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Weekly Photo Challenge – Threes

This week the Photo Challenge is all about a set of three photos that tell a story. Here is a link to the challenge – Daily Post Photo Challenge – Threes.

Late last year we went to a MINI event at Santa Pod Raceway in Northamptonshire, where a spot of drag racing and fast runs down the strip were going on. Here we have The Turbonator a Rocket powered Mini going down the strip. The first picture paints the scene – a broad shot showing the Mini on the start line firing up and getting ready, smoke bellowing from the engines!  Then we have it on its way and finally driving past. All great fun and lots of noise!

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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 – Brassai


Brassai. We went to Paris for a long weekend in 2003 and stayed in Montmartre. Photography was not the big hobby it is now for us both. However, nonetheless we climbed a lot of steps that weekend as we tried to reproduce Brassai’s famous photo of the steps of Montmartre – naturally we failed miserably but more than any other photo, it taught us the importance of strong blacks in a black and white image. Many regard Brassai as the father of Street photography.

“When you meet the man you see at once that he is equipped with no ordinary eyes,” comments writer Henry Miller on French photographer Brassai. And the sharpness of vision and depth of insight noted by Miller are revealed in Brassai’s lifelong photographic exploration of Paris—its people, places, and things. Brassai was a leading member of the French “school” of photography and he saw Paris as a subject of infinite grandeur, his photographs providing a sensitive and often extremely dramatic exploration of its people, its resplendent avenues, and endlessly intriguing byways. Brassai’s reputation was established with the publication of his first book, Paris de Nuit, now a modern classic. Some of the pictures in this book are sharply defined, brilliantly lit, while others capture the mistiness of rainy nights. Still others concentrate on the shadowy life of the underworld.

As Brassai created more and more pictures of Parisian life, his fame became international. His pictures of “Graffiti” (writings and drawings scribbled by countless individuals on the crumbling walls of buildings) were the subject of his one – man show at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Brassai has indicated something of his reason for making these pictures in the following statement: “the thing that is magnificent about photography is that it can produce images that incite emotion based on the subject matter alone.”

Brassai has said many useful things about photography; one of the most valuable is the following statement: “We should try, without creasing to tear ourselves constantly by leaving our subjects and even photography itself from time to time, in order that we may come back to them with reawakened zest, with the virginal eye. That is the most precious thing we can possess”. (Taken from


Ese’s Weekly Shoot & Quote Challenge – Empty

An empty Corner of Venice

Loving can cost a lot but not loving always costs more, and those who fear to love often find that want of love is an emptiness that robs the joy from life.

Merle Shain

Here is a Link To Ese’s fun Challenge –

Venice is jam pack full of tourists. I almost think its existence has been given over to tourism. And yet it is a city that thrives on it and embraces it. Venice absorbs the tourists and allows you still to enjoy it beauty and fascination. In truth it is quite easy to find a corner of Venice and hog it to your chest as your own piece of Venice devoid of all others. But Venice is a place you should go to with your lover. Not to do so and it will make you confront  your emptiness and loneliness that in normal life you can hide and disguise and avoid facing up to.



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Sources of Inspiration – Lee Miller

Miller in Mougins

Lee Miller is one of the first great photographers to catch our eye. We first saw her work at a Photography museum in Mougins near Cannes about 8 years ago. She was a great friend of Picasso and this photo, which we first saw in Mougins, was taken at Picasso’s house there. It was taken shortly after he had completed Guernica and in the photo are Paul Eluard and his wife Nusch (kissing), Man Ray w. girlfriend Ady, and Roland Penrose (Lee’s future husband) who is looking up. We found the photo fascinating, seeming to capture a kind of relaxed yet faintly decadent mood which for us, still today captures the mood of the south of France. An introduction to her from the National Portrait gallery inroduces her as follows. Lee Miller (1907-77) was one of the most extraordinary photographers of the 20th century. A legendary beauty and fashion model, Miller soon became an acclaimed photographer in her own right. Her relationships with Surrealist artist Man Ray and collector Roland Penrose placed her at the heart of 20th-century artistic and literary circles and, in a career spanning more than three decades, she came into contact with an astonishing range of people. Many of these became her friends and the subjects of her penetrating portraits, which include highly perceptive and sympathetic studies of Pablo Picasso, Max Ernst, Fred Astaire, Colette and Marlene Dietrich.

The image above  is copyrighted but here it is not used for commercial gain or profit and it is essential use, to demonstrate the skill of Lee Miller and the influence of her work – we believe therefore that this is fair use.


Weekly Photo Challenge – Treasure


This week the theme from The Daily Post for the Weekly Photo Challenge is Treasure. As soon as we saw the theme we knew what we were going to photograph – a couple of old money pouches rammed  with old coins and the odd gold sovereign. These have been in the family for years, it is our family treasure. Not worth a lot in monetary terms but priceless in sentimentality.

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

One For You, One For Me - Take Two

close crop

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