Approaching Menace

There is something faintly threatening in this silhouette of a French military helicopter against a backdrop of looming clouds. Not to worry though, it was only at a nearby air display a few years ago.

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Anything That Flies

Clock Watching

For this week’s Black & White Photo Challenge, Cee has asked for an image of anything that ends in ‘ock’.

I do have a picture of the large black rooster from the farm just up the road, but making the post title fit the brief and at the same time observe propriety was too problematic.

Instead, here is an entirely respectable photograph taken from inside the clock tower of the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. If you’re wondering why a museum should have a clock tower, in this case it’s because the building used to be a railway station.

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Something ending in ‘ock’

52 Weeks Photo Challenge: Week 5 – Sunset

Looking through my photo library, I seem to have rather more pictures of sunsets than of sunrises. No surprise there: sunrises tend to involve having to get up early.

Nothing wrong with sunsets though, and this one, featuring the silhouetted line of trees that forms the boundary between our two fields, is a good example.


52 Weeks Photo Challenge: Week 5 – Sunset

One Photo Focus: February 2016

The original image for this month’s One Photo Focus challenge was provided by Stacy at lensaddiction and is what I’d call a bit of a tester.


OPF Image for Feb JPG Full Size-3398


There’s a lot going on in the original image and not all of it sits comfortably together (a sailing ship and modern high-rise buildings, for a start).


After a lot of thought, I decided to crop in on the rigging and, in particular, the two human figures, which I placed on a Rule-of-Thirds point.

Having looked at the blown-up image, I felt that there wasn’t enough detail in the figures to command much attention so I went for the opposite extreme and effectively turned them into silhouettes by taking down all the sliders – Highlights, Shadows, Whites and Blacks – to -100.

This also made the background sky more interesting and to compound that effect I used a Graduated Filter at the top to reduce the exposure of this part of the image. This not only darkened the clouds but also reduced the ‘blown-out’ area where the sun sits. I think the final result is quite dramatic.

One Photo Focus February 2016

Before & After: Sunset

Sunsets can be highly dramatic subjects, but they can also be the devil’s own work to get right, because the sun itself is almost inevitably over-exposed and leaves everything else devoid of detail.


Sunset Before

This photograph was taken at dusk, looking over the giraffe enclosure of the nature reserve on Sir Bani Yas island. Capturing it was pretty much a case of point and click – the sun sets very quickly so close to the tropics. As it stands, it’s not a bad image, but I thought it would be interesting to see what could be done in the way of post-processing to improve it.


Sunset After

  • Although it works reasonably well with the sun slap bang in the middle of the picture, I cropped so as to put it on one of the classic ‘rule of thirds’ intersections.
  • In the process, this also eliminated much of the dark foreground, which didn’t contain anything of interest. It also brings to the fore the bare silhouetted branches that are the really interesting element of the image.
  • Hovering the magnifying glass in Lightroom’s Develop mode over the brightest part of the sun’s disc confirmed that it was completely blown out, with all three of the Red, Green and Blue readings at 100%, or as near as makes no difference. Moving the Whites slider all the way to -100 actually reduced this figure to around 75%, which is at least some improvement.
  • I also played around a bit with the Orange channel in the colour palette top provide a warmer overall cast.

By the way, did anybody else spot the bird sitting on the branch (at about 7 o’clock if the sun was a clockface)? I didn’t see it at all until I’d completed the editing.

ABFriday 8th January 2016


For this week’s challenge, here’s another image from the Burjuman Centre in Dubai, showing a section of the walkway on the top floor. The starburst effect on the lights is a real bonus here.


Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Indoor Walkways

Weekly Photo Challenge: Window

A stained glass window in the church at Montrol-Senard.

Stained glass