I am now 56 days into lockdown and I am a week into a three week furlough period from my day-job. I started my YouTube channel to learn new skills (making movies, learning to talk to camera) and to begin to get down, if not on paper, some of my ideas about what I have learnt on my ‘journey” (gag!) as a photographer in the past few years. I bought my first digital camera in 2006 (some 20 years after my first SLR camera was stolen) and I spent the first number of years trying to work out how to take photographs with little or no effort, studying or training. My hit-rate (number of decent pictures as a percentage of all pictures taken) was poor. In recent years, I have upgraded cameras, and undertaken some study (reading books, watching, videos) and have begun to understand how to take better images and how I might maximise the impact of those images in the digital darkroom. I now have an inherent passion and desire to make the best pictures that I can; to justify my investment in equipment, and my investment in myself. As somebody once said “anyone can have a world record, but only you can can have a personal best”. I am working hard to being the best photographer I can be. In short my hit-rate is getting better, and my tolerance of poorly images is reducing as I analyse why a particular image does not work.
As I try to distill my learning, I am producing a number of entry level tutorials for Lightroom (and eventually Photoshop), that were I brighter 20 years ago, I might have benefitted from. Each video will only be three or four minutes. This one introduces the series and talks about why the histogram is important and how to use it. I hope you enjoy it.
In this Lightroom tutorial I share how to create a pastel feel for a beach hut image taken on the fly. I show how to correct a horizon, use the colour mixer to make adjustments to the light of individual colours in the image, and use the basic contrast, highlights and shadows controls to give a pastel feel to the image.
Here’s a new video looking at five simple rules to improve your composition when you are taking photographs.
Once again the music is by Adam Mason
I have recently (March 2020) started a YouTube channel. In coming months I will be adding short instructional videos about:
- Lightroom and Photoshop techniques and workflow
- Theatre photography
- Gig photography
- Portraits and family photography
- Wedding photography
- Travel photography
- Landscape and seascape photography
I had lots of fun doing some headshots with Jessica in a studio I set up at home.
Last week I took (what I thought was) a well deserved week off, and spent three days walking along the South West Coast Path from Plymouth along to Looe. The first day was lovely weather, the second rained constantly, and I was glad as I got to Looe to see the sun come out and offer some lovely warm light on these gig boats stored on the harbour wall.
From Wikipedia “The Cornish pilot gig is a six-oared rowing boat, clinker-built of Cornish narrow-leaf elm, 32 feet (9.8 m) long with a beam of 4 feet 10 inches (1.47 m). It is recognised as one of the first shore-based lifeboats that went to vessels in distress, with recorded rescues going back as far as the late 17th century. The original purpose of the Cornish pilot gig was as a general work boat, and the craft is used as a pilot boat, taking pilots out to incoming vessels off the Atlantic Coast. At the time pilots would compete between each other for work; the fastest gig crew who got their pilot on board a vessel first would get the job, and hence the payment.” –
These boats, I have since discovered are fibreglass, whereas the original ones were all wood – I believe these ones would not meet the standard requirement for competitive racing, but are much cheaper than a traditionally-built wooden gig and allows a club to form and begin training and fundraising for a competitive boat.
Anywhichway, it was lovely to see these lined up in Looe Harbour.
Stageworks just put on a fantastic show, and once again I was lucky enough to shoot stills of the show, and also some of the rehearsals. You can buy a USB memory stick with all the images (over 400) for £20.00 payments in Cash / Card / PayPal. The images are all full size and high resolution.
A link to the full show and rehearsal images can be viewed at:
If you would like to buy one, send me an email to
NB: These USB memory sticks hold all the images but are not designed to play as a slideshow
As I get used to my new light-weight Fuji camera, I took it out to a small wooded area of a local park near my in-laws to try and use it in a landscape environment. I had only brought a mini-tripod (about a 30cm tall). The shot uses a 1 second exposure to get the milky effect on the water running over the rapid.
Fujifilm X-T3, 10-24mm at 16mm, f8, 1 second
I have just upgraded my mirrorless camera to one that is better suited to landscape photography and a new wide angled lens. I haven’t really been out an about for taking landscapes, but I snatched these when I was walking around my home town (St Neots) the other day.
One of the great places along the south west tip of the Cornish penninsular is Porthleven. It gets brutally pummelled by high seas in wintertime as it faces straight at the Atlantic and there is nothing to stop the full forces of the winter storms hitting the village and storm watchers have recorded pictures of waves dwarfing and engulfing the church at the foot of the pier seen here in right of the image. I was here in early Nov last year and spent a day walking along the coast to Mullion before taking a couple of busses back to Porthleven where my car was parked. I arrived in the golden hour and had a chance to shoot some lovely warm images of the harbour, the coast and surfers just beyond the harbour wall. I hope you like them.