Dave Johnson's Photography

Photos & Thoughts


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To photomatix or not to photomatix. That is the question?

The photos below are a mixture of single raw files tweaked to the maximum to get the most out of the data, and a combination of three raw files with an exposure range from -2 to +2 tone mapped using the photomatix HDR plugin for Aperture. I am quite pleased with the photomatix results as the camera was only handheld to capture the images and so any movement would have resulted in a halo kind of effect on the final image. Fortunately the Canon 7D has such a high burst rate on the high speed setting that it enabled me to fire off three shots in less than a second which limited the amount of movement that might have been apparent at a slower frame rate.

As you can see from the images (with the bloomin watermarks all over) the photomatix plugin is running in trial mode. I would like to upgrade to the full version but as I would use it that infrequently I can’t quite justify the $119 price tag. However, now that I know I can good results from shots handheld it might be a purchase to add to the list for the future.

What do you think of the images? The photomatix ones are easy to spot because of the watermark – how do you think the others compare to the supposed “true” HDR images? Comments greatly appreciated!!

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Devon through the eyes of Lou and her iPhone+Instagram!

As you can see from the photos that Lou’s eye for photography is mainly on the children – contrasting quite significantly from my perspective. Whilst I don’t think it is necessarily a bad thing that we focus (no pun intended!) on different things it does mean that when we go out with the children by ourselves we will end up with either landscape or children shots. Fortunately when we travel together as a family we get the best of both worlds!

Anyway, enjoy the views of Devon as viewed by Lou which includes many photos of my two extremely cheeky monkeys!


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Devon through the lens of an iPhone and Instagram

Part 1 of 2. I’ve just come back from a fantastic family holiday in Devon. As per usual I took lots of snaps on my ‘proper’ camera (Canon 7D) but also lots using my iPhone and Instagram. The quality of the images with the iPhone 4S are really good and with the nice effects that can be achieved using Instagram some fantastic shots can be made. Below are photos taken by myself and given the Instagram effect. The next part will be ‘Devon through the lens of a Canon 7D’, and I will be interested to see which posts ends up with the most hits! Additionally, if my wife lets me I might even add a third part to the set and upload her photos taken with her iPhone and Instagram.


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The Wedding!

As I’ve mentioned in my previous posts, I recently went to my sister-in-laws wedding and was trusted with the (small) job of doing the photography. Whilst this didn’t overly worry me at the time, or on the day, when I got home I was anxious about the photos, and if I managed to get that ‘perfect’ shot. To cut a long story short I managed to get many great shots – in my humble opinion(!), and as a result Carol’s dressmaker, Carla Kirste, would like to use one of my pictures on her website.

Below are a select few photos which primarily focus on the lovely couple but also highlight Carla’s dressmaking skills! If you are interested in getting a dress made for that special occasion you should check out her website and blog. If you want to see more photos from this stunning wedding then check out my flickr site. At present there aren’t many available but in time more will be uploaded.

Carla Kirste Dressmaking and Alterations
Carla Loves…


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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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