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  • POTD 1 Feb 2008: Market Day 1 February 2008


    Market Trader

    I was in town today to get some prints done for the Garrick theatre.  Took the opportunity to wander round the market area, to chat to some of the tranders and take their photos.

    Some facinating characters in the market!  Yes, the stall in this photo does appear to be almost entirely Mills and Boon books!

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  • POTD 2 Feb 2008: Camera Failure 2 February 2008


    Canon 5D

    I had a very strange failure on my 5D today during a shoot.

    Part way through the shoot the data display in the viewfinder went blank (as though the camera had powered off). However the LCD display on the top of the camera was still active and working. Autofocus stopped working and the shutter release button didn’t work.

    I had my Speedlight 550EX flash gun on the camera to act as fill light and also to trigger a couple of “umbrella flash” units.

    When I removed the flash gun from the camera the 5D worked normally. Put the flash gun back on the camera and again everything except the LCD display stopped working. At this point I decided to switch over to using a sync cable to trigger the brolly flashes and abandon the Speedlight. However when the cable was connected to the PC socket, again the display, AF, and shutter release failed.

    Because I didn’t want to keep my paying customer waiting any longer I switched to my backup camera (10D) to complete the shoot (using the same lens and the speedlight). At end of the shoot I went to investigate the problem on the 5D and could not reproduce it.

    I hate intermitent problems.

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  • POTD 3 Feb 2008: C3 Test Shots 3 February 2008


    C3 and PC

    I metioned in yesterday’s POTD that my camera failed durring a shoot.

    Today I upgraded the firmware and took the camera to C3 (church) to take some test shots.  Here we see Andy (our Geek Group co-leader) giving an improptu tutorial on his Ferrari styled laptop.

    No failures yet with the camera following the firmware upgrade.  But that doesn’t prove very much at all.

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  • POTD 4 Feb 2008: Directors Notes – Reading in. 4 February 2008


    Reading in

    Another update on the progress of Witness for the Prosecution. 

    This photo is of Derek, the Woodford Players’ President.  He’s great, willing to turn his hand to most jobs in the society.  But tonight his most important task was to read in for missing characters.

    I guess every play has times when cast members are going to be missing.  Sometimes it can’t be helped.  At tonights rehearsal I had less than 50% of the people called to the rehearsal.  Lots of perfectly legitimate reasons, prior engagements, working away, and illness.

    But it does make it very difficult to rehearse.  Thankfuly we have Derek who was willing to read in for the missing witnesses and I read in for a missing barister. We got through it.  However even that seemed a little futile when we discovered at one point that the only two people talking were Derek and I reading in for missing people!

    (For the photographers reading this – I this shot was yet another test shot using the flash – no failures yet since yesterday’s firmware upgrade)

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  • POTD 5 Feb 2008: Spam Attack 5 February 2008

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  • POTD 6 Feb 2008: Sometimes it just doesn't work 6 February 2008


    Bad photo day

    Sometimes it just doesn’t work. 

    As regular POTD readers may have gathered, this year I am trying very hard to make the photo I post as my main POTD image to be a photo that was actually taken on that day.  As this is the only photo I took today, you are stuck with it.  Sorry.

    My intention tonight was to take a photo of the “Witness for the prosecution” rehearsal.  But to be honest with you, the rehearsal was going so well that I didn’t want to do anything to disrupt the flow of it.  After locking up I decided to get a quick shot of Bramhall Methodist where whe had been rehearsing. 

    Sadly, not enough light there to get anything sensible hand held (and I didn’t have my tripod).  No where to rest the camera for a long exposure shot.  And there was a car parked right in front of the church.  The best photoshop techniques in the world can’t rescue this one.

    Definately a bad photo day!  (I promise I’ll do better for tomorrow).

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  • POTD 7 Feb 2008: Rembember 7 February 2008


    War memorial in front of St Paul’s church

    We had about an hour of sunshine in the middle of the day today so I made the most of it to get some photos of Heaton Moor – just up the road from here. I’ve wanted to take a photo of the war memorial for a little while. I was surprised by the level of detail on this statue, especially when viewed from behind.

    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: FA0207A-E00824

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  • POTD 8 Feb 2008: Stockport Viaduct and Pyramid 8 February 2008


    Stockport viaduct and pyramid at night

    Recently on Fridays I’ve been meeting up with Matt, a member of the C3 Photography group that I run.  Matt is looking into what is involved in becoming a professional photographer and I sharing with him what I’ve learned.

    Matt is full of enthusiasm and is always keen to get out with his camera to get some shots.  So where possible we try to do a shoot when we meet up.  Today we went in to Stockport to shoot the pyramid and viaduct at night. 

    For those who don’t know, there is a trick to this type of photography, and that is don’t do it at night!  The time for ‘night’ photography is about 20-30 mins after sunset when the last traces of sunlight from over the horrizon just balances out the artifical lights used to flood light buildings and structures.

    The shot I’ve posted as my POTD was exactly what I wanted to get.  For a number of years now I’ve had a photograph on my bussiness cards and on certain promotional materials.  It is this photo……


    Stockport – My Home Town

    A lot of people have heard me say that I actually don’t like this photo, but I use it on my bussines card because it is one photo that a lot of people comment about, and it appears that a lot of people like it.  I don’t like it because I had to digitally remove lamp posts, I had to use a tobacco filter (“So 1980’s” as the manager of one photo library told me!).  It is a fake shot.

    My aim tonight was to get a night time version of this photo, which didn’t require me to fake it.  I think I managed it.

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  • POTD Fri, 8 Feb 2008: M60 Motorway, Stockport Viaduct and Pyramid at night 8 February 2008

    M60 Motorway, Stockport Pyramid and Viaduct at night

    Recently on Fridays I’ve been meeting up with Matt, a member of the C3 Photography group that I run. Matt is looking into what is involved in becoming a professional photographer and I sharing with him what I’ve learned.

    Matt is full of enthusiasm and is always keen to get out with his camera to get some shots. So where possible we try to do a shoot when we meet up. Today we went in to Stockport to shoot the pyramid and viaduct at night.

    For those who don’t know, there is a trick to this type of photography, and that is don’t do it at night! The time for ‘night’ photography is about 20-30 mins after sunset when the last traces of sunlight from over the horrizon just balances out the artifical lights used to flood light buildings and structures.

    The shot I’ve posted as my POTD was exactly what I wanted to get. For a number of years now I’ve had a photograph on my bussiness cards and on certain promotional materials. It is this photo……

    A lot of people have heard me say that I actually don’t like this photo, but I use it on my bussines card because it is one photo that a lot of people comment about, and it appears that a lot of people like it. I don’t like it because I had to digitally remove lamp posts, I had to use a tobacco filter (“So 1980’s” as the manager of one photo library told me!). It is a fake shot.

    My aim tonight was to get a night time version of this photo, which didn’t require me to fake it. I think I managed it.

    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: FA0208A-E00957

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  • POTD 9 Feb 2008: C3 Pancake Day 9 February 2008


    Lisa makes pancake batter

    Ok, so it’s a bit late.  But today we had pancake day.  C3 was invited to Andy and Lisa for pancakes and a general social.

    We had pancakes (of course), time to chat, video games, and Lou brought some flashing balls too!  (You spin them round and they flash… not exactly sure of the point of them but never mind).  The photo of Lou and her flashing balls is something of an experimental image.  Two and a half second exposure hand held.  And before anyone comments…. yes I do know it looks like the time vortex from 1980s Doctor Who!


    Lou and her flashing balls

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  • POTD 10 Feb 2008: Bull rushes 10 February 2008


    Bullrushes

    This afternoon Ann and I went for a short walk to a little known wildlife conservation area in Heaton Mersey.  I managed to get one or two shots, but perhaps the most intriging was the bullrushes ‘in bloom’.  Looking like a mutant cross between a cotton-wool factory, and a dandylion clock.

    The photo was taken into the sun to get the light shining though the candyfloss like seed clusters.

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  • POTD 11 Feb 2008: Directors Notes – Planning 11 February 2008


    Planning for Witness for the Prosection.

    Spent most of today planing the moves for Act 1 of Witness for the Prosection.  Recieved a lot of help from eight “Doctors Who”.  I used minature figurines of the first eight Doctors to represent characters from the play.  By doing that I could get an idea of how scenes might look.

    Tonight I went through all the moves with cast – as there were 128 moves it took all evening to get through the scene.

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  • POTD 12 Feb 2008: Parrs Wood 12 February 2008


    Parrs wood

    Readers of the POTD, and anyone who has has heard me talk about “Night Photography” will know that I always, always, recomend about 20-30 min after sunset as the time to do your ‘night’ photos.  (When the last vestiges of sunlight from over the horizon balance the artifical lights).

    In photography however, rules are made to be broken.  Tonight I called off at Parrs Wood, to take some night shots.  It was a good few hours after sunset, and while it is not my normal time for these shots I thought it might work because I wanted to get the lights in the trees.  The lights are blue and about the same sort of shade that the sky would appear on film if taken 20-30 mins after sunset, and I didn’t want the lights to disappear into the sky.  Secondly, I knew I wanted to shoot from under the trees.  This meant I wouldn’t have a big black expanse of sky – that would be filled with the trees and lights.

    Overall the shot is ok but, I have still got the problem of overexposed lights on the buildings.  At some point I’ll have to go back and try again.  Having seen the results I’m now thinking that about 45mins after sunset should give me the effect I wanted.

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  • POTD 13 Feb 2008: Flowers 13 February 2008


    Flowers in a Cheadle graveyard.

    I spotted these flowers growing between the gravestones in the graveyard of St Mary’s church Cheadle today.

    I wanted to find an angle to photograph them which showed the location as well as showed off the flowers.  In the end this appeared to be the best view.  Often when photographing flowers having the light coming from behind them gives a nice glow to the petals.  I chose a mid-range apature as I didn’t want the depth of field to be too small, but I still wanted to throw the gravestones out of focus.

    On the subject of flowers, I had a sale through Alamy today…

    Country: World Excluding USA
    Usage: Editorial
    Media: Consumer Magazine
    Industry: Retail books/magazines/newspapers
    Sub-Industry: Children’s
    Print run: up to 10,000
    Placement: Inside
    Image Size: Spot size
    Start: 13 February 2008
    End: 13 March 2008


    Daisy. Eyam Hall, Eyam, Derbyshire, United Kingdom.

     

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  • POTD 14 Feb 2008: Valentine 14 February 2008


    Valentine

    Well, I just had to shoot something on this theme today didn’t I?

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  • POTD Thu, 14 Feb 2008: A box of chocolates and three red hearts 14 February 2008


    A box of chocolates and three red hearts

    Well, I just had to shoot something on this theme today didn’t I?

    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: FA0214B-E01081

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  • POTD 15 Feb 2008: Manchester 15 February 2008


    Trinity Bridge

    I had a very succesful trip into Manchester today to take some photos.  I simply cannot decide which one to show as my POTD so here is a selction for you.


    The Palace hotel seen from Oxford Rd Station


    Celebrating Chineese new year


    Lincoln Memorial, Manchester


    Construction in Spinningfields


    Looking down the river Irwell


    Sunset on the Irwell


    Bridgewater Hall at night


    Manchester – GMEX Centre at night

    I think this counts as my biggest POTD entry ever!

     

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  • POTD 16 Feb 2008: Take 2 16 February 2008


    Shops to let

    Processing some images today that I’d taken a little over a week ago, there were shots in Heaton Moor.  I wasn’t happy with the depth of field on the photos I taken of shop to let signs.  So I went out to retake the shot – got it more or less right this time…. appart from having a dirty sensor, which means each shot needs to be cleaned up digitally.  Oh well.

    As someone once said: “If we learn by our mistakes I must be getting a fantastic education”

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  • POTD 17 Feb 2008: Flowers 17 February 2008


    Soft focus snowdrops

    On my way back from taking the shop signs photo yesterday, I spotted an area of Heaton Mersey, called Mauldeth Road Conseveration area, which was full of crocuses and snowdrops.  The light on it was fantastic and I decided to that I would go back there today to get some shots of the flowers.

    I deliberately waited until the “golden light” of late afternoon and set off.  The light was fantastic exactly what I wanted for the photos…. unfortunately what I hadn’t realised was that at that time of day there are some large trees casting a shadow over the whole area!  D’oh!

    I did take a few shots including this ‘soft focus’ snow drop image.

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  • POTD 18 Feb 2008: Painting with light 18 February 2008


    Woodford graveyard at night

    After the rehearsal for Witness for the Prosecution tonight I stay behind to photograph the graveyard at Woodford Christ Church.  What I was trying to do was to do a painting with light image, where the subject is illuminated just by the light of a torch/flashlight.

    What I got was effectively a moonlight photograph, the torch did add somelight to the graves in the foreground but not enough for the exposure.  Effectively my torch was not powerful enough when compared to the light of the moon, which as you can see is illuminating the majority of the scene.

    Also I didn’t have my cable release with me so I was not able to take images of longer than 30sec.  I did one 97sec exposure (bulb mode, but I had to keep my finger on the shutter so there is some camera blur, AND my finger almost froze to the camera!).

    I’ll probably have another go at this – in a couple of weeks when I’m next rehearsing at Woodford church.

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  • POTD 19 Feb 2008: Telescope 19 February 2008


    Telescope

    In the early hours of Thursday morning (3.00am) there will be a total eclipse of the moon visible from the UK.  That is if the clouds don’t get in the way.  The C3 Photography group (or at least some of us) are planing to meet up in Marple to view and photograph the event.  We have even been loaned a telescope to view it through.  One of my jobs tomorrow is to try to get an adaptor so that I can connect my camera to it!

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  • POTD 20 Feb 2008: Edgeley Library 20 February 2008


    Edgeley library

    I went to Edgeley to look at camera adaptors for the tripod I’d borrowed.  Didn’t get one as they were more than I wanted to pay for something I could only use on a borrowed telesope.  As it turned out it was a smart decision as we had to postpone our viewing of the Lunar eclipse tonight due to the fact that the moon is obscured by clouds.  “Postponed” that is until 28 September 2015 – which is the next time a complete total eclipse of the moon will be visible in the North West UK.

    While in Edgeley I saw the rather impresive entrance to Edegeley library.  I don’t think I had ever seen this before.  The photo was taken on an angle to eliminate as much of the bland, grey sky as possible. 

    (I know at least on POTD subscriber who will not like to see the photo presented at a slant, but I believe me it realy is better than the white sky).

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  • POTD 21 Feb 2008: Garrick 2008-9 Season 21 February 2008


    Plays: Stockport Garrick

    These are the plays which will be performed at Stockport Garrick Theatre next season.

    Time for me to swat up and decide what I’m going to audition for.  Having briefly looked at the scripts tonight, I’ve realised it is such a strong season.  I’m already looking forward to it.

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  • POTD 22 Feb 2008: Macro 22 February 2008


    Dinner time

    There is an old photography trick, that I am sure has been used by many a stock photographer.  When you don’t know what to photograph, put a macro lens on the camera and find some household objects.  Try unusual angles.  Try interesting arangements of objects.

    I didn’t know what to photography for today’s POTD – so let me proudly present: a napkin, a knife, a fork and spoon!

    I’ll try to do something more interesting tomorrow!

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  • POTD 23 Feb 2008: Visitors 23 February 2008


    The games player – a candid portrait

    This photo is of Anthony, my best man’s son.

    Today Andrew, my best man and his family were in Manchester and they wanted to go and visit my parents.  Ann and I went along too and that’s where I snapped this photo.  A quick conversion to black and white a slight rotate of the image and a tighter crop gave me the final image.

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  • POTD 24 Feb 2008: Focus on Imaging 24 February 2008


    NEC Birmingham

    Spent most of today at the NEC Birmingham, at a photography exhibition.  Very interesting, chance to see what new in the photo world.  (And a chance to play with some of the ‘toys’).  I’ll be back there tomorrow.

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  • POTD 25 Feb 2008: Model Photograph 25 February 2008


    Jade Cartwright at Focus on Imaging 2008

    Today was a first… I photographed a “page 3” model!  (As you can see see was fully clothed).

    As you may recall from yesterday’s POTD I’ve been visiting “Focus on imaging” at the NEC the last couple of days.  In order to promote/sell studio lighting set ups a number of the stands have studio setups and models.  Visitors to the show are invited to take a couple of shots to try out the equipment.  At the bowens stand I was invited to tryout a rather bizzare flash set up which was supposed to a sort of “ring flash” but attached to a standard flash head.  “All done with mirrors” the man doing the demo explained.

    I was given the opportunity to take a few shots using the studio setup, connected the flash remote to my camera and took some shots.  I discovered later the flash set up gave a red eye effect on the model (not what I would have expected from a major studio equipment manufacturer).  I also discovered later that the model in question was Jade Cartwright, who is apparently a “Page Three” girl.

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  • POTD 26 Feb 2008: Gorilla 26 February 2008


    Oook?

    I was doing the production photos this evening for the Garrick youth group production.  I’m not normally allowed to post photos from those shows.  (Child protection issues etc).

    However I think on this occasion no one can really object about this photo, or claim that it is infringing someones rights or identifying anyone. 

    The play is called “My Face” and it opens tomorrow.

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  • POTD 27 Feb 2008: Migraine 27 February 2008


    Migraine

    Had a migraine all day today.  The only thing I could cope with was darkness and a dose of Anadin.

    I only just managed to get all the photos done for the opening night at the Garrick (do a few minutes work, sleep for while, do a little more work and so on), but I had to cancel the Witness for the Prosecution rehearsal tonight. 

    By mid-evening the migrane had thankfully gone.  So I set to in creating this image for my POTD.   Sam was trying to be helpful I guess.  I had said I was trying to make a photograph of a major pain… he clearly thought I was refering to him….


    A big pain!

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  • POTD 28 Feb 2008: Hot shoe adaptor 28 February 2008


    Camera hot shoe PC socket adaptor

    Ok, I know this isn’t the most interesting photo in the world – but it is what it is.  A product shot of a hot shoe adaptor for a camera.  It enables a camera which doesn’t have a “PC socket” to use a PC Sync lead (BTW PC in this case doesn’t mean personal computer it means “Prontor Compur” the companies that defined the standard connection used to connect a camera to a flash unit).

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  • POTD 29 Feb 2008: Elephant 29 February 2008


    Elephant and books

    On most Friday’s this year I’ve been meeting up with fellow photographer Matt to spend some time taking photos and talking about the photo industry.  Today the weather wasn’t good so we did some concept shots of a an old knitted elephant and set of Enid Blyton books.  Hopfully they may be usful for features/ads about children and books.

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