Monday, 15 June 2009

5 Items Every Photographer Should Carry In There Camera Bag

1. Spare Memory Cards - Memory cards are available in a wide range of capacities ranging from 256mb to about 16gb. But even if you are lucky enough to have a large capacity card say 8gb it is still a good idea to purchase another one because what if you lose it?, what if it is stolen? So it better to purchase at least one extra memory card to stay on the safe side.

2. Spare Batteries- You never know when your batteries will run out on you. Even though batteries don’t tend to run out that quickly nowadays, it is still a great idea to carry an extra battery. For instance if you were taking photos all day or for when you forget to charge the batteries the night before. So always carry a spare!

3. A UV Filter - These are thin glass filter designed to screw onto the end of your camera lenses. They filter out all the harsh UV rays of sunlight. They will allow your camera's sensors to record truer colors and details. They are the best £10 insurance policy you can provide for your camera lenses. They not only protect your lens from scratches and dust but they can save a lens or two. In fact they have already saved a lens of mine, the filter shattered instead the glass in the lens.

4.Circular Polariser Filter - Do you like shooting water scape's, sunsets or other sky/water involved scenes, if the answer if yes then a circular polariser is essential. If it is no it's still worth getting one. In appearance they are similar to UV filters but they are much darker in color, usually a darker deeper blue. Lots of dust particles in the air are constantly reflecting the sunlight. This causes your eyes (and your camera) to see the light reflected back, and not the true, deep lovely colors of the sky.
The same is true with light reflecting off of water particles. Polarisers eliminate these reflections and they allow your camera to record the true blues, greens and purples of the water and sky. Polarisers also eliminate the harsh rays reflecting back from the sand. I wrote a more detailed review of the circular polariser.

5.Tripod - Well it isn't strictly speaking a item to put in your camera bag. But it is the key weapon against the devil(camera shake). A Tripod could mean the difference between a great photo and a horrible blurry one. If you want to completely eliminate camera shake then use your cameras self-timer or purchase a cable release.

Buy one; but if you do find yourself without a tripod, you can improvise by resting your camera on something flat. Or by finding something to lean on such as a wall or a lamp post. If there is nothing at all to lean or rest on then stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and tuck your elbows into your body. These tips are not as good as using a tripod, but are better than nothing.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009


Last Bank Holiday Monday I went to Llandudno in Wales. It was a lovely day but you probably can't tell that because I took most of these photos in the late afternoon.
The following day I went to Powis Castle. See previous post Powis Castle
I took this at the end of the day. I had taken a similar photo earlier on but the photo was really spoilt by the sheer number of people.

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I took this while on the pier. Llandudno Pier is the longest one in Wales at 2,295 ft. And the fifth longest in England and Wales.

I also took this while on the pier.

I went on the Great Orme Tramway. I got on it on the last leave. I went up onto Orme and the views were spectacular.
This is a photo looking down on Old Road. Look how narrow it is. Its closed to through traffic but it is used by road vehicles for access to properties.
I took this while on the Great Orme Tramway.

I took this on foot once I had reached the top. It shows the Llandudno Cable Car in action which is longest passenger cable car system in Britain. It runs from the Happy Valley to the Great Orme Summit (which is where I was). It was built in 1969 and fully overhauled in 2006.
More info on:

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Powis Castle

I went on a day out to Powis Castle last Bank Holiday Monday. It was a lovely hot day. I didnt go into the house but I had a walk around the large gardens for a few hours and took some photos. It was quite hard to get some good photos because there were so many people there.

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I took this 'front on' photo of Powis Castle from the woods opposite the castle.
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I found this large foot situated deep in the gardens. It looked a bit boring on its own, so i injected a bit of colour by painting its nails with pink rhododendron petals. What do you think of my nail painting?
A 'front on' shot of the big foot.
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This picture shows the lovely manicured hedges inside the gardens. powis_castle-broken_tree
A picture of a hollow tree inside the grounds. I went inside it, in fact i stood up inside it!

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This statue is called "Fame”it is attributed to the workshop of Dutchman John van Nost, it is now in The Courtyard (see photo below). The piece seems to have been struck from the same mould as the Pegasus and fame supplied by van Nost between 1705 and 1716 to Sir Nicholas Shireburn at Stonyhurst, Lancashire.

This view of Powis Castle is the view you see when you just walk inside the gate.
I love the symmetry in this photo.
And the symmetry in this photo.
I love the red in the top right hand colour. And again the symmetry.
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I also took this photo from the woods. It looks asthough its slanting to the left.
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I love this photo, its my favourite of the day. Its shows most of the formal gardens and the castle. I took it while I was on the lawns. I was resting on the grass and soaking up the sun when I saw this photo opportunity. I quickly picked up my camera and photographed what I saw.

I hope you like the skies in all these photographs of Powis Castle, there deep blue colour. I achieved these great skies by using a circular polarizer filter. I did an article about my circular polarizer, in my last post.
My circular polarizer (Hama Circular Polarizer Filter 55mm)

More info Powis Castle.

For even more info on the history, horticulture, garden history, history of art, architecture, social history, natural environment and conservation of the castle, you can buy the official National Trust book on Powis Castle. Powis Castle Book

Or alternatively for even more info you can buy the official National Trust Dvd on Powis Castle. National Trust - Powis Castle [DVD]

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