Experiments in Black & White

I’ve always liked black and white photography. In my early days of using digital cameras I produced more black and white images than colour. Many of these were in the square format and I found this form of image very satisfying.

To a small extent I’ve neglected this format but I recently discovered the work of Ian Barber, a fine art photographer here in the UK. His work has inspired me to at least make more images in the black and white/square format. Ian has produced a comprehensive se to presets for Lightroom primarily for black and white but also useable in colour post-processing.

I’ve been experimenting with these presets and here are three images that I’m very pleased with.

Nature's Sculpture
Nature’s Sculpture
Still Life #1
Still Life #1
Sunburst
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The Flying Scotsman

I do have a bit of a soft spot for the odd steam train and I had the chance to see celebrity locomotive “Flying Scotsman” passing close to my home. It was a difficult shot to make with the lunchtime sun shining directly towards the north. As a result, I had to get a rear three-quarters view as the engine went by…

And here she is racing north at around 60 miles per hour.

Image © Tony Harratt/The Fuji Freak – 2016

Architecture As Art – 2

I’ve just finished editing images from last evening in Birmingham and I’m posting them now…

I’ll post some more next week.

All images © Tony Harratt/The Fuji Freak – 2016

Architecture As Art

I spent last evening wandering around Birmingham (UK) city centre making the most of the light and photographing architecture. This is the first of a few images that will fall into a long-term project entitled ‘Architecture As Art’.

Birmingham, UK, 22 September 2016

Image © Tony Harratt/The Fuji Freak – 2016 

The Peak District National Park

Over the past few weeks I’ve been visiting the Peak District National Park on a fairly regular basis. Some of the images you may have seen on my Instagram feed in the sidebar of the blog.

I visited Chatsworth House in Derbyshire on Sunday last to see the sculpture show there. On the way back the evening light was settling in and I stopped in a number of places to grab an image or two. I’ll filter some of them into posts as the autumn gathers pace but I really wanted to share with you just three images that I’m pleased with.

Shuttlingsloe, Wildboarclough, Peak District National Park – a colour version of this image has been entered for one of the weekly competitions on Twitter. I wondered just how good it would be as a black & white image… here it is and I’m even more pleased with this version than the colour one! Best viewed in full screen mode; just double-click on the image to enlarge it.
Reflections, The Roaches, Peak District National Park – I took a wrong turn on my last visit to The Roaches and ended up with this perfect reflection in the overspill section of Tittesworth Reservoir.

The header image is of a sunset over the Cheshire Plain and photographed from The Roaches.

Incidentally, if you are local to the Peak District, there is a rather super book available entitled “Peak District – Through the Lens” by James Grant. It contains  details of locations you might like to photograph within the Peak District. Its 400 pages are stuffed with maps, directions, images, kit advice, post-processing, planning and tips to enjoy the many locations you will find in the Peak District. I bought my copy at Chatsworth House but any bookshop would be happy to order a copy for you. The ISBN is as follows: 978-0-9933156-0-2.

Lightroom Presets

If you use Lightroom then I hope you’ll be interested in this post. It’s a sort of review and a sort of promotional one.

A few days ago freelance photographer Samuel Zeller, a Fujifilm ambassador (X-Photographer) based in Switzerland, offered a set of presets to celebrate an event on Instagram. This was to be a free set of tools to assist in image editing. It’s a very useful package containing presets, curve settings and a set of eight of Samuel’s RAW images each to match a specific preset. Providing one’s own images to others is a very rare occurrence, indeed, I can’t remember any pro photographer doing so.

I’ve downloaded Samuel’s package and I have to say that I’m delighted with the results. I’m still playing with presets and curves on my own images and I really like the results. I’ll post an image later this week, all being well.

Even if you are not an Instagram member, you can still obtain this set of presets by registering your e-mail address at presets.samuelzeller.ch and Samuel will send you a link to the download. Full instructions for installation are contained in the package along with a licence agreement.

There is a likelihood that further presets will be made available and I’ll keep my eyes open for future packages and pass on the details to you here.

The presets are NOT specific to Fujifilm cameras and should work on RAW files from most camera platforms.