Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Third-rate Photographer

Cambridge Camera Club's Points of View competition was held last night, and as always it was a highly enjoyable event.  It's one of those competitions where everyone's ambition is actually to come second, since then you get most of the glory but don't end up with the "privilege" of setting and judging the competition the following year!

Round 1: Tourist Cambridge.  This was taken on King's Parade just across the road from King's College Chapel (but then you could probably have worked that out!).

Round 2: Corners.  It was difficult not to be too obvious with this round, so I went for something which - with the addition of some colour - would make a fine "Mondrian" painting.  It's actually the entrance to the old Computer Laboratory tower where I used to work as an undergraduate and a PhD student.  Memories came flooding back...

Round 3: Mood or Atmosphere.  This little girl was actually a guest at a wedding, and the double-decker bus appeared to be the transport to the reception.  I loved the way she was in a world of her own, and - having her face pressed up against the glass - was being lit while her father was in relative darkness.  It was as though she was in a kind of spotlight, and the chance alignment of the bus windows and the building behind were a pleasing bonus.

Round 4: Retail Therapy.   This was taken on Emmanuel Street, which is where many of the Park & Ride bus stops can be found.  This couple amused me enormously, as it was the chap who seemed to be there under sufferance (and was carrying all the purchases!) while his partner was nonchalantly sending a text message on her phone.  The matching shoes and jeans, plus the lady's bag being the same colour as some of the shopping, were the icing on the cake.

Round 5: Metal or Metallic.  By this round I was getting rather worried (being in the joint lead) but luckily Paula, who did an excellent job of the judging, failed to understand the following entry so marked it down.  Phew!  It's actually a rather beautiful slotted spoon with a wooden handle, taken through the window of a cookery shop on the corner of Bridge Street and All Saints' Passage.  The window lights were shining through the spoons, which were each acting as a "gobo" and making patterns on the wall behind.  Well, I liked it anyway...

The final outcome was that I came Third overall, so could relax with head held high and honour reasonably intact.

Friday, 26 April 2013

The Revenge of the Un-Image

Last night's meeting of the Aperture group within Cambridge Camera Club was dedicated to a discussion about the "un-image".  The thesis was that not every picture needs to be sharp, detailed, the correct colour or even of an interesting subject!  Sometimes it is the lack of detail, or the banality of the subject matter, which gives a picture its charm.

We were each invited to submit ten "un-images" for scrutiny, and this is my set.  Most were taken on an iPhone, but even those which weren't are simple grab shots.  I allocated myself 30 minutes one lunchtime to process all ten images, and used Nik's wonderful Snapseed application to do it.  Unfortunately, our "friends" at Google have pulled the plug on the desktop version of Snapseed in favour of mobile users: a sad (and misguided) decision, in my view.

Anyway, I hope you aren't too un-impressed with my un-images.  I had a lot of fun making them.

Novelty value rather than fine art, in my view, but hugely enjoyable nevertheless.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Inside Worcester Cathedral

After lunch I went inside Worcester Cathedral to try my hand at some more HDR interiors.  Although they're getting better, it's still a challenge to preserve highlight and shadow detail while also keeping the shots looking natural.  The proof of the pudding, they say...

Unfortunately (for the interior photography) it was a sunny day.  This, combined with dozens of tourists walking in and out of the frame, made for an interesting couple of hours.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013


It was such a lovely Spring day on Saturday that I decided to stop off for a few hours in Worcester on my way to Bristol.  My main interest was the cathedral, but here are a few shots from the around the town. 

The statue is, of course, Edward Elgar, who is inextricably linked with Worcester.

It seemed slightly incongruous that a beautiful mediaeval building had been turned into a mobile phone shop.

Speaking personally, I love to have my hops individually tailored...

There's something about the eternal and unquenchable optimism of a Labrador when it comes to food!

Just one of the many discount and money-lending stores in the city centre, although the top prize must go to the very large number of empty and boarded-up shop premises.

The local intelligentsia...

Stopping for a quick smoke.

Some more general views of the city.

Anyone for a spot of good old-fashioned rectification?

Thursday, 18 April 2013

The Car's the Star

I was the "emergency backup" photographer for Peter and Holly's wedding on Saturday (or, at least, the bit where they arrived at Emmanuel College for the reception).  They had managed to find an "A" registration Hillman Minx for the wedding car, which rather stole the show.

By this point the "real" photographers had arrived...

So much more classy than turning up in a white Rolls Royce.