29 March 2012


"The woman who wins
is the woman who thinks she can."

Dedicated to a special woman - told to me by a very talented one.

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28 March 2012


Enjoyed giving my presentation today and unveiling my five year van plan. One needs aspirations...

Thought the other presentations I heard today were very well considered and gave me some ideas and reminded me of areas I had missed. Worthwhile exercise.
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26 March 2012

Hello Star Gazers

Such a beautiful clear day bode well for a clear cloud-free night sky. What with Venus being so close to the beautiful waxing crescent moon and Jupiter below them - I thought I would set up the camera to capture a time-lapse of it all.

Initially I was hampered by a neighbour who decided to do a 59 point turn on my drive (Why? I have no idea). Finally he cleared off and I got the chance to set up and start capturing.

Here is the result - I decided to help you a little by labelling the points of interest in the sky at the end of the movie - so see what you think:

There is sound on this movie

I am not too happy with the quality of the mp4s - the movies are much better when watched from the .mov file. I will investigate ways to improve things.

Got to use the new Manfrotto tripod and friction grip head - blooming marvellous. Easy to set up and easy to use and no blood on my fingers at the end. Magnificent purchase.

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25 March 2012

Sunset Fun

Had the privilege to spend time with the lovely Beard family last night. I was helping Dan get better acquainted with his lovely Canon 400D and photographing his delightful daughters.

I decided to take my camera along too just in case Dan wanted to try out some of my lenses on his camera, I got the chance to capture some moments myself - thought I would share:

My favourite from the day

Dan doing his thing

We all had some fun
Thought I would turn my camera onto the landscape too as it was so pretty.

Windmill at Staunton Harold Resevoir

Staunton Harold Resevoir

I really do enjoy what I do and the people I meet. Lovely time. Thanks Sarah.

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"You made the whole process so easy and enjoyable: like a long soak in a hot bath."

Not sure I can improve on that!

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20 March 2012

Talks and Presentations

Today I have written a couple of 10 minute presentations ready for talks I need to give - one next week and another in May.

Next week I will be discussing the ins and outs of my business plan. All good preparation for that day when I finally need to go and see the bank manager! 

In May I will be discussing what people need to look for when they are hiring a photographer - and for a bit of a giggle a few things you should NOT say to a professional photographer. 

Had a lot of fun with this and thought I would share a few:

"How much does that camera cost?"

"Let me see, let me see"

"Just photoshop it in"

"Take my photograph for free - 
it'll be great for your portfolio."

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17 March 2012


Was going to spend the day editing sound. Either I am not in the mood for this or everyone is being really noisy today.

Tried Plan B - a time-lapse movie on the clouds out of my window. And guess what - I did everything wrong - wrong ISO chosen and lots of noise, under-exposed images, incorrectly focused camera, wrong f stop showing nasty sensor blobs, battery not fully charged, didn't empty memory card, used an old and rubbish lens. Glad this happened on a personal project.

Everything = wrong.
Have highlighted the sensor blobs - think the one top right might even be an insect!

OK let's take a deep breath, charge up the battery, wipe the memory card, put a nicer lens on the camera and set it up again. Nope I failed at that as well.

The alternative is to take a day off - but I have forgotten how to do that.

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13 March 2012


I have been researching a new technique called cinemagraph. This gives a still image the appearance of movement. My favourite image of my Uncle Pete smoking is an image I have always wanted to add smoke to. After having some brief tuition I have been able to add smoke to Uncle Pete's cigarette and here are the results:

This movie has sound.

A still from the movie:

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Venus and Jupiter in Conjunction

As the sun was setting this evening I thought I would see how Venus and Jupiter are looking. They are only about 450,000,000 miles apart which for us is quite close!

Only got a few minutes as the sky got darker until the clouds came over and they both started to twinkle and disappear. You might notice the intro and outro idents - jolly proud of those I am.

This movie contains sound

Here is a still from the movie:

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12 March 2012

Full Moon rising

After seeing the beautiful, almost full moon, the night before I decided to set up the camera and capture images of the moon rising.

The time-lapse set-up was fairly standard once I had decided on which setting to use and off it went. I realised after about an hour and a half that the moon was either not rising in that time slot or it was very well hidden by the clouds.

What resulted was a quite unremarkable time-lapse movie of the night sky and fast moving clouds. Eerie, surreal and atmospheric.


There is sound on this video

For those that are interested in the details:
  • 696 images captured in this movie.
  • Used the Canon 300D on a gorilla tripod.
  • Camera was set to AV on f5
  • I used ISO 800
  • Exposure times ranged from 640th of a second to 2 seconds as the light decreased.

I took this opportunity to develop the new intro and outro for my movies. Really enjoying creating these and cant wait for my first commission.

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08 March 2012

... and finally

... a little bit of luxury.
Saw that Moo had introduced a new range of cards 'Luxe' and as my new logo was almost ready I decided to order some to try them out to see if they truly lived up to their 'delux' reputation. They arrived today (yes my postwoman had a hernia carrying all this stuff to my door today) and here they are:

The packaging is worth the money for these cards alone

They are approx 3 'normal' cards thick and the middle layer is coloured

delightful blue edging

... and oh my do they live up to their reputation. These will be VIP cards!

I also had some stickers made and if you order anything from me you will get to see them.

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Service from my Man

Where else would you get service like this? I ordered my Manfrotto legs only yesterday morning (from my sick bed) and they arrived as I got back home at lunchtime today! Wow - speedy service.

My new Man's legs

Richard Frankfurt Photographic Ltd should be high on your list if you want top notch kit in a hurry.

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Ball and Chain - resolved

I finally found somewhere to purchase a small number of ball and chain dog tags. I had received a quote for an industrial amount of chain to make into dog tags but thought that as this was an experiment, at this stage, a couple of dozen would be more than enough to get me started (rather than 10,000).

Today they arrived and I have spent a couple of thumb numbing minutes putting them together!

But they are here and my need for precision and attention to detail is coming together.

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06 March 2012

1st March

What a fabulous day. Started with witnessing my fences, my shed and next doors shed steaming. In the past this has always signified a good day ahead. After popping to the post office to renew my road tax I discovered from my friendly post office worker, who is originally from Yorkshire, that she has seen cows steaming on a morning like this. The day was set to be a good one then. 

Delivered images to a client, picked up some notelet packs ready to sell and went to a networking meeting. 

Meeting was fabulous - support, advice and encouragement all around. Sold many of my notelet packs, encouraged response for referrals about my latest business venture, delivered some training and said goodbye to a positive force in my business life, not that she will be too far away (and I will visit). 

Back in the studio I finished a time-lapse movie which I will deliver in the morning after I have had two meetings and before an afternoon on Cannock Chase. This is not a well deserved break but a shoot with Staffordshire County Council's FosterCare team and an Olympic athlete. 

Don't think I have ever loved my life more. All this has been down to my own hard work, my ideas, my ingenuity, my passion, and my oh my can I see the results of that. 

I have some really interesting projects up my sleeve involving a couple of weeks away on location shoots and also starting a 'create and currate' project. The next three months are set to be very busy and lots of fun. 

This weekend I'm off to Focus on Imaging show at NEC and will be hoping to buy two vital pieces of equipment - been told I need to haggle though, which goes against the grain. Have a feeling this weekend is also Crufts and if so I think my cousin might be showing her beautiful dogs, if so I might try and find a way of finding her. If not I shall see her back at home to photograph her pedigree dogs.

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