Weekly Photo Challenge: Harmony

If you’ve ever read my About page you will know that I use the Olympus O-MD E-M1 camera and have done now for almost two years. Previously I used Pentax cameras but I found that my trusty old Pentax was getting too heavy to lug around. Maybe it’s because I’m not as young and fit as I used to be. Anyway, the Olympus suits me now and I’ve no intention of changing it in the near future. One thing I will say though;

I’m not into the whole Canon versus Nikon versus Sony argument. I leave that to others more suitably qualified. All you need is your eye and a camera; which doesn’t have to be a high-end DSLR with loads of expensive lenses to get great looking photographs.

Last Saturday, I had invited Sharon Jones, a fellow blogger, for her first ever street walk in Liverpool with the Fujiholics. Neither of us are Fuji camera users but that doesn’t matter. All are welcome and usually about 100-120 photographers turn up at the starting point. It’s meant to be a fun day out  walking the streets taking photographs and chatting to other photographers. So it really p!$$es me off when right at the start a “know it all photographer”, someone you have never met before, comes along and first criticises my choice of camera and then proceeds to tell Sharon how to set up and use her camera. I felt so embarrassed and annoyed. I’d told Sharon what a friendly bunch of photographers we were and the first person she meets acts like a total prat.

Anyway, enough of the rant. Let’s get on with the photographs, which are all from the Liverpool Photo Walk…….

Down by the River Mersey is the Ferry Terminal which takes you across the river to Birkenhead. Some of you may remember a song written by Gerry Marsden about the ferry, called “Ferry, Cross The Mersey”. Surprisingly, there are adverts at the terminal about a cafe dedicated to the Beatles but no mention of Gerry.

Fab 4

In Mathew Street is the famous Cavern Club. Well not quite. The original was filled in and a new one opened just a little further up the street. Opposite the Cavern Club is the cavern Pub and this photograph was taken outside the pub. Have a look at the names on the bricks.

Let's Talk

The docks are a very popular tourist attraction in Liverpool. I wanted to photograph something different so it’d a down low shot for me. Just as well it’s still winter or it could have got embarrassing.

Over the Bridge

Heading past the Everyman theatre walking towards “Paddy’s Sombrero” better known as the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral I spotted these three walking along, totally unaware that I was there.. For me it was the shadows that made the photograph.

Friends

Now at this point you might be thinking “what have these photographs got to do with Harmony?” It’s easy, don’t you see the relationship? As Ruth Bernhard so succinctly put it;

For me, the creation of a photograph is experienced as a heightened emotional response, most akin to poetry and music, each image the culmination of a compelling impulse I cannot deny. Whether working with a human figure or a still life, I am deeply aware of my spiritual connection with it. In my life, as in my work, I am motivated by a great yearning for balance and harmony beyond the realm of human experience, reaching for the essence of oneness with the Universe.

Steps

A switch to some architecture now. The fire stairs caught my eye as we were walking around, in fact they seemed to catch the eye of everyone on the photowalk as we were all stopping to point our cameras at them.

Now this is one of those photographs I’m not sure about. Does it have any value? I  don’t mean monetary. I was think more along the lines of what does the photograph actually say. Is it intrusive? Or is it just a moment in time captured by the camera?

Cup of Soup

I shot this one from the opposite side of the street. Here in the UK you can no longer smoke inside public buildings. This includes, bars, restaurants, cafes, shops, the workplace. So you will often see people standing outside smoking. What I liked about this was the stripes. They show up so well in Black and White.

Smokin'

Those Fab Four again. You just can’t get away from them.

Fab Four Taxi

In the photograph below the girl on the phone is my main subject but she was being overpowered so to speak by the steps which where a very light grey. To try and balance this out during the conversion to Black and White using Google Silver Efex I did darken the stairs using the control points to turn down the exposure

On My Phone

This is one of my favourites of this series from Liverpool. In general I darkened the whole image except for the clock face and the words Oh Me Oh My. I really wanted them to stand out……

Oh Me Oh My

….and this is my other favourite. These two ladies had just come out of the pub  for a quick smoke. They saw me with the camera and just started laughing. It really was too good an opportunity to miss and they were happy for me to take their photograph.

Smile

The only photograph I have kept in colour. It’s so bright and would have been lost if I had converted it to Black and White.

Stag Party

Another cafe shot. I like the way they are laughing here.

That's Funny

Now then, all the way around the route for the photowalk we kept bumping into these girls and their friends. In the end I decided to photograph them. They know I’m doing it but don’t seem in the least bit bothered.

Keep Smiling

Emma and John. I wonder if they are still together?

Love Lock

That’s it from me this week. For Sharon’s view on the photowalk around Liverpool follow this link.

As usual, here ‘s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge.

Witrian’s Photofolio Weekly Photo Challenge- Harmony
Shots and Captures Weekly Photo Challenge- Harmony
Weekly Photo Challenge- Harmony – imyesterdaysgirl
Jake Kuyser Photo Challenge- Harmony
The Land Slide Photography Hawaii Five O
Chasing Serenity with a Lens Weekly Photo Challenge- Harmony
Ann Edwards Photography Weekly Photo Challenge – Harmony
Waterfall – Lauras Photos
Through the Lens of my Life New Beginnings
A Certain Slant of Light Photography Lights and Harmony

Weekly Photo Challenge: State of Mind

I’m off to Berlin, Monday. For my American readers that’s Berlin, Europe not one of the many Berlins that happen to be in the USA. Just for added interest I’m now starting with a cold. I can feel the early stages coming on. Just what I really want. Which brings me to my state of mind. At the moment I’m not exactly in the mood to consider going out at night to photograph magnificent structures like the Brandenburg Gate.

Brandenburg Gate

No, maybe I’ll just stick to Street Photography this trip.

After intensively exploring many genres over the last 30 plus years I have, in recent years, focused on Street Photography as an outlet for my photographic energies. Street Photography is somewhat of a misnomer as it can be practiced anywhere people are photographed in the environment in which they are found. For some, myself included, being a photographer is as much a state of mind. – Michael Dubiner

But there again, when there are other magnificent monuments in the city, it would be too good an opportunity to miss. Look at the Soviet War Memorial in the Tiergarten which I photographed just before sunset. That setting sun really highlights the gold lettering

Soviet War Memorial

And what about the area around the Europa Centre, with the ruins of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, which was destroyed in 1943, and new modern church right beside it.

Europa Centre

Right, that’s it for this week. I’ve just found out that my ultra-modern hotel does not offer free Wi-Fi. Would you believe it in this day and age? So it looks like I might be dark until the end of this week. Roaming costs in Europe are still horribly expensive, especially for data.

Here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge;

Mainline_Matter Matchless State Of Mind
Inspired And When The Fog Lifted…
Carto’s Logbook State Of Mind — Boy & Girl
Julia’s Odyssey State of Mind – WPC
STREET-PHOTOGRAPHY – COLLAGE state-of-mind
Lonely Travelog State of Mind
Julie Powell – Photographer & Graphic Artist WPC – State of Mind
Maria Jansson Photography State Of Mind
Laidig’s Broadway Waste of Mind-
Half a photograph Cheery

Weekly Photo Challenge: Seasons

Goodness me! I’m early. For weeks I have been completing the challenge post late on a Friday afternoon but this week I finally have some time to get on with it. So here goes. Spring is my favourite time of the year, more so than summer so let’s start with a nice Spring photograph.

Field of Daffodils

Daffodils are grown around here in abundance. The first time I saw this and many other fields like this I thought they were for St David’s day. He’s the patron saint of Wales and it’s traditional for many Welsh people to wear one or both of the National symbols of Wales to celebrate St. David: the daffodil (a generic Welsh symbol) or the leek (Saint David’s personal symbol) on this day. But when I looked into it I found out the daffodils are grown to be used in Medical Research and modern uses include extracting galantamine from the bulbs to treat Alzheimer’s disease.

Still in spring mode I’m now going to take you to the North Cornwall Coastal Path, 141 miles (227 km) of rugged walks many of which are along cliffs. The views are stunning and throw in the start of sunset. what more could you ask for.

Spring Flowers

Staying on the coast but back in North Wales. We have some great cliff walks as well but in my neck of the woods it more flat beaches and sand dunes. Great for summer and we are in the right position that during summer our sunsets are out to sea.

Sunset at Prestatyn Beach

Ever since i moved to North Wales we have had an annual air show during the summer. This year it could be in doubt due to new “elfin safety” regulations which have been imposed on air shows held in the UK.

Red Arrows

Autumn is probably my second favourite season. As the colours start to turn in the trees we get amazing reds and oranges to photograph. It looks so peaceful in the photograph below but earlier this year that river burst it’s banks and flooded that cottage causing a lot of damage.

Cottage in Llanwrst by the side of the Afon Conwy - Photograph ny Mike Hardisty.jpg

Further up-stream the river flows quite slowly giving some great reflections of the autumn colours that we can see in the trees.

Autumn Colours

Winter in the Ogwen Valley, well in this case Nant Ffrancon just below the Ogwen Valley. You can always guarantee to get some snow here, which forces the ponies down from the upper levels to near the roadside. If you are lucky enough to see them you can usually approach slowly. Don’t startle them, approach side on, that’s where a horse or pony sees best. A horse has a sort of blind spot right in front of it’s nose.

Wild Ponies

OK! Ogwen valley this time and a frozen Llyn Ogwen with Tryfan in the background. An easy spot to photograph as the main road runs along side the lake and there’s a car-park about 50 metres behind me. That’s if you can get it in, as it can often be full, especially at weekends.

Llyn Ogwen

Well that’s it for this week. I hope you enjoyed the photographs, and as usual, here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge;

Some Photoblog Seasons
by marion A little touch of spring
There is a season – turn, turn, turn – TRAVEL WORDS
He Feeds The Birds This is Winter Where We Live
The Shady Tree WPC- Seasons
The Photographer Smiled… Tree on ice
Frozen Leaf – ChadLynn Photography
HIP Photos Seasons
Michelle Lunato Photography Season. Time to Love
Sara Zancotti Seasons

Weekly Photo Challenge: Art Imitates Life

I have searched through my back catalogue of photographs and managed to find absolutely nothing that I could use. Maybe I just don’t have any imagination. Then I had another thought. Why don’t I just twist everything around and create some art imitating life.

Carnival Queen

Everything you see in this weeks post originally started life as a photograph shot at the Weston-super-Mare Carnival several years back. But then I decided to have a little play in Photoshop with some of my favourite plugins

Scarecrows

“They . . . asked me:
“‘How do you make your pictures?’ I was puzzled . . .
“I said, ‘I don’t know, it’s not important.’ – Henri Cartier-Bresson

Pirate

It’s been a while since I did anything like this. I’d forgotten how much fun it can be to just do something different and it makes a change from trying to master those pesky Luminosity Masks.

Doctor Evil

Photoshop is useful in many ways but must NEVER be used for the altering of photographs. My assistants and my agency do whatever Photoshop work for me that may be required as it is too complicated for my brain. – Elliott Erwitt

The Clown
I’ve always liked the one above, notice I don’t call it a photograph because it no longer is. I don’t know what you would call it now. Any suggestions?

The Red Hood

…painting is something you do. You make a painting. You don’t make a photograph. You see a photograph. Photography is seeing only, you see it, you release the shutter, you use your aperture, your machine and once you’ve seen it, that’s it. It’s done. – Jurgen Schadeberg

The Mask
That wraps it up for this week, I hope you enjoyed the artwork? Here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge….

Life imitates art – the walking pencil
The Imitation Game – Story of My Life
LargeSelf Weekly Photo Challenge – Life Imitates Art
Glass Manifestations Dog Imitates Art
Art imitates life – A Journey Called Life …
Life Imitating Art – Mostly Monochrome
Mama Cormier Life Imitates Art
Life Imitates Art …. – Rose Bay Letters
Jennifer Nichole Wells Life Imitates Art
Maria Morera Johnson WPC- Life Imitates Art

Weekly Photo Challenge: Time

Doesn’t time fly. I’ve been so engrossed in trying to master these Luminosity Masks to the detriment of everything else. Suddenly it’s Friday afternoon. I have a stack of emails that need answering and I haven’t written anything for this weeks challenge. But I finally think I am beginning to get the hang of LM’s

Ogwen Boathouse

However it does seem to be one step forward and two steps back. Look on the bright side though. I am learning a lot about Photoshop along the way.

Photoshop is not a verb. It is a noun. It is the means to an end, not the end itself. – Vincent Versace

Why am I spending so much time on this? Well, at one time I was a confirmed, dyed in the wool, flag  carrying HDR user. But times have changed. I know longer use HDR as much, especially for landscapes. But I still want to get as much Dynamic Range as possible from my photographs.

Penmon Point Lighthouse

Luminosity Masks seems to be the way to go. But why is it taking me so much time to learn how to use them correctly?

Here’s what other bloggers are saying about Time

Time – Travel Frame
Tea Time – A Year of Sunshine
Riley Central
Fueled by Chocolate Time – So Late So Soon
Jennifer Nichole Wells Time
Time – Shadows – Zero Creativity Learnings
fennbradley Weekly Photo Challenge- Time
What Time Allows – Scattered Showers in a Clear Sky
Endless Frame Photography Weekly Photo Challenge- Time
The Shady Tree WPC- Time