Spotlight: Photography with Poems by Ann Tudball (#02)

After the great feedback of last posting of Ann’s photography and work, we have decided to make this a regular feature. Once a month we will share beautiful images, poems and other writings, so that you can have something else to enjoy. We think photography and words go together well, and we hope you enjoy.

In episode #2 we have a poem titled “You are my destiny” and a written piece titled “Inner Strength”.

Ann is a South Wales based photographer with a stunning website and also stunning Instagram pages. You’ll find more information about her, her photos and poems in the links at the bottom of this page.

Top header Image by Mark Adams


Image by Ann Tudball

“You are my destiny… “

Tis when falls the night
I hear my silent voice
I can see you
I can touch you
You are my destiny

I laugh when you laugh
I cry when you cry
I fear when you fear
Your soul is my soul
You are my destiny

I touch your face to heal the pain
For deep in your eyes lies tomorrow’s dream
I bathed you in cool waters
That flow to the distance beyond
You are my destiny.

If there’s another world you seek
For stay in mine
Winning is easy and losing is hard
You go my loss has won
You are my ever destiny…

By Ann Tudball


Image By Mark Adams

“Inner Strength”

I remember walking alone listing to some beautiful music. We were told to take one walk a day. The feeling I felt was like nothing before. In life we control how we wish to live our lives, but not anymore. I felt scared and unsure of what lied before us. I watched on at families and thought how was this going to be explained to young children. Time went on and things got worse. How can life change so suddenly?

As the time past I somehow found inner strength, even on times I felt like giving up. I turned to family and friends and even though it hurt that I couldn’t see them, they were there. If you needed any confirmation of who loved and cared for you, this was it.

We had time to explore more, maybe finding new hobbies and finding yourself again. I looked to nature and found beauty on my doorstep that I may never had discovered before. It brought us inner strength.

Something, and I will leave that to your own thoughts has kept us going. 2021 is approaching fast and we are still unsure what lies ahead, but we have our inner strength to continue to be who we are, love those who love us, and do what we love doing. Remain proud and brave in our current war with life… A Tudball

“All things that truly matter – beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace – arise from beyond the mind”.. Eckhart Tollie

Words by Ann Tudball


 hope that you enjoyed something a little bit different with this blog entry. Photography and poetry are two things that I also love to do, and it would be great if you could leave feedback on this. I’m always looking for featured Spotlight photographers, so please contact me if you would like to appear here.

You can view Ann’s website and blog here.
Follow her on Instagram herehere and here!

Perfect Camera Straps

I love having the camera in my hand at all times, it means I’m always ready, and I always have the camera in position at all times. However, I was recently out for a few hours, in cold weather and at the end of the session, even with gloves, my hand was just uncomfortable.

I know I wanted another Cody strap, as the quality and feel of them is just perfect. I also knew I didn’t want a typical neck strap where the camera hangs on your belly or chest, so I visited the Cordy website and realised they made custom lengths! With that I ordered the longest length available in the hope it would meet my needs.

The reasoning for the extra length was so that the camera could be left to dangle on my hip. After Christmas Day, I attached the strap, and it fitted perfectly to my hip. Now I have the best of both worlds, I can hold the camera whenever needed, but on the rare occasion I want to let it go, I can now just let it go.

Cordy straps are extremely well made. A finely braided material, that is very comfortable on the hands and neck. From the website the version I chose was approximately £20, although there are many different versions on the site.

Hopefully, this will give those looking for an alternative strap a good idea of a product that is well up to the job.

Cordy Wrist Strap on X-T20 and Standard Thick Neck Strap on Olympus OM10

Of course, the thing about camera straps is that they are very personal. It can take ages to find the perfect device for varying your camera. These straps from Cordy though are simple, stylish, affordable and comfortable. Something that can’t be said for every camera carrying system out there. Plus they are available as quick release or fixed clasps.

*** This article is in no way promoted by Cordy, Cordweaver or any other manufacturer, and it’s wholely based on years of trying out various straps.

Merry Christmas Everybody!

I would like to wish everyone who has visited and supported me with One Camera One Lens over the last year a very Happy Christmas.

It’s been a challenging time for all of us, but through challenges, come creativity. I’ve built up One Camera One Lens from nothing, to a website that now attracts people from all over the World. I’m having great feedback on my photography, the stories within, the articles and the joint ventures I’ve formed with so many of you. Of course, a big thank you also goes out to all the Fujifilm fans who have been using my film simulations from the Fuji section of the website.

Thank you everyone, and once again, have yourselves a very Merry Christmas.

Mark G. Adams

It’ll be film in 2021 (But not as you know it)

2020 has seen a huge shift in what I do in photography and how I see things. At the beginning of the year I decided to start fresh, stop myself from using the words “landscape photographer” and concentrate on becoming a “documentary photographer”. There was a number of reasons for this, and I noticed it one day while looking through numerous Facebook photography groups and also my own back catalogue from the last half a decade or so (the time I’d been getting very serious with photography). Landscape photography, and my photography in general was becoming too sterile. Yes, it meant I was selling, but looking for the perfect image just looked to a lot of very bland photos.

History

I’ve been doing photography since my early teens in the early 1980s, but fascinated with photography long before that. Owning numerous film cameras until the digital age, then jumping on the digital train as an early adopter. My photography had always been people and places based, but around seven or eight years ago or more, when I moved to Aberavon and had the beach literally on my doorstep, my photography turned more and more to landscape based photographs. This, compounded by the start of Great Photography Walks four years ago seen my ploughing more and more effort into taking the perfect photo.

During this time, I’d always mixed up digital and analogue photography, but my 35mm photography (which I would dip into once or twice a year) I would always keep for family occasions. I always find film much more candid for family photographs, and that makes them all that more special. In recent years I rarely attempted landscape photography with 35mm film, the main reasons are that I had done it many times over the years, and I just much prefer shooting digital for landscapes as you have much more control over the final image.

Film, but not film in 2021

Currently I’m planning a huge project for 2021. I’m a photographer, and because of that I get all my film developed and I print out all my favourite digital images. Nothing, but nothing is better than having an image in your hand in print. It will be there for you, your family and your children, and even your children’s children (see my popular article on this subject).

On top of being a photographer, I’m a documentary photographer. I want to have life and soul in my images, they are real, they are almost always straight from camera, they are of a time and a place. So, my idea for 2021 is to purchase a Fujifilm Instax LiPlay mini instant camera or a Fujifilm Sq6 Square format camera. Having researched many types of instant camera, these ones have everything I want for my project.

My original choice was the new Fujifilm Instax LiPlay which uses mini film. It’s great because the images take up less room and is quite cheap at around £1 per shot. The LiPlay can also be used as a printer and you can selectivity print only the images you want.

However, the more I thought about it, the more I like the Instax SQ6 which is a square format film. You take the photo and it prints out, no second chances. This sounds more fun and in line with the nostalgia that instant printing is associated with. It’s a bit more expensive at around £1.40 a shot, but it’s direct from button shot to film without any digital middle ground, plus the images are square, just like old Polaroid images.

It’s a difficult choice between two very different cameras, but one I will make sooner rather than later.

I’ve always loved instant film, and like many families in the 70s and 80s, we had numerous instant film cameras. It’s film, but it’s in an instant! You get to see your results straight away, wherever you are! The thrill of this is as important as the process of taking the photo in the first place!

Goal

My intention is to catalogue 2021 in a photo album, as a project, using Instax film. I’ll be looking at just 10 or 20 photos a month from family, my GPW group outings and other special days. I intend to print the images I like wherever I may be, for others to be a part of the project.

It’s going to be about people, places, moments and maybe the odd landscape. I’ll be using the standard colour film, plus the odd set of monochrome film. I’m really looking forward to the experience, it’s going to be exciting times!

Why?

I’ve already been asked why use instant film. I’ve already had people say the quality I print on my printer is better than instant film. I’ve already had people mention the cost and that is not a “real” camera.

I’m doing it because it’s a challenge, I’m doing it because it’s different, and I’m doing it because imperfection is perfection. But mostly in doing it for me.

Maximising Your Cameras Dynamic Range

After the success of the article “Maximising Your Histogram” we follow that up with taking a look at how to maximise your dynamic range by looking at three popular techniques that will allow you to achieve this. We look at their Pros and Cons, and hopefully this will let you get the best from your digital camera.

Dynamic range is a much misunderstand concept in photography. For the most part, if you have metered correctly for the scene, and conditions are great (not too dark or too light and not much contrast in areas between the two), you can just make slight alterations to your raw image and being back the shadows or highlights and you’ll have s great final image.

In this article we will look at three ways popular with photographers to maximise dynamic range, and compare how effective they can be. We will look at the pros and the cons of each method, and your can make your own mind up at which technique you want to use.

Technique One: Adjusting shadows and highlights.

This is one of the easiest and most effective way of dealing with dynamic range, especially when there are not huge extremes in the highlights and the shadows. It’s the technique that most use, including professional photographers, as with technology now, it is easy to reduce or remove noise that might show because of pulling the shadows or highlights too far.

Many people say use the ETTR (Expose to the right) method when metering your exposure, however forget that nonsense and expose for the scene! That means expose to the left if needed, right if needed or just expose as needed. There’s no blanket metering mode that covers every scene type.

This technique will have you moving your shadows, mid-tone and highlight sliders in software, usually raising the shadows and dropping the highlights and using mid-tone adjustments to bring the whole scene together. It’s very effective, and the majority of photos you see will have used this method. You can also adjust selected areas of highlights and shadows with software filters, targeting areas specifically needed, this haa the same effect but can be more precise.

Pros: Simple and effective, when used correctly can look natural.

Cons: You can get noise in the shadows of they were too dark to start with.

Technique Two: Attached Filters (Graduated filters).

This method of controlling dynamic range is quickly losing favour with photographers in this day and age, as modern cameras and modern editing techniques mean using them is less necessary.

The idea is to put a filter on the end of your lens, usually a soft or hard graduated filter. Think of the filter as a pair of sunglasses, raining in the dynamic range of the sunny part of your image so that you can control the highlights.

Using a graduated filter though is a highly destructive process. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that unless your horizon is perfectly flat, the filter will affect parts of your image that your shouldn’t be touching.

Pros: Handy for controlling light of straight horizons.

Cons: Highly destructive, can be expensive and not needed for modern photography. Often leave a colour cast.

Technique Three: Exposure bracketing.

Of all the three techniques mentioned here, exposure bracketing is one that most people are scared of, because they associate it with HDR photography. But it’s for the high dynamic range than you should really be using this technique when you know you might struggle with dynamic range.

Exposure bracketing can be done both manually or via your cameras bracket mode. The easiest method is using the bracket mode, you set this up to take 3, 5, 7 or 9 exposures, press the button and the camera will fire off the shots one after another. I tend to use just a three bracket shot of EV -2/0/+2, although many people like to separate the exposure by +/-1 stops. It is whatever works for you.

Once you have your 3, 5, 7 or 9 raw files at different exposures, you can then work with them as you want, and there are a number of techniques you can use.

Exposure blend: In software you can create layers and blend in the different exposures that suit the images.
HDR software: Use HDR software to combine or choose from their many presets the best look that suits your image.
Use the best: From your bracketed exposures, there can sometimes be one that just works and you won’t have to do much editing.

Bracketing exposures gives you options, and for the most part it can be used with our without a tripod for everyday photography, as editing software will align the images if you are going to make a HDR image.

Pros: You’ll get the most dynamic range available, images will be clean from noise, simple to use in camera.

Cons: Needs more work in software than the other methods, you may need a tripod in very few situations.

Conclusion

There’s plenty of options for maximising your dynamic range, which starts from getting things right in camera to begin with. I’ve written an article on maximising your histogram here, which should be your next stop if you want to maximise your dynamic range.

There are many YouTube videos online explaining each of the methods I have mentioned, and until I manage to get tutorials up on each method, I advise you to search each one. Through decades of experience, I understand that some people prefer different ways over others. It’s a choice you have to make, from using graduated filters in a destructive way, to find tuning using software.

If you’ve found this article useful, a like and comment would be much appreciated. Also, if you don’t already, please subscribe to my blog.