Dave Johnson's Photography

Photos & Thoughts

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Hive Beach, Dorset

Last weekend, myself and the family took a trip down to Symondsbury, Dorset. The occasion was the marriage of my sister-in-law which was to be held in Symondsbury Manor on Saturday 12th May. The drive down was terrible with rain and wind for the whole journey. This coupled with the unseasonably low temperatures made us question whether or not we should have brought full winter attire. However, it would appear that the weather gods were being kind to us and from the Friday through to Sunday evening we were blessed with glorious sunshine and temperatures even topping the high teens (centigrade to any American readers!).

The day after the wedding we took a trip down to Hive Beach which is about a 15 minute drive from the village of Symondsbury. The beach is unusual in that there is little to no sand, only very smooth and small pebbles. I came to the conclusion that stones of this size we much more difficult to walk on than sand – finding this out as I took a stroll down the beach to check out the photo ops.

The children really enjoyed themselves, although Mia was uncertain about going for a paddle – despite Lou’s best efforts!

The pictures below were taken with a Canon 7D with a 70-200mm f/2.8 IS USM MkII lens. The lens was hired for the purpose of taking the wedding photos (some of which will be uploaded once the bride and groom have vetted them!) but was an ideal lens for photographing children playing; allowing me to get close ups without having to intrude on their personal space.

I’ve only included a few photos to showcase the set that is posted on Flickr.







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The Cunning Cape (Cod)

As promised, here is a selection of shots taken during our weeks stay on the Cape! Unfortunately the weather wasn’t great for our stay and the temperature only really got up towards the end of the week. Despite this we managed to get to lots of places including a clam bake boat excursion! Overall, I was impressed with Cape Cod but had the weather been that little bit better then it would have been even more enjoyable.

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Super Wide

As promised, here is a collection of shots taken with the Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 super wide angle lens. This lens has been designed solely for use on dSLR bodies that use the APS-C size sensor and so the viewing angle is exactly what it says on the tin- 10-22mm! Before I bought this lens I had never used a super wide angle and it took a while for me to get used to the distortion such a wide lens produces, especially at the sides of the frame. I’ve managed to produce shots where people appear to have morphed into elves with nice, large, pointy ears!

Where the lens works best is for landscape shots, especially shots that have clouds in the sky. The result is a photo that feels expansive and has atmosphere- coupled with front to back sharpness (if set up correctly!). I’ve only posted a few shots here but feel free to view my set on flickr that contains many more shots taken with this lens.

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A Day at the Beach

These photos were taken on Saltburn beach one late summer evening. As I was processing the raw files I was amazed at how dirty either the lens or the sensor were at the time of taking. One thing that Aperture does particularly well is ‘cleaning’ up photos of spots, dirt, people(!), or whatever maybe in the picture that you want removed.

In fact, I reckon that if I’d left the dots/spots in, I could have joined them together and made a picture which probably would have turned out as a lion or elephant just like the in the join the dots books you had as a child!

You’ll be pleased to know that since the photos were taken I have mastered the art of cleaning a sensor on a dSLR, although it is not a job I particularly like doing; I am always worried I’ll break the camera!!!

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Australia, Australia…

The Apple 12 days of Christmas app available on iTunes has given away some fantastic free apps this year. One such app is the photograph editing application Snapseed. I’ve been using it on my iPad for a few days now to edit photos from various trips as it allows me to quickly edit and upload. One of the nice features, which I have yet to find in an OS X application, is the ability to add creative effects and frames/borders to my images. I usually edit my photographs on my iMac using Aperture. Aperture is amazingly powerful but unless you add various plug-ins, most of which involve parting with cash, adding some effects or borders requires exporting to another application- usually photoshop.

I’ll continue to use Aperture as it also serves as a great way to sort and catalogue my vast image library. However, I’ve since downloaded another photo editing application from the Mac App Store called Photo Effect Studio Pro, which allows the editing and manipulation of Canon raw files (.cr2) to create images similar to the ones posted today. My workflow will have to change a little as it will require the raw file to be exported from Aperture before being opened in Photo Effect Studio Pro, but realistically this won’t result in much extra time being spent on editing images. I’ll post some shots in due course and you can let me know what you think…