Sunday, 17 March 2013

Photograph of the "week" #070

"When not scribbling away in a sketch book or dabbling on a Wacom tablet i'm invariably fiddling around with exposure settings on my Nikon D90 trying to capture moments in aesthetically pleasing ways. So here we have "Photograph of the week" a (mostly) weekly feature showcasing my favourite photo of the week."

A 360 degree panoramic of Badbury Rings just after sunset.
It should blow up a bit bigger if you click on it but it occurs to me that it can be quite difficult to view panoramics in a meaningfull way.

I think also that this blog probably lends itself better to portrait images, so a vertical panoramic might look better, so expect some experiment in that area soon.

Hunting Panstarrs

Tonight I went hunting Panstarrs.
It is a comet that will be viewable for most if not all of the latter part of this month.(March 2013)
So far though tonight has been my only clear sky, which is unfortunate as it's both a work-night and it's been raining all day, but not wanting to risk missing my only opportunity I grabbed my gear and ran for it before the sun set.

Todays pick of location would be Badbury Rings. A place I recently went to scout it's star-scape viability and to play with glow sticks.

Sadly there were consequences...

I took two pretty harsh trips on the slippery muddy slopes of Badbury rings

Panstarrs should be visible, with some assistance from binoculars or similar, chasing the setting sun below the horizon, during sunset.
This is fiddly for me as the sky is a lot brighter than i'd normally expect it to be and so the settings I need to use will be largely different. As it turns out though it wouldn't matter too much as the following animation should illustrate.
The source of that long line of thick clouds is, as you might guess, exactly where i'd expect the comet to be, by the time it cleared up the comet was below the horizon.


I tried to make the most of the trip and took some other shots, including a string of shots I shall be trying to composite into a panoramic shot. If it works well it will possibly be photograph of the week this week.

Here are a few of the other star snaps I took.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Light Painting at Badbury Rings

I recently found something in my local supermarket that i've been hunting for, non-committally, for a while now.
I found... glowsticks! Not just any glowsticks though but battery powered glowsticks, something i can switch on and off again. A red and a blue one to be precise.

With that and a moderately clear weather report from the met-office I decided to visit Badbury rings and play around painting with light.

I didn't intend to stay out long as it's a "school-night" but I thought I could get a fairly good idea of how it works for future reference if I played around for an hour. I also wanted to get some star shots so I tried to kill two birds with one stone.


Nearly every shot is a bit random and literally just a flapping around of glowsticks.
Any people driving by would be forgiven for thinking a small one man crazy-rave was going on.


The above shot was me trying to go for some depth. So this one is just me walking away from the camera flapping my arms up and down with the glowsticks in hand.
The red one was set to flashing mode and the blue one was permanently on.


The above shot is my attempt at spelling ut a word (Tricky).
It wasn't until about halfway through the letter "T" I realised I had to write it backwards and later when I was halfway through the letter "K" I realised there wasn't enough hill for me to do the "Y" properly without falling with a bone-snapping end.
Just as in snow you have to do snow-angels with glowsticks one must do light-angels...

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Photograph of the "week" #069

"When not scribbling away in a sketch book or dabbling on a Wacom tablet i'm invariably fiddling around with exposure settings on my Nikon D90 trying to capture moments in aesthetically pleasing ways. So here we have "Photograph of the week" a (mostly) weekly feature showcasing my favourite photo of the week."

Tonight, after having spent a day redecorating the lounge, and when putting a bag of rubbish in the bin, I looked up to see something i've not seen in a long while... Stars!

Completely on a whim I decided to venture out to one of my familiar locations and try and get some shots of the winter sky before constellations like Orion's Belt tuck themselves under the horizon for summer.

As you can see above, I ended up at Horton Tower again but that wasn't my original plan. Initially I intended to go to Knowlton Church as I fancied some westerly facing shots that I thought the Tower would have too many trees for.
On arriving at the church though there were a bunch of cars already parked. I pulled up a bit further along the road and looked over to see what was going on to see camera flashes illuminating the ruins. Clearly. Other photographers were making use of the spot but using flash photography they must have been shooting details or portraits or so.
It was a bit of a nuisance, the first time in ages I managed to get out to shoot and my location was busy. I did consider dropping in, socialising and shooting there anyway but I bottled it.

My only disappointment is that I'll likely never know what it was that was being shot there.
Was it some uni students shooting some art project?
Some band photography for a local metal/folk band?
Some Goths taking new profile pictures for Facebook or Deviant art?
Maybe Ghost hunters with IR cameras?
Or something more obscure...

Anyway Horton's Tower did not disappoint and I was quite happy with the resulting shots, nothing vastly different to what I've shot before but it's nice to get some early practice before teh warmer summer skies present themselves.