Monday, May 26, 2008

Reflections - The world in your eyes

The world in your eyes
Originally uploaded by danlayphotos

Becs needed some new sunglasses when we were on holiday and these ones looked fab on her. When we were out walking together, I was amazed at the reflection that appeared so sharp in the glasses and how wide-angle the glasses are.

I decided to try and photograph her to get the reflection sharp. I took a few photos and eventually got myself out of the reflection (actually quite tricky).

In post processing, I overexposed it and put some extra colour saturation so that it appeared almost an ethereal picture.

To improve on this, I could try to overlay an ethereal scene into her glasses or a scene from armageddon or something. My photoshop skills aren't that good so I might just try photographing her again like this but in front of run down derelict house or ruin (something evocative) and put it into black and white!

What do you think?

Thursday, May 15, 2008


I have been watching the "Great British Menu" on BBC Two and was inspired by one of the Chefs (Atul Kochhar) to consider "Balance" in photography. He was obviously referring to balance in terms of tastes, colours and textures on the dishes that he serves but I think it sums up what is so hard to with photography.

To make good photos, it's not enough to just photograph a subject with the right depth of field, sharpness and colour reproduction. You need to have a sort of Yin-Yang that ensures that what you're photographing has the right level of attention and is set out to stand out.

Backgrounds should be complementary to the subject in terms of colour and texture. Sometimes this might mean your background is blurred and the same colour as the subject or is a contrasting colour to lift the subject the page.

The textures in the picture should be balanced. Again, this can be that the texture of the subject is reflected in the background (e.g. Old rusty shopping trolley in front of massive urban decay) or harshly contrasted by it (e.g. a rough stone on a smooth wooden floor).

Composition should allow the attention to be placed firmly on the subject matter. e.g. leading lines should lead to the subject, the subject should be placed on the intersection between the line of thirds, the subject should be allowed to 'breathe' in the image and not be so intensely crowded out.

Light should be balanced with the shadows to enhance the attention and beauty of the subject.

The photo above is an example of putting the above into practice.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

More fun at Alverstone

I was back at Alverstone Mead last weekend and paid a flying visit to my red squirrel buddies. Unfortunately, owing to a poorly grandmother, we couldn't visit early morning as we had planned and so this time ended up visiting at about midday. Predictably, the squirrels were not really showing their faces and so I only shot about a dozen pictures, of which the above is my favourite.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Photo shoot with friends

With our first baby on the way, I took the opportunity of turning the would be nursery into a white room studio for two weeks. I've invited friends and family to come over for some photo shoots so that I can have some practice and they can have some photos!

Today my friends Dave, Helen, Noah and baby Freya came over and we had lots of fun! Boy was it hard work but great fun. I didn't realise quite how hard it would be but it was really worth it. A childs smile is worth ten from a grown up.


I had a go this week at photographing a landscape type scenic shot of bluebells. We have two small coppiced woods where I live and both are abundant with blues this time of year.

I chose to do an early shoot (about 5:30am) as I wanted to capture a scene with mist and sun beams. I got the mist but no sun which has sadly meant that my photos are quite dull and lifeless. I'm not happy with them. The other thing I struggled with was not having a strong enough line through the picture, e.g. a well walked path or a broken down tree. The pictures I took lack life and impact. They're a bit bland.

What I really wanted was a dramatic sunlit misty scene with the bluebells punching through with their lilac colours. I shall try again before the season is out and might try shooting later in the morning and hope for some sun beams!

Anyone else got any good suggestions?