A little in beaux reflets

Streams of light dance in every direction, refracting and reflecting, to illuminate a colourful living planet.

Providing moments to be captured and recorded through the art of photography.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Light Painting

Info on how I created the image Silver Phoenix :-

The basic principle of digital photography is 'the process of recording the light reflected off the objects or scene via the cameras sensor, and Light painting works in exactly the same way by recording the light source from a torch / illuminated object utilising a long exposure.

To create the image Silver Phoenix, the camera was set up outside in the dark, in manual mode as follows; ISO 100 (to minimise, avoid any digital noise) F stop f/8, and an exposure time of 4 seconds (although these settings can be increased or decreased to suit the desired effects you are after).

An LED torch was then swung around in the dark in front of the lens by my son (taking care not to shine it upon himself or adjacent objects) and each swing or successive stroke of the torch is accordingly recorded for the duration of each take, showing brighter when the light is directed at the lens.

Effectively, I ended up selecting two, of about 15 photographs, from simple streaks, to bundles of figures in 8s, circular configurations and ovals, With the notable 3 dimensional effect arising from the direction in which the torch pointed, and the physical shape of the beam of light provided by the three LED bulbs (set in a single row) producing the thick and thin effect, like an italic nib.

Choosing the 'globe' effect as a starting image, a colour balance adjustment was made to emphasise the Blue (and as with any post processing you can select small areas to tweak, introduce any effects you desire). A new layer was then opened, and the Phoenix element (created from a figure of 8 motion) was then pasted in, resized and positioned to suit the composition.

The combinations and creations are limitless - have fun.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Silver Phoenix

With no time to take a picture of 'Motion' during the day for a weekly competition, there was little for it, but to play in the dark; Capturing the motion of a windup torch being swung around in the black.

Using a low ISO (100) to minimise digital noise, the timed exposures of 4 seconds provided some interesting 'light painting' effects, as the camera registered each sweep of the hand; including the three dimensional aspect, when drawing circles in the air, as the torch is turned away from the lens.

Combining a couple of these shots together in the digital darkroom with a small amount of post processing, provides a third dimension in motion, as the eye explores the three dimensional shapes of light and the relationship between them. And without too much imagination, perhaps you can see a rising phoenix hovering over a ball of blue fire.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

In the Wind

Gentle breeze sways the flame,
Fans a glowing flicker.
Rise and fall,
Twist to burn,
Molten flow, hot spitter.
Static tears set in wait,
Advancing, creeping, cindered.
Feeds the eye a little hope,
Naked knows,
Swelling light, swift to warm,
Lacy plumes,
Breakout prances.
Dreamy sense restoring play,
Shadows making distant dances.
Purpled hue,
Silver fume,
Hints of red in golden haze,
Greens peacock blues embrace,
The spirit in the rays.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Addictive Fun

A little photograph fun, combining two images
to hopefully make someone smile.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Crystal Ball

Commenting upon my cousin's hair loss (caused by Chemotherapy) with the quip "Who cut your hair? I wouldn't use that hairdresser again." may have seemed to some standing nearby, as a rather heartless thing to say; in fact, Tom thanked me repeatedly.
He was so pleased, because this public banter had not underlined the ills or disabilities of having a brain tumour, and the effects of the treatment in his fast failing battle.

As he said, "It was like a fresh breeze blowing away all the almost constant conversations full of poor you, and words swamped in over sympathetic tones and syllables, that just keep drumming home sad predicament; doing little to lift one's spirit, which is an aspect that most people enjoy, in being alive and participating in Life."

Years later, I am facing each day not knowing where the next painful muscle cramp will turn up, if or when my arm and leg will suddenly start their uncontrollable involuntary jerks and shudders (that debilitate normal mobility and functions), or whether I will be able to hold a teaspoon steady while making a coffee, let alone a camera. So now it is my turn, to wish that things could be a little more normal.

There is little self pity, just the yearning to achieve despite the disabilities to keep me going; seeking the pleasure when a photograph looks good, and the golden warmth when others pay with a compliment upon my creative efforts (hopefully without bias to my predicament in Parkinson's).

Looking at the above photograph thunders home another memory of one of my last conversations with Tom.

His children were tucked up in bed and we were settling down in the sitting room with a drink after a lovely meal; When out of the blue and detached from previous conversations Tom simply asked, “Could you renovate an old house like this on your own” and noting my surprised expression continued, “I mean put in large beams on your own” as he pointed to the very large beam overhead stretching across the ceiling, and taking the weight of the walls and rooms upstairs.

In reply, I said I thought the company I had just started working for probably could before pressing him as to why he had asked the question. Tom swiftly closed the subject stammering “No matter, forget I asked!” And in my ignoring of his tone in voice (that had indicated he would not divulge more information on the subject) Tom firmly demanded that we should talk about other things.

Over twenty years later, glancing over my shoulder and looking up to the ceiling, there are quite a few big fat heavy beams, some seven metres long; that were cut out with a chainsaw (from Oaks felled in our wood) and then planed by hand, before being lifted into place single-handedly using a block and tackle. All of which begs the question. Did Tom have an invisible 'crystal ball'?
Was he actually given a glimpse into a specific point in my then future life, or did his mind just evolve those 'out of the blue' words, to later somehow subconsciously fashion my thinking into undertaking the path that I later followed.

We may never know, though I have to admit, in those days I never dreamt I would ever be living in France trying to renovate a home, let alone creating a Blog!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Caught in a Shower

"I am pleased to tell you, you have passed your test."

" Thank you."

"And by the way, if we didn't do the three point turn or reverse around a corner don't worry; if I can fall to sleep in city traffic at this time in the day, your driving has to be pretty good."

While there had been just enough time left to perform an emergency stop, and to reverse into a tight parking space on the very steep hill outside the testing station. I often wonder how long my driving test would have actually lasted; had the examiner not been woken up by the noisy windscreen wipers on that little blue mini.


Many thanks for your permission to photograph your book
for an entry in Photographer of the Year 2009



Autumn's Fire

Autumn unfurls with ruby Reds

Now these leaves have finally fallen, it seems good to remember their youthful blush.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Forgotten Doorway

What stories can these doors tell?

Wandering past I stopped for a photograph, suitably choosing the camera's B&W mode to try and capture a little of the atmosphere, as I tried to picture the folk who may have opened new timbers to greet a visitor's knock.

Blonde curls over flushed cheeks, or jet black waves over thick rim spectacles, bearded gent or grey haired lady, with flour still upon her fingers, now drawn away from her toil on the kitchen table. A sniff of the Oak fire and the grunt of an animal from the adjacent quarters maybe; after all our sitting room used to house the cattle and still smelt like a stale dairy when we first moved into our old farmhouse.

Remembering the huge pile of empty cider bottles we found up over in the hayloft, I'm now wondering what dusty tales opening these doors may reveal, yet somehow the Brambles barring my way suggest the mystery should remain, and peering into the dark slit for a moment longer I'm soon making my way home in some urgency.

It's raining hard, I'm desperate for a wee, and the sound of rushing water is not helping one bit!
Plus I'm not sure if my little Fuji is waterproof or not.

Still, I managed a nice shot of a Forgotten Doorway and did not get too wet.

A colourful welcome to start the day

Taken early one morning in the countryside of Brittany.
An almost magical dawn as the first light refracted through the dew.