Dave Johnson's Photography

Photos & Thoughts


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Have a Holly Jolly Christmas!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted so what better way to rectify that problem by showing you some photos of my family getting in the Christmas spirit. The scene was set; the tree was nicely decorated, the lights were sparkling, camera was on a tripod on a self-remote release, and most importantly we all had our Christmas jumpers on!

I set the camera to take 10 shots consecutively in the hope that at least one would have us all looking at the camera and smiling! Now, whoever said never work with kids or animals is pretty much spot on. Unbeknown to us, as Lou and I were sitting behind, after the first shot Mia started pulling faces. It wasn’t until we looked back through to assess the handy work that we noticed the little tyke sticking her tongue out and pulling funny monster faces! Her shenanigans resulted in the ‘Alternative Family Christmas Portrait’ posted below.

As the year draws to a close most people reflect on the past year and look forward to what the new year holds. 2012 has been a busy year for all of us and all that I am looking forward to at the moment is a relaxing wonderful Christmas with my family. What will 2013 hold for the Johnsons? I guess we will just have to wait and see…

Happy Christmas one and All. Enjoy and Be Merry!

Happy family

Alternative portrait

Ben and dad

Thumbs up

Christmas Elves!

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More experimentation with speedlites

As per my previous post, I have been experimenting a little more with speedlites. The problem I am currently tackling is getting the image that I am imagining in my head. For example, the last few shots of Ben diving for the ball were taken yesterday afternoon (in bright sun hence the lens flare!) but as I don’t have a stand for my off camera flash the resultant light from it looked a bit naff with most of it going on the grass. Now I could have enrolled a trusty assistant but M was just not getting into the spirit of standing still whilst holding a flash. However, even though the shots didn’t turn out the way I had imagined it was still a good little learning session and something to work on.

I am also looking to invest in a new speedlite that can act as a slave and a master. There are quite a few available on eBay so I’m hopeful I will have one soon. This might allow me to get the shots in my head onto paper – or the digital sensor as it is these days!

Anyway, it’s all a work in progress and slowly but surely I am learning the techniques. Now all I need to do is master them 😉

M with speedlite placed directly behind her
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M with speedlite placed directly behind her
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Ben shot with a roll of paper acting as a snoot!
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Ben shot with a roll of paper acting as a snoot!
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A Day at the Races

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of going to York races with my best friend to celebrate his upcoming marriage to the wonderful Miss Frank. Now it is not normal that a camera attends stag parties due to the potential for life changing, marriage wrecking incriminating evidence that might be captured by that little CMOS sensor! However, fortunately I decided to leave my camera at home once the races had finished so there was no chance of this catastrophic event happening 😉

The Saturday races are one of the biggest in the calendar for York racecourse with the big race, both in prize money and runners, being the 4.15pm Ebor. With it being a stag party we decided to all put a £5 in to the pot and to let the Stag choose a horse. To cut a long story short if it had come in we would have had a tidy £1.2K to share between 15 of us, however, it didn’t win and we walked away empty handed! In fact the result on this race pretty much summed up how my day at the races went from a gambling point of view – lots of bets+duff horses = no wins! Always next year…

As I mentioned in a previous post I have been using Snapseed for editing some of my photos. The picture above was edited using this software but the same effect could easily be achieved using other photo-processing software. Basically, the colour was washed out, a blue tint and quite a strong vignette added. For an extra effect I tweaked the highlights and brightness of his eyes to make them stand out more. I like the end result giving an edgy, cool but hard look to the man – kinda like the man who would come round and collect the money, if you know what I mean!!

When major fail, if you can call it that, was when I left my camera in the trust hands of one of my friends whilst I went to spend a penny! When reviewing the images at the end of the day there appeared to be quite a few of the ladies who were sat in front of us for most of the day. In fact, there were so many photos taken in such a short space of time (my fault for leaving the camera on high-speed shutter) that I could have stitched them together to make a little gif of the girl in purple walking from right to left, but I can’t be bothered…

Have a look at the rest of the set on flickr