Assignment Blog Updates

Just to let you all know, I have been doing quite a bit of research for my current assignment, the natural environment!

Head over to its blog to check it out!

Thanks, Duncan!

Creative communicator update.

Just a small update on how the assignment is going. (Link to previous post)

I have spoken to the bike shop I wish to film and they have agreed to it, along with wanting it for website production afterwards. I have began to storyboard what I would like to shoot and got some things prepared for use in the video.

This is my most ambitious video yet as I want it to be the best.

I am also researching other adverts to see what works and what doesn’t.

I have sorted the equipment I will be shooting with, I will be using a 550D with kit lens, 50mm f/1.8 and 35mm f/1.8 along side a Manfrotto 055XPROB tripod legs pair with a Manfrotto 501HDV Pro Head. I will also be using a borrowed DSLR Flycam Nano (stedicam) which will be the first time I use one of these as I have never had access to one.

Thanks, Duncan.

Weekend macro

As I said in my Extension Tubes post I have a few more macro shots using the extension tube I bought.


Macro mould, quick shot of a mouldy tomato using the extension tubes i bought the other day, not the nicest thing but certainly interesting to shoot and see the details through the lens.


Messing about with my lighter intending it to look like mini fireworks but it hasn’t really worked, like this one a lot for some reason though.

Hope to put some more up through the week if I find some new subjects.

Thanks, Duncan.

Creative bokeh update.

update for: How to: Create custom bokeh

Took some portraits using the bokeh effect I last wrote about, I encountered a few problem i’d just like to point out.

Distances were the main problem I found as to get the bokeh effect you had to have the subject (person in this case) a reasonable distance away from the lights your trying to make into the shape desired.

Because of the distance problem, I found that the lights had to be really high as the subject blocked them.

Also, getting the lightings right as the subject had to have a great amount of light as I needed the background slightly under exposed to bring out the lights. As well as this I needed to have a light behind the subject to backlight her as she didn’t stand out as much without it.

Hope this will help you, Duncan.

How to: Create custom bokeh

Ok, this is my simple how to for creating custom bokeh as I have been asked to do so by someone I know, feel free to contact me with any ‘How to’s” you would like to see!

First of all, what is bokeh? Well, bokeh is a Japanese term for the subjective aesthetic quality of the out-of-focus areas in an image. Basically it is the blurry bit.

How to create custom bokeh! This is simple, all you will need is a compass, ruler, pencil, black card and cutters!


This is the basic gear I used for creating these custom bokeh shots. The blower and cloth are because when removing the card you often touch the front element.


This is what the cut out should look like, you need to work out what size filter your lens takes, this is normally wrote on the lens. Then you need to use the compass to get a circle of that size, then cut it out. Once cut out you need to use one of your cutter shapes to make the whole which will cause the custom bokeh!


This is what normal bokeh looks like on a 50mm f/1.8 lens.

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These images are quick shots I took to prove what it can do, tomorrow I intend to do some portraits with these being used as well!

Hope this helps you.

Thanks, Duncan.

Extension Tubes

Today I purchased a 31mm extension tube from a friend who does not use or need It, the purpose of an extension tube is to magnify the subject whilst using a standard zoom or prime lens to give a ‘macro’ shot.

How does it do this you may ask… Well, an extension tube simply moves the lens further away from the body to make the focal distance closer meaning you can therefore have the end of the lens really close to the subject.

The extension tubes I have bought do not link the lenses electronics to the camera meaning I have lost autofocus which I do not mind as I prefer to have full control over the focusing when the depth of field is so small.

This quick photo shows the front (left) and rear (right) of the extension tubes, it is unclear in the pictures but extension tubes have no glass or optics in them, they are simply a tube making the lens further away from the body.

I will be paring my extension tubes up with my 50mm f1.8 lens at the moment, but will be experimenting with my kit lens (18-55mm) and telephoto (75-300mm) to see what the focal lengths will be and how close I can get.

Drop by soon for more ‘macro’ photos.

Thanks, Duncan.

The Natural Environment!

This is my newest assignment, since I had to make a blog for it to present it I chose wordpress.

thenaturalenvironment.wordpress.com

Light and Dark assignment

Another new assignment, this one is about shooting in low light scenarios, such as dusk and night.

“Students are to produce a cohesive series of 5 explorative images that demonstrate the creative use of low-light photography.

Students are to produce a A4 lever-arch file or sketchbook of developmental experimentation, research and continual evaluation of work.”

So far for this assignment I have started my research and shooting some ideas of what my final images could be. I have two ideas so far:

Idea one: this would be a series of five images around my local area using different techniques, light painting, light graffiti, playing with fire, light trails and a city scape. This would show lots of different techniques which would be good.

Idea two: this would be a series of five images using the same technique but showing different locations and subjects, I intend to do this with light trails as I find them harder to compose and get aesthetically pleasing. See example one and two for what they would be like.

Currently I am leaning towards idea two as I enjoy doing the light trails.

Hope to keep coming back to keep up to date.

Thanks, Duncan.

New assignment, Creative Communicator

As part of my new assignment (Creative Communicator) for Helen I have been given this as a brief:

“This brief allows you to look into another particular art pathway of your choice, that links with photography if you wish, and develop your own project. It will allow you to be analytical, creative and experimental, whilst developing understanding and skills within a particular field.

A final product will give you the opportunity to present your work to a specific audience to communicate your intended meaning.”

For this assignment I have chosen to make a video advertisement, currently I am planning out my video and getting in touch with the people I wish to film/advertise. My intentions are to film a short advert for a local bike shop, chopping between shots of downhill mountain biking and the shop its self. I will be filming this on a DSLR as I believe the video on these is more creative and aesthetically pleasing. The lenses I intend to use are prime lenses as these tend to be sharper than zoom’s and I also would like to use a wide angle (zoom or prime) for use in the shop if given permission.

Hope to keep you up to date with how it goes, Duncan

My first .tif

Tonight I was out shooting with two fellow photographers from the college, as we were about to head back I decided i’d take some photos with the intent to make this. This is my first ever of this style. The subject is not the most interesting but it is what I had to work with. Will hopefully try these out again with possibly mountain biking or landscapes.

(seems like you’ll have to click it to watch)

Thanks Duncan.

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