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Ladies and gentlemen…we have 50 posts!

And boy am I proud of myself 😉

It has been a year since I started these ramblings, and 50 posts later, 600 subscribers, and nearly 10,000 views to date, I am a very happy man.   I adore writing this blog, and I am touched that so many of you (apparently) enjoy reading it too.

So I wanted to take this time to thank each and every one of you who has liked, commented, linked, read, or just looked at my pictures – I really do appreciate it.  I have also been lucky enough to be nominated for an award – I will be making a page especially for that over the next few days – not that I am arrogant and think I shall be nominated for a million more, but it is the sort of thing that I do not want to get lost in the blogroll…which brings me onto this week’s post.

I love the blog format, but it is all about the post you write today.  Before you know it, the post of yesterday is swept aside like my money at a black jack table, and no one can find it again.  And so, in honour of my new subscribers and readers, I wanted to look back on my favourite 5 blogs of the past.  I do apologise for the self-indulgence, and to my hardcore fans that have been with me since the start.  I am afriad you may want to skip this week’s installment, and come back next time…I have got some CRAZY good stuff to share with you then 🙂

But until then, I leave you with my top 5…click on the picture to be whisked off to some blogage of the past. And really, truly, with all the sincerity in the world:  thank you.

I am very humbled by your readership 😉

 

Ferg’s Top 5 blogs from the past.

Number 5 – the Limbo Lady

I love this blog, it is littered with excitement – a new job, a new camera, and this was the first (of many) photos I took of the amazing Cheryl.

 

Number 4 – The Caterpillars

Again, another exciting blog.  I had discovered that my D700 could do timelapse and I got a little giddy at the thought…and these guys are just AWESOME.

 

 

Number 3 – Steve Jobs is a pain in the arse (NB – this was written before he passed away)

No photos for this blog, but I re-read it and gave myself a giggle.  As you will tell from the first paragraph…I was having a very bad day…

 

Number 2 – Dwayne the dancer

This was the first blog that I introduced my little logo thing on my photos.  I was crazy excited because I found out  that a lot of people were finding me through Google’s image searches….and rather vainly hoped that someone had used an image of mine in a presentation, or school homework or something….I love the thought of my work being used to better an assignment, or be a good header for a slideshow – but if they show it in class – I want everyone to see where it came from.

 

 

And…number one has to be:

Number 1 – Ollie

The best blog, because it means so much to so many people.  Ollie came home, and all involved were  relieved, happy and joyous.  It really was a magic day.

 

As always, thanks for reading guys…and don’t forget to subscribe!

x

The Humming Birds

In my last post, I talked about the family of monkeys that are setting up shop here on our resort, and how the baby – affectionately named ‘Monkini’ by my dear wife, is growing up at a rate of knots.  Well, just after that post, we had another family start anew on resort – this time in the form of the beautiful, if not tiny Hummingbird.

Here is mum, precariously perched on the end of a bush, in front of the sugar mill and undoubtedly on the busiest pathway in the resort.  We are all a little bemused as to why she would want to setup here, but it is not an uncommon place for the Hummingbirds to nest, so clearly evolution has a plan…whatever that plan is.

Anyway, mum is sat here, in front of the sugar mill basking in the shade and fighting the breeze that is coming in from the sea.  It is really difficult for me to portray just how tiny this bird is – I was hoping that the Sugar Mill would help give a little perspective, but as it is so far away, it actually makes her look even bigger!

To give you an idea, she is probably about 9cm long, beak to tail.  (That’s just 3 and a bit inches for our American friends) And her nest is just as slight.  I stood around at a good distance as she flew in and out of her nest, bringing back twigs and fluff to build her abode.

She would only leave for a few moments at a time, and a closer peak revealed why:

These two eggs are TINY!! Barely the size of a mento each, and left unattended for the briefest of moments whilst the nest is added to and mum eats…Why she picked such a busy and open spot for her nest again?  I have no idea…

So we now have (hopefully!) at least two families growing with us here whilst we soak up the sun and shoot our weddings.  I will keep you posted how our Hummingbird family get on, and will snap away at the monkeys as and when we see them.  I have a whole host of blogs to get round to, but wanted to get my David Attenborough bit out of the way first.

Massive thanks as always for reading guys, hit the subscribe button, tell your friends and generally be merry.

Will be back soon

x

Happy (belated) New Year!

It feels like forever since my last post…I haven’t written anything this year…so let’s get down to the nitty gritty of it – Happy New Year one and all.  I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas and all the other shenanigans that year’s end brings. We, as ever, have been completely rammed at work – millions and millions of exciting twists and turns in the wonderful world of Barbados, and we were also lucky enough to have my family-in-law (well, some of them anyway) come and stay with us over the festive period.

From left to right, that’s my mum-in-law, Sue, my step-dad-in-law, Dave, and little Lou, who is nearly thirteen now…I have known Louis since he was a bump in Sue’s tummy, and he is all kinds of awesome.  But, like most teenagers, he hates having his picture taken.

So it’s not the best place for him to come really…what with snap-happy Ferg so close by.

But we had a great time – the guys enjoyed the beach whilst we (enjoyed?!) the office.  We had a few weddings over Christmas, and the staff parties (working and playing) and New Year’s eve (working) and everything in between.  Hence why the blog has suffered somewhat these last few weeks.

And whilst we played with some of our family, our resident monkeys started to build their own.  We have a dominant male on the resort that Sian has affectionately come to name “Morris.” We have seen him for the last two years or so – he once tried to break into the office on the off chance of finding some bananas, although he would be more likely to find coffee and muffins on my desk.   Anyway, he recently hooked up with a lady monkey on resort called “Mummy”, and the two have had a baby Sian has dubbed “Monkini.”  (This is the abridged version – but you get the gist.)

Anyway, baby has been growing at an alarming rate, and it is very, very cute to see them all playing together on the resort.  Being a nipper, “Monkini” has a wonderful curiosity with everything and Morris usually lets her entertain this curiosity as he wanders around in a circle, snarling at anything that gets too close.

But on my birthday (Christmas Eve) during the slowest game of golf ever, we pulled out of a hole to let some people who actually knew what they were doing go by, and we saw Mummy and Monkini in a tree with no sign of Morris.  He had obviously wandered off to find something for his girls, and we were able to get closer than ever before to the pair.  I felt really bad because the sound of my shutter grabbed Monkini’s attention no end – and she kept trying to jump out of the tree to investigate the noise.  Mummy gave me some horrible looks as she kept playing catch with her new baby, but it did make for some amazing photos:

This is just after Monkini jumped down towards me to see what all the noise was about coming from my camera…Mummy was NOT impressed.

We got the hint and left the monkeys to it, failed a bit more at golf, and then went home.  I haven’t yet seen the monkeys in the new year, but when I do I shall post up some more pictures as baby grows up…it really is such a treat to have such a spectacle on your front door step.

So our birthdays and Christmas came and went, we partied and played and worked hard, and now look forward to another busy and sccessful year.  I have LOADS of stuff to share with you over the following weeks, and I promise the blogs will start coming regularly again 🙂

Hit the subscribe – hit the share, tell your friends nd as always, keep on snapping.

Thanks for reading guys x

A Rare Phenomonon…

Wednesday was Barbados’ Independence day, which basically means no one can get married, and that I am able to give the team and myself a well deserved day off.  This is always good news.  Even better news was that our dear friends Mike and Jenny, who we met on our first ever contract with Colorbox aboard  the Thomson Destiny, were in Barbados the same day as a port of call on their holiday cruise.

Mike and Jenny are awesome.

Jenny dances amazingly, and Mike is a fantastic singer.  We were very lucky that they could make it to our wedding a year and a bit back, and Mike did us the honour of singing our first dance, along with a genius set.  If you want to hear the dulcet tones, (which I strongly recommend) you can hear him here. 🙂 For an even further shameless plug, BOOK HIM IF YOU’RE GETTING MARRIED IN THE UK, HE IS AMAZING! 😉 (Cheques made payable to me please Mike)

Anyways, back to the fun events of Wednesday…So we were ridiculously fortunate that the guys’ visit coincided with an unheard of day off during the week, and even more so that we got a tiny spot of sunshine during the otherwise miserable weather we have been experiencing lately.

As is now customary, we took the guys up to the Animal Flower Cave for the amazing views.  As we headed over, the short spell of sunshine was replaced with spitting rain.  I suggested we head to Bathsheba.  Luckily Jimbly insisted we head to the Cave, and I am so glad he did.

As we drove down the pot-hole ridden lane that leads to the amazing views, my heart skipped a beat as I saw what looked like a tornado skitting across the water out at sea.  We bundled out of the car as quickly as we could – I ran ahead with the camera in hand whilst Sian scrabbled to get our long 70-200 lens out.  It was awesome.

Later research proved that it was a water spout that we witnessed.   It was remarkably hard to expose for the spout.  As is often the way in photography, your eyes are so much better than even the mighty sensor of our wonderful D700.  Looking out to sea, it was very obvious to the naked eye, but there was very little contrast in the skyline, and no amount of underexposure seemed to make the spout ‘pop’ as much as it did in real life.  I was also greeted with an incredibly mucky sensor when I came to process these photos.  No matter how careful we are with changing our lenses, out here where there is so much sand and wind, it is inevitable to get crap in your sensor…an occupational hazard I guess. 🙁

As such, the pictures are a little less sharp than I would normally like – This is a classic example of me out of my comfort zone! Low light is fine, harsh sunlight with lots of contrast, I can deal with…but flat skylines with little contrast in them are clearly an area I need to improve upon.

And unfortunately time was not on our side.  As soon as I had popped off a few frames, the spout disappeared from the skyline, and a very hot and sticky sun reared it’s head back out for us.  We were so very lucky to have seen the spout at all!

We had to get Mike and Jenny back to their ship before it sailed onto the next port without them, so we had just enough time for a group snap before jumping back into the car and heading for the port.  This proved to be another wonderfully smug moment for me – always having the massive tripod in the boot paid off once again.

So a massive thanks to Jenny and Mike for making the 4000ish mile journey to come and see us – it was wonderful to see you both again, and as always seems to be the way, the fact we had visitors meant we saw another part of Barbados we otherwise wouldn’t have.  I was also made privy to the fact that Mike’s mum is a reader of my blog too…which is massive news.  This one’s for you Mike’s mum, thanks so much for reading – make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss anything, and thanks for giving us all such a lovely chap 😉

And as always, thanks for reading guys x

Crabs!

Hi guys, sorry, no photos today…but there is a cheeky video 🙂

Sian, Jimbly and I were shooting a wedding a few days back, and I was on film detail.  We were at a gorgeous resort called the House, and the wedding was scheduled quite late – 4:30PM…this makes life very difficult for us, because by 5:30, the sun has set and you have no light to play with…none.  So James did a great job of conducting the shoot quickly enough for us to get everything we needed in the small time window we had.

In between rushing from the sunset on the Beach, and a cake cutting shot in the hotel, we came across hundreds of red sand crabs.  They were just your ordinary, run of the mill crabs, knocking about and raising their comedy pincers in defiance of the hulking humans as we point and coo.  But one crab, James noticed, was very proudly carrying a lollipop stick.

And we thought this was hilarious.

In hindsight, and watching the video back, I am not too sure the comedy will come across, but rest assured – we all had a good chuckle at the sight and hope you do too 🙂

Massive blog in the pipeline by the by…we witnessed a weather phenomenon the other day which I cannot WAIT to share with you all…so please keep posted and I’ll hopefully share with you all over the weekend 🙂


Thanks for reading guys 🙂

Just another day at the beach

I am sure that when Sian and I tell people that we live and work in Barbados, they think that we just chill out on crazy beaches all day.

But, unfortunately, like most people – the job gets in the way of the dream.  We work ridiculous hours.  I am currently in St Lucia meeting with our team here, organinsing new systems and structures to help the company prosper, and poor Sian and James are stuck in the lab in Barbados printing, making books, fixing albums and generally keeping the Colorbox machine running…whilst I sit in the hotel lobby punching this out.

It is 8:30pm, and I doubt they will get out until 10.  I feel guilt like you would not believe..the lab is a very lonely place when you have been there for over 12 hours, and there is nothing I can do this end to help. 🙁

And this is the problem we have with stupid ‘work’ – it gets in the way of all our fun. So it is always a pleasure when we do get the fleeting opportunity to visit the beach.  We knew that this week was coming (I miss Sian terribly when I’m away-even if only for four days, which is ridiculous but that’s the way it is) so on Sunday we made a really concerted effort to get to a beach – and what a beach it was!

I was out filming a wedding down at the Almond Beach Club a few days back, and the couple had decided to opt for some off property photography.  Bill, my senior photographer and oracle on anything Barbados, suggested a little bay up the road.  So we jumped into the car and took the couple to Gibb’s beach…it is amazing.

Needless to say, after seeing the place, I thought it would be more than appropriate to take Sian and James there – amaze them with my local knowledge and astound them with the incredible sand scape I had stumbled upon on my travels.  The charade lasted but a few moments as we drove down and James asked “So we going to that place Bil took you to the other day then?”

My plan foiled, and being exposed as the charlatan that I am, I grumbled that yes, we were going to “where Bill showed me”, and we stopped in the gas station (sorry – I have got all American having been here so long) garage, got some beers, and headed down to paradise.

And what a lovely day it was…we swam in the crystal clear water, watched the world go by…and then I went back to hide under the umbrella from the sun whilst James and Sian giggled like school girls.  It was magic.

I am trying to keep the technical stuff to a minimum on the blogs now, as I have been literally inundated with two mails saying that my technical guff is wasted on them, but I would like you all to know that all of these shots have been done through two grad filters.

A grad filter is essentially a piece of plastic that you put in front of your lens, which graduates from very dark, to completely see through – allowing you to underexpose, or “make darker” an area of your frame.  Essentially, this means that you can get a lot more detail in areas that would otherwise be blown out – or overexposed, because you are physically making them darker with the filter in front of the lens.  If you look at the umbrella shot above, for example, you will notice that there is a big white splodge between the boat and the umbrella.  My grad filter was covering the left hand of the frame. The graduation clearly stops a few centimeters before the umbrella – and that’s why there is that huge white ‘hot spot’ there.  I will do a much more technical ‘how to’ on grad filters in the future, I am sure…but for now I think that should cover it.  As always…any questions, you know where to get me 🙂

So anyway, after a time of being eaten alive by sand flies – without doubt the most evil and horrific of the Almighty’s creations, I headed back into the water with the now delirious-with-mirth-Sian and James as the sun started to set.

We decided we should head back before the sand flies came out in force – very much like the zombies in any good B-Movie, sand flies tend to come out when the sun has disappeared, and they eat your ankles, arms, face and anything else they can get their tiny jaws on very efficiently indeed.  We were in magic hour – bathed in the beautiful golden glow that only the setting sun can produce, and I got this corking portrait of Sian:

I can’t tell you how hard it was to decide between colour and black and white on this one…but eventually I decided for the BnW, beause the glow was SO golden, that it looked as if I had photo shopped it to buggery…I think it is a beautiful shot of my wife.

And as we walked away from what is renowned to be no other than Michael Flatley’s beach house (renowned in as much that Bill told me it was…and he knows everything about Barbados, so that’s enough for me) we were treated to some wonderful colours as the sun began to dip behind the horizon:

And that was that…another day at the beach; far from the stresses of the lab, the team and the bloody iMacs.  It was simply wonderful…

Thanks for reading guys

Ferg x

A day at the races

Yesterday was made up of a lot of firsts for us.  It was the first time Sian and I were going to the races down at the Garisson, it was the first time I would be shooting solely in RAW, and it was the first time that I had decided I was going to process my shots in Adobe Lightroom.

Here we all are at the races, Sian, Caragh and Jonathan.

We decided to go to the races because Caragh is here, and Caragh loooooves horses.  She worked as a stable girl in Bexley a few years back, and by the end of her time there she was taking classes and teaching little’uns (including our amazing nephew Ryan) how to ride.  Caragh is more into point to point racing back in the UK, and Mick, my father in law, just loves anything with four legs.  I know that he reads the blog, so Mick – I hope you enjoy this and that the shots do the sport justice. 😉

Both Caragh and Mick are incredibly fastidious when it comes to the form and which horse to back. I, on the other hand am utterly pants.  I’m quite handy at the dogs, being that we have been many many more times, and that I have had best part of half a dozen as pets.  But the horses are completely beyond me.  I had no idea what to look for when they came out, no idea how the jockeys (who are heroes, by the way) affected a horse, and absolutely no idea how important ALL that information is about each runner.

Sian and I quickly agreed that we would bet $10bds on each race (about 3 pounds) and would take turns…in the mean time, I would take photos.

At least I know something about that.

As I mentioned before, I planned to shoot everything in Raw on this shoot.  RAW basically means that your camera records the information that it sees pixel for pixel.  There is no compression as there is in JPEG format, and no in-camera correction such as sharpness, hue or saturation is recorded in the file.

What this ultimately means is that the files are much, MUCH larger, and I have always avoided RAW because I have found that using Adobe Bridge and Photoshop to process these files is a painstakingly laborious and long-winded process.  But James has been getting into Lightroom lately which is much better for RAW files, and kindly took the time to show me a few things.  He is already annoyingly good with his camera and is getting better everyday, so the thought of falling behind on software as well is not something that my stubborn nature would allow.

Essentially, RAW gives you a lot more control over the files when it comes to processing, because the files are nothing but pixel information and have had no editing whatsoever when you drag them into your computer.  When shooting JPEG, the camera has a host of inbuilt processes and algorithms to help ‘improve’ your photos in camera.  This is great for speed; as a lot of the files out of my D700 don’t need any alteration.  But you are giving up a considerable amount of creative control, because your colours and everything else are essentially being decided by an engineer in Japan 5 years ago, rather than by me, at that moment.

Despite shooting in RAW, however, I still approached the day as I always do – I knew what I wanted: to get a good mixture of frozen action and motion blur, and  I knew that I was going to achieve this by varying my shutter speed.  My first snap was at the finish line of race number one.  I focused on the jockeys as they approached the finishing line, and tracked them running from right to left.  Shot at a 50th of a second, I got that wonderful movement on the horses’ legs and background blurring, but the jockey is still tack sharp:

I really like this shot.

I then ramped my shutter to about 1250th, to get these frozen action shots:

I love the frozen action too – particularly the last one where you can see the turf flying up under the horses’ hooves.  It really is an amazing experience as the pack thunders by, and I like to think the last shoot gives an inkling of the power that these amazing animals have.

After a few races, we headed off to get some lunch, where we were treated to a winning horse getting showered down.

It is (obviously!) very hot in Barbados, and the poor horses were running at half one – the hottest time of day!  This guy was very thirsty as well as very hot, and he kept poking his tongue out to get a cheeky drink during his shower:

It was wonderful to see the horse and handlers playing with each other – and when the shower was over, I was lucky enough to capture this moment between them:

After lunch, we headed back into the stands to win a few more bucks (Sian had backed a winner, and I had somehow, picked a horse that placed) and watch the last few races.  Race 6 was made up of a lot of inexperienced horses – none of them had run more than four races, and were yet to place in any of their track days.  Needless to say, this made betting almost impossible, and the end result was very surprising – the winner was a country mile ahead of the pack.

I just love the Jockey’s smile in this shot – just before he looked back to see where everyone else was…he is clearly already celebrating here.

We watched the last few races as the sun came down, and got ready to head home.

So, as always, another great day out on a glorious weekend in Barbados.  I really enjoyed the races, both shooting and watching.  The betting was fun and the day (amazingly) ran pretty much on time.  We headed back home to the hotel to have some BBQ and beer, and are now looking forward to a day out on the beach before we have to go back to work tomorrow…

Thanks for reading guys, and keep on snapping

Ferg x


Caterpillar Capers

Due to various members being sick over the weekend, Sian, James and myself were roped into a last minute day’s work on Saturday.  I am currently suffering from a cold, and therefore believe that the world is ending (who can blame me – I’m a man after all) and in my grumpy state I walked to  the lab to fire up the Fuji and start getting on with printing.

On my way in, I couldn’t help but enjoy the beautiful blue sky that Barbados was treating us to…it was fantastic…so much so that I rang Sian and told her to leave whatever she was doing to get outside and admire the cobalt blue we were being blessed with.  As I wandered down through the resort, grumpy and with my neck cocked back to admire the stratosphere, I couldn’t help but notice that our Frangipani tree on the golf course was looking a little under the weather.  It normally has bright green leaves and lovely white, four petaled flowers…but in this beautiful, post hurricane system sky, it looked dowdy and almost dead.

On closer inspection, it was not actually the tree’s fault, nor the weather’s.  It was being set upon by the only animal I have encountered that makes my old man look like a calorie counter.   It was teaming with Frangipani Caterpillars.

There were about twenty we could spot in total.  They are awesome.  the biggest ones were about 12cm long, and 2 cm wide, and they just chow down mercilessly on the leaves.  I was mesmerised by them.

Having seen the tree teaming with life, I ran to the lab and got things going, pinched the work camera (D7000 for those that care) and came to grab some snaps.

In the short time I was there, the bigger guys at the bottom of the tree quickly polished off a leaf each in the morning sun.  They were very wary of me though, and whenever I got too close, they would wag their heads angrily.  From what I have read, they will nip you if in a pinch, but they are completely harmless otherwise.  Their bright colouring is a warning to birds and other predators that they are poisonous….this is somewhat of a ruse – they themselves have no poison or venom, but the sap of the Frangipani tree is poisonous to predators without the digestive system of the caterpillars, and so their food provides them with all the protection they need from our feathered friends here on the island.

We use the D7000 at work solely for its incredible video performance, and I am training the guys how to get the most from it…needless to say, I felt obliged to film a little of what was going on, and thought I would bring the D700 and the tripod along later on in the day for some more time-lapse action.

Needless to say, all just a bit of fun, and many apologies about the camera shake, I didn’t have time to grab the tripod and longer lenses – I was covering people calling in sick after all.

At the end of the time lapse shoot (trust me to pick the one caterpillar that couldn’t polish off an entire leaf) the sun had come around beautifully, and just hit the caterpillars with that golden light.  These were taken with no flash, if you’ll believe it 😉

Overall I was pretty pleased with the shots…but I got increasingly frustrated with not being able to focus closer (Cue the wide eyed: “Baaaaa – bbbbyyyy, we need to get  a Nikon 105mm macro lens”)….but that’s for another day…

And yet again, my camera has led me to learn a bit more about the wildlife of this alien island…not too sure how often the Frangipani Caterpillars will come up in the local pub quiz, but every tid-bit we gleam, every fact we learn, makes being here feel a little less alien, and a little more like home.

Thanks for reading, and keep on snapping.

Ferg x

It’s raining cats and dogs…oh, and Caragh’s here!

So, I have looooads of piccies to share with you today, which is crazy exciting, but the first thing I need to share is the big news that my little sister (in law, technically) Caragh is out here staying with us and it is AWESOME to have her here 🙂

Already she is putting up with my terrible mood swings, the constant cursing about work, the team and all the other boring stuff everyone goes through on a daily basis with good stead and (I hope) is having a good time.  Today we headed down to the beach to watch the sunset…there wasn’t much to report unfortunately due to the bad weather again, but we whipped out the umbrella and off camera flash to produce this corker:

It’s amazing; I have known Caragh for over 11 years now and it seems like only yesterday  she was telling me about the Tweenies* when I had picked her up from her primary school…Now she is all set to go to Sheffield Uni (can I get a whoop whoop from all the coal mining crew?) and looking absolutely stunning as a young woman.  I am also very excited to FINALLY meet her long term boyfriend Johnathan who will be joining us shortly here in Barbados, I can’t wait to meet the guy that can hold his own with Caragh…I already have the utmost of respect for him 😉

So anyway, back to piccies.  These last few days I have had an epiphany…So used to the smaller sensor of my D80, I have been used to shooting at relatively slow shutter speeds, hand held.  60th/50th or around there.  With a wide lens this is fine…with a 35mm on the D80’s smaller sensor you can just about get away with it, but on the FX sensor at 50mm opening the shutter for that long a time has been giving me a serious case of camera shake…I have been looking at my pictures thinking “Why so soft? This should be tack sharp”  The penny dropping could be heard in Alaska….what a clown shoes.  To show you what the hell I mean, I would like to share with you a few piccies of some dogs we were lucky enough to meet the other day.  Sian and I headed to an amazing property called ‘Fustic House’ at the North of the island.  I would love to show you some snaps, but it was a work thing and therefore I have no copyright and the project is not yet finished.  When it is up online, I shall gladly point you all in the right direction.

Anyway, it is an old plantation house and absolutely incredible.  I won’t try and describe it, because my lexicon can’t and won’t do it justice, just take my word for it – it’s amazing.  And it is owned by a lovely family who own a plethora of dogs.

And I love dogs.

 

Big time.

 

Needles to say, as soon as we had a natural break in filming, i whipped the D700 out and got these portraits…but see if you can spot where I went wrong:

In this shot, I was way, way too wide. (my aperture was too big) and you can see that the photo is not sharp because I was shooting at the fabled 60th of a second…fine when shooting 35mm – even 50mm on the dump D80, but inexcusably so on the D700 at 50mm.  It’s amazing how I still fall into these bad habits of compromise – I forget how powerful the D700’s ISO is…what I should have done was ramp the ISO to say, 4000 and shot at 200th and f8 at least.   To add insult to injury, I missed the focal point on the dog’s eye anyway…so a pretty dire attempt in all.

Sorry.

I like this one a lot more…the focus is right this time (thank God) and I have shot here at  a faster shutter speed…but I am still not happy that I shot so wide – I wish that I had less depth of field and more of the dog’s droopy expression in focus…

But, never one to be deterred by utter rookiness, I looked forward to my next great pet adventure, eager to try my new theory of higher shutter speeds and narrower apertures.  So when we headed down to the beach to watch the sunset (see, there was a point of me telling you that all thsoe paragraphs ago) we were met by our resident cats.

And I hate cats.

 

Big time.

 

But Sian’s family have an amazing black and white cat called Lucy who has slowly won me over in the recent years that I have got to know her…she is evil and sadistic and loves the fact that I am allergic to her and falls out of trees…deep down, it pains for me to admit that she is really quite quality.

Our resident cats on the resort are not the healthiest specimens..they are usually missing chunks of fur from fights, or carrying a litter and set to burst (seriously, how often can one cat be pregnant in a year?) but they are very friendly, and the ones who came over today were surprisingly photogenic.  Before the sun disappeared, I got one of this guy:

Which I was pretty proud of, and then we spotted this guy chilling out:


And then the sun disappeared…so Caragh got roped into holding flash for me whilst I got these three corkers:

…and to be honest, I am chuffed to bits with them.  So, a lesson well learned – if you take dump photos the first time round, don’t panic, just work out where you went wrong, and have yourself another go 🙂  It’s what I do almost ever day…

Thanks for reading guys.  Keep on snapping.

Ferg x

 

*The Tweenies was a terrible kids show that ran in the UK for a long time…they were dump.

Taking my time….

Hello all,

So firstly, I do apologise for the long wait since my last blog. For those dedicated fans, of which I believe there are…one, (that’s you Jenny!) I have been kept very busy at work with various shenanigans, and Barbados has been treating us to some pretty pants weather the last few weeks.

This has meant a lot of long quiet nights in the new flat, pawing over the D700 manual and driving Sian up the wall with my incessant nerdery.  But it has paid off.

On page 203 of the D700’s manual, there is reference to interval timer shooting.

I wept.

For hours.

This is something that the beautiful old D80 never offered, and instantly a light bulb clicked in my head.  What better to do with a rainy day than setup a tripod, have the camera take a million pictures, and then stitch them together to make a film?

This is not ground breaking.  This is not original. But this was my first stab and I can say I thoroughly enjoyed it.  We were also really lucky, because as I dragged Sian out into the soggy night, we found this guy:

And every time I see him, I can’t help but chuckle.  There are MILLIONS of frogs (toads?!) on the resort, all in various forms and sizes:  from the TINIEST guys just from tadpole state, to the huge ones like this, they are awesome.  We are also treated to numerous ‘squashed’ frogs along the roads of the resort…I know I shouldn’t laugh…it is very sad…but they are so comedically sprawled out on the floor and I cant help but think of the days I used to play ‘Frogger’ in the church rooms as a choir boy…but that’s another story all together.

Anyway, here is the vid.  I made it at home as I have a strong “blog is for play” attitude, and don’t use the work resources for it.  I wish I had.  Windows Movie Maker sucks ass in comparison to the Mighty Mac’s Final Cut Pro.  Seriously, I hate Mac…but Windows let me down real bad on this one…

But, as always, it is all just a bit of fun and I hope that you guys enjoy it…

Ferg

x