Sunday, 27 November 2011

Black and White Photographer of the Year 2011 Comp

Quite a few people who knew that I had 3 pictures that were shortlisted for "Black and White Photographer of the Year" have asked how I got on in the competition.

Well I didn't win,  you can see the winners here.  Congratulations to Binh Trinh and the other winners.

I was pleased however to get one shot recognized in the "Shots we liked but didn't quite make it" section featured in this months magazine and was chosen to go on the welcome page of the magazine.

I'm taking that as pretty much a second place in one of the categories - which is nice. I am also really proud that the shot in question is of my beloved Smudge,  a dog with more personality than a little dog should have, who unfortunately passed away exactly a year ago.

Below are the three shots that were shortlisted:

Gormley Towers



Friday, 11 November 2011

A hard case for the LEE Big Stopper

The LEE Big Stopper is fast becoming one of the most popular filters in photography today. The ability to setup the shot with other filters then slide in the 10 stopper at the last moment makes it much easier to use than the screw in filters.

In fact the only real problem I have found with the Big Stopper is the absence of a hard case for it. The soft pouch they come in is great for stopping it getting scratched but if you are as clumsy as me they offer little protection against snapping the thing. The filter is actually as brittle as cinder toffee, so if you are not careful your £100 filter will end up looking like mine:

Luckily when I explained my predicament to the good people at LEE helped me out with a replacement filter really quick.  Fantastic customer service from LEE, I'm never buying filters from anyone else.

So - how to keep my new filter from the same fate?  It was time to investigate a hard case option.   LEE don't make a hard case and a search on the web drew a blank too.  It was time to make my own.

If you are old enough you may remember that before downloads, music used to come on a physical disc called a CD. I happen to have a fair few of these archaic things laying around the house and they are almost exactly the right size to be a Big Stopper case.

Conversion from ancient recording technology to modern filter storage is simple:

  1. Take out that old Steps CD and chuck it in the bin
  2. Pull out the bit the CD was laying in throw it away.
  3. Tape the LEE exposure table to the inside of the case so you can find it easily
  4. Cut two pieces of lens cloth to fit the inside of the case and fix them using double sided tape.
  5. Cut a thin layer of packing foam the to fit the inside of the case.
  6. Cut a filter sized hole in the foam and fix it into the the case with double sided tape
  7. And your done.

Please let me know if you decide to make a similar case & if you find a better way of doing it.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Nigel Wilkins is photographer of the month for November

Our photographer for November is Nigel Wilkins. Nigels website has some stunning views of The English Lake District and is worth a visit.

  Striding Edge
by Nigel Wilkins

Previous  Photographers of the Month