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

Monday, 30 April 2012

Sky by The Blonde

I was lucky enough to be in Hawaii for this assignment so I had plenty of opportunities to see and shoot some great skies. But the choice of which one to publish was an easy one for me after I had taken some while actually in the sky on a helicopter trip. I love that part of a normal flight on a plane when you take off or come in to land and you are sitting just above the clouds, it's so peaceful and serene you feel like you are in heaven, and it gives a greater perspective on the every day worries and concerns in life. The film strips below show a few of the other shots I took, I love all of these too, I must admit sky shots are one of my favourite photographic subjects at any time, so these will be some good additions to my gallery!

Sky by TJ

This topic was an interesting challenge as I spent a good few days waiting for the right conditions in the right place and at the right time to provide an interesting photo opportunity. Fortunately we have been blessed with traditional April showers this year giving some quite dramatic skies. I was driving along the A4 heading home towards Reading when I saw this wonderful sunlight burst through the rain clouds. The first challenge was to find somewhere suitable to stop to get a clear view of the scene to get the photo, and I ended up pulling over on the roadside. I decided to include a shot with the street light in the foreground as I think it and the trees in their silhouette form provide a great contrast to the burst of light coming through the clouds creating a dramatic effect. For me it proves that it is possible to get a great shot of the sky from absolutely anywhere.

I tried a number of other shots. Top left was a photo taken outside my front door in wonderful sunshine, but the rain clouds were coming as can be seen in the distance. Top right was a really lovely cloud scene I got between Reading and Maidenhead, and these clouds reminded me of the steam from an old steam engine. Bottom left was a photo taken at work on a very squally showery day. The clouds were fast moving bring in showers frequently and the sky was forever changing. Finally bottom right and my obligatory black and white photo, which was taken leaning out of my bedroom window.

Friday, 27 April 2012

18) Sky

Every second of every single day on the entire planet we get a view of the sky and one which can change from minute to minute, so this topic really has no bounds. The picture could be a clear sky or even a blanket grey sky, although the inclusion of cloud formations could add interesting layers to the photo. Will the photo be a total sky shot or could objects, such as buildings and landscapes for example be included? The time of day is potentially a crucial factor with sunrise and sunset being considered as they generally give the most dramatic skies with tonnes of atmosphere. I think the challenge here will also be to replicate in the photo what the viewer is seeing at the time.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Spring by The Blonde

I loved this one! Spring is my favourite time of year, and is always marked most strongly for me by the blossom on the trees and the spring flowers bursting out of the ground as if from nothing! I  had good fun learning some new techniques on this one also. As I had great trouble trying to focus and get the exposure correct on these tiny buds way up in a tree. I used my zoom lens and a  small aperture to throw the background out of focus, and found a great setting on my camera that lets you manually focus as close as you can and then press the shutter half way for the camera to get it tack sharp using autofocus. As when I tried to allow the camera to fully find focus itself it just kept cycling in and out confused by the sky and the branches and unable to focus on something as small as the buds. I also used spot metering to enable me to choose the exact bud to get exposure on, as again the weighted centre balanced metering was confused by the bright sky. So a shot I love, and two new settings on my camera found and used, that's what I call a win win! In the film strip below I also experimented with some other buds, and taking photo's of the ubiquitous daffodil from a new angle.

Spring by TJ

Spring is such an exciting time of the year and in terms of the wonderful colours we get to see it is definitely my favourite season, but this wealth of colours actually made it quite a challenge. I had a few photos to choose from and it was a close call between Spring lambs and the magnolia tree photo I eventually went with. Magnolia trees in full bloom are stunning, and this photo really was a spur of the moment effort with my compact camera one Sunday afternoon when I was walking into Maidenhead. The clear blue skies provided a perfect backdrop and after a few attempts I preferred this close up shot rather than one of the whole tree. For me this is Spring.

In the other photos I have a couple of lamb shots, and I can confirm that lambs are not very well behaved subjects to photograph! The problem I found was if I took a shot to include more of the background the close up character and beauty of the lambs was lost, but I also found the close up shots although lovely seemed to be missing something with no scenic background. So I just couldn't quite get a shot I was completely happy with. The other shot was a shot of farm fields and a typical beautiful early Spring countryside scene.

17) Spring!

What does Spring mean to you? Is it religious? Easter? Or just new energy, new growth, sunlight an lighter days! I don't know anyone who doesn't love the start of the Spring Season, but how can you represent that bursting of new enthusiasm in a single photograph?

Wednesday 13:30 by TJ

This was an interesting challenge doing the specific Wednesday 1:30pm time of day. I ended up using both  Wednesdays to try out different ideas. Unfortunately with the arrival of my brother working with me now, all my driving around has suddenly stopped and therefore all the different 1:30pm photo opportunities. So my photo had to come from me being at work. However it does tell a story. Firstly look at the wooden work surface... A hand crafted table made by my dad going back over 30 years ago. It is used to make special small runs of bags and over the years has literally been part of the manufacture of thousands of orders! This particular job was a small run of special length bags, so I pull the polythene film out and then cut it to length before heat sealing one end making it into a bag. It is an integral part of the business. The photo is quite grainy due to the poor lighting conditions as there is a wooden mezzanine floor above the bench which cuts out a lot of the natural light.

For the other photos I tried a black and white version of the original photo which I liked, but didn't feel added anything so I went with the colour version. The other two photos are my attempts from the previous Wednesday. The time of 1:30pm on the computer was an idea I thought about, but discarded. I also am looking after some dogs at work a lot of the time at the moment, and 1:30 is usually lunchtime walk time so "Storm" in the photo was waiting for me to put her lead on.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Wednesday 13:30 by The Blonde

I was slightly constrained by the fact I was stuck in the office this Wednesday, and also I only had my compact camera with me, which when I look at the quality of this photo pixel wise is shockingly obvious! I took a few close ups of items on my desk (see below) but ended up going for a self portrait of "Work Jules" who is altogether more put together and dynamic than "Home Jules" I think you can kind of see this, and although it's not the greatest shot ever, it is a snapshot of time which I guess this one is all about!