Wanderings with Chris…… a mad dash down to the beach

Driving back from Birkenhead on Tuesday evening i turned to my husband, my partner in crime and coo’d over another beautiful sunset. With a weary sigh i wished i had the energy to get my camera and go down to West Kirby and take photos of the beautiful sunset that was in front of us.
I haven’t taken any sunset photographs in over 12 months, we live in a delightful coastal town and the sunsets are glorious so you can get a bit sunset’ed out and i had made the decision not to take anymore pictures for at least a year.
We have had some lovely weather over Easter and i had watched some glorious colours in the evening sky’s and this evening i finally gave in and made my mind up to drag my camera down to the beach.
We got home, i grabbed my bag and we dashed off to West Kirby beach, a mere 3 minutes away and as i had an idea for my photographs we set off at a trot or as much of a trot that you can manage with a leg that doesn’t work properly, to where i wanted to be. Have you noticed how quickly the sun sets when you have a sore leg, are walking on sand and have to walk far enough to get your shot? I didn’t think i was going to be in time but i was! I collapsed onto the sand, luckily in the correct direction to make the shot and as happens sometimes my first shot was the best.

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I wanted something different from the usual ball of colour and scarlet sky so i concentrated on the spartina grass and kept the colour well in the background, i think it works really well and out of the five photos i thought the best i just love the very first i took. What do you think?

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Wanderings with Chris…………. and Lizzy and Meg to the Black Pearl

Bonfire night, gun powder, treason and plot. I find it kind of strange and exciting at the same time that we as a nation celebrate the plot to blow up the houses of parliament in the same fashion as those who tried to destroy them. I look forward every year to the beauty of fireworks, the noise, percussion, colour and the fact that i will be among so many other people all looking to the heavens, waiting, wondering what the next explosion will bring. Some years i don’t get to see and feel the excitement because i cant get away from looking after family, the kids wont go or i remember too late, this year i have made sure i remember and if the kids wont go, well they are old enough to stay at home while Chris and i go and ohh and ahh at the pretty fireworks together. For a couple of years the Captain and his crew have been building a sculpture of the Black Pearl (Pirates of the Caribbean) on the sands in New Brighton, we have watched it develop, get washed away in storms, develop again, we have chatted to the Captain and his crew, photographed them and generally enjoyed the way The Pearl has become such a lovely tourist attraction. We discovered, thanks to the power of facebook, that there was going to be an informal fireworks display at The Pearl on the 5th and decided we had to go, fireworks, a walk, nigh time adventures for anyone wanting to come with us, a photographic expedition in the dark, heaven! Middle kid (A) doesn’t like the percussion of the fireworks,( the best bit ) so it was just Lizzy and her friend Meg accompanying us. So we (the nesh adults) wrapped up warm and headed out. When we arrived at The Pearl we were quite surprised at just how many people had come out, several hundred people in my estimation had come down to join in the fun. Some had brought their own fireworks and added them to the crew’s bundle so we had quite a show. I took the opportunity to take some photographs, of course, it’s what i do, i photographed the sculpture decked in fairy lights and children, Liverpool’s sky line and of course the fireworks, i had such fun!

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I am very pleased with the way my photos have come out, the colours are wonderful and i am pleased with myself for having the knowledge, experience and remembering it, putting it all together and actually coming away with 30+ usable images. I wonder what the guy who was stood by me with his camera, tripod and very long lens got, i used my kit lens for all of my shots and have only had to crop one image and that was because of an adjustment in camera raw’s lens correction. I wonder if with modern technology we have lost the ability to just stand and watch, it seemed that nearly everyone had a phone aimed at the sky, watching through a screen what was taking place in front of their noses, only the very young, running around and having fun watched first hand what was going on which was a shame. I think it is very important that at times you just stand and watch and record the event in your mind not on a memory card, after all that is how happy memories are made.

A chance find on youtube and Photomatix Pro is my new toy.

On Monday i dragged my poor husband Chris (clawfish) down to New Brighton. Why? Because we had the most fantastic high tide at mid day combined with high winds, sunshine and beautiful cloudy sky’s.  I have recently stumbled upon a youtube video of a guy teaching a group of photographers how to make HDR photos in Photomatix Pro. I have been using photoshop and the HDR tool in that program, however i was not getting the results that i wanted.  I wanted outstanding images, i know you need great images to start with and i knew i could get those but how would i get the finished image that i craved. And then along comes BHphotovideopro and shows me in a short video what i needed to do.     So taking my poor husband, my Nikon D3100, which i have just discovered does not take bracketed exposures :(, and my tripod we headed off down to Fort Perch lighthouse knowing we would come home with some great images. What we didnt realise was that we would also come home covered in sand, froth from the water and with totally windswept hair.(Well me not Chris, he is a bit follicly challenged, sorry Chris.)  I was so excited to load the pictures onto my laptop. I shot in raw as i believe this is the optimum for your images, opened them in Photoshop Bridge and was really pleased at my results. I chose the three images i needed, loaded them into Photomatix Pro and let it do its thing. A couple of the images came out, well wonky but I got six images that i am so pleased with, i know they need some work in Photoshop but until i figure what to do with them, then they are the best HDR images i own. I have shared them on facebook and twitter and had a lot of views and likes, one thing bothers the hell out of me though, why doesn’t anyone comment on them! How do you learn if no one tells you their opinions on what you produce. I would love to hear what they think and feel i am grown up enough not to be gutted when the idiot tells me he can do better than me, lol. So, if you have a comment, can give me constructive advice, i will appreciate it, give it a go and if it works, great. If you dont like my work tough! Its my style, my take on the genre and really i am the only one who has to be proud of what i produce.  Take a look at the images, feast your eyes on the wonder of New Brighton beach and please, let me know what you think. Thanks. x