19 September 2007

Competition news

I got some great news from my camera club tonight that one of my prints which was selected to go into the Harrow Camera Club Annual Exhibition and the Ron Wake Memorial Trophy towards the end of last season - story here, made it into the final 10 out of around 60-70 prints submitted!!

The photo was the one of the Brooklyn Bridge in New York that I took with my Sigma 10-20mm wide angle lens. Unfortunately it didn't win the trophy but it did receive favourable comments which I'm really pleased about. Hopefully the external competition success will continue.

Back to reality - unfortunately

Well the holiday in Greece is finally over and it's a bit of a shame to be back here in the UK after a week of glorious sunshine and relaxation.

We went to Tsilivi on the island of Zakynthos and were pleasantly surprised by what we found. Our apartment for the week was set back up the hill from the main centre of Tsilivi and as a result was quiet and away from it all. It also had commanding views across the bay and up towards Kefalonia and the Greek mainland. The accommodation was really well presented and very clean.

Luckily we got the chance to explore the Island on a Jeep Safari day trip with Zante Insight. The off road trip took us to places that there was no way a hire car could get to, let alone find! There were photo opportunities around every corner from the stunning countryside, the small villages we passed through down to the rugged western coast.

We got a chance to see the famous shipwreck at Navagio Beach near VolĂ­mai. It is one of the top 5 most photographed beaches in the world and it was certainly easy to see why. The viewpoint is on a very precarious metal platform sticking out from the cliff edge - it only takes 4 people at a time and the cliff drops away vertically beneath you! The colours of the sea and the stunning view have given me some great shots - will get some posted up soon.

It never seems that a week is long enough but at least it left us with things to go back and see sometime. In the meantime, its back to the old routine again!

2 September 2007

What is it they say about working with children and animals?!?

Well I managed to do both yesterday! I did a shoot for some friends in the morning - Lindsey, Steve and their baby - Emma. We had a good hour and a half or so getting a whole variety of shots of the family.

Straight after that I went and photographed Ben - a border collie cross. Ben is used to the cameras - he starred in a forthcoming information video that was being shot and his owner said that he was very well behaved and did exactly as he was told and when during the shoot.

On his home ground, he was also well behaved but seemed to want to spend more time rolling in the grass having his tummy stroked than having his picture taken! With a bit of perseverance and bribery in the form of Digestive biscuits, we were able to get a selection of good shots.

Have just got to sit down and run through all the processing now! I think I rattled off over 300 shots over the 2 shoots so it will take a bit of time editing out the ones that don't make the cut and then processing the ones that do into a variety of different formats and styles.

Still, it's all good experience! As far as the title of this post goes - I think I understand what was meant now!!! Only kidding!

Monitor calibrations

I've just received my Pantone Huey Pro monitor calibration hardware. I decided that it was time to get my monitor properly calibrated as I think I'd been relying on the Adobe Gamma setting a bit too long. Getting the monitor profiled correctly is the first step in ensuring that colours of prints come out exactly as they should. You've got to see the photo displaying correctly on your screen before you send it to be printed.

The Huey pro was a breeze to set up after cleaning the lcd screen first with the cleaning kit and installing the supplied software. The calibration process takes around 2 or 3 minutes and then lets you create a profile which can be saved and applied each time you use the pc.

The calibration hardware sits in it's stand by the screen and constantly monitors changes in ambient light in the room and adjusts the display accordingly.

I've only been using it for a day and just for viewing photos, it seems to make them more accurate to how I actually remember it when the photos were taken. I'll have to see how things go when it comes to getting round to editing some photos and the results that are achieved. Things are definitely looking promising so far though.