Sunday, 15 June 2008

Normandy Landings

These landscape photographs were taken during a trip to Normandy earlier this year. We visited Arromanches (the site of the British Gold beach) Omaha Beach and Pointe du Hoc on the last day of our trip and the weather turned on us that day.

I took these photographs using my trusty Sony DSC T7 in colour mode. The shots came out as you would expect on a windy rainswept day - dull flat and lifeless. Using the magic of Photoshop CS3 I converted the images to black and white - using Image, Adjustments, Black & white. Not only does this give you tremendous control over the different colour channels but it also allows you to tint the image. I find that very subtle tinting (no more than 5%) of a yellowish shade does enhance the black and white image, which I think is the the case with these photographs. The blacks seem blacker and the tones more alive than an untinted photograph.

The above image is a photo of a woman and her child playing on Omaha Beach. I found it rather poignant that children now play where so many young men died more than 60 years ago.

A weather beaten, lonely tree overlooking Omaha breach.

This is a smashed German bunker on Pointe du Hoc. What struck me most when I first saw the Pointe (other than the enormity of the task facing the US Rangers) was the landscape that had been smashed by the Naval bombardment during the run up to the assault. That anyone could have scaled those sheer cliffs under direct German fire is truly remarkable but to have then taken a seemingly impregnable series of fortifications defies belief.

Finally this is a photograph looking along Omaha Beach.

Saturday, 7 June 2008


These photographs represent some of my earliest attempts at macrophotography - the kit I used was my Nikon F3 with a macro lens and a set of Jessops extension tubes (why spend £300 on Nikon's own when the Jessops tubes were about £30?), my Manfrotto tripod, a Nikon sb 17 flash unit and cable release unit. When I started I read alot of articles about how to calculate flash strength etc., etc., to be honest, I shot everything at f22 with the flash set on auto and the shots seemed to come out fine using Fuji Provia 100 film.

Since these photos were taken I have stopped using film so much and have started using a Sony DSC T7 which has an excellent macro function. You can see some of my digital macro efforts by clicking here - whilst the results are not at all bad considering most of them use only natural light and are handheld, they do lack something that you can only get from a DSLR and so I am planning to purchase a Nikon D80 shortly. This will then get me firmly back into some serious macro work. I will publish new shots as and when I upload new galleries onto my website.

Friday, 30 May 2008


These photos are taken from a recent tip to Brighton on England's south coast. The photos are OK - I was hoping to shoot some super8 film with my new camera - but the batteries had run down - doh!! I thought there were still charged from a previous outing the week before and it's a shame because the light was nice and bright - ideal for the high contrast film. Anyway, I had to resort to normal digital photography and the results were not to bad - I'd love to go back in winter to shoot a stormy sea.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Landscape Photography

A photograph taken from the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia

An old photo I shot during a trip to Cornwall. I will be publishing more photos from that trip over the coming weeks. They were taken whilst I was learning to develop prints in the dark room - this one was developed in my spare bedroom originally. Years later I grew tired of spending my Sunday afternoons in a darkened room and invested in a PC and a scanner - so now my Sunday afternoons can be spent hunched over a computer!.

Thie above photo was taken during a holiday in Corsica traversing the infamous Haute Route de Corse. I had just invested in a second hand Mamiya C330 and decided to lug it and a tripod spare lens etc, over one of the hardest treks in Europe. Not one of my wiser ideas but this is one of my favourite shots. The view was spectacular and almost lunar.

An early landscape photograph of the famous dam at Derwent Water in the Derbyshire Peak District during a mountain biking trip.

I took this photo of autumn trees in fog in the Adams wood near the village of Fingest in Buckinghamshire. The photo is one of some old shots that I am posting on my website in galleries dedicated to landscape photography. I will post more shortly.

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Hever Castle

Below are some photos I took during a recent visit to Hever Castle. The weather was typical of an English spring day - it was pouring down with rain most of the day - and so the colour shots were flat and lifeless. Converted to black and white in photoshop and given the subtlest of tints, they look better but I am not sure this is my favourite gallery. Partly because of the weather I suppose. but also I wasn't there long enough to get some really good shots.

I do like to shot of the moat though - it looks like an old fashioned example of landscape photography.

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Avebury & the Ridgeway

I have just published this gallery on my website so please take a look for more images.

The ridgeway is the oldest road in Northern Europe (about 5,000 years old) and passes through some spectacular scenery. It ends at Avebury - a pretty Wiltshire village surrounded by Europe's largest stone circle. Forget about Stonehenge which is now a tourist trap - Avebury is far more beautiful and mysterious and is well worht a visit.

I know the Ridgeway well as I grew up near it and spent many a day mountain biking along sections of it, and photographing it. The images shown below are some examples but I have many more that I will up load when I get the chance.


Friday, 2 May 2008


As this is a photo blog, I will publish some of my work each week. This week, the photos were all taken during a trip to , which I took some 7 or 8 years ago. The photos were all taken with my Nikon F3 using either Ilford PanF for black and white or Fuji Provia 100 slide film for the colour shots. You can see more photos at my web site

This photo was taken at a watering hole in Etosha National Park - it was amazing to see so many animals together, but the elephants were a little irritable!
I love this shot of a line of four ostriches (the lead bird is hidden from view) walking past a small group of Zebra.
Some highly unpleasant characters butchering an elephant carcass (F*$&!!!s)
A rather lonely looking oryx.

This is a photo of some trees in the Namib desert.  I like the image because it has an old fashioned air about it  - as if it had been taken with an old  brownie box camera.  the tree branches are quite feathery and form an arch through which the background is seen.

The shot above is of some dead trees in the aptly named Dead Vlai in the Namib desert.

On  a totally different note my brand new second hand(!) Braun Nizio arrived this week so I can't wait to try it out this week end!! I'll post the results as soon as I get them.  Drop me a line if you like my work -  or if you hate it for that matter!.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Hacienda Cortes (and other ramblings)

The image to the right is a photograph that I took at the Hacienda Cortes, just outside Cuernavaca, Mexico.  One  of Hernan Cortes many estates, it is now a hotel, incorporating the ruins of the original Hacienda and also the venue for my wedding.  For a fuller history and more images click here.

I have visited the Hacienda many times and in between the hours of pure joy that my wife to be and I spent arguing with the wedding planners, looking at floral arrangements, table settings etc. I have manage to take a few snaps - and I hope to be able to take many more in the future.

Mexico is a fantastically colourful country and the mixture of Spanish colonial heritage and the indigenous culture makes it wonderfully photogenic.  In particular Mexican gardens have a unique beauty with the often decaying colonial buildings acting as a backdrop to riotously colourful and lush plants.

The Hacienda Cortes is typically Mexican in this respect - rather annoyingly Blogger won't let me upload any more images at the moment so I can't show you any other images but if you follow the link above you will see the full gallery on my website
The photos on the gallery were all taken on either my Nikon F3 or the Sony DSC T7  - I haven't yet taken the Hasselblad out to Mexico, mainly because the wife would probably bludgeon me to death with it if I spent a day taking photos .  Strangely enough she feels that I should spend our holidays spending time her and not with my face buried in a camera's view finder but then women are funny like that.  I exaggerate a little - but the beauty of the Sony is that it is very discrete and I can take hundreds of photos (and great ones too) without triggering any aggressive female behaviour.

I am not really sure where I am going with this blog - it is really a means of promoting my website if I can get enough traffic I will monetize the site and blog to earn abit of extra income.  Therefore if you have any suggestions about my site, want to link to the blog, have any ideas for posts please feel free to leave a comment.  Otherwise I will start to believe that I am rambling on like a lunatic to nobody

On a different note I have just bought a super 8 camera (a Braun Nizo 3056 no less!) on ebay for 35 quid.    There is something about the saturated colours and low resolution of super 8, that I find  very attractive - stills from a super 8 film look like paintings by one of the great French impressionists and so I am looking forward to playing with this new toy when it arrives, which it should do any day now.

I have a roll of Ektachrome 64T and Vision2  just waiting to be used - also off to Marrakesh in a couple of weeks if the wife's passport makes it back from the home office (as we are not Libyan terrorists but hard working honest folk, HM Government is being suitably difficult and obtuse with my wife's visa but that's another blog!!) so I can't wait to get out and about with the camera then.

I have also just digitised some wonderful old super 8 films my father took of us as children during our summer holidays in Catalunya in the 1960s and 70s.  When I get a moment I want to capture stills from these films which I will publish here.  I am alittle unsure as how best to do this so if anybody has any comments let me know.

Anyhoo, as Woody Woodpecker used to say T-t-that's all folks!!! At least for now at any rate....

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Charles Binns, Landscape Photography


This blog contains a link to my website, which is a collection of photographic galleries taken during my travels around the world.  

I started with a particular interest in Landscape photography and started with a Nikon FE 35mm SLR -  initially I took black & white photos which I developed in my spare bedroom.  I then upgraded to an F3 and a Mamiya C330 to get me into the world of medium format.

The Mamiya was later sold an replaced by a Hasselblad 503CX, which is an excellent camera.

I have recently converted to digital - albeit with a Sony DSC T7  which punches well above it's weight.  It might be the size of a credit card but the results are excellent.  I am now saving to buy a Nikon D80 with an 18-200 VR lens - once my impending house purchase is done with.   

I also plan to purchase a panoramic camera in the near future.

This is my first post and I will add more - I am interested to see how I can increase traffic to my website (currently ranks 19 and 76 for the words landscape photography in Google UK and respectively).  So please visit my website and Digg, Stumble me etc as much as you like!