I can stand up !! – But Walking’s still a bit of an issue

Look mum I can stand up !!

Nearly three weeks old, and now they’re quite speedy. Instead of lurching from one spot to another like a demented tortoise (or turtle for my overseas visitors) the little ones asre almost walking. It’s quite funny watching them fall over though. This one is ‘Number 1’, who aside from being bigger than the others was also the firsdt one to open her eyes.

Which way to KFC?

“Woody” and his mate used to live in the Leylandi trees at the back of the garden. Last year however, the trees went and he was forced to move next door but one.
Don’t think he bears a grudge though as he often drops in to say hello and aggravate the dogs.

Which way to KFC?

Quite tricky to get a shot off as he moves about quickly – it’s also very gloomy out there at this time of the year.
Was pleased with this attempt, especially as the patio doors haven’t been cleaned for weeks. The Sigma 70-300 is definitelty out performing the old Tamron in pretty much every area at the moment.

Nice try, but no banana

Aced
I’ve seen quite a few shots recently involving playing cards and motion blur so though I’d have a go myself having borrowed a rather nice Manfrotto Tripod from a friend. I didn’t realise how hard this is to do by yourself !! – For those interested, the Flash was bounced off of the ceiling, and the exposure was metered for the ambient light minus around 1 stop.
Multiple test shots gave me a resultant shutter speed of 1/5 @ f6.3 which captured the movement of the cards quite nicely when I was able to get the timing right. Keeping an eye on the timer, and making sure the cards are within the frame was rather tricky, and I only ended up with two usable shots from 20 or so attempts

Sadly, my living room is too small to not have included the wall in the shot. I already had to clone out a bit of sofa behind me. This for me, makes this shot pretty much just below average, but at least it’s good practice. I thought about trying to remove the wall by copying or cloning in more floor, but my PS skills fall way too short to even attempt it.

Added to the list of shots to re-try properly at some point this year.

No Fireworks, but some long exposures instead.

So, we packed up and shot of to Southend for the afternoon. Unfortunately we were a week early for the Christmas light switch on (oops) but were looking forward to the fireworks. I never had the tripod, but did think I’d be able to rest the camera on a fence or railing. I hadn’t planned on the crowds and completely forgot that my “pointless” and “annoying” hobby would of course come much lower down the list than everything else.
So, the firework shots were appalling. I mean really really bad. But I did manage a few shots while the kids were on the rides in the Adventure Island Theme Park instead.  This one (as were all the others) was hand held, shutter speed was 1/4 Second @ f4.0.   Have a couple of other shots of this at different settings which can be found at my Flickr page here.

Giant Tortoise

Giant Tortoise

There were also a couple of attempts to shoot some of the other rides. such as the Rage roller-coaster. Under the circumstances they also turned out OK. I’ll be trying more long exposures throughout the winter. I need the practice !!

Me, Myself and I

It’s been a while since I posted any pictures of me, or indeed pictures with me in them. This is partly because I’m usually the other side of the camera, and partly because I’m such an ugly barsteward. I’ve been thinking about a shot like this for ages, and today, finally got round to having a play. The edit was a quick and dirty one as a proof of concept, but I’m quite pleased with the way it turned out under the circumstances.
Set up wise it’s fairly straightforward all you need really is a tripod, but in this case I also used a Speedlight 430EX.
Settings should be manual, this helps to ensure that the exposure is the same for each shot which in turn makes it easier to blend post production. (fortunately it’s a grey day so didn’t need to worry about changes in ambient light as the sun went in and out).
To take the pictures, I set the camera on timer, pressed the button and adopted my poses. OK, was a bit of running about, but hey, I need the excercise.
Once taken the three pictures were imported into Adobe RAW, and all given the same, desaturated treatment.
Then, I opened them all in photoshop, and copied two as new layers into the third one.
Thereafter, it was simply a matter of using the eraser tool to remove the bits I didn’t want and reveal the “me” underneath.
Job done.
The 3 stages of the Day

Was all good fun, and I managed to convince the kids that my brothers had popped round while they were at school. Confused the hell out of them as they know that I have no brothers.