East Somerton - Behind The Photo

In this new weekly feature I will be talking about an images on where it was taken and what I like about it.

Today its East Somerton Church ruins that I visited earlier this year in during a week off work. This was one of many locations I visited that day with Thornham and Horsey as they were close by. This village is located just off the coast near Winterton-on-Sea which I foolishly didn't visit.

The ruins are tucked away down a narrow road between a few houses and could easily pass it if you were not looking for it. Like with all old buildings I am attracted to textures of brick work. To create this image I used a technique called HDR to capture enough information to bring out details in the very bright and dark areas, branches of the trees behind the window for example. 

Making this a black and white image creates an atmosphere to emphasise the emptiness of this ancient building and brings out the texture in the bricks and rendering. 

These ruins are worth exploring if you're in the area but not to keep you busy for too long. While I was here I managed to see snowdrops which was one thing I missed out from last year. 

Thanks for taking the time to read about this picture and I shall raid the archives for next week's image.


Cambridge Trip

Trinity Hall Cambridge University, HDR processed from three images

The camera club arranged an outing to Cambridge. Not counting the wedding I attended last year I haven't yet visited Cambridge, considering I live about an hour away is a shame.

I decided to travel light as possible with packed only the Fuji X-E1 and GorillaPod that easily fit into my backpack.  For the most part it worked well but I missed my normal tripod at times as I found the GorillPod to be very fiddly to setup at times and keeping it secure on a lamp post was challenging.

As the sky was beautifully stormy I was using a technique called HDR to capture enough detail to create an image that had detail in the sky and buildings which would otherwise be impossible to achieve with just the one picture without using filters attached to the lens. 

Bikes everywhere in Cambridge

To create an HDR image you preferably need at least three to five images at different exposures to capture the details in all parts of the scene. The sky is typically much brighter then the ground and buildings. For example If you are taking a picture of the sky everything else will probably be very dark, taking a picture of a field, beach or architecture will leave any clouds as a white or grey blob.

The series of images need to be in the exact same location, if any of the images are slightly out of alignment it could ruin the final image. Touching the camera for every picture on a fiddly GorillaPod isn't easy and this is the trade off for taking a smaller tripod for this type of photography.

What I didn't like about Cambridge were the notable amount of sales people selling boat rides which after a couple of encounters became annoying and with Cambridge being a tourist attraction getting into any of the campuses was expensive and which I wasn't prepared to pay for although there were still plenty to photograph without going in them and many of them were closed because of the exams. I were happy with the historic architecture and street life to keep my photographic eye interested for many hours and I might be tempted to revisit again in the future. 

EDP May Magazine Publication

Seeing my images in publications is still a novelty and gives me a sense of achievement. Taken last year in Wayland Wood is just outside of Watton which is where I live and naturally is one of my most visited locations simply because I can walk to it.

In 2014 I made the effort to explore Wayland Wood to capture the Bluebells on a number of occasions as they progress throughout the season visiting at different times of the day. Going into woodland at the beginning or end of the day when the sun is at a low angle will produce images with interesting side light and shadows from trees which adds depth to images, the image used was taken around 8am. 

Because cameras do not currently capture what they human eye sees I use a technique called HDR or High Dynamic Range to capture enough detail to create a picture I would be happy with. Most of my landscape images are taken using the HDR technique, watch this YouTube video for HDR is action. 


Bluebells are now coming to an end for the 2015 showing and I shall be moving onto butterflies in the coming weeks building on last years experience, hopefully my newly acquired 80-200 lens will do a better job. Next year will be a challenge as I need to try something new with bluebells to avoid taking the same image over and over.