More fisheye adventures

london underground

f/5.6, 1/10, 8mm, ISO 400

Two more shots from my adventures with my Samyang 8mm fisheye last Saturday.  A trip on London’s public transport just got a lot more fun.

Waterloo station

f/5.6, 1/70, 8mm, ISO 400

For my 365 redux, I have had to resort to 2009 once again, the year of my original 365. I am looking forward to getting past winter so I have more images from which to choose.  Anyway, the reality of 365’s demands was just settling in back in 2009 and, on the upside, it was beginning to force me to look hard for images everywhere I went, including the top of the local supermarket’s carpark, and the lights on the ceiling of my kitchen.

car park

365/16

abstract

365/15

Dubai, colourless.

sculpture in Dubai

365/2 – Dubai Divers

This day last year, we were in Dubai, having stopped off on our way back from Australia.  I wish I could say I loved Dubai.  It’s just not my kind of place.  In fact, it reminded me strongly of my least favourite place in the whole world, Las Vegas.  I did quite like this sculpture of diving figures in the otherwise overwhelming temple of excess that is the Dubai Mall.

We thought it might be interesting to take a tour into the desert, but the more than 3 hours round trip just to get to a scrubby bit of dirty sand and some very smelly camels inside a wire fence did rather take the gloss off the experience.  Still, I liked these strange little bushes with their roots exposed.  They looked as if, at night, they might secretly tiptoe across the sand.

desert scene

365/2 – Dubai desert

A new year, a new project, and getting back to blogging

The arrival in my mailbox of WordPress’s Year in Review prompted me to reflect on what has been a very patchy year of blogging. When I first started Focused Moments, back in April 2012, I wrote a new post every day, and kept that up for the best part of a year. But, during 2014, the flow of posts somehow dwindled, and dwindled… 2014 was a year with challenges, but that’s no excuse.  There’s no point in promising to do better; you’ve heard it all before. I should just get on and do it; less talk more action!  After all, WordPress is a great platform, and some recent enquiries and sales have reminded me that it is also one that does every well in search rankings. So, time to get back on that horse.
To start with, I am beginning a project 365. After I completed the usual one-new-image-a-day project back in 2009, I swore I’d never do it again. But this is going to be different. I don’t need motivation to go out and take new images; I can hardly help myself. But I have a massive, sadly disorganised and neglected back catalogue. So I am going to post a ‘this day x years ago’ image every day this year, and it has to be a new edit or an image never before shared.  Not only will I be forced to trawl through those forgotten pictures, I will also be forced to log in and do something on Focused Moments. And, once I’m here, I might as well post new stuff too. We’ll see.

national park

Dartmoor National Park 365/1

Anyway, here’s image 365/1, from a bracing New Year’s Day 2013 spent exploring Dartmoor National Park. I’d love to spend more time in this atmospheric location. I have a couple of windows of opportunity for exploring more of the UK this year and Dartmoor, with its windy tors and lonely, tortured trees, is definitely on the shortlist.

London street workshop

London street photography

Last weekend, Amateur Photographer magazine invited people to apply for places on a street photography workshop in London.  I sent in some images and was delighted on Monday to hear that I had been given a place.

London street photography

The workshop, which took place on Thursday, was being led by Damien Demolder, former editor of AP magazine and an experienced street shooter who regularly runs photography workshops in London.

London street photography

The day began at the Tate Modern.  There I met Damien, Phil from AP magazine and my fellow enthusiasts, Tim, Steve, Gagan, and Nic.  Over coffee, we chatted about our experience in the genre so far and what we hoped to get out of the day.  I mentioned that I would like to get closer to my subjects, not necessarily physically, but to create more of a connection between the viewer of the image and the subject.  I thought I was waffling but Damien seemed to understand what I was on about.

London street photography

As the day had brought us bright light with strong contrasts, Damien set us the task of using shadows in our compositions.  He showed us how to use the transitional space between dark and light, capturing moments when the subject was lit but with darkness behind.

London street photography

Several of us commented that we tended to walk about seeking images so Damien had us find a location with good light and then stay in one spot and wait for the shot. I really enjoyed this approach and will definitely be using it from now on!

London street photography

Damien’s ‘can do’ attitude was so infectious that it wasn’t long before I had plucked up the courage to ask someone if I might take their photo.

London street photography

Once that taboo was broken there was no stopping us! I had a super day thanks to AP magazine and Damien. This photo workshop thing is addictive so it’s a good thing I am booked on another workshop with Damien in April, this time as a birthday present from my husband.

London street photography

London street photography

London street photography

London street photography

Friday afternoon in the city

London street

Muffling up for the journey home


Yesterday, I popped up to London to capture a few moments in the end-of-week commute.

London street

No room on the bus


I enjoy street photography, although I am still very much a newbie at it.

London Street

Messages for the messenger


Street seems to suit a grittier style than my more usual genres. I still find myself tempted to tweak and beautify. I find it difficult to shake off the need to have detail in the highlights and the darks, which means my street shots often lack the striking contrasts seen in the work of established street photographers, like Christophe Agou.

London street

The evening headline


Some of my favourite street images by other photographers work as sets or photo essays rather than as stand alone images. There is definitely a different art to the photo essay, and it’s one I’d like to learn. The images I made yesterday hardly count against the work of the great, but it’s a start.

London street

Welcome to the weekend


For a superb collection of street images, see the work of Christophe Agou. I particularly like his Life Below series.

London street

The lost weekend