News PR Public Relations Editorial Photography in Yorkshire Sheffield Rotherham Barnsley and Doncaster By Paul David Drabble Freelance Photographer
May 012010
 

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….

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Aug 292013
 

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.

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Making Modern Images Look Vintage

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2013-08-29_age image – Images by Paul Drabble

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Mar 142013
 

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.

 <h1>Penny Hill Wind Farm Near Ulley</h1>

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.

 <h1>Penny Hill Wind Farm Near Ulley</h1>

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

 <h1>Penny Hill Wind Farm Near Ulley</h1>

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……”

 <h1>Penny Hill Wind Farm Near Ulley</h1>

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.

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Mar 062013
 

Leppings Lane, behind Sheffield Wednesday football stadium, was closed off for a period on Tuesday after Sheffield council workmen discovered, what they believed to be, an unexploded bomb from the second world war. The Workers became concerned when they discovered a large metallic object roughly the shape of a bomb,  just under the bridge at Leppings Lane, while carrying out clearance and maintenance work   on the Banks of the River Don in Sheffield. They raised the alarm causing South Yorkshire Police to close Leppings lane to traffic and pedestrians between Catchbar Lane and the junction of Vere Road. The British Army Royal Logistics Corp Bomb Disposal Unit were called in to examine the find. After some excavation and upon closer examination the object turned out to be some type of rusted metal barrel.
 <h1>Leppings Lane Sheffield Bomb Scare</h1>

Images from the Scene including the barrel/bomb shaped cylinder.

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Feb 112013
 

One of the things people considering getting into news photography dont consider, especially when thinking about freelancing, is covering stories like this. Work has been very thin on the ground recently and sometimes in order to stay in business you end up going out on spec to stories like this one.

 <h1>Sheffield News Images, Man Charged With Murder of Girl Aged 3 </h1>

A man has been charged with murder after the death of a 3 year old girl in Sheffield. An ambulance was called to a house on Beck Road Shiregreen Sheffield on Friday 8th February and a 3 year old was taken to Sheffield Children’s Hospital where she died in the early hours of Saturday Morning . A man aged 30 appeared at Sheffield Magistrates Court on Monday morning Charged with Murder.

Once you have the images the next job is ringing around to sell your speculatively shot images. News photography isn’t always all about glamour, celebrity, sport and big occasions its also about people, tragedy and death. This job I supplied to a news agency who will try to place the images and story.

If you are interested in using any of the images on this story they can be obtained by contacting Caters News Agency

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Jan 242013
 

Where can you download a fully working copy of Adobe Photoshop & serial number free?

I’m not talking about a trial version I mean a genuine fully operational version. How about from Adobe’s own website. If it sounds far too good to be true it may well be but the fact of the matter is Adobe are currently hosting a page where Creative Suite 2 (CS2) programs including Adobobe Photoshop CS2 and Adobe Elements 4.0/5.0 can be downloaded and beside the download Adobe are list the required Serial numbers to make those programs work.

There followed some discussion on the internet as to whether it is actually legal for any Tom, Dick or Harry to come along and help themselves to these programs as it seems the origin of this list lies in the fact that Adobe are ceasing support for the CS2 range of software and that means switching off the activation server for those products. If the web rumours are to be believed this caused complaints from CS2 product owners who would not be able to reactivate products they had paid for should the need arise.  That in turn led to adobe listing all CS2 products for download and giving a serial number for each product.

In January 7th this year (2013) Adobe issued the following statement…

“Effective December 13, Adobe disabled the activation server for CS2 products and Acrobat 7 because of a technical glitch. These products were released over 7 years ago and do not run on many modern operating systems. But to ensure that any customers activating those old versions can continue to use their software, we issued a serial number directly to those customers. While this might be interpreted as Adobe giving away software for free, we did it to help our customers.”

While according to  “Adobe scientist Dov Isaacs” as reported by Forbes.com the word is…

“You have heard wrong! Adobe is absolutely not providing free copies of CS2!” You have to have purchased a copy of CS2 before you can legally within the strict letter of the law help yourself as it were.

So there it is crystal clear except if you follow the link to the “free” CS2 Downloads page you now find Adobe asking you to log in or create a free account which once logged in takes you a page which announces

“Adobe has disabled the activation server for CS2 products, including Acrobat 7, because of a technical issue. These products were released more than seven years ago, do not run on many modern operating systems, and are no longer supported.

Adobe strongly advises against running unsupported and outdated software. The serial numbers provided as a part of the download may only be used by customers who legitimately purchased CS2 or Acrobat 7 and need to maintain their current use of these products.”

Click “I Agree” and you end up right back where we started Adobe’s own website providing download links with serial numbers for CS2 products where if you are dishonest enough you could steal some genuine CS2 Products.

So Adobe have problem, on the one hand they have a product that’s their IP and if its good enough to use its good enough to charge for, but they wish to retire it while customers who legally purchased it may still need to re-activate it.

I do wonder if, in the long run, this may even gain them customers. By risking have the old software stolen by people who didn’t pay for it while keeping legitimate customers happy shows loyalty to existing users and maybe just maybe some will “steal” a “free” copy and decide its good for them and while they don’t need or can’t afford to buy Adobe Photoshop CS6 they may consider Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 which can be legally purchased directly from Adobe for under £80 .

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