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.