52/2013 Week 35

Nant Gwrtheyrn

Week 35 already and yet it hardly seems like yesterday that I was starting this years challenge, which, unfortunately, will be my last.

Nearly all of my photographs for Say It With A Camera are hosted on Flickr, with a few on Google+. At the end of this year I will be moving the hosting to Google+, mainly because Flickr in it’s new format no longer suits my needs. I find it unwieldy to use and now that my previous Pro Account has been terminated, the adverts are driving me crazy.

There will be no disruption, all that will happen is if you click on an image to see it in larger view or to download it, you will be directed to Google+, instead of Flickr.

You may have noticed that I have changed the brand name, (apparently I am a brand), from Mike Hardisty Photography to Say It With A Camera, which  serves two purposes.

One, Say It With A Camera is far more unique than Mike Hardisty, (there’s more than one of us), with photography tagged on the end. Two, I want to apply my values to everything I do, including clarity and consistency. Say It With A Camera  provides the clarity and consistency to my brand should I decide to sell my photographs.

After reading the Daily Post article Should Your Blog Be on Facebook, I decided that maybe mine should so I have created a Facebook page to take feeds from my blog as well as photographs and articles that won’t feature on Say It With A Camera


Weekly Photo Challenge: Focus

Great photography is about depth of feeling, not depth of field. – Peter Adams

Peter Adams may be right but changing the Depth of Field can be quite useful in some cases; sometimes it may be desirable to have the entire image sharp, in which case large DOF is appropriate.

Take Your Litter Home

In other cases, a small DOF may be more effective, emphasizing the subject while de-emphasizing the foreground and background.

Spring Buds

Depth of Field can be altered by changing the Aperture in your camera.  Here’s the technical bit;

Reducing the aperture size increases the depth of field, which describes the extent to which subject matter lying closer than or farther from the actual plane of focus appears to be in focus. In general, the smaller the aperture (the larger the number), the greater the distance from the plane of focus the subject matter may be while still appearing in focus.

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Attribution: Cbuckley at the English language Wikipedia

So at f4 the DOF will be very small, at f22 the DOF will be large. To show you this I’ve conducted a little experiment, photographing the same scene several times whilst changing the the aperture from f4 to f22.

For this experiment I’ve drafted in Edna and Mabel to act as subjects. Mabel will be in front and throughout the sequence of photographs I will maintain the focus point of my camera on her face. To avoid camera movement it’s mounted on a tripod.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Focus

In the photograph above the aperture is set at f4. As you can see, Edna, who is in the background is out of focus.

14a Focus

Now the aperture is f8, notice how Edna is starting to come into focus. Her features are much more clearer, you can even see her pudgy little nose.


At f22 the photograph is in sharp focus from front to back including the fence behind Edna. In other words at f22 I have a large Depth of Field.

Every time someone tells me how sharp my photos are, I assume that it isn’t a very interesting photograph. If it was, they would have more to say. – Anonymous

On a practical note for most of my landscape photographs I tend to use f8,  f11 or f16, very rarely do I use f22. There’s a reason for this. If you look at the aperture diagram you can see that the higher the aperture number the smaller the whole is. In combination with variations of shutter speed, that hole controls the light reaching the sensor on my camera. Typically, a fast shutter will require a larger aperture to ensure sufficient light exposure, and a slow shutter will require a smaller aperture to avoid excessive exposure. So If I set the aperture to f22 I would need to have a slow shutter speed, which in turn means I could end up having blur due movement; me holding the camera, the wind moving trees or vegetation, clouds across the sky.


52/2013 Week 34

52/2013 Week 34

I’ve just come back from a relaxing 4 days in the Peak District. Some rugged country (more on that in a later post), but just as equally some great little towns with beautiful and ornate parks.

For example, I found this colourful flower decoration in Buxton’s Pavilion Gardens, which were designed by Sir Joseph Paxton and his pupil Edward Milner and first opened in August 1871.

Buxton is a spa town in Derbyshire, England. It has the highest elevation of any market town in England. Located close to the county boundary with Cheshire to the west and Staffordshire to the south, Buxton is described as “the gateway to the Peak District National Park.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Carefree

There’s an old joke in the UK about waiting a long time for a Number 7 bus and then three come along at the same time. This week has been rather like that for Say It With A Camera. Photography has taken a back seat this week to things that needed doing around the house, so it was great to get out yesterday with the camera and capture the sunset which I have already written about.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Carefree

This weeks photo is from my back catalogue. Taken last summer at Llandudno, just along the coast from me, it shows the pier and holiday makers enjoying themselves.

At 2,295 feet (700 m) the pier is the longest in Wales and the fifth longest in England and Wales.

A British Tourist Authority report in 1975 said of it: ‘…. It zooms out of the sea…. in a spectacular Indian Gothic style rather like a Maharajah’s palace floating on a lake. Cast iron, brackets of iron lacework, an outstandingly pretty balustrade like an enlarged fish net, ogee roofs curling away to the sky, all add up to a totally pleasurable experience.’

Next week I am on vacation, with limited access to internet services, so it’s more than likely we will have a Number 7 situation again.


Right Place, At The Right Time

Prestatyn Sunset

I’ve been busy all week so it was nice to get out last night for a short while. I desperately needed to get a photograph for my 52/2013 challenge so it was looking like a sunset might be an easy option. However, as skies go it wasn’t looking too good. Very overcast, dark brooding clouds, all the way to the horizon. Not exactly sunset weather.

One thing I have learned over the years of taking landscape photographs, the sky and available light can dramatically change very quickly and so I set off to the beach anyway. Couple of minutes and I’m on the seafront, and, as hoped, the horizon was clearing. Suddenly it’s starting to look interesting, those dark clouds still looked menacing but now they were on fire, my sunset photograph was taking shape nicely.

By some special graciousness of fate I am deposited — as all good photographers like to be — in the right place at the right time. Go into it [photography] as young as possible. Bring all the asset you have and play to win.

Margaret Bourke-White – written after she was stricken with Parkinson’s disease.

In many ways photography is about taking a chance. I’ve gone out in all sorts of weather conditions thinking I wont come home with much to work on…and yet, I’ve rarely been disappointed. A quick break in the clouds, a patch of light shining through, and I’m lucky to be in the right place at the right time.