Daily Archives: Wednesday, 28th May 2008

Weight Report – 28 May 2008

Mutter. Weight up, and weather too miserable for me to persuade myself that going out anywhere would have been a good idea.

So today’s activity was posting more photos and watching a lot of Columbo.

Newcastle Photos – 5 September 2007

Yet another lunchtime walk is documented in this album. For this one, I went out with the 50mm f/1.8 lens. It’s a lovely lens, especially when the remarkably low price (as such things go) is taken into consideration. Some of these pictures are exercises in playing with the depth of field, some are more general pictures, and most show how I have to think differently about how to take pictures when using a prime lens. Most of the time, I use a zoom lens of some kind, which gives me greater flexibility in composing pictures. With a prime lens, if I want a different composition, I have to move myself rather than adjust the lens. It can be more challenging, which is a good thing really…

My “catch up with the backlog” project is coming along nicely – I have one more set from September, then it’s on to the much larger selection of images from September[1]. At this rate, I might actually catch up by the end of the week, unless the weather improves and I go out and take a few hundred more pictures…

[1] Err, I may have meant to mention a different month there

Britain’s New Coinage – Pictures

I mentioned last month that the new British coinage designs had been revealed to the world. As I said I might, I ordered one of the moderately limited number[1] of proof sets of the new coins, which arrived some weeks later. And just a few weeks after that, I’ve found yet another tuit, and taken some pictures so you can see them.

The arrangement of the coins in the sealed case shows how the designs fit together to make up the shield design on the £1 coin, which is a clever concept that has grown on me since I first saw it. One negative comment I have heard is that the coins do not have numerical values on them, which may be confusing for people not familiar with the shapes and sizes of our coinage. The argument is that historically, British coins didn’t have numbers on, and they were added to the decimal coinage to try to minimise confusion. As it’s been around 40 years since the decimalisation programme began, perhaps it is time to drop the numbers. We’ll have to see how the new coins work out as they enter circulation.

Newcastle Photos – 11 September 2007

This album contains the results of a lunchtime stroll with the Sigma 10-20mm wide-angle lens. Included are pictures of the bridges, some buildings, and All Saints Church. Most of the work was done in Lightroom, with some images enjoying a little correction of their verticals in Photoshop. I was shooting into the light a lot of the time, so there’s a fair amount of lens flare to be seen.

On the Lightroom side, I’ve experimented a bit by using one of Matt Kloskowski’s handy presets from the always useful Lightroom Killer Tips – a site every Lightroom user should know about. Personally, I like the RSS feed, which saves me having to remember to go there. This particular preset is intended as a general purpose starting point for most images, which does things that I generally do – boost the clarity and vibrance levels, for instance. I found that for a lot of these images, I didn’t need to so much else at all, so it’s a really nice time saver. Get it here:

Matt’s Auto Adjustment Preset

There’s a separate version for portraits, which doesn’t do the clarity stuff, as that kind of mid-range contrast boost doesn’t work too well for faces. While you’re on the site, have a look at some of Matt’s other presets – there are some interesting creative effects there. There the kind of thing you might get to after a lot of tweaking of sliders, but as Matt’s done all that already, you might as well take advantage of that.

Matt’s definitely a Good Thing – his book on Photoshop Layers is well worth a read.