The wife and I recently returned from our Honeymoon in Tuscany and Rome, so while obviously the trip was primarily about us, it was inevitable that I’d be taking my cameras too. The new Italy 2016 album shows a few of my better shots, I have plenty of more personal or touristy shots too but seeing as this space is for displaying my best work, I’ve kept the album to just a few of the ones I’m happiest with from a photographer’s point of view
Following on from my previous post, the re-designed and easier to manage galleries means I have finally got round to uploading a new album from my holiday to Canada last year. I’ve also taken the time to add a few photos to the English Landscapes, Rivers and Waterfalls and Castles and Ruins albums from trips this year to Cornwall and Yorkshire
Well once again I find myself redesigning the galleries of my website. Some time ago I decided to stop using a 3rd party photo hosting service for my website content and host it on my own web space in order to make use of some cool portfolio features built in to my site. This all worked well and looked nice, but over time I found that actually it was very time consuming, overly complicated, and generally just a right pain to manage all the content within WordPress as it’s not really built for mass photo management, and as a result my galleries have been left abandoned and not updated with new content for some time as I simply don’t have the time and patience for convoluted set-ups any more
So, I have taken the decision to go full circle and go back to hosting all my photos on Flickr (reminding myself in the process how easy and painless it is to manage albums on there and why I used to use it!) and feeding them into gallery pages on my site, a much simpler and direct set-up
I have also removed a few pages that have become redundant, the Reviews and Tech Tip pages. I used to write quite a few detailed reviews, but have found myself without the time or inclination to do so in recent years, meaning that all the content was well out of date, and honestly I don’t think every really received much traffic anyway, so seeing as I’m going for a more streamlined and easy to manage structure now, they had to go
Hopefully this all means that my albums will get updated more often now and the whole site will stay a little more up to date and streamlined
Finally, after much faffing, I have gotten round to updating my galleries with a few shots from my recent trip to Doune Knoydart. Unfortunately I was ill for half the trip so didn’t get as much photography time in as I’d hoped, but I still managed to get a few shots I was pleased with, mostly landscapes which I’ve dropped in the newly separated Scottish Landscapes gallery, but also a couple in the British Mammals and Macro galleries
Well, not for the first time I have decided to redesign the site. The new design probably doesn’t look drastically different at first glance, I’ve retained the same colour scheme which I’ve become fond of and much of the same layout, but I personally felt the tweaked layout is a little more professional looking and I have taken advantage of new more advanced gallery features in this design to rework my galleries so the whole site hangs together a bit better and is easier to maintain, plus no longer relies on a 3rd party service to host the image content. I’ve still got a bit of work to do behind the scenes, updating page descriptions and adding some details for the galleries, but I felt I’d done enough to make it suitable for public viewing once more
Finally got round to organising all my photos from my recent photographic trip to Scotland and uploaded to the site. All photos can be found via the new galleries
Apparently having friends who are also into photography is as financially damaging as it is good fun! For years I’ve been happy focussing my photography on Wildlife, Landscapes and Pets and not been interested in much else, however a good friend recently got himself into macro photography and has now gone and got me hooked in the space of one weekend!
When we arranged for me to visit for the weekend we had nice ideas of going out taking coastal landscape shots, but some rotten weather reports made that look an unlikely prospect, so we fell back on the idea of doing some macro stuff indoors since he has acquired a few good bits of background and lighting kit since getting into it. Having no macro kit myself and being unwilling to shell out hundreds of pounds on a new lens when I wasn’t convinced whether it would be my sort of thing, I thought I’d try a (relatively) cheap way of having a go by buying a set of extension tubes to team up with my trusty nifty fifty, also safe in the knowledge that if I did later buy a macro lens, they wouldn’t become redundant, as they can be teamed up with a macro lens to achieve greater than 1:1 magnification
Well one weekend of messing about with this setup and I have not only caught the bug, I’ve accepted that while extension tubes on a nifty fifty are a great starter/experimental macro setup, they sorely lack the flexibility and capabilities of a proper macro lens, with the paper thin planes of focus meaning a need to keep swapping out tube combinations to achieve closer or further framing. So, before I had even gotten home I was already hunting for a good affordable macro lens and by the middle of the week I had a Nikon 60mm F2.8 AF-D in my hands via a nice chap on eBay selling a mint condition second hand one that I got for a bargain price. Oh and a cheap but effective LED ring light I picked up on Amazon to help light close subjects when my flashgun can’t manage it (I’m a long way off affording a macro flash setup!)
So, I now have both the kit and the incentive to continue experimenting in a new area of photography, hopefully in the coming months I will get together enough decent shots to put a new gallery together and will write up a review of my choice of macro lens and extension tubes as I spend more time using them. In the meantime the shots in this post show a couple of my better results from that financially fateful weekend!