Monthly Archives: May 2012

Photos: London in the Evening

I like London in the springtime

Walking around London at this time of year is great. I know this is like blasphemy but I don’t actually like summer. I like spring. Sometimes it rains a bit too much. Sometimes it’s bright and sunny but cool enough to walk around.

Evenings and sunsets

Occasionally you get evenings like last night. Standing on a bridge half way across the Thames, looking west you see the sun slowly setting, the light reflecting off the water, the buildings changing colour and their lights twinkling. Looking east it’s more cloudy but as the sun goes down the clouds start to look pink, purple and orange.

Experimenting

Nights like that are perfect for experimenting with taking photos. I wasn’t the only one to think so as there was an entire photography class all lined up with their cameras and tripods at the southern end of the Millenium Bridge.

Standing on a wobbly bridge isn’t the best plan when you’re trying out slower shutter speeds but even some of the photos that came out slightly blurry looked sort of ok because the reflections on the river looked a bit like they’d been painted on (that’s what I’m telling myself anyway!). I don’t think a tripod would have helped too much either.

Still lots to learn and try out with this type of photography but it was a lovely evening to make a start! What do you think of these pictures? How might you approach taking this type of photo?

My Camera

Photos everywhere

As you may have noticed I post a lot of photos. Sometimes just for the sake of posting photos and other times just to accompany another post.

I’ve had some people ask me about the pictures I take and the camera I use so I thought I’d just write a little bit about that here.

Life-long(ish) interest

My interest in photography started a long time ago and was influenced a lot by my Dad, who knows much more about the technical side of taking photos than I do.

My first camera was some kind of compact film camera that I got when I was about 9 years old. It came free with something my parents had bought and I remember my first film of photos coming back from the developers.

The first picture I’d tried to take was of a butterfly at a local country park and it came out all blurry because I got too close (so it seems I’ve always favoured photographing nature!).

From compact to SLR

I progressed through various other compact cameras and when I turned 17 I used some money I was given as a birthday present to buy a second-hand SLR camera.

It’s a Ricoh and I still have it at my parents’ place but I’ve not used it in a long time.

It was using this camera that I learned more about apertures, shutter speeds and light metering – made easier by the fact that the camera had a built-in light meter.

Film to digital

When digital cameras became popular my parents gave me a Lumix compact as a gift one Christmas and this camera has been on a lot of trips with me. It’s a good little point and shoot and slips easily into a handbag.

However, I often thought how nice it might be to get back into ‘proper’ photography and learn more about taking good quality photos and how to do this in digital format.

DSLR

So about 18 months ago my husband bought me my first DSLR for my birthday (I say ‘first’ but right now it’s my only DSLR!). He had no idea what to get so we went to Jessops together and I picked out the one that seemed most suitable.

So this is the camera I use now for pretty much all my photography and for most of the photos on the blog. It’s a Canon EOS 1000D and I love it.

Still learning

I’m still learning lots about how to use the various functions and settings but I’m getting there and since I went on a one day digital photography introduction course I’ve been practising as much as I can with it.

I’m proud of the fact that I never used it on auto mode but until I learned how to use some of the different settings I was on ‘program’ mode all of the time so not much better than auto :).

This camera came with an 18-55mm lens which suits most of my needs for now, although I’m interested in exploring macro lenses (and perhaps something more telephoto-like too) once I’ve done more with what I currently have.

My phone – a good second best

Obviously I couldn’t photograph my camera using my camera so I used my phone. When I can’t carry the DSLR with me for whatever reason then I rely on my phone camera.

I’m not into the cult of Apple at all so don’t have an iPhone. I also really dislike touchscreen phones so hung on for a long time before upgrading from my Sony Ericsson K800i to something more 21st century. That’s because basically as far as I could see, all touchscreen phones were basically the same and from using a tablet computer and my husband’s phone I concluded that I hate touchscreen keyboards.

So my phone of choice might not be to everyone’s taste but I have a Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro. It has a good quality screen, making viewing photos and other things really pleasant. The camera is 8MP which means it takes pretty good pictures for what it is and the slide-out keyboard is the main thing that attracted me to this phone.

So there you go. My camera is my favourite ‘toy’ and when I can’t have it with me my phone is a good second best.

Do you take many photos? What of and what with?