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, 29 February 2012

13) Books

In an era of declining book sales and a world gone Kindle mad let us not forget the good old fashioned physical book! There is no doubt that books provide us with endless photographic possibilities for this chosen topic. Books are everywhere around us from in the home, to place of work and to places of leisure. There is the option to photograph an individual book which might increase the thought required into lighting and angles. A collection of books perhaps. Or perhaps ona bigger scale a book shop, which could be anything from one of the big high street stores to one of those lovely 2nd hand book shops you find hidden away. Let's not forget the good old library where books are still a plenty!

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Ice by TJ

I knew with The Blonde being in Iceland I would really have to come up with something to compete with her on this topic. I got the mini studio and lights out and took the shot of ice using the macro mode. I tried a few different shots and felt that when I changed the photo to black and white during editing and used a fair bit of contrast that the photo really came into its own. I cropped the photo and feel the ice cubes have an almost crystal like quality to them.

In fact I had quite a difficult choice to make, as the other photo I had in contention was the shot of a frozen puddle below. It was taken early in the morning and the sun caught the ice in a sparkly fashion which I really liked. The other photo is a severe cropping of the main photo.

Ice by The Blonde

I took LOADS of Ice photos in Iceland! (Unsurprisingly! *wink*) And for me as soon as my better half spotted this football sized piece of glacial ice sitting serenely on a black lava stone beach, looking like a high end art installation, I knew it would be "the shot". Luckily the sun was just setting and so was at a very low angle in the sky, just perfect for some back lighting to make it look even more crystal like. I wanted to take it home and display it as art... but it wouldn't have lasted too long! Below are some of my other shots from the glacial lagoon ( you will recognise it from two James Bond films and Tomb Raider 2) and the black sand beach where chunks if icebergs get "caught" on the rocks, like the one above, and also some close ups of ice crystals and another glacier. You can tell I just LOVE ice!

12) Ice

So I DID have a hand in setting this one, as I was just off to Iceland for a weeks holiday, and I think  I gave myself an unfair advantage! But of course ice comes in many formats and we use it every day in freezers and drinks, not to mention at this time of year, we see it many places we DON'T want to, like on cars and roads! This is a wide subject leaving interpretation open to everything from macro shots of ice crystals to (for me!) glaciers! Let's see what we come up with!

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Coffee by TJ

I wasn't quite sure how to tackle this assignment. I had thought of going to one of the big coffee shops and getting some shots of coffee, the decor the machines etc, but my visits to such places are pretty infrequent. So I turned my attention to trying to photograph a cup of coffee, but I just wasn't 100% happy with the results in spite of venturing outside into he garden to try and get some better lighting. So I decided to go with a closed shot of coffee out of the jar in macro mode, which leaves plenty of detail for the viewer to look at and how often does anyone really get right up close and personal to coffee?
My other shots of a cup of coffee out in the garden.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Coffee by The Blonde

I used to be a complete coffee addict! Drinking literally 5-6 cups in the morning minimum. But I realised that it was directly linked to the frequency of my awful migraines, and so had to switch to tea instead! But ahhh I do miss it! And many a morning was spent mulling things over while staring into the creamy foam on top of a mug of strong black coffee like this one! In the end I went for a very "widescreen" shape crop, I am not sure why, it just seemed to suit it. I like the abstract pattern of the sunlight on the foam, and the detail of the bubbles. I shot this outside as it was a bright sunny day with snow still on the ground, so it was like my own studio with in built reflectors! 

Friday, 10 February 2012

11) Coffee

Coffee is many people's daily obsession. But rather than drinking it how can we come up with a photo of it as the next photo assignment is coffee. There seem to be more coffee shops on the high street than ever these days, are they attempting to take over the world? I think it's a race between coffee shops and opticians to see who gets there first! I digress... There are plenty of photo options, the cup of coffee itself with all the weird and wonderful flavours, the mechanics of making a cup, the coffee shops themselves or perhaps the person that serves you the coffee. There are some interesting ideas here!

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Depth of Field by The Blonde

I found this assignment easy! In the sense that I saw an idea straight away that I wanted to try, and it was just one of those dream studio shoots where everything went my way! I found a nice piece of grey black granite for a background, and then set up my tripod with a lamp skimming the top to add some texture and then shot at the smallest f stop I had, f3.5 on ISO 100 for great picture quality and then I just experimented with my focus. In the end I found focusing on the second pencil in gave me the right amount of focus to be sharp at the front, leading into a nice blur at the back. My final shot needed no editing other than a subtle crop. Below are some other examples of DoF I like from my files, and another shot in the studio at the same time of some pens, but the pencils win out for me, I love the texture of the sharpened wood and the primary colours.

Depth of Field by TJ

This photo came together very quickly, and more by chance than great planning and organisation. I came across a box set of vinyls I own all having the same poppy logo on the label of my favourite band The Alarm. The idea immediately came to me to put the records in a row and see how a depth of photo photo might come out. To highlight depth of field I purposely used a small aperture value on the camera to give a small depth of field showing the record closest to the camera in focus with the subsequent records gradually becoming more out of focus. I used my white canvas backdrop, but I wasn't happy with the lighting, so in editing I used a white flood fill to give me a completely white backdrop.

Out of my other photos for consideration my favourite one is the centre shot of iron railings, which is similar in composition to the records just a completely different setting, where I got a nice shot of the closest post in focus with the subsequent posts out of focus.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

10) Depth of Field

A classic technique in the photographers kit bag, understanding of what it is and how to apply it and manipulate your aperture and composition to give you the results you want is crucial to a successful shot. In essence Depth of Field (DOF) is the amount of distance between the nearest and farthest objects that appear in acceptably sharp focus in a photograph. You can manipulate it using the aperture of your lens (or f stops) and also by where you place the camera in relation to your subject. As DOF increases with distance, the farther you are from your subject the greater the DOF and of course when you and your camera are close up as in macro photography your DOF is very small. Larger f stop numbers such as 11, 16, 22, 32 are the lenses minimum apertures (smallest amount of light entering the lens) and give the greatest DOF. The smaller f stop numbers such as 1.4, 2, 2.8 etc are the lens maximum apertures, and let the most light in, but give a smaller depth of field. So you can already realise the trade off for a large plane of focus or DOF is a small aperture, needing a high shutter speed and sometimes ISO to allow for it. This is where a tripod becomes our best friend, and allow you to create the ideal exposure for your shot. If you want to find out more, this is a good explanation, and i found a great number of examples on google images here! Good luck!