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, 30 March 2012

16) Wednesday 13:30

So this is an intriguing one to test the creative and compositional "juices"!! Whatever you are doing on Wednesday at 1:30pm stop and compose a photo and shoot it! Tell us a story, what did you see? Who were you with? What does this tell us about your life? You can either shoot this Wednesday (4th) or the next one (11th) Good luck!

Monday, 26 March 2012

People by TJ

This topic with such endless possibilities was always going to be one I would enjoy, and I really approached the whole thing with a totally open mind. The biggest challenge for me was the recent disaster of having to send my Panasonic Lumix FZ45 camera away to be repaired so I had to revert back to my Casio compact EX-S200 camera. This presented me with a challenge, as although it's a great little camera it is not so good for group photography or distance photography scenes. This meant I had to slightly reign in some of my ideas for crowd scenes I had been thinking about. The picture I chose was taken in Courchevel in the French Alps. After a physical morning on the slopes we stopped for lunch and I took the opportunity to take this shot. My friend's daughter had a hot chocolate topped with a mountain of cream and she took the opportunity to dive into it head first! For me the picture captures the emotion of the moment, and to be fair of the whole weekend. This photo shows happiness, laughter and fun! :) The scenic backdrop is great, although I think the face is the absolute focal point of this photo, and although I could have cropped the photo I decided to go with the whole scene which I think captures everything.

My almost photos were taken on a recent night out in London once again with the compact camera. The centre photo would have been my main photo if I had not managed to get the one in Courchevel. I never got to see the girl's face, but I am intrigued as to what she looks like. For the left hand photo I managed to capture a solitary person in focus whilst the London crowds move around him, and I was pleased with the natural motion effect I achieved. The picture on the right is from Paddington station, and I always wonder where everyone is heading when they get off a train. I was heading off to a date, but that's a whole new other story.

People by The Blonde

People was a GREAT topic (Thanks TJ!) Because it had such a wide remit. I initially thought I would go to somewhere crowded and take a scene shot with people hurrying about, or maybe some street photography of strangers. But as "luck"would have it, I was stuck by the roadside for 6 hours waiting for a rescue pick up with my fiancĂ© after our car broke down and it gave me time to think through the subject. And at the same time I spent alot of time looking at him in 6 hours! What I realised is that you can tell alot about a person from the details of them. That a revealing portrait doesn't have to be of a whole person to show who they are, and the smallest part can sometimes represent the whole. So I focused on the hands and how they can be both gentle and expressive and yet also strong and protective. His hands were oily after having been in the engine bay, and so portray to me strength, reliability and skill. Yet the way he is cupping and holding the apple, is so gentle and elegant. I tried a few shots (below) in different poses and places and in colour and B&W, for me the B&W focuses the composition on the details of the textures and the hands the best. I Iike the juxtaposition of the two emotional responses I have to the photograph (gentleness and strength) and for me they are uniquely my fiancĂ©'s hands, and so expressive of him, and I am surprised to discover that the detail is so representative of the whole of him and his personality.

Monday, 19 March 2012

15) People

My research has found that world has a population of somewhere near 7 billion people, so for our next topic of "People" we should not be short of subject matter. There are no boundaries so the possibilities are endless. The photo could be a family event, a portrait, or perhaps people at work, rest or play. It might be just a spontaneous random photo capturing people in a moment in time. The key once again will be to capture emotion, perhaps tell a story and if successful draw the viewer in. For some tips click here and here.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Architecture by TJ

I wanted to try and capture either a classic old style architectural building or something more modern. In the end the recently constructed "Blade" building in Reading won out. The reason for this was I was able to go into Reading on a late lovely sunny afternoon so I had great lighting conditions. I also felt brave enough to have a stab at taking pictures using the manual mode on my camera for the first time in one of these topics. I used a low ISO setting and high aperture setting to capture as much detail as I could. I then played around with the shutter speed ending up with a 1/80 setting to ensure there was enough light. I was pleased with the end photo as I did capture a snippet of old architecture, got a nice reflection in the main building and felt there was a combination of that glossy photograph with enough in it to keep the viewer's attention.

My other photos were different shots of "The Blade", both of which came close to being used as my main photo as they show the building from completely different viewpoints, and I even managed to capture an aircraft in one too! The other photos were of Chenies Manor in Buckinghamshire, and the skyline is dominated by these wonderful chimneys.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Architecture by The Blonde

I thought I would find this one EASY! I mean architecture is absolutely everywhere, but I actually found it hard to feel inspired by anything. Last night the light as I drove home was wonderful and I thought "I really must get in and grab a camera and get back out again" I was just about to jump in my car and drive somewhere when I looked up at my very own house in the glow of the sun beginning to set and thought "aww I do love my home!" And then thought that's it! If I am trying to portray some emotion in a building this is one I feel strongest about. So I shot it from different angles and then played in post production to try to create and enhance an emotional feel from it. I am fairly pleased with the result as I have used a few soft focus filters and enhancers to focus the eye on the house and make it look a softly glowing sanctuary against the rigours of the world, which are portrayed by the tree branches, which somehow although I love trees, look a bit menacing looming towards the house. Well that's my story anyway! And just looking at it makes me smile, as "home" with all the connotations is my favourite place to be always :)

Friday, 9 March 2012

14) Architecture

A nice wide open topic for our next one! Everywhere you look there is architecture of some sort, and the challenge here is to make the photo "tell a story". We can all take a standard recording of an image of a building, but can you work to evoke an emotion or feeling by creative composition and editing? Here's a few tips to get you going! 

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Books by The Blonde

I had the idea for this one for AGES but hadn't found the time to shoot it, so at 6am this morning I finally thought "Right lets do it!" I set up a mini home studio with some lights and a reflector and my camera on a tripod to get the good image quality on a low ISO, and used my depth of field technique from a few weeks ago. I then thought the old book and the heart shape lent itself to a romantic sepia tone finish in editing, and am really pleased with it! I like the intriguing glimpse of a diagram on the right hand side and the depth of field leading your eye through the heart. You can see the B&W version below and also my other idea, which was the books we make ourselves in life. This one is my Engagement and Wedding Planning book, which I hope to use as I plan and then as a lovely memory book in years to come! (It's all very romantic with The Blonde right now as you can see from my subject matter choices!)

Books by TJ

My recent trip to Plurabelle Books in the heart of Cambridge gave me an excellent opportunity to get my book photograph for this topic. To walk into such a magical second hand book emporium felt almost like being transported into another world. Interestingly almost every book on display is for sale, and many of the 70,000 plus books cost only a pound or two. My choice of main photo was fairly straight forward, as I love the way they have created a dated library room like atmosphere. I wanted to try and capture as much of it as I could in one shot. The big challenge was whether to go for a black and white edited finish, perhaps a soft focus or stick with something closer to what the eye saw at the time. Eventually I went with the latter tweaking the brigthness and contrast, and eventually adding a tungsten lighting effect during editing to "warm" up the picture. I was pleased with the end result and think it works really well and does get the photo pretty close to matching the daylight conditions I took the original photo in, or perhaps the conditions I imagine I took the photo in! :)

I had a few other ideas. I tried the classic pile of books which came out well, and maybe with a bit more thought and attention to detail could have been a real contender. In the shot looking down one of the many isles at Plurabelle I got nice depth of field with Shakespeare right at the forefront. The other idea was to use my mini studio to photograph single books. I really enjoyed trying this out and was very pleased with the results as it was not so easy capturing a single book standing up in a good light. I seriously thought about going with one of them. The book of old London in black and white photographs is fascinating and contains some wonderful pictures from an age gone by. I bought this book from Plurabelle for just £2 so it was nice to work with it. The book by The Charlatans was given to me by The Blonde so once again there was an added incentive in trying to photograph it for the topic. This book was the hardest to photograph as it had a soft cover so I could only stand it up by leaning on the back end of the studio lining so it lacked a little depth unfortunately.