Sunday, 25 December 2016

Christmas Day, Alnmouth beach, Northumberland

We went for a walk around Alnmouth, it was very warm for the time of year, with occasional full sun, but a very strong south westerly wind blowing sand on the beach and spume from the waves.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Marsden Bay, late December 2016

A break in the overcast winter weather allowed me to walk from Marsden to South Shields along the north east coast. There was fabulous sunshine and a deep blue sea.

Sony NEX 6 manual focus lens.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Autumn Colour in Weardale

Shittlehope Burn, which runs into the river Wear from the north at Stanhope.

There is a circular walk from Stanhope taking in the burn and, later, the great disused Ashes quarry.

It was muddy underfoot at this time of year, and you need to hop across the burn at a couple of locations, but on a bright autumn day, a magical journey.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Work progresses on new Wear Bridge, Sunderland

Work is progressing on the new road bridge over the river Wear in Sunderland. The deck is being assembled on the south bank and pushed out across the river on temporary supports. There will be a tall pylon to carry the suspension cables, but that has as yet to be installed.

Sony NEX 6 probably Zuiko 50mm f1.8

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Hadrian's Wall

The section of the wall just to the west of Housesteads is one of the most dramatic. I probably used my old Olympus 50mm f1.8 Zuiko lens for this shot, which takes in Hotbank Crags, looking east.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Photoshop - The Pen Tool

There is a variety of selection tools available within Photoshop, and they all have their area of application.

Perhaps the most difficult to use, and the most time consuming, is the pen tool, where you painstakingly draw an accurate boundary around the parts of the subject that you wish to work on.

I came upon the pen tool quite late in my PS career, but I regard it as being one of the most valuable selection methods, as it can accurately select to the nearest pixel.

You can use the pen tool in conjunction with say the Quick Selection tool, tidying up edges that have been missed, or ensuring that a straight line is indeed straight.

I normally work at either actual pixels view or one stage of  magnification above that when using the pen, in order to ensure an accurate selection.

There is a learning curve, but take heart, it's worth persevering. As with most things in PS, you can easily step back if you make a mistake.

Where do I use the pen tool?

It provides a nice clean boundary for a cutout (when you want your object surrounded by, normally, white space)

To preserve a section of an image when cloning, particularly if straight lines are involved. You pick the bit that you want to keep, and then select the inverse of your selection. Any cloning will then not impinge upon your important area.

To improve the accuracy in drawing a layer mask.



Sunday, 13 March 2016

Frogs in the pond

This is the froggy mating season, and they have been at it in my garden pond

I don't have a proper macro lens, and the only extension tubes in my possession are M42 screw thread, so my solution is to use an elderly Takumar 135mm f 3.5 lens along with an 11 mm extension tube.

Click for a bigger image.

Not bad for a lens maybe 45 years old! This is the M42 Super Multi Coated version, in production from 1971-1975.

Sony NEX 6

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Snow on The Cheviots

Travelling on the top deck of the X1 express bus to Newcastle through the heights of Gateshead, you get a fabulous view of the city of Newcastle with the Cheviot Hills in the background. This promoted me to set out to capture a view of the Cheviots with some aspect of the city in the foreground.

St James Park with snow covered Cheviot Hills

I took this shot using a Sony NEX 6 camera fitted with a 500 mm Tamron SP mirror lens, giving an angle of view equivalent to a 750 mm lens. This lens has a fixed aperture of f8. A tripod would have been a good idea, but, in its absence  I used shutter speed priority and chose 1/1000th second to reduce the effect of camera shake to a minimum. With auto ISO selected the camera decided upon ISO 250.

On the full size image you can read the writing above the entrance to the football stadium, Gallowgate Stand.

Photo available from Alamy stock number FK5871

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Coal Train day on the Tanfield Railway

On the coal train day they run a demonstration coal train in addition to the normal passenger service.

Photo used by the Times newspaper 29th Feb

Sony NEX 6 Samsung 35 mm f2

New Bridge over the river Wear at Sunderland

Work has started on the new road bridge over the river Wear at Sunderland.

Sony NEX 6