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

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

A charitable appeal

Today I would like to publicise a wonderful creative effort by my best buddy TJ. In April 2012 the dreaded cancer word came into his family. One minute he was sitting with his mother expecting a normal discharge from hospital, and then in the blink of an eye their world was turned upside down when they were told that his mum had bowel cancer. She has battled strongly through various treatments and is making a fantastic and full recovery, her whole family are so very proud of her. TJ decided to write a book and contribute the proceeds to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. The book features a diverse collection of TJ's fantastic photographs, including the stories, ideas and technical approaches behind each one. The e book version on Amazon is only £1.65 of which the £0.97 he earns will be donated to the charity. It is for the Kindle, but there are freely available Kindle reader apps for Ipads, Iphones, android phones and computers! The physical book version can be now be bought from Create Space and is now available for £7.21 on Amazon. All physical copies will raise £1.00 for the charity.

His plan is to try and sell 1000 copies! Absolutely every penny earned is going to be donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. To have any chance of doing this he is asking people to buy a copy, and help spread the word to as many people as possible through as many channels possible.

I of course bought my copy 2 seconds after release and I highly recommend it - its full of photographic inspiration and techniques as well as some touching and amusing stories of the photographer and his family. Buy it! you will love it and you will also be making a contribution to a wonderful and worthwhile charity!! :)

Monday, 3 December 2012

Floods by The Brunette

Like TJ I found it hard to take a shot of the flooding that would show that the water is not supposed to be where it was! I drive past the Thames on the way to work everyday and had noticed the water level rising day by day until the footpaths and some of the benches on them were entirely covered!! So I decided that that would show the extent  of the flooding. Luckily as I was taking a series of shots trying to show the path disappearing an obliging swan rocked up to demonstrate where a person would normally be enjoying a nice walk!! I liked his casual style, he looks just like he is out for a nice afternoon stroll, and behind him you can see the footpath descend into feet of water!!! The other shots (below) show some more attempts to portray the disappearing footpath, but for me the swan make the shot!

Floods by TJ

I was lucky on two fronts with my photo. Firstly I work very close to the river Thames so when the river burst its banks I did not have to go far with my camera. Secondly the flooding came level to and in fact past my work estate and we were only saved from flooding by being on slightly higher ground and some effect banking defenses. The scene is of what usually is a crop field, but for a while has become part of the river. One interesting question I posed myself was what happens to the fish in a lake back right in the picture that sits between the field and river? Until the river sunsides I will not be able to investigate and get my answer.... I found that capturing such a huge mass of water was not so easy as apart from having the tree in the centre of the photo it really was just a solid mass of water. So I decided to use the panoramic function on my camera. I held the camera in a portrait position as I wanted to get as much as I could into the shot, as my early landscape efforts didn't get as much of the scene in as I wanted. In the photo above there are seven photos stitched together. In editing the main effects I used was a pink tone, which I feel brings a nice atmosphere to the photo, and also a vignette effect to darken the edges of the photo.

I used the same effects in my other photos. Top left was a single shot of the tree in the main shot taken closer in. I like this picture and might have used it if the panoramic photos hadn't worked. Top right I moved around to the left and took a picture of the same flood from a different angle, and this was as far as I could go on foot. The panoramic shot at the bottom was taken using the camera held in landscape mode from the same position as the main picture and shows how the two photos differ. This photo had three photos stitched together.

Friday, 30 November 2012

32) Floods

The recent wet weather and the resulting floods presents a bonus topic for the blog. We both live and work close to the Thames and the river bursting its banks gave us the opportunity to get the cameras out. Flooding brings devastation and yet at the same time can also create spectacular imagery. It will be interesting to see what we come up with...

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Autumn by TJ

I am somewhat of a traditionalist when it comes to autumn in that I love the vast array of wonderful colours that we are blessed with in the UK. Each year I make a mental note of exactly the best week of year to capture the golden leaves on the trees just before they fall, and of course I always forget. The setting for my photo is a view at the start of the Whinlatter Pass in the English Lake District taken at the beginning of November. Not only was I fortunate enough to be in a stunning location, but on that weekend the first snow of the year fell. So what I was able to capture was a picture that shows an autumnal setting encompassing the dieing throws of an English summer in the foreground and the fast approaching winter with the snow on the mountains in the background.

My other shots were of three different settings closer to home. The left hand photo is of the woods above Medmenham close to work. The centre photo is of Stubbings Nursey on the edge of Maidenhead Thicket, and the right hand photo is a low level shot taken on a farm in Littlewick Green near Maidenhead. The problem I had with all three shots was trying to replicate what I could see with the human eye, and I think that is the difference between these photos and the main Whinlatter Pass photo.

Autumn by The Brunette

I was lucky enough to be on honeymoon in Poland for what is known as the Golden Polish Autumn.... you can see why! I couldn't believe my eyes at the depth and variety of colour, I wanted to roll down these wooded slopes - they looked like soft down!! It was hard to choose my favourite, as you can see from the filmstrip below, but in the end I went for one that was ALL about the colour with no other distractions. Edit wise, they are pretty much as taken, with just a touch of boost on the saturation dial!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

31) Autumn

For our next topic we are tackling the current season of autumn. The season is full of rich colours as summer fades away and winter approaches. There are numerous possibilities for this topic in terms of location and subject matter. There is a really interesting website here that gives some great tips on autumn photography. A bit of planning may reap big dividends, but also the ability to capture a snapshot of the glorious colours is key. Let's see what we come up with...

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Panoramic by The Brunette

I decided to try the panoramic setting on my new Samsung Galaxy SIII phone, as it makes it EASY for you! It tells you to start and then directs you as to where to take the next shot, keep focus and exposure static for you and then stitches it altogether! I decided my trip to the beautiful Natural History Museum in London would be my location, and took four panoramas that I am really pleased with using just my phone! My favourite HAD to be the dinosaur in the main hall, which would be impossible to get into one shot without a panoramic photo! I am really really pleased with it, I like the distortion created by the super wide view on the building, and the fact that you can see a more than 180 degree view into the archways either side, including my husband, standing patiently waiting for me on the right hand side (the bearded handsome man by the archway :) Below are the other three shots, taken across huge swathes of the inner great hall, and one of the ice skating rink outside, they would be fun to print up I think!

Panoramic by TJ

I had great fun with taking panoramic photos. I was fortunate enough to spend a weekend in Cumbria so I was presented with plenty of stunning landscape scenery to try panoramic photography. I knew what I wanted to photograph before I got there. The Ribblehead Viaduct which is actually just across the border in North Yorkshire on the Settle to Carlisle railway, and somewhere I had last visited in the 1980s with my dad. It was a bitterely cold afternoon when I got there with icy strong winds, rain in the air and the light was fading fast. I used my tripod although it was not easy finding a flat surface and in addition the wind was causing the camera to move at times. The panoramic view contains 3 photos I took using the panoramic setting on my Lumix FZ45, which I then put into Adobe Photoshp Elements 9 to stich them together into one complete image. I was really pleased with the final results as there was no other way to photograph such a wide structure close up, which therefore made it a perfect subject for this topic.

My two other photos were taken the following day in the Lake District. The top photo is 5 photos stitched together of the stunning Derwentwater. The main problem I had with this photo was I took it by hand and didn't quite get the level right to start with, which meant I had to rotate the photo and crop it losing some of the lake, but it was a good lesson learned. The bottom photo was 3 photos stitched together taken from the Whinlatter Pass looking down towards Braithwaite Lake, and this one worked to plan and I was really pleased with it.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

30) Panoramic

Any subject, anywhere as long as it's panoramic! Panoramic Photographs as you probably know are SUPER wide angle, made by taking several photographs of the same scene and then "stitching" them together to provide a seamless looooong photo! Some cameras do this in their own panorama settings, some you need to take several photos and then stitch them yourself in post editing software. There are some things that can really trip you up in the creation of a good panoramic shot, you need to make sure, focus, depth of field and most importantly exposure stay exactly the same for all the individual shots, so that when stitched together its seamless. Here's a good guide on how to get started! Good Luck! :)

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Wedding by TJ

Firstly congratulations to The Brunette on her recent marriage to Ryszard at Denbies Vineyard in Surrey. I was so happy when I was asked to take some informal pictures of the day, although there was still a little bit of pressure as I wanted to do a good job for the happy couple. Yet the photo I have chosen is probably one of only two taken during the day when I actually got the couple to pose for me, as most of the other photos of the day were ones I took when people were unaware of the camera. I had decided that for this topic I wanted a picture of the couple together and this one was taken after the afternoon festivities came to an end. There was some lovely sunlight shining on them and the amazing background of the vineyard gave me a great photographic opportunity. The image was sharpened, converted into black and white in Paint Shop, and then I used Picasa to add some warmth and boost effects to the photo before using the cinematic effect to give the image a more dynamic and classical letter box finish. In my humble opinion I think I captured the magical chemistry and unconditional love that my two friends share.

In my other photos I captured the couple having their first dance and was so very close to using this one as main photo as it also shows two people happy in love on their wedding day. The photo top right captures a radiant bride looking beyond the camera at something that has certainly brought a smile to her face, a smile which was a common theme throughout the day.Bottom left is the original photo that I edited for the main shot, and bottom right was another lovely photo capturing another happy moment shared by the couple.

Honeymoon by The Brunette

I am guessing that I know which one of us will be posting a wedding shot and which a honeymoon shot *wink* I of course was the subject for a day of photos on my wedding day! Let me tell you I much prefer being the other side of the camera!! For our honeymoon we went to Zakopane in the Tatra Mountains and then Krakow, both in Poland of course (because my husband is half Polish!) And although I fell in love with both places, and have some fantastic mountain landscapes, for me Krakow was just so romantic, I just knew the shot for this post would come from there. We were lucky enough to have a hotel room overlooking the main square and it had a balcony, so every time of the day or night I looked out, because of the changing light and weather  I got some amazingly different views of the same place. The shot I choose is actually from my first group of shots I took as soon as we arrived which was at dusk, the light is amazing, the soft pink glow from the setting sun lighting up the buildings with a rosy glow. I thought it was just so appropriate for a honeymoon vista! The filmstrip shows two others I loved, the left hand side a candlelight procession to St Mary's church at about 10pm, there was beautiful singing by a choir for about an hour - very evocative. The second one early morning with the square full of mist, again very moody and romantic. It's a fantastic place to visit! I can't wait to go again -  for much longer than two days as well!!

Friday, 26 October 2012

29) Weddings & Honeymoons

As you may know if you follow either of our other blogs, I (The Brunette) just got married two weeks ago!! You can guess who my photographer was :) So we thought to maximise a period of time where we would both be taking lots of photos we would make "Weddings & Honeymoons" our next topic! Pretty self explanatory subject wise, but I will comment on the fact that I really like the trend in recent years re Wedding photography in becoming alot more documentary style and less stiff formal posed groups. It's now much more about capturing moments and expression of emotion, which I think make for photographs which evoke real memories for everyone that was there as opposed to just a "recording" of the day.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Night by The Brunette

I was in several minds as to what to shoot for Night and had a few ideas, none of which manifested! I blame it on having the busiest two weeks ever leading up to my wedding, so when I looked out the window one evening and saw the most beautiful autumn moon, I decided to strike while the iron was hot! I set up my tripod and tried ALL kinds of different exposures. It's not easy to get it spot on without over exposing, to retain detail and not get too noisy, and to make it interesting. I was lucky as it was a cloudy night, and that combined with the fact that the moon is not yet full gave a mysterious ghostly feel to the shot. I tweaked colour saturation in editing, but that's all, the rest was all there, nothing added, i'm pretty pleased with it! And know it's something I will want to try shooting again and again!

Night by TJ

I found Night a fascinating topic as I really had to get to know my camera and is functionality to get the best shot possible. I remember trying to photograph the moon almost a year ago just after I had got the camera, and how poor my first attempt was. I made elementary mistakes such as holding the camera by hand and using the intelligent auto feature, so this time I planned the effort in much more detail. Using my trusty tripod meant that there would be no camera shake giving me a much better chance to get a shot in focus. Although my Lumix FZ45 doesn't have a automatic shutter cable option, I was able to use the timer to make sure the camera was perfectly still when the shot was taken. I attached my tele-conversion lens, which allowed me to get a good close up shot. I read up and then  experimented with shutter settings so as not to over or under expose the picture, and took the photo with an exposure setting of 1/60 second and an ISO setting of 100. The picture was taken 24 hours before the actual full moon. In editing I used a slight blue tint on the photo which added that final missing piece to the picture.

I had so many ideas for this topic and even bought a high powered hand torch to try out the idea in the top photo of photographing the woods at night. To do this I used a 15 second exposure setting giving me time to wave the torch around filling the foreground with light. The second photo was my attempt to capture car trail lights, which I achieved by setting the exposure time to 6 seconds.

Monday, 10 September 2012

28) Night

Loving TJ's suggestion for this assignment, its WIDE open, you can do whatever you like as long as its night time! There are some amazing prompts to whet your creativity here, here and here! I am going to try a few different ideas out, and now the nights are drawing in, we wont be needing to wait til midnight to get some dark skies

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Low Angle by TJ

My idea and inspiration for low angle came pretty much as soon as we had decided on the topic. I was fortunate enough to get tickets for an Olympic football match at Wembley Stadium, and during the half time interval I went out onto the concourse, sat down on the floor and started taking pictures. I immediately discovered that just taking a picture of loads of people from the ground and a low angle was rather ordinary so I looked for something a little more unusual. I decided to try and capture some motion so I focused the camera on the steward in the orange jacket and then set the camera to multi burst and took the photos. I loved the results with the people walking past in the forefront as at first glance you are not quite sure what you are actually seeing. I used a lot of editing as I felt the orange jacket was a great focal point so I took all the colour out of the picture bar the jacket, and then I went quite heavy with the brightness and contrast.

In my other photos the top left photo is a recent shot from Littlewick Show where I lay down in the grass and took a photo of the horse show in the distance. The photo top right was taken at Wembley once again and in this photo I focused on the person in blue jeans and got another person in blue trousers walking by. The picture at the bottom was waken at work and was taken with glasses placed at the forefront, and this was an idea that I would like to explore further both in terms of the idea and the location as I couldn't quite get the picture I wanted.


Monday, 3 September 2012

Low Angle by The Brunette

It took me a while to find inspiration for this one and in the end I just started moving my camera down to knee height after taking my "normal" shot and experimenting with what view that gave me. I was at the Chelsea Auto Legends car show at The Royal Hospital Chelsea and so thought I would see what effect a low angle had on these beautiful super cars. I was pleasantly surprised, it seemed to emphasise their predatory nature and make them look even sleeker. The final winner for me was this shot of an electric blue Lamborghini Aventador which is pretty low to the ground anyway. I did a little re touching in the background  to get rid of the inevitable people in the shot and then cropped it to be super wide and narrow again to emphasise that sleek low body. I'm really please with it - it seems to have something in "attitude" that the standard shot of the car (below) lacks.

A few others from the day, I like the fact that the low angle creates patterns and abstract forms allowing the bright paintwork to become the focus of the eye, and who can resist a line up of Ferraris? The final shot on the right hand side, was an "old favorite" of mine, composing at low angle and placing something in the foreground in focus and allowing the background to blur out  - I like that "worm's eye view" for a different perspective on the every day ground at our feet.
And finally the change from The Blonde to The Brunette? nothing more sinister than a hair clour change - it's still me :) I'll get round to updating that profile photo any day!

Thursday, 30 August 2012

27) Low Angle

Low angle photography gives a unique perspective of photographing a subject from below the traditional eye line and opens up a whole new world of different perspectives of both everyday and the not so much everyday subjects. The great thing about this topic is the possibilities are endless. Will a spontaneous shot work well or perhaps maybe some careful planning pay dividends? Shutter speed and aperture settings could also play a pivotal role in the finished photo. There are some links here and here.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Nature by TJ

The indifferent weather of summer 2012 made this topic quite challenging as opportunities to get out there with the camera have been limited at times. For me the essence of nature is being able to get up close to animals, plants and water, and to capture colour and vibrancy. I considered various ways of approaching this, and I decided to go for the "bigger" picture idea and get as much into the photo as possible to represent what nature means to me. I spent some time walking round a huge lake at Wellington Country Park near Reading taking photos and it was pretty much the last photo of the day I have chosen as for some bizarre reason the aquatic army seemed to gather together at the end of the day. It was a lovely tranquil scene and if I ever want to spend some quiet time on my own then is the kind of location I would choose.

My other photos captured individual elements of the whole story. The top left photo I concentrated on plant life with ducks in the background. Top right with the duck was a pleasing photo with the close up detail and water drops. Bottom right with what I am presuming are duck eggs is nature at work, and finally bottom right I chose a photo from Henley Regatta where amongst all the racing boats nature was never too far away.

Nature by The Blonde

I took these shots after a horrible grey and rainy day, I was so fed up of being inside looking out that I grabbed my camera and headed out to see what I could find! The muted light brought all the colours out and once the rain had stopped the insects also ventured out, and I was lucky enough to capture a couple just landing or hovering on flowers. I choose the final one, as I love the pop of colour and the depth of field making the background fuzzy, so the eye is naturally lead to the hover fly and its beautiful iridescent wings.

Friday, 3 August 2012

26) Nature

What better subject for this time of year? The abundant wet weather here in the UK has given the plants and flowers alot of watering, so the hedgerows are bursting with colour, not to mention all the insects and animals out there munching on it all!

Friday, 27 July 2012

Church by TJ

I think trying to capture "church" in just one photo is extremely difficult, so I decided to base my photo on an aspect of church architecture that interests me. If you walk into any church yard you will usually find a war memorial dedicated to the millions of soldiers who gave up their lives so that we can now live the kind of lives we are able to lead today. My own grandfather was a soldier in the 1st world war, but mercifully came through although he suffered a shrapnel injury in his leg and gas poisoning which affected his health all through his life. The church in Littlewick Green is a place I regularly go to as my father is buried there, and I find it a tremendously peaceful place and I enjoy spending some quiet moments there tending the grave. I thought this particular memorial was really interesting as when I first looked at it I thought to myself surely the 1st world war ended in 1918? On reading up I learned that although armistice was declared on November 11th 1918, the peace treaty formally ending a state of war between Germany and the Allies was signed on June 28th 1919. I think all memorials are wonderful pieces of architecture and also are very poignant as they bring home how the conflicts touched every family and every town, village and city. The shot I took captures the place, the date of the conflict and gives a snapshot of the names of the soldiers who lost their lives. I used quite a lot of contrast to bring out the lettering and felt that an angled shot of part of the memorial was a better to capture than a formal straught on shot of the whole memorial.

The other shots are also of the church at Littlewick Green. The top left and bottom right landscape shots are of the church from its two sides. It was a beautiful summer's evening, and I very nearly went with one of these as my main shot. Bottom left is a full shot of the memorial, and top right is an idea I had to use dad's grave.

Church by The Blonde

I must admit I was struggling with this topic, I mean churches are everywhere you look, sure... But finding one that was inspiring me to photograph it just wasn't happening! Then I went to a Vintage Car Show at an Open Air Museum in Buckinghamshire and as luck would have it they had an old tiny church there! Score! It was originally erected in 1886 at Henton in Oxfordshire, and is an example of the popular prefabricated buildings that served as churches or mission rooms at that time. Missionaries also took them all over the world as they were easy to put up and take down and transport. Manufactured by Boulton & Paul of Norwich, it is in timber-framed sections bolted together with an external cladding of corrugated iron. It contained fifty chairs arranged either side of a central aisle. There was a small altar table, two brass candlesticks, a lectern and a harmonium and was lit by two oil lamps suspended from the ceiling. It was very atmospheric both inside and outside, and I loved the colour of the red cladding against the blue sky (As you can see in the colour version in the film strip) But once the little girl led a huge cart horse into the scene, I just knew the shot had to be in sepia to give it that historical look. I made the church the centre of the scene, reminding the viewer that in those days Church very much was the centre of village life, and people are just coming out of the church gate in the shot as they would constantly have been doing in those days. I am also re reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain at the moment, and this photo does to me have an air of early Missionary America about it!

25) Church

For our next assignment we choose "Church", this gives a wide scope of everything from external architectural shots to internal close ups of religious icons. It can also raise the question of what does Church mean in today's world? Once a centre of every village and a focal point, do we still feel the same now? Or are they more tourist locations? Here's a couple of photographers specialising in church photography to get you thinking...Church Photography and The Church Photographer. Good luck! or should that be God Bless!?

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Breaking the Rule of Thirds by TJ

I loved this topic and I got an idea for this topic pretty much straight away, but of course I have ended up going with a completely different idea. I was thinking of going with a photo that would concentrate on the theme, rather than a picture of greater substance composition. However whilst sitting in the deckchairs at Henley Royal Regatta recently my creative juices kicked into action. The idea of doing a foot shot had been in the back of my mind and when I caught sight of these fabulous leather shoes I rather sneakily took a picture. The idea was to get the feet central in the shot and to as much as possible completely disregard all the usual rules of thirds grid lines. I used some quite dynamic editing to really get the best out of the photo. I used a black and white effect with tweaks to the brightness and contrast, and then used a cinematic effect to really capture the dramatic feel to the shot. This is a photo that hopefully will make the viewer want to know more about the story of the girl in the shoes...

In my other photos the original shoes shot shows how the editing turned a topically correct photo into something hopefully a whole lot more interesting. The wooden electricity poles was my original idea as I got the symmetrical line of poles central to the shot and in line with each other using the front two poles to frame the photo. My other shot I really enjoyed taking with my two four legged friends. Getting them to sit and not run off was an achievement in itself with all the rural scents around them! I got a great location with a walk through the oil rapeseed fields and the tree playing an important role central in the background.

Breaking the Rule of Thirds by The Blonde

The weather here in the UK has been hard work this summer so far! I kept waiting in vain for a nice sunny day to go out and shoot some landscapes, but began to believe that day was unlikely to ever arrive! So decided to go out and shoot B&W and make the most of the moody cloudy weather as subject matter. Breaking the Rule of Thirds actually ended up being harder that I anticipated. Maybe I have been a photographer for too long, but I found I automatically framed according to the rule and had to make myself do something other than line up on the imaginary grid! What I did discover though is that it does create quite a powerful image when you centre in on the subject instead. Especially in these cases when I was looking to create quite a visually arresting photograph. I think the graphic nature of these flowers against the sky with the added contrast and vignette effect makes it quite "sinister" somehow, and the central composition adds to that because it's so "in your face". Other examples also leveraged the brooding sky to create a sinister emotional response, I was torn between the one I choose and the pitchfork like teasels on the far left below, as they do look quite ominous from the low perspective I thought!

Monday, 9 July 2012

24) Breaking the Rule of Thirds

We all love to break a good rule don't we! Back at the end of 2011 we looked at one of the most used photographic rules of composition The Rule of Thirds you can see our attempts here and here! But not EVERY subject lends itself to the rule, some shots work better with a symmetrical set up or a centrally placed subject, and sometimes its fun or challenging NOT to do the "expected" thing in life.. or is that just my rebellious streak!? Lets see what happens when we go out of our way to not follow the rules *wink*  (Want to see some examples? here you go!)

Monday, 25 June 2012

Greenwich by The Blonde

I had a great day out shooting in Greenwich, there is so much to see and do, and as ever for me, as much as I enjoy composing and shooting the subject I have come to photograph, I also really love people watching and capturing other people enjoying the same place. This shot was taken in the National Maritime Museum in one of the covered walkways between buildings. It was one of those places that has that timeless feel about it, you can imagine the people before you, that have walked on the steps and along the worn flagstones for the last few hundred years wearing them to a soft shiny appearance. It was quite a warm day and tourists were taking the opportunity of a little shade and some benches for a little chillax time, and then this guy walked past me with his bicyle, and it just struck me as really great composition to lead the eye into the photo, it wouldn’t have been half as good without him. In processing I converted to B&W and added a “Holga – ish” effect from Picasa, which increased the contrast and gave me a slight vignette effect which again helps draw the viewers eye into the shot and along the pathway. I am really pleased with it, I hope it’s one of those shots that makes you start to think “where is that guy going? Who is he?” and the little kid on the bench on the left kicking their legs out adds a pleasing detail and emphasises the relaxed weekend atmosphere.

Others from our day I liked are below. There is a lot of temporary building work going on in the grounds of the museum ready for the Olympics, and I liked the view of the stands against the blue sky. The middle shot is a purposefully distorted wide angle shot of the museum, and the last a close up of a gilded lion on a royal barge in one of the displays. I actually love this one, but not sure that on its own it really says “Greenwich”.

Greenwich by TJ

This topic was not so much difficult in terms of the choice of what to photograph, but more in how to choose one photo to go with. I have probably changed my mind every day since I took the photos on which one to go with! An afternoon in Greenwich gave ample opportunity to photograph all the main attractions, although with hindsight I would have liked to either have had a bit longer there or alternatively put in some planning before going as I have to admit I was completely taken aback at the amount of photo opportunities that presented themselves one after another. In the end I decided to go for my photo of Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle, a recent addition to Greenwich outside the National Maritime Museum by Yinka Shonibare, which is a painstakingly crafted 1/30th replica of Nelson’s HMS Victory, the battleship on which he died during the Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October 1805. In common with the original, it has 80 cannon and 37 sails set as on the day of battle. I decided to have a bit of fun with the editing software using the fish eye distortion to give a bit of extra panoramic effect to the photo. I then used tinsii software to remove some of the colours from the photo to give the boat inside the bottle greater presence.

The other shots I had under consideration were more traditional views in and around Greenwich, and even to narrow these down to just four photos was difficult enough! In the top left photo I got a shot of the Cutty Sark masts taken from the Greenwich Observatory, which gives an indication just how big the cutter is against the buildings on the far side of The Thames. The top right photo of the Olympic Equestrian Arena with the Royal Naval College and Canary Wharf is a photo I like, because it captures the excitement of Olympic planning against the spectacular backdrop of old and new London. I think getting this shot slightly off centre works well. The bottom left photo of the same scene taken from the top of the hill gives a more formal view. Finally a shot of The Cutty Sark which I almost went with, as for me this is just the most awesome sight in Greenwich and I reckon was the closest I got to taking a picture postcard shot all day.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

23) Greenwich

In a nod back to our original posts (which you can see here and here) where we both went to the same place at the same time and shot, and then chose our favourite, we decided to repeat with Greenwich, London as our subject. We both took a huge number of shots on the day, and it will be interesting to see which we feel is the "Greenwich-est" of them all!

Monday, 18 June 2012

Boats by The Blonde

I have to say that Boats didn’t really excite me as a topic, I thought it would, and then when I started to try to think of creative ideas, my mind drew a blank! Luckily TJ and I decided to help the creative juices flow by taking a trip to London’s National Maritime Museum in Greenwich which is also the home of the Cutty Sark. One of the worlds most famous ships, she is the last surviving tea clipper and the fastest and greatest of her time, fully restored after a terrible fire in 2007, she was only re opened to the public a few months ago by the Queen. I took a number of shots, both of the entire ship, people enjoying being aboard and close ups of details like the flags. My favourite of the bunch, and the one I choose, seems to show the majesty and history of this famous boat, even as it is now - dry docked and a museum. The rigging and flags seem quite at home looking out over Greenwich docks and highlighted against a windy sky, and you can still imagine the thrill it must have been to have been aboard and afloat. My second favourite below is either just the close up of the flags, for Britain having such a naval tradition it seems to be something in the DNA that means maritime symbols such as these strike a chord somehow. Or the shot on the far right of the prow of the boat sandwiched between trees and buildings, an idea of TJ’s to show a boat in juxtaposition against some objects you wouldn’t place near it in “reality”. And finally one showing the creative flow of Two Views in action…. TJ framing a shot  J

Boats by TJ

Dog walking came up trumps for this photo! A few days earlier I had been walking the dogs at work trying out a new path heading towards the River Thames at Medmenham. I had no idea where the river was and the only way I eventually realised it was there was by seeing the boats the other side of the field. I took a photo on my mobile and decided it would be worth coming back with my camera to see what I could get. I tried a number of shots at different zoom distances and wanted a balance of not having the boat too small, but also to get the field and background into the shot to get across the idea of the shot. I think it works quite well as on first viewing it does appear that the boat is not on the river but in a field.

For my other shots there is the same shot as the main photo but with the picture more panned out, showing how I worked to get the balance right between the boat and location. Myself and The Blonde had spent a day in Greenwich and I was hoping that the Cutty Sark might provide my boat photo. I was pleased with the shots I got, but I just didn't quite feel I captured it quite right. Part of the problem is that close up it is hard to capture it in whole and without it appearing too much like the tourist attraction that it is, and maybe if I went back again I would look at locations to get a shot further away similar to ones I took below. The black and white shot was an idea that I wanted to try in replicating photos of years gone by when boat masts would appear thorough buildings along the river in London. The colour photo combines the past and present with the historical boat in the foreground and Canary Wharf of the present in the background. The final picture is from The National Maritime Museum also at Greenwich of the stunningly restored Prince Fredrick's Barge dating back to 1732.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

22) Boats

The next topic is boats and with so much rain in the UK at the moment we might end having to get into a boat to take the photos! This topic has a wide scope as being an Island there is the opportunity to take coastal boat shots or go down the river / canal / lake inland route. These days boating might perceived as a leisure activity, but there are still plenty of working boats or perhaps a sporting boating activity which both could be considered. What might make a good boat photo is not just the boat itself, but the location, the scene and maybe the people in the boat? The possibilities are endless...

Monday, 28 May 2012

Low Key by TJ

I had two main ideas for this topic. The self portrait and a mini studio object shot. As I work in a unit I went for the self portrait, and the work setting gave me the opportunity to block out the blazing sunshine and photograph in dark conditions. For my chosen photo I set up my tripod and experimented with the shutter setting to cut out as much light as possible. I used a simple table lamp shining into my face as the only light source, and the photo had an exposure of 1/20 second. I was really pleased with the final exposure as it cut out the background without having to use any editing. The only editing I used was to convert the picture into black and white. Maybe the beads of sweat on my face are not that attractive, but it was a very hot day outside and this for me adds a bit of realism and atmosphere to the photo and I will remember where and when the photo was taken.

The other shots show the progression of how I got to my chosen shot. I took a photo with the unit open to find my position. I then toyed with the exposure to get a feel for the lighting in the unit. Once I closed out the light it was a case of playing with the exposure settings and getting that "natural" shot.