Archive for the ‘Photowalks’ Category

Photo Walk – Berlin 24.02.09

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

I switched from photographers block to writers block!

So I wanted to talk about some photos I have taken recently. Talk about my thoughts at the time.

Private Road

Private Road

This reminded me of a song ‘Bent – Private Road’. The dark and dullness of the road and the fact that even in rush hour, Berlin I managed to get the road clear. Some people that know the area are wondered if I used some magic shutter speed trick to delete the cars. No I was lucky!

It’s a fine example of how a photo walk should work. You don’t look up but also down and around you making sure you take everything in. When I crossed this street I noticed that below there was an autobahn entrance so I took the shot.

Later I added the vignette and changed the image to grayscale.

Panning Returns

Panning Returns

If you friend of mine since the very beginning when I would try very new things out with my Fuji S5700 this whole image will look familiar. I revisited a street corner where I first tried panning. This time I took the shot with my Canon 450D.

There is nothing spectacular about it other than revisiting some techniques I had forgotten. Something maybe is worth doing.

This image was left unedited!

Heavenly Tower

Heavenly Tower

Bad shot turned good. Ok it’s not the most pleasing photo I have ever taken. But there is something about this. The clouds, the blur and the incorrectly configured white balance – everything was wrong but then it worked.

It retained this retro old school Polaroid look for sure.

This image was left unedited!

Sharp Building

Sharp Building

This building is not far away from Alexanderplatz. I was inspired by the Italian Photographer Gabriele Basilico.

Here is Gabriele Basilico image.

Although I love his style, this particular photograph bothered me.

I felt it was incomplete. I mean I know the building and have pasted it a number of times and I felt he missed what the building was. Its height, its randomness and eastern Berlin scars.

So I took this shot in an attempt to bring the building into a new light. I have not failed in that regard but I don’t think I managed it!

The image was originally taken in color and I moved it into grayscale.

Grey Day In The Grey City

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

I went out for a Photowalk around Portsmouth, UK, on Saturday. It was overcast and raining – a perfect backdrop for the ’70s style concrete buildings, Battleship Grey Warships, and the economic mood at the moment.


Grabbed this one between rain showers – an old Multi-Storey Car Park, well past its prime. Did concrete ever look good?


The light was bad – I had to use High Iso’s to maintain a decent shutter speed when shooting hand-held, so lots of these shots were grainy and a bit soft.


This was taken near one of the University buildings, on my way back to the ferry. I didn’t realise it, but as I was lining up the composition in my viewfinder a queue of pedestrians had stopped while I took the picture – I jumped a mile when I looked away from my camera and saw them all patiently waiting!


The main reason for Portsmouth’s existence – The Royal Navy Dockyard. This is Ark Royal and Illustrious, two small carriers designed to carry Harrier Jump Jets, as seen by the Ski-Jumps on the bows of both vessels.

You can catch up with the rest of the set on my blog
, and I’m planning to return to Portsmouth soon, maybe on a day with some well-defined clouds in the sky for dramatic effect…

Cheers, Rob.

Before You Go Out Shooting – Check Your Wife!

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

Following on from The Laddies excellent post about never missing a shot, I thought I’d share the acronym I use to make sure I don’t go out with the wrong settings in my camera – WIFE..

W = White Balance. Go into your camera’s settings menu and make sure you’re set to Auto, so you don’t end up trying to take landscape photo’s with an incandescent setting….

I = ISO. Make sure the ISO setting in your camera is nice and low, preferably at the lowest level your camera will allow, maybe 64, 100 or 200. There’s nothing worse than coming back from a shoot to find all your pics are noisy because you shot them at ISO 800.

F = Focus. I always check that my camera is in auto-focus mode, single focus (rather than continuous, which reduces battery life), and centre focus, rather than multi or area.

E = Exposure. This is all about checking how your camera “meters” the scene for light. I like to use “Multi”, and knock down the exposure by 1/3 ev using Exposure Compensation. I also make sure my camera’s in its “Fuji-Chrome” colour mode. You’ve got to check your photometry because if you’re in spot metering, you’ll find that lots of your photos will be over / under exposed and you won’t know why.

I hope this helps in your pre-shoot camera checks, and if you’d like to hear a little more about my shooting routine, check out Podcast 17 on

Cheers, Rob.

Laddies Guide to Never Missing A Shot

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008
Missed it!
Makes you cringe just to look at it doesn’t it! photographers worst nightmare is to just be a second off capturing a perfect shot. Wildlife photographers especially know this feeling with how unpredictable the animal kingdom can be.

I want to share a few tips for you to use when your out for a shoot.

  • Keep your camera on at all times from the start to finish of your shoot. Most cameras have a auto turn off setting which I normally avoid by zooming in and back out ever now and again to make the camera think its still in use.
  • Take two extra sets of batteries. Assuming your in a day shoot (no flash) and your out for an hour you will likely not need the spare set but you can’t be too careful. Generally though its good practice.
  • Clear memory cards. Again generally a good idea.
  • Set to Aperture priority mode so that you don’t need to fuss too much with the settings but still have a level of control (this is personal preference, you might like Shutter priority mode or even still want Full Manual mode instead).
  • Keep the camera on a strap and around your neck or in hand. Nothing worse than seeing something zoom pass and your fumbling in your camera bag.
  • Decide on your lens and keep your second choice close to hand if you want to switch.
  • If you need a tripod then remember to keep the attaching plate on the camera at all times and the tripod out of the case (maybe extended but thats again personal preference).
  • If you have continuous mode on your camera then keep it set to that. This is there you can hold the shutter release button down and you just keep taking pictures until you release the button.

Now if your going to your local store for a bag of crisps and you happen to have your camera with you then don’t worry about these tips. This is for only when you are going out for a photo walk or an actual shoot somewhere.

Then I hope that with these tips you don’t cut the head off a swan like I did.

Happy shooting ;-)

Places I Like To Shoot – From Monks Walk To The Forton Lake Bridge

Friday, October 17th, 2008

If I want to go out for a quick, local photowalk, one of my favourite places has to be the part of Gosport that backs onto Portsmouth Harbour.

About a quarter of a mile from my front door the area called monks walk starts – that includes a wooded area that runs adjacent to the Royal Navy’s armament depot, only frequented by dog walkers and the local wildlife.

Deer Near Monks Walk, Gosport

As I head east, towards the harbour, the trees thin out and you get the first views of Priddys Hard, home of numerous yachts, The Hardway Sailing Club, and a few old Royal Navy Warships awaiting the scrap yard.

Destroyers At Dawn II

I’ve then got to take a short cut through a small industrial estate, through Hardway Village, then down the slip-way to Priddys Hard, where there’s a better view of the destroyers.

scrap destroyer b&w

A little bit further up, past the Sailing Club, you can get a better view of Priddys Hard, and it makes a great scene for photographs, especially if there’s some dramatic clouds around.

Priddys Hard

Sadly one of the biggest scrap ships, an old Assault Ship, either HMS fearless or Intrepid, has been moved, but it always used to be one of may favourite subjects.

Ship Graveyard

About five minutes further is the Explosion! Museum, dedicated to the weapons used by the Royal Navy through the ages.

Look Out Fareham!

The end point for my walk, unless I want to carry on into Gosport Town itself, is the Forton Lake Bridge, a great vantage point for watching warships being moved around the harbour, and a nice subject itself.

Last Bloom?

So, that’s one of my favourite photowalks – no matter how often I go back, I always notice something new, or the light / weather are different – I never tire of it.

Cheers, Rob.

My “Go To” Photowalk – Priddys Hard, Gosport

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

To be honest I’m a creature of habit, especially if the light is bad (as it was today, grey and bland), so if I want to get out and get some exercise, and maybe take some photographs too, I often walk along Priddys Hard, Gosport.

If you install Google Earth, you can download the .kmz file I created today with my Qstarz GPS Photo Tagger, follow my track, and have a look at some photos I took too.

Download my .kmz track file for Priddys Hard, Gosport.

Cheers, Rob.

A Morning Photowalk From Rob

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

I’ve been renovating our bathroom for the last couple of days, you know the score, grouting the tiles, sealing the tub, working on the floor, so it was about time I got out and took some photographs.

Scrubbing the silicone sealant off my hands, I grabbed my trusty Fujifilm S5700 and headed off out into the Autumn Sunlight…