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September 2009 Photographers Resource - Monthly  Edition 69

Mastering Exposure, and
Your Own Photographic Theme

Forde Abbey, nr Chard, Somerset

Image taken with a Nikon D300, with Nikon 18-200VR lens @ 70mm,
ISO 4000, 1/160th, F13, EV-0.7
In this Issue:-
  • Editorial
  • Photographers Diary
  • September Wildlife Photography
  • Photographic Feature - Mastering Exposure
  • Your Own Photographic Theme

We have been out taking many thousands of photographs over the last month, spending time on Hadrian's Wall in northern England, on Anglesey, around Kent, on the Essex/Suffolk boarder, in the Ironbridge valleys, and visiting just about every county in England and Wales. We have searched out windmills, follies, dovecotes, fords, castles, abbeys, industrial heritage, Roman places, scenic locations, locations painters once stood and far more.

We have spent only a few nights away, most days taking long trips from home. Often there is little point in staying away as places frequently don't open until 10am and are shut at 5pm, so up to a 4 hour drive each way is possible and we can still get in as full a day as when staying away.

A selection of images of each of the places visited will find their way into upcoming articles and galleries, or have assisted our research into topics we are covering over the next year.

There have been many other fine days that we could have been out but we  needed to research, write, edit, and keep on top of everything as well as recovering from the long away days.

Looking ahead. We are trying to get at least several days visits and photography in each week now, having rearranged our time to allow for more, and created a vast list of places we would like to visit. The weather is always the unknown variable, forecasts often proving wrong. More than one day we have set out with the forecast of a dry sunny day to get a cloudy, and in one case very wet day, however its just a greater challenge to handle an umbrella as well as a camera. We had decided this year not to stay at home just because the forecast was wet, a good decision as often when rain was forecast we had nice days. Last summer we cancelled plans when the forecasts were not looking good and ended up staying in to look through windows at nice sunny days. When we have had rain some features are perhaps better, waterfalls and fords being the most obvious.

With so much of our time this month researching, out on visits and more importantly taking photographs we do not have a featured topic this month, although we do have a photographic feature.

Changing Priorities

As many of you know we have also been running Camera Images, the leading 1 to 1 training provider for those with Nikon cameras, plus Photography Skills Masterclasses and had Photo Skills on the back burner since the recession began.  With the recession less and less time has been used on training allowing us to put far more time into our priority projects. We have now reappraised our priorities, and decided that this and the travel related magazine we have been developing, needs more time and we also want more time to get out and take more photos, visit more places, and when the recession passes and training picks up we are just not going to be able to do both effectively. We have therefore decided to close the training businesses, and to suspend the Limited Edition art sales for now as well, so allowing us to put all of our effort into this online magazine and the online travel magazine.

Photographers Resource grew out of the Camera Images newsletter, originally for training clients. It is has, for some time now, been published by a non profit organisation, with costs covered by sponsorship, closing the training businesses also removes the sponsors, we will also be removing the Google ads at some point as these have produced very little income. While logic might suggest that we cannot produce two online magazines with no income, in practice we can for a short period and then we will need to sort out a funding model that can sustain it forward. We need to do this, and some reprogramming of the way the website works, alongside the continuing production so its going to take us a few months to resolve this, before we can show you the improved version we are working towards.

As a substitute for training provision we are expanding the instructional part of this magazine, covering more photography skills and areas, and starting to link together series of articles to allow you to use it instead of a course. We already have had some exercises/projects so the main addition required was a way to signpost a route and this was already a part of the design we were working towards, so we have brought forward the implementation of this now, and introduced Article Routes.

Article Routes

We are introducing in this issue the Article Route, this allows us to link together a number of pages to form a series of articles, that together covers a topic. We often want to have a number of pages rather than a single long page to make the information easier to find in indexes and more widely of use to you later. As you will discover below, we are this month, taking an in depth look at Exposure and many features around it, including aperture, shutter speed, ISO, each of which we will want to be able to index directly to, and areas for future use as well as other specialist articles on the Zone System, Metering and EV Tables.

The Article Route takes you through a series of articles relating to a topic, of these and the components of it, clicking on the << or >> will take you back or forward, the next forward link is also shown. Clicking on either of the ^ symbols will return you to the first page in the article sequence. Following this is a direct link to the next page in the series. The first page on the series provides details on the route and links directly to each page.

At the moment we won't be adding a large number of Article Routes, this is something that is intended to grow in the future, allowing us to build more in depth coverage on specific topics, linking up pages not only on photography but to give details on historic features, architecture, or linking together points that go with a Route Guide.

The Photographers Diary

As we enter September we again turn the wheel of the year and add a new photographers diary page for October and move forward the September page with a few additions.
During September we have over 70 entries listed from air shows, historical events, to countryside and sporting events as well as the Unusual displays of old customs. Highlights coming up include:-

The Great Dorset Steam Fair - Now in it's 41st year this is the largest Steam Heritage event in the UK. From the 2nd to 6th over 600 acres of farming land near Blandford Forum in Dorset are given over to attractions such as traction engines, steam fair organs, heavy horses, funfair, music, trade stands and every conceivable attraction relevant to a bygone era.

Hot Air Balloons are still flying and can be found at the Llangollen Hot Air Balloon Festival on the 4th, and if you like big kites, the Big Sky International Kite Festival is taking place on the beach at Margate in Kent on the 19th.

 See Larger Image Great Dorset Steam Fair

by Dr Neil Clifton

In Windsor Great Park for 3 days from 11th to 13th the National Carriage Driving Championships are taking place, there will also be dressage, cone driving, dog agility competitions and a classic vehicle show. Other horse events this month include both the Burghley and Blenheim Palace Horse Trails - 3 day eventing of dressage, show jumping and of the cross country courses.

For photographers wanting a night time challenge, Blackpool Illuminations are now in full swing and will continue to light up the Blackpool sky until the 8th of November this year.

For the more unusual event you could take a look at the:-

 See Larger Image Blenheim Horse Trials

by Thowra

  • Sowerby Bridge Rushbearing event on the weekend of 5th and 6th September, where a 16 foot high rushcart is pulled by 60 local men in clogs visiting churches and a few ale houses in the local area.

  • Abbots Bromley Horn Dance on the 7th where 12 dancers carrying reindeer antlers, and a hobby horse travel about 10 miles to different locations through the village and surrounding farms and pubs.

  • World Black Pudding Throwing Championships in Ramsbottom, Lancashire on the 13th where they throw black puddings wrapped in ladies tights at a collection of Yorkshire puddings on a plinth 20 feet up.

  • If you are in Scotland you could take a look at the World Stone Skimming Championships on Easdale Island near Oban on the 27th.

Towards the end of the month we start to see some of the illuminated carnivals and bonfire processions, leading into many more in October through to bonfire night in November. There are also of course this years Heritage Open Days taking place again this year.

Heritage Open Days
Heritage Open Days in England - Every year for four days in September, this year from the 10th to 13th, many properties throughout England, except London, take part in the Heritage Open Day scheme giving members of the public access to buildings for FREE. Buildings of every age, style and function throw open their doors, ranging from castles to factories, town halls to tithe barns, parish churches to Buddhist temples, some of them only open to the public for this weekend during the year, others like those belonging to the National Trust take part to give visitors FREE access for one weekend only. Many of these places will be on your own doorstep and it is a once a year chance to discover hidden architectural treasures and enjoy events, activities and a wide range of tours which bring the local history and culture to life. On the Heritage Open Days website you will find an event directory containing around 3,500 entries which you can search by various different methods to identify something of interest to you. The National Trust have a page on their website identifying 200 of their properties that are taking part this year.

Doors Open Days In Scotland - gives you free access to hundreds of buildings across Scotland. Every weekend between the 5th and 27th September you can explore places that are normally closed to the public. See the Doors Open Days website for details of the places available to visit this year.

London Open House Weekends - For those living in London there is an annual Open House event, this year on the weekend of

 See Larger Image Sowerby Bridge Rushbearing

by James Preston

19th and 20th, where around 700 buildings of every design, shape and size open their doors, for free, to Londoners. If you have an interest in architecture and want to look inside some of the houses you normally only see from the outside, of those taking part, then take a look at the Open House website for details of the buildings taking part this year. Some of the buildings need you to book in advance, but using their online search facility you should be able to identify the building, it's address, the open days and hours, access to visitors and any pre-booking details if required. As well as buildings to visit there are also walks and talks planned.

European Heritage Days In Wales - Open Door Days are organised by the Civic Trust of Wales and a visit to their website will give you access to PDF documents for each of the counties which have properties taking part. Their events are taking place over 3 weekends during the month 5th & 6th, 12th & 13th and 19th & 20th, with different properties being open for FREE on different days.

All of these heritage open days form part of a European Heritage Open Day scheme, so if you are interested in places in other countries throughout Europe you will need to do a little research to identify when and where you can visit.

Wildlife Photography in September

We have a new article, wildlife photography in September,  taking a look at the different types of wildlife visible during the month as well as looking at what fauna is left for you to capture. Whether you're in to large mammals or tiny insects there is something to see, do and photograph.

There is  lot to photograph in September including: Hedgehogs feeding up for their winter hibernation and searching out a bed for the winter. With various trees sheding their seeds this a good time to see mammals like the Grey and Red Squirrel foraging for acorns and nuts in order to build up their food supplies for the winter. Many squirrels will take acorns and burying them only to not remember where they put them, so there is a lot of activity taking place in our woodlands. Many of the migratory birds such as  swallows, swifts and house martins are starting to think about and make their journey back to Africa for a warmer winter. Butterflies are starting to look a little ragged as they come to the end of their adulthood and life, however there may still be many good specimens to snap up before they finally disappear.

Some notable wildlife dates during this month are:-

  • National Moth Night, an annual census of moths and moth recordings takes place on the 18th-19th September. On these dates those who want to take part can record what they see in their particular location and report their findings via the National Moth Night website.

  • Beach Watch is an annual nationwide beach clean-up and litter survey and takes place this year on the weekend of the 19th and 20th September. If you want to find a beach taking part near you visit the Beachwatch website and select the area you live in and find your local organiser/contact.

  • Seed Gathering Season is from the 23rd September to 23rd October during 2009 and it is a chance for you or your local community to take part in events throughout the country to collect seeds or to plant new trees. Some events organised just take you on guided walks through woodland and other habitats allowing you to explore woodland and gaining the knowledge on where to find/photograph woodland in your area.

Not so much a wildlife event, but perhaps the opportunity to spot, see and photograph wildlife is to make use of  'Use Your Paths Week 2009' during the week of 20th to 28th September. Use this opportunity to take advantage of one of our many paths to experience wildlife in the countryside, along the coast or even in built up urban areas. If you want to identify a path then take a look out our Walks Section where you will find lists of coastal paths, national trails, individual walks and many articles, or perhaps our Viewpoints  index to find some stunning vistas to enjoy. If you want to find something more local to you or an organised event you can take part in then take a look at the Ramblers website.

Don't forget to also take a look at the wildlife and nature pages covering this part of the year, in the photographers diary section

Photographic Feature

An in-depth look at Exposure

While exposure is a critical aspect of photography, the balancing of the right amount of light to make the images using the ideal or best compromises of available variables, we have not up to now looked at this in detail. In order to look at exposure we have also needed to look at the component parts or variables and have taken the chance to better explain each of these.

We look at, not only the usual settings used by everyone, but also at how to use EV Tables and how to make use of the simplified Zone System, eliminating lost highlights in difficult situations. On the EV Table page there is a link to download a PDF file to make up your own EV Table.

Covering Exposure involves a series of 9 pages, starting at Exposure, that each can be read and found later from our various indexes individually, but also form an Article Route. At the bottom of each of these pages is a control feature like the one below off the bottom of the Exposure article page.

  <<  ^  Exposure Article Route   ^  >>    Exposure Required and Sunny 16 Rule 

The Exposure Article Route takes you through a series of articles relating to Exposure and the components of it, clicking in the << or >> will take you back or forward, the next forward link is also shown. Clicking on either of the ^ symbols will return you to the first page, in this case Exposure. The next page in the sequence can be reached either by clicking on the >> or by clicking on the page title that follows it.

The route is:-

  1. Exposure

  2. Exposure Required and Sunny 16 Rule 

  3. Exposure with an Exposure Meter

  4. Zone Systems Photography

  5. EV and the EV Table 

  6. Aperture

  7. Shutter Speed

  8. ISO and ASA

  9. Comparative Table of ISO, ASA , DIN and GOST 

Each of these pages can be also read as free standing pages.

Photography This Month

Why Not Choose Your Own Theme

September offers us the chance to continue to get more great images. You could look at one of the themes we have covered, many now having their own sections, so perhaps Windmills, we have taken a lot of photos of windmills we had not visited before recently, and there are so many to choose from, allowing you to take an area with a variety and get a range or to choose a type and get technical. Many are open at least for a few hours in the week allowing you to get to see them working as well as make photos of the outside.

We are so lucky in the UK to have so much heritage, natural and historical, like Ancient stone circles, Abbeys and Cathedrals, Hillside figures, Waterfalls,   Railways, Canals, and far more. We can see Living History represented in specialist museums or using our Photographers Diary get to visit a wide range of events and activities that are still happening today.

Although we have covered very many topic areas with detailed lists, map locations and location guides to a range of each, our list we are working on is far longer than the list of what we have achieved so far. Taking a topic at a time we get to explore and gain knowledge on a specific area, and can then build on this as we look into other areas, often understanding far more. In many

 Waltham Windmill, Lincolnshire

cases the research we are doing is unique, and the lists we build are not available elsewhere. For example, we are currently working on all the remaining Fords, where water goes over roads as well as tidal roads and wet lanes, grading them by their photogenic appeal, and creating a feature list of the ones that are most worth visiting. Visiting many and searching out images others have taken of others. So far we have identified around 2,000 Fords that still remain, but every year a few more are replaced by bridges or just closed, so the challenge is to see the best ones while they can still be seen. Next month we hope to present this all to you.

The Roman built Hadrian's Wall has been another project we have been working on, visiting most of the accessible sections and all the forts, settlements and museums along it. With 4 days spent photographing it, and many more on research this means we have a lot of material now to work with. We have also visited more  Roman Villas, and Forts in other parts of the country, and have more on the list of places we will visit shortly. We will therefore be able to greatly expand the Roman section. Every new place we visit we find something new and much of this also overlaps with other areas. For example I have been looking at water based religions followed by the Romans and before them Ancient Britain's, with many temples and other places in Britain, holy wells and other places that often predate Christianity and at the remains of wells or springs that are underneath Christian buildings, showing how Christianity took over existing religious sites and re-branded them.

 Wroxeter, Shropshire

When you choose a topic it helps you to focus, to gain insight that others will not notice, to see how the parts of the jigsaw fit together and often are not as presented. A simple set of holes in a Roman Wall near ground level may tell you roughly how far it is in the ground, as these you recognize as the holes used for the scaffolding used to create it. Over a period, taking several projects, every journey becomes more interesting, a building you see some way off you recognise as a specific type of dovecote, you notice shapes on hills, types of trees, wildlife, and well so much more, while other just pass by.

So while we set out to provide a resource for photographers, how to take photos, where you can go to take them, what's on and more, you have the chance to take this and develop your own

expertise further, using this as a stepping stone to making your own discoveries.  We stimulate our brains, add challenges, interest and the walking to get to the various places will help to keep us fit.

While many of you have told us how helpful you find this site and our articles, the part of the project that so far we have not been so good at, is getting more of you to join in, to produce location guides, take on areas, routes or other items that you can write up. Most of this site is just the production of two people, just imagine what it would look like if we were able to motivate a few more of your to become involved. If you do, you will find it gives more of a purpose to your research and photography.

Your own theme does not have to be huge, it could be looking at items in an area, at a specific feature or something regional.

Why not email us with an idea that you would like to cover, and just to check that we don't already have it in hand or know of someone else working on it.

Nikon Software Updates

We have updated the page showing the latest software and firmware updates for Nikon users. There have been quite a lot of software upgrades, largely brought about by the addition of new cameras, but also containing some corrections. You can see it by clicking on Reference then photography and it's near the top of the page. You can also see it by clicking here.

Summary of Articles Included In This Issue


Exposure required and Sunny 16 rule   

Exposure with an Exposure Meter  

Zone Systems Photography

EV and the EV Table 


Shutter Speed


Comparative Table of ISO, ASA , DIN and GOST 

Wildlife Photography in September


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