Snowy Cheshire by Neil Alexander

Snowy Massey Ferguson by Neil Alexander

Just a quick post with a couple of images I made on my way home the other night. The M6 was in a state of traffic chaos, so I decided to pull off and try and head home via the back roads. It took me a while, but as the temperature plummeted to -12˚C I found that my tripod legs began to seize up and the zoom on my Olympus EP-1 (my carry around camera) began to get quite stiff.

The first image of the tractor was a rather fortuitous find - I'd pulled up a track to turn around and head back the way I'd come when I stumbled across a dilapidated barn on a farm. The farm was clearly in use, and I was concerned that I was probably on private property. The light was fading fast, and not keen to come across an irate farmer I cranked up the ISO to 1600 and made sure that the Image Stabilisation was enabled. Leaning against a post and breathing calmly, I managed to get a sharp shot at 1/5 sec. Hooray for IS!

Snowy farmhouse by Neil Alexander

The second shot of the farmhouse wasn't quite the image I'd intended to shoot. I'd pulled over as the moon was full and low and large in the sky. I spotted a silhouette of a farm with the moon over it, but with the 14-42mm lens I just didn't have the reach. Turning around I saw this scene with yet more snow clouds approaching from the South. Using my tripod I made this 40 second exposure to try and soften the clouds in the sky, get some car light trails and to try to capture the plume of smoke that was coming out of the chimney of the farmhouse.

Focus expo at the NEC and stuff.... by Neil Alexander

I've managed to complete my photography portfolio website - www.fillfactorphotography.com. So I'll shortly be taking the galleries on www.jacobsdad.co.uk down I'm afraid. I can't manage both galleries and Flickr, and my Stockphoto account. So all porfolio stuff will go on the Fill Factor site, and works in progress and ideas will go onto Flickr - www.flickr.com/photos/jacobsdad. I'm still working on the buying of prints and the fulfillment for the portfolio. I went to the Focus expo (www.focus-on-imaging.co.uk) at the NEC yesterday - "FOCUS ON IMAGING is Europe's biggest annual imaging show, covering all your needs from image capture through to output and beyond". It was worth the trip. I found several options for fulfillment companies for my online gallery. Loads of different framing and mounting options, and all the kit that you could possibly imagine. Unfortunately, my shopping list has increased fourfold!

As the weather forecast was half decent and as the show didn't start until 10am, I left the house at 5 to beat the traffic on the M6 and I fancied doing some street stuff in Birmingham before I went. The weather was "sunny intervals", and I got some good stuff. I was using the trusty old Olympus 35mm as I got a job lot of out of date slide film for a song and planned getting it cross-processed. I focused on "text and image" for a couple of rolls. And the I found a nice spot near the Bull Ring where the sun was behind me, and I could hide in the glare until the subjects were nearly on top of me and shot another roll there. The difference in people's attitude when you take their photograph never ceases to amaze me. Some will just smile as they pass, yet others will frown, glare and turn away. Britain is the most observed country in the world. If you go into a city centre these days, you can't fail to spot the plethora of CCTV cameras everywhere you go. So why do they object to a photographer taking their picture? Beats me, but I love provoking a response! I will post the results on Flickr tomorrow, hopefully.....