Sunday, 30 September 2012

The Characters of the Goodwood Revival Meeting

There are two major elements to the Goodwood Revival Meeting. Firstly the wonderful machinery (the cars, the aircraft and the motor bikes) and secondly the people who attend and frankly make this event what it is today. In the past I have concentrated on the former but this year I decided that I would work harder to capture images of the characters, their outfits and through them the spirit of the event itself.

In an earlier blog entry I made it clear that all my images this year would be in 'black and white' and through this medium I think the mood of the event is further enhanced.

With one exception all the photographs have been taken using the Olympus EM5, imported into Lightroom and converted into black and white using Silver Efex Pro.

The Rocker
Olympus EM5 45mm f2 1/1250 ISO 200
The Rocker

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Photo opportunities - always have a camera with you

So often when out and about, I see something and say to myself if only I had my camera with me. Every photographer will have uttered those words at some time and probably more than once! Well from now on I will try and avoid that mistake. I will also follow the saying which states - 'the best camera, is the one you have with you'. How true is that! The next couple of images were taken on the way to somewhere else, with no intention whatsoever of releasing the shutter on the journey but on both occasions I did have a camera in the car.

The first is a shot of the late afternoon light on the South Downs in West Sussex between the villages of Amberley and Storrington. This was captured with the Olympus EM5 and 45mm 1.8 prime lens. Its not the best landscape photograph I have ever taken but I think its quite pleasing and I wouldn't have it at all, if I hadn't got the camera with me.

Afternoon sun on the South Downs

Friday, 28 September 2012

New club season underway

Earlier this week the first club competition took place at my local camera club in Havant. After a successful season last year when I was promoted to the 'A' league for both the print and projected image (PI) competitions. I was now be up against the 'big' boys and ladies of course! Our club is in the 1st division of the Southern Photographic Federation (SPF) for both prints and PI's, so the standard is pretty high.

Much to my amazement, one of my two entries scored 10 out of 10 and is shown below. My grateful thanks to Derek Trendell ARPS, for getting the season off to a great start! The image entitled 'Ride along the prom' is shown below.

'Ride along the prom'
Ride along the prom

Sunday, 23 September 2012

The Silver Arrows at the Goodwood Revival Meeting

1934 heralded the arrival of the Mercedes and Auto Union to GrandPrix motor racing. It was a wonderful era and these two makes affectionately known as 'The Silver Arrows' dominated top level racing. A year later in 1935 they made their UK appearance at Donnington. 75 years on and to mark this anniversary the 2012 Goodwood Revival Meeting brought this famous racers together once more.

The attention to detail at this annual event is so special that the cars were housed in an authentic recreation of the pits at the Bremgarten circuit which staged the Swiss Grand Prix in 1938.

As well as recording these magnificant cars in camera, there was an artist doing a superb pencil drawing of one the Auto Union racers.

All the photos were taken using an Olympus EM5, imported into Lightroom and converted into  black and white using Silver Efex Pro.

The Silver Arrows lined up in the pits
Olympus EM5 12mm 1/320 f9 ISO 400
The Silver Arrows

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Goodwood Revival Meeting this weekend

It's mid September so once again its time for the Goodwood Revial Meeting which starts tomorrow and finishes on Sunday. I have photographed this event in the past, so on this occassion I shall be concentrating on capturing the historic 'vintage' flavour of the event. Black and white will be the order of the day and I shall be exploring new areas of the circuit and of course people watching. I will be there for two out of the three days, so the Olympus OMD memory card could be quite full by the time the last chequered flag is waved on Sunday. I will post a selection of images in the weeks to come, but in the meantime here is the Ferrari 250 GTO taken in 2010.

Ferrari 250 GTO

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

'People and Places' - Littlehampton Seafront

This is the second post which relates to Jacqui Hurst's 'People and Places' course I attended at West Dean College earlier this summer. In complete contrast to our visit to Glorious Goodwood we spent a day at Littlehampton; a typical and relatively small seaside resort on the south coast.

Whilst a colourful location I stuck to the brief I had imposed on myself at the begining of the course, i.e. choosing monochrome for all of my images. I tried to concentrate on textures, tones and good composition whilst trying to capture the 'feeling and atmosphere' of the seafront. Fortunately the weather was dry and bright so there were a fair number of people around. At times though it was overcast, but this helped from a photographic point of view as I did not have extremes of contrast to worry about.

Some of the group felt uncomfortable photographing people. I very enjoyed the experience and the Olympus EM5 certainly allowed me to be a little more discreet. Had I been using a substantial DSLR with a large zoom lens and I am sure I would have felt very different as I went looking for suitable subjects.

Once again the kit lens stayed in the bag and I switched between three primes lenses. 12mm, 20mm and 45mm which equate to 24mm, 40mm and 90mm if using a full frame 35mm sensor.

All the photographs were taken in RAW with an Olympus OMD EM5, imported into Lightroom and converted into black and white using Silver Efex Pro2. I have to say that Silver Efex Pro is a joy to use when converting images to monchrome. The contrast and structure adjustments can really bring the image to life, increasing tonal range and texture. I am still very much learning about black and white but for me there is a certain something about the results which pleases me.

Unusual bench seating along the promenade
Olympus EM5 12mm 1/160 f11 ISO 200
Bench seating along the seafront

Sunday, 2 September 2012

'People and Places' at Glorious Goodwood

The end of July/beginning of August is traditionally the time for one of the most famous race meetings in the country - Glorious Goodwood. Situated on The South Downs the race course enjoys wonderful views of the countryside to the north and to the south, distant views of the sea and even the Isle of Wight on a clear day. I am not a seasoned race goer and definitely not a gambler buts its hard to resist the allure of Glorious Goodwood which attracts the famous, the not so famous and those that are simply there to win some money or have a good day out.

My reason for going this year was as part of a 'People and Places' photography course I was attending at West Dean College which is just down the road from Goodwood. I would thoroughly recommend West Dean College to anyone interested in an arts or crafts course held in a beautiful house set in quite superb grounds. The course was being run by Jacqui Hurst and in addition to myself there were five other participants. I will say more about Jacqui and the course in a forthcoming post.

At the outset of the week I set myself the objective of 'seeing' in black and white. We had to produce a portfolio of work by the end of the course, so however good some of the images might appear in colour the final selection would all have to be in monochrome. At Glorious Goodwood I wanted to capture the atmosphere of the place and its people, and whilst we were not in the 'posh' Richmond or Gordon Enclosures, the Lennox Enclosure would provide just as many photo opportunities.

I should just mention that a couple of weeks before attending the course I made the decision to buy the Olympus OMD EM5 with the 12mm to 50mm kit lens. The body and lens are weather sealed and having enjoyed the E-PL3 so much together with the three prime lens (12mm, 20mm and 45mm) I couldn't wait to see how this new camera performed. Being on a photography course for a week was the ideal opportunity to find out. I can tell you now, I was not disappointed, to the contrary the results are quite fantastic and I am now wondering when the Nikon D90 DSLR will get its next airing?

Here are a selection of the images taken at Goodwood. They were all taken with the OMD and one of the prime lenses. Shot in RAW, imported into Lightroom with minor adjustments before converting to black and white in Silver Efex Pro2; a dedicated B&W plugin by Nik Software

Racing to the line
Olympus OMD 20mm f8 1/500 ISO 200
Racing for the line