Places of beauty, places of calm.

Coton Manor is located not far away from where I live. It’s actually interesting that it’s been there all along and it wasn’t until a colleague recommended it to me not long ago that I went. I discovered the place and got out absolutely gob-smacked by its beauty, the natural and picturesque surroundings as well as the brilliant calm vibe of the place and location. Re-define silence!

The entrance to the gardens is quite modest and it doesn’t really reveal at all what awaits. You then stroll around beautifully prepared and looked after and quite magical spots. Oh, and there are 2 resident flamingos who will spice it up for you if you come too close. So don’t:)

The set below is from Coton Manor Gardens. One of my new favourite places.

Buddhist Centre I Thornby promo

It’s one of those simple stories of not knowing about a place right on your doorstep. It’s about not searching enough, perhaps, or simply of not being aware. Then again, best gems are hidden sometimes…

And this is what the Buddhist Centre in Thornby hall is. A gem. A gem of big calm, a gem of tranquility within and of immense relaxation. As you discover the grounds, the people and the surroundings you can’t help but loose yourself in the atmosphere of complete peace. I seriously recommend this venue as well as a number of meditation sessions they offer to boost your spirit. And who doesn’t need that these days, right? :)

Thank you Mondrul for walking me around and letting me contribute to the centre’s publicity. I remain forever grateful and I will be back for sure!

Adobe Lightroom Classic Update

Thoughts on editing suites…

Adobe has had a history of messing things up amidst providing photographers with tools that define the standard of professional product delivery today. I’m a great fan and I’m addicted to the tools provided by Adobe. Quick confession, I did try the new and improved Luminar 2018 from Skylum and I must admit it has potential, the Capture One 11 Imaging Software from PhaseOne, which is great if you don’t mind a different take on your editing workflow as well as Affinity Photo which is a great Photoshop alternative. I would actually recommend all and discourage none from trying them out. If, and it’s a big one for me, if you are not already used to your workflow, your presets and the tools you know you use and need at your work.

The update…

So here comes the update, a couple of weeks ago. I update, and just as well as other photographers experienced, BOOM! Presets convert to the new amp format and run wild like a pack of zombies supercharged and super confused. Folders are gone, some get saved in camera profiles folders instead of presets folders and the whole thing is one huge miss (and mess). To the rescue then comes today’s update with version 7.3.1 and things are looking a bit better. The software behaviour is more up to date and in line with what I’m used to and I can organise things in a sensible way again. It’s just a pity that Adobe released the bad version for the creatives to test and complain first. This should be the new version, not the previous one.

New camera profiles…

So the version Lightroom Classic 7.3 got released with a new approach. Camera profiles received a boost and I am a huge fan of them. They present a plethora of opportunities to modify my presets and workflow. A simple comparison in the images below shows how some, in this case Modern02 profile, can have an impact on the final output. A lot more is still to be done and adjusted to I’m sure but I feel that I can finally start playing around without being messed around. I feel I’m in “baby steps” to something exciting. Feeling good about it…

Adobe customer support…

After the recent update I’ve encountered problems beyond being able to sort myself. So I got in touch with the support team who took over my computer control remotely and sorted everything out. Brilliant! It’s just a shame that it had to happen. Then again, it’s good to know that there are people out there who got your back. Thanks Adobe. Much appreciated!:)

Play time at the Birmingham Photography Show

It’s this time of the year again and we’re excited to see what’s on offer, indulge in finding out what new toys have been presented this time, what changes brought to the table and how the game has changed. Well, the good news is it hasn’t. As long as you are ready to develop your creative eye, practice and enjoy photography at the same time, you can’t go wrong with either of the offerings from all the companies I’ve seen this year. Whether FujiFilm, Olympus, Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax (, oh yes Pentax, with the reinvented dslr like system ), or amazing the recently amazing Panasonic, you’re in for a treat as the features expand and technology is pushed further. No Leica this time. Hmm…

It was actually really interesting however to listen to the speakers at the show. I’ve seen fantastic stuff from the educators so far and, although not everything new, I’m sure it helped the new comers and hobbyists in their early paths. And there was some fun to be had too as some speakers didn’t shy away from edging-on-inappropriate jokes… 

The photography show in Birmingham is a huge thing for me as I love to meet the like minded people and of course my beloved album providers, the n-photo company reps. You guys continue to amaze me year in year out so keep on going! 

What about you? Where have you been this weekend?…

An ode to Polaroid square format.

Instagram is huge these days and in some circles it has overtaken Facebook as the portal for engagement with friends, clients, interests and other areas and people. But this entry is not about Instagram or Facebook. It’s about square format, something I’ve come back to over and over again this winter whilst preparing for a busy wedding season ahead. 

 Why square? 

Honestly, I don’t know. But there’s something magical about it. Composition and most of its rules fade, let alone braking them. Imperfection is king here as one focuses on the moment more rather than, well, anything else. And moment is key, an aspect so important especially in a busy wedding photography setting or street and travel photography scenarios hence an excellent point of reference and practice. 

During a recent get away I went to London to pay requiem to one of my favourite directors, german born Wim Wenders who in the early 70s took a polaroid camera, a prototype SX70 with loads of film paper sheets and traveled the U.S. to both record moments of the Americans of the era as well as prepare the visuals for his films. One of these is “Alice in a city”, where the polaroid camera plays subsequent role to everything happening in the short. Wim Wenders polaroids have been exhibited in the Photographers Gallery, London since October and I highly recommend going, forgetting oneself in the timeless memories and moments captured by the format as well as simply getting inspired to shoot. And shooting was on the menu after the exhibition when I walked the streets of London recording those simple moments and enclosing them in the square format afterwards. Yes, I know, it’s cheating a bit as I do not own a Polaroid camera and the post-work was completed digitally, but my intention was to come close to the square this way. Enjoy! :) 

For more information about the WimWenders Polaroids exhibition click here

For more info about the recent Polaroid camera and format click here.

For more info on Photographers Gallery London click here.

To learn about Wim Wenders click here.

Using Format