Leith Hill

It’s been a while, but I figured it was about time I took my camera for a spin. I went for a walk along Colley Hill in Surrey, a ridge running just alongside the M25, and I snapped this telephoto image of the sun about to set over Leith HIll. Both hills are part of the Surrey Hills, a collection of hills and ridges running across the middle of the county. My morning commute runs right through this landscape, and in places it looks surprisingly dramatic, given where this all is. I reckon there are some spectacular shots to be had from here, perhaps looking out over Surrey on a misty morning.

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Seoul

Hello one and all! Wow, it’s been a while. I’ve been too busy making lasers to take photos. So it is with some irony that a business trip took me to Seoul to install a laser, and I snapped this.

This shot is from the Namsan Tower, a big viewing tower sitting on top of a mountain in the middle of Seoul. There is a cable car to get up the mountain, and a viewing platform at the top of the tower. It seems that taking pictures from a viewing platform is hard (dirty glass in the way, lights reflecting off the glass, nowhere to rest the camera) but what an amazing view!

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Paris

Just a few photos from Paris. We had freezing cold, grey skies and snow, so it wasn’t the best conditions for taking photos. Still, I think these ones turned out ok!

Selsey and Bognor Regis

Here are a few photos I took at a weekend on the South coast. I was particularly pleased with the one in the sandstorm. My lens took a battering as a bit of sand got lodged under the zoom ring, but if you worry too much about damaging your kit then you’ll never get any good photos!

Fishing lake by street lights

While I was fishing at the weekend I took this shot of the lake after sunset. It was quite cloudy, so there was little natural light around, and only the faint orange glow of the street lights from Swindon. There was hardly any colour to the naked eye, but a long exposure reveals just how orange the sky was.

More long exposure

Here’s another one with the 10 stop filter. This is one of the groynes on Brighton beach. It’s quite a cliché, but I had to have a go.

The filter was very much overkill for this type of shot, since you really only want to open for a few seconds if you want to record the motion of the water. This meant I had to bump up the ISO a little and open the aperture. Still, it worked!

Empty London

Today I tested out my new B+W 10-stop ND filter. Yeah that’s right, 10 stops! That means it damps the light intensity by 1000x, so a 1/100 second exposure becomes 10 seconds. Actually, mine is more like 11 stops, which is a 2000x filter. What this does is it lets you blur out anything that moves – clouds, water, cars, people, whatever. You can use this just like a bokeh effect to isolate the subject matter, or at least that’s the idea!

My plan was to shoot some of the busiest tourist spots in London, using 30 second exposures to get rid of all the people and stuff. It didn’t work quite as well as I had hoped – people tend to stand still as well (I basically need exposures that are long compared to the amount of time a tourist spends sitting down, which means I need to get another filter and start stacking these guys). Still, I quite like the results. I’m sure there is something really awesome I could do with this filter, I just can’t quite figure out what it is yet.

I really like the shot of Westminster Palace with the sky and river blurred. It looks completely different from the shot I took without the filter. It lacks contrast though, and I can only guess that’s because I shot towards the sun with a piece of glass in front of the lens.