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  • Welcome to Gale Photography

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

    If you are looking to improve your photographic creativity, skills or knowledge, check out the Photography Training pages.

    For beautiful Fine Art images that showcase my personal vision take a look at the Fine Art Photography pages.

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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.

Location portrait shoot

As you will have seen from a previous post, (with two dogs), I recently did a portrait session for a family on location at their farm.  The light outdoors was excellent for portrait photography, although being January it was a bit chilly.  As it was a bit windy too, I first set up a studio light in a garage.  I put a large brolly on the flash which gave a softly directional light.  The end wall of the garage had a highly textured surface which made an excellent background.

"Studio flash portrait" by Derek Gale

The first person I shot was their teenaged son.  I asked him to turn his face toward the light and then look at me without moving his head.  His not-quite-a-smile gave a sort of “Mona Lisa ” look.  The B&W conversion made the shot a bit more moody, and stopped his T-shirt, which was quite a strong blue, from being distracting.

"Natural light portrait" by Derek Gale

For this shot of their daughter I moved outside and used the soft reflected light from a wall.  Getting close and using a large lens aperture allowed me to throw the background out of focus.  I left this image in colour as her scarf acted as a great frame for her face, and was a colour that went well with her eyes.

"Natural light family portrait" by Derek Gale

One of the challenges when taking family portraits is getting everyone to have natural expressions.  As I was taking this family group one of the farm workers went past and made an amusing comment.  They all looked at him and spontaneously laughed.  Result?  An image where everyone had a great expression.

Wet and cold, or cold and wet?

Even though here in the UK the birds are singing and the bulbs are pushing up out of the ground, it’s still winter.  Winter in the UK means that the weather outside may well be cold and wet (or wet and cold).  It’s not very tempting weather for outdoor photography, so why not stay indoors and photograph the effect of the cold weather?  One effect is condensation on your windows…

"Window condensation" by Derek Gale

The droplets in the window condensation image are almost fractal.  There are large droplets, smaller droplets the same shape, and even smaller droplets between them.  It’s hard to tell the size of any of them.  It’s a sort of miniature landscape photograph.  There’s a lovely gradation of light across each droplet.  I made the dark background by holding a piece of dark material (a T-shirt) behind the open window.  It meant that the side light became dominant.

So what about other windows such as the car windscreen?

"Frosty car window" by Derek Gale

If you decide to brave the outside, on a cold morning you may well get frost on your car’s windscreen.  Frost can make wonderful patterns which demand to be photographed.  Here I’ve used a macro lens (50mm f2.8 Sigma EX) to get in close and show the feathery details of the ice.  My car was parked near the studio, so that worked well as a dark background.

Wet and cold?  No photographic worries.