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Most of the images that I take, and have taken, over the years are monochrome. That’s not to say I don’t like colour images, I do, very much, it’s just that l like to produce black and white photographs. I find it easy to visualise the monochromatic values of a scene when I look at it. I can see the tones, the textures and the shapes of the scene that will make a monochrome image. It is the inclusion of these three that will enable it to become a successful black and white photograph that people may want to look at.  But once that image is produced and presented to a viewer then how successful the picture is for them as an individual is down to how they react and associate with it and how the photograph speaks to them.

The image below is an example of that. As I was taking the picture, I saw the different “layers’ of light and tone. The top band of dark leaves in the trees at the top, then the line of brightness behind the trees, followed by the tree shadows and at the bottom of the frame a lighter line of grass. To me, the tree trunks themselves became a link between all of the areas of tone and texture which enabled me to move into the light area behind them.

It was also the small details that grabbed my eye; the small plant underneath the tree trunk acting as a lead into the movement of the image; the sweep of the very light area of grass with a slanted movement to the right emphasising the viewer’s journey through the image. And finally, I liked the implied peace and quiet of the scene, making me want to explore its depth, hence its title.

That is just my thoughts on this one photograph, but what is so great about art and photography, is that we all have different feelings and different views about pictures and this is how it should be.

The photograph was taken with a Nikon D7100 and a Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 lens.

beckoned-30924

Beckoned

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I was looking through some of my photographs the other day in particular the ones that had been in galleries and had sold quite well. What come to mind as I looked at them was that it didn’t matter what camera they were taken with, it was the picture that counted.

The image below is one of the best-selling images that I have taken. At the time I was using Nikon’s – a D800 and D7100, with a selection of good lenses. However this image wasn’t taken with either of those fine cameras, it was taken with a Nikon Finepix P300,  an excellent compact, but a compact nevertheless.

Mrs M and I had just finished our evening meal whilst we were staying in Bardolino on Lake Garda and took a walk along the lakeside. I only had the compact with me and I saw the picture below just after the sun had slid down over the horizon and a slight haze was falling over the lake. It was a jpg file so only minimal post-processing could be done, but it didn’t need that much, just a mono conversion and some tweaking.

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It just goes to show, the best camera is the one you have on you.

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I was at the very nice Batsford Arboretum today with a couple of members of the photo club.  It started off pretty dark and overcast with some fog still sticking around the base of the trees. Knowing that light was going to be scarce, I took my monopod on the shoot, and I’m glad I did as I needed to get some sufficient depth of field with the low light levels.

We did get some sunshine through just before lunch, but before I had even finished my beef sandwich in their excellent café, the light disappeared once again and the gloom descended. Out in the arboretum once again, it was suggested as we looked from one of the high view points over the cotswolds, that we should take a picture of the landscape and turn what would be a boring landscape view into something more interesting in processing.

So, once home and images downloaded,  I used Lightroom and Photoshop to try and give the image a dawn feel to it.  It’s a little overdone, but I enjoyed doing it. The first image is the original, the second the processed version.

Taken with a Nikon D7100 and 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 G full frame lens.

Original

Original

 

Edited

Edited

 

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Yesterday I went to Whipsnade Zoological Gardens in Bedfordshire.  I went there last year with the family, but this time it would be purely to take photographs.

I used the D7100 and partnered it with a 70-210 f/2.8 zoom, which on an APS-C D7100 would mean it was acting like a 105-315 zoom.  This is the Vivitar Series 1 zoom that is about 30 years old.

We weren’t long into the shoot when I realised that the lens wasn’t stopping down at smaller apertures, which meant that pictures were being over-exposed.  Anything up to f/5.6 was fine but anything over that was being bleached out.  It was too late to do anything about it so I tried to ensure not to exceed an aperture of f/5.6.

It was a really good day and I managed to get some photographs that I think will work well.

Below is a picture of a lioness taken through a glass wall into her enclosure.

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My Nikon D7100 has some spots on the sensor. I’ve tried the rocket blower, but they just don’t want to move. It’s time for a proper sensor clean.

I know I should do it myself – and I have in the past – but I hate doing it. The last time I tried cleaning my D800’s sensor I somehow managed to put the minutest amount of grease from the edge of the shuttor box on to the sensor. 5 cleaning swabs later and it was still on the sensor so I decided to take it to the experts.

I’ve taken the D7100 to the people who cleaned the D800, the London Camera Exchange in Leamington Spa. They did a great job on the 800, so I’m hoping the same for its smaller brethren. I took it into Leamington this morning and it will be ready to pick up tomorrow. The cost – £30. I’m Ok with that if it means that I no longer have to put up with the shakes as I put the swab through the throat of the camera and then curse as I look at a test image and find the spots are still there.

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