Sitting at home at the yesterday I noticed the light from the window was shining on a candlestick and throwing patterns of light onto the walls all around. I thought it looked interesting and being organised for once grabbed my camera.


As the sun went down I thought it might be fun to try and photograph the candle when lit; not something I have tried before. As I played around I started to see that there were a lot of different ways to take the photograph, and different looks that would result. A straight no-flash exposure would take an image of the flame and only a small part of the candle itself would be visible, coloured by the flame.

By using a flash (off the camera) more of the candle could be seen in detail, this image was taken with the flash to the right and above the candle.

The background is still very dark as I would expect. I was using a small aperture so the brief burst of directed flash was enough to light the candle but not the wall behind, even though the wall is white, exposing for the flame helped.

My final image was a black and white conversion (using Silver Efex Pro which I love) just to see what that looked like.

I enjoyed taking these images, very much on the spur of the moment although I did remember to get my tripod out. They were shot with my Nikkor 105 micro lens with a small aperture to get the depth of field I wanted. I used manual focus for most of the images too.

Colours of India

I took my kids into Christchurch this weekend and went to the Hagley Park and the Art Gallery, two things they really like. We were lucky enough to be at the gallery during part of the Colours of India festival being held at the gallery. There were some lovely dancers and Indian music. I definitely did not take the right lens for taking photos of the festival, it was hard to get a view anywhere close and I only took my 50mm lens, still I took some images which turned out better than I thought they would. At least the 50mm lens is fast.


The other thing we enjoyed was the sight of the first blossoms in the park, it looks like Spring is on the way.


Interclub Competitions

It has been a very busy week preparing images for a couple of interclub photographic competitions. It is always fun trying to collect enough images from as many members as possible. We can only enter two images per member and our competition with two clubs in Australia needs 25 images in total, with a small club getting enough entries can be a challenge. I think I now have everything organised and ready to go.

My next task is to get organised for the Southern Regional Salon judging day in a couple of weeks, it is suddenly not very far off and I doubt I will get an entry organised; a bit sad really when I am helping to organise it!

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A sunny day on the river.


In my last post I explained that intended to try and print some black and white images in the darkroom. I have run into a small snag, I have all the chemicals, paper and containers, measuring jugs, trays; pretty much everything I need. My enlarger however is a problem, I bought it on TradeMe (like eBay) for not very mush which was fine and it appeared that all the parts were there when I fitted it together initially. On closer inspection before trying to do my developing I noticed a small snag, there is no lens on the enlarger! Doh.

So now I need to look for a lens or a new enlarger, whichever is cheaper and easier to find. In the meantime I have been playing with Topaz Adjust and Topaz DeNoise 5 both seem to do a good job, with Topaz Adjust allowing some fun effects. I’m not sure I like them all but sometimes just playing gives me ideas for improving an existing image or of a different image I might want to capture.


Am I brave enough?

I am sitting here trying to decide if I am ready to try and develop and print of my Holga images. I think I have now gathered all the equipment and chemicals I need, including an enlarger. I just need to get everything organised and give it a go, watch this space I guess.

In the meantime I have now successfully developed two rolls of 120 film although I still have a huge amount to learn and could have done a better job with the last roll which has a few water marks on it – I need to get some distilled water and use a wetting solution for the final rinse. Nevertheless I think it will get easier quite quickly, the hardest bit is still getting the film onto the developing reel. Rumour has it that loading a 35mm film is easier, maybe I will try that next.


My other difficulty just now is deciding on a project, I need a fairly specific goal to aim for, I’m not ready for a 365 project yet but I have been looking for something to keep me motivated and force me to try different things. Having looked around I have a lot of ideas but so far I am no nearer deciding what to do! Note to self, stop procrastinating.