This year I will be mostly... taking a photo every day, and posting it up here for you all to see and comment on if you feel inclined (please do). It's not an original idea, I stole it off a friend and many other people are doing the same as I speak, but I thought it seemed like a great idea to get used to my new toy, my Canon Eos 500D with Tamron 18-250mm Macro lens - my first digital SLR.

A lot of sites online talk about 'project 365' where people are encouraged to take a photo every day, but while their take on it is to create a personal history of the photographer, I wanted to make it a bit more abstract, more about the world around me. So this isn't meant to be a photo diary of my life, I am striving for each photo to be 'good' because of its artistic and technical merit, not because it's personal to me. Having said that personal subject matter will inevitably creep in as inspiration, but that's allowed, the book I'm reading claim that "every picture we take is merely a self-portrait of our inner psyche"!

I had a think of a couple of ideas for themes and settled on 'moods'. Then I was hit by indecision as to what to do if I take a photo I like and want to upload as my daily snap, but it doesn't fit the theme. So I have decided that the theme is just for inspiration rather than as a criteria, the photos can be of anything. That way I get the most flexibility of what to upload, and still have a muse.

While I'll be taking photos every day, I'll only upload them every few days, so keep checking back. I'm not anticipating the photos to be groundbreaking (at least not to start with!), the whole point is to improve so I won't be great initially. But I'll still try my best which will hopefully keep it interesting. Please feel free to add whatever comments you like (hopefully constructive!) as that will help me as much as the process of actually taking a photo a day, I will endeavour to reply to them all.

For my trip reports blog see

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Tuesday 1st February 2011

A new month and new exciting opportunities! I go running with a club one evening a week and I've started seeing it as a chance to explore the city's photo opportunities... after running I then head back out into the dark streets with my camera and tripod and record the night-scapes that I eyed up on the move. I was very pleased with how this one turned out, just how I'd hoped but it's an idea I was trying from a book and I was still excited when I took the first exposure. This was the last out of 22 images that I took, from slightly different positions and with slighly different exposures.

As a general rule I like to take photos that are representative of what you actually see at the time (or could see with telescopic eyes, in the case of macro which I'd like to experiment with). As you can tell, this is is a slight departure from that as it isn't quite what my eye saw tonight, the colours and light are different, but all I did was put a fluorescent white balance on and take a longer exposure than our eyes do, so not altered as much as you may think. Likewise in photoshop I only like to go so far as to tweak images so they are closer to how they appeared at the time (or at least try to!) without overly enhancing them, so I've deliberately done very little post-processing to this, only applying a single unsharp mask.

18mm, 10s, f/5.6, ISO 400


  1. Fantastic shot.... Love it...

    Watch your white balance though, street lights are a pain as they are usually very warm if not orange.... Manual White Balance at 2500k would be a possible starting point.

    Great composition also, though slightly more space at the bottom (of the pavement as the shadow is touching the edge) to frame the image...

    But that's just my opinion... :) Ignore me..

  2. Or convert to Black/White... Hmmm That might be interesting.... hmmmm..

  3. Thanks for the comments and the email. As suggested in the caption my white balance choice was deliberate as I like the otherworldy effect it created (I tried a few others too but preferred that one). But I will bear it in mind, although as I mentioned before I don't have a manual option (except in Photoshop of course).

    I know what you mean about the composition but I was already at my widest able, and didn't want to step any further back as I would have lost the perspective and more of the back struts (I have a portrait version too that features the back struts rather than the front), and also I was bang up against a fence :-) Useful to bear in mind foe future similar shots though!

  4. Lovely lines, Although if you were here again with the camera in the same position (I realise the space is tight) I would suggest getting the concrete structure a little closer to the edge of the frame on the right (loose the building in the background), which could gain you some space on the left to get the full curve of the hand rail in the photo, and also the shadow as it goes up the slope - would just give a bit more continuity to the structure and make it look like some sort of crazy helter skelter.


  5. Hmm yes, I see your point! This is one of my favourites but I'd completely missed that.

    I'm loving your aerial photography shots on flickr, I'll look at some more when I have a bit of time, see if I can go far enough back to see if there's one of Ruthven Barracks :-)

  6. I like this but can't really say exactly why although I think the colours have something to do with it.