Lockdown and Photography

With the UK once again in lockdown, there are many asking is it ok to carry on with my photography. The rules say you stay home and only leave home for essential matters, with taking exercise being one of the allowable reasons. When I would normally go out with a camera, I would not say it was for exercise it would be for the purpose to capture images. Although it is probably the only exercise I do get, I do not frequent gyms and do not play sports. During the first lockdown, I was out frequently with my camera, and only in my local area. I chose times when it was quiet, early mornings and evenings, I want to avoid contact with people and made sure I was not near anyone, in fact, I would choose to do this at all times even before Covid-19 reared its head. There are arguments that photography is good for your mental health, and it probably is, but...
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Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM

Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM

Every photographer has a favourite lens. My own favourite is a lens that at first did not get used much, but as time went on it was a lens that I always packed more and more. My lens of choice is the Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM, the lens has a versatile zoom range and is sharp. The macro functionality works well, although not a 'true' macro, for general nature and food closeups it works well recording sharp detail. The aperture of f2.8 at the 17mm end of the zoom offers great low light performance. In-built optical stabilisation works well, allowing hand-held photography when light is not so good. My Sigma 17-70mm is probably due to be renewed as the use and abuse it has received is obvious in it battered looks, although optically remaining excellent. At just £349 for the Nikon fit, the Sigma 17-70mm offers great value on a price to performance ratio, and a great allrounder for...
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Nik Collection 3 from DxO

Having been a user of the original Nik Collection, I thought it would be good to check out the updated versions from DxO. Just like the original Nik Collection, the updated version offers a clean easy to use interface for this set of plugins for Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. The software also works seamlessly using the 'Edit with' function in Capture One Pro. With a quick edit using Color Efex Pro 4 and Silver Efex Pro 2, the most noticeable difference from the original software is the slickness, a much quicker and glitch-free round trip in editing, wherein the previous version I often obtained some unpredictable results. The images below show some of the results possible in just a couple of minutes in using Nik Collection 3. You can click the banner below to get a free 30 day trial of the updated Nik Collection.   The comparison below shows the original image and the result from Color Efex Pro 4 The comparison below shows the...
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Decay

Garden Photography - Decay Garden and flower photography often requires the perfect specimen, and where this cannot be accomplished, we turn to the use of photoshop to remove blemishes and damage. Living plants and flowers do die and that display of cut flowers soon starts to take on a new look. When flowers are past their best we often ignore them or throw them out, but look closely and you will see nature starts to work its wonders and those bright colours become an array of subtle shades. The petals curl and twist, the stems wilt, pollen will drop giving a spattering of colour.¬† The natural decay of flowers gives them a whole new look full of colour and texture. A simple arrangement of a single decaying flower adds a fading beauty to an image as the light catches every fold in a gnarly petal       Lay them flat on a textured background, remove petals to expose the inner detail and those decaying flowers become...
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Background Information

With many people in lockdown throughout the world, many photographers are having their first attempt at shooting indoors. Food, flowers and products are all good subject matter. All you need is a small table, a background and natural window light, A tripod helps giving you more availability in control of shutter speed and aperture. When is comes to background I tend to use blank walls, wallpaper, or cheap quicly available vinyl backgrounds from Amazon, Amazon offer a vast range of photography backgrounds to suit almost any photography subject and priced from just a few pounds. ...
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Harwich & Dovercourt

Harwich & Dovercourt, situated on the east coast of England in the county of Essex, England. Harwich, a historic port leading our to the North Sea. A short distance south along the coast, Dovercourt with its two cast iron lighthouses and sandy beaches is a small seaside resort. ...
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Ayots Hertfordshire

Ayot St Peter and Ayout St Lawrence can be found in rural Hertfordshire, close to Welwyn Garden City. The are is particulalry photogenic especially its array of churches both old and new. The is also Shaws Corner, once the primary residence to playwright George Bernard Shaw. and now a National Trust Property open to visitors. St Peter's Church in Ayot St Peter is an Arts & Craft style church dating back to 1875. Ayot St Lawrence has two churches in stark contrast, the old church in ruins (although well preserved) and the striking new church described as palladian in style. ...
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