PhotoBeast

The Photography Blog from Beastmaster.co.uk

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Blog A Pic – Midsummer Hill on The Malverns

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Last weekend we were walking on The Malvern Hills starting from Black Hill car park and shot some photographs of the bluebells there. This week – our third weekend on the trot walking the hills – we went to Midsummer Hill where an initial steep climb was rewarded with what in my view is the finest bluebell walk in the UK. It was simply beautiful up there and we have never seen so many bluebells before. The weather this year must have been perfect for them. We got up as if it was a school day, so 8 am saw us on the hills, in glorious sunshine and with lots of wildlife out and about. There was no-one else around and the birds were singing their hearts out, it was an exhilarating start to the day and we were very pleased with the photographs we shot. It was so lovely that we extended our walk to go around the other side of an old quarry before descending back to the car, so when we then headed to Malvern for a full English breakfast in The Foley Arms, we both felt that we had earned it. Lady P was especially please with a shot she grabbed which caught the sun beaming down through the trees.

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Blog A Pic – A Walk In The Malverns

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Good Friday saw a lovely bright sun in the sky, so after a lazy morning and a sausage butty, we headed out for a smallish walk. One of our favourite walks when we don’t want something too strenuous is to head for the pond at Golden Valley in Castle Morton and do a two and a half mile walk which is a loop heading southish to the road, turning right to the hills and right again just in front of the hills and back across the common to the pond. It is a lovely walk, not steep and overflowing with beautiful scenery. Check out the cluster of orange trees in the photo above. Sheep wander freely across the common and it is a joy to walk amongst them. Finally check out the new home that has emerged phoenix like from the ashes of the old farmhouse that was there but burned down. I would love that house!

We had a camera each, The X-M1 and the X-E1, one armed with the 18-55 zoom lens and the other with the gorgeous 35mm 1.4 prime lens. Between us we feel we have captured a little of the beauty and warmth that is the Malvern Hills landscape.


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Portraits – Cross Processed

Urban sickness half strength filter

I have added Perfect 8 to my list of Plug Ins on Aperture and i am rather pleased with it. A Google Nik alternative perhaps, as it applies lots of filters which you can then tweak to your taste. I think my current fad is to get a filmy look to my photos – almost as if they are stills lifted from a film. I guess as a phase it will pass – a bit like when you first discover HDR and you HDR everything to death – but for now I am happy to play and this look in my mind goes hand in hand with the ethos of the Fuji X series of cameras, so it is all good. Mostly candid but with a bit of subject participation thrown in – well if it is good enough for Brassai, then it is good enough for me. Continue reading


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Sources Of Inspiration – Camera Club Photo Tips – Crop and Crop Again

One For You, One For Me - Take Two

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I think I heard this tip at our local camera club, “Crop and Crop again.”  I think it is a tip worth bearing in mind. On the Fuji X-E1, I shoot raw plus jpeg. I like this because I have all the raw data, but it allows me to do a first crop in camera, i.e. I often select a square crop in camera. This gives me the full 3:2 image in raw and a square cropped Jpeg. Then in post processing, I have cropped again. I think it works in the example above as I like the bottles filling the image. Continue reading

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Blog A Pic – Fuji X-E1 and the 35mm lens. Wedding Reportage

Last weekend we were guests at a friend’s beautiful wedding. The story of the day can be found on our Life Blog here. However, I wanted to say a few words from the photographic perspective on playing with the Fuji combination of the X-E1 and the 35 mm lens. Continue reading

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