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  • POTD 1 Apr 2009: Goose 1 April 2009


    Cape Barren Goose. Martin Mere, Burscough, Lancashire, United Kingdom.

    If there is one area of photography that I don’t appear to have much natural talent for it is wild-life photography.  I don’t what it is about it… may be I’m just too impatient but it never quite seems to work for me.

    Last year I went to Martin Mere wetlands centre with the C3 Photography group.  I came back with almost no useable images of the birds.  This was one of the better shots that I managed and if you ask me it doesn’t look right.  Not really sure what I did wrong, it just doesn’t look right to me.

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  • POTD 2 Apr 2009: Flamingo 2 April 2009


    Pink Flamingo. Martin Mere, Burscough, Lancashire, United Kingdom.

    Another attempt at a wildlife image from Martin Mere – again not brilliant.  I don’t like the tuft of feathers at the back of the bird.

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  • POTD 3 Apr 2009: Book and specs 3 April 2009


    A pair of reading glasses resting on a book of Longfellow poems.

    Not really a lot to say about this image other than the fact that it was one of the images I was preparing and uploading to Alamy today.

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  • POTD 4 Apr 2009: Clean up 4 April 2009


    Woman in standing on bathroom scales.

    Today has been cleaning up and prepairing images from one of last year’s model shoots for submission to Alamy.

    Today has also been cleaning up the front garden, and preparing some of the shoots which have appeared since last year for submission to the “green bin”!

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  • POTD 5 Apr 2009: Garrick Theatre 5 April 2009


    Garrick Theatre. Lichfield, Staffordshire, United Kingdom.

    This is the Garrick Theatre in Lichfield (Home of David Garrick, after whom the theatre is named).

    It’s not a great shot – the sky is dull.  But one of the rules of stock photography is that sometimes even dull shots sell.  Lets hope that is true of this image!

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  • POTD 6 Apr 2009: Lichfield Cathedral 6 April 2009


    Main entrance Lichfield Cathedral. Lichfield, Staffordshire, United Kingdom.

    Another image from Lichfield today – this is the main entrance to the Cathedral.  Photographed in March 2007.

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  • POTD 7 Apr 2009: Hitting the wall! 7 April 2009


    Brick wall. Styal, Cheshire, United Kingdom.

    Sunday  19th August 2009
    Again I have to appologise for the lack of POTD entries for the last couple of weeks.  I think I have commented before that when I get behind (for whatever reason) I find it difficult to get back into the routine of posting.  Miss two days and late at night (when I post most of my POTDs) I tend to think… “it’s late I haven’t got time to do three entries to catch up…. I’ll do it tomorrow when I’ve got more time.”  Of course the next day I don’t get round to doing the post until late and now it is four days to do and it gets postponed.  By the time time 5 or 6 days go by it becomes: “oh well, another day won’t make any difference”.  But of course it does and before I know it I’m a couple of weeks behind.

    I am still committed to my POTD and I have actually got images for every day between 7th April and now (19th April).  Over the next couple of day’s I’ll post the images to catch up and I will try my best not to get behind again.

    So here is the first catch up entry, and the strange tale of how I came to be behind in the first place….

    Tuesday 7th April 2009
    Today for the first time in months and month I decided to spend sometime working on my websites.  In particular www.iphotos.co.uk and the photography forum there.  The site needed a complete rework, the forum software had broken nearly a year ago when the server had been upgraded by the hosting company.  So I spent the day downgrading the forum software to a stable state, upgrading it to the lastest software version, reconfiguring it, deleting spam from the associated wiki.  6hrs later I had a new site and I started the final task – to email the forum members to let them know of the relaunch.  But wait… the server is down, so is email, so are all my websites including the POTD.  Support call logged with hosting company.  Yes the server is dead.  Catestrophic disk failure.  (For the geeks: double disk failure in a raid 5 disk array).  Hosting company appologies and informs me they are restoring the server from the latest back up.  You guessed it the back up was from 8.00am this morning just before I started my server work.  This means that the 6 hours I spent working on my website has been totally lost.  Arraggghhh!   Not only that but the restore of the back up is taking forever…..

    Anyone got a brick wall I can bang my head against?

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  • POTD 8 Apr 2009: Rebuilding 8 April 2009


    Styal, Cheshire, United Kingdom.

    I commented in yesterday’s POTD that the server died wiping out all the work I’d done yesterday.  It took until late afternoon for the server to be restored so I now have to start redoing all the work I did yesterday.  Not happy.

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  • POTD 9 Apr 2009: How not to take a snapshot 9 April 2009


    Beni, a tedy bear, at the Archaeological Museum, Sousse, Tunisia. Sousse, Tunisia.

    On Easter Monday I’m giving a talk on how to take better snapshots.  I have been preparing my notes for this.  As an example of how not to do it, I’ve included this photo of Beni in Tunisia.

    Yes, before someone asks, I did deliberately line it up so that there is tree growing out of his head!

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  • POTD 10 Apr 2009: Prince of Egypt 10 April 2009


    Beni at the Pyramids, The Giza plateau, Cairo, Egypt. Egypt.

    It is Good Friday and we had the C3 crowd round this morning to watch the film “Prince of Egypt” – it was great to see it again.  One of my favourite films. 

    To tie in with this here is a photo of Beni dressed as a Prince of Egypt.  This was taken on the tour we did a few years ago tracing the rout of the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt.

    This photo will also be appearing in my “Take better snapshots” talk on Easter Monday.

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  • POTD 11 Apr 2009: Stockport Air Raid Shelters 11 April 2009


    Exterior view Stockport Air Raid Shelters. Stockport, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom.

    Spotted a request on Photographers Direct for a photo of the outside of Stockport Air Raid Shelters.  Popped down there today to get a few shots.  It is a really awkward building to photograph!

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  • POTD 12 Apr 2009: Stockport Air Raid Shelters (2) 12 April 2009


    Exterior view Stockport Air Raid Shelters. Stockport, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom.

    I mentioned in yesterday’s POTD that I went to photograph the air raid shelters and how it is a very difficult building to photograph.  The difficulty is due to the amount of horrible concrete near-by, the fact that there are always cars parked directly in front of it and the glass frontage giving horrible reflections.  It came as no surprise then today when uploading my images to Photographers Direct that I was the only person to submit images for this request!

    Update: 22 April 2009
    The request is now closed and I was the only person to submit images to it.  Haven’t sold any of them though.  Oh well…. I can always submit the images to Alamy!

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  • POTD 13 Apr 2009: C3 Photographers at Bramhall Park 13 April 2009


    Lessons in photography

    It’s Easter Monday and this morning the C3 Photography Group headed off to Bramhall Park.  The theme was how to take better snapshots, I gave a short talk on compostion and posing people.  Then four of the experienced photographers spent a while mentoring the less experienced photographers.  In this shot you can see Iain D explaining how to use a reflector.

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  • POTD 14 Apr 2009: Bramall Hall 14 April 2009


    Bramall Hall. Bramhall, Stockport, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom.

    One of the images from yesterday’s shoot at a Bramall Hall. 

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  • POTD 15 Apr 2009: Spring is in the air 15 April 2009


    Daffodils and blue sky. Bramhall, Stockport, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom.

    Another shot from Bramhall Park a shot of the daffodils.  Here’s a tip for you try placing the camera on the ground in front of flowers and point it upwards through them.  It makes them look like giant plants!  Many good photographs work because the camera is viewing the subject from an angle from which we don’t normall see it from.

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  • POTD 16 Apr 2009: Death of Salesman – Rehearsal 16 April 2009


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    This is one of the rehearsal photos for Stockport Garrick’s production of Death of Salesman (Saturday 25th April – Saturday 2nd May).  Ann is prompting this production.

    28 April 2009
    This photo was later used in the Stockport Times free newspaper to go with a feature about the production.

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  • POTD 17 Apr 2009: Death of a Salesman – portraits 17 April 2009


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    Yesterday (Thursday 16th April) I was doing rehearsal photos and cast photos for Death of a Salesman – this is a photo of the show’s director.

    All the cast photos for this show are classic black and white images – I was trying to emulate the photographic style of the 1950s when the play is set.

    Lighting, for those who are interested… on light at the front left, defused through a brolly.  Hair light high up right, and a reflector to provide fill in on the right of the subject.

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  • POTD 18 Apr 2009: Podcast 001 18 April 2009


    A tourist inside of the Ribat, a fortified monastery within the Medina, Sousse, Tunisia.

    I recently converted the talk I gave at Bramhall Park on taking better snapshots into a Podcast.  I’m not formally launching the podcast yet but it you want a sneek peak at it you can find it at the link below.

    28 April 2009 Update:
    The link to this podcast is :
    http://forum.iphotos.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=918 

    I’ve also release the second podcast today.  So here is the link to the full list of podcasts: http://forum.iphotos.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=917
    (only 2 of them at the time of writing but there will be more to follow)

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  • POTD 19 Apr 2009: Styal (1) 19 April 2009


    Garden ornament – a dog with lantern. Styal, Cheshire, United Kingdom.

    Not really a lot to say about this photo.  Except there was just something abou this ornament that appealed to me.  Can’t say what.

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  • POTD 20 Apr 2009: Styal (2) 20 April 2009


    Cottages and bicycle. Styal, Cheshire, United Kingdom.

    Another image from the Styal photos that I’ve been working on recently.

    Many years ago I went to Styal with a friend, Michael, who is also a keen photographer (and reader of the POTD).  On that visit he took a fantastic photo of a bicycle leaning against these railing.  Last year when I was in Styal taking photos I saw this bicycle leaning against, I think, the same railings and tried to emulate the shot that Michael had taken.  Didn’t mange to – his is still much better than my attempt.  I’m going to blame the bad weather and poor light for my failure.

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  • POTD 21 Apr 2009: Styal (3) 21 April 2009


    Flowers on a cottage doorstep. Styal, Cheshire, United Kingdom.

    Continuing the series of Styal images.  I mentioned in yesterday’s POTD that the weather hadn’t been brilliant when I was there last year.  So I went into bad weather photography mode.  The real killer for travel phtography is white, dull sky.  The solution is to keep the sky out of the photos.  You’ll notice that there is very little sky appearing in any of the Styal photos that I have uploaded recently.

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  • POTD 22 Apr 2009: Styal (4) 22 April 2009


    Garden wheelbarrow. Styal, Cheshire, United Kingdom.

    Ok, before anyone comments.  Rule of thirds.  I should have put this off to one side of the image.  I could have cropped it to make it a stronger composition but because the purpose for this image is to place it on a photo library I chose not to.

    Photo buyers, photo editors and designers generally prefer to be able to choose their own crops.  So I’ve left it.  If they think it should be cropped they will crop it.  I’ve heard it said that for stock photos it can better to leave more space round your subject so that the buyer has enough pixels to crop the image for the exact space they want to use it in.

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  • POTD Thu, 23 Apr 2009: Death of a Salesman 23 April 2009


    Stockport Garrick Theatre: Death of a Salesman

    One of the production images for Stockport Garrick’s production of Death of a Salesman.

    PLEASE NOTE: This is not a source of free photographs.
    This photograph is (c) Ian M Butterfield. All rights are reserved. No use Is permitted (including non-commercial use) without prior permission. If you wish to use any of my photographs please ask first.

    Image Reference: FB0423B-E01754

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  • POTD 24 Apr 2009: Death of a Salesman (2) 24 April 2009


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    This is one of the display photos for Death of a Salesman at the Garrick.  Apparently the cast think that Willy Loman here is holding a cardboard cut out of Biff.  I thought I was just being arty by placing this on a slight tilt!

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  • POTD 25 Apr 2009: Death of a Salesman (3) 25 April 2009


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    I quite like this shot.  The figure in the background is the Willy Loman’s brother who appears in the play as a ‘ghostly’ character presumably just in the mind of Willy.

    By using a shallow depth of field in the image I’ve made the ghostly figure appear blured and out of focus.  Which gives the correct feel for the shot.

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  • POTD 26 Apr 2009: Death of a Salesman (4) 26 April 2009


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    Last of the photos from Death of a Salesman.  This image was one I did for the bar/lounge display.  It shows the funeral scene from the end of the play.  There was a question over whether it gave the ending away.  I though it would be ok after all the ending is kind of given away in the title… “DEATH of a salesman” !

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  • POTD 27 Apr 2009: Style (5) 27 April 2009


    Chain round a post. Styal, Cheshire, United Kingdom.

    Back to the Styal images for a couple of days.  I mentioned in earlier in this sequence how the weather was not good for this shoot.  So here’s another tip for shooting in bad weather… concentrait on the details.

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  • POTD 28 Apr 2009: Styal (6) 28 April 2009


    road signs – speed limit and pedestrians. Styal, Cheshire, United Kingdom.

    Last of my Styal photos.  Slipping in to stock photography mode with this one.  I’m always on the look out for photos that can be used to illustrait articles.  This will be of use for anything to do with pedestrians in danger from traffic.  Again notice how I have framed the image to minimise the amount of dull white sky in the image.  (Couldn’t hide it all, but got rid of most of it).

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  • POTD 29 Apr 2009: Podcast 002 29 April 2009


    Podcast 002 – Lightroom Metadata Defaults

    Quick plug – my second podcast has been released on setting up metadata defaults in Adobe Lightroom.  If this is of interest to you, you can find out more and watch the podcast here…

    http://forum.iphotos.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=919

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  • POTD 30 Apr 2009: Showcase 30 April 2009


    Bicycle at Style by Michael Walker

    About a week ago I posted a photograph I’d taken at Styal of a bicycle against some railings.  See http://www.imb.biz/page.php?pg=diary&d=2009-04-20.  In that POTD post I commented about how the image was inspired by a photograph taken by a friend.  My friend has since emailed me his image and I’m delighted to showcase it here on my POTD.

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