Finally up and running on Facebook

Quick update

It’s been a long time coming, but you can now also follow JustGreatShots on Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/justgreatshots

If you already following us, then you will already know that we are photographers who hope you like what you see, and learn from what we post.

2015 was the begining for JustGreatShots, so it’s been little slow getting things off the ground. But we are now hoping to update and publish more to both our main site and through Facebook.

If you like what you see then join us in 2016 for what we hope is going to be a great year for learning more and more about photography.

 

 

 

 

Increasing that ISO range

Out with the Camera

Ok, January / February’s weather in the Uk can be very hit and miss, with anything from heavy rain, high winds and sometimes even snow. Well, this year so far has been different from previous years apart from one thing, and that’s me trying my hardest to get out more with my camera.

So with camera kit all packed and strong winds forecast to be hitting the UK, I headed off down to Hayling Island to try and capture the waves hitting the beach front. However, instead, I found myself taking photographs of something I’ve never tried until now, that something was kite and windsurfing.

Play Time

90mm, ISO 800, 1/8000 sec at f/7.1

Trying to capture these guys crashing through the waves was great fun. I found myself learning more and more about increasing ISO settings to therefore increasing shutter speeds. By increasing the ISO, you also start to increase digital noise, but where the sky is overcast and grey this isn’t an issue.

Surfing the Waves

90mm, ISO 500, 1/6400 sec at f/9.0

Both of the above images as you can see, where both taken with a low ISO rating. However for someone who normally just uses ISO 64 – 100 this for me was a learning curve, and I started to put into practice what I’ve learned about the exposure triangle.

Up And Away -320

200mm, ISO 1000, 1/8000 sec at f/9.0

The remaining part of the day saw me starting to play with ISO settings up into the 1000+ range, trying to capture that sharp action shot.

Standing Strong

78mm, ISO 800, 1/8000 sec at f/7.1

Before heading off home for a nice hot drink, and an evening of photo editing to see what I had managed to capture.

I will be going back and trying these style of photography again due to being great fun and it really helps me learn more.

 

Still Thinking about going Pro

Quick update, Uncategorized

As an amateur photographer at what point do you start thinking to yourself could I quit my day to day job and make a living out of taking photos and going Pro?, and if I did would I still enjoy it and could I cover the bills I need to pay!

Well as an amateur photographer learning more and more with every photo I take, these are the questions I ask myself on a daily bases.

(Q) if it went Pro and tried to make a living out of taking photos would I make it..?

(A) At this moment in time, I don’t think so..!

(Q) What if I didn’t make it, how would I cover my day to day bills..?

(A) I could loss everything..!

Only a couple of questions I know, but these are the two biggest questions that I think stop most amateur photographers taking that next step to going Pro. I for one look at Pro Photographers photos and say to myself I don’t think so, and there is no way I could ever take a photo that looks that amazing. But here is the true question, at what point do you stop asking yourself these two question and go from being an amateur photographer to becoming a Pro?

 

 

 

Shooting after Dark

Out with the Camera

So with the dark winter evenings upon us, trying to capture landscape photography can be fun when it comes to looking through that viewfinder or seeing details on your screen display due to the sky being dark and overcast this time of year. With the lack of light in the mornings or after 4pm in the evenings (UK time) you ask yourself why not just stay indoors with my camera and wait for spring.

Well here’s why!

Heath Lake after Dark

Heath Lake after Dark

I for one am still new to photography and after seeing other peoples images of Nightscape photography, I decided to get out during the evenings and try-out taking photos in the dark. The above image was taken between the hours of the only 7pm – 8pm so not that late and using the Bulb setting on my Nikon D7000 took approximately 12 minutes to capture.

So was it easy? No without a torch I couldn’t see a bloody thing (so lesson one learned, always take a torch) looking across the lake all I could see where lights from the houses on the other side of the lake, the sky and the trees were just a dark outline. Looking through the viewfinder or on-screen display seemed to view and pick up even less than what my eyes had adjusted too, this made setting up the composition and depth of field great fun NOT!

However after finally setting up my camera to what I was hoping would look ok, I took to take my first shot, 5min exposure just came out pitch black so I increased to 10 minutes etc, and finally, I managed to capture the above image.

Next trip out saw me setting up my camera a little better, and taking my first shot using an exposure time starting at 20 minutes using an ISO setting of 100 with a f/14 – 16 stop, different location this time with cloud and skies not so good, but still happy with the final outcome in the end

ISO 100, f/16, 25min (bulb)

ISO 100, f/16, 25min (bulb)

So go on, get outside with your camera in the evenings. Yes, people will look at you as if you are strange, and yes getting the image you picture within your own head is not going to be easy. However what you learn and the skills you gain will pay off in the end

 

 

 

 

Silverstone MotoGP 2015

Out with the Camera

This year has seen me purchase a new Suzuki GSX-R 750 and because of that, to my surprise, I received two complimentary tickets to this years British MotoGP at Silverstone Motor Circuit Circuit. What a result I thought, get to watch the MotoGP live once again at Silverstone and also get to try out my new TE-20E II 2x teleconverter and AF-S 70-200mm 2.8G Lens.

Saturday’s free practice saw bright sunshine so using my new TE-20E II at f/5.8 was easy, as the light aloud quick sharp shots whilst planning to be taken up close at 600mm due to teleconverter and crop factor on my Nikon D7000.

No: 25, Maverick Vinales

No: 25, Maverick Vinales

The Sunday, however, due to the grey skies and rain I decided to remove my TE-20E II teleconverter to allow my 70-200mm Lens to work at its full f/2.8 range, this did mean my zoom range drop to 300mm but at the same time increasing my F/Stops from f5/.8 to F2.8 and therefore allowing me to remaining capturing sharp images without having to increase my ISO to maintain the required shutter speed as these bikes go flying past at over 100Mph

Scott Redding

No:45, Scott Redding

Despite the weather on Sunday, this year MotoGP at Silverstone saw Valentino Rossi win his first ever British MotoGP race, and it also saw Danny Kent become the first British rider to win in a MotoGP class since the great Barry Sheen so all in all an amazing weekend

No:46, Valentino Rossi

No:46, Valentino Rossi

Big Well Done to No:52 Danny Kent

Winner Danny Kent

Winner NO:52 Danny Kent

 

 

Mercedes AMG Petronas on track at Goodwood Festival of Speed

Out with the Camera

For those F1 fans how visited this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed looking forward to seeing F1 cars and drivers, they where entertained by the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 car and other F1 cars screaming up Goodwood hill

AMG EPSON

Mercedes AMG PETRONAS

Me, I still love my MotoGP and the bikes, and as an ex-support engineer at Mclaren F1, I have to say these F1 cars look and sound amazing 😉

 

 

 

Jaguar on track at Goodwood Festival of Speed

Out with the Camera

This year’s Festival of Speed event at Goodwood also saw Jaguar offering the public a chance of a lifetime to feel amazed or sick, which one would depend on the person in question lol!!

Jaguar 360 burning Rubber

Jaguar 360 burning Rubber

Members of the public lined up at the Jaguar stand waiting for the chance to be taken for an amazing 360 and drift experience, which saw pro drivers amazing the public and showing how these cars can be driven. When driven by the right type of driver, and when driven in the right location (on a track, please don’t try this on the road)

Safety car, yeh right lol!!!

Safety car, yeh right lol!!!

Jaguar standard looked amazing, and the drifting and 360 experience went down a storm

 

 

Valentino Rossi, Visits Goodwood Festival of Speed

Out with the Camera

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..

Valentino Rossi

Valentino Rossi

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)

Valentino Rossi, VR46

Valentino Rossi, VR46

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…

Will never forget this moment…

 

 

Converting to Black & White

Out with the Camera

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.

Before cropping and converting to B&W

Before cropping and converting to B&W

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..

After Cropping and Converting to B&W within Lr

After Cropping and Converting to B&W within Lr

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,

Converted to B&W using Lightroom

Converted to B&W using Lightroom

well maybe not but when the skies are grey why not try converting your images to Black & White and see what happens

Summers Evening

Out with the Camera

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 😉

ISO 100, 14mm, 1/25 sec, f/5.6

ISO 100, 14mm, 1/25 sec, f/5.6

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..

ISO 100, 14mm, 1/20 sec, f/18

ISO 100, 14mm, 1/20 sec, f/18

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.