alan frost photography

in monochrome with occasional colour lapses

Posts from the ‘Nikon D90’ category

Looking through the archives again…..another fence in the dunes.

Fence in the dunes
Fence in the Dunes

In my last post I went back in time to 2012 when I enjoyed a very pleasant afternoon taking some photographs at East Head in West Wittering along the Sussex Coast. At that particular time I was still using my Nikon D90, which I guess was my first serious or shall we say semi serious camera. A very capable DSLR with a cropped APS-C sensor. It has now been sold in favour of my Olympus micro four thirds system. Which in itself is still only an enthusiasts camera, although there are now a number of professionals who are happily using the Olympus EM1 and some of the best lenses available for this format. I am lucky enough to be using the EM1 and have done so since the early part of the year and although I really don’t feel I put it to the test I have been delighted with the results so far.

Anyway back to the reason for this entry and another image taken at East Head. I had previously dismissed this image, but two years down the road I like to think my processing skills have improved and the result is displayed at the start of the entry. Like so many of my images this was processed in Lightroom 5 and Silver Efex Pro. As opposed to a straight black and white conversion this photo has a ‘coffee tone’ added in Silver Efex, which gives a warmer feel I think it works on this occasion.  I hope you like it.

‘To flip or not to flip?’ that is the question

In the past couple of weeks it has been suggested by two individuals on two separate occasions that I should consider ‘flipping’ one of my images. Their comments applied to two different photographs so it set me thinking whether or not I should apply this post production technique, as it’s not something I had ever considered doing before.

Obviously this technique could not be applied to an image with any writing or symbols, which when reversed, would no longer be legible and it would be clear to the viewer that they were in fact looking at the original image in a ‘mirror’. Neither could it apply to a recognisable landmark as it would no longer be a true representation of what the viewer expected to see. However if the image did not fall into either of these categories then what would be wrong with flipping? If the result is more pleasing to the eye, even though it no longer represents reality, then what’s the issue? After all the vast majority of my images are converted to monochrome because thats how I want my images to look. No one ‘sees’ in black and white so this change is applied for visual imapct. If I wanted my photographs to represent what people would actually see with their own eyes then frankly nearly all post production work would be a ‘no go’ area and even the choice of lens can distort what the eye actually sees, but thats a topic for another day.

Well, the only way to find out would be to try ‘flipping’ and to then compare and analyse the results.

The example I have chosen for this exercise is a shot taken at East Head in Wittering of wind swept sand dunes. The first image is the original photo followed by the flipped version. No other changes have been made.

Sand dunes at East Head

…..and now the flipped version.

Sand dunes at East Head - version 2 'flipped'

So which one works best? Well in my view the flipped version is the better photograph, it’s more visually pleasing. So why should this be?

In my opinion its down to two main factors. Firstly when we look at an image our first inclination is to start from the left hand side and our eyes then move to the right hand side. Our eyes naturally follow this path as we read from left to right……it therefore feels comfortable to look at an image in this way. Our eyes are also drawn to the brightest areas of an image; in this case the sand in the lower half of the picture. So when the image is flipped, the bright area is now on the left and not on the right. The lead in lines of the sand, take our eyes to the right, the grasses are also being ‘blown’ from the left, and our eyes find it much easier to move around the image. In the original shot this does not happen and our eyes find it difficult to settle, with the result that we see a ‘busy’ image and one that really doesn’t work that well, or not as well as it could when flipped. As there is nothing else in the image which would give the ‘flipping’ game away, the final result is in my opinion perfectly satisfactory and an acceptable form of post manipulation.

!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js”;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,”script”,”twitter-wjs”);

Gathering storm at East Head

Last Friday was the second time I didn’t need to go into the office. It’s still a strange feeling working a four day week, but a very pleasant one all the same!  Having decided that I would try and devote some of my time every Friday to my photography, I thought that I should rekindle the Nikon D90 DSLR and perhaps visit the coast – attach a wide angle lens and see what I can produce.

Breakfast over, I packed everything I thought I might need in my camera bag and headed down to West Wittering, with the specific intention of exploring East Head. The sky was blue and completely void of clouds. A beautiful morning but as I drove to my destination I thought the weather was just too fine for the type of images I had envisaged taking. The weather forecast had indicated that by lunchtime clouds and maybe the odd the shower, would arrive from the west. I thought better of a morning shoot, turned the car round and headed home to do some gardening!
By lunchtime the weather forecast proved to be accurate; so back in the car and I headed south. As I parked up, the cloud formations were taking shape and I knew the decision I had made earlier to postpone my ‘shutter therapy’ (a phrase coined by Robin Wong – read his blog here) had been the right one.
By late afternoon the rain clouds appeared to the north and the wind moved them swiftly across the South Downs from west to east. In the meantime East Head itself was still bathed in glorious autumnal sun, which resulted in the three images below.

I returned home, downloaded the images using Lightroom and converted to monochrome in Silver Efex Pro 2.

Storm approaching.
Nikon D90 with 16-85mm @ 19mm f18 1/80 ISO200 hand heldStorm clouds at East Head

Sand dunes and wind blown grasses
Nikon D90 10-24mm @10mm f10 1/160 ISO200 hand heldSand dunes at East Head

East Head – the gathering storm
Nikon D90 16-85mm @16mm f18 1/125 ISO200 hand heldStorm approaching East Head at Wittering

Goodwood Revival Meeting – the last entry

Its a month since I enjoyed a wonderful weekend at the Goodwood Revival Meeting in September. This is the last entry following on from ‘The Silver Arrows’ and ‘The Characters’ and is a final selection of images. It features the motor cars themselves, the shops, some more characters and the aircraft which was on dsiplay. Its an eclectic mix, but all in black and white and hopefully they capture something of the atmosphere of the great event which never fails to impress through its marvellous attention to detail. Provisional dates for 2013 have recently been announced – 13th to 15th September. For more information visit the Goodwood website.

With the exception of the first image which was taken with a Nikon D90, all the other photographs were taken using the Olympus OMD  – EM5.

The Race Starts
Nikon D90 – 70-300mm @122mm f8 1/100 ISO800

The race starts

On the start finish straight
Olympus OMD EM5 45mm f16 1/80 ISO200
On the start finish straight

Racing round Molcombe
Olympus OMD EM5 45mm f4 1/1250 ISO200
Racing round Molcombe

The Shoe Shop
Olympus OMD EM5 45mm f1.8 1/4000 ISO200
The Shoe Shop

The Hat Shop
Olympus OMD EM5 45mm f4 1/500 ISO200
The Hat Shop

Tesco – Remember Green Shield Stamps?
Olympus OMD EM5 20mm f6.3 1/320 ISO200
Tesco - remember Green Shield Stamps?

Eyes in the back of my coat
Olympus OMD EM5 45mm F2 1/2000 ISO200
Eyes on the back of my coat

Laurel and Hardy
Olympus OMD EM5 45mm f5.6 1/400 ISO200
Laurel and Hardy

Plane rivetts
Olympus OMD EM5 20mm f2.2 1/3200 ISO200
Plane rivetts

‘Miss Pick Up’ on the side of The Catalina Seaplane
Olympus OMD EM5 20mm f2.2 1/4000 ISO200
Miss Pick Up on the side of Catalina sea plane

Looking to the skies
Olympus OMD EM5 45mm f8 1/2000 ISO200
Looking to the skies

Festival of Speed 2012 – The Last Post

This is the third and last entry about the Goodwood Festival of Speed which took place at the end of July this year. The two earlier entries were about the Art of Design and The People respectively. This entry completes the series and is simply intended to show an overall picture of the event. There is no particular theme other than trying to capture the true essence of this remarkable event which draws thousands of spectators every year.

None of these images would win a photographic competition, but they were not taken for that reason. They are a record of the event itself which I enjoy visiting as often as can. It allows me to combine my interest in photography with my love of motor cars.

In a couple of weeks time I will be at the Goodwood Revival Meeting so expect some more images from that event but in the meantime here is my final selection of shots from the Festival of Speed.

Above each image I have added a short description and my customary Exif data. All the shots were taken with either a Nikon D90 or Olympus E -PL3.

…………………..

The custom built display which is constructed on the front lawn of Goodwood House every year is always something special and can often be seen from miles around. This year the theme of the display celebrated Lotus racing cars through the years.
Nikon D90 35mm f6.3 1/1250 ISO200

Lotus Sculpture

Early on Friday morning The Earl of March gave his opening address and the Festival of Speed comes to life. This shot was taken shortly before he introduced Alain Prost.
Olympus E-PL3 45mm f2.8 1/500 ISO200
Earl of March

One person who is sure to attract the crowds is Lewis Hamilton. Here he is at the wheel of his McLaren MP4 – 26 Formula One car.
Nikon D90 70 to 300mm at 70mm f10 1/125 ISO160

Lewis Hamilton st the wheel of his Mclaren MP4-26

The Forest Rally Stage at the top of the hill climb is a great circuit and provides plenty of photo opportunities.
Olympus E-PL3 45mm f13 1/320 ISO 200

Skoda Fabia S2000 Rally car

The Skoda Fabia S2000 (above and below) makes its start. Cameras and flying dust are not a good mix, so after the shot is taken the camera is quickly hidden away!
Olympus E-PL3 45mm f6.3 1/1250 ISO200

Skoda Fabia S2000 Rally car

The Festival of Speed is not just about powered vehicles. This high flying BMX biker comfortably clears the high jump……..and it yes it was high, very high.  He also landed safely.
Nikon D90 70 to 300mm at 102mm f7.1 1/500 ISO200

High flying BMX

As well as the Lotus display there was another impressive ‘work of art’ by the rally stage. A ‘Stonehenge’ made up of several arches formed by scrap cars. Here taken with the ‘Goodwood Eye’ in the background.
Olympus E-PL3 20mm f7.1 1/800 ISO200

P6290949.jpg

There is always merchandise for sale. Far from being an official stall holder here a speculative trader was displaying his rather expensive books (or I thought so anyway). There was definitely no money in the hat!
Olympus E-PL3 20mm f5.6 1/160 ISO 200

P6290932.jpg

I thought this car looked superb. Its the Audi R18 e-tron Quattro which won the 24 hour race at Le Mans back in June.
Nikon D90 70 to 300mm at 70mm f14 1/125 ISO160

Audi R18 E-tron Quattro

……and a windscreen detail of the same car below after a rain shower.
Olympus E-PL3 20mm f5.6 1/1000 ISO200

Audi R18 E-tron Quattro detail

Wandering the pits also provides some interesting shots as these next two images illustrate.
Olympus E-PL3 20mm f1.7 1/320 ISO200

P6290915.jpg

Tyres, cars and crowds walk by in the pits. The wonderful thing about this event is the free access the public have to get really close to the cars, their drivers and the mechanics.
Nikon D90 35mm f3.2 1/250 ISO200

Tyres

…….and finally one of many stars of the show…….can you tell what it is yet?(!)
Nikon D90 35mm f5 1/160 ISO200

One famous number plate, one very famous car

……..and if you need another clue?
Nikon D90 35mm f5 1/500 ISO200

Ferraro 250 GTO - bonnet detail

I’ve photographed this magnificent piece of machinery on so many occasions but I still cant resist taking just one more. The Ferrari 250 GTO. No more to be said.
Olympus E-PL3 45mm f4.5 1/250 ISO200

Ferraro 250 GTO

So that completes my three part series about the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2012. Doubtless I will back again next year.

I thoroughly enjoyed the combination of the E-PL3 and the prime lens. Not once did I use its kit lens, and the quality of the images I achieved compared very favourably with the Nikon D90. This post is though about the results and not the camera gear I was using but its an interesting observation all the same.