Saturday, 29 November 2014

Just sHy of a Hasselblad...

I finally have a Hasselblad! :-D 
HAHA, OK, not really. ;-)
(Original photo below)
The new Hasselblad Stellar II is basically a blinged up and very expensive Sony RX100 Mk II, which I do have.
My Sony RX100 Mk II
You may have noticed that I photoshoped my camera in the top photo to look like the new Hasselblad compact camera. This is probably as close to owning a Hasselblad as I will ever come, so this amuses me to no end. :-D

Google: Hasselblad Stellar II to see what people are saying about this new tiny Hasselblad. Or you can read what The Photoblographer had to say about it.

A few years ago, back in April of 2010, I got to play with (at the time) one the latest Hasselblad digital medium format cameras. (Thanks to a special invite from Hasselblad via Frasers of Gloucester.) I have to say, I was blown away! By both the cameras and the motorbikes! :-D

It was the Hasselblad H4D-40 that I got to use which retailed at the time I think for around £13,000, body only. If you wanted to buy the latest Hasselblad today you'd need around £40,000 for a body and a couple good lenses. Yea, that's why I don't have one.

Here are a couple of photos that I took with the H4D-40 back in 2010.

I so loved using that camera. So much so that I just stayed up until 1am looking for used ones on ebay. I found one with an 80mm lens, which is what I used above, for only £10,000! Yea, a bit out of my reach. I also found one a bit older with an 80mm lens for £3500. That's just about within my reach, but it's quite an old bit of kit by now. But, with such a large sensor it will be better quality than the camera I currently shoot with. With the large file of the images above you can zoom in and zoom in and zoom in and still have a fabulously crisp sharp image....even zooming in greater 100 percent! Try that with your current camera! Unless you have a medium format camera it's not going to be very pretty.

So, my Sony RX100mII will most likely be as close to owning a Hasselblad as I will ever come, but that won't stop me from dreaming about them. One can dream can't they? Besides, there was once a time when I thought I'd never own a Canon 5D, and now I own a Canon 5D II, I thought that camera was way out of my reach at one time, and here I am today thinking about buying my second one! The mark III....or maybe I'll wait for the mark IV, that should be out before too much longer. If I can't own/afford a Hasselblad at least I can now own my once dream camera, the Canon 5D series. :-D

(Note: What I did to the image at the top of this blog post... I inverted the second image to make the black camera seem silver (Like the Hasselblad), which in turn made all the colours go funny. I coloured the lens back in to make it black again. I then added a photo of a wooden hand grip on the left and the Hasselblad logo on the right over the Sony logo....which now spells sHy. Hence the title of this blog post....Just sHy of a Hasselblad.)

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Remembrance Day Sunday 2014

Remembrance Day Poppies...
Lest We Forget
Today is Remembrance Sunday in the United Kingdom, the day we remember and commemorate the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts. And in some cases, as my own, around the world.

The poppy is key in this remembrance, we wear them around this time of year to show we remember, to show respect and to give us hope.

We don't usually have live poppies this time of year, the frost kills them off before now. But this year it's been rather mild and we have poppies growing in our garden. In the above photo are some of those poppies growing in our garden this Remembrance Sunday morning. I photographed them this morning.

This year there is a special installation of poppies around The Tower of London  for Remembrance Day. Remembrance Day is the 11th of November. In observance every year there is a two minute silence at 11am on the 11th day of November (11th month).

I was recently in London working near the Tower of London and I was lucky to get to see the Poppy installation. I could see it from my hotel room actually. Below are some photos I took on 22nd & 23rd of October 2014.

View from my hotel room in London. 
I was in London working for and covering The Charity Learning Consortium's annual awards ceremony and seminars. Amazing people and organization to work for.

Viewing the poppies. 
A closer view of the poppies
View of the poppies around The Tower of London, with the Tower Bridge in the background. 
Another view of the poppies around The Tower of London. 
Tower Poppies
A night time view of The Tower Poppies
I went back on October 28th to view the poppies again with family and friends, but it was too crowded to to really view or take any photos.
Crowds at The Tower of London viewing the Poppies on the 28th October 2014
In hindsight, I wish I'd photographed the crowd more, but at the time we had been stuck in the crowd for so long that all we wanted to do was get away. Shame, as it was a beautiful day. We went for a lovely Dim Sum in China Town instead. :-)

I leave you with a saluting poppy, photographed this Remembrance Sunday morning, in my front garden.

Poppy Salute
 (Note: To view images in this post larger just click on them and they open a bit larger.)

Click here for previous post about Guy Fawkes night fireworks across the Stroud Valley. 

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Guy Fawkes Night

Remember, remember the fifth of November...
Click on image to view a bit larger
The above photograph was created on the evening of November 5th, between 7-8pm, up a hill in Rodborough overlooking part of the Stroud Valley in Gloucestershire, England. Middle right of the image is Stroud town centre.

This image shows an hour's worth of fireworks going off at random from private homes across the valley, and an hours worth of star trails in the sky above. There are also car, airplane, train, lantern and torch light trails throughout the photo as well.

This image took me all evening to create and I had a lot of fun doing so. It is comprised of 103 photographs of 30 second exposures each covering a one hour time span of activity.

Here are a few close-ups from the image above showing more detail of the fireworks. As you can see it was a bit foggy. It was also a bit smoky from the fireworks and bonfires.

And here is a time-lapse movie using the 103 photographs used to create the image at the top of this blog post. (Best viewed on YouTube)

NOTE: I didn't notice I'd dropped the 'e' in 'time-lapse' in the video until after it was created. D'oh! That's what I get for working till 3am on it. :-D 

A very brief history...

Tonight was November 5th, Guy Fawkes Night here in Great Britain. It's also called Bonfire Night and Firework Night. On this night every year we remember the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. This was the night of a failed conspiracy by a group of English Catholics who set out to assassinate Protestant King James of England.

 Guy Fawkes was the unlucky guy caught guarding the stash of gunpowder barrels hidden under the House of Lords at Parliament in London. The King was expected to be there and they had planned on blowing him up...apparently. Anyway, their plans were foiled and Guy Fawkes and several others were caught and brought before the King, tortured and sentenced to death. Hanged, drawn and quartered.

This day eventually became celebrated as the anniversary of this foiled plot and became a state holiday, sorta like the American Independence Day in the States. It was originally called Gunpowder Treason Day, and was a bit more of an important holiday than it is today.

Today it is celebrated with bonfires, burning an effigy of Guy Fawkes and fireworks.


Media coverage on my image and time-lapse video:

From the Stroud News and Journal:
Stunning timelapse photography shows Stroud lit up by fireworks and star trails 

From StroudLife:
Stunning time lapse video of fireworks over Stroud

From the Gloucester Citizen:
Stunning time lapse video of fireworks over Stroud

From Stroud Community TV:
Guy Fawkes Night by Tamara Kwan

Should be in a paper or two as well, will post updates when I see them. :-) 

Update 2:

Photo in the paper
The Weekend Citizen 8th November 2014, pages 2 & 3:
Click image to view larger
Who ever wrote this article did their homework! I didn't give them all of this information. And they found a photo of me! I think it's a photo of me that was in the paper with some other ladies at the Stroud Business Awards a couple of years ago.

Update 3:

The image in the paper above had several mentions and was talked about on BBC Radio Gloucestershire's morning show with Claire Carter (8 November 2014, 6-9am). Click here for link to show. (Note: Will only be online a limited time) First mentioned and talked about at 48:06. A mention at 01:32:30. And another mention at 02:19:02.

Update 4:

Photo in The Stroud News and Journal 12 November 2014