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, 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...