Category Archives: Photographic ranting

How does my garden grow – V.J.’S Weekly challenge #51: Green.

Well this week V.J. has challenged us with ‘Green’

Well it is not actually my garden, it is a friends, but it is certainly green, and this abundance of green life is one of the reasons I love gardens.  There is something calming about all of that life in those thousands of plants, something humbling, but something to connect to.

‘How does my garden grow’, Crowdecote, 2014.How does my garden grow

Ken

 

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Found at last – V.J.’S Weekly challenge #40: Things my father says.

Well this week V.J. has challenged us with ‘Things my father said’

This week I have taken the liberty of slightly altering V.J’s wording, as my father is still saying many lovely and annoying things.

There are a number of things my father says that I find quite challenging, little stock phrases that can turn me from an adult to a teenager in a matter of moments.  The weather is always ‘Bitter, its bitter’, and ‘are you sure’.  One phrase I know some of you will be aware of from you own lives, and may or may not use is:

‘Have you looked in the last place you had it’, or its alternative, ‘it will be in the last place you look’.  At this point I could turn rant mode on and ask what do these really mean, but instead I will leave you to think about them yourselves.

Just under three years ago we moved into a new house, as always there are little knick-knacks that you cannot find for a while.  However there was one, a small wooden huggle that had eluded us until last week.  Here it is below, we missed it and wondered where it had gone.

‘Found at last’, 2019.Found at last

Anyway last week we found it!  At the bottom of a vase.

‘I was in here’, 2019.I was in here

It was certainly in the last place we looked (is that not always the case, can it be any other?), and in fact I am not sure there was anywhere else we had not looked! But was it in the place we had it last, had it accidentally fell in here?  or had we put it in here for safe keeping during the move.

Ken

 

Unplugged and broken – V.J.’S Weekly challenge #39: Unanswerable

Well this week V.J. has challenged us with ‘Unanswerable’

So how to answer the unanswerable?  I have been thinking about this since V.J. posed this problem on Monday, and I am usually pretty quick in knowing what I want to use.  However this week I have to admit I was stumped.

However as I was just about to turn my laptop of and do some sewing on this chilly Wednesday morning in Wales,  I was struck by a sudden bolt of inspiration.  Leaping into action, the camera came out of the bag, and the shot was posed, and taken.

‘Unanswerable, unplugged and broken’, 2019. VJUnanswerable

“Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.”  – William S. Burroughs

Ken

 

Pictures without film – V.J.’S Weekly Challenge #38: What’s in a name?

Well this week V.J. has challenged us with:

As I type up each week’s summary, creating links to various blogs, I am struck by how different blog names are, and compelled to ask: what’s in a name? Specifically, your blog name.

So what is in the name: ‘Pictures without film – Using photos to capture life – Ken Humphreys Photography’

Well I started this blog about four and a half years ago.  I had just bought a new camera, a sony a6000.  At in its very basic sense, this blog speaks for the fact that I was using a digital camera and not a film camera.  I had owned digital cameras before, however this was to be my first interchangeable lens digital, and a mirrorless to boot! While I had owned SLRs I have sort of skipped DSLRs in favor of the CSC.  And so this blog was to chart some of my progress.

The blog became a place to post pictures, the occasional quote, and my photographic observations, I generally save other rantings for different social media platforms.  Over the years it has also become a place to make friends and find community, digital community that unseen bond that the modern person now shares with people thousands of miles away, who they are never physically likely to meet, but we feel we are in someway sharing part of the path our lives with.  To not so ancient humans this would have seemed strange, a magical undefinable realm, a place to which we journey without ever actually visiting.  Of course our communities of shared interests have always existed, but never have they been so visible, so tangible, and so perhaps it is magical in its own way.

Of course I mainly blog here by posting my answers to the various challenges that some of you host.  I use these to hone my photographic skills, when I am out taking pictures and at home in the digital darkroom.

The subtitle is an important part of my blog title – ‘Using photos to capture life’,  Or more specifically my life.  My photos are, as so many peoples are a visual diary of what I have done, where I have been.  Taking, editing and blogging with just a few of these, allows me to share a little of my ‘captured life’ with you.  Of course this is the way I see the world, and not the way you see it, it is not about changing your perspective merely allowing you an insight into the ‘other’, which in this case happens to be me, though the interface of my photos, provided to you not on paper with chemical fixing agents, but though a stream of ones and zeros!

So what is in a name?  It is about using my camera to capture the world around me in all of its beautiful and marvelous shapes, recording a small part of my life through a subjective lens, and it is about me sharing this perspective of the world with you.

And given that this blog is generally about photos, I better finish with a subjective view of the author of this post, a photo taken specifically for this blog, which I used as an avatar when the blog was created.

‘Photographer’, 2014.VJName

Ken

 

Aqua drop

columnOk so a few months ago I thought I would play around with trying to photograph some drops of water,  just as a bit of an experiment to see if I could do it.

so I filled the sink with water, set the camera on a tripod nearby, with a speedlight attached, set the tap dripping, plugged in my remote, and fired away.

I set the aperture fairly small f 18 so I could get a good depth of field, zoomed in, and set the focus manually by holding a pencil in the water at the point where the drips were landing and focusing on that.

CraterThe first few shots were taken at a round 1/100 sec  with the room light on, and then I changed to taking some at over a second in a darkened room, and thus using the speed light to freeze the motion.

The difficult part is estimating when the drop is going to hit.  Anyway I was sufficiently pleased that I edited some of the shots for you, and will give it a go in the future when I have time to set up with maybe coloured water, a tray and a drip bag.

Drops

101 ways of not being able to post.

Well its been a long time since my last blog post, and before that they had also been getting quite sporadic.  The main reason was that I was awaiting a new computer and thus had been limiting my photo editing until the new one arrived.  Well the new one arrived, I dived into some editing, but then it promptly developed a fault two weeks later, having to be sent back to be fixed.  The good news is that it will be back with me early next week, just in time for some holidays and therefore no time to edit, but plenty of time to add more photos to the backlog!

I’m nearly a year behind with my editing eek!  But fun times to be had ahead, and I have been doing a lot of reading both about post processing and photographic technique, so expect a few blogs about that, and hopefully some new gear on the horizon.

Well given this is a photographic blog I better add a photo from the last series of edits, so here is a photo from last years trip to Cornwall in October.

101

Husk

Ok so I thought I would go out into the back garden and play around with the extension tubes for a bit. So I happily snapped away for a bit and then retreated within the house to have a look at the results.

Well once imported into lightroom it was apparent that they were quite blurry or rather soft.  Why? Well in some cases the speed just was not fast enough, and in others the aperture was to wide.  With the extension tubes on (only the 16mm in this case), the depth of field is very narrow so a small aperture is needed, and given that shallow depth of field every tiny hand movement can throw the focus off, therefore a fairly high speed is needed.

Therefore I headed back outside to take the same shots but with the camera set to manual with an f stop between 16-20, and speeds between 1/125 and 1/250,  letting an automatic ISO of between 400-3200 compensate for the small aperture high speed combination.

The results – success – below is a shot of the empty seed head of some grass.

Husk

Ken

Pentacon auto 2.8/29

Well I was browsing amazon during my afternoon break the other day and I saw a Pentacon 2.8 29mm M42 mount lens for sale.  Well it was a ridiculously low price so I thought I may as well have it.  I had front and rear caps and a hoya skylight, well you really could not go wrong for the price.  At 29mm its very nearly a 45mm on a APS-C sensor, so its very close to the field of vision of the human eye.

DSC01141

So how does it perform?  Well not bad, I’m not blown away, but I didn’t expect to be for the price, and I have only walked around the back garden with it as yet.  I am looking forward to taking some shots of architecture with it though.  So here are some shots with it attached to the front of the a6000.  The first is straight on the camera. I am not sure I like the bokeh that is being produced, I guess I will have to wait until I use the lens with some stronger light sources behind.

Pentacon Orange

The second is with both 16mm and 10mm extension tubes as well.  I quite like the way the lens has rendered the background in this picture.

Aries

And finally with only the 10mm extension tube.  Its not regarded as being the sharpest of lenses, but its sharp enough for playing around with given I am only using the centre of the lens on an APS-C.

Am I only a weed

Ken

 

Macros here I come

Well last week I thought I would buy myself some cheap macro extension tubes from amazon, to get myself that little bit closer.

DSC01125

I have some macro filters, but have used them rarely and with little success.  The new extension tubes have pass through contacts, so they record all info to exif, I get to set fstop, and I get autofocus if required.  They are plastic, but I don’t aim to treat them that badly, and to buy tubes with metal mounts would have nearly doubled the price.DSC01126

So how do they perform.  The shots below were taken at 26mm, that being the lowest zoom where I could use both tubes, and the shots were performed handheld.  The macro shots are not that steady and I will need to use a tripod or be in bright light.  I lost between 2-3 stops of light, however this increases with the need to stop the aperture down to gain more depth of field, as this is very narrow with the lens so close to the subject and the aperture open.

So here are two shots without and with the tubes.

Plant:

DSC01127Dead Butterfly:

DSC01128

 

So now I have just got to find some time to get out and take some pictures.