52 in 2016 Week 5 Shadows.

I don’t know what’s going on with WordPress at the moment, but in the last week every comment notification has ended up in my Junk Mail. But it’s not only that. In some case I’m not being notified that a comment has been posted on my blog.

So I’d like to apologise if it takes me a while to answer. This really annoys me because I’ve never knowingly not replied to comments made, good or bad.

Rant over. Normally, for this challenge, I would go out and find a nice sunny scene with lots of shadows being cast. But with the weather we’ve had recently, there’s not been much sun around. So I’m going for a bit of a literal interpretation of this challenge.

52 in 2016 Week 5 Shadows

The National Slate Museum at Llanberis is a great place to wander around. They openly encourage photography and on a cold winters day it’s nice to stay out of the rain and still get to do some photography. The museum is set in the old workshops of the Dinorwic Quarry and has been left as though the workers had gone home for the day.

Wandering around the workshops, you will find some dark shadowy areas where the dim lighting hardly reaches. I told you it was a literal interpretation this week.

One area I like, is the Pattern Loft. Here there are genuine shadows cast by the natural light shining through the dusty windows. Look closely at the window and you can see the cobwebs.

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That’s it. I hope you enjoyed the photographs.

52 in 2016 Week 4 What’s Inside

I had all sorts of ideas for this weeks challenge but events rather caught up with me, leaving me little time to implement those ideas. So when in doubt retire to the abbey. It’s my favourite spot when I want to try out something new for photography indoors. Well it wasn’t exactly something new when I use the camera. More what happens when I post-process the photograph when I get home. Regular reader will know I’m a fan of HDR, but in recent months I have been trying to move away from this; instead, I’m trying to master Luminosity Masks.

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I know, I know. “What the 8&$% are Luminosity Masks” I can hear you asking. In simple terms it’s a method of …….Aaah, you don’t really need to know. It’s not easy to explain either and implementing the masks in Photoshop can be confusing at times. Look at the photograph above there’s no blown out highlights. Previously  I would have achieved this using HDR software, Now I’m using Luminosity Masks. Yep! That makes sense. I hope?

In the photograph below I used LM’s to balance out the lights. believe it or not, this is not someone’s house. It’s a quaint cafe in Llandudno. Great isn’t it? And so relaxed.

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That’s it. I hope you enjoyed the photographs. and if you want to know more about Luminosity Masks follow this link

Weekly Photo Challenge: Vibrant

It’s back to Hong Kong for this weeks challenge photographs. Why? Some of the photographs I took on the streets are so vibrant; people going about their lives, unaware that I’m photographing them. For Street Photography I normally use Black and White but sometimes colour is better.

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Wandering around the streets presents lots of photo opportunities. Moments that have to be captured there and then or they’re gone.

The streets are vibrant, intimate, and accessible—a lot of life is happening right in front of you. Sometimes the everyday moments that make up people’s lives provide the richest content for a photograph. – Leslie Rosenthal

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Markets are a great place. They’re colourful, there’s so much going on and for me I get to take photographs, generally without getting busted.

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The Flower Market provides lots of colour and as you wander round the streets wonderful fragrances assault your senses. Sometimes a little too heady. Almost right next door to the Flower Market is the Bird Market. I wanted to photograph the bird but this tourist was determined to be in the photograph. So in the end I thought “Why not?”

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The biggest bug-bear with Hong Kong is mobile phones. People go about the streets, blithely unaware that you are there. Great for Street Photography but a PITA when they bump into you. They’re all doing it.

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See what I mean?

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For me the camera has the ability to distil significant fragments from the complexities of everyday life. The ability to make coherent, to simplify from the mass of details. Photography today should speak with urgency, should be free from contrivance, so that it must never be suspect. I strive for intelligibility because photography as communication to me is its noblest calling. The are of photographing human relations is not new but rather a development from Lewis Hine and the Farm Security Administration. The thread of humanism has greater vitality than ever, even if abused today. Photography combines those elements of spontaneity and immediacy that say ”this is happening, this is real”, and creates an image through curious alchemy that will live and grow and become more meaningful in a historical perspective. – Dan Weiner

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Near the Star Ferry Terminal and the Avenue of Stars are these what can only be described as posing barrows. Artificial turf and a tree are mounted on a wheeled cart. People sit on them to take photographs….strange.

Now this guy I like. He creates stencil signs by hand. You can see some of his handiwork behind. With a hammer and various shaped punches he creates the signs on metal. His workshop? A busy main street in downtown Mong Kok. I kid you not. He just sets up his stall and get working.

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Back to the market again. One of the most famous in Hong Kong is the Ladies Market in Mong Kok, which has over a 100 stalls stretching for about a kilometre and selling bargain clothing, mainly for women. You can also pick up very dodgy counterfeit watches and handbags here. As you walk through the narrow aisles of the market you will be approached constantly with calls of “Copy Watch” or “Copy Lady Bag”. It’s a game, be polite, if you don’t want to buy just say “No Thank You”. They won’t hassle you, too much.

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Well that’s it for this week. Here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Vibrancy (2) – Travels with My Camera
Susi Lovell That Night At The Circus
HIP Photos Vibrant Sunset
Giggles & Tales Photo Challenge – Vibrant!
Weekly Photo Challenge- Vibrant – Adrian Evans Photography
Brilliantly Vibrant – SunDragonLady ‘s Cavern of Lost Words
Julie Powell – Photographer & Graphic Artist WPC – Vibrant
Musin’ With Susan Kaleidoscope
Connie’s World Weekly photo challenge- Vibrant
STREET-PHOTOGRAPHY – COLLAGE vibrant

Goodbye Old Friend

Today is a sad day. I had to take my pal Deefer on a final visit to the vets. Diagnosed with Lymphoma just before Christmas we knew that he had a limited time with us and sadly it was time to say goodbye.

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A puppy not that old. Did I say he shared the same birth date as me 28th October.

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A young dog….and below, probably one of my best photographs of Deefer

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In later years I started calling him the “Grumpy Old Man” but he was never that. He was my friend and he did like posing.

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Two of the last photographs I took of Deefer, both in Black and White

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Goodbye Old Friend.

Old Timer

52 in 2016 Week 3 Rool of Thurds

Oh No! Not again. The Rool of Thurds. How many times have I said I hate that Rool of Thurds.

Consulting the rules of composition before taking a photograph is like consulting the laws of gravity before going for a walk. – Edward Weston

But once again Roolz is Roolz so here’s my two photographs for this weeks 52 Challenge.

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Although it was a sunny day, in the wintertime the lake is protected from sunlight by the surrounding mountains. So if it freezes overnight it takes a long time to defrost the following day. I’ve sort of stuck to the rule here. The lake is in the bottom thurd and the small boat is on th intersection of the bottom and left hand side thurds. Yes, I do know how to spell third but I do have…..well you know what my thoughts are on this crazy Rool guideline.

Rules aren’t any good if they don’t work! The only real rules are the laws of physics and optics. – Dean Collins

Similarly with the next photograph. The reflection starts in the second thurd of the photograph…..and that’s about as far as I’m prepared to go

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Last Wednesday was such a beautiful day, Clear blue skies and no wind. Although they are within miles of each other one lake was frozen and the other was flat calm giving those beautiful reflections we can see. It so hard to describe to someone what it was like and Cameron Lawson so aptly describes the dilemma he faced

I would come home from a climbing expedition and find it hard to describe the experience and beauty to my friends and family. Photography allowed me the vehicle to tell the visual story. – Cameron Lawson

So I hope in these photographs you get some idea what it was like for me earlier in the week – Mike