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  • POTD 1 Jan 2009: Reboot! 1 January 2009

    Windows XP Restart screen.

    It’s that time of year again.  Time to review how I got on with my 2008 New Year’s Resolutions and to set out my objectives for 2009.  A time to restart my resolutions and to reboot my objectives.

    For those who want to read what I said on 1st January 2008, you can find it here:

    But to sumarise my intentions for 2008 they were:
    1. Keep my finances up-to-date
    2. Clear my image backlog
    3. Prevent a new image backlog from happening
    4. Post a photo of the day for each day (Although not stated in the POTD on 1st Jan the challenge was to take a new photo every day)
    5. Continue to read a passage of the Bible everyday.

    So how did I do?

    1. Keep finances up-to-date. 

    Well I didn’t keep the the timescales I set myself on 1st January.  But I did get them up-to-date part way through the year and my tax return was submitted months earlier than I normally submit it.  So that’s a partial success… although I do need to have anther session pretty soon to ensure that I don’t get into bad habbits again.

    2 & 3. The Image backlog.

    I’ll deal with these together.  This hasn’t been as succesful as I would have liked.  I still have a backlog…. however… I do feel in more control of it than I did last year.  I don’t feel as though the backlog is any larger than it was this time last year and that is despite taking more photos this year than I have in any previous year (I took more in 2008 than I did in 2005 & 2006 combined!). 

    Why didn’t I make as much progress as I wanted?  Early in 2008 I upgraded my PC and as readers my recall I had a LOT of problems following that upgrade.  One direct effect of that was that although I almost as soon as the year started I was behind on my schedule for working through the backlog and never recovered.

    The second reason was that I was taking many more photos this year than I had previously and that meant concentrating on 2008’s images and not on the backlog.  Part of that increase in image taking was the POTD challenge for 2008…

    4. POTD

    I set myself a challenge in 2008 that the photographs posted on a particular day were taken on that day.  Did I manage it?  Well you be the judge here’s the facts:
    a) Every day in 2008 has a POTD entry.
    b) Two days don’t have photographs but have suitable graphics instead.  One because of the death of a friend the other date due to the PC crashing again.
    c) Some days the images were taken but not posted until sometime later (Eg the period I spent in Syria and the knock-on effect that had on the POTD).
    d) On three occasions the images weren’t taken on the day for which they were for.  Once because I simply forgot.  Once because I was behind with posting and somehow got out of synch with taking the images, and once because I had convinced myself I’d taken a photo which when I came to post it I clearly hadn’t taken!

    Was it sucessful?  I have 8 stock/library sales of images that would not have been taken had I not set myself the challenge of taking a new photo every day in 2008.  Two further sales were from POTD shoots but those probably would have happened regardless of doing the challenge.

    The downside to the challenge was the large number of times I was hunting for an object in the house to photograph because I had not photographed anything that day.  This started feeling very repeative to me and no doubt very boring for you the POTD reader.

    5 Bible Reading
    This was not as sucesful as 2007.  Having said that throughout 2008 I did read a passage on a lot more days than I didn’t.  I was doing reasonably well up till the trip to Syria with, I think, only having missed on day uptil that time.  After that trip my routine of post POTD and read a passage had been broken because I wasn’t posting my POTD everyday at night and the bible ready became patchy. 

    The Challenges for 2009

    1. Bible Reading
    This is my first and most important challenge – to get back to reading a passage everyday.  I’ve recently discovered a bible reading postcast and this is helping. 

    2. Finances
    Need to keep on top of this.  I’ll keep the objective the same as before that by the end of one month the previous months finances should be up-to-date.

    3. Marketing
    One of my objectives for 2009 is to market my business more effectively.  I can’t be more specific about it at this point as the first part of the challenge it to workout how I should be doing that marketing.

    4. Image Backlog
    Again the aim is that by the end of 2009 to totally clear the backlog.  Again I’m going to try to deal with images with the same date on that date.  ie Anything taken on 1st of Jan any year I will process today, anything taken on 2nd Jan of any year I’ll deal with tomorrow and so on.  As I started this last year, I know I’m already a couple of month ahead of myself so that should help me achieve the target.

    5. POTD
    A number of people have been asking me about my POTD challenge for 2009.  As I have mentioned taking a photo every day has made reducing my backlog that much more difficult.  So this year the photo I post each day to my POTD (and yes I am still going to post a photo every day) will be either….

    a) something that I have uploaded to Alamy on that day.
    b) something taken on that day.

    Option a) will always be my first choice as that will actively encourage me to process images from my backlog to reduce them.  Option b) is included to cover those times I’m away from home and can’t prepare images for upload or those times I’ve taken images for a client (Eg theatre images) that I wish to showcase on the day they were taken.

    And just in case you are wondering today’s POTD image was both taken today AND uploaded to Alamy today!

    Happy New Year.

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  • POTD 2 Jan 2009: Ebchester 2 January 2009

    A traditional red British telephone box. Ebchester, County Durham, United Kingdom.

    For the first time in over a year I am posting a POTD image that wasn’t taken on (or for) the day for which it is posted.  As mentioned yesterday, the challenge for this year is to process and upload at least one image to Alamy every day and to showcase one of those images in my POTD.

    This telephone box was in the North East village of Ebchester.  I visited the Gateshead area in September 2005 some but not all the images from that trip haven’t yet been sent to the libraries.  You can see my POTD diary entry for the date on which this image was taken here:

    When I was processing this image I decided that it would be stronger if I converted it to black and white but left the telephone box in red.

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  • POTD 3 Jan 2009: Lighthouse 3 January 2009

    Lighthouse. St Marys Island, Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom.

    Today’s photo is another image from my 2005 trip to the North East of England.  This time it is St Mary’s Lighthouse.

    The day we went there the weather was not brilliant and it was difficult to get any decent shots of the lighthouse.  This was about the best I could do durring the morning.  I’ve tried to make the image more dramatic by using a neutral density filter to darken the sky.

    As the day went on the weather improved and we returned to the lighthouse again later that same afternoon.  You can see a shot I took on the second visit that day on my POTD entry for that day:

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  • POTD 4 Jan 2009: Tynemouth 4 January 2009

    The priory and castle. Tynemouth, Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom.

    Contining the series of images from the NE England.  For todays images we have moved a little further down the coast from St Mary’s lighthouse (posted yesterday).  Two images today both taken in Tynemouth.

    The clock tower. Tynemouth, Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom.

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  • POTD 5 Jan 2009: Back to St Marys Lighthouse 5 January 2009

    The lighthouse. St Marys Island, Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom.

    As mentioned a couple of days ago, when we were in the Gateshead area we visited St Mary’s Lighthouse twice in the same day.  This was because the weather conditions had improved and I was able to get some more interesting photographs that had not been possible the first time.

    Of course, when I out doing travel photography as I was here at St Mary’s Island, I’m also on the look out for other images which might be useful as stock.  For example on this trip there was a brightly coloured recycling point.  Which I spend a while photographing.  Much to the puzzelment and amusement of the some of the visitors.  (There is a lovely view of a very picturesque lighthouse and I’m standing in the car park photographing literally a load of old rubish).

    Here’s one of the images….

    Recyling point. St Marys Island, Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom.

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  • POTD (6 years ago today) Sat, 5 Jan 2009: Winter sunset at Etherow Country Park. 5 January 2009

    Winter sunset at Etherow Country Park. Etherow Country Park, Stockport, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom.

    I am not someone who regularly photographs in the snow. But with snow on the ground I thought I’d take a trip to Etherow country park to see what I could capture. I’m quite pleased with the results and this sunset is my POTD for 5 January 2009.

    You can see some more images from the same visit to the park in this blog post:

    And there are a few more in my general Stockport photo gallery:

    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: FB0105A-E00015

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  • POTD 7 Jan 2009: Whitburn Windmill 7 January 2009

    Whitburn Windmill. Whitburn, South Tyneside, United Kingdom.

    Back to uploading the Tyneside images today… at least I would be if the Alamy upload wasn’t broken.  Hopefully they’ll be uploaded by the end of the day.

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  • POTD 8 Jan 2009: Souter Lighthouse 8 January 2009

    The entrance driveway to Souter Lighthouse. Lizard Point, South Tyneside, United Kingdom.

    Moving up the coast from yesterday’s Witburn Windmill to the National Trust’s Souter Lighthouse.  Here photographed from the road outside the lighthouse.

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  • POTD 10 Jan 2009: Reflections on Salford 10 January 2009

    Quay West Office building. Salford Quays, Salford, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom.

    For todays submission to Alamy I started processing some images I’d taken in Salford.  They were taken the day after we got back from our unexpectedly shortened trip to the North East.  For those who don’t know the bizzare circumstances to how that trip ended you can read about it here….

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  • POTD 11 Jan 2009: Old and New 11 January 2009

    Cranes and a tram along the edge of the docks. Salford Quays, Salford, Greater Manchester

    Today I finished the processing and keywording of the Salford Quays images and uploaded the remainder to Alamy.

    I really like the juxtaposition in this image.  The old of the cranes and the new of the Metrolink tram.

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  • POTD 12 Jan 2009: Relax 12 January 2009

    Beach umbrellas (parasols) and sun loungers on an empty beach. Sousse, Tunisia.

    Had a number of Quality Control issues with my submissions to Alamy.  Mainly to do with the older images shot on my Canon 10D – the images I’ve been showing here on my POTD for the last week or so.  So I’m taking a break from uploading those images and turning my attention to preparing and uploading images taken with my current Canon 5D camera – I know the image quality is much better with this camera.

    I think Alamy QC procedures are a bit odd – many of my best selling and regular selling images would probably fail the current quality control process.  But that doesn’t stop buyers buying and using them, nor does it stop Alamy making money out of them.  Oh well – such is the bizarre life of stock photography.  I’m not going to let it bother me, I’ll just think of that empty beach in Tunisa and relax!

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  • POTD 13 Jan 2009: Another day another beach… 13 January 2009

    Boujaafar beach. Sousse, Tunisia.

    …but sadly it only pictures of beaches and not the real thing.  This photo is again from Sousse, Tunisia.  It is not the same time or place as the photo I showed yesterday.  It is, as the title says, another day another beach.

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  • POTD 14 Jan 2009: B of the Bang 14 January 2009

    The B of the Bang sculpture outside the commonwealth games stadium, Manchester (Image Reference: 20090114A-E00055)

    I heard that the “B of the Bang” sculpture was to be dismantled. So I thought I had better go and see it and photograph it before it was taken down.

    This version of the image has had quite a bit of post-production work done to it. It is actually an HDR image so that I could capture all the detail – particularly in the hub of the sculpture.

    January 2020 Update: It’s been over 10 years since this sculpture was dismantled. I know it had a lot of problems with spike falling off and that it had to be taken down for safety reasons. But I still miss it. If the engineering had lived up to the design concept this could and should have been a real iconic bit of public art and a great celebration of the 2002 Commonwealth Games. Alas, however, it wasn’t to be. At least I have my images to remember it.

    Settings: 1/12s, f/8, ISO 100. Lens: @58 mm.

    You can see the other images from this shoot here:

    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.

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  • POTD 15 Jan 2009: Reflections 15 January 2009

    Moored boats in the harbour. Port el Kantaoui, Tunisia.

    Usually in photography it is not a good idea to put the horizen right in the middle of the image.  There are however exceptions and this image from Tunisia (Uploaded to Alamy today) is one of them…. When you have reflections in water you can get a nice symetery to an image by putting the horrizone in the middle.

    Oh and for those who are interested… after my recent run of QC rejections at Alamy today I had four different batches of images accepted.  (Phew!).

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  • POTD 16 Jan 2009: More of the Port 16 January 2009

    White apartment blocks. Port el Kantaoui, Tunisia.

    One of the classic features of Port el Kantaoui in Tunisia is the whitewashed appartments.  Photos of these appartements are often found in travel guides and brochures.  It will come as no surprise then that I took a lot of photos of them when I was there!

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  • POTD 17 Jan 2009: Pottery 17 January 2009

    Traditional Tunisian pottery for sale. Port el Kantaoui, Tunisia.

    This concludes the current set of Port el Kantaoui images.  One of the things I try to do when visiting a location is not only photograph the location, building, piazzas etc.  But where there is traditional crafts on sale try to photograph those too.  As is the case with this Tunisian pottery.

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  • POTD 18 Jan 2009: HDR B of Bang 18 January 2009

    B of the Bang. Manchester, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom.

    Last week I went over to the City of Manchester stadium to photograph “The B of the Bang” sculpture before it becomes the “G of the Gone”.  So tonight I ended up trying to kill three birds with one stone… 

    Firstly the photos I took needed processing.

    Secondly as my POTD challenge this year is to post something uploaded to Alamy, I could use the images for that.

    Thirdly, next week I’m supposed to be leading a session on HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography for the C3 photographers, so this was a good excuse to experiment with that.  Still having limited success with the technique though.

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  • POTD 19 Jan 2009: Ooops it's broken! 19 January 2009

    Young woman with storeage boxes.

    Today I’ve been preparing photos from a model shoot I did in November for submission to Alamy.  All the images in this set are to do with packing boxes.  I’m hoping that they will make good stock images.  As my target is to upload at least one batch of images to Alamy each day I’ve been working to get this batch ready to upload before going to bed.  Only to find that Alamy upload is currently unavailable due to technical problems.  (ie it’s broken).

    I only found out about the Alamy upload problem after I had uploaded this image to my POTD… but it does appear that I’ve pick a rather appropriate one!

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  • POTD 20 Jan 2009: Platforms 20 January 2009

    Two women in high heel platform shoes.

    Today’s POTD comes form a model shoot last month.  As you can see the girls came with some rather unusual footware for this shoot!

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  • POTD 21 Jan 2009: Cheers 21 January 2009

    Cheers – two wine glasses.

    Sometimes when working with models all I want to photograph is a detail.  This shot which I processed to upload today is a good example.  Two models, two wine glasses… result:  one stock image which says party, or celebration.

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  • POTD 22 Jan 2009: Healthy eating 22 January 2009

    Attractive young woman deciding between an apple chocolate gataux.

    Today’s POTD is the last in the series of comercial images with models that I have ben preparing for submission to Alamy.  It shows the model choosing an apple over a chocolate gataux.

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  • POTD 23 Jan 2009: A nice cup of tea 23 January 2009

    A advert for Co-op tea painted on the side of the Co-op museum. Rochdale, Greater Manchester, United

    The focus of today has been to sort out photos from a shoot at the Garrick last night.  The play was “Iron” a drama set in a woman prison.  Definately worth going to see.  You can see images from that shoot here…

    Because of this I’ve not had much time to prepare images for upload to Alamy.  I did do a handful though… all from Rochdale in 2006.  One of my favourites is this advert on the side of the original co-op shop.

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  • POTD 24 Jan 2009: Dinner for four 24 January 2009

    A dinner table set for four people.

    Continuing the food and drink theme.  Today’s POTD image is from 2006 and shows our dining table set for a meal for four.  This seemed and appropriate image to upload to Alamy today as we had two friends round for a meal this evening.

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  • POTD 25 Jan 2009: HDR Testing 25 January 2009

    HDR: A conservatory with breakfast table and sofa and chairs.

    Tomorrow the C3 Photography group are meeting to look at HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography.  So this afternon I visited my parents to photography their conservatory as an example of an HDR image.  HDR Techniques allow a photographer to capture a much larger range of brightnesses than normal.  Using a standard technique to create this image would leave the garden scene in the background over exposed, or the interior under exposed.  HDR enable me to photograph both.

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  • POTD 26 Jan 2009: Temple of the Waters 26 January 2009

    Roman Temple of the Waters, The Tell, Tunisia

    Back to processing my Tunisian photos today.  This image is from the Roman temple of the Waters.

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  • POTD 27 Jan 2009: Thuburbo Majus 27 January 2009

    The Capitol, Thuburbo Majus, The Tell, Tunisia.

    Tunisia again for my POTD.  This is the Capitol at Thuburbo Majus, the ancient Roman city in the north of the country.

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  • POTD 28 Jan 2009: Columns 28 January 2009

    Two columns. The Capitol, Thuburbo Majus, The Tell, Tunisia. Thuburbo Majus, The Tell, Tunisia.

    Another view of columns at the Capitol, Thuburbo Majus in Tunisia

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  • POTD 29 Jan 2009: Columns 29 January 2009

    Four columns at the Capitol. Thuburbo Majus, The Tell, Tunisia.

    Ok, so it’s more columns again.  But there is something about this shot that I like.

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  • POTD 30 Jan 2009: Dougga 30 January 2009

    Roman theatre, Dougga, The Tell, Tunisia.

    More Roman columns – different place, but still in Tunisia.  This is the Roman Theatre at Dougga.  Dougga is an unusual Roman city in that it is built on a hillside.  The Romans normally prefered flat areas to build their cities on.

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  • POTD 31 Jan 2009: Tour Guide 31 January 2009

    Tour guide at the Roman City of Dougga, The Tell, Tunisia. Dougga, The Tell, Tunisia.

    Sticking with the Tunisian theme, this is something a little different.  We are still at the Roman city of Dougga but for this shot rather than photographing the ruins I turned my camera on the guide who was showing us round.

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