one was taken during the same session as my previous 'Schrödinger's Egg' shot ... I used the same set-up apart from having the off-camera speedlite flash set to fire just once instead of multiple times.
Hope you had a smashing Easter!
Bay of Lasers
I've taken a few shots already of the "Light Veils" laser light display in Weymouth, but thought I'd give it another attempt whilst I was back in town recently. This time, I wanted to leave some wave detail on the water to add a bit of interest. The colours are straight out of the camera.
The permanent laser light display, which was launched in 2012, has received a mixed response from local residents, but I quite like it. At least it makes for interesting photographs as each night's display is different and the results are very much weather dependent.
A military festival took place in Weymouth over the weekend of 16/17 February 2013. The festival included a re-enactment of the Battle of Weymouth of 1645 during the English Civil War.
The re-enactment was fun to watch and provided some great photo opportunities. I was surprised how 'in-character' the participants seemed to get - they were all very enthusiastic.
As there was a lot of explosions going on, and an awful lot of smoke, I tried to get a close-up of a musket being fired. When I looked back at the shots on my computer, this one was my favourite from the day.