Friday, 15 January 2010

in the deep mid winter

in the deep mid winter
Originally uploaded by Ray Wise

When I arrived at this point it was actually quite dark although the snow helped reflect the light. Processing a shot that is a little under exposed is tough, so over exposing a little can be a good thing.. I shot a single exposure which came out very well - however had to use adjustments in Photoshop to bring out the best in the photo.
I changed the colour balance away from blue to yellow slightly and used exposure and gamma to enhance the light patches. I've added a fog gradient layer and erased nearer details like the bush and trees on the right and close trees on the left.. Sometimes photos don't need sharpened but i find shots with branches and twigs usually benifit so i added this also.. hope you like.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Winter running

Some people might say that running round London in the winter is beyond crazy.. However, if you think that running in temperatures of around -4C is bad... think again, the competitors running the North Pole Marathon face temperatures of around -30C... Think again?
However, it's still bloody cold out there and above is the kit I where when I go out and its below 2C. It's all about layers and avoiding spongy materials like wool, cotton should also be avoided.. Clothing has to breath but still stop wind and stretch when you run. Material to look out for is Gortex ,Lycra and many other similar longer names of fabric.
Base layers should be tight fitting and that which wick sweat from your body.. I use Nike Pro Fit compression shorts and top - these also help prevent chaffing. Amazingly enough your legs - once warmed up - stay very warm in cold conditions - you'll get used to what you can bare, for me, anything lower than 2 degrees C and the tights come out - but i will still where the compression pants under them ;0)
Again with tops - avoid cotton and try to keep layers lightweight and wickable material. Gortex jackets can be heavy and uncomfortable but are very good keeping out the wind. The days are shorter in the winter and weekday runs are usually in the dark.. I bought a cheap (£10) fluorescent bib to wear so that traffic and pedestrians can spot me a little easier.. this is well worth the money!
On top I wear a lightweight hat which is good up to about -4C... Anything more and you might find this uncomfortable on longer runs. Bio-ear is like plasticine and moulds into your ear nicely - they stop the cold draft from getting in completely. Moisturiser for face and lots of Vaseline for lips and we are ready to go.
Getting too warm whilst running? On longer runs I personally thing you should keep clothing on all the time... I seem to go through a warm stage after a few miles but this passes and if i have removed clothing it needs to go back on - this throws my body temperature again and i'm in a constant battle.. best to keep clothing on unless you are running under 5 miles or so.. again, you will know what is or is not best for you... Remember, these points are from my own experience so they may not work for you at all. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

ice cream sky

ice cream sky
Originally uploaded by Ray Wise

I think that with landscape photography you have to allow an element of luck when it comes to the nature side of things.. take this shot for instance - in a different time and space it may not look as effective.. The snow on the ground and the soft ripples in the sky work really well together.. Very helpful :)
I also moved the camera to the right of the gate to make the angle go with the cloud formation... Its a funny thingbut something as simple as moving the camera placement can change the outcome of a photo dramatically.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

the country lane

the country lane
the country lane
Originally uploaded by Ray Wise

I am jealous of anyone who lives in a rural area.. I love these old country lanes and the stone walls that surround them. This shot was taken first thing in the morning and had to be a fairly long exposure.. however, i think , in fact almost regret not going back in the middle of the day to get a brighter shot.. C'est le vie as they say.. still, you can see what i was trying to produce here and the dark edge gives it a twilight feel- and with the purple tone of the early morning light - almost surreal.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Oxford - Thames photo walk

Map details

So last week it snowed a lot! Even in the centre of London we had a few inches last a couple of days.. however, outside the capital was hit really bad and I thought it was an opportunity not to be missed with the camera. Travel surprisingly was not a problem and I actually got to Oxford earlier than I planned.. so I started walking from the train station in the dark at 07.22 .. the sun was due up at 08.10...
There was a LOT of snow, even the main roads had tracks of a few inches.. not good for cars - great for me.. it was still dark but by the time I'd got to my starting point the light was picking up and the sky was changing colour... It was really cold - I'd say about -5 or so and as there wasn't much wind, this was bearable.
Taking shots in such conditions is hard going - tip is to leave the lens cap off or it will keep misting up. I'd got so many layers of clothes on I felt warm anyway - and two pairs of gloves was a good idea.. under pair were my thin running gloves so I could still operate the camera with them on.
Soon the sun came up though and things felt a bit warmer.. Its was handy I was walking towards it as it was a nice feeling on my face.. and still no wind.. nice! A little indecision at the Abingdon bypass roundabout (where i took the next shot) and then I got on the Thames Path from the A4074.

Once on the Thames Path I followed it down towards Lower Radley.. trust me, if you ever want a beautiful river walk - this one is well worth a visit. Of coarse, it looked even better in the snow so the camera was snapping away like there was no tomorrow.. These shots are from my smaller point and shoot Lumix - the Canon 50D shots will be uploaded to my Flickr account.

After a bit of walking I realised that it was going to take longer to get to my target, which was Appleford. However, when I got to Culham bridge I made a stupid mistake a carried on rather than crossing over the river .. lol.. well, I thought the river walk was so pretty I didn't want to break off to early and go by road... There were NO river crossings until i got to Clifton Hamden - and then I had to walk back - this put another 6 miles onto the hike.. phew! Big mistake! Lucky thing is when I got to the train station I only had to wait 20 minutes.. it turns out the trains are about every 2 hours on a Saturday.. so phew again!

Last shot about reminds me of walking down the final couple of miles and a few cars not giving way to me - making me leap in to the bushes.. it seems funny now but this is the reason you wear bright coloured clothing and walk toward oncoming vehicles.. maybe some people who driving need to take a long walk sometimes ;0)

we begin here..

START: Well thanks to a few friends I am now blogging again.. So I thought I'd start fresh one. So what's it all about - basically an online diary of my events etc - mainly this will cover my training for the Marathon De Sables 2011, plus my general fitness activities, it'll also cover my photography - how that's going, the place I visit etc...and the odd movie review.