Sit Doggy, Good Boy | January 31, 2005

Pictures of my girlfriends toy dog. Isn't he cute!

Pictures of my girlfriends toy dog

Pictures of my girlfriends toy dog

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Golden Pillars | November 30, 2004

Golden Pillar from a temple in Shanghai

Golden pillar taken from a different angle

Another golden pillar

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Cooking on the Streets of Shanghai | November 4, 2004

Streeet Cooking

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Shanghai Chestnut Vendor | October 15, 2004

Shanghai Chestnut Seller

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Shanghai Temple Offerings | October 11, 2004

Here are a couple of pics taken at a temple in Shanghai. I've also added a new Shanghai gallery to my Travel Photography Section if you're interested.

incense-burning4.jpg

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Ornate Buddhas in a Shanghai Temple | October 9, 2004

Buddhas

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Hong Kong Pictures | October 7, 2004

I really enjoyed my recent trip to Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing, taking around 12 rolls of film (mostly Fuji Velvia ) on the 2 week trip. Using film can be pretty expensive and this trip cost me over £150 in film stock and processing alone. Quite a few people have said this would be an excellent reason to go digital, however I really love the clarity and colour saturation you get from transparencies.

I wanted to get the photos up as soon as possible, along with a trip report. However it took a week for the slides to get developed (another plus for digital) and I've just moved flats which put a bit of a spanner in the works. However I was up till 2am last night bashing the first set of images and have uploaded some of the best to my photo gallary. I've also added some of the ones that didn't quite make it here and hope you enjoy them.

While I was very happy with the pics, I was less than happy how they scanned. I've got quite a cheap scanner and It's just not done the images justice. I've tweaked the curves to get them as close in colour and saturation as possible, but they have lost a degree of detail in the shadows and there seem to be quite a bit of noise. Apart from tweaking the curves to repair the dodgy scanning, I've not done any other manipulation to these images.

Flowers in the flower market.

The peak tram.

The view from Victoria Peak

Hong Kong skyline at night.

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Leica Digilux 2 | September 28, 2004

Leica Digilux 2

Wow, what a slick looking camera. I want one!

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More Yellow Tulips | September 6, 2004

yellow tullips

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Yellow Tulips | August 10, 2004

yellow tullip

yellow tullip

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Wallpapers and Prints | August 2, 2004

I’ve had quite a few people ask if I could release some of my pics as wallpapers. I’m really glad you like them so much that you want them on your desktop. I’ve made a few for myself, and they really do look nice.

Desktop Screenshot

Unfortunately I’m loath to make them publicly available as I want to avoid my photos being used for website branding images and the such.

At the same time I’ve had a few people email me to ask if my pictures were for sale. I’ve had some enlarged, hand printed and mounted on MDF, and they look really smart. I’ve given a number of these away as presents and have been thinking about running an exhibition at a local gallery. However this process, while producing excellent results, is time consuming and expensive.

I’ve thought that it may be an idea to sell some digital prints instead. Because I can do them myself, they would be much cheaper than professional hand prints. Then, if you liked the image you could buy your own copy, scan it in and use it as a desktop. To do it properly I’d have to set up a site, which may be more hassle than it’s worth. As such I’d probably do it on an ad hoc basis to start.

So what do people think? Would you be interested in an Andy Budd print to hang on your wall? If so, leave me a comment and If people seem interested, I’ll have a look at the idea some more.

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More Moomins | July 30, 2004

Moomin on a white background

Moomin on a blue background

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Moomin | July 28, 2004

Moomin toy on a blue background

Moomin on a white background

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A Red Flower | July 23, 2004

red and yellow tullip.jpg

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Beautiful Red Tulip | July 18, 2004

Beautiful Red Tullip

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Flexible Home Photography Studio | July 12, 2004

The cubelite setup

I saw this cool little set-up featured in Computer Arts Magazine and was really impressed. From reading the website and magazine review it's clear that the focus is on product photography. However I think it would also make a really good home photography set-up for taking still life and macro pictures. Currently I'm forced to use natural sunlight (which seems in short supply this summer) and using bits of paper as reflectors and backdrops. I've seen articles in books and magazines on how to set-up your own shooting table but it needs to live somewhere perninatly. This little set-up folds away neatly which is great if you don't happen to have an extra room that you can use as your studio.

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T[error]ist is a Plonker? | July 11, 2004

A while ago I mentioned that Brighton Council had taken to stencilling the words "is a plonker" next to local stencil graffiti work. Shortly afterwards I was wandering around town taking pics of stencil art and saw the following.

Stencil graffiti by Terrorist

Stencil graffiti by Brighton Council

Now both together

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Urban Art in Brighton | June 26, 2004

Boy with toy rabbit in mouth

Girl with toy rabbit in mouth

Girl with headphones

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Vietnamese Dolls | June 24, 2004

I was taking pictures around the house a while ago, and took a shine to these figures which we picked up in Vietnam.

vietnam-dolls-1.jpg

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More Urban Art in Brighton | June 20, 2004

Girl wearing headphones

Boy with a toy bunny in his mouth

Graffiti of a terrorist

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Orange Flower | June 20, 2004

orange flower

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Sydney Opera House | June 17, 2004

Sydney is an amazing city and one that tops the list of places I'd like to live. The Opera House Is probably the cities best known landmark, and one of the most photogenic buildings around.

Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House

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Flying Into Male Airport | June 15, 2004

One of the most impressive flights ever has to be landing at Male airport in the Maldives. As the plane descends, stretching before you is a sea of azure blue reefs and atolls. The engines ease off and the plane gently floats down, almost skimming the water before finally touching down. Male airport sits on it's own private Atoll so transfers to your hotel are either by speedboat or, if you're lucky, by sea plane. Beats descending into Heathrow airport and then fighting your way to the train or bus station any day.

atol.jpg

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Bathtime Fun 2 | June 12, 2004

closeup of a green turtle bath toy

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Bathtime Fun 1 | June 10, 2004

Black toy duck on a white background

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Birds Of Paradise | June 8, 2004

I really like taking photos of flowers, and birds of paradise have to be my favourite. This photo was taken a couple of years back, on a rainy day in the Getty center in LA

bird-of-paradise.jpg

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Daffodils | June 1, 2004

closeup of daffodils

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Sony P8 and MPK-PHA Underwater Housing | May 14, 2004

underwater housing

I'm going on a diving holiday to the Red Sea next week and have been thinking about getting a Sony P8 digital camera and an underwater housing. Just wondering if anybody has used the Sony P8 and if it's any good?

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Another Red Flower | May 11, 2004

red-flower.jpg

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Graffiti vs Stencil Art | May 6, 2004

Brighton has quite a bit of a graffiti problem. It was getting so bad that the local council devised a radical solution. Their plan was to go around spraying the words "is a plonker" next to the tags, in the hope that it would shame people in stopping. However the council have just announced that they are scrapping the plan. It's Mostly kids tagging blank walls. It's akin to littering or vandalism. It's pretty pointless and makes the local environment a much less attractive place to live.

However, there is also quite a surge in stencil graffiti, or stencil art. Rather than being destructive, stencil art actually makes the environment a much more interesting and quirky place.

Some stencil art is political. Highlighting issues in a light hearted way.

Bush Stencil Art

Sometimes it's quirky, like this zebra decal. Wild animals juxtaposed against the backdrop of the "Urban Jungle".

Zebra Stencil Art

And sometimes it's just fun, like this "Nurse Decal".

Nurse Stencil Art

Stencil graffiti is a mixture of gorilla art and anti advertising. Little subversive "blipverts" intended to interrupt the near constant assault of commercial marketing. And I think it rocks!

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Red Flower | May 2, 2004

close up image of a red and yellow flower

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Red Blossoms | April 28, 2004

red blossoms

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Blossoms | April 24, 2004

Pictures of blossom trees taken last weekend in the Brighton Pavilion Gardens.

white blossom

blossom tree with brighton pavillion in the background

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Spring is in the Air | April 23, 2004

Wow, what a beautiful morning. Spring is definitely in the air.

Blossom trees taken in a park in Brighton

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Bruce Lee | April 21, 2004

bruce-lee.jpg

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Feels Like Summer | April 16, 2004

Absolutly beautiful day today. Feels like summer!

Picture of a daisy on a sunny afternoon

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Bloggers Weekend | March 2, 2004

As you may already be aware, myself, Jeremy, Richard, Jon and Stuart had a bloggers weekend in Dorset at the invitation of Dunstan Orchard. The weekend was loads of fun, and decidedly less geekey than expected.

In between all the eating, drinking and tech talk, there was a whole bunch of photography going on. Spurned on by some amazing pics Dunstan took the night before we arrived, we went out in the middle of the night armed with a bunch of torches and Dunstan's EOS10D. After much jumping around we ended up with a load of crazy pics, one of which you can see below.

angle1.jpg

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My Cambodian Buddha | December 17, 2003

I really like Buddha's. I bought this Buddha carving in a market in Siam Reap, Cambodia on my recent holiday to the region.

buddha.jpg

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Sunrise | December 17, 2003

p. Sunrise through my bathroom window a couple of days ago.

Sunrise through a window covered in condenssation

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Vietnam and Cambodia Photos now up | November 22, 2003

Just to let you folks know that I've updated my Travel Photo Gallery with some pictures from my recent trip to Vietnam and Cambodia.

I'm interested to know which are peoples favourites and which people feel aren't strong enough to be in the gallery. At some stage I'd also like to put on a small local exhibition of maybe 10 pics, so I'd be interested to know which 10 people would choose to exhibit.

I hope you enjoy the pics and look forward to reading your comments.

I'm off to a photo exhibition up the road mow to see how the pro's do it.

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Macro Photography from Vietnam | November 21, 2003

I really enjoy taking Macro photos, especially of exotic plants and flowers. I love the strong colours and abstract patters that emerge. Ideally I'd be using a Macro lens. However Macro lens's are pretty expensive so at the moment I'm making do with a close-up filter.

Here are a few Macro shots I took on a recent holiday to Vietnam. I hope you enjoy them.

nice-flower.jpg

lilly2.jpg

orange-flower2.jpg

pot.jpg

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My Photographs | October 29, 2003

When I first launched my photography site, I got a rush of emails from people asking about the equipment and techniques I use. This has levelled off the last couple of months, but going thought my backlog of emails, Iíve had at least 4 people asking about my images. As such, instead of writing to everybody individually I thought it would make sense to write a short post.

On the equipment front, I use the fairly basic, consumer level Cannon EOS 300V. I used to use the EOS 3000N but upgraded to the 300V last month. There isnít much difference between the two. My new camera is a little smaller, a little lighter and a little more ergonomic. Itís slightly faster and handles low light a little better. The main difference (and the selling point to me) was the addition of a depth of field preview. The only negative thing about my new camera is it seems to have a slight tendency to overexpose, so Iíll probably start underexposing every roll by half a stop.

On the lens front, I used to use the lens that came with my 3000N kit. It was fine but I decided to upgrade to a slightly better (but still consumer level) lens and recently bought a Cannon EOS 28-105mm F3.5-4.5 lens.

I have a couple of filters. I keep an UV filter on my lens at most times. This is primarily to protect the lens from grubby fingers and in case it gets bashed or dropped. Much better to buy a new £5 filter, than a £200 lens.

I also travel with a circular polarising filter. This is great for adding colour to blue skies. Itís also good for removing reflections from glass, water etc. It also acts as a weak neutral density filter, useful if you want to reduce the amount of light by a stop.

Finally I recently bought a close-up filter. Iíd prefer to get a Macro lens, but at £350 I just canít afford it. The close up filter changes the focal length of the lens, letting you get closer to a subject. However itís not ideal as it causes some distortion in the image.

My last bit of kit is a tripod and a cable release. For any low light or landscape photography a good tripod is essential. Unfortunately Iíve got a rubbish tripod, which doesnít sit horizontally, so I really need to get a new one.

Film wise I generally use print film. Iíd like to try slide film but print film is just so flexible. Itís cheap, easy to get processed, you can buy it anywhere and itís very forgiving to over or under exposure.

I get my film processed at my local Jessopps. The people behind the counter are pretty unfriendly and unhelpful (to the point of being rude) but the results are generally OK. Iíd love to get all my film professionally processed, but I really canít afford that. However if I want to display my photos I do get them hand printed.

I scan the photos in and then use auto levels to level out the image. I also either use despeckle or dust and scratches to remove any little bits of dust on the print. This is the only digital manipulation I do and is only really intended to compensate for a rubbish scanner and not getting my photos hand printed.

Many people have asked how I manage to get such nice colours. Basically itís down the quality of the light. Generally the best time to shoot is the hour after sunrise or the hour before sunset. At this time the light is really good and bathes everything with a beautiful blue/gold light. However most people are out photographing at midday and this causes pictures to lack detail and look a little washed out. To get really strong saturation you need a defused light source, so a bright, but slightly cloudy day is best.

A lot of people ask how I approach people to take their photograph. Occasionally Iíll steal a sneaky shot of somebody using a telephoto lens. However mostly I get peoples permission before hand. Unlike in the west, people in Asia really seem to like people taking their photos. I usually hang around a place (like a market) for a while so people get used to me. Most people find it slightly amusing seeing a westerner wandering a around a market taking pictures of vegetables (like donít they have vegetables at home?). Once people get used to me, I can usually tell who wonít mind having their pictures taken (they are the ones giggling and smiling at you) and who will mind (by waving their hands or shyly covering their faces with a newspaper). Usually a smile and a gesture with your camera is enough to find out if somebody minds their picture being taken or not.

As far as advice goes, the best thing to do is take lots and lots of pictures. On a two week holiday Iíll probably take between 10-20 rolls of film. A professional photographer would easily take this number in a single day. The more pics you take the more chance youíll have of getting a good one. I generally have a hit rate of 1/2. That is one good picture every two rolls of film. So the more rolls I take, the more descent pictures I end up with. If you see a subject you like, donít just take a single image. Try different exposures, different angles and different compositions to get that perfect shot. In travel photography itís usually pretty expensive to get to your destination and youíll probably not be back in a hurry, so why worry about shooting too much film.

Itís easy to say, but spend time on your composition. Iím generally far to quick at taking photos and when I get home notice small details in the photos that Iíd wished Iíd seen at the time. This is generally because Iím away with other people who donít take as many photos as me and Iím conscious of holding them up. In fact most of my best pictures have been taken when Iíve gone off on my own for an hour and donít have to worry about spending 20min getting one shot.

So at the end of the day itís not really about the kit you have or the film you use. Itís about spending time getting a good composition, understanding exposure (something Iím terrible at) and taking lotís and lotís of pictures.

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Mmmm.. Sexy | September 15, 2003

eos300d.jpg

The new Canon EOS 300D Digital SLR. One damn fine looking camera. I have no plans of swapping from film to digital, but if I did, this would be the baby I'd choose.

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