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Posts Tagged ‘Black & White’

Outpost - IcelandI am pleased to announce “The simple secret of becoming a first-class photographer” course. This one-day course will be held at Calumet Photographic in Bristol on Saturday 22nd June 2013 commencing at 10.30

Half of the places have been booked already before I could advertise it on my blog so book your place now to avoid disappointment. For full details of the course please look at my website on the workshops and seminars page at www.andybeelfrps.co.uk/Workshops%20-%20Seminars

The picture above is called “Outpost” taken in Iceland on Infrared capture.
A big hello to all the new followers of my little blog this week.
(c) Andy Beel FRPS 2013

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Hurry, hurry, hurry get your ticket while you can.

Two thirds of the tickets for the fantastic 2012 Kingswood Convention have been sold already.

See the work of our internationally respected speakers at www.kingswoodps.co.uk/events

Date – 7th October 2012.

Venue – The Pound Centre – Corsham, Wiltshire.

Cost – just £15, amazingly value for a days stunningly good photography.

All the tickets are always sold out for the KPS Conventions, so book now to avoid disappointment.

Reserve your place by emailing Vanessa Herring at vanessaherring@gmail.com

(c) Andy Beel FRPS

www.andybeelfrps.co.uk

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This is a repost of the first picture I put on WordPress last July that very few people saw as it was probably uncategorized.

This is a picture of Gullfoss waterfall in Iceland I like over others that I have done and have not seen what qualities lies within. I think what I am really saying is we don’t always select the most obviously good from our own work, it takes another eye to select the obvious standout pictures. For me I make piles of prints and generally I value them all roughly the same. I need somebody else to select the best work. But the paradox is two people never agree what is the best work.

If you want to see other Iceland pictures in this style go to Josef Hoflehner and Michael Kenna’s websites. Links are in my blogroll.

A big thank you for the encouragement, comments and 10,000 + hits I have received from people around the world in over 60 countries. For me a WordPress blog is far superior to Facebook and Flickr put together as I have made friends in a meaningful way from all around the world.

www.andybeelfrps.co.uk

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The Sunday Times Magazine 50th Anniversary Exhibition in at The Paintworks Bristol.

The exhibition includes work from some of the biggest names in the photography and writing world.

Saturday 24th March to Monday 2nd April, 10am – 6pm | Tuesday 3rd, 10am – 5pm. Free entry.

The exhibition willl showcase images from some of the world’s finest photographers who have worked for the Magazine over the years. Photographers featured include Don McCullin, David Bailey, Eve Arnold, Snowdon, Richard Avedon, Eugene Richards, Sam Taylor-Wood, Terry O’Neill, Chris Floyd and Stuart Franklin.

See

http://www.paintworksbristol.co.uk/index.php?id=41&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=179&tx_ttnews[backPid]=1&cHash=8f3a80ef1b

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I went to a three and a half hour talk by Joe Cornish & Andy Rouse (Wildlife Photographer) on Saturday evening.

For our friends across the pond Joe Cornish is one of the UK’s top-selling and published Landscape Photographers. He generally uses a 5×4 camera with depth of field that goes on forever.

On the Sunday I went to Dungeness with David Mills my excellent friend, host and driver. The cold east wind at force 9 made life unpleasant. I shot the majority of my pictures on a 400mm or 12mm lens at f4 to give the least depth of field I could get. If I had thought about it I would have taken my 20mm f1.8.

For me photography is about a decisive communication – pictures that are sharp back to front tell the viewer what something looks like generally, limited depth of field is a definite choice by the photographer to decide what the subject of the picture is and is therefore less confusing for the viewer to ascertain the pictures subject matter.

But what about this picture – where the strongest motif (the fishing boat) is not sharp? The focus is on the Shingle a few inches in front of the lens. So what is this picture about – the boat or the shingle? or is it actually about the difficulty of launching the  fishing boats from the shingle beach?

www.andybeelfrps.co.uk/newsletter

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I have been thinking about a new photo project for 2012. One new picture taken each week, that’s worth looking at. I did consider a 365 project but my objective is very specific and different to a usual 365 project.

I want to take the opportunity to challenge my photographic preconceptions. If we are going to understand ourselves and reach our highest potential then we all need to think about what we are doing and how we are doing it. Whatever it is. Taking time to think about what is important and not urgent to quote Dr Stephen Covey. See www.stephencovey.com

I am going to use the Freeman Paterson Book – “Photography and the art of seeing” as my guide, which has just been republished. See www.freemanpattersom.com for his books and workshops.

If you Google 365 photo project will find websites that give you lists of things to photograph on a daily basis – that’s not my purpose. I want to confront my preconceptions and learn about myself and my photography by doing the opposite of what I would normally do. Not every picture I make will be a winner or gain acclaim. It is important to review the pictures with the same mindset as when you were taking them. I am searching for new starting points in my photography.

For example I have long been preaching to many audiences that a tripod is an instrument of the devil and a flashgun produces the devils light. What pictures could I make if I used my Tripod and a flashgun? I have a 30-year-old unused small manual flashgun – guide number unknown.

So I invite you a join me for a new adventure in 2012 by the end of it hopefully we will see the world around us in a new and different light. In our brave new world we may understand our relationship to the world in a deeper and meaningful way.

If you have done a 365 project or a 52 week project please share what you learnt and would have been good to know before you started. Thanks

The picture “Shopping Expedition” above challenges a preconception. I normally crop a picture to to have one or three points of interest. My original crop was without with my shadow. It was taken with a f.185 pinhole adaptor and ISO 25600. ISO 25600 means I can use a pinhole adaptor in good light and see the pinhole picture in the camera with Liveview.

Yet another picture made from noise and shadows processed as a Lith Print in Lightroom 3.5.

(c) Andy Beel FRPS

www.andybeelfrps.co.uk/newsletter

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I don’t know why I have always liked this picture taken in France in 2005.

I printed it many years ago on Matt paper that meant that all the shadow details was lost.

Here it’s been through the Lith process to increase contrast in the shadows and soften the contrast in the highlights.

(c) Andy Beel FRPS

www.andybeelfrps.co.uk/newsletter

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How to decide artistically & technically what your picture will look like before you press the camera shutter release.

Unravelling the process of instantly made decisions.

Things to think about BEFORE you press the button.

The Beginners ABC of Camerawork

A

Attraction
What attracts you to the potential picture is it visually interesting?
How are you going to best record that attraction & interest for your viewer to appreciate?

Lighting from the side & back makes an interesting black and white photograph.

B

Background
Check for Distractions & Highlights in the background (saves removal work later).
Are you standing in the best place?

C

Composition Choices
“Composition is the strongest way of seeing” (Edward Weston). One strongest view among many.
Separate & Select what is to be left in or left out of the picture.
Aim for simplicity – Less is more.
Get Closer – Fill the frame.
Do you need to include the sky?
Is a Higher / Lower / Alternative – camera viewpoint more effective?

D

Depth of Field Choices
DoF is the apparent foreground to background sharpness.

What is the Foreground / Background Relationship, do you need a large DoF (Large f. Number) to pull the picture together?

Limited Depth of Field (Small f. Number) provides visual tension and interest for the viewer.

E

Exposure Choices
When is the best time to press the shutter release?
Expose to retain Highlight detail by checking the Histogram for Over-exposure.
Bright Skies – Do you need Plus / Minus Exposure Compensation?
Bright Skies – Do you need Graduated / Neutral Density Filters?
Long Exposure – use a Tripod / Cable Release / 2 Sec Self Timer Delay on the camera.

F

Focus Choices
What is the subject – is it in sharp focus?
Select a single focus point and tell the camera where you want the picture to be sharp. The camera does not know what the subject of the picture is.

G

Gently Press the Shutter Release

Congratulate yourself  YOU made all the creative decisions NOT the camera.

Visit http://www.andybeelfrps.co.uk/ABC%20of%20camerawork for the Intermediate and Advanced Versions of the Camerawork ABC.

(c) Andy Beel FRPS

www.andybeelfrps.co.uk/newsletter

 

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Just a post of Warkworth Castle Northumberland UK with a lot of my favourite picture elements – Wide Angle lens (16mm), Infrared capture and Lith printing.

See previous posts to discover the magic of Lith prints.

Also see www.timrudman.com for darkroom lith printing at its best.

Don’t forget to sign up for an irregular Newsletter from me at www.andybeelfrps.co.uk/newsletter

Thanks for dropping by my little Blog.

(c) Andy Beel FRPS  

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Here is a little set of pictures to show the stages of taking a colour RAW file to an exhibition quality black and white print.

This shot was taken at the Big Pit Collery Museum in South Wales UK. What interested me here was the light tone of the grasses against the darker corrugated iron sheeting.

Black and white photography requires a different way of thinking and seeing. monochrome is about lighting, tone, contrast and texture it is not about colour. When looking through the viewfinder you are arranging areas of tone from light to dark.

Here is the RAW colour file straight from the camera. It will not look like a jpg file because it has not been processed, it is the raw unprocessed data, hence why it called a RAW file.

In Lightroom if you just convert to Black & white it will look like this grey and flat with little contrast as the picture below.

Again it not very impressive it doesn’t look lile black and white print.

The version above has had the colour channel sliders adjusted in Lightroom 3 to lighten the yellows and green of the grasses in the foreground

The final version above has had basic Dodging and Burning (a darkroom term for lighten and darkening). I used the adjustment brush in Lightroom to darken and add contrast to the sky and foreground. The edges were also darkened with the Lightroom edge darkening tool.

Don’t forget to sign up for an irregular Newsletter from me.

(c) Andy Beel FRPS   www.andybeelfrps.co.uk/newsletter

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I was wondering about doing a bit of hybrid photography. The combination of darkroom and digital.

see www.dpug.org for more information on hybrid photography.

I have some very old darkroom chemicals left. So I tested the effectiveness of the undiluted Fixer this should clear the silver from an old film in less than a minute so the film base is clear. I tried it to no effect. I didn’t think that Fixer could go off.

I was think about buying a ten-year old Canon EOS 1v Camera body to do film Infrared photography. I love the grain with film, digital noise even with B&W is nowhere near as attractive.

But as the potential seller of the EOS 1 v didn’t have one and my fingers smell of the Fixer that stinks which has put me off the idea of playing with film again.

So the money I would have spent on the camera I bought the vastly overpriced Silver Efex Pro 2 software, nowhere near as good as film but a lot more adaptable and presumably a lot less smelly hopefully.

The picture is of an Ethiopian Orthodox Priest taken in Lalebella in 2006 – all rights reserved.

(c) Andy Beel FRPS  www.andybeelfrps.co.uk

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Andy Beel FRPS has been announced as the winner of the Frank Thomas Trophy at the Kingswood Photographic Society, for a set of three related prints.

This shot of the Pleasure Beach in Blackpool, Lancashire was taken on a rainy afternoon in September 2011 with a Lensbaby Composer and a single glass lens wide open. Lith post production was completed in Lightroom 3 using custom curves.

See http://www.kingswoodps.co.uk/news.html for further information.

Andy Beel retains the trophy following his win last year with a set of three Hi-key, toned, back-lit dust pictures taken in Northern Ethiopia.

(c) Andy Beel FRPS   www.andybeelfrps.co.uk

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You may be interested in the Black and White Photography Tips and Tricks page on my updated website. It may even save you money on ink and paper.

www.andybeelfrps.co.uk

Don’t forget to sign up for an irregular email newsletter from me on the website’s new Newsletter page.

This shot Lost in France was taken in 2005 – it has a very post impressionistic feeling to it which I like. Just to say to those who may think it lacks contrast – there is always a range of interpretation of any file / negative. This is how I currently prefer this picture, in ten years time say, I may present it differently.

(c) Andy Beel FRPS

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Isn’t life great when everything just works?

My deep joy comes from the fact that my A2 Epson Pro 3800 Printer is now working again.

Professional Inkjet Printers like the Epson Pro 3800 have a Maintenance Tank to collect all the waste ink. My problem was that the printer would not recognise that a Maintenance Tank was installed, and because of that would not print.

You didn’t think that all the ink that costs more per litre than rocket fuel actually gets on the paper did you? Just to change from Photo black to Matt Black according to Epson wastes 6.5ml of ink. Every time you turn any printer on it does a cleaning cycle by pumping ink through the heads to remove any dried on ink from the last printing session. This is expensive.

Get more top tips by signing up now for an irregular email Newsletter at www.andybeelfrps.co.uk/newsletter

You could cut ink costs by up to 75% by using a Continuous Inkflow System such as the Fotospeed Quill System or the Refillable Ink Cartridges depending on which Printer you have. See www.fotospeed.com

If you have an A3 printer like the Epson R2400 the waste ink is collected in foam pads in the bottom of the printer. The printer counts the number of uses you have made. Then it guesses when the Pads are full and the printer stops working. The printer then tells you to take it to an authorised repairer for an expensive bill. The repairer will do one of two things – (a) Change the pads or (b) reset the counter, as the pads are not full and do not need changing.

You can reset the counter yourself with software from the link below. NOTE WELL – this work-around only works once. When the printer stops a second time the pads will have to be have changed.

http://tricks-collections.com/reset-counter-epson-r1800-r2400/

More free top tips – if you have to go through the printer head cleaning process only do it a maximum of three times on any one day. Doing it any more than this out of  frustration will only make the problem worse.

If you have four or more heads blocked you could try using the built in Super Clean on Epson Printers. You will have to look for it in the Printer Driver setup as it is not automatically enabled.

If your printer has been left un-used for a while and is completely blocked you could try a product called – “Block Buster” Print Head Cleaner also available from Fotospeed. www.fotospeed.com

The picture of back-lit Teasels is printed as a Platinum Print. Platinum prints do not generally have the same contrast range as a normal Gelatin print.

(c) Andy Beel FRPS

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I have been re-visiting old negatives from around ten years ago. I took to electric pictures around 2001 wondering if digital would catch on. I still have my darkroom as somewhere for the washing machine to live.

This picture “Peaches for Sale” was taken in Ansuois in Provence, France on a hot and sunny day in July 2002. I love the lazy laid back attitude of the guy.

The 35mm TMX negative was scanned at 3200 dpi giving around a 16 x 10″ (42mb) file for printing at 240dpi. The picture you are looking at was Exported from Lightroom at 800px on the long side at 72 dpi this is a 497kb file (0.5mb).

All computer monitors have a screen resolution of 72dpi. It is important not to have an over large file for pictures in a post as they take ages to load. So 800px on the long side at 72dpi is a good place to start.

File size needs to be appropriate for the use of the file.

The Lightroom standard dpi for prints is 240dpi. A common rumour is that prints need to be printed at 300 dpi. This does not apply to Inkjet printing, 300 dpi is used by the Offset printing industry in half-tone printing.

Also the larger the print the dpi can be lower, I have printed A2 prints at 130dpi because the viewing distance is far greater.

(c) Andy Beel FRPS

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I am dyslexic particularly when typing. I’m great at reading but pushing buttons to make thought public can be a bit tricky. Dyslexia comes from the Greek language meaning ‘difficulty with words’. It’s a symptom of a number of different information processing disorders in the brain.

I was just re-reading the former post called “Bin bags & Baguettes” and I noticed words missing and spelling mistakes. As with all posts they are proof read usually about six times (not an exaggeration) to check all is in order. I just don’t always see the obvious errors.

I didn’t realise I am dyslexic until I was well in to my forties, I just thought I was a bit stupid and had a bad memory even though I had a job managing a team of five professionals and earning twice the national average salary.

Dyslexia may have helped in my photography check out my “about me”  page to see what I have achieved to date.

Post a comment saying how dyslexia has helped or hindered your photography.

Dyslexics of the world unite.

(c) AndyBeel FRPS

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Some times things don’t work out as planned.

The cunning plan was to go to Devon take a few nice autumn pictures and then give a talk to Newton Abbot Photo Club in the evening.

I drove to Devon in the early morning in soft sunshine thinking my luck had changed as  it wasn’t raining. I met up with a friend Paula Graham ARPS who is an excellent photographer and she drove us around Dartmoor in her Landrover.

We had lunch at a pub in Widecombe in the Moor on Dartmoor, it was a fine warm autumn day so we left our coats in the Landie. While we were having a baguette for lunch the sky absolutely opened and it rained and rained. We finished lunch and had to get back to the landrover parked about 250yds away and it was still chucking it down. Paula tried to borrow an Umbrella from the pub. No deal.

She came back with two large black bin bags, so we broke a hole in the bottom of the bag so we could see, put the big bags on and headed out in to the storm.

By the time we arrive back at Paula’s house it had stopped raining and faint shafts of evening light passed over the distant hills.

The shot posted above was one of the best taken that day and was taken on Paula’s Patio – she has a beautiful house in the middle of nowhere with stunning views all year round – some people have all the luck and taste!

(c) Andy Beel FRPS

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Ethiopia in greek means the “Land of burnt faces”.

I will be giving a talk of the same name to the Newton Abbot Photo Club on Tues 25th Oct at 7.30pm. See the clubs programme at http://www.newtonabbot-photoclub.org.uk/

This shot was taken at a monastery on my first trip to northern Ethiopia in 2006. I was in a party of 8 travellers, and the only photographer in the group on the “Historic Route” trip. We had arrived at the monastery, got out of the bus and I had left my telephoto lens on the locked bus. I was standing next to a guard with a rifle and I saw this young woman appear on the top of the steps for a few seconds to look at the white “ferangies” (Amharic for foreigners). She was about 30 yards from me, had I walked towards her she would have move back inside meaning the shot would be lost.

This picture should have been taken with the 400mm lens locked in the bus. It was actually taken with a 105mm and huge crop from the centre of the frame. This rendition of the file was reprinted today. In my original interpretation in 2006 the stonework was alot darker making the girl alot more prominent.

See my website www.andybeelfrps.co.uk for more pictures of Ethiopia.

(c) Andy Beel FRPS

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I have posted todays picture as a homage to a favourite of mine the Hungarian photographer Andre Kertesz. He published a book called “On reading” that was republished in 2008. ISBN 978-0-393-06656-2 by WW Norton & Co. www.wwnorton.com

Check out some of his wonderful work at http://www.photographersgallery.com/by_artist.asp?id=200

(c) Andy Beel FRPS

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Who will be the 100th Subscriber to my blog?

Unfortunately I can’t give a prize or a voucher.

I don’t agree that photographing graffiti is my art as its someone elses original work.

With this shot called “Women of the east” at least I have given it my own style and presentation. The original was considerably darker than this. I tend to like the ethereal quality the Lith process has given it.

What do you think? let me know post a comment good or bad.

(c) Andy Beel FRPS

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To quote Henri Cartier-Bresson “For me photography has not changed except in its technical aspects”.

For me I take HCB to mean that there is a difference in thinking and operation between creating a photography and the techique of recording the idea with a camera. By may 2007 I had paraphrased HCB’s quote to “Photography has nothing to do with cameras and computers”.

This is a follow on post from the previous post of the same name made a month or two ago. I have typed out the points as noted in my Photography Journal from June 2006 for those interested in the why instead of the how.

Photography

Input

  • Why?
  • Who is the photo for?
  • What is the attraction?
  • What – the subject choice
  • Where
  • Recognition of relationships
  • When
  • Lighting
  • What is being communicated?
  • Feeling
  • Sensitivity
  • Observation
  • Abstraction
  • Expression
  • Imagination
  • Intuition
  • Exploration of ideas
  • Subjectivity
  • Creativity
  • Self-expression
  • Becoming one’s self
  • Journey of discovery
  • Refinement of vision
  • Understanding of one’s self

 Technical

Output

  • How
  • Composition
  • Decisive moment
  • Balance
  • Focus
  • Exposure
  • Multiple Exposure
  • Depth of Field
  • Lens choice
  • Camera choice
  • Film / Digital
  • Colour / Monochrome
  • Filters
  • Printing effects
  • Presentation

(c) Andy Beel FRPS 2011

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Here is another rant from the Heretic. I call myself a self-styled heretic because I rail against the very reason photography is different from other visual arts, namely its ability to render fine detail accurately. For me the lack of detail allows me to tell a different story to that of a picture with full anatomical detail. Here a large component of the picture is made from digital noise and shadows. Let the purists wail in disgust if they like. Detail describes the functionality of the motif.  This shot of the weather-beaten remains of the timber pier at Lytham St. Anne’s shows its desolation and isolation. The empty foreground describes the south westerly wind whipping up the sand and blowing it across the beach as the tide quickly returns. For me this picture is about motives and money of the financial backers of the Pier before it was built and how their money-making scheme has been affected by the elements in the Irish Sea.

I choose to add this version of the above picture – contrasty and un-toned to my blog to help balance out the number of Lith and Split-toned pictures that have been posted to date. Taken with a Lensbaby Composer Single Glass lens, no aperture on an Infra-red converted body.

After a few years break I am going to try the Crown Monochrome Group again tonight probably for the third or fourth time. I have not found previous attendances fulfilling. The format of the meetings has a slightly different focus to the ones attended before. So wish me luck.

See www.crownmonochrome.com for their work and programme of events near Bristol UK. On their website there are links to other monochrome groups in the UK.

(c) Andy Beel FRPS

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How slow  a shutter speed can you hand hold?

The answer to that question depends on a number of factors – the purpose of the picture, equipment used, focal length of the lens, IS / VR.

Hopefully by know everybody is aware of the 1/the focal length of the lens criteria for hand-held shutter speeds for lens without Image stabilisation / Vibration Reduction. Eg the slowest hand-held shutter speed for a 200mm lens would be a 1/200 of a second. With a IS / VR lens that claims a 3 stop advantage then in theory that shutter speed may be reduced to 1/25th of a second. (Each stop halves the shutter speed – 1, 1/100 2, 1/50 3, 1/25).

This is all rather theoretical as there a number of things that affect individuals such age and the amount of alcohol drunk to be able to hold the camera and lens steady. As we get older the ability to handhold at slow shutter speeds becomes less. So its worth experimenting to find out how slow you can go with all your lenses

This shot was taken with a 20mm f2.8 (non IS) lens with a predetermined 1/20th of a second exposure using shutter speed priority. This exposure was enough to elongate the face and it remain recognisable. A longer speed would have ment that face was unrecognisable and the strength of the shot would have diluted.

For most of my thirty year photographic life I have been using Aperture priority, but this was an occassion when shutter priority was the best choice. I know all of you out there in the blogosphere think that P stands for Professional mode and it’s the best mode to use. All P (the Program mode) is doing is giving you an exposure that is handhold-able for the focal length of the lens, moderate depth of field, with a reasonably low ISO – hence a bucket full of compromises. Does your camera know the shot you want to take?

(c) Andy Beel FRPS

www.andybeelfrps.co.uk

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I was in Oxford UK to attend an Ansel Adams exhibition in 2009.

Looking back on the Ansel Adams exhibition of prints that he printed, the contrast range of many prints was less than I would have expected from seeing reproductions in books. Therefore you can’t beat seeing the actual prints for an accurate assessment of print tonality.

As I am struck on wide-angle lenses, so out came the Sigma 12-24mm full frame to take a snap of the bike with a very bent front wheel. As I was lining the shot up being about 4 inches (100mm, 10cm) from the bike wheel a Nun walked through my picture. What luck! The bike, Nun and background figures made a nice triangular composition. The wider the angle of lens the closer you need to be to something in the foreground to fill the frame. Don’t buy an extreme wide-angle lens if the the shy and retiring type.

I will always shoot a series of pictures and probably print the frame with the motif just about to leave the frame. This idea is not new, Degas was doing this with paintings in the 1880′s. I feel the composition is completed by the two figures in the background in light coloured clothing. In this case the tone of the figures in the background does not really matter as there are against a medium toned stone wall. If the wall had been dark they would have to be light to make a contrast or vice versa. Remember black and white photography is about tones and contrast NOT colour.

(c) Andy Beel FRPS

www.andybeelfrps.co.uk

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I will be giving a brand new Black and White Photography talk called The “Untitled” Monochrome talk at Gloucester Camera Club on Tues Oct 4th 7.30pm.

See  www.gloucestercameraclub.org.uk for the rest of the exciting programme of  Speakers.

The “Untitled” Monochrome Talk rounds up pictures from trips from the last three years around Great Britain and across the pond to New Brunswick.

The picture above is another of my wet light shots – taken in the rain, hopefully the eye is drawn to the man walking away from me on the diagonal.

Here I am playing around with a Lensbaby Composer with a single glass lens, wide open (no Aperture) on a Infra-red converted body on a wet Saturday in Blackpool UK.

The point of  Focus is experimental for two reasons (a) Infra-red light does not focus in the same plane as visible light and (b) a Lensbaby at f2 gives no depth of field and deciding where is sharp is open to be debate.

Processed as a Lith print in Lightroom 3.5 with custom curves and split toning.

(c) Andy Beel FRPS – All Rights Reserved

www.andybeelfrps.co.uk

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