Thursday, 19 July 2012

Disaster strikes!

It never rains but it pours does it? And I'm not talking about the weather.

As some of you that follow along with my crazy up and down input to this blog will know...I'm either full steam ahead or full stop!

In the last few weeks I have been quietly working away on the images for Assignment 4 and working through the exercises in this section. I have a few posts half written ready just to upload the images and have even managed to do some of the exercises for section 5 of the course - Narrative. So generally for me - quiet productive.

I have been given an extension for completion of the course until January which I am pleased about as I didn't want to rush !! the final exercises or assignments. So far so good.

Unfortunately it's usually when things are going well that something happens isn't it?

Last week my camera broke. Shutter blew. Only 2 months out of warranty and going to cost several hundred pounds to repair. Not only that it could take up to 2 months for the parts required for repair to arrive from Nikon. So now I'm either borrowing a camera from a friend when needed or trying to pry my old Canon out of my daughters hands to complete some of the images. Neither of which are ideal.

The other down side was that last week I was booked on a photographic workshop with Laurie Campbell - one of  Scotland's leading natural history and landscape photographers. Laurie has several books published, as well as supplying images for Getty Images and the RSPB. He also contributes regularly for Outdoor Photography (UK) Magazine, various other magazines, has appeared in several television programmes and been category winner 3 times in the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the year competition.

Although the weather was miserable it was a really productive day. Armed with a friends Nikon D90 and loads of tips from Laurie I came away with some shots which I am very pleased with. Not only that but I used manual mode in camera all day and have finally got to grips with it. I have been confident using aperture priority mode in camera for some time now but have always been a bit hesitant about switching to manual. It's the usual story that unless someone shows me how to do it properly I always think I'm missing out on a vital piece of information.

The changeable light and weather throughout the day also tied in nicely with the recent exercises I have been doing on exposure and metering, ISO, white balance and colour temperature for this part of the course. 
Red Fox - Manual mode. f/5.6, ISO400 Shutter speed 1/320sec

Eagle Owl - Manual mode - f/9, ISO400, shutter speed 1/1000sec

Sparrow - Manual mode - f/4.5, ISO400, shutter speed 1/800sec

Red Fox - Manual mode - f/5.6, ISO400, shutter speed 1/200sec
Another reason the timing of my camera failing couldn't have been worse is that on Friday July 27th the Pittenweem Arts Festival in Fife starts and runs until Saturday 4th August.

During that week I will be assisting a fellow photographer from the St Andrews Photographic Society - Stan Farrow ARPS EFIAP - in running photography workshops on Abstract Photography. The workshops are fully booked already and there will be an exhibition of the participants images at the end of the festival.

Hopefully a nice friend will lend me a camera - otherwise I just might have to demonstrate how abstract images can be achieved with a pinhole camera i.e. an old cardboard box cobbled together with some sellotape, a roll of 120 film and a pencil as a spool winder! Eek! 


  1. I would lend you my D300 but alas i'm a little too far away!! Great images as ever!

    1. Nicola, you can not imagine to what extent I envy you for your workshop with Laurie Campbell.

      Great images of the Fox !!!

      I also envy the place where you live. Here in the most populated area in the Netherlands nature is a luxury.

      I'm sorry for your camera, though.

    2. Thanks guy's. I'm really missing the camera. Lets hope it doesn't take as long as they think to fix.

      Leopin - I bet you have some wonderful architecture though.

  2. Wat a lovely pictures you have added in this post, Eagle Owl is really have amazing look. you are really a great photographer, every image have amazing look, i just want to say thanks for sharing this post.

    convert your photos on canvas

    1. Thanks for your very flattering comments Dick.