Thursday, 29 November 2012

A Thank you to my followers

Just a quick post this morning to thank all of those who wished me well on my birthday yesterday. I will be sharing will you all what I did, what photography related items I received and photos of a wonderful place i went.

So again, Thank you all.

And just because I can, here are the blog links to all those lovely people.

Tricia @ Bluff Area Daily
Liz @ The greatest of these is LOVE
Barbara @ Commonplace Beauty Photography
Candy @ Lazy J Bar C Farm
Brian @ Brian King Images
Tanya @ Around Roanoke
John @ Sinbad And I On The Loose

See Ya

Shaun

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

The Sound of the underground - And a special Day !!!!!!

After a recent trip to London, this is the only image i managed to get of the underground. Sucks really, wish i had more time to Photograph down there.



This is the only photo for today because today is a special day........................


Tuesday, 27 November 2012

She keeps me in stitches

As some of you may know, and for those of you dont im going to tell you.

While I spend un-godly hours attached to the lens of my camera the better half of this criminal outfit (my Gemma) you would think gets left out quite a bit.

No so, she spends just as much (if not more) time in here own hobby of needle working; more commonly known as cross stitching.

These are some of the recent masterpieces that she has created in the run up to Christmas





Monday, 26 November 2012

Eyes on Monday

I thought I would gather all of my family so that they can have their photos taken. After worrying about glaming up i did tell them that it was only their eyes i was interested in, to their relief !!

Harri

Gemma
Meghan

Sunday, 25 November 2012

The local cemetery

A little morbid maybe? but when i was passing today i had to get this photo, the sky looked awesome and was begging to be shot.


Saturday, 24 November 2012

Sparklers (long exposures)

I forgot to post these photos up during the bonfire night celebrations

They are all long exposure with a coloured overlay added in Photoshop





Meghan painting her name

Harri (attempting) to paint his name

My name up in lights (well in spaks)



Thursday, 22 November 2012

Getting out there early doors

I made the decision to go out with the camera this morning before work started. Up and out before 7am is pretty darn good for me, a quick drive around the surrounding countryside and i managed to quickly edit these two before having to become a slave to the system once again.

Again, a question on the first photo.....

Q: What do you think this brickwork tower was used for?

Clue: its all to do with tunnels !

A: This is more commonly known as a "pepper pot" and is a light and air ventilation shaft for the tunnel that runs 80 feet below this point and a total length of approximately 1,100 feet
Ventilation pepper pot @ Brecon mountain railway

Then once more, the most photographed element of our area. Pontsticill Reservoir


Have a Fab day

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Money Money Money

Tonight we emptied the small change jars ready for exchanging for Christmas. Never the one to miss a photo opportunity I broke out the D3100 and snapped away,  only really like two of them enough to put on here for you lovely people.

A Question for all non UK residents.

Can you name the coins in the first photo?

Correctly guessed by Carole M. over at Caroles Creative Corener
Well done Carole. !!!!
What are these Called ??

A two penny piece,  showing the welsh three feathers


Have a lovely day

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

My new addition - Another Reptile

I am truly a lucky man. I have the most understanding Fiancee in the world. This little guy was destine for a trip down the river if i wasn't to rescue him.

He is a 9 month Old (wait for it) Super Hypo Tangerine Carrot Tail Baldy Recessive for Blizzard Leopard Gecko - SHTCTBRB for short.

He is a sweet little guy who now dons the name of the legendary MotoGP Racer Valentino Rossi, and is commonly known as ROSSI.

Here are some of the first shots i have managed to get of him. Hes a little bit jumpy at the moment but will settle in soon.

Apologies for the noisy photos it was late and dark and had to push the ISO to 1600.




Sunday, 11 November 2012

Review - Tamron 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD MACRO 1:2















Product Spec


Item NoA17
Groups-Elements9-13
Angle of view34-8
Optical Constructionrotation
Diaphragm Blades9
Minimum Aperture32
Minimum Object Distance [m]0.95
Maximum Magnification Ratio1:2
Filter size [mm]62
Weight [g]435
Diameter x Length [mm]76.6 x 116.5
Maximum ApertureF/4-5.6
Focal Length [mm]70-300
Item no. hoodDA17
Item no. front capCP62

For the full specification write up from Tamron please click HERE

Overview

When I was first starting out with my D3100 I used the kit lens for a couple of months until I felt the need to get 'closer'. My natural reaction was to start looking at the Nikon Nikkor lenses. I immediately found that while they were exactly what I wanted I knew that they were out of my price range for the moment.


I had done some online research and found it in abundance, but there were two budget telephoto zoom lenses that kept cropping up; Tamron and Sigma. After checking and some thinking I went with the Tamron unit for a shade under £120.00 which I thought was a seal seeing that the equivalent Nikon Lens was nearly 3 times the price.

Performance

Main functionality

The first thing that surprised me upon opening was that this lens had a metal body mounting ring, for the money I thought would have been a plastic ring – bonus. There are two main outer rings to the lens, a large zoom and smaller manual focus ring. Although these rings are moved mechanically, and not having the silent motors fitted it they do move with ease and give a good solid feeling in hand. Having an aperture range of f/4-5.6 I found that it was more than adequate in blurring out the background of the subject matter while maintaining subject sharpness.
There is however a small draw back with this lens. When the camera tries to auto focus on subjects at the extremities of its focal range it does tend to ‘hunt*’ for a focal point. This rarely bothered me as I would use it a lot in manual focus as I felt more in control this way, others may want to keep it in auto mode. If you are looking to keep it in auto it will perform quite happily all day long at track day events, capturing airplanes Etc. The only thing it did start to struggle with is, wait for it…. 210MPH Moto GP motorbikes. This is where the manual mode was a breeze to use and covered it very well.

And just to prove its worth, here are some of those shots I was telling you about.

TRACK DAY

Macro mode

I really haven’t used this as much as what I thought I would have, only because the kit leas does a far better job having the Vibration reduction built in and the distance you can get to you subject.

For the times I did use the Macro more here are some of the images I captured.



Conclusion

While I have touched upon some of the weakness of this lens, I have only mentioned them to be unbiased and totally impartial. The positives of this lens totally outweigh the negatives by a long way. This is a terrific starter lens and would recommend it to anyone who is thinking like I did initially, wanting alot of bang for not a lot of buck.

Recommendations

UV Filter: They are not expensive just a few pounds (or dollars) each. A little spent here could save hundreds down the line should a lens get damaged. All of the above items can be seen within this post. Click HERECarry bag: If you are not storing this lens in a bag or holder I would seriously think of getting something to protect it from the elements.

Overall Rating 8/10


*Hunt – When the lens searches for a focal point (sometimes pre-determined in camera) and winds itself through the range looking for something to focus on.





Review - Nikon Digital SLR Camera D3100


Nikon Digital SLR Camera D3100

Nikon Digital SLR D3100


Product Spec

Lens mount
Nikon F mount (with AF contacts)

Effective angle of view
Approx. 1.5 x lens focal length (Nikon DX format)

Effective pixels
14.2 million

Image sensor
23.1 x 15.4 mm CMOS sensor

For the full specification write up from NIKON please click HERE

Overview

I have been using this camera for just over a year now, so I now think I am able to write a pretty comprehensive long-term test for this piece of equipment.
 From the initial unboxing of this unit to the putting together of the lens and battery pack it felt solid, well built and robust, unlike some of the earlier main competitor models that I tried to get to grips with.
 On startup the menu system is clear, concise and will navigate anyone from a total beginner to a seasoned professional to the places you need to be. Its form and functionality will ease you into the camera by giving really good instructions in regard what each of the settings will do for you. Set it to Auto and it controls everything from the ISO to Exposure compensation to the aperture. Using the D3100 in this mode will get you used to the feel of the camera as you chase the family pet around the house looking for that iconic professional shot that all SLR users strive for.
 From this the immersion of the user within the camera can be as little or as extreme as you make it. From clicking through he user friendly menus and snapping away to being knee deep in Long exposure Low ISO settings in difficult lighting conditions and having to think about your white balance; The D3100 will stand up well to all these tests should you want to push the envelope . If you try out the manual mode and all goes to pot then with the flick of a button in the main menu and all of your problems are reset once more.

18-55mm VR kit lens

The kit 18-55mm VR lens is pitched perfect for this kit with is broad zoom range, fast focusing and pin sharp images. It is a perfect accompaniment to the camera and balances well. It does need a protecting UV filter to help stop the scratching of the lens and the blocking of unwanted glare and reflection.

Conclusion

While I think that the D3100 is an amazing starter camera there is one point I would like to address  Now I know that not every unit that Nikon make will have the high end capabilities of the likes of the D3x and I guess its just me being fussy. The camera is not capable of auto-bracketing for those tricky lighting scenarios where the bracketing can help later on in post processing. This can still be achieved manually but in the world of HDR (High Dynamic Range) time is of the essence when capturing landscapes with ever moving elements.
        - To see a HDR Photo in progress with this camera please click HERE

Recommendations


When using the D3100 there are some accessories that I would strongly recommend that you use.
  • Memory card: The best  that you can possibly afford. The read speed of these cards will become crucial when dealing with combinations of  in camera RAW processing and long exposures.
  • Battery grip: One of these will prove so valuable that will wonder how you ever managed without one. Storing two Nikon batteries it will give you the added extra of shooting for longer; it has not be confirmed but i am positive that the in camera processing time is slightly reduced due to the increase in power form the two batteries.
  • UV Filters: I had briefly touched upon these earlier, but they are a worth while investment, they are not expensive just a few pounds (or dollars) each. A little spent here could save hundreds down the line should a lens get damaged.
All of the above items can be seen withing this post. Click HERE

OVERALL RATING 9/10

Winter is coming.....But who is your Favorite

As was once denoted by Eddard Stark in the hit series Game of Thrones - "Winter is coming"


Eddard Stark In high rightful place - The Iron Throne

When winter decides to arrive here in the UK we sure have all the tell tale signs of it. Daytime temperatures dip, the air becomes dry and crisp and the thick dense fog descends.
 From this time on (and with the Coca Cola advert being shown on TV) we are officially in Christmas mode.

Just as a taster this is what I have to Wake upto each morning.


Game of thrones Season 3 starts 03/31/13


Leave a comment letting us know who is your favorite character from the below list and why.



Lena HeadeyLena Headey...
Cersei Lannister (20 episodes, 2011-2013)
Peter DinklagePeter Dinklage...
Tyrion Lannister (20 episodes, 2011-2013)
Maisie WilliamsMaisie Williams...
Arya Stark (19 episodes, 2011-2013)
Michelle FairleyMichelle Fairley...
Catelyn Stark (18 episodes, 2011-2013)
Emilia ClarkeEmilia Clarke...
Daenerys Targaryen (18 episodes, 2011-2013)
Alfie AllenAlfie Allen...
Theon Greyjoy (18 episodes, 2011-2013)
Iain GlenIain Glen...
Ser Jorah Mormont (17 episodes, 2011-2013)
Kit HaringtonKit Harington...
Jon Snow (17 episodes, 2011-2013)
Sophie TurnerSophie Turner...
Sansa Stark (17 episodes, 2011-2013)
Jack GleesonJack Gleeson...
Joffrey Baratheon (17 episodes, 2011-2013)
Aidan GillenAidan Gillen...
Petyr Baelish (16 episodes, 2011-2013)
Isaac Hempstead WrightIsaac Hempstead Wright...
Bran Stark (16 episodes, 2011-2013)
Richard MaddenRichard Madden...
Robb Stark (14 episodes, 2011-2012)
Jerome FlynnJerome Flynn...
Bronn (14 episodes, 2011-2013)
Conleth HillConleth Hill...
Lord Varys (14 episodes, 2011-2013)
Donald SumpterDonald Sumpter...
Maester Luwin (14 episodes, 2011-2012)
Rory McCannRory McCann...
Sandor Clegane (14 episodes, 2011-2013)
Nikolaj Coster-WaldauNikolaj Coster-Waldau...
Jaime Lannister (13 episodes, 2011-2013)
Ron DonachieRon Donachie...
Ser Rodrik Cassel (13 episodes, 2011-2012)
Julian GloverJulian Glover...
Grand Maester Pycelle (13 episodes, 2011-2012)
Amrita AchariaAmrita Acharia...
Irri (13 episodes, 2011-2012)
Charles DanceCharles Dance...
Tywin Lannister (12 episodes, 2011-2013)
John BradleyJohn Bradley...
Samwell Tarly (12 episodes, 2011-2013)
Kristian NairnKristian Nairn...
Hodor (12 episodes, 2011-2012)
Sibel KekilliSibel Kekilli...
Shae (11 episodes, 2011-2013)
Mark StanleyMark Stanley...
Grenn (11 episodes, 2011-2012)
Roxanne McKeeRoxanne McKee...
Doreah (11 episodes, 2011-2012)
Esmé BiancoEsmé Bianco...
Ros (11 episodes, 2011-2013)
Sean BeanSean Bean...
Eddard Stark (10 episodes, 2011)
Natalia TenaNatalia Tena...
Osha (10 episodes, 2011-2012)
Joe DempsieJoe Dempsie...
Gendry (10 episodes, 2011-2013)
Jason MomoaJason Momoa...
Khal Drogo (10 episodes, 2011-2012)
Thomas Brodie-SangsterThomas Brodie-Sangster...
Jojen Reed (10 episodes, 2013)
Ciarán HindsCiarán Hinds...
Mance Rayder (10 episodes, 2013)
Kristofer HivjuKristofer Hivju...
Tormund Giantsbane (10 episodes, 2013)
James CosmoJames Cosmo...
Jeor Mormont (9 episodes, 2011-2013)
Ben HawkeyBen Hawkey...
Hot Pie (9 episodes, 2011-2013)

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