• United Kingdom

    Shakespeare’s Stratford and Warwick

    William Shakespeare is one of Britain’s most iconic writers, play-writes, poets and manipulators of the English language. Shakespeare was born and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, and on a very wintery Friday whilst staying Birmingham I ventured down to Stratford to see what this quaint market-town. William Shakespeare’s birthplace and childhood home is located in the centre of Stratford, among cobbled streets and mewses. This restored building is owned by the Shakespeare centre and is a haven for lovers of literature. Although I did not visit the centre inside, so I cannot give an opinion on the attraction, it is a steep price at £15.75. Just walking along the Henley…

  • Guides

    Metering and Histograms

    Knowing how your meter measures light allows you to manipulate and interpret the results and know when you need to change something. Your histogram is one of the most valuable tools in explaining the tonal values of a scene.  The far left represents pure black and the far right represents pure white. The horizontal axis is 0-255 and the vertical axis shows how many pixels are in each position of each tone. The optimal histogram should not be too heavily bunched at either end of the horizontal axis, as this can cause the detail to be lost in the pure white or pure black. Ideally the histogram should look a bit…

  • United Kingdom

    Glasgow Patter

    I am currently in Glasgow on a short surprise trip to visit my wee granny and have been thinking quite a bit about the language. Not the accent but the actual words used. Language is something that I have always found fascinating, not that I can speak anything other than English (know some very basic German and Turkish) and the UK is beautifully diverse in its regional dialects. Having spent many summer holidays in and around Loch Lomond, and my mum being Scottish I never really understood that there was such a difference until I starting talking to Londoners (friends and colleagues) that they maybe didn’t understand what I was…

  • Guides

    Savvy Shutter Speed

    The final element in our photography triangle is shutter speed. Shutter speed controls the amount of time that the sensor is exposed to light The longer the shutter is open, the more light that hits the sensor and the shorter the shutter is open, the less light hits the sensor. The shutter speed is either listed as a fraction of a second (1/60) or in whole seconds (1′, 2′). Some camera even allow for whole minutes, or an infinite amount of time (bulb). Shutter speed is a bit easier to understand than aperture, where the fraction 1/60 is literally one sixtieth of a second that the shutter is open. Depending…

  • Guides

    Depth and Aperture

    Another component of the photography triangle is aperture. Aperture regulates the amount of light permitted through the lens to the sensor. The larger the opening the more light passes through, and the smaller the opening the less light passes through. To complicate matters, the f-stop which refers to the size of the aperture is a large number for a small opening and the smaller the number the larger the opening. By changing the aperture you can change the exposure of the image, but also change the depth of field. Depth of field is the manipulation of the focal plane, its the aesthetic of having the subject in front of a…

  • Europe

    Christmas Markets in Esslingen

    Esslingen am Neckar is a small medieval town close by to Stuttgart. Last year I was lucky enough to be visiting Esslingen for a workshop and had a chance to visit a traditional Christmas Market. However, the Christmas Market in Esslingen is unique. With more than 200 booths, the Esslingen Market is one of the largest in the region and had so much history given that there has been a settlement at Esslingen since about 1000BC. For almost four weeks at the Medieval Market, merchants in historical garments offer their goods for sale just as they did hundreds of years ago. Craftsmen like pewterers, felt-makers, tinder-makers, blacksmiths, rope-makers, basket-makers, broom-makers or…