Category: Travel

Direct sunlight can be an issue…

…but it’s possible to use some basic techniques to solve the problem and use a cloudless sky to your full advantage. Here are five of my favourite methods.

1. Shoot directly at the sun using your subject to partially block the light for that sunflare look.

Sinaia Monastery - Direct Sunlight Challenge

2. Work a hard edged shadow into the design to add a little extra interest.

Sinaia Monastery - Direct Sunlight Challenge

3. Shoot in the shade and light up the subject with an opposing white wall or board for that beautiful soft look.

Sinaia Monastery - Direct Sunlight Challenge

4. Find an old guy hiding in an ancient dark church. In other words, move the set inside and make good use of window light.

Sinaia Monastery - Direct Sunlight Challenge

5. Create your own shade by stretching out a length of semi-translucent material to defuse the light falling on your subject. No example as, on this particular day, I didn’t use this method.

The takeaways are simple… Pause for a moment to look around, shoot to suit the conditions, get the safe shots (misquoted from Don’s workshop), be prepared to try something different and there really is no one best way but there is your way.




I certainly did enjoy taking in the sights…

…cuisine and culture of Bucharest, and what a cultured city it is.

Firstly, the food… I had already scouted out a few good restaurants so when we mistakenly stumbled upon ‘the Artist’ it was a relief to break for lunch away from the midday sun. The staff are fabulous, the chef is a genius, and the food is divine.

Lunch at the Artist Restaurant - Bucharest Lunch at the Artist Restaurant - BucharestIt was so enjoyable that we vowed to come back…

…later that week for an evening meal (and so we did, but I recommend you book to ensure you get in)

There is a great selection of coffee shops in Bucharest with influences from France and Italy. In fact, we enjoyed tracking down out of the way cafés as well as the popular ones including ‘Camera din Fata‘, ‘Origo‘ and a three out of six of the ‘ Chocolat’ boutiques (just look at their menu to see why we visited three times).

Chocolate Cake Time - BucharestThat’s just the eating, and having so many great places to regain our energy allowed us to explore the many of Bucharest’s museums, galleries, government buildings, parks, theatres , monuments and the old city.

Following on from a previous post “Glorious Adventure“…

…the P52 group headed north from Phoenix to stop over at Flagstaff; from there we headed further north with our first photo-op being an abandoned motel-come-gas station. Talk about creepy!

Motel Room Door - abandoned

Looking back, I wonder how I was so senseless to have wandered off alone – maybe it was the false comfort of having a large group within earshot.

Tumbleweed Trapped on Stairwell - abandoned

The thing is, I’ve seen the movies and the victims never get a chance to shout out as they’re dragged away unconscious…

Crack Pavement and Stairs - abandoned

…back to reality, and the abandoned motel… I managed to get away with a few images that I hope significantly portray the special atmosphere of the place.

Looking Through a Dirty Window - abandoned

Graffiti on Tanks - abandonedGreat fun and this is just the beginning of the road trip.



I recently embarked on a glorious adventure.

A journey that took me over five thousand miles from home to meet up with my fellow Project 52 group members.

We spent two days in and around our tutor’s (Don Giannatti) studio in Phoenix, Arizona. This was followed by a five day trip north into the country that rekindled memories of Lone Ranger matinees and John Wayne movies.

During the first couple of days, we had the opportunity to photograph five models. Never having experienced a working studio, let alone directing “real-life. human” models, I was more than a little overwhelmed; I am sure others in the group felt much the same.  No matter, Don’s helpful and patient demeanor soon had us feeling comfortable, as he provided measured encouragement and advice while  letting us solve our own problems. To stretch us further, Don split us into smaller groups and sent us out into Downtown Phoenix to photograph the models in a more challenging environment.

Here are some of the resulting images from this fabulous weekend in Phoenix.

I like this photo of Ivy with her direct eye contact

Glorious Adventure - Ivy in the Studio

Ivy takes five between photo sessions

Glorious Adventure - Ivy in the Studio-2

An impromptu still life

Glorious Adventure - Coffee Break

Downtown with Jeremy. I recently discovered the pleasing news that Jeremy is using this photo as his Facebook profile image

Glorious Adventure - Looking the "Business"

Downtown with Briana. An unwavering trooper and treasure, who would be with us the entire road trip.

Glorious Adventure - Tree Light with Briana

Downtown with Ivy as she busts some moves. Back-lit from a quickly setting sun.

Glorious Adventure - Busting Moves with Ivy

While writing of this post, I was reminded of how the group were united through a common goal and worked together to form a well-rounded team. This diverse set of individuals shared part of themselves while offering each other support as needed.

In the next post, this glorious adventure continues with the first leg of the road trip – from Flagstaff to Springdale and so many stops in between.

A huge thank you to our models; Briana, Ivy, Adrian, Jeremy and Garratt for putting up with us bunch of mad-hat photographers.

A Scottish road trip, 1,500 miles and plenty of wild weather…

such a great four days spent travelling around some of the most spectacular countryside on a Scottish road trip. It’s been one of those trips meant simply to take photographs but how could I resist the urge to slow down, relax and take things just as they come and that’s exactly what I did – no stress, work a million memories away and the challenge of wet and winding roads through the mountanous terrain.

We arrived at Queen’s View on Loch Tummel at 5am following an eight hour drive from the south of England. Caught up on some sleep until daybreak, waited for the rain to ease and the sun to peep over the hillside. What a start to the trip and I am glad we stayed put for a couple of hours as we were rewarded with a RAF Hercules flying directly at us down the Loch.

Scottish Road Trip

scottish road trip - Scottish Landscape

scottish road trip - Sunlight and Waterfalls

There are more images from the four days on my Flickr stream: Scotland Autumn 2012