B359 – THE CANON MACRO LENS, WORTH IT?

So today I had more of a play with the Canon 100mm f/2.8 L series Macro Lens, its basically a lens that can magnify objects close up and give you a view of something that the human eye might not necessarily be able to see. Now the lens RRP is around £900 which for a Canon L series Lens isn’t really too bad, its like of a mid price lens and something that I think every photographer should at least have access too, its a great lens to have a play with and is the perfect lens to just pull out the camera bag one day and mix your photography game up abit

For this review I decided to do it as fair as possible, so I set up some lights and created a kind of mini studio, with a black bounce board and a magic arm to hold up the object. My plan was then to tether my laptop to the camera and after each shot go through the image and work out if I was happy with the point of focus. I wanted an object that had different textures and something that no matter how close you could get you would always discover more and more detail, my object of choice was trimmings off the plants out the front of the office.

My idea was to shoot with both a high ISO and also bring the ISO right down and use the shutter speed to control the light, and because I was using a Tripod I could now minimise camera shake. for those that don’t know the ISO is basically something that you make higher for low light conditions and decrease for well lite shots, my idea was to use a high ISO and a fast shutter speed to see how that effected the shot, and I definitely lost detail when close up and in full Macro mode, it made the shots a lot more “grainy” but once I lowered both the ISO and shutter speed, I noticed that my photos were a lot smoother and the level of detail had gone up ten fold. I was now capturing light in even the darkest areas of each photo but because I was shooting with an amazing lens, I could pull focus on the areas I wanted too and blur completely out areas I didn’t think added anything to the photo.

I also have to agree with canon that an aperture of 2.8 is probably right and thing lower and the depth of field would become way to shallow. At the same time I wouldn’t mind seeing what a 100mm macro would look like with an aperture of f1.8, I know that would be very shallow but that mixed with something like a medium format camera would mean you could see even more than the human eye. Anyone out there heard of a f1.8 100mm macro?

All in all this is a great and lens and something that really mixes up not just my photography game but photography in general. Its a lens that I would love to add permanently to my lens collection and something that I think will help me to improve the overall look of my future photos.

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– this is a photo I wanted to take and show the whole head of the leaf and show how the focal length handles a wider shot –
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– close up, Im pretty happy with this but if I had a higher megapixel camera I would definitely would have cropped in further –
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– shooting something thats been out in the rain means I get to see how the macro lens handles reflections and contrast, I really think this lens is worth £900! –
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– This was my set up for this shot, probably the most effort Ive ever put into shooting a leaf –
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B358 – MACRO PHOTOGRAPHY AND MY SHORT ATTENTION SPAN

Today on my lunch break I decided that instead of spending it on Instagram or youtube I would grab the 100mm Macro lens and have a bit of fun with it. At first I wasn’t really sure what I could take photos of and figured out the best place to start was probably outside and try to photograph something close up and looking a bit weathered, when I headed outside I found an old piece of rope and boom I had my first thing to try the lens out on.

I know that a lot of people use it when filming but I hadn’t really ever given it a go taking stills, its a great lens and one that I want to get to know better and just have a bit of fun with I think. Since I took my photos, Ive been sat on google having a look into what other people have done with it and now I know that I dramatically need to up my game, I feel that with Macro photography you need to be a perfectionist and thats something I tend not too be, my attention span isn’t that long. So tomorrow on my lunch break I might just set up an object or something and spend like an hour just trying to get the best possible shot and see what happens, maybe I need to photograph flowers or something small but with a lot of colour and detail because at the moment, im struggling with the focal length, so I think I need to think more about my set up and use the right kit to get the job done. It seems to be really REALLY shallow depth of field and that makes taking photos without a tripod hard because you hand can’t be properly steady. I might even go full on crazy and set up like a mini lighting / photo area somewhere and see how good I can actually get my macro photography and make tomorrows post my full review of the Canon 100mm Lens!

Ive seen some amazing stills online and definitely think I can match them if I can just make my attention span last longer than 15 minutes.

Heres my first round attempts, let me know what you think!

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– I can definitely get this shot more in focus –
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– to be honest Im pretty happy with this shot, its a lightbulb if you didn’t realise –
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– the old piece of rope I was talking about –

 

 

B343 – THINKING ABOUT THE NEXT BIG CHALLENGE…

Ahh Monday, the one day of the week where those extra 5 minutes of snoozing the alarm make all the difference, especially when you have a 7:20am call time but the good thing about a call time that early is that you get to see London empty and not full of people. this morning I got to walk through the famous Brough market and it was completely empty, not even someone selling fruit or veg, it was just me. I wish I had more time to explore and that I could of pulled out my camera and spent 5 minutes just taking photos but as I said earlier, those extra 5 minutes of snoozing that alarm aren’t something that can be given up lightly.

For my photos today, I really wanted to show you some more snaps from the beach the yesterday but as im expecting a very busy week, so Ill drip feed you guys photos over the next 5 days, I hope thats ok.

After work today the plan was to go to the gym and spend an hour working out instead of an extra hour on the sofa watching tv, I know that might sound like some kind of terrible idea but my reason behind this is simple, if I want to carry on working 12 to 15 hour days (thats including my time writing these blog posts) then I really should start looking after my body by staying in shape. One thing that has made that decision the right one was the fact that in my second week of gym Ive just managed to run 5km without having a pain in my leg from ligament tear 9 months ago. That 5km run was something I had been thinking about in the back of my head for the past two days and then today I got on that running machine and made it happen, I couldn’t be happier and now Ive done the hardest part, which is basically me telling my brain that I can do this and that I just need to take it slowly. when you have an injury like that, you kind of get these weird thoughts that you shouldnt do it and that your injury has come back. All I can say is learn to actually listen to your body and not just that part of your head that is kind of scared something will happen again.

Straight after the run which by the way took me 34 minutes to run 5km, I was thinking about that goal of running an ultra marathon and I know this is something that probably maybe shouldn’t happen for a good two years, it is something I’m going to start thinking about again. my plan is to go on Saturday and get a sports massage and then speak to the running coach about how I might be able to reach the goal of a 100 mile race. I suppose if nothing else, its something for me to work towards.

Sorry in advance both Amy and my parents.

Heres some snaps, I hope you like them.

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– norfolk beach, it literally goes on for miles –
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– bank tube station this morning before rush hour had started –
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– borough market, the best place for food in london, also where they filmed bridget jones and lock stock and two smoking barrels –

 

B339 – PEOPLE DEEP IN CONVERSATION

Firstly I just need to say that I have no idea how I’m going to get through the last 25 days of this photo blog challenge, about 100 days ago I was trying to think of a cool way to finish this, one idea I had was flying to somewhere like Mexico for the day or doing a big finale, but not my goal is just to complete 365 days. Days like today make that challenge harder than thats been for the past 339 days. I dont mean to go on about it but today has been especially hard because the whole day has been spent somewhere I cant photograph and then by the time I get home its 9:30pm. but I suppose thats there winners win right?

the past couple of days Ive been thinking of a new game plan, and ways that I can keep the photos creative and at a high standard, one idea Ive got is to make sure I take loads of photos on the weekend and then ration them out throughout the week. I know, thats not techincally three photos each day, but it still counts right? I think thats going to be my only way of getting through this without having to post terrible Iphone photos that lets be honest no one really wants to see.

If Ive learnt anything so far, it would have to be that I absolutely love photographing people and capturing moments between people mid conversation or if I can, while they day dream. So I think what ill do for todays photos is show you some other shots from Speakers corner, a place where people are deep in conversation with strangers about literally any topic.

I think this whole thing has become a group effort, if you keep reading the post and enjoying my photos. then maybe, just maybe we will come out the other side of this blog. right now Im scared that one day Ill just sleep for 60 hours non stop and miss few days. but until that day heres some cool photos of people deep in conversation.

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– I would love to know if this conversation was based around a Macdonalds coffee cup –
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– I dont think this man agrees with the statement made –
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– this guy was just happy with life –

B303 – THE IPHONE PHOTOS

This morning Im doing something I haven’t done since the last time I was working, Im bringing back the Iphone photos. for those of you who have really read the past 303 posts, what I do is take photos on my iphone and then store them up and when I haven’t really had the chance to take any photos that day, I just scroll through my phone and pull out some photo that I like. It kind of helps me keep the content up, and make sure that ive always got something to fall back on because days like yesterday when I literally just worked, came home and cooked a chilli, then by the time Ive sat down to eat anything its like 9pm at night and times just disappeared.

On my way to work in the mornings I have to walk under the A12, which is basically just like a mini motorway that runs through East London and out towards the M11. Well along this stretch of road is an old building that looks more like its been used for an illegal rave or something that anything else in the past few years. Literally the windows are smashed out and its covered in graffiti. I’ve been walking past this places for the week and every time I walk past it, I really wonder what its like inside. I know you should never go into old buildings and I would do it without the proper authorisation but I think everyone wonders what its like inside. So what I’ve done is just take some photos from the bridge that close to it and gives you a look in, I might try and find out who owns the building and see if theres anyway they can let me in for like 10 minutes.

My other photo today is of the stair case in the Tate Modern and is the kind of feature that if I could then I would 100% have in my future house, if you haven’t been to the Tate then definitely get over there, but maybe try and do it over two days, because one day is not where near enough time.

Anyway, heres my photos from today. Bon Appétit.

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– I really want to find out who owns this building and if they will let me in –
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– I bet the light leaks and shadows early in the morning look amazing –
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– I wonder if you can get this stair case made for a house? –

 

B229 – THIS FEELS WEIRD!

i don’t like the fact I cant post everyday, feels weird not sitting down in the evening or morning and posting a blog,  or even having a coffee and thinking about what i can post each day, its a good reason it get up each morning and not just do what everyone else does. its kind of my reason for doing something extra. 

Im kind of looking forward to my plane journey home and being able to sit on the plane for 12 hours with no distractions and just getting these posts up today and posted. today is when the work really ramps up and Im looking forward to getting that feeling of a live event. I think everyone who works in TV gets that feeling when a live event is about to start.

Its so fun being out here and just experiencing Shang hai, the people are really nice and if you don’t laugh at the Language barrier then it could be a problem, got a taxi to a bar last night bit of a problem the taxi driver just drove us around the block for 45 minutes before just dropping us back at the hotel reception. 

One thing that is on my list of things to buy is a portable power pack to charge my phone, I need to have a look into them and see what is the best one of buy. its so annoying when your phone dies and you have to plug it into a wall and leave it for 45 minutes. does this mean ive fallen todo the trap of being addicted to my phone?

The other thing that is worrying me is I don’t want to lose motivation to post these photos each day, I really don’t want to lose motivation and stop. Its hard not posting each day because then I fall further and further behind! Stick with it josh! only 130 something days to go!! Bust I suppose if I fly half way around the world to a location like this one below I shouldn’t be able to lose motivation!

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– THIS PLACE IS IN THE MIDDLE OF A CITY! THATS CRAZY –
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– THIS IS A COOL TREE HOUSE –
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– I CHINESSE SKY LIGHT, I WONT IF YOU CAN GET THIS IN BETHNAL GREEN –

B215 – PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES – AMERICA TO PARIS (KIND OF)

After getting home Saturday at like mid day from travelling back from Ludlow, Massachusetts , I decided that I would spend the rest of the day chilling out and not running around taking photos, but instead sit on the sofa and watch TV and then on Sunday think of something to post while waiting for the Eurostar. Its not that time and I’m sat on the train waiting for it to depart.

We are off to Paris for a few days and just going on a bit of an adventure, there is no better place to go that paris when its this time of year, I don’t think theres a person on this planet that doesn’t like Paris in the cold. that might sound strange but trust me its true.

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– the english weather welcoming us back to the UK, anit nothing like gray English cloud –
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– Up and out early this morning, who needs a Sunday lay in anyway? –
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– this was one of the pictures of a car I took ages ago in Chicago, I just wanted to follow the Planes, Trains and Auto Mobile theme –

My photos today are basically just of my transport this past 24 hours, Ive done planes, trains and automobiles (forgot to take photos of the cars Ive been in, that is really annoying now Ive thought of that), but I have been in a car so ill just have to post an old photo from when I was in a car.

Today isn’t going to be my best post as Ive just been getting back to normal, but now Ive got two days in Paris expect some good photos to come. I might even post four pictures tomorrow who knows. Im just looking forward to being back in Paris, we have a fair bit planned and our first stop apparently is going to be this Dior fashion thingy, I’m not too sure what it is but Amy seems excited.

At the moment I’m also trying to use the Eurostar Free wifi to get this post online and that is proving to add quite a bit of stress to my Sunday morning. Its slow Really slow, I hope someone out there can relate to my frustration right now.

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– the english weather welcoming us back to the UK, anit nothing like gray English cloud –
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– Up and out early this morning, who needs a Sunday lay in anyway? –
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– this was one of the pictures of a car I took ages ago in Chicago, I just wanted to follow the Planes, Trains and Auto Mobile theme –

B180 – 6 MONTHS LATER

right, its happened. Ive left my camera at a party last night so all the photos I took yesterday are at my mates house. meaning that not only have I woken up with a rough head but Ive got no pictures from yesterday and haven’t got my camera for today. the plan now is to scroll back through some old photos and have a little reminiscing.

We are now two days away from the 6 month mark and to be honest I’m pretty happy with how its gone, when I first set out on this I had a target of getting a thousand views a month for the first 6 months and I can now say that we have reach 6,497 views in the first half of this blog. the target has been smashed, so thank you.

this whole photo challenge is not the easiest thing in the world and is taking a lot of energy to post every day and write something but I cant believe how much its helped my writing, which I think has got better. 6 months ago my every day writing was terrible from spelling mistake in emails that shouldn’t have mistakes to writing instructions for other people that just didn’t make sense. Now I feel a lot more confident I’m what I write and feel like I can back it up. this whole thing has also helped me to understand more about camera’s, photography and lighting, I’m now thinking bigger and better and what to really push some ideas forward and get s**t done.

The photos I want to show today are from the first 50 days of this project. I’m not trying to show where Ive come from and to where I am now, because Im happy with the photos, I think if I was to look back at my photos and think what should I of done and what I didn’t do, then my brain would explode. The plan here is just to look back at some cool moments that otherwise would get lost in just the shear amount of content that i’m posting here. enjoy these photos.

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– trekking over to hampstead heath at night to find this view, after 3 hours of being lost in the pitch dark we managed to find the spot –
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– a different time when I went out at night to get this shot. I dont think theres a photogrpaher in london who hasn’t taken a photo of st pauls from this bridge –
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– on an adventure with amy in camden, amy hadnt been to camden before so went we along and done it properly, the stables, the zoo everything –
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– this was just after I found out about my leg and realised that I wouldn’t be able to run the ultra marathon in Switzerland, im still waiting for it to heal so I can run again. 146 days later and I still cant run, Im hoping that by the end of October ill be able to run short distances and slowly build up to the goal of completing an Ultra marathon –

 

 

 

B179 – THAT SCANDI TOUCH

Its 3:53am on Friday morning and I basically cant sleep so Ive decided I should just get up and have a productive Friday. this morning Ive got a bit of running around todo, i basically need to get a second passport for a visa I need and only have today to really get that done, so thats my first job of the day. after that its getting my life back on track before sailing into the weekend of some good old chin wags with my mates that I haven’t seen in a pretty long time.

But before then I want to talk about Air Canada Rouge, Im not sure if any of you have flown with this airline. If you have, then you know what im talking about, its pretty crazy. Ive just sat on a 8 hour flight, without a TV or ipad to keep my company. they ran out of Ipads. they idea is basically give out ipads of $10, which come with films and games, which in theory is a great idea, but the execution failed. I know they’re a budget long haul airline, which is perfect for saving a few bucks but so is Norwegian Air and they have smashed it. Norwegian Air are like the same price as Air Canada but they’re planes are clean, smooth and they have that scandi touch, which just makes it one of the best airlines I’ve flown on.

What they do, is give you cheap seats and a TV but you pay for your food and drink, that might sound like a bad idea but if you pay and order on your TV in front of you, if comes straight away, the air stewards are just all over it. where as Air Canada, they do the classic food trolley, I went for the chicken and only found out after the flight that it came with mash.

One thing I can say with pride was my idea to tape my phone to the seat in front of me which basically meant I had a TV, genius. so my top tip for Air Canada, take some duck tape with you on the fight just incase you need to tape your phone up to give you a TV or even if something falls off the plane you can duck tape it back together again. both are strong possibilities.

Norwegian Air have changed up the game and are the best cheap airline out there! hands down!

anyway thats just me forcing my opinion on you. heres my snaps from the journey home, it wouldn’t be complete without a snap from the plane window looking down on Toronto.

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– back in london and on Oxford cirucs –
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– the upgraded TV on Air Canada –
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– thats Toronto down there –

 

 

B165 – The Cool Side of Unknown America – photography project

So today was has been my best day so far, I had 146 views. so thank you to everyone who checked my post out.  which is putting me on target of getting 12,000 overall views for the whole year I’m doing this photo challange, which is probably annoying a lot of you with my posts each’ day. its the end of a long long shoot day in pretty hot temperatures here is St.louis missouri, and for once im pretty happy to be in the best western hotel room. anit nothing wrong with some cheap bed sheets and thin walls.

its days like this were I really cant think of any to write and the urge to fall asleep is taking over. the last 45 mintues has been spent editing photos ive quickly taken through out the day, i really cant complain becuase im pretty happy with them. my plan before I came out to america was to just take nice photos each day. but that plan has kind of changed, as im here working and meeting people that you wouldn’t meet everyday, I think my plan now is to show life in america away from the tourist routes, like New York, LA, Nashville and Florida. I want to try and get across what everyday america looks like, from the cool little houses, to the massive stretches of roads. All of that is important, it gives an under the cover look at america. for a country with so much personality and with the constant cool factor, it think I should concentrate on showing the cool side to unknown america. maybe thats what I will call this project within a porject. “THE COOL SIDE OF UNKNOWN AMERICA”. great brainstorming session guys, youve really helped me to nail this one. for the rest of my time in american, Im going to try and show you the cool side to this great and crazy country.

If this fails in 5 days time, im sorry. but heres my first snaps from this project inside a project.  I think for day one of cool unknown america, I should show where people live and the roads they use. this is never going to be political photos, just cool pictures from inside the bigger picture of america. I dont even know what im going to write about for the daily posts, but im sure we will figure it out. if you have anything you think I should include, please let me know.

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– the view from my room, this morning there was “loads of fog” they should see biggin hill in January! –
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– over here the car is king and more importantly the pick up truck is in charge, everyone uses the pick up truck –
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– the most american house I ever did see, it ever had a swinging chair on the porch –