Tag Archives: Emjay Photography

Cracking Sunrise

Rather than focus (no pun intended) on spectacular skies, I caught this one in my own back garden just after some snow had fallen.

My Wife called out as the sun came up and I swiftly ran to find my camera which if I’m honest is never really very far away from me. This particular sunrise just shouted out to be taken. And so I did.

Winter V1-RED-Blog


Canon 100mm f2.8 Non L Series

I’ve been asked and asked how I am getting on with this particular lens. Well, if you don’t tell anyone I’m kind of leaning towards thinking it is the most useable and versatile lens I own.

It was more than happy on my old Canon 500D and is equally as useable on the new Canon Full-Frame 6D i have. Truthfully I could not afford the L series with image stabilisation, so felt that this would work well for me as long as I recognised the limits of shaky hands 🙂

Today someone who reads the blog gave me a nudge by way of an email to give an example of the close up attributes of this 100mm lens. Well the truth is I didn’t do many before and afters. I did however have the one below of a small bronze mouse. At just five centimetres long (2″) I’ve included it here in from of the iMac atop a compact camera case. The after is as close as I could get (focus), and then a small crop to show part of the same image in said close-up. If I find any more I will of course add them. Remember, this was taken using the 500D; not the new 6D. Actually it might be fun to replicate using the 6D. Click the individual images to go large.

Bronze Mouse Distance

Bronze Mouse Close-Up


With no camera I’m checking through the deleted items to see if I can keep the ol blog ticking over. I’ll be doing an in depth review of the Canon 6D which should be arriving tomorrow 14th January.

For now then it is a case of digging out whatever seems to look reasonable. Not 100% certain this one does but hey-ho with a bit of processing, not a lot it is one I captured later last year. Don’t forget it will go large if you click on the actual image. Which incidentally will reveal a large amount of posterization; particularly on the upper left area. I’ve been finding lately than when using the Gaussian blur in selected areas, it is leaving large amounts of the posterization. One quick way round it is to use a gradient tool. Reduce the opacity to around 10-12% and use the eye dropper tool to select the colour from the area you need to work. I’m just off to see if I can improve the image.

With the flick of an eye I just have had a wee play to see if I could improve the posterization effect. To use the gradient tool first make a selection and keep the edges soft as you’ll need to do a small amount of cloning or healing afterwards. See second image.

Hover Fly 13.1.14_edited-1

Hover Fly 13.1.14gradient tool


There are plenty of good opportunities to snap a cobweb or three right now. With somewhat milder conditions and very heavy morning dews they show up really well. 

The very best condition is that fine mist or fog; if it is hanging with moisture the cobwebs really do sparkle. So here then is just a few that I took recently.

Cobweb 2 Cobweb 3 Cobweb1

Somerset Levels

With water levels still rising my heart goes out to all the people that have been flooded just recently, and indeed those teetering.

These two images were taken last year when levels were record high. They are higher now. The first image is green fields and a stone drove. The second wwith fabulous sunrise is meadow land that should simply be green. The first is just at the end of my village and the second just a bit further on a different day.

Levels now are only 1300 metres away from where we currently live. Thankfully it will not reach us … I hope!

Somerset moors 2014_edited-1

Flood Plains

Hawkridge Reservoir II

I’ve been asked; did I take any portrait images while I was at the Hawkridge Reservoir. Well yes I did but thought the landscape versions worked better. So I’ve looked at the couple of portrait versions I had and have included the best one of several that I kept; In my opinion that is … ‘Best!’

Before I do, I wanted to say that we can all be very guilty in assuming just because this is a photography blog, everyone looking is an enthusiast of one type or another. Wrong! I have had a couple of messages just recently… apologising for asking me what might be an obvious answer. Well firstly, the only stupid question is the one that you never ask! So for anyone new to photography and perhaps maybe you have had a nice camera for Christmas I will endeavour to give very brief explanations on ‘terminology’ that I might use.

Today then I mentioned Portrait & Landscape. Literally this is holding the camera horizontal to the eye is termed ‘Landscape,’ or put another way, how you view pretty much everything you see with eyes centred and front. Portrait on the other hand is tilting your camera over ninety degrees which then is termed ‘Portrait, or think of most model, posed shots in a studio. Each has a benefit but that will only come with experimentation as to what works and what does not. And don’t for get if you are shooting ‘LARGE’ then a crop down to portrait is also possible in post editing software.

First then the Original image taken in RAW and just converted to JPEG for here. The second image is the cropped and fully processed version.

Hawkridge Portrait B4 Hawkridgefor blog

Hawkridge Reservoir Somerset UK.

I don’t know about you, but I see many inland water images that look quite nice if something is going on. Here I had nothing other than a nice selection of trees and grass. Seeing the water’s edge certainly made a point of interest.

I’ve included the original out of the camera with nothing other than RAW to JPEG. Don’t forget click on the image to take it larger.

Hawkridge Reservoir Somerset

Northings: 136246 metres.

Eastings: 320651 metres.

NGR: ST 20651 36246

Original Image 

Hawkridge Original RAW

Here with light processing in DPP for colours, then PSE9 for the crop, shadows n highlights; several layers working on different aspects.

Hawkridge for Blog