Welcome to my blog. It may seem strangely named but `tog is actually an abbreviation of photographer which occasionally gets bandied about in newsrooms up and down the country, while “owd” is the Yorkshire pronunciation of “old”. Not that I feel old but I was stuck for a title and “An owd ‘togs blog” just seemed to have a nice ring to it. So there you go….
A major fire broke out on an industrial estate in Sheffield on Wednesday night 3rd Spetember. The fire started just after 9.30pm and a number of loud explosions were heard during the course of the night. The large large blaze at a single storey warehouse just off Station Road in Ecclesfield, close to South Yorkshire Police Sub Divisional HQ and Chapeltown Academy involved 2,000 tonnes of waste plastics. It destroyed the building and caused serious damage to a car paint spraying unit close by and was tackled by over 40 firefighters.
My portfolio/Website/Online Presence is still undergoing it’s upgrade. It a work in progress but its is now up and running with a selection of News, Public Relations, and other photographs. Links to my Facebook, Twitter, and LinkdIn accounts also to my Blog and Photoshelter.
22 August 2014 Due to a PHP server upgrade my Website has Technical issues and is now under going an upgrade. Meanwhile its Business As Usual from a Photography point of view. If you would like to see some examples of my work please browse through my past blog pages alternatively you can check out my Photoshelter presence
I can also be found on Facebook and Twitter
With the increase in popularity of vintage events, 1940’s weekends and re-enacting there seems to be a trend for aging photographs and trying to make them look like period images. To help photographers who want their photographs to look like film from the 40’s here are a few tips.
The first problem is image quality. Most modern digital cameras handled correctly produce images of significantly higher quality than than their equivalent from the 1940’s. My method of knocking down the image quality is to take my original image, size it down by 50% or more then interpolate it back up to its original size. This can still leave the image too sharp if it is I use a blur filter to soften the image further.
Next desaturate the image but desaturation alone tends to give a harsh and crisp black and white, which leans towards having a blueish tinge. Using colour balance tools to add yellow (or remove blue depending upon how you look at it) and add red will allow you to get a warmer tone that you can make look anywhere from a natural looking black and white through to a sepia tone.
Now add the film grain effect. Create a new layer which will need to be in overlay mode or similar with 100% opacity of middle or 50% grey. On this new layer you carry out two steps.
First add noise, how much will depend up how grainy you want your final image to look, again I start around 50% however make sure the noise is monochrome, there would be no colour noise in a 1940’s B&W photograph.
Second step is to blur the noise so it looks less like sharp dots and more resembles real film grain Gaussian blur is my preferred choice usually around 2 or three pixels.
At this point it’s worth comparing your manipulated image with genuine pictures from the period to make sure you have a reasonable match for colour tone and softness before merging the layers and moving onto cropping.
I prefer to crop either the 3:2 proportion of 35mm format or the square format of 6×6 you could also use 10×8 but a give away that your image may not be “period” would be to crop it at A4 as this probably would not have been a popular shape of the time unless you are going on to mock-up a period magazine cover. Once cropped its time to add a white border I add a 10% border relative to the cropped photograph This can be done by using something like the “Canvas Size” tool in Photoshop or you could just create a new plain white image document in your editor then drag your manipulated photograph into the middle. Once the border is sorted for that final touch of authenticity you can use a softening tool like adobes blur tool to soften the really hard edge between the beginning of the image and the white border.
One of the things I love about my job is the variety. I get access to people, places and experiences I wouldn’t ordinarily see, one such case is Penny Hill Wind Farm located on farm land between junctions 31 and 32 of the M1 motorway close to the village of Ulley. Love them, or hate them, it seems wind farms are now an firm part of the UK’s renewable energy policy. Personally I think in the right light and in the right place these giant “windmills” can be very photogenic and while shooting for one of the local papers I was asked to visit and photograph Penny Hill.
Once completed it will consist of six individual wind turbines with a life span of 25 years. At up to 130 Meters from ground to the tip of the blade these massive turbines arrive on site broken down as four tower pieces, a necell, a hub and three blades which, I am told, in optimum weather conditions can be erected into its base in a single day. Its difficult to comprehend just how large these towers are unless you can get right up to them.
One of the four sections that make up Wind turbines towers arrives by lorry at Penny Hill
Despite less than perfect conditions workers prepare two massive cranes to lift the first of four sections that make up the tower and lower it on to its base.
Making the lorry that brought it onto the site look like a child’s toy the first of the four sections from the turbines tower is lifted swung over the base. Note the workmen in orange ensuring correct positioning of the section before it is finally lowered on to its base
At £95,000 pounds each, three turbine blades wait to be fitted to the hub before the assembled pieces can be hoisted up and fitted to the nacelle. I was was unable to resist touching them knowing when I drive past Penny Hill I will be able to look and say. “do you see the center of those blades……”
Penny Hill Wind Farm between junctions 31 and 32 of the M1 motorway close to the village of Ulley. Love them these giant “Windmills” can be photogenic
One completed Wind Turbine beside a second which is awaiting the its blades and hub to be assembled and hoisted into place. Note the comparative size of the yellow excavator at the foot of the unfinished turbine and the car in the bottom right hand corner for scale.