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Snow days

Snow days

Across the UK during the past week or so, we have had snow days. It’s nowhere near as problematic as in some places, but it does disrupt things. I suspect, mainly because we’re not used to it!

So, with closed roads and school, advice is do not travel unless absolutely necessary. But mostly, life carries on as normal, just with an extra sweater, and added gloves!

But the Nikon camera struggles with all that white. When you’re faced with a large expanse of very bright, such as snow, the auto exposure settings can struggle. You end up with images that are over exposed and too glaringly shiny. The sea on a bright, sunny, day can have the same effect.

Fortunately our snow days haven’t been a total white out, and I did get some reasonable pictures.

On most DSLR cameras there will be a way to compensate for this. On the D3300 there is a tiny button with + and – symbols, near the on off switch. Press and hold this and thumb the wheel on the back of the camera to turn exposure up and down. This only works in manual or semi-manual modes. The function is not available in the auto modes. You’ll need to play around with it and see how much difference it makes for you.

A hood for the lens can help too, it shades the sensor a little and blocks some of the glare.

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Framed Prints

Canvases of my photos have been available for sale for a while at a local beach restaurant. But they’re redecorating at the moment. So I thought it might be time to change things up a bit. I’ve asked them to put up some framed prints instead.

The prints have been ordered, the frames purchased. Now it’s a wait for them to come together and take them in. Which will mean a trip to the beach. Probably lunch. Definitely with the camera now the weather is clearing a bit.

The prints, including the frames will be on sale for £15 each. The canvases were up for £30 each.

Prints are 8 x 10 inches, and each is mounted in a basic frame. I’ve chosen wood grain frames. Some are deeper, some have a narrow frame, some wider. I wanted to mix it up so they’re not all the same. If the restaurant owners want to they can mix the canvases with the framed prints, or spread them about.

Frame prints

If you want any of the framed prints, or canvases, and you can’t get down to Aberavon, let me know.

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Your Camera

your camera

Your camera will be different to mine, although most DSLRs have many things in common. And all cameras have some similarities.

your camera

From the basic box brownie, right through to today, the camera’s fundamental purpose is to capture images. Until quite recently that took skill, patience, and many failures that cost in time and money to develop. Rolls of film wasted to get a single half decent shot. I remember it well, that fat packet of prints coming in the post only to find most were out of focus, or had fingers over the lens.

Then came the age of digital.


your camera

Suddenly it’s so much easier to take hundreds of pictures and you can examine each one and delete before you do anything else. The commercial availability of digital image manipulation software has meant that we can all be photographers if we wish.

But how many times do you look at someone else’s work and think, how did they do that?

The first thing you need to do is take the time to really get to know your camera. Find all the buttons and functions, work out what they do. Get comfortable flicking from one mode to the next. Be aware of the automatic modes available – they’re incredibly useful while you’re learning.

My advice for today is to use google, your camera’s user manual, any information source you find. Soak up as much knowledge as you can, and play, have fun, try out the things you discover.

As I work things out, or find something useful, I plan to share! Right now, I’m going back to basics and reminding myself what all the buttons do on my Nikon D3300.

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It’s all about learning

The weather is cold, mostly wet, grey, and I haven’t had the camera out properly in weeks. So, until the weather improves, it’s all about learning again.

Last night I took a book to bed, and started trying to make sense of it! It’s the Nikon D3300 for Dummies guide, and it’s not an easy read. There’s a wealth of information on every page, but it does seem to assume a certain amount of previous knowledge.

I do want to improve my photography. There are times when I want to capture an image but I don’t know how to go about it. So, this book has been sitting on the bookshelf for over a year, and it’s time I took a closer look into the pages!

it's all about learning

I am mostly happy with the majority of my images, and I’m loving the camera. But I know there is so much more I can do. So, it’s all about learning, again. It is vital in any hobby, any craft, in any part of life, to be constantly looking to improve.

My skills are improving, I have worked my way up to Champion status on GuruShots. You can also find a selection of my images on PicFair.

2018 is almost over, and 2019 will be what we make of it. I intend to make pictures, and possibly write stories. We shall see.

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Would you buy prints?

I am debating possibly expanding. No not my waistline, although that seems to be happening all by itself… But that’s another thing. After a facebook conversation and some thought, I wonder if you might be interested in some of my images as prints. I’m thinking around A4, or similar in size, with a card mount. You could put the print in a frame of your own choice, or not – it’s up to you.

Would you put my pictures on your wall?

Silhouette at sunset - prints

I’m looking into products I can offer for sale that are reasonable to post. There’s no actual shop you can go into and pick one up off a shelf. It’s all online, and there’s only me here. This is a small hobby business at the moment, so there’s no team of people looking after dispatch, orders, customer service, marketing. It’s just me.

Taking into consideration that there’s also not much storage space in my house until the kids leave home – and I’m not kicking them out any time soon! Any product has to be reasonably small, easy to store, and lightweight enough to be posted from my local village post office, which is tiny.

Greetings cards were the obvious first choice. The canvases I’ve had made are fine for local venues, and possibly future craft fair events. But canvases are bulkier and more difficult for me to post. Once I factor in the cost of packaging materials, boxes, and postage, it’s not really something I want to venture into right now.

But a print, in a card mount, in a card backed envelope? I can do that. Those wouldn’t take up too much space, and would be reasonable to post too.

Steel works at sunset - prints

So, I am planning a small range of prints to be available in time for Christmas. Do you have any preferences? Are there any images in the galleries that you love?

Let me know and I can consider either including an image as a commission for you, or put the most popular images in the first selection.

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