Friday, 31 March 2017

Apple Trees Bursting Into Life.....

All the apples trees bursting into life in the garden today. After trying with the XT2 and only getting mediocre images decided to revert to the Nikon D800 with the 105mm Macro and ring flash and the results were loads better.
After processing this image decided to use Flaming Pears Flood 2 Plugin to make it a bit more interesting. Love the flexibility of this plug in.....

For more images from the garden check out my Flickr pages via the link on the right.

Lots of intersting lichen shots from the same tree:-

Thursday, 30 March 2017

New Fuji XT2 Firmware version 2.00

The New Fuji XT2 Firmware Version 2.00 has arrived today.

Rumours suggested this was due 3 days ago on the 27th, but it was definitely worth the wait.

Once again Fuji has provided some great improvements. This company not only listens to its users suggestions, but it puts them into action and provides Firmware Updates free of charge.

Included with the update are the 24 new and updated features which I'll include at the end of the blog ( see read more).

Otherwise for more detailed information the PDF manual is available here:-

I downloaded and installed the updatethe earlier and already love the following:-

The Voice memo feature allows the recording of a 30 second memoir for each saved image. Simple push and hold the front command dial and away you go. Let go once the recording is added and its saved as a WAV file with the same file name as the original image.
Having imported the image to Lightroom there is no direct way of accessing the file Yet but it is easily found along side the image. Im a Mac user and clicking on the file plays it back via iTunes.
I wasn't very keen on this so have downloaded the "Simplemp3playerlite" a free app which allows easy playback of mp3 files. 

The full version is available for £2.99:-

The other exciting feature related to AE Bracketing which is especially useful for HDR photography. In the last Firmware 3 photos could be taken at the push of a button. Now it up to 9, with the ability to under and over expose in varying degree from 1/3 stop up to +/-3EV with each shot, more than enough to produce HDR images in the most demanding of conditions.

Full list of Features included with the update:-

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

The Frogs Return

With the arrival of spring the pond was today full of frogs laying frogspawn. Unfortunately this had to be removed quite quickly as the fish were desperate to eat it so I now have a fish tank full of spawn safely away from the fish.

This image was taken with a Fuji XT2 which is about to be updated with the new Firmware.

The processing was care of Lightroom and Photoshop via Creative Cloud membership.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Crooked House Of Windsor

Amazed to find this old shop close to the entrance to Windsor Castle. At first glance it looks as though the camera is tilted, but no this shop is actually leaning and the door just as it appears. I assume over the years the door must have been replaced to fit the frame as the shape changed. 

A quick Google search and I found this link

As you will see in the image it has obviously been repainted recently and changed from a Tea Room to a Jewellers.

In another link below the building is advertised For Sale for £1.5 million. This dates from 2015 so presumably was the time its ownership and decor changed.

Crooked House For Sale

I think in all honesty I prefer the black and white decor.

Monday, 27 March 2017

Starling Bathtime

Produced with a little help from Photoshop and one of my favourite Plug-ins called Flood from Flaming Pear.

This clever little addition to Photoshop allows the simple creation of water below an image with sliders to adjusts blur, ripple, waviness etc.

Secrets out......

The above was made with Flood Version 1, but I've just discovered that Flood 2 is now available via the link below. Having now upgraded I have been able to produce an even better fake below in which the reflection extends beyond the bird.
I thought a good title for this series would be after the flood.

Flood Plug-In

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Garden Macros

Playing around earlier in the garden with a couple of extension rings attached to the cheap Fuji kit lens. Both of these are of an old apple tree which is just starting to shows signs of life after the winter.

Not sure how good the lichen is for the tree or whether it is a signs of its increasing age, but there is certainly a good variety to choose from.

The image was hand held at f22 and there is some obvious distortions at the edges, but overall I was quite pleased with the results.

The rings I have predate the now available Fuji ones. The links below shows the 16mm on Amazon which is significantly more expensive than the ones I have. I've also included a link to the 11mm as well which is surprisingly more expensive.

Fuji 16mm Extension Ring on Amazon

Fuji 11mm Extension Ring On Amazon

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Rainbow Fountain At Hampton Court Palace

Recently I was lucky enough to visit Hampton Court Palace in London, home of Henry VIII and a few other monarchs since then.

Although only March the weather was great with blue skies. In the garden which was quiet I came across this large fountain and pond. As the sun came out a rainbow appeared in the spray which I was pleased to capture in the above image. I didn't notice the couple on the bench at the time, but I love the way the rainbow goes over their heads. 

For years I've been a fan of Lucy Worsley and was hoping I might have met her on the day, but despite having a good look around there was no sign of her.

Friday, 24 March 2017

Misty Morning

Misty morning over Ambleside with the last of the Autumn colours.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Song Thrush In Grasmere

Great to see a Song Thrush in Grasmere today, quite a while since I've seen one.

Love the way his chest appears to be covered in inverted hearts all pointing towards his head.

Had to smile when I discovered the Latin name for this species... Turdus philomelos

Friday, 17 February 2017

Otters In Windermere

Last day of a weeks holiday in Ambleside today so decided to go down to Waterhead Pier and take a few shots of the boats and the lake.

Not many people around and weather not too great o feeling a little fed up when suddenly heard a splash below and say this fellow swimming around in the lake.

The only time Ive ever seen an otter before was years ago in the sea in Islay in Scotland.

He was quite hard to photograph as he was swimming around at great speed.

Before long another appeared and then a third.

Looking into the water there were loads of small fish which had obviously attracted them.

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