Jack O'Lantern
The Jack O’Lantern is a traditional feature of Halloween, it goes back to early Celtic times.

It’s getting near to that spooky time of year again – Halloween. So get you pumpkin lanterns ready.

Pure Magic
Pure Magic!! Reading Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling.

Or you could just spend the night reading something magical.


As usual you can click on the images to be taken to my online gallery.


Pure Magic

Self portrait of my good self reading Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows

A few days ago I got an email newsletter from an online book retailer that I use and the thing that caught my eye was a photo competition for a new camera. Now I need a new camera like I need a hole in the head, it was the brief that captured my imagination and that was to produce a self-portrait while reading your favourite book in a favourite location. The above photo was my entry.

Now a little while ago I wrote a blog entry about becoming a retrogrouch using older film cameras again and enjoying the stripped back experience. Well this shot was all about technology.I used a Canon EOS5d, with a Canon EF28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens. The camera was tethered to my MacBook and I was shooting to Adobe Lightroom. The lighting was to provide the real story here and a Canon 550EX with CTO fired into the book and bouncing back to my face was the key light. I wanted it to look like a warm magic light pouring out of the Harry Potter book. A Canon 430EX with blue filter bounced off the opposite wall at – 2 stops provided the fill light. The on camera WB was set for tungsten as I wanted this to provide a cold foreboding atmosphere. The camera was triggered by a wireless controller so I did not have to keep getting up and I was able to watch the images on my screen and this enabled me to play around with my positioning and facial expressions. Once I was happy I then processed the RAW file in Lightroom and then exported to Photoshop where I used AlienSkin’s Exposure to enhance the look and then added the stars and lightning bolts. It all sounds very complicated but in a little over an hour I had shot the image, processed it and uploaded to the competition site on Flickr. I took up photography in the early 1980’s with an old Praktika SLR and would have regarded all the above as magic … pure magic.