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Photography Podcasts

Following a recent discussion on Flickr, I’ve decided to share a few mini-reviews and links to my favourite photography podcasts I subscribe to in itunes.

In no particular order:

The Candid Frame by Ibarionex Perrello: Each month (ish) Ibarionex interviews a photographer and asked them about what has inspired and influenced their photography.  The photographers are not always interesting to me, but the podcast is well produced, Ibarionex has a great radio voice, and more often or not I get to the end of the show ready to pick up my camera and go shoot something, having been inspired in some way by the interview.

Itunes, Podcast Website

Tips From The Top Floor (TFTTF) by Chris Marquardt: Twice a week Chris releases a podcast which covers a variety of topics; although seems to mostly focus on technique. TFTTF is a lively, friendly short show, and has been a great source of guidance while learning photography.

Itunes, Podcast Website

This Week in Photography: This week in photography is a weekly (dur) show, which tends to focus on the latest products, and most weeks has an interview with a photographer.  If you are looking for new gear, it is worth a listen; and the interviews and sometimes fascinating.

Itunes, Podcast Website

The Art of Photography by Ted Forbes: Ted produces a monthly(ish) podcast, normally about photography techniques.  Each show is professionally produced, and like the title implies, focus’ on the art of photography, not the latest gear.  The shows are only short and each covers a single topic, so it is worth looking back into the archives and downloading a few that appeal.

Itunes, Podcast Website

The Art of Adventure Photography by Bruce Percy: Bruce is a landscape photographer from Scotland.  Each podcast (released monthly until March 2010) is a slideshow with commentary from Bruce.  Simple, but his photos are some of the best.

Itunes, Podcast Website

Other podcasts to try out:

Camera Dojo – Wedding focused, informative but not amazingly produced.

Digital Photography Life – Again, poorly produced, by sometimes covers interesting topics.

The Focus Ring – Infrequent show which features a round table discussion with hosts of other podcasts, including Ibarionex Perrello and Chris Marquardt.

Photofocus – Q&A Show; has some good tips but can be very basic and the show host clearly loves himself.

Do you have any other favourites?  Please share them below.

Kitchen

Originally uploaded by BaldyD

Abandoned Cottage, Near Clifton-On-Teme, Worcester.

Unfotunately this place has been abandoned a long time (graffiti indicates 1911?) and there were no leftovers from occupation. The cupboard seen here was empy, and the floor was hidden beneath dirt.

The photo here shows what I assume would be a stove, so perhaps this room was a kitchen/dining room. THe only other room on the ground floor was pretty narrow and had long shelves attached and no source of heat, so perhaps was just for storage. This room may have also been used for living quarters.

The rural location of the pair of houses, in the middle of a field must mean that the house was for farm workers. The building has two almost identical separate dwellings, so perhaps farm workers rather than a land owner?

Out the back was an old iron water pump. Otherwise I cannot imagine that there would be any addtional utilities.

The Abandoned Road

While in Derbyshire I took a trip to Mam Tor.  While the weather was not good for shooting the landscape, it was perfect for exploring the abandoned road at the base of the hill, above the village of Castleton.  A slideshow of the photoset can be found here

Due to the white sky, I generally took a selection of exposures for later compositing in Photomatix.  To exploit the old, broken, empty and abandoned  feeling of the area, I felt I should match this with dark claustrophobic processing. The starting point for this was the Pin Hole preset in Silver Efex Pro.  I find this emphasises the feeling of decay.

There is about 300 metres of abandoned road that has been subject to significant subsidence due to the area’s geology.  On a good day it is probably possible to get good results combining the road with a view down the valley, but on my visit the wider view was largely obscurred by mist.

360 Panorama of Campsite on Bleaklow

Having seen some pictures link of the B29 plane wreck on Bleaklow Moor, near Snake Pass, in the Peak District, I have wanted to take a look myself for a few months.

Leaving Birmingham after work on Friday, I took wanted to go straight to the crash site to camp for the night, so that I would be there for first light in the morning.

Campsite on Bleaklow

In the pitch black I followed the Pennine Way along the Devil’s Dyke for about 2 miles from the Snake Pass, not far from Glossop.  At the chosen point, at the top of Hern Cough I headed off the pass, across the moor towards the grid

reference I’d picked up from the internet.  This proved tricky, the land if full of dips and raised areas of grass, which make walking in a straight line impossible.  Normally one could pick a landmark in the right direction to head towards, but I’d left it until after dark before setting off, and in driving snow visibility was down to about 5 metres.  However using the Iphone’s GPS I was able to get in the approximate area of the plane, and find a hollow, out of the worst of the wind to camp for the night.

By morning, it had stopped snowing, and fortunately the mist was high enough to be able to see the surrounding moor.  Within 5 minutes I was able to find the plane.

Crash Site

I was surprised at the amount of wreckage, especially considering the plane crashed over 60 years ago in 1948.  I guess to the weather conditions, and the early start, I had the site to myself for about 2 hours (although I was joined by a passing white hare for a split second).

Due to the brightness of most frames, I set my camera to bracket +/- 1 stop in aperture priority mode.  Doing this allowed my to work quickly in the cold, knowing that for each scene, even i the meter was fooled by the light grey mist and cloud, and the white snow, I’d have a good exposure to work with when it came to processing.  Doing this saved me having to change too many settings, and so allowing me to keep my gloves on.  I wandered around the site first with a wide angle 11-22mm lens (22-44 35mm equivalent), then switched to a 40-150mm (80-300 35mm equivalent) to pick out some details.  I finished up with a second session with a wide angle. Again, I avoided changing the lens too many times, this allowed me to leave my back hidden behind a memorial stone and meant I minimised the times I had to stop in the cold. Generally, for the scenes with most white +1 stop was, as expected a good exposure, although for the close up shots, or shots with most dark wreckage, normal or -1 stop compensation was used for post processing.  Post processing was in Lightroom and then black and white conversion in Silver Efex Pro.

My waterproof trousers were very handy here, allowing me to lie and kneel on the snow without discomfort.

The memorial over the site reads:

“In Memory: Here lies the wreckage of B-29 Superfortress “Overexposed” of the 16th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, USAF which tragically crashed whilst descending through cloud on 3rd November 1948 killing all 13 crew members.

The Aircraft was on a routine flight from RAF Scampton to American AFB Burtonwood.  It is doubtful the crew ever saw the ground.”

Memorial

The most striking part of the site are the plane’s four engines.  These made great subjects, with their frosted up heat sinks and gears, and drive shafts (I guess?) poking out the back.

The only other recognisable (to me) part was the undercarriage. I was able to find a set of small wheels attached to some debris which I imagine were under the wing, and a far larger wheel, perhaps from under the fuselage.  The larger wheel amazingly seemed to have the remnants of a tyre still attached – 60 years old…

Debris

Debris

The rest of the wreckage was anonymous to me, just sections of twisted, torn and decayed metal.

I have tried to capture wider scene of the crash site, and also picked out a few details, such as the rivets and the memorials left, I guess last November for Remembrance Day.

No doubt if this accident had taken place in a more accessible place most of the wreckage would have been looted by now, as it is remains a fitting tribute to the 13 men who died in the crash.

A slideshow of the images in this set can be found here

Flickr Scripts

I have recently discovered Grease Monkey add on for Firefox, which allows installation of a number of Flickr enhancements.

I particularly like the Group Sender, and the Background Changer.

Here is a top ten scripts as selected by the Digital Photography School.

Towanroath Engine House, and Porth Chapel Beach

A short drive out of St Agnes on the North Coast is Chapel Porth beach.  It is possible to park in the small car park, although I understand that this might get full in the summer.  The Beach itself can be good for surfing (not while I have vsited though), but lookout for tide times as the tide will come right up to the car park.

Photographically, there are cliffs and caves to explore along the beach, but fr me the main attraction of the area is the Towan Roath engine house, at the Wheal Coates mine on the cliffs.

As with most of the spots I have visited in Cornwall, I would like to visit in better weather than I have to date.  I think a wide panorma, including the engine house, the cliff tops and round to the Godrevy lighthouse could work well, but the air would need to be very clear to prevent the cliffs being a foggy mess.  The Beach faces West, so is exposed to the Atantic, but should be better lit in the afternoon than in the morning.

Car Parking is free, both don on the beach, and on the cliff top by Wheal Coates.

More photos of the area can be found here

Panasonic traffic cone

A short postto share this picture taken on my iphone today on the way to work, of a giant (8 foot?) traffic cone. Apparently something to do with Panasonic advertising a new, wide angle compact camera, and the fun you can have with playing with perspective.

I have visited Kynance Cove half a dozen times to date, it is one of my favourite photo locations in Cornwall.

There is plenty of parking at the top of the cliffs, which is free to National Trust members.  Form the car park there are two routes down to the beach. 

You can leave the North (lower) side of the car park, and follow the path down a small valley to the beach.  This route gives a view into the bay, showing the path winding in and out of site as an ideal lead in line.

Alternatively, you can leave the South (top end) of the car park, and then walk round onto the cliff tops.  There are a few points on the cliffs when you are able to walk out onto headlands which give views up and down the coast.

Whichever route is taken, when you get down to it, the beach can be spectacular.  At high time in stormy weather, there are all the rocks that waves will crash on.  At low time there is a lot of (hopefully) fresh sand, and it is possible to walk out round the headlands and get good views along the coast into Mounts Bay. The headland, which can be accessed by some steps opposite the cafe, also gives good views all round.

Kynance Cove

Kynance Cove

The next place we visited on the recent Cornwall trip was Cadgwith Cove, on the Lizard.  Cadgwith is a small fishing village, which is relatively unspoilt with tourism.  My favourite view here is looking back onto the beach from out on the headland, although next trip I will also explore the village more; there are a lot of nice cottages with thatched roofs, and a slightly out

Cadgwith Beach, the Lizard, Cornwall
Cadgwith Beach, the Lizard, Cornwall

of place blue church.

The pub at the top of the beach is interesting, as it has open sided ‘cellars’ which were traditionally used for drying pilchards, but but are now ideal shelters for outside dining.
Sunset

Sunset

Just a short post today.  The drive home from Birmingham was pretty enjoyable this evening, partly due to a good traffic, but also helped by a spectacular sunset.  By the time I got home it was a pretty intense red, and at this time of year I have a great view of a sunset down the street.  This photo was taken out of our front window on a Fuji J210 point and shoot.  I am rather pleased with it.  Hopefully we’ll get a few sunsets like this next weekend in Cornwall, with more than a few cars for foreground….