St Pancras Renaissance

For a friend’s birthday in the SUMMER (for goodness sake), we went on a history tour of the ‘new’ St Pancras Grand hotel. It opened a couple of years ago following an enormous and expensive refurbishment which took the building from severely neglected Victorian station hotel to one of the most high profile venues in London, and for good reason because it’s quite breathtaking. The tour, which may have been an unusual birthday gift for some but fits right in with my oldest friend (er, by which I mean we have known each other since we were 6, not that she is 102) and the kind of things we enjoy, was very interesting and gave us the chance to see inside a hotel that we could never afford to actually stay in without a lottery win. We also learnt a lot about carpets.

It has now been such an embarrassingly long time since this visit that I can offer no good explanation as to why my aperture values seem so off. Well, that’s a bit of a lie. It was really quite dark inside so I suspect I had tried to open up the aperture as much as possible. Fortunately, it didn’t seem to cause too many problems.

34mm, f/4.5, 1/12 sec, ISO 1600

34mm, f/4.5, 1/12 sec, ISO 1600

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Spectating at London 2012: Paralympics Closing Ceremony

My ticket for the London 2012 Paralympics Closing Ceremony may be the best £100 I’ve ever spent. I can’t really explain how good this night was. Good company, amazing performances, a feel of celebration and appropriate closure, and the best send-off to an incredible summer. If I can’t explain it in written form, I can come a little closer with photos.

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Spectating at London 2012

Still sticking with the Olympic theme for at least one more post, as well as GamesMaking, I was very lucky to see a few events too. I’d come through the very first ticket ballot with tickets for athletics, and then at a much later date decided it wasn’t every day that the Olympics came to town and bought some for the Paralympics closing ceremony.

These photos of the first trip to Olympic Park and the athletics are not particularly remarkable, but again are memories. I would have liked them to be better, but you try getting nice crisp shots of sporting action when you’re a mile up in the Olympic stadium with lots of very excited people. Who often had flags. Anyway, fair warning: there are a lot of photos under the cut…

300mm, 1/500 sec, f7.1, ISO 800

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Olympic GamesMaking photos

So, a mere 3 months later, I finally share with you some of my Olympic photos. This post is devoted to photos which will not stand out technically, or in many cases even visually. These are all taken on my iPhone 4S and represent photos as memories – to me, it doesn’t matter that they’re perhaps the wrong speed, too grainy, slightly blurred and/or wonky. Besides, I couldn’t exactly turn up ‘at work’ with my 60D and lenses, tripod, flash, filter system etc. etc. So I didn’t really have a choice in the matter. But this means there’s a honesty to these photos – although some were fractionally enhanced using Snapspeed or Instagram, I will confess – because I took them without thought to “photography” and with the thought of, “I want to remember this”.



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Instagram Collection #2

I felt it was time I broke up some of these posts with another blast of Instagram shots. Although I occassionally share some SLR photos through Instagram, these are all taken purely on the iPhone 4S. A couple have been run through a handy little app called Frametastic.
















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I have a confession. I am about to post a whole bunch of photos that I’m not that happy with. I’m not even sure why I’m not that happy with them; I think it’s because they’re just a bit… nothing-y. It’s also because I discovered that the Lightroom beta I was working with had expired, and before the full version I’d ordered had turned up, so I had to use the Photoshop CS6 beta’s Camera Raw, and it just felt all messy and unsatisfying. So frankly I was considering not bothering with a post at all, but then I thought that posting them may actually be quite productive when it comes to learning what to do better in the future, and also it’s been a while since I posted anything at all. So, here goes.

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Previous work

I may have mentioned some time ago now that although this blog has only just begun, I have been taking photos with an active interest in the process for a few years now – 8 years I believe, which I date to seeing a photo of misty mountains and deciding I had to know enough about how to capture such an image if I were ever to see it. What’s been posted here so far is more about using a new camera and rediscovering photography after a year of slight disinterest and less opportunity, and so I thought it might be nice to share some photos I’ve taken in the past.

From my bridge camera years

Notting Hill Carnival

Using the lovely Tamron 90mm macro lens on a Pentax *istDL

Ardnamurchan lighthouse, post-processed to add grain

Taken in Scotland, a photographer's mecca

One of my personal favourites

All this posing for photos is tough work for a cat

Bridge camera again, experimenting at work

70-300mm lenses mean I can try my hand at some sports photography

Post-processed with filters in Photoshop

I like an abstract angle

So there is a smattering of some of the photos I’ve been more proud of than others in the last 8 years. There are more to be found on my Flickr page (here) should you want to explore a little further, I may do another similar post in the future with some of my other favourites.