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

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Water by TJ

The huge scope of doing water made it quite difficult to choose which photo to go with. I love being close to water whether it be streams, rivers or the sea, and I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to photograph the Welsh coast whilst doing this subject. I eventually decided to go with the picture of the sea at Prestatyn in North Wales on a winter's morning in January. I had tried taking some photos with my tripod, but then I got this photo by pretty much getting down to ground level on the beach and getting the close up up shot of the tide just on  the turn with the almost bubble bath effect and also getting the wind farm in the distance. I decided to go with black and white as I felt in gave a darker more powerful feel the sea. I changed the brightness and contrast too to add to this effect.

Amongst the other pictures under consideration was a lovely stream I got in Devon, a scene of the river Thames at Maidenhead, a more abstract reflection shot of my van in a puddle at work, and another shot of Prestatyn with the waves lapping over the rocks.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Water by The Blonde

 I hadn't decided what I was going to shoot yet for this assignment, when I looked out of the bedroom window early one winter morning and saw this beautiful frosty sunlit scene! So such is my dedication to a good photograph that I leapt up in my pajamas and threw on some trainers, grabbed my camera and raced out there! I shot a whole lot and had trouble deciding my favourite but I think in the end the simplicity of the composition and the beauty of the sprinkling of ice crystals on the leaves and the tiny bud does it for me!

9) Water

A massive subject! Everything from a raindrop on a petal to a lake or an ocean! Plenty of scope for imaginative interpretation on this one!

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Machinery by The Blonde

I REALLY enjoyed Machinery as a topic! I had a ton of ideas and luckily a ton of machinery / tools etc around the house! I finally ended up by concentrating on the “machinery” closest to my heart – cameras! This is a close up of a vintage manual focus 50mm lens, and I love the colours in the light refraction  of the glass, and the depth of field effect on the writing on the lens edge, Its kind of abstract and beautiful I think!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Machinery by TJ

Whenever I think of machinery I always harp back to the golden age of steam and the industrial revolution. It is one of my favourite periods of history. When coming to choose a subject to photograph for this topic I quickly ruled out modern machinery and thought about discarded rusty agricultural machinery, but I quickly came back to steam. How I now wished we could have done this topic in the summer and I could have gone and hunted out steam engines galore at steam rallies. However one of my favourite toys as a child was a miniature working steam engine, which I would spend hours outside playing with in the garden shed with my dad. I dug this out at my mum's house and had the added bonus of trying out my new photography backdrop and indoor photography lights. The challenge I set myself was to try an bring out the essence of machinery,  taking away the "toy" element. The resulting image was shot using a macro close up setting to give an illusion of a greater size and a result achieved a nice depth of field. I simply turned the image into grayscale, sharpened it and finally adjusted the brightness and contrast.

My other efforts show how I zoomed in on the piston, which although pleasing gave no indication as to what exactly I was photographing. I tried editing the photos in old Cyonatype format, but felt the grayscale worked better. I also came across a a piece of agricultural equipment stored in a barn of my work travels which lacked a "story".

Sunday, 15 January 2012

8) Machinery

The next topic is machinery, and this gives us great scope. Going back to the amazing technological advances during the industrial revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries, machinery plays a huge part in our daily lives. Possible avenues could be engines whether they be a car engine, steam engine or even a jet engine! Or high tech machinery such as modern manufacturing and the every appliances that we all have in our houses. Machinery in our every day lives is common place, but also perhaps the social effects of machinery could be a more abstract interpretation of this topic... Need some inspiration? Check out here and here!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

New Year Resolutions by The Blonde

As TJ says, we were both a bit hesitant about choosing “New Years Resolution” as an assignment topic. Like most people we had had more years than we could remember making resolutions and then “failing” by the end of January, and had both this year decided not to set any. I had bizarrely set myself some goals in November “24 in 12” Less resolutions and more things I wanted to remind myself I wanted to do. And so in terms of a “proper” resolution, I really just wanted to concentrate on one simple concept or state of mind that I could carry with me all year. And for me it was to just try to live in the moment more, to enjoy life’s good and wonderful moments, and the harder ones? Well just to accept them, to try always to see the positive in the learning available in the hard times, and carry that with me, while letting go of the negative. Also in the same vein, to grab every opportunity for adventure, for positive experiences, moments, connections. To look after myself and always seek balance, keep in the positive in mind, body and spirit, and realise sometimes I need a run, sometimes I need quiet, learn to pace myself, rather than burn myself out.

So kind of hard concepts to represent photographically! I saw plenty of shots of people jumping which I loved, but I WOEFULLY failed to produce anything attractive looking and after falling on my ass a few times decided to try to find a log to climb up on and balance on, thus demonstrating both adventure and being in the moment (without falling off!) and then balance. But it proved hard to “manufacture” the emotions on a log where I didn’t really feel like I would fall off and using a tripod and running back and forth. So in the end I choose a precarious set of logs where I really DID think I could fall off any moment, and got my boyfriend to shoot me, which produced the real emotions of excitement, achievement and a little bit of fear that I wanted in being “in the moment” Technically hard because it was low light and I had to set a high shutter speed to stop wobbles and so that required a higher ISO so there is some “noise”. Post production, just a little warm up on the colour front and a contrast tweak, as the winter light was so flat and grey. Some other poses in the filmstrip below worked well, but weren't as natural in terms of my expression.

I’m pleased with the final shot, it’s very “me” and looking at the emotion on my face, it does capture what I wanted to portray, and if I spend most of 2012 feeling like that, then that’s a successful year for me, lets wait and see!

New Year Resolutions by TJ

Not an easy topic this for me for two reasons. One I usually try to steer clear of the whole idea of new year resolutions these days, as they invariably are broken early into the new year. In fact my mum suggested I photograph something broken, which was an interesting idea. Secondly the whole idea of photographing the concept of a new year resolution was not easy. For instance I had no intention of going on a diet, cutting back on drinking or increasing my physical exercise. The one thing I want to do this year is to live to the full as much as possible, seize the day grabbing every opportunity that comes my way and to fully appreciate what the world has to offer. My photo is my interpretation of those aims. It was not easy to get it right. I bought an inflatable globe, which was supposed to be blue, but instead came as clear, which made photographing it much more difficult as I wanted it to be opaque set against a black background. I wore black clothing, but as you can see from the images below the globe was a bit too big so I couldn't get a complete black background with my clothing, and it took a while for me to get a photo with my hands and the globe in the correct position. So I had to spend ages editing it using a black flood fill to fill in the gaps and then the clone tool to touch up the gaps left. Let's hope 2012 runs a little more smoothly than the process creating this image!

Friday, 6 January 2012

7) New Year Resolutions

An interesting one I thought! Open to multiple interpretations! Over past years I have become less and less a fan of the whole "laundry list" approach to NY Resolutions, as I find its way to easy to fall off the wagon by February (at the latest!) which leads to feeling like you've failed which isn't positive at all! So this year I have made a list of fun things I want to do and also some overarching changes in the way I would like to approach and experience life. Which might  be hard to portray photographically, we will see! So the brief is wide, and the photographic scope is huge, please do have a go and let us have a link to your shots too. And lastly of course A VERY Happy New Year to you! The Blonde