This year’s Festival of Speed event for me has to have been the best one yet, I’m just one of the many members of staff at Goodwood who help to build and host the Festival of Speed event, which brings in members of the public from all over the world. The event which runs over three days and pulls in approximately 180,000 people, all turning up to watch fast cars and fast motorbikes take on Goodwood famous hill climb.
So as a member of staff why was this year’s event so special to me? well as a major fan of MotoGP and a big supporter of the Yamaha Team how happy was I to find out the 9 times MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi would be attending this year’s event on Sunday..
The weekend’s event went well for everyone, but for me on the Saturday things just got better when I was stopped by a member of Rossi’s pit crew asking me for assistance to help find and provide a rope barrier which could help protect the 60th Anniversary M1 which was still yet to be uncovered on Sunday and then ridden by Rossi up Goodwood’s Hill climb.. So after being asked I set about looking around and soon was able to provide the required barriers as requested, and the team were even more surprised when they found out the barriers ribbon was Yamaha Blue (result)
The time arrived on Sunday when Rossi took to Goodwood’s famous hill climb and then to everyone surprise road his Yamaha YZR-M1 up towards Goodwood House and then straight into the main front hall to be greeted by Lord March.
With Rossi’s hill climb ride over I headed over towards the Yamaha stand to take a closer look at Rossi’s YZR-M1 in the 60th Anniversary colour scheme, on arriving at the stand the crowd of Rossi fans was already 6 rows thick so I turned around went to walk away, it was at this point I spotted a member of Rossi’s pit crew waving at me! I was invited onto the Yamaha stand and shown around Rossi’s YZR-M1 whilst being told all about it and shaking hands with Rossi’s main pit crew team.. why I asked did you invite me onto the stand? the reply because of the help you gave us on Saturday…
With today’s skies being somewhat overcast and grey, I’ve spent my afternoon having a lovely walk through the woods with our dog Bailey and my Nikon D7000 just clicking away practicing and trying to improve my skills at Landscape Photography. Ok, you may ask yourself why is this post called Converting to Black & White, well its all to do with adding that little bit of mystery to a photograph after it was downloaded.
The photo above was shot in NEF (RAW) using my D7000, but once download I wasn’t happy with the results so I went about playing within Lightroom (Lr) and converting the image to Black & White to see if I could improve my shot whilst also adding a little bit of life into the photograph..
By converting this photography into B&W and cropping in a little, I think I’ve managed to add just a little more feeling and depth into this photo, and hopefully, by doing the same to the below photographs I’ve added just a little hint of spookiness,
well maybe not but when the skies are grey why not try converting your images to Black & White and see what happens
So with the British summer finally arriving (well nearly) it’s time for those lovely evening walks round Heath Lake in Petersfield just chilling out and taking photos. So with my D7000 set to Manual Mode, I started out taking shots and trying to practice using my Cokin ND and GD filter sets. Which I’m slowly getting the hang of, however still need more practice 😉
The above photograph was taken free hand and not using a tripod due to the brightness of the sky and my current set of ND & GD filters not being that Dark, however looking at the above photo closely the use of a tripod would have made this photograph much sharper along with setting my D7000 between f/9 – f/14 so lesson learnt for next time..
Continuing our walk around the lake we watch the clouds go by and the sun start to think about setting, with the camera still in hand but this time shooting towards the remaining sunlight I was able to capture the above photography which made a lovely way to end our evening walk.
So after my attempt at taking photographs at a total strangers Wedding, this time I got to take photographs at my sister-in-law’s Wedding. To be open and truthful I found this so much easier as the guest and the family all knew who I was lol!!
With the camera set to Manual Mode and ISO Sensitivity setting set to ON (minimum ISO 100 Maximum ISO 3200, I set about trying to capture images from inside the church, getting the white balance correct was a challenge as an amateur but managed it towards the end.
Switching the white balance between Day Light and Fluorescent Light I managed to capture a range of nice photography both inside and outside, however by setting my Nikon D7000 to shot in NEF (RAW) it did allow me to edit and improve the photos when I forgot to switch between the two white balance settings 😉
A great trick I also learned, is that converting Wedding Photographs to Black & White works really really well, it adds style to the photograph whilst also helping to hide those silly mistakes you make as an amateur photographer with still so much to learn.
It started out as just when of then days when you get called into work to fix an issue, but this time the caller said make sure you bring your camera?
That’s was a very strange way to finishes a phone which started with I need your help to fix my computer, so with camera gear packed and on idea what IT issue I was turning up at work for on a Saturday I arrived to see these amazing vintage racing cars on track
So IT issues all fixed, I sat down by the side of the motor circuit and set my Nikon D7000 onto Shutter Priority Mode, using our new 70 – 200mm 2.8 VR lens I practised capturing these vintage motor cars racing around the circuit.
By using Shutter Priority to capture these type of shots, you control the speed the image is taken whilst allow the camera to control the required Aperture setting. This allows you to add blur when required or capture a clear sharp image.
Really how hard can Wedding Photography truly be! we’ve all been to a wedding before as a guest and taken our camera’s along. However, let me tell you when you turn up to a Wedding with a camera and nobody knows who you are. Puts a totally different spin on things when I come to pointing a camera at someone. A friend of my wives was getting married, so I asked my wife would your friend mind if I popped along and tried to photograph her wedding. My wife cleared it with her friend so I pop along with my Nikon D7000 fitted with a 70 – 200mm f/2.8 lens, on arriving at the church I quickly spotted the Pro Wedding Photographers and out of politeness I told them who I was and what I would be doing. Well as you can guess this didn’t go do that well to start with, and I was soon told I better stay out of their way Ok that’s fine I replied and so I went about setting up my camera and taking shots. It’s was at this point things started to feel very strange, as I soon noticed that the family and friends of the bride and groom started to look at me and asking the question and even looked away when I tried to take their photo. This must be the point at a Wedding when being the Official Wedding Photographer truly comes into play, and allows them to capture those amazing Wedding Photographs. By just sitting and watching how they both worked I soon learned the reasons behind how they capture the Wedding Day and what makes a Good Wedding Photographer. Wedding Photographers seem to play a major key role on the day, as they take over managing the time schedule and controlling where the wedding guests will be before the Bride arrives at the Church. And it’s this skill that places them in a very strong position when it comes to capturing photographs that family and friends just are unable to get. Guests arriving at a wedding don’t want to spoil the Bride and Grooms day, so they are more than happy to do what they’re asked by the Wedding Photographer, whilst also happily allowing their photographs to be staged and then taken. To be a really Good Wedding Photography you must therefore also be very good at people management, and time management because these two key skills play a major part alongside knowing how to use a Camera. I’m happy to say I left them to it and went about trying to blend in and continue practicing how to Photograph this special occasion. Congratulation to the Bride and Groom, and thank you
As you start learning more about Photography and your images start getting much sharper, you might start asking yourself are my photographs good enough to think about going Pro and making a living.
So with this in mind, I Asked a Pro wedding photographer today the following,
(Q) So what would I need to do, if I wanted to get into Photography for a living?
(A) Not someone else with a bloody digital camera who thinks they know what they’re doing, I’ve been in the Wedding Photography game for years and it’s not that easy you know!!!!
(R) Well, that’s nice for you, thanks for the tips!!!!
Taking photographs as an amateur is a hobby for a lot of people around the world, and as I got told today the world is already full of people who think their Professional Photographer’s
So I now find myself thinking, What makes someone a Professional Photographer apart from the fact they charge people for their work, and why would anyone want to work the hours involved in capturing that money shot and spending hours in front of a screen editing the image to make it even better.
Well, as an amateur photographer, and the host of this new JustGreatShots website I for one would love to spend one day in the life of a Professional Photographer, Just to learn what makes there work so eye-catching above the rest.
HMS Victory located within Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard.
The Victory was built back in 1860 and due to the age of the ship and the artifacts onboard, you are NOT allowed to take flash photography. This restriction on using flash, therefore, made this trip the best time to practice using my D7000 with the following setting enabled, Auto ISO turned On and set ISO 100 – 3200 with a minimum Shutter Speed of 1/15 sec. You can set the ISO level to your cameras maximum ISO, however, this will increase the digital noise within the image which you don’t really want.
Thanks to using Auto ISO on my D7000 and by slight also increasing the exposure level by +1.3 I was able to capture the above image in very poor lighting conditions without the need of a Tripod.
With Auto ISO enabled, once back outside I didn’t need to worry much about the overcast weather, as once again Auto ISO allowed the camera to increase the ISO level when needed, as the above image shows
Using and setting up Auto ISO on a Nikon camera is easy it’s not cheating, it’s a great camera function for when shooting in poor lighting when a flash gun isn’t allowed to be used, but you want to capture that action
What you waiting for, find the Auto ISO setting on your camera and give it a try.
The evening skies are blue and the countryside has broken into colour, so it’s a great time to get out and practice using Aperture Priority and different ISO settings to capture the colours of spring.
The above photo was taken whilst driving home from work using my Nikon D7000 set to Aperture Priority. However, this image was also taken with my camera set to a function called Auto ISO. This camera function allows you to set a minimum and maximum ISO and Shutter Speed setting on your camera.
With Auto ISO set, your camera will Automatically increase or decrease the ISO and Speed levels you have selected if need and therefore helping you capture the image using the best exposure levels.