A short walk in Emsworth

It has been sometime since I’ve been out to specifically take photo’s for myself. Recently it has been either for the Portsmouth News or the Royal Navy Rugby Union.  And then there’s been the weather. Today the sun put in an appearance so I decided to drive a short distance from my home to Emsworth.  A lovely little town on the A27, the south side predominantly older buildings the main road leading down to, confusingly, Chichester harbour.

I decided to travel light so today I chose to use my first digital DSLR, a 2006 Nikon D200 with a 17-55mm f2.8 and 70-200mm f2.8 lens. Mounted with the battery grip, it is an excellent camera that produces a large quality file. Some of the images taken with it over the years have been enlarged to wall size and are now part of the decor at the Abar Bistro, Old Portsmouth.

With the strong sunlight and a good sky the location offered the chance to take some images featuring  graphical shapes and silhouettes.  With the tide also out I was able to walk along the foreshore  where there would be the potential for some texture, detail and debris images that only a low tide exposes. Sure enough the walk did not disappoint and numerous images presented themselves and were taken. Exposure is always a tricky thing in conditions such as this, strong sunlight and reflective surfaces; the sea and the dark shapes are not the easiest to expose for. For me, I meter off the back of my hand. I hold my hand up so the light source reflects off it and and take meter reading without casting a shadow with camera on my hand. My skin tone represents 18% grey which is what most camera meters are set to. Grass is another great 18% grey source. This will at the least get you in the exposure zone. 

However, as I was photographing a rainbow over Emsworth the mirror on the camera jammed in the up position and no matter what I tried it would not return home. I thought all was lost as the camera would not be worth repairing. I retreated to a pub for a pint and contemplated a replacement, probably the Nikon D850 and winder totalling some £2750. I finished my drink and returned home. I looked at the camera again and went through the menu and came across the ‘mirror up’ setting. Used for long exposures or when photographing skittish creatures. I operated the setting and the mirror returned to its correct position. Hopefully this was just a one off event.

I downloaded the images and imported them into Adobe Lightroom. My main piece of software that all my images go through for processing. Lightroom is extremely versatile and very useful for batch processing large numbers of images. If an image requires significant retouching or manipulation then in it is exported to Photoshop. The only other piece of software I use is Photo Mechanics. More on that in future blogs. I star rated the ones I wanted to work on, selected those and applied one of my presets to the images. This gave me a basis to work on each image. Using the dodge and burn tools to achieve the desired finish to image as well as some adjustments to colour and contrast were made. The images were then exported applying a watermark to them so I could share them across my social media platforms (links can be found to left at the bottom of the menu). Some the images can also be found in my shop on this website for sale.

I hope you found this all interesting. Feedback is appreciated. I will be publishing further articles about my work, process’s and opinions in the coming weeks.


Procrastination. We all do it. Delaying what you know you have to do or keep saying something and never carrying out that statement. I have notebook after notebook with my procrastination’s written down. List after list, saved Pinterest quote after quote encouraging me, reassuring me, encouraging to meet my goal, my potential. But so far zip.

I think the last time I said something and actually carried it out was when I decided to quit my job, go to university and learn more about photography. I believed I was already a photographer, I just didn’t know how to be one. Well that seems a long time ago.

Perhaps we put of things because we are comfortable and safe with our status quo. We don’t take that leap into the unknown because we will always survive whilst that safety net of security always exist’s.

I do not want to procrastinate any more. I will do more things. I will lose weight and get fitter. I will transfer those notebook possibilities, those words of encouragement into reality.

I will step out of the shadows, step away from the wall and be noticed. If I don’t, I only have my self to blame.

New website, new beginnings.

This is my fourth website since I began my career as a photographer. The first was an Apple iWeb with an inconceivably long domain name but you could sell images on it. You could use your own domain name but you lost certain functionality. Number two was good until someone hacked it to destruction.The third incarnation was great but I never felt in control of it. Now I have this site, a Format site. Hopefully, it will be my last. It seems to have everything I want from a website. A portfolio, the ability to add collections around a specific events, a password protected client page where I can share, licence and they can download my images. A blog and the usual about and contact page.

Through this site I hope to go onto bigger and better things with my photography, to push myself further and to work harder. In this blog, “Musings from a small room” I will occasionally tell you about my photographic jobs, day and life. My thoughts on photography, photographers, equipment and anybody or anything else I feel the need to get of my chest.

These blogs will not be masterful piece’s of literature, my grammar is really bad, but I hope it will convey how I feel about photography. The photographs, well, I let them speak for themselves. There’s a bit of me somewhere in them.

Using Format