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  • Better Photos Blog 4:27 am on July 11, 2010 Permalink  

    We’ve Moved 

    Hi Everyone,

    The Better Photos Blog has now moved onto Blogger. I’ll be updating the new blog regularly, so please come and visit Our New Blog.

    The information on the WordPress Blog will not be updated but will stay live.

    See you in Blogger Land.

    Best wishes.

  • Better Photos Blog 3:39 pm on July 9, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: holiday photo tips, Radio Cumbria, taking better vacation photos, travel photography   

    Travel Photography Tips on BBC Radio Cumbria 

    Snowshoeing in the Pyrenees by Mark Elliott Photography

    Snowshoeing in the Pyrenees

    Hi Everyone,

    I was interviewed at BBC Radio Cumbria this morning by presenter Val Armstrong (who was standing in for Liz Rhodes). We talked about travel photography.

    You can listen to the interview again by following this link, pressing PLAY and moving the SLIDER to 12 minutes into the programme. Here are a few more travel photography tips.

    Before you Go – Ten Travel Photography Tips

    1) Check your insurance to make sure than your photography gear is properly covered.
    2) Ensure that you have enough room for your camera and lenses in your hand luggage. Hand luggage is limited to approx. 22ins x 18ins x 10ins.(varies with airline).
    3) Plan to spread your photos over several memory cards rather then one large capacity card – in case you lose the card or it is damaged.
    4) Take a spare, fully charged battery and charger (make sure that it is compatible with the power supply of the country you are visiting).
    5) Buy a mini tripod such as a Gorrillapod.
    6) Pack a lens cloth and air blower to help keep your lenses and camera clean.
    7) Take large zip-lock bags or a small dry-bag to protect your camera equipment in extreme conditions.
    8) Research the area on the internet for interesting photo locations/festivals or events, which might make good photographic subjects.
    9) Practice with any new equipment before you travel. Understand your camera settings.
    10) Take your camera manual.

    Happy travelling.

  • Better Photos Blog 4:41 pm on July 3, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: Buttermere, , , ,   

    Buttermere in the Lake District 

    Photographing Buttermere

    Buttermere Reflections

    Photograph of Buttermere

    Buttermere is a beautiful Lake District mere surrounded by mountains. The village of Buttermere and the lake itself are very popular with tourists, so if you want to photograph the lake an early start is required to avoid the crowds.

    The pines at the south-east corner of the lake have been photographed by thousands of people. The view of Buttermere pines from the roadside has become a ‘classic image’ but many other parts of the lake shore offer interesting view points and features. It’s worth exploring with your camera. A level path enables you to make an easy circuit of the lake.

    The above photograph was taken from the shore looking across the water towards the pines and Lambing Knott. I liked the reflection of the sweeping drystone wall.

    Location info:

    There are car parks in Buttermere village and at Gatesgarth Farm. Grid reference of the location from which this photograph was taken: NY 185 152.

  • Better Photos Blog 6:46 pm on June 29, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: digital photos, file size, PIXresizer, reducing images for email, reducing size of photos, reducing size of photos for websites, resizing photos   

    Resizing Images for Websites or Email 

    Just found out about some free software which allows you to reduce the size of images so that you can email them or add them to websites. It’s easy to install and you can add a desk top shortcut to access the software quickly. Individual images or batches of photos can be resized using PIXresizer

    Here’s what the developer says about PIXresizer.

    The reduced files are saved in a different folder, so your original images are not altered at all. PIXresizer offers several different resizing methods to choose from and can automatically recognize image sizes to calculate the best fit. In addition, it can convert between image formats (JPEG, GIF, BMP, PNG and TIFF), rotate images, convert to grayscale and resize multiple images in batch mode. A great companion for webmasters and digital photographers.

    You can download PIXresizer from the developer’s website.

  • Better Photos Blog 6:57 am on June 21, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: Coniston, , , Kelly Hall Tarn, , Torver   

    Kelly Hall Tarn, Coniston 

    Kelly Hall Tarn, Torver Common, Lake District

    Kelly Hall Tarn near Coniston

    I discovered this beautiful little tarn when I was researching my book Waterside Walks in Cumbria and the Lake District. One of the walks in the book passes beside it.

    A ‘tarn’ is a mountain lake or pool, formed in a hollow excavated by a glacier. The word is derived from the Old Norse word tjörn meaning pond. It is a commonly used term for lakes and pools in the mountainous areas of Cumbria.

    Kelly Hall Tarn is a particularly attractive example and is located on Torver Back Common near Coniston, in the Lake District. You can frame the tarn with a backdrop of spectacular mountains, which include ‘The Old Man of Coniston’.

    Location info: From Coniston, Cumbria follow the A593 to Torver. Turn left onto the A5084 and travel for 0.7 miles until you reach a garage at Beckstones. Park opposite the garage and walk up the track and onto the Common. The tarn is a short walk away. Grid Reference: SD 288 932.

  • Better Photos Blog 5:51 am on June 6, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , , Liz Rhodes, people photographs, portraits   

    Photographing People 

    Tips to get Better Photos of People

    Kizzy at Thirlmere

    Kizzy at Thirlmere, Cumbria

    Hi Everyone,

    I was interviewed by Liz Rhodes on BBC Radio Cumbria a couple of day’s ago. I discussed how to get better photographs of people. The interview is about 10 minutes long and you can listen to it again by following this link to the BBC Cumbria website.

    Click START and then MOVE the slider to 9 minutes 30 seconds into the show.


    I hope that you find it useful.

  • Better Photos Blog 5:17 pm on May 14, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , landscape photography, photographing sunrise sunset, photography dawn dusk   

    Photography at Sunrise and Sunset 

    Taking photographs at Dawn and Dusk

    Cumbrian Sunrise by Mark Elliott Photography

    Landscape photography is almost always best done during the ‘golden hours’ of dawn and dusk. On the right day, the light has a warm colour cast, which bathes the landscape. Skies also contain warm, colourful tones. Taking photographs at sunrise and sunset greatly improve your photographs.

    Here is a link to a useful website, which I use to ascertain sunrise and sunset times. The site also tells you the direction of the rising and setting sun. I mark this information on a map of the area that I intend to photograph. I take a compass with me and get to to the location in good time to get set up and ready to shoot.

  • Better Photos Blog 5:13 pm on April 18, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: Crummock water, , ,   

    Photographing Crummock Water 

    Crummock Water in the Lake District

    Location info:

    Crummock Water is located next to Buttermere. Follow the B5289 from Cockermouth or Keswick. Grid Reference of the location in the video: NY 160 198. The area is known as Fletcher Field. You can park next to the road and walk down to the lake shore.

  • Better Photos Blog 1:44 pm on April 16, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: Allonby, Coast, , , Solway   

    Photography along the Cumbrian Coastline. 

    Allonby in Cumbria.

    This is a short video clip (using my phone) from the beach at Allonby in Cumbria. Allonby is a small village, located on the Cumbrian coast, north of Maryport. It’s a good location for photography and a place to capture some great sunset shots.

    Allonby is busy over the summer months but the surrounding areas get few visitors. There are miles of sandy beaches where you can find solitude and enjoy taking photographs.

    Location info:

    Allonby is located north of Maryport in Cumbria. From Maryport, follow the B5300 along the coast until you reach the village. There are free parking areas dotted along the coastline from south of the village up to Silloth.

  • Better Photos Blog 2:02 pm on April 11, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , , , photographing waterfalls, , polarising filters   

    Photographing Waterfalls 

    How to Photograph Waterfalls

    Photographing Waterfalls by Better Photos

    Waterfall and Oak Leaf

    Here are some tips to get you taking better photographs of waterfalls:

    1) Use a tripod.

    2) Use a slow shutter speed (of between 2 and 25 seconds) to get the water looking silky-smooth.

    3) Photograph waterfalls in the low-light of early morning or evening to ensure you can set a sufficiently slow shutter speed.

    4) Use a polarising filter. It will slow down your shutter speed, remove glare and saturate colours.

    5) Check your camera’s LCD after taking each photograph to ensure that the water’s highlights are not ‘blown out’. (Set your highlight alert warning in your camera menu – and blown out highlights will appear as a blinking warning on your LCD). Reduce your EV (see earlier post) until the ‘blinkies’ stop.

    Waterfall and Oak Leaf

    Photo Info: Aperture F20, Shutter speed 20 seconds, ISO 100, Lens focal length 28mm, polarising filter.

    Want to learn how to photograph waterfalls?

    Better Photos runs Waterfalls for Beginners courses in the Lake District (UK).

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