Getting into HDR

I thought I’d experiment a little with some HDR images. I have again been inspired by browsing 500px.com, as there are many HDR images on this site that seem to become popular. I looked into some HDR apps and downloaded a trial for Photomatix Pro, then loaded one of my favourite images into it, and here is the result of a little experimentation with the presets available within it.

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Cafe Van Gogh

Café Terrace at Night – Lost in Translation?

I was looking for the original title of Vincent Van Gogh’s painting Café Terrace at Night (above right), because I wanted to upload my photo (above left) of the same scene to my profile on the 500px.com website. I try not to leave the ‘description’ field completely empty when I publish an image there, so I thought I’d check out the name of the café, the original name of the painting, and the English name of the painting. The way I see it, there is something of a distortion in the translation. The French name is Terrasse du Café le Soir,  and by the time it’s in English, Café Terrace at Night, it’s a generic café terrace in the evening.

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Chesil Bank

Portland Storm

This week I was sorting out some old files for deletion to clear some space in my laptop, and I discovered a whole batch of photos that I hadn’t loaded into my photo catalogue, of a storm in November 2009. I took a trip over to Portland Bill to see what the sea was like. Here are a few of the photos. Note the size of the breaking waves compared to the people on the beach in the sixth image.

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Palais des Papes

France 2007

I think I visited France twice in 2007, once with a friend in the summer for a week to Brittany, it looks like I didn’t take any photos on that trip, so that means I can’t actually remember when it was.

My parents were visiting France in November 2007 for three weeks, and in the middle of this they had booked a holiday cottage in Arles. I decided the night before they were due to arrive there that I was going to fly out to meet them, so I asked them to pick me up from Avignon airport the next day. As they had their car out there it was easy enough, and it was easy for us all to go and visit various places.

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Broad Street, Lyme Regis

Lyme Regis

I have ‘Lyme Regis’ as a saved search in my wordpress app, so I check it once every couple of days to look for any inspiring photos etc, especially now I’ve moved away and have lived in Sussex for about 16 months. I thought I’d use this to see if anyone actually uses saved searches, I know the post may be found in other ways but do people actually use saved searches?

So for anyone that has ‘Lyme Regis’ as a saved search, here’s a short pick of my photos and if you do, post a comment and let me know your thoughts .

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France 2005

La Mairie de Vannes

I haven’t been updating this blog as often as I’d like, so I had this little idea that once in a while I’d take a little look back at something I’ve done, or somewhere I’ve been somewhere in the past.

Today, I’m going to share some of my experiences of a 16 day trip to France in 2005; just me and my car. The main reason for going was because I fancied touring abroad in my new (to me) Audi Cabiolet. I didn’t plan a lot in advance. In fact all I did plan ahead were the Channel Tunnel crossings there and back. I booked them the day before I left. Another day before that was when I decided I was going to go on holiday. Sorry folks, it’s a long post, so I’ve had to add just the first snippet to the homepage.

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The Church Cat

The night before the recent wedding I photographed, I attended the wedding rehearsal, and when leaving the church, we were greeted with this beautiful and quite striking cat. It was big…very big. I believe it is a Maine Coon, and it was probably nearly 3 feet long, excluding its tail. It has a beautiful black and grey coat, and was very friendly. In the graveyard environment I thought these images would work well in black and white.

A few more pictures are below:

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Wedding Photography

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Last weekend I photographed a wedding. In due course I will post a few more pictures and perhaps talk a bit more about it, but for the moment I thought I would just pick out this image. If you’re ever photographing a wedding, whether it’s for friends, family or commercially, get lots of abstract shots. Make sure you notice the details; close p shots can make great space fillers if you are creating an album or self-publishing a book to give to the happy couple. The flowers, the lapels, the cravats, the stitching of the dress, every little detail will help remind the bride and groom of all that happened on the day

Get Inspired for Instagram

Horsham Park
Horsham Park – look for symmetry and vanishing points to draw the eye in

Previously I wrote a piece about why I like Instragram, and why I think it has had such a great impact on smartphone users around the world.

This time I thought I’d write a bit to help you get inspired. Obviously Instagram gives you plenty of flexibility, you are only limited by your imagination and creativity.

Either choose a theme or pick random things, but a great advantage is that you always have your phone with you, so you can take pictures of anything any time. Look out for bright colours, unusual patterns or objects, cloud formations or reflections in water.

Instagram has plenty of filters available, and this is perhaps one of its key features. While preparing an image, experiment with the different filters available. I find it’s always worth trying the filters on each image, because they affect every image very differently. Don’t disregard images that might not be perfect, as the filters might just hide some of those imperfections.

Mantelpiece
Ilford HP5

Think in the square format when taking pictures; when I look through my Instagram timeline, I tend to disregard images that aren’t square…especially those that have the horrible black bars top and bottom or on the sides. To me, these images particularly detract from the image (there are free apps available that let you prepare images for the 1:1 ratio and apply a coloured or white background). I always use my iPhone’s built in camera app to take pictures, then I choose it from the album in Instagram to upload it, mainly because I don’t know how else I might want to use the image in the future.

Stream on the Isle of Wight

There are several ideas for inspiration that might help you if you are struggling. Why not try a ‘365 project’; a bit of discipline is needed, but take one photo per day, every day for a year. Use Instagram as the medium to publish your results. It could be a photo of where you are, a self portrait, or an image representative of the highlight of your day.

Create a ‘bucket list’ of things to capture and upload, and set yourself a deadline. Why not try the list below, and upload one picture to represent each item:

  • drain cover
  • leaf
  • bark
  • cloud
  • insect
  • tower
  • smile
  • jewellery
  • glasses
  • vegetable
  • wheel
  • rust
  • letterbox
  • bottles

Take one per day over two weeks. When uploading the images, add the tag #convexum to the caption.

If you’ve been inspired by my this post for any of your Instagram images, add a hashtag to them and then add a comment to this post, mentioning the hashtag so I can see your results.

My Instragram username is @laurencemadill