Posts Tagged ‘photography’


BlackRapid: RS-7 Camera Strap

Sunday May 15, 2011

Take a look at these fantastic camera straps from BlackRapid.  Much more comfortable than the standard straps.  I’ve just bought a RS-7 from


RHS Wisley

Saturday February 19, 2011

Took a day off on Wednesday and headed over to RHS Wisley.  They’ve had butterflies in their glasshouse for the month so I thought I’d take the camera over for a look.

The gardens weren’t in bloom, obviously, but it was still nice to get out and walk around.  The glasshouse was extremely hot and humid (not my cup of tea!) and it took quiet a while for the camera to become acclimatised before you could photograph anything – the lens just instantly misted-up as you entered.

Will probably head back there later in the year to see the flowers in full bloom.

Photos over on Flickr.

Butterfly and Red


HDR Photography

Monday September 27, 2010

I’ve just started dabbling in HDR photography, that’s High Dynamic Range Photography.

High dynamic range imaging (HDRI or just HDR) is a set of techniques that allow a greater dynamic range of luminance between the lightest and darkest areas of an image than standard digital imaging techniques or photographic methods. This wider dynamic range allows HDR images to more accurately represent the wide range of intensity levels found in real scenes, ranging from direct sunlight to faint starlight. [Wikipedia]

My basic explanation of the method is: take three photos, one at the correct exposure, one x stops lower and one x stops higher.  Then the computer software merges the three images into one and ‘tone-mapping’ adjusts the output to better display on your screen.  Check the Wikipedia pages for more detailed/accurate explanation of the process.  😉

The photograph below shows an unaltered, correctly exposed image of Rochester Cathedral.  The photograph below that shows a HDR image which was made with the first one and two additional photos, one at -2 stops and one at +2 stops (the three constituent photos showed beneath the HDR image).

In the software, you can alter tone-mapping to suit your taste or what you’re trying to achieve with the photograph.  The HDR image below was processed with Dynamic Photo HDR using the ‘High Contrast’ tone-mapping preset option.

You can view the HDR image over on Flickr.


Rochester – Gigapan Photos

Friday September 24, 2010

Went out on Wednesday with my camera and my Gigapan to take some panoramic photos from the top of Rochester Castle.

The two images came out quite well.  The shot of the Castle gardens is the result of 80 individual photos and the shot overlooking the Cathedral resulted from 98 photos – all merged and blended by the Gigapan Stitch software (the gardens image taking over 1hr 30mins to complete).

The resultant Gigapan images can be explored by zooming in and out and panning around them.  Follow these links to view them:

Overlooking the Cathedral ( Gigapan link)
Castle Gardens (Gigapan link)

From Rochester Castle (Gigapan)

Rochester Castle Gardens (Gigapan)


Photos Selected By Getty Images

Tuesday June 29, 2010

Nine of my photographs currently on Flickr have been selected by Getty Images for inclusion in their image catalogue.

Eight are currently live and available for purchase/licensing, the ninth is currently in the Getty Images processing queue.

I’m not sure how well these images will sell (if at all) but this may mean that my images get into print or other media use!

[Edit: 17th July 2010] The ninth image has been cleared by the Editors and is now listed!



London In February

Sunday February 14, 2010

Ready, Steady, GO!Took a short trip into London yesterday to meet a friend from my home town who was visiting the area for the weekend.  I took the camera in so that I could have some time walking the streets and seeing what was happening.  It’s nice to walk around with a camera as it really makes you ‘look’ at what’s going on around you.

It was good to see a lot of cyclists around London’s busy streets.  There were the laid-back leisure riders, commuters and the more ‘fitness’-orientated cyclists.  I tried to capture some of the them (photographically speaking!) but I often missed them as I saw them too late.  I was trying to capture the motion and speed of the cycling by playing around with the settings on the camera… didn’t really work but I took a few interesting shots.

On the train home, I was sitting near a guy with a Brompton but he hadn’t folded it as the carriage had a wide area for holding bikes.  Nice bike though, smaller than my Dahon.

Photos over on Flickr (click here).

Downing Street


Gigapan – The Photography Robot

Sunday December 13, 2009

The bikes have got me back into photography.  When I go out on long rides I take my Canon Ixus 40 with me to capture the ride, the sights and the memories.  Then I bought my Canon G11 as I wanted more control – the same level of control I had when I used my Minolta SLRs in the past.

Now I’ve bought a Gigapan Epic – a robotic camera mount for taking huge, high resolution images.


Okay, here’s something cool:

The GigaPan Imager uses the same panoramic photo technology as the Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, used to collect amazing panoramic images of Mars.

GigaPan Systems was established in 2008 as a commercial spin-off of a successful collaboration between researchers at NASA and Carnegie Mellon University that developed the breakthrough GigaPan System for creating high-resolution panoramic images. GigaPan Systems was founded to bring this powerful, high-resolution imaging capability to a broad audience.

The Gigapan system consists of the robotic mount, stitching software and the website which hosts the resulting massive images.

The mount itself ($300) fixes to the top of your tripod and then holds your digital camera nice and tightly in its special fixture.  There’s a small amount of setup to perform, so that it knows the field of view of your specific camera, and that’s it.  You then put your camera on maximum zoom, lock the focus, lock the exposure, then tell the Gigapan what to do.  It’s simple: you point the system at the top-left corner of your scene, then the bottom-right corner, and the Gigapan will then work out how many shots it needs to cover the entire scene.  Everything set, you start it off and it pans and tilts until its taken loads of individual photographs of the scene: x-number of rows and x-number of columns.

You then go home and download the images from your camera and into Gigapan’s stitching software.  This software really ‘uses’ your computer and all its processing and memory capacity to blend the photos into one huge image.  This can take a long time to compute, my initial (relatively small) capture took around 30 minutes – it’s complex and demanding for the software/computer to merge and blend these images automatically but it does it fantastically well.

Once it’s done its thing you upload to the website, into your account, and then it’s available for the world to see.

Initially it looks like a normal photograph, but then you move your mouse over it and you realise that you can zoom into the image, pan around and explore it – in a similar way to the way you navigate in Google Maps.  Find something of interest in the middle of the image? Just zoom in and take a look.  As you do, the Gigapan viewing software adds the more detailed images as you get in closer until you reach the full resolution, then just keep panning.

The Gigapan hardware was shipped to to me from the USA.  I ordered it late on a Sunday night (UK time), the Gigapan team shipped it on Monday afternoon and it arrived at 1045 on the Wednesday morning!  Really quick shipping and a high quality product.

It’s a great bit of kit and I’ve only just started playing with it.  The weather yesterday curtailed my trials but I managed to get a couple of giga-images captured: the Castle and the Cathedral.  I’ve just exported the castle image to a TIFF file and that image is 450MB in size!  It is a 261 mega pixel image!  Oh, and it took my computer 1hr 55mins to stitch it together – that’s 56 images in a grid of 7 x 8.

The images below are small copies of the exported TIFF files, if you want to see the Gigapan images then click the links below each photo and you’ll be taken to the images over on

I’ll post updates of my Gigapan experiences as and when they happen.

Click here to view the Gigapan image of the Castle

Click here to view the Gigapan image of the Cathedral

My Gigapan Epic set to take the images of the Cathedral

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