A journey of photographic adventure, Two Views was born by two friends having a blast and learning from each other on a photo shoot in the autumn sunshine, asking the question “How can we continue to push our photographic boundaries in terms of technical knowledge, new challenges and creativity and have fun at the same time?” The answer we came up with was to set ourselves a project every two weeks, and then publish the results together. Two Views of the same subject / idea or technical approach. By the end of this year we will have covered 26 subjects and produced at least 50+ awesome photographs, and have learned a huge amount along the way! We’d love your comments, critiques and ideas, and if you want to “play along” too, please do let us have your shots by links in the comments sections! TJ & The Brunette

Friday, 14 February 2014

The Floods of 2014 by The Brunette

 Blimey! I had forgotten how to even use Blogger after SO long away! But I got there in the end! Thanks to TJ for inspiring a new post, and for explaining my absence! It's been a busy year for me and especially the last 7 months following the birth of my first baby (a girl called Robyn!) But it's time to carve some "me" time out of Mummy time and get back behind the camera! Living in Datchet as I do, finding some good subject matter was easy, I just stepped out of my front door! I strapped Robyn in her sling and went out as often as I could to monitor the flooding levels although carrying a 17lb baby I didnt take my "proper" camera with me, so these are all taken with the frankly stupendous Samsung Galaxy S4 camera phone. I really liked the moodiness of the black and white shots below, but like TJ in the end opted for colour and minimal editing. I think the shot shows the extent of the flooding as you can clearly see what's underneath the river water, namely the main road running through the village! Including on the far right an abandoned car. Its been devastating with power cuts and many houses in the village now inundated and evacuated. With more rain forecast this weekend, we can only hope and pray it doesn't get any higher. It's strangely serene, with no cars and no trains running and many businesses closed. But heartening to see the community spirit, and strangers talking to strangers and checking if anyone needs assistance, the British Dunkirk spirit in effect :)

Thursday, 13 February 2014

The Floods of 2014 by TJ

In the 15 months or so since we last tackled floods much has changed and not just The Brunnette becoming a mother! The flooding back in 2012 caused a lot of devastation, but fortunately although getting close the waters never reached my work estate. As I publish this post there is still a very real danger of us being flooded out and the units at the bottom end of the estate have been flooded. The landlords have pumps running 24/7 to try and keep the flood water at bay, and I have had to move some stock off the flood as a precaution. So this time I am taking and publishing a photo with the floods having much more of a direct impact.

The view in the photo is off what is normally a wheat field next to our work estate and where I can usually take the dogs for a walk. My unit is right behind the telegraph pole top right and these waters have spilled over from the River Thames which lies a few hundred metres further back. I have photographed the same scene as I did in 2012, but if you go and look at that photo by clicking here you will my different approach this time. I have gone with a natural shot taken at the waters edge rather than a panoramic view with a coloured filter. There is no editing except for the usual tweaks to the contrast and sharpness. I tried a number of different shots zooming in and zooming out, but felt that this photo captured the whole scene perfectly. The flood's made for a large expanse of water for the swans to enjoy, the blue sky with puffy white clouds provide a great backdrop and add to the reflection on the water. For me on a personal level it also shows the sheer magnitude of the water and yes although a beautiful scene it also shows the awesome power of nature. Click here to have a look at this scene from the harvesting of the wheat in this very same field in 2013 it's hard to imagine it could be the same field.

My other photos under consideration concentrated on the beauty aspect of the scene. I used the zoom on the camera to capture the swans and the tree in the two photos and then used a low key editing effect to create the under exposure effect, it's an effect I really enjoy using and feel it adds a lovely effect to these two photos.

The Floods of 2014

After some time away whilst The Brunette brought little Robyn into this world last summer we are back out there with our cameras. If we thought that the floods of 2012 gave us a bonus blog opportunity, the floods that we are currently experiencing in 2014 are on a scale not seen in our lifetime. Our situations are unchanged in that we both live and work close to the Thames with The Brunette living in besieged Datchet, and the devastation all along the river through Berkshire and beyond gives us the opportunity to get the cameras out. These current floods have brought utter devastation and yet at the same time have created spectacular imagery. It will be interesting to see what we come up with, and compare the photos of 2014 with our previous efforts just over a year ago.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Blue by The Brunette

I am in the last week of my pregnancy now! So I knew I probably wouldn't be venturing far from home for this one :) Given our Fabulous summer so far I knew there would be a good chance I would find a day with the weather on my side for the shot I had in mind. Living very near Heathrow airport, I originally planned to shoot some airplane vapour trails, and did attempt it one day (see below left) but it just didn't do it for me really! I then remembered my love of lens flare, and that they usually come out blue, so I could potentially have a blue subject - the wonderful summer sky and some funky lens flare too - win win! Lens flare is created as I am sure you know when you photograph a light source directly and the light hits the aberrations in the camera lens, most photographic books will strenuously tell you to avoid it using lens hoods and coatings, but I have always loved the effect. The one thing you must not to do is look directly at the sun through ANY kind of lens, so you do have to be prepared to blindly point and shoot and crop a good deal in editing! Other than cropping, I merely enhanced shadows to turn the side of the house black and into silhouette and saturated the blue of the sky a little more. I am really pleased with the finished shot, both the sky the sharp lens flare and the more nebulous blue circle of it over the house too. And also like TJ  - I have a plane in the top left corner which I hadn't planned to capture! 

Blue by TJ

Sometimes in photography you can stumble across the unexpected without even realising it. In this instance I wasn't actually trying for my "Blue" photo. I was fortunate enough to be at London's Hyde Park to see The Rolling Stones on a gorgeous summers evening, and I was busy snapping away at the various sights with my compact camera. Spotting an aircraft flying over London I decided to try and capture it with one of the speakers and HD screens in the foreground. It was only when I got home and was able to see the picture on a decent size screen that I realised I had got a decent "Blue" photo! If I am guilty of one thing in photography at the moment it is my readiness to fall back on editing to enhance and create photos, so in this instance I have deliberately steered towards a natural scene. The only real editing was to tweak the brightness and contrast to add a slightly more dramatic effect to the photo. For me there is plenty to keep the viewer interested, as it is a photo from an historic occasion, has the plane in the distance and the large and looming screens which were dotted all over the venue.

For my other photos editing had taken a lead role. The blue rose top left was a very tempting photo to go with as in terms of a macro shot I was really pleased with the detail and texture I captured. However I have to concede that it is actually a pink rose turned blue in editing! Top right is another photo from Hyde Park with some beautiful Brazilian dancers attracting a rather large crowd :) I used selective colouring to isolate the blues. The photo at the bottom is one I took using my iphone at Wembley Stadium recently watching The Killers and I used an on board effect to take the photo like that. They were playing a song which meant a lot of the crowd were using their phones as torches and I liked the way the blues were also prominent in a subtle way.

Monday, 8 July 2013

35) Blue

Our next topic is "blue". In December 2011 we covered "red" so we are more than ready to tackle another colour. This subject offers the photographer a huge blank canvas with plenty of choice. The colour blue is all around us in many shapes and forms, and not only that it also encompasses that rather sad emotion which we all feel sometimes. Dare I mention blue also has a rather rude connotation too! There is also the time of day known as the blue hour, which occurs just before sunrise and just after sunset. There is plenty for us to get our teeth into, so why not join us on this topic and send us a blue photo...