Age is a mindset (Arthur 78)

Age is a mindset

Age is a mindset

The story of a remarkable man

Arthur:
Age: 78
Born: 1935 Ladywood, Birmingham UK
Arthur has a motto in life, “if you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you have always got.”
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Arthur has many passions one being swimming, he began to swim competitively in 1955 whilst in the REME (royal electrical and mechanical engineers) and realising a lifetime goal in 2010. Below is a list of Arthurs swimming achievements.

1955 200mtr free style Army champion
1987 Competed first Euro Masters swimming championships
1990 Competed first ever World swimming Masters Rio de Janeiro
2000 Competed World Swimming Masters Munich
2005 Competed World Master Games Canada
2006 Competed World Swimming Masters California
Arthur was never fully satisfied in his rankings at these events with his highest finish being Bronze x2 in the 1987 Euro Masters. Arthur dug deep in 2010 aged just 75 and decided to enlist the help of a coach whilst upping his physical workouts to increase his strength.

2010 Competed World Swimming Masters Gothenburg.
Competition was tough at this event and to prove this point Arthur set a new British record for the 800 meter freestyle (75-79 age group) but still only came 7th.
Arthur was also entered into the 100meter freestyle (75-79 age group) This time victory was Arthur’s he picked up a Gold and again broke the British record for his age group with a finish time of 76.4s
He wrapped up this event with Silver in the 50meter dash.
Arthur also built his own house along with 8 other budding builders 1966 – 1968 and was given the honour of naming the Close they were built in, he called it “Mallard Close.” Some of the original residents still reside there.
Arthur also began lifestyle modelling for artists in 1975 to bring in extra money during hard times. Arthur is still modelling for artists today some 38 years later. In-between all of this Arthur has backpacked through the Amazon, around Australia, and Belieze, had a heart attack and had several operations for skin cancer.
Arthurs greatest moment? His first public speech 25 years ago, even if he did last only 39 seconds before drying up. That moment was a life changing moment that brought Arthur out of a shy shell. Arthur still speaks publicly today addressing the WI and Rotary club on a regular basis.
So what is next for Arthur? Will he give up his swimming? When I asked him this question he replied, “My trunks will be cremated with me.” So I guess we are lucky enough to have many more pages to turn in Arthurs adventures.
Lunch at the lifestyle drawing class
Arthur sitting for the lifestyle class 8 7 5
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Editing photos with examples (continued)

Hello again,

My rule is simple, start with a good a base image and editing will be a breeze.

This blog update will cover capturing the image following on from my last blog update which can be found right here 

I suggest a quick recap so this part of the blog will make sense.

Photographing the subject:

Straight out of camera

Straight out of camera

So how did I setup the lighting for this image which is straight out of camera? Expensive studio strobes with fancy diffusers, carefully placed panels to direct the light??

The answer is a simple household torch (flashlight for my friends over the pond).  I’m guessing that most people reading this post will already have a torch to hand so lets begin.

I found a dark space in my house, closed the curtains, doors etc to make sure that no large light leaks were going to stray into the frame. After I decided where that spot would be I turned on the lights and setup the subject on a black background and a black base of foam. Now this really can be anything black, card, sheet etc and from experience I have found that if you can place your black background a distance from the subject the better it is.

With  the subject nicely positioned I setup my camera on a tripod, if you don’t have a tripod you will need to ensure your camera is sitting on a flat surface and use the timer function so you do not need to touch the shutter button. I would recommend the use of a tripod where possible as it will remove the number of blurred shots you might get from camera movement.

Once on the tripod and the subject framed I dialled in these settings which you will need to be in manual mode on your camera:

  • Shutter speed 30 seconds
  • aperture f16
  • ISO 100

Once the settings were dialled in I focused on the subject and switched off the auto focus so the lens will always focus on the same point, once the lights are off the camera will never find focus in the dark…

From this point I took a test shot, I turned off the lights and took the shot, what I was looking for was a totally black image and thankfully that is what I got. If I hadn’t it would have meant that light was leaking in somewhere and I would need to address that before I could carry on.

Now the exciting part which has no science to it at all!! I took the next shot again with the lights off and turned on my torch. I painted the subject with light from the torch and reviewed the image once the 30 second exposure was complete. Now this part really is trial and error but I will list some tips below to help.

  • Don’t point the torch in the direction of the lens
  • Light the interesting parts of the subject individually and paint the light like you would paint on a brush
  • Try using a piece of card rolled up into a cone, place torch into the cone. This will make a more controllable light source much like a snoot
  • Paint light at angles, this will bring out all of the textures
  • Avoid painting light on to the background unless you want to add a spotlight effect
  • Place the subject a distance from the background
  • Choose a good subject
  • Shoot, shoot and shoot you will get the shot you’re after eventually as you learn the strength and direction the light is having on the subject.

Hopefully the above made some sense and you can see that you don’t need expensive lighting equipment to produce some very pleasing shots.

My next update will cover editing the photo, white balance, how to remove unwanted light on the background, base, cleaning up the image and much more.

Youtube has some interesting videos that will visually show you how to paint light with a torch, try here for a starter https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pp1tsPEwYGc

Until then you can visit my website here to see my portfolio or join me on Facebook here 

Jonathan

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Editing photos with examples

It seems forever since I last updated my blog but as they say, “better late than never.”

The following images are snapshot of my editing at different stages from straight out of camera (SOC) to the mid point and finally the image after post.

The first image below is the straight out of camera shot, from this shot you will see a lot of small scratches and dents. All in all it needs a good clean up in Photoshop.

Straight out of camera

Straight out of camera

The following image is my mid-point image, I have cleaned up the scratches, dents and other untidy elements of the image. It was at this point I made the choice to turn the image into black & white.

Straight out of camera

Mid point image Black&White

Finally the finished image. From this image you will see a dramatic change to the overall feel and subject. Items added at this stage: Reflection, rain, colour to the lens, blue tint and shower droplets.

Final post production complete

Final post production complete

Over the next 4 weeks I will post a step by step breakdown from photographing the image to the final editing techniques used in Photoshop. I will also make available the original image (SOC) and the final PSD file that contains all the layers that made up the effects you see above.

Until then….

Jonathan

Visit my website here http://www.vandalredlabel.co.uk/ where you can view my portfolio or to be social you can find me here www.facebook.com/VandalRedLabel

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Dying trades in photos

This is the first set in a series of photographs that aims to capture age-old professions that are no longer popular or are dying out through technological advances.

Hand engraver Terry Campbell has been working in the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham UK for the last 40 years. He stumbled upon hand engraving when he left his job with “Cadbury’s” a chocolate manufacturer in the Midlands UK on the advice of a friend who had just landed a job engraving.
Terry initially worked with 30 other engravers in the 70’s, over the next 20 years engravers left without being replaced, others left due to redundancy until Terry found himself to be the last engraver standing.
The company folded and the time was now right for Terry to make the bold move and go alone as a self-employed hand engraver.
Terry engraves by hand all manner of jewellery, trophies, medals and plaques. Each item engraved has a sentiment, a memory that is priceless to the owner and so beautifully delivered by Terry Campbell
I hope you enjoy the photographs below and to see more of my work please visit http://www.vandalredlabel.co.uk where you can see my portfolio,  personal project images and travel images.
Jonathan
©Jonathan Bell 2013

©Jonathan Bell 2013

©Jonathan Bell 2013

©Jonathan Bell 2013

©Jonathan Bell 2013

©Jonathan Bell 2013

©Jonathan Bell 2013

©Jonathan Bell 2013

©Jonathan Bell 2013

©Jonathan Bell 2013

©Jonathan Bell 2013

©Jonathan Bell 2013

©Jonathan Bell 2013

©Jonathan Bell 2013

©Jonathan Bell 2013

©Jonathan Bell 2013

©Jonathan Bell 2013

©Jonathan Bell 2013

©Jonathan Bell 2013

©Jonathan Bell 2013

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Photography and Editing

A before and after photo edit, not sure showing the before shots is a good idea, but what the hell….

 

 

Enjoy

Jon

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The real cost?

Glass blower workshop

Glass blower workshop

Glassblowing what an amazing art form and so fascinating to watch. The blackboard above the glassblowers head informs visitors to her workshop that when she first setup the workshop her gas bill was £80 per week, that figure has now gone through the roof with energy companies increasing the cost of fuel year on year whilst also reporting record profits! It is now costing her an extra £15000 a year in fuel alone to run her workshop… Ouch!

(to see the photos on this page in hi-res please visit my website http://www.vandalredlabel.co.uk or here http://bit.ly/XUlgcL)

It's hot

It’s hot

I asked them if I could take a few photos and in return I would share with them whatever I took, they were really keen as they have no images of the workshop.

Hot

Hot

The cost of the fuel rises are no doubt passed onto the customer, and it makes me wonder how many people visit this shop without buying the handmade glass due to cost and being able to buy mass produced cheaper alternatives.

glass-7

I loved getting up close to see the work involved in making a glass, it was amazing to watch the process.

glass-5

glass-4

I was really impressed with the team work to get the glass into its final state. The whole thing took about 5 minutes and the images in this post are what I took in that time, I hope the glass blowers and you enjoy them and maybe it might even spur someone on to consider bespoke craftwork made locally over the mass produced wholesale craftwork that is the same all over the world.

Just stepping into a craft shop is an adventure and an Aladdin’s cave of wonderment just waiting for you to discover it.

Wonderful things can be seenTa ta for now!

(to see the photos on this page in hi-res please visit my website http://www.vandalredlabel.co.uk or here http://bit.ly/XUlgcL  Or get social http://www.facebook.com/jonathanbellphotography )

Jon

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Human Traffic

Vandalredlabel-2

The beauty of architecture, engineering and design can be found all around us if we just pause for a moment and look. The photograph above is an example of amazing shape and form, it is a modern building used for corporate office space but somehow the utility of the building renders the beauty invisible. I watched people walk up and down those stairs without ever standing back to look at what they are walking on, it is a shame really as I hope you can see from the photograph it really has a lot to look at. I wonder how many people have looked down but have not seen the stairs crossing looking like train tracks carrying the people to their offices, hence the title of this blog “Human Traffic.”

Vandalredlabel ArchI found this at the top of those stairs and again it looked somewhat neglected and abandoned.

We tend to swoon over the beauty of architecture from the past, people travel all over the world to witness classic period architecture and strongly dismiss the ugly modern buildings that are springing up all over the planet. Now I am not saying that corporate office space can be compared to the architecture found in Florence for example, but what I am saying is, stop, look around you, what do you see? I think you may be surprised

Happy looking

Jon

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