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    Hello, and welcome to my website! I'm Derek Gale, photography trainer and Fine Art photographer.

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Keep on taking the tablets: part 2

I’ve been out with my Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computer again, and here’s another image from its camera.

"Mmmm Galaxy" by Derek Gale

I put my faceted insect eye optical toy in front of the lens, and took an image of some crocuses in the garden.  It was quite tricky aligning the toy and the tablet and pressing the shutter button at the same time.  I’ve cropped it square in Photoshop but it’s otherwise untouched.

I reckon it’s pretty cool, and it would be hard to do with a big lens on a DSLR.

But there’s a drought!

Here in the south of England we have got a drought.  It’s hardly rained or snowed all winter, and the water level in some quite significant water bodies is very low.  For example, the River Kennet has gone dry upstream from the town of Marlborough; this is very unusual.  There are however, great photographic opportunities in the water that’s still running.

"Buscot Weir 1" by Derek Gale

Here’s some water running over a sluice at Buscot Weir, which is on the River Thames between Lechlade and Kelmscott.  I used a longish lens focal length, framed to give a good diagonal, and chose a short shutter speed (1/400th sec), to stop as much movement as I could. There’s a lovely gradation from a convex curve in the water at the bottom of the frame, to a concave “U” shape in the dark area at the top of the frame.

"Buscot Weir 2" by Derek Gale

Here I chose a quieter bit of the weir and used a longer shutter speed (1/10th sec) to give a completely different look to the image.  This time there’s lots of movement in the water.  The top of the frame shows the power of the faster, deeper water, and the way the slower, shallow water fans out from bottom left is delightful.

Buscot Weir is a great place for photography training.  So if you want some bespoke 1-2-1 training on location do get in touch.

Keep on taking the tablets.

Here, as promised, is another image taken with my Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computer.

"Tulips in vase" by Derek Gale

It’s a simple image of yellow tulips in a blue and white jug.  Blue and yellow go very well together (if it’s good enough for the Swedish flag it’s good enough for me).  I used an Android app, Pixlr-o-matic*, to apply a film effect, vignette the image, and apply a texture.  The film effect I chose made the image very red as well as vignetting it.  I just wanted the vignetting, so I shot the original using the “Incandescent” White Balance setting which made the image very blue. The film effect cancelled it out, giving strong natural colours and the vignetting I wanted.

*It’s a little bit like the Hipstamatic app for Apple iPhones and iPads.

Keep checking back for more Galaxy Tab images.

A contrasting view.

In landscape photography the weather isn’t always in your favour, but you can add impact to your images by looking for subjects that have good contrast.  You can then balance your composition using the areas of light tones and the areas of dark tones.

"Wreck" by Derek Gale

The bones of this shipwreck were poking up out of the sea, and the contrast between their dark tones and the greyness of the sea and the distant cliffs made the image stronger.

"Rock hole" by Derek Gale

With this image, looking through holes in a coastal rock, I used the dark areas of unlit rock to frame the light areas of sunlight bouncing off the sea.  The extreme contrast has made it much more of an abstract, almost map-like, image. It could even be crunched up silver foil on black velvet.

“It ain’t what you got, it’s the way that you use it”

The title of this post is in homage to the famous Ella Fitzgerald (or Bananarama) song “It ain’t what you do…”.

Yesterday I was talking to someone about the “Introduction to the Creative Eye” photography course that I run at the Royal Photographic Society in Bath.  We talked about how it’s not the camera that gives great images, but that it’s the photographer and the way they use their brain.

I’ve decided to give this idea a test, and to take a set of images with my tablet computer’s camera. It’s harder to take pictures than with a mobile phone camera because it’s a bit of a big, flat thing to hold.  There are some controls, but it’s got a fixed focal length lens with a small aperture and a tiny sensor, which does give some photographic constraints.

Here’s my first image…

"The tablet at the window" by Derek Gale

Earlier this morning the sun was shining on to our neighbour’s window, and the light was reflecting on to our kitchen window.  I liked the shape of the window bars through the red window blind, and the way that the plant was nearly silhouetted.

I’ll post more images when I have them, so do keep checking back.