Sunday, 19 September 2010

Retouching a World War 1 Photograph

So yesterday I almost finished retouching a World War 1 photograph my grandmother showed me a while back of her father (my great grandfather). He is stood behind the man who is sat far right on the floor.

Click the thumbnails for larger images.

Here is the original as it was:

And here is the retouched effort, it's not done yet, but very close.

Saturday, 18 September 2010


Shortbread was on todays menu in our kitchen, following a 'simple' BBC Recipe.

125g/4oz butter
55g/2oz caster sugar
180g/6oz plain flour

I used these exact ingredients, and followed the recipe to the T, but sadly the shortbread came out bland, nowhere near as sweet as expected.

I can only imagine that either their recipe is wrong, needing more sugar/butter, or that I used the wrong butter type (Light Utterly Butterly).

Anyway, as always some photographic practice ensued..

Click thumbnails for larger images.

Till next time.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Hummingbird Bakery Brownies

Today I made a valiant second attempt at baking the Hummingbird Bakery Brownies, clinging onto the hope that nothing will go wrong this time.

I was very close, the actual brownie itself turned out lovely, apart from an odd light brown crust on top, which wasn't there in the photograph of 'their brownies', I can only assume the heat was too high, even though it was at 170 degrees, which according to the recipe was correct.

Taste wise, 8/10, I prefer them a bit more fudgie, but I'm definitely getting there.

Click thumbnails for larger images.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Paris Je T'aime

Over the last three days myself and the lovely Miss Lawson became enravelled in the mystical beauty of a city that is Paris.

We visited La Tour Eiffel, Sacre Coeur, La Louvre, Jardin du Tuileries et Luxembourg, Cimetiere du Pere Lachaise (Oscar Wilde's grave), Notre Dame, Arc De Triomphe et la Champs Elysee all in 2 days! Not bad! We were knackered though!

It's hard to pick the best visit, but Laduree on the Champs Elysee was fantastic, a lovely vintage shop that sells world famous Macaroons (which are to die for), we of course, visited twice. Shakespeare and Company was also a highlight, featured in the movie 'Julie and Julia' this shop is a key stone to the artistically minded, the book worms and the tourists of Paris. Read a great review of it here.

I have painstakingly sat and chose the best 6 images for this blog post..

Click thumbnails for larger images.

.. but I just couldn't not show the rest of my favourites, so check them out here on my flickr album, HERE.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Bathroom Darkroom?

I have a ton of Black and White 35mm and 120 film sat on my side, I never get around to actually getting it processed in town, mainly because of how long it takes and the cost. So, I have decided that I will try and make my pitch black bathroom into a part time darkroom.

It might be a bit of an effort and I do have a perfectly sized cupboard room that would allow for a perfect dark room, but it's our only large storage area and is full of boxes etc.

What a potential bathroom darkroom would look like (Click for larger image);

There is a certain magic about film photography that just isn't emulated when doing digital photography. Whether it's the mystery of what's on the film, or the vintage/nostalgia feeling I'm not sure, but it can't be beaten, it's an art within itself.

I remember my early university days, I would wake up at 5am to catch a bus to the University for 7.30am (you have to get there early for the room), get into the dark room and not come out again until 6pm, at which point, in Winter, it was dark again outside. I was like a vampire, never seeing the light of day, but how I loved it, if it wasn't for the price, and the fact I was given a delightful Nikon D200 the same year, I'd have spent more of my remaining years in the dark room.

Box Brownie

Today, I thought I'd showcase my Six-20 Brownie'D camera. An original 1946 Box Brownie bought for me by my girlfriend from an Oxfam for only £5, bargain!

I am going to make an attempt to get it fully working in this modern day by un-spooling a modern 120 film onto the vintage spool already in the camera, my only worry is that I won't get the old spool back from the processor.

I also have a No 2 Folding Brownie (from 1916).

Click thumbnails for larger images.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Etsy Shop

I have decided that I will soon be selling prints of my current back catalogue and future photographs, for now I have set up an 'Etsy' shop selling digital copies of some of my shots, with the print option becoming available at a later date. (When I have sourced a decent printer in Glasgow/or get my own A3 Printer.)

My first image for sale, at $10

La Maison

Today I took some pictures for my girlfriends blog, of a new quilt she had finished making.

Take a look!

Click thumbnails for larger images.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Gâteau de Noix de Coco et Brownies au Chocolat..

Today, I had two rather delicious, sweet darlings pose for me on my kitchen work top.

I am of course reffering to the esquisite homemade brownies, and coconut cake baked in 'La Cuisine de Lister/Lawson'.

The first, was made by my fair hands, using a recipe found in the delightful 'Hummingbird Bakery' cookbook.

The second, a scrumptious Coconut cake, was baked by my lovely girlfriend who's blog can be found here.

Once again, the 50mm, f1.8 was used for these shots, I really feel it gives them a more professional, sleeker look than using my 18-55mm.

As always, click thumbnails for larger images.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Truffles and Eggs

Truffles and Eggs? Not mixed together old boy.

Rather, actually two purchases from Waitrose in Glasgow, Dutchy's Original Organic Eggs, and Monty Bojangles Cocoa Dusted Truffles. I felt they'd make interesting photographs, and once again using natural light, I thought I'd make more attempts to practice some 'home' food photography.

Equipment used, Nikon D200, 50mm f1.8 lens and natural light via the kitchen window.

(Click Thumbnail for larger image).

Monday, 30 August 2010

Boule Bread

Today I bought a 'Boule' bread from Waitrose, I felt it was worthy of a photographic effort.

(Click thumbnail for large image)

Not my best attempt, but I shot it a bit late in the day, using what little natural light there was, along with the faint reflection of the indoor light coming from the living room.

I shall try again in the daytime, when there is more natural, this one has too much of a artificial light overcast on the right handside. Composition wise, I'm happy with the shot though, using my 50mm f1.8 to get a nice focusing effect.

I also bought some confectionaries, again, I tried using the fading natural light available from the outside window, which didn't go perfectly, same as above, I'll reshoot in bright daylight, earlier in the day.

(Click thumbnail for large image)

Sunday, 29 August 2010


Carrying on with my Food Photography project, today I made Meatballs, and decided to photograph some parts of the process. These were the two best shots, in my opinion. I do feel the 50mm f1.8 helps alot when shooting food photographs, the fully open aperture gives the images a very artistic feel to them, and gives plenty of room for some lovely composed shots, allowing in plenty of light for a lower ISO, as well as crystal clear sharp images.

Click thumbnails for larger resolution images.

I've also found out that Heart Buchanan, a lovely quirky delicatessen on Byres Road does some cookery classes, that I am thinking of attending with my girlfriend, I'd also hope to photograph a session as well as cooking one.

(Above Photograph of the store by 'Carolannpeacock' on flickr)

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Shorpy - Historic Photograph Archive

Today, whilst searching for a 'Newsboy' hat to purchase, I found a rather interesting website named Shorpy. A blog style site, filled with a constant stream of updates including images from the past, mainly America late 19th Century up until the 1970's.

What I couldn't believe was the level of detail, cleanliness and overall sharpness of the images, especially the late 19th Century ones, usually you find that images from this period are not well looked after and aren't available online in such high resolution.

So if you are looking for a very detailed window into the past, look no further than Shorpy. I myself have two cameras that were used to take similar images, The Kodak Folding Brownie (I and II), I do plan to respool some 120 film for use with the Brownie (as noted here) to see what the early 20th Century camera's take on the modern world is.

My favourite find so far (below), click image for larger resolution.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Street Photography in Paris

Recently I came across an fantastically inspirational blog by Yanidel, a street photographer living in Paris. Armed with a Leica M9 (drool) he valiantly, but silently, embraces the Parisian community. His images simple and beautiful. The exposure, quality and lighting is something to behold, and his yet to be copied post processing is magical.

Have a look yourself;

My favourite of his photographs:

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Glasgow, December 2009

I just thought I'd upload some images I took when I first moved to Glasgow last winter, which coincidentally happened to be the coldest winter on record for quite a while in Glasgow, which ment snow, and plenty of it!

I woke up early on a Sunday morning, and decided that with it being the first snow I'd seen since visiting the Alps a few years previous, that I'd make the most of it, and trek out, snapping away at will.

It was eerily quiet. Have you ever been out in the snow, where the dense thick clouds, and lack of people makes it seem as if you are walking anxiously through a set for a christmas version of 28 days later, expecting something to jump out at some point?

I've never seen Glasgow so quiet, especially the West End.

Here is hoping for more snow this December.

Click thumbnails for larger images.

Monday, 23 August 2010

A photo I took in 2009

This is a photograph I took in 2009, December I think.

I didn't post it at the time as I had no internet, I forgot about it actually. Just playing around with candle light, I thought it made a nice composition.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

The Reader

I thought I'd play around with some objects from around the flat and create a naturally lit image on the living room floor. I'm currently in the middle of reading 'The Reader', and I really liked the image on the front of the book, so I made an attempt to do a similar photograph (not an exact replica) with fake flowers and an open book.

I used a 50mm f1.8 lens, whilst standing on top of a footstall, with a book and some fake flowers set on top. I tried various positions until I felt the lighting, coming through the window, looked right.

(Click thumbnail for larger image)

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Homemade Pizza

Today I decided that I wanted to follow in the footsteps of Medieval Neapolitans and make a homemade pizza for a late lunch.

I pulled out 'Mommas Italian Cook Book' and whipped the ingredients out of the cupboards. My girlfriend had, in traditional blue peter fashion, pre-made some thin italian pizza bases from scratch a week ago for my birthday, so using one of these as a base, I heated up some chopped tomatoes with palenta, oregano, olive oil, salt, pepper, basil and a little garlic.

This sat for half an hour to thicken up, and then was pasted onto the base. I thinly sliced some mozzarella cheese and randomly placed this on top to match the pre-assumed, aesthetically pleasing, template of what a pizza should look like, and then into the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes it went.

I was fairly pleased with the result, here are some practice food photography attempts, I personally prefer the first two shots, the shots of it cooked didn't work as well.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Photographie de Nourriture

Lately I have been reading cookery magazines and looking at the photography in them thinking 'I can do that', I've decided that I am going to attempt to take pictures of a few dinners a week, with various lenses, angles and gradually (hopefully) have some lovely photographs much similar to those in the magazines/cook books/web sites.

A previous effort in March 2010 (Click Thumbnail for larger resolution)

Todays attempt (Click Thumbnail for larger resolution)

I like the lighting, soft, natural, which I was aiming for, but looking at it now, the angle is a little awkward, and the cloth underneath the plate could have been positioned better.

I have looked online for a few sites giving tips, whilst I am mainly extrapolating the skills from my degree course, it is good to read a little into how other photographers go about it.

I am a fan of tightly cropped close ups with shallow depth of field, I feel this gives the food a very unique look, at an angle you wouldn't usually go out of your way to view the food at, making it look more appetising - in my opinion anyway.

After watching the film 'Julie and Julia' last night, (surprisingly finding myself enjoying the movie) I am every so slightly tempted to replicate Julie's Blog entries*, (a successful attempt to cook every recipe in her book). Whilst I won't go as far as to actually cook Julie Childs recipes every night for a year, I will photograph every meal I make, in the hope that eventually, the photographs will get better and I will have a nice photographic collection of a variety of meals, with the hope that a few are good enough for my portfolio/website.

On we march..


Thursday, 1 July 2010

New Index Image for My Website!

I decided that my site needed a revamp, I can't do that much to it, but I thought an image that summed up my photographic interests, along with my love of vintage style and travel would suit my site well. And so I came up with this;

More photographs and updates to come to the site soon, keep checking!

Monday, 21 June 2010

Kelvingrove, Glasgow - June 2010

Click for larger images.

A bottle of Chianti, in my flat. Delicious wine, one of my favourites, it reminds of Chamonix!

Glasgow University as seen from Kelvingrove Park.

Clyde Amateur Rowing Club interior, Glasgow Green.

Auditorium style building, well out of use. In Kelvingrove Park.

Monday, 14 June 2010