sticking point

By writing my recent progress report, I became aware of how little practical activity I’d achieved so far in 2016: a creative year, but I also remembered later that I’d taken some night photographs in Edinburgh recently that I didn’t publish here. For some reason, WordPress always reports an error every time I try to upload a photo from this shoot, but I’ll keep trying.

St Andrews Square was host to an installation by Groupe LAPS called Keyframes. It’s worth following the link to see other versions of this installation. But better still, go and see the installation in situ, it’s there in Edinburgh until 28th March 2016. Each stick figure lights in turn, giving the impression of movement, thussuccessfully combining static sculpture with animation, which, together with the soundtrack, made it an impressive piece.

And following that discovery, I went out on another night photography expedition, and I’m working my way through the resulting images this weekend, so I will post the results soon.



Tuesday, March 8th, 2016 animation, photography, sculpture No Comments

a safe return

Well, that was an unexpectedly stimulating and enjoyable evening taking photographs in Cambridge. I think I feel a new project emerging: Cambridge After Dark. I’ve not downloaded the images yet so it’s too early to evaluate this initial outing. But this was only ever going to be a trial run to learn from.

So, what did I learn?

  1. I enjoyed it so much that I already consider it a success.
  2. I already knew that automatic focus doesn’t work in the dark and it’s hard to focus manually in the dark, so I shot at f22 to maximise focal length.  My first few shots on AV mode were probably too dark, so I switched to bulb setting on manual mode and kept increasing the exposure times, until my final shot was 10 minutes.
  3. I arrived in town almost exactly at sunset, so the sky was still pale. I like the contrast with dark buildings lit by artificial light.
  4. Soon after I arrived, I startled a heron when I crossed a narrow wooden bridge over a stream in Newnham. It flew towards the mill pond where I saw it lurking a few minutes later in the shadows by the weir. I’ll be ready for it next time.
  5. There’s a shot I want to get on my next expedition of a line of gargoyle head water spouts silhouetted against the sky in Trinity Street. I think I’ll need the 300mm lens.
  6. I’d intended to park in The Backs but the parking bays were full. It turned out there was an open air choral concert by the river in the grounds of Trinity College. I stumbled across it by accident, catching the final few minutes. The sounds were beautiful, especially in the disappearing light, a magical experience, made even better by its unexpectedness. You won’t discover experiences like that without getting out there.
  7. To prevent people from accidentally bumping my tripod while the shutter was open, I stood close beside it protectively.
  8. I should take a back pack next time, to carry extra items, such as a jersey taken off because I was warmer than expected. Refreshments would be a good idea.
  9. I enjoyed it so much that I’m finding it hard to sleep tonight. Unfortunately I’m at work tomorrow. I’d much prefer a lie-in followed by a session of downloading photographs for import into Lightroom. It would be better if I could rearrange my work schedule for next time.

And that’s all for now. What more will I learn when I’ve seen the photographs?


Monday, June 8th, 2015 photography 1 Comment

expedition preparation

I had dinner with friends last night, who asked me if I’d done much photography recently.  I had to say no, but I’ve been thinking about some low light photography in Cambridge one Sunday evening when it’s quiet. So, today being Sunday, I’ve been assembling and preparing my kit. Battery: checked, SD card: cleared and checked, remote shutter release cable: tested check. tripod mount: found and transferred from another camera. I’ll travel into town by car which means I can take a spare camera as back-up, so that means testing and assembling another set. Still, it’s exciting! I’ve not chosen a creative project to work on for a long time, so this is long overdue. Smoke me a kipper, I’ll be back for breakfast!


Sunday, June 7th, 2015 photography No Comments