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June 2012    Photographers Resource - Monthly    Edition 102

Summer Projects to Help with Our Photography

Freezing Water In Time
taken in a dimly lit room electric flash duration is the freezing speed

Image taken with Nikon D300, with 105mm F2.8 VR macro lens, ISO 640, 1/60s, F22, EV -0.7
In This Issue:-
  • Editorial

  • Feature - A Local Project

  • Photographic Feature - Creating a Learning Project

  • June Photographers Diary

  • June Wildlife Diary

Projects are a good way to have a reason to put our photography into use or to learn a new photographic skill. It can be used as a way to make us get out and take photographs in the first place, to have a reason to visit our local area and record what we can see, and it is also a way of identifying what we feel our photographic weaknesses might be and then looking at ways we can overcome them, by putting together actual tasks where we can try out and experiment with new sills and techniques.

The coming summer months are a good time to put projects into action. The days a longer, the weather in the main is better and some of the more challenging photographic skills such as sunsets, lost highlights, exposure etc are more available to us. So this month we are going to concentrate on Projects, looking at a local project where you can get out and about but at the same time in these difficult economic times keep the costs down, but also at the same time give you some ideas of what photographic skills you may like to try out over the coming months.

The June and July diaries are full of events throughout the UK that you can use to find something close enough to you but also give you ideas of the types of skills you might like to perfect. June particularly, stating off with two Bank Holiday days has a wide variety of events.

For the budding wildlife photographer the Wildlife Photography section below for June should also give you plenty of ideas for what you can see during the month and might like to practice skills.

Whatever you decide to do remember to have fun, and think about ways you might be able to use your photographs once you've got them, like for example creating a photo book.

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Each month we have a newsletter or magazine and this comes out on or about the 1st of the month. The newsletter links to a number of new articles, tables of information and detailed location guides, amongst other things.

One of the most popular features is a monthly diary covering interesting and unusual things on, around the UK, in the two months ahead.

Everything that appears, or ever has, is indexed in a number of ways, alphabetically, by topic, by county, and often linked into sections. Many of the sections have their own front doorways so people with specific interests have direct access through these doors to their area of interest.

You can also get back to see every newsletter, from the beginning, via our recent editions link.

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If this is your first visit, click here to find out how you might best use this site to help you find what you are looking for.



A Local Project

Projects are a good way of itemising and controlling what you are photographing. Most of us take a holiday and will return with loads of photographs we have taken, recently we had a two week holiday in Scotland and took around 1500 photos, but what do we do with them when we get back.

We can't possibly show all of them to friends and relatives, there are too many and boredom will soon set in. Some of course would have been experimental and may not have worked so we don't want to show them to anyone either. The one advantage I find with being editor of Photographers Resource is that I have a use for some of my photographs, whether it be to illustrate a point in an article, or to add images to location guides so that you can see what is there when you visit, or it allows me to put galleries together to share my experience with you all. I also potentially have many other uses for some of them such as printing some as Limited Edition Prints,  or I could produce a coffee table photo book to remind me of the great things I saw.

Projects we have taken on in the past have resulted in us accumulating large numbers of photos and then being able to share them with you through this website, including Canals, Welsh Castles, Red Kites, Hadrian's Wall, a trip to Ghana, and more. Keeping to a more local theme, over a couple of years, we put bird feeders in our garden and were able to attract many different garden birds including Green Woodpeckers, Great Spotted Woodpeckers ... and have many images many of which are still to make it to this website.

Coming Your Way

Local photography projects and photography in your home area is a good idea they are a way of you getting to see what is around you differently, possibly spotting something you weren't aware was there before, but it also allows you to keep the costs down and with many of us feeling a strain on our pockets at the moment that is a major consideration. Luckily with modern photography there are no film developing costs involved, so with our digital cameras that we bought in boom times we can still make use of them in lean times, if we stay local and our travel costs are kept under control. If very local is too close then you could widen your project to take in an area or even your county, Area Project - Lincolnshire will give you some ideas of what you can look out for when taking on a wider project.

Other project articles we have that you might find useful with ideas and inspiration include:

Project - Must See Places  

A Project For This Year

Possible Year Projects

One consideration each of us have at the moment when obtaining our photos is cost. Although digital photography appears to be a no cost option, once you've made the initial capital outlay when buying the equipment, unless you keep totally to your back garden, venturing outside your garden gate or village will involve some cost or other, whether it be a train or bus fare, or an entry fee into a local attraction. We have a number of articles specifically looking at how to go about Cutting the Cost of Getting Your Photographs as well as cutting the cost of travel and entry to attractions including :-

Ways to Cut the Cost of Rail Travel

Cutting the Cost of  Rail Travel  a method to reduce train travel costs

FREE Bus Passes for Over 60's and eligible disabled persons

Coach Companies offering Days Out and Holidays 

City Sightseeing Tours

Membership Benefits of Organisations

Tesco Clubcard Deals

When you are planning a photographic project, as well as it incorporating new skills to be learnt and how to keep the costs to a minimum it is also worth assessing what it is you are going to do with the good photos you have collected, and adding this to the project plan. There are many things you could do from those that cost you money, to those that earn you money to those that can do both such as producing a photo book. A photo book will have initial costs involved in creating and printing the book, but if produced correctly it can also have the potential of giving you a return on your investment. Now you may not become a millionaire doing this, but it should recover any outlay you have made, and after all it's fun and inspiring to see your own work produced to a professional standard that others can enjoy.


Images from our Ghana Portal

Making your own Photography Book looks at how you might go about this and discusses not only how to decide what images are going into the book, but also the best way of producing it and how to go about it. If you decide that you want to produce a coffee table book not only for yourself to show off to friends and family, but also have the potential to sell it either yourself via local shops and businesses, or via the various online sellers then you will need to look a little more into the technical process of producing a book for the buying public and this includes the use of ISBN numbers, the numbers and barcodes you see on books for sale and in that you will need to supply free copies to the Copyright Libraries, All publishers, whether a self publisher or a big multinational company, have an obligation to give 6 copies to various copyright libraries in the UK.

Once you have decided whether it's a one off or a published product then research out how you might go about printing/publishing it. You could try and find a publisher willing to take it on, but this will be time consuming and frustrating, or you could take the option of Printing and Publishing the Photo Books Yourself. This is not as hard as it may first appear and our two lists of Photography book suppliers and Suppliers of print your own Photography books will give you some good contacts to start your research with.

Photographic Feature

Creating a Learning Project

Or put another way, a project to learn a new photographic skill. As photographers we are always coming across photographic challenges and some aspects of our photography that perhaps we don't have as much control of as we would like. So perhaps it is time that we made a list of those skills we are not so good at or would like to learn and use the coming summer months to learn, experiment and test out a new skill.

What you choose will depend on what it is you feel you need to get better at, but there are loads of opportunities and for most basic skill knowledge the summer months provide the right environment and opportunities to try out these new skills. From a technical viewpoint your list of skills to choose from might include:

Exposure, tackling exposure compensation, reducing highlights and getting detail out of the shadows. Our Exposure Section has loads of useful info on this, including a follow through article route to take you step by step through the process.

Depth of Field and getting the items you want sharp and in focus, no longer having to put up with items out of focus by understanding how distance, focus point and the lens you use has an impact, but also look at other ways you might over come it, by using either special kit like the Lightfield Camera   or using a special technique combined with computer software to achieve the results you want, our Depth of Field Magic project will show you how to do this.

Understanding shutter speed  and ISO and ASA and how to use them to your advantage, such as high speeds for motion pictures and using the correct ISO for the situation you are in. Photographing Water and Water Frozen In Time are good examples of how understanding speed can help because with water there are those that like to show the motion of the water coming over the Waterfall, or those that prefer to stop the motion in time.

White Balance, understanding what is white balance and why won’t auto white balance do. How to choose the right setting to use, how we go about setting and using PRE as the best option as well as taking a look at other steps we can take to get the white balance right.

Understanding Aperture and how the size of the lens hole and therefore the amount of light hitting the sensor has an effect on the exposure and depth of field of your photos.

Composition understanding how the items are placed within the photo can have a visual impact, or placed wrongly can give you the wrong image. We have a project, Composing Photographs that looks at this in detail  and combined with the following articles gives you some tips and ideas on how you might go about achieving the results you want:-

Developing the Eye - The Use of Mirrors

Framing Up the Image - The Use of Framing Tools

Calculating Cut-Outs

Guidelines On Viewing Guide

Expanding Techniques - Combining mirrors and cut-outs

Using Mirrors

You could decide that you would rather spend your time learning how to use specific types of equipment such as:

Using Filters, how the use of the right filter can enhance the photo, whether it be using filters built into the software of your camera to give you black and white or sepia or toned images, or whether it is using external filters over the lens to get the effect you want. Our Filters Section has loads of useful and helpful information on this, from the kit to applications to put the skill into use.

Using Reflectors to bounce the light in the right direction, or merely to block too much sunlight from getting onto the subject especially if it will drain the colour or affect the exposure.

Using a Tripod and Spirit levels. Something as simple as a tripod greatly improves your photography. Properly set up it will give you balanced images but it can also be used to help with other photographic skills such as:

3D Photography

Macro Photography


Photographing Flowers and Gardens

Wildlife photography, supporting very large lenses to get close up.

So whatever you decided to do over the summer months, take a look at the many articles we have on this website for ideas and to read up on the new technique you want to master and then take your camera out and about with you to try out and experiment with the new skill you have decided to focus on, but most of all enjoy your photography and the results of your efforts.

The Photographers Diary

The July diary is now in the 'next month' slot with June moved to in the 'this month'. Both months have a lot of opportunities for everyone.  Some highlights for June that are of particular interest are:-

With the traditional May Day bank holiday in the UK having been moved to June for 2012 only as part of the Queens Diamond Jubilee celebrations many events that would normally take place over the last weekend of May have been moved to the first weekend of June. So June this year is a very busy month, and starts off really busy with a number of the traditional events taking place, but also have the extra events both in London and in local communities across the UK for the Jubilee celebrations. So where do we start!

Today the 1st has an Olympick highlight, with the annual Olympick Games at Dovers Hill, Chipping Campden, in Gloucestershire. This year they are celebrating their 400th anniversary with events and activities starting at 2pm, in The Dell, including a Jacobean Village with entertains in period costume, demonstrations of Tug o'War, wandering pipes and drums and the Sealed Knot displaying the skills of horsemen, pikesmen and a dance troupe. The Olympick sporting events start on the hill at 7.30pm, and includes a 5 mile run, obstacle races, shin-kicking, tug-o' war, and more. At around 10pm Bonfire is lit by the Scuttlebrook Queen and a firework display follows before a torchlit procession, which you can take part in, meanders into Chipping Campden for music and dancing in the square until midnight.

 Shin Kicking at the Cotswold Olympicks 2009
Andy Brockhurst

On the Saturday afternoon The Scuttlebrook Wake takes place and includes the Procession of the Scuttlebrook Queen and her crowning ceremony in the Square, with decorated floats, fancy dress and children dancing round the maypole, more Races and a Street Fair.

The first of June also sees the start of the Sand Sculpture Festival on Weston Super Mare Beach in Somerset, his years theme is Fun and Games, but you don't have to hurry down this week as it runs until the 9th September. For horse racing enthusiasts this weekend is The Derby Festival at Epson Down Racecourse in Surrey, with Ladies Day today and Derby Day on Saturday.

This weekend is of course the extended Bank Holiday Weekend and if you like events which take in our rich history then today is the start of the Overlord Military Spectacular taking place in Waterlooville in Hampshire, with 100's of military vehicles and re-enactors playing out their time in history, or if you're in Combe Martin in Devon you watch the Hunting of the Earl of Rone, the Grenadiers, Hobby Horse, Fool and villagers hunt through the village for the 'Earl of Rone', finally finding him on the Monday night. He is mounted back-to-front on a donkey and paraded through the village to the sea. He is frequently shot by the grenadiers and falls from the donkey only to be revived by the Hobby-horse and Fool, re-mounted on the donkey, and carried onwards to his fate. At the final shooting on the beach, he is not revived, but thrown into the sea.


Round the Island Boat Race Daniel Hall

The National Trailboat Festival celebrating canal life this year is taking place on the Stroudwater Canal in Stroud, Gloucestershire over the weekend of the 2nd to 4th. Festival activities include canal boat trips, live music, craft and produce stalls, Wild Over Waterways, children’s entertainment and more. Staying with water in Scotland there is the Sail Caledonia event from the 2nd to 9th at Fort William, which involves races of 25 boats powered by sail and oars along the 3 main locks of the Great Glen Way between Fort William and Inverness, this includes Loch Ness. Or for the largest water spectacular over the weekend you have the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant a flotilla of 1000 boats of all shapes and sizes from history through to the present day will form a procession on the Thames in London, between Battersea Bridge and Tower Bridge. The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh and other members of the Royal Family will be aboard the Royal Barge 'The Spirit of Chartwell'  and there will also be passenger boats carrying up to 30,000 members of the public.

This year Fathers Day in the UK falls on Sunday 17th, and if you want to spend the day with your Dad doing something together then you could visit the Classic Car and Transport Show at Trentham Gardens in Staffordshire, or you could stay a little closer to home and visit a local farm that is taking part in Open Farm Sunday, where this year more than 400 farms nationwide are opening their gates to show the public how they operate. 30 Farms owned by the National Trust are also taking park. As well as getting an insight to how your food is produced many of the farms will also have activities taking place such as pig racing, vegetable Olympics, farm walks and tractor and trailer rides.

The 21st is the UK's longest day of the year, Summer Solstice. You could watch the Sunset and Sunrise at our most famous ancient landmark, Stonehenge in Wiltshire for the Summer Solstice at Stonehenge event.

For sports fans there is the Wimbledon Tennis Championships which start on the 25th, or starting on the 28th you could go along to the Goodwood Festival of Speed in West Sussex and see or even meet some of our F1 racing drivers as well as seeing classic vehicles, planes, bikes, the fast cars and watch the various car racing events. If racing boats are of more interest to you the on the 30th there is the Round the Island Race on the Isle of Wight.


The 30th is Armed Forces Day and there will be many events taking place all over the country to celebrate and support our Armed Forces. Also staying will a military theme, from the 30th to 1st July is Tank Fest held at the Tank Museum in Dorset. A public display of moving armour bringing the story of tanks, tank crew and soldiers to life. Explosive live demonstrations and mock battles. Living history encampments. Arena displays of historic armour, and more.

Kite Festivals in the Bedford International Kite Festival at Russell Park, Bedford on the 2nd an international affair with kites from the UK, America, Canada, Japan, China, Germany, France, Holland and Belgium. The Southampton Kite Festival is on the 16th and 17th, and on the 24th you have the Peterborough Kite Festival in Cambridgeshire with many displays from small kites to large inflatables.

Bedford Kite Festival Andy

For the more unusual event this month you have the Festival of Fools from the 3rd to 7th at Muncaster Castle, Cumbria a week long celebrations of Jesters, clowns, magic and circus acts. A Soap Box Derby in

World Worming Championships
Lois Lindemann

Hampshire on the 4th, where man-powered vehicles race down the hill, also on the 4th you have the traditional Woolsack Races in Tetbury, Gloucestershire a famous ancient custom, where teams of 4 people run in relays carrying a 60lb woolsack (35lbs for ladies) up and down Gumstool Hill - gradient 1 in 4. Races go back to 17th century, some say it goes back to the Drovers showing off to their girlfriends. A street fair takes place in the town centre. The Man versus Horse Marathon takes place on the 9th at Llanwrtyd Wells, mid Wales where runners race horses over a 22 mile course. There is also The Great Knaresborough Bed Race which starts at Knaresborough Castle on the 9th, the World Worming Championships in Willaston, nr Nantwich in Cheshire on the 24th and the Olney Duck and Raft Race in Buckinghamshire on the 24th. There are many more look out for the items highlighted in purple on the diary page for the more unusual and typically British event.

This is just a small selection of what is available this month, there is so much more including air shows, carnivals, walking festivals...... so make sure you check out our diary pages to find something of interest to you.

Wildlife Photography In June

June is the start of summer and with the longest day at it's centre the UK is teaming with wildlife activity this month, from our coasts to mountains and countryside there is activity everywhere and in particular in our bird populations. Our Summer migrants are now visiting and together with many of our resident wild birds will be out foraging for their young.

It is also the month when one elusive bird, which we usually all hear but rarely see, is out and about, and in fact at the end of last month when visiting Scotland I did hear it loud and clear a number of times in different locations. The Cuckoo with it's distinctive call is recognisable but as yet I have never seen one. If you manage to get to photograph one in the UK countryside over the coming months, please do let us have a copy of your image for this site.

In Woodlands and in some Gardens look out for the Great Spotted Woodpecker with it's distinctive black, white and red body, as they feed their young. They will visit bird tables in country gardens, and it is usually the male (with the characteristic red band on the back of it's neck) that would be feeding the young with their red caps. We have a large collection of images showing different types of behaviour, and some of these are shown in our Great Spotted Woodpecker gallery. If you are lucky enough you may also get the Green Woodpeckers visiting your garden. They are ground feeders and are particularly partial to ants, again we have a large collection of photographs of them and have a selection in a Green Woodpecker Gallery. Green woodpeckers are more nervous and don't stay in any one place for too long, they are always looking around, watching the skies as they feed. From the picture below you can see they have a pointed beak and a very long tongue, which allows them to get to their food.


Green Woodpeckers      Green Woodpecker Gallery

Another colourful character in the bird world, at our coasts from the middle of this month through to the middle of July is the Puffin. Some good places to see them include Skomer Island, in Pembrokeshire, where 6,000 pairs are usually present, the Farne Islands, off the north coast and Lundy Island in the Bristol Channel, as well as a number of places off the Scottish coast, including Bass Rock. Recently while on holiday in

Scotland I saw some on the cliffs around the Duncansby Head Stacks in Caithness, up near John o'Groats. Our list of places in the UK where you can see puffins should help you to identify a site you can get to. During this period they are flying in and landing with beaks full of sand eels, scurrying down into their burrows to feed their young. So it is a good time to visit some of the island hotspots around the UK coastline to see and photograph them.

If you get a chance to visit Skomer Island, in Pembrokeshire, then take a look down at the coastline and you may also see Grey Seals lying on the rocks or swimming in the sea just out to sea, or if you have the opportunity to stay overnight then you could see the Manx Shearwater as Skomer is probably the most important breeding site for them, with an estimated population of 165,000 pairs.

June always brings the warmer weather and with this more bugs, great for our bat populations and bird visitors such as swallows, but not so good for us as we get eaten in the early evening as we are trying to eat our BBQ's. In our gardens many mini beasts will be visiting such as butterflies, like the Red Admiral, and insects all out searching for nectar and therefore doing their bit for the next generation in the plant world, by transporting pollen around the plants, but don't forget to look closer at ground level and you will probably see ants, snails and long-tongued bee pollinators, and insects of all sorts. All these insects not only attract the birds but also our local bat populations and for the photographer opens up the opportunity for some serious macro photography.


Anywhere there is water, rivers, streams, Canals and Waterways or even ponds in our gardens, local parks, and other Wildfowl and Wetland areas you may also catch a glimpse of Dragonflies and Damselflies as they emerge to procreate for next season. There are also many plants in these locations like water lilies and the Yellow Iris, standing tall at up to  one metre and in clusters of 2-3 flowers each up to 10cm across.

In the plant world at our coasts on a clifftop walk you will see Sea Pinks and Sea Campions, as well as many others as they start to blossom in the summer sun. Gardens, woodlands, and parks all start to become colourful paradises with a mass of colours from all types of plants.

As you are travelling around the countryside you will also come across a large amount of colour including the Oxeye Daisy found on the road side, under scrubs, open canopy forests and waste places. Many fields will also be a sea of red, as poppies show off their blooms. In the hedgerows and brambles you will find the Dog Rose flowering, or the Honeysuckle twisting around other shrubs and trees. On chalk downlands Wild Orchids will be on show while in boggy grasslands and meadows you may come across the violet flowers of the Butterworth. For more details on what flowers and plants are available each month take a look at our guide to Wild Flowers in the UK.

You may have already seen baby rabbits on the side of roads as you drive through the country lanes, and if you're lucky also foxes in the early evening running across the road a head of you.

For a more complete picture of what you might be able to catch this month take a look at our Wildlife Photography in June page from the Wildlife Diary.

Dog Rose   Jean Mottershead


Summary of Articles Included In This Issue

A Project For This Year

Local photography

Photography in your home area

Area Project - Lincolnshire

Project - Must See Places  

Possible Year Projects

Cutting the Cost of Getting Your Photographs

Ways to Cut the Cost of Rail Travel

Cutting the Cost of  Rail Travel  a method to reduce train travel costs

FREE Bus Passes for Over 60's and eligible disabled persons

City Sightseeing Tours

Membership Benefits of Organisations

Tesco Clubcard Deals

Limited Edition Prints 

Making your own Photography Book

ISBN numbers

Copyright Libraries

Printing and Publishing the Photo Books Yourself



Depth of Field

Depth of Field Magic

Lightfield Camera 

Shutter speed  


Photographing Water

Water Frozen In Time

Photographing Waterfalls

What is white balance and why won’t auto white balance do.

How to choose the right setting to use

Setting and using PRE

Other steps we can take to get white balance

Composing Photographs

Developing the Eye - The Use of Mirrors

Framing Up the Image - The Use of Framing Tools

Calculating Cut-Outs

Guidelines On Viewing Guide

Expanding Techniques - Combining mirrors and cut-outs


Spirit levels

3D Photography

Macro Photography


Photographing Flowers

Welsh Castles

Wildlife photography

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Green Woodpeckers


Photographing Puffins

Grey Seals


Wild Flowers in the UK

Wildlife Photography in June

Lists Included This Issue

Places in the UK where you can see puffins  

Photography book suppliers

Suppliers of print your own Photography books

Coach Companies offering Days Out and Holidays 

Locations Guides Included This Issue

Hadrian's Wall

Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire

Farne Islands, Northumberland

Galleries Included This Issue

Red Kites

Green Woodpeckers

Great Spotted Woodpeckers


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