Wednesday, 19 December 2007

16 Digital Photography Tips for Christmas

One of the blogs I read is called Digital Photography School. I only recently discovered it, which is a bonus as Darren (the owner) has recently written an extremely useful article. 16 Digital Photography Tips for Christmas does exactly what it says on the tin, it describes sixteen tips for taking better photos over Christmas.

Beware all those who cross in front of my camera this Christmas!

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Photos I Want to Retake

One thing that has helped me continue to rekindle my love of photography is taking photos with my mobile phone. The more photos I take, the more I find myself looking for photo opportunities. This has lead to me having quite a few photos which were taken in good places, just badly composed or out of focus.

West India Quays At Night

This photos is one I would like to retake given a chance. This is the view along West India Quay at night taken with a Nokia N73. I think it is a very nice photograph but would look better taken with my Minolta. Maybe one day I will revisit the area to recapture this view.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Even More Photos for Sale

I haven't written about my For Sale photos for a while. That is because Photo Nation have been taking an age to approve photos. According to their news page this is because they have so many submissions that they are having a hard time getting through them all. In a way it is quite frustrating that it takes so long, but I am happy to sit and wait since this is in no way my main income (just as well with no sales so far!).

So, the following photos are for sale from Photo Nation. Feel free to click on the images to take you through to the site. 

Chicago Skyline

Graffiti Cat

Lights at Night

Disabled Access

Abstract Fan Surround


Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Scams: Avoiding fake photography contests

I've just read the article below about photography contest scams.

Scams: Avoiding fake photography contests (

Given that this article was originally posted in May, 2005 and it is still receiving comments in November 2007, it is an issue that is not disappearing.
One of the main sites mentioned is (deliberately not linking to this site). If you are 'lucky' enough to get through to the finalist section of the competition, you will be invited to their gala for about $1000. You are also invited to order the 'coffee table' book with your photo in it for about $60. All this isn't bad, but the small print of the contract you sign you waive all rights to your image. In short, you should stay clear of this very expensive scam. Apparently, you will get your book eventually, but it may take years.
Some comments mention that is running the same type of scam with baby pictures.

There is mention of another scam involving stock photographs on a CD but I do not think this kind of scam catches as many people out if the comments are anything to go by.

In conclusion, if you are going to enter a competition, read all of the small print. If you have to pay to enter a photography competition, make sure it is as legitimate as possible; the Photoethnography article mentions that these competitions sometimes name the judges so you can research their credentials.

Thanks to Clockworkpink2 for linking to the original post.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Testing Windows Live Writer

Today I was told about Windows Live Writer. I am taking a look at this tool as a way to blog without having to use the blogger web interface (which is not the easiest to use). I was recommended this by Hoshisoto, who uses Live Writer as his main blog updating tool.

First impressions are that this is a pretty clean bit of software. The user interface looks as though it has been given a bit of thought. I haven't had a chance to check out all of the features, having just installed the software.

Flower Closeup

The main thing which will keep me using this is how easy photos are to insert and manipulate using the software (this being a photo blog and all that!).  
So far, I am impressed. It was easy insert the picture on the left and manipulate its position to enable the text to wrap around it. Could this be the beginning of a beautiful relationship? Watch this space!

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Hoshisato - Travel and Photo Blog

Hoshisato is a friend and colleague who, like me, has a passion for photography. Actually, his knowledge and skills far exceed mine!

Hoshisato's pictures vary in style and subject, quite often due to experimenting with a new photo or processing technique. For example, panoramas feature quite prominently at the moment due to experimentation with PTGui and Photoshop. I particularly like this Southwark Bridge Panorama as it has quite a fish-eye look about it and draws the eye along the whole length of the bridge.

Panoramas aren't the only, or indeed main, style of Hoshisato's photos. Many of the photos on the blog are of the reportage genre; people going about their business unaware they are being watched and photographed. I am quite fond of this type of photography, although I don't generally take many photos in this style. I enjoy the natural poses which can only be captured when people are unaware they are being photographed. My favourite reportage photo from the Hoshisato blog is of a forklift driver in the Tsukiji fish market.

This photo is part of the Japan collection which contains many travel photos from a recent trip out there. The reason I enjoy this particular photo is that it gives a sense of urgency which one could imagine being the general atmosphere in a fish market where the freshness of the produce is everything. The choice of black and white seems natural for this type of scene. Colour would probably dilute the crispness and contrast which gives this photo its busy feel.

Finally, if you click on any of the images on the blog, you are taken through to Hoshisato's Webshots page. Here you will find many more photos which aren't on the blog. Go there or click on the link on the right for the main blog. Both are well worth an explore.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Twins By Antony Gormley

If you walk down Euston Road between Euston and Great Portland Street stations you will encounter the Twins by Antony Gormley.
These statues are positioned either side of a window which makes them look like one statue reflected in the mirror-like window of the building. It is only upon a closer and concentrated look that one notices that both statues are significantly different.

For a map of where the statue is located click on the picture.

Thursday, 30 August 2007

The Chesham Sunset

If you read my Mouse's Musings blog, you will know that I now live in Chesham, Buckinghamshire. Last night the sunset over Chesham was so beautiful I just had to take a few photos of it. This one is the best in my opinion. You can't beat light being reflected in vapour trails on a clear evening.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Another Photo for Sale

WooHoo! Another photo for sale on Picture Nation.

This one is a scene taken at a train station after a snow fall.

Train Signal in Snow

Many of my friends have commented on how this is one of, if not, the best picture I have taken. I must admit, I didn't think anything of the picture at the time of taking it. I moved the lights off centre because I thought that would give better perspective.
See what you think. Click on the small icon below to take you through to Picture Nation.

If you really want to see a larger sized version, you may view it on my flickr or on Picasa. Please take a moment to click through to my photo on Picture Nation though as every hit shows support for them and they are a relatively small company in quite a cut-throat sector.

More Streatham Graffiti

I noticed both of these recently in Streatham. I'm not going to pretend that these pieces of graffiti might be Banksys. But they are definitely worth putting up here as they are quite cute. There is rumour of a third cat around Streatham which I will post if I find it.
If you would like to see where the photos are in Streatham, click here.

Friday, 29 June 2007

Banksy in Streatham?

Last night I took a photo of a stencilled bat on the side of the Horse and Groom pub in Streatham. It looks like a Banksy but I am unsure. There's a couple of others around Streatham, but my phone ran out of space after taking this picture.

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Photo For Sale

I now have a photo that is available to buy from Picture Nation! It is a picture of the Scarlet Ibis which was taken that last time I went to South Africa. So follow the link to see my picture on the site.

Link to Scarlet Ibis

And yes, it is the same one I mentioned in one of my first posts here.

Royalty-free images from Picture Nation

Thursday, 5 April 2007

How Slack?

Yep, I’ve been slack with keeping my blog. How will I ever become a famous blogger if I don’t blog? How can my friends and family ever figure out what’s going on if I don’t blog? How can I ever get into the habit of writing often (so I can potentially write a book) if I don’t blog? On a scale of 1 to 10 in slackness I go all the way to 11 (thank you Spinal Tap).

On a plus point, I am still taking photos, but they are in 35mm format and I need to take a few more photos before I can send the films off to be developed. With such a nice Easter weekend being predicted by the weathermen, I think I will have no problem taking photos.

Bring it on!

Saturday, 3 March 2007

I Can See For Miles and Miles

Yesterday I was taking photos around the area I work. It was so clear in the late afternoon that I was able to see the London Eye from there. I really like being able to see all the way across the city. I can sit at my desk and daydream and wonder what is going on over theeeere.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, 19 February 2007

R.I.P Minolta Dynax 2xi - Long Live the Dynax 500si Super

I dusted off my 35mm camera two weekends ago. I have a Minolta Dynax 2xi which was given to me on my 18th birthday. I hadn't used it in a couple of years, but recently bought a new battery for it and thoought I would take it for a spin. There were three photos left on the old film, and I had a new film in my pocket.
The scene for this photographic resurrection was to be the Horniman Museum in south Lonodon. I cannot recommend this place highly enough. Go and visit it.
After taking the final three photos, I waited to hear the familiar whirring of the camera as it rewound the film ready for the next one. This didn't happen. I got a bit of a whir, and then nothing. Silence. I was very disappointed as we were only half-way through the museum, and I had so many more pictures I wanted to take.
The next day, I took the camera to Jessops where they used a dark bag to open the camera up and rewind the film by hand. It was possible that the emulsion from the old film had degraded and stuck to itself on the spool so I put another film in to run it through. I took some closeup photos with my +4 macro filter (not sure how these will work out, but if any look good you will definitely see them here). Upon getting to the end of the film, the same thing happened, a small whir, then nothing. My beloved 35mm Minolta Dynax 2xi was dead.

One visit to Ebay later...

I have bought a Minolta Dynax 500si Super body. Because it was only the 2xi's body that was kaput, I only needed to replace that. The standard 35-85mm lense I had would work with any of the xi or si range from Minolta. This weekend past I was able to take it out on the town with me, and it was a joy to use. The 2xi was the feature-lite model of the Dynax family. This 500si has lots and lots of features to play with like:
Exposure modes (portrait, landscape, sport, night portrait)
Double exposure
Continuous exposure at 1fps
Apperture and shutter priority
Best of all, the camera has a built in flash. My last camera didn't have one which could be quite annoying having to carry around a hot-shoe flash.
If my new camera takes photos at the quality if the 2xi I will be mightily pleased.

Watch this space.

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Lack of Photos

I have not had the opportunity to take and post any new photos recently. I've been struggling with a cold and sinus problem which has meant I have been out of commission for a few days.

I am almost back to full health, so watch this space!

Thursday, 1 February 2007

Night Photography

I seem to be taking a lot of photos at night recently. I guess that is because I have a little bit of free time during the evenings more often than during the day.

I love night photography, particularly in London. Parts of the city come alive at night, or seem to glow in the dark with all of the lights. The Canary Wharf area has many, many lights in quite a small area. As a result, I often find myself staring at the buildings trying to compose photos incorporating the lights, water, and grandeur of the area.

I recently took the photo to the left while walking around West India Docks in the Canary Wharf area of London. I quite like how this photo turned out. It was already in colour, but I used Picasa's incorporated tools to change it to black and white.

Last night I was out in the South Bank area of London. This is the area that contains the Royal Festival Hall, National Film Theatre, and National Theatre, not to forget the London Eye.

The London Eye has been kitted out in new red livery to celebrate the start of Comic Relief 2007. If you have a chance to go and have a look, it is quit spectacular with the trees still wearing their blue LEDs and the London Eye with its new red livery.

Unfortunately my camera is nowhere near capable of doing this view justice, but I think this photo in particular looks nice because you can just make out the two large poles holing up the Eye looking like dim red beams thrusting upwards from the ground.

As always, click on the photos for their larger versions.

Monday, 29 January 2007

The Way We See It

No photo for today's entry. I'm doing a mixture of recovering from a heavy weekend, and trying to catalogue all the photos I took. I therefore have a new photo site for you to look at. The Way We See It is an excellent London photo blogging site. Every week the owner, dicksdaily, puts up a location for people to visit, take photos of, and submit to the site.

I am quite looking forward to joining in with this community. I think it is a woderful idea for getting out and about and taking more photos of places one would not otherwise consider visiting.

Wednesday, 24 January 2007


Last night the conditions were perfect for snow to happen in Streatham. Here are some photos I took this morning on the way to work.

Snowy Weeds

The light looks like a bright candle

A Snowy Tree

Light and Dark at Streatham Station

Cold and Waiting for a Train

Tuesday, 23 January 2007

The Millenium Dome

It's been a few days since I last posted any photos on here. I haven't been out and about to take photos for nearly a week now. The last time I was out, however, there was beautiful sunshine. I walked all the way to the end of the West India Docks and took the following photo.

Millennium Dome from the Thames

Millennium Dome from the Thames

Thursday, 18 January 2007

Flickr Badge


I have finally managed to get my Flickr photostream onto my photoblog. I'm very excited about this as it is a way for you to see some of the photos which do not make it to this site.


Wednesday, 17 January 2007


I recently read an article about panography. It is where one takes many photos of a subject (large building, town square, nice view). The photos are then arranged in an overlapping mosaic kind of way to form the full photo. The is technique can be found on the Photojojo website in the tutorials section.
Today I completed my first attempt at a panograph.

Panograph of Sacre Coeur on Flickr
La basilique du Sacré-Coeur de Montmartre

This is my first attempt at a panograph, and I can already see where I could improve. I have a couple of ideas for future ones which I will show off here and on my flickr.

Feel free to tell me what you think of this in the comments area.

Tuesday, 16 January 2007

Photo Websites

I have decided to put the addresses of photography websites I find interesting on my photoblog. First into the foray is

The site is a user led critique forum/community. I am not a member of this site, but visit here regularly to veiw some truly amazing photos and read the odd article in the learning section.

Monday, 15 January 2007

Out for a Walk With a Phone

At the moment I am on a bit of a health kick so I try and go for a brisk walk as often as possible. Yesterday I decided to walk to Streatham Common to take some photos of the Rookery [map].
The Rookery is a Victorian Garden (actually visited by Queen Victoria at some stage).

I entered the woods from the Eastern end of the Common and walked through the woods to the Rookery.

Into the Woods

Once in the Rookery I spotted this lone flower in small stream running through it. I thought it looked lonely.

The Lonely Flower

Onwards down the hill into the walled garden.

Western Entrance to the Walled Garden

It is is very peaceful in this garden. Even in winter there is some colour.

The Centre of the Walled Garden and the Wishing Well

At the end of the rookery, some more pillars leading you back up the hill. The photo of the sqirrel isn't particularly good, but it was nice enough to pose for all the passers by, so it's photo makes a guest appearance.

The Eastern Exit From the Walled Garden and the Posing Squirrel

Finally, on the way home, I saw that someone had trapped cemented a flower pot to a wall around their garden.


This photo invokes a feeling of being trapped. This plant will never be free. **sniff**

The main reason for this entry is to show that, with a bit of patience and a steady hand, reasonable photos can be obtained by using a 2megapixel camera phone.

Saturday, 13 January 2007

Photo With Movement

I am in the middle of a blog post which will cover my journey to and from work. While doing this I attempted a bit of a study in movement within pictures. Most of the photos looked pants, but I did take one on the platform of New Cross Gate station which didn't come out too bad. Here it is:

New Cross Gate Station at Night

I like the mixture of static and movement. I think it works well in a photo about a train station.

Thursday, 11 January 2007

The Scarlet Ibis

While trawling through my old photos last night I found this picture of a Scarlet Ibis I took while at the World of Birds, South Africa.

The Scarlet Ibis

I love this photo, the red of the ibis is made all the more vibrant by the drabness of soil, rock, and dusty plant.

I highly recommend clicking on the photo, or here to see it in full size.

15/01/07 - This post has been edited to correct Red Ibis to Scarlet Ibis as this is the species name.

Wednesday, 10 January 2007

Geotagging Rocks!

As you may notice, on the sidebar I have a link to my flickr photostream (all the photos I have marked for public viewing).

Flickr is a great website for storing photos on, although only 200 can be stored unless you sign up for a pro account (about $25 per annum).
One of the things I like about flickr is the ability to geotag photos. Basically, this is placing your photos on a map in the location they were taken so that anyone looking at the map can see what there is to see in that area. My flickr map is located here. As you can see, I only have a few photos geotagged at the moment, but I will add to them whenever I have photo worth placing on there. Zoom in on one of the sets to see exactly where they were taken.

If you want to see everyone's geotagged photos you can go here.


I went to Chalk Farm last summer and while walking back to the tube station I saw this bit of graffiti.

Cleaning up Chalk Farm

It is kind of in the style of Banksy, but doesn't appear to be politically motivated like a lot of Banksy's stuff. I like the wit of the picture, which is what made me stop and take the photo.

Most of the wall was exposed after some of the concrete fell off. The artist painted the cleaner around that part and ehanced the brickwork with paint.

Monday, 8 January 2007

When One Just Isn't Enough

I decided that I should stick to only one entry per day lest I end up running out of quality photos, but thought that my first entry on this blog was a bit too lame. So, below is a picture I took last summer while wandering London.

Waiting for a Sweetheart

I saw this and thought of someone waiting for their sweetheart to arrive. A "I'll leave a flower in the letterbox so you know which door to knock on", kind of message.

I particularly like this photo because it is an impromptu photo. These are my favourite types of photo as you cannot plan them, but they can be some of the best you've ever taken. I took this with my 2 megapixel camera on my phone.

Lower pixel cameras do have their uses. After all Daguerre didn't have any fancy cameras and lenses!

In The Beginning...

Everything has to start somewhere. Like this blog.

It starts here.

A bit about this blog...

I have recently got back into taking photographs again. I'm not brilliant at it, but enjoy taking photos. Every now and then I take on which makes me sit back and nod my head in a satisfied way. The overall aim is to have those photos appear on this site. However, I'm going to start with just random ones which I may delete as I run out of space.

About the author...

I live and work in London. I live in Streatham, and work near Canary Wharf.

In fact, here are a few pictures of where I work:

My Desk

And out the left and right windows of where I face from my desk:

So there you have it. Certainly not the biggest bang of any blog beginnings. Hopefully I will do the good wine thing and get better with age.