Another day, another photographic challenge.

Well, nearly.

Charged my camera batteries and formatted my memory cards in anticipation of another lunch hour of photography.  However a lengthy lunch time meeting put that idea to rest.  So today’s challenge theme of “Architecture” is on hold.

But I do have a new image to share today.  An abstract flower triptych.

A few weeks ago photographer Steve McGonnell was the speaker at Queen’s Park Camera, where I am currently serving as president (  Steve showed a large selection of his flower photography.  It’s something that I hadn’t really tried for myself.  So the following weekend I picked up a bunch of supermarket flowers and had a go at some table top flower photographer.

I didn’t really want to go for a straightforward record shot of the flower, I wanted to create something a little more abstract.  I set about shooting a few images using extension tubes on my 24-70mm lens to get me in close to the petals with a really narrow depth of field.

I processed the and combined them to produce this triptych:


I desaturated the image and am satisfied with the delicate tones that I’ve achieved.  There are a few blown out highlights which would usually lead me to reject an image but in this case I think they work in the context of the image.

I also wanted to try something a bit more experimental and took another flower from the bouquet and planned the shot.  This time I wanted to show the whole flower head and that therefore required a backdrop.  To make the photograph interesting the backdrop would have to compliment the colours of the flower…but I don’t have hundreds of backdrops, so what should I do?  I could have used used coloured gels on a flash gun to light a white backdrop – but I had another idea – use my laptop screen as a background.

I set up a variety of coloured layers in photoshop and flicked between the layers between each shot until I got one I thought worked.


I’m pretty happy with the results – what do you think?

Hopefully I’ll get that architecture shot tomorrow…

If you can’t wait until tomorrow, you can see more of my photography on flickr:


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Green with envy for blue.

Today I set myself the challenge of shooting a photograph with a green subject…

Walking around Glasgow City Centre during my lunch hour I realised just how much greenery there is around our urban environment.  It was certainly a reminder to pay attention to the familiar.

I found myself around the site of the old Rotten Row Maternity Hospital, where I was born and where my Mum worked until she passed away.  The old hospital building has been regenerated or reborn if you will into an open landscaped garden area and I found the source of my images for today.

Just try to burst my balloons!

In the middle of the garden area is a giant safety pin sculpture, no doubt a inspired by the safety pins holding up the terry towelling nappies of yesteryear on this site.  But the point of interest, if you’ll excuse the pun, was the trio of green balloons caught up on the sculpture just waiting to be popped but not with this pin.


There it was an image to fulfil todays brief but I so wished that todays challenge was “Blue”…


…Now, I don’t know Leo, but if I did, I’m sure he would have my vote.

Around the area were another couple of abstract shots that I thought made worthy images, but not on topic.

And finally, I managed to sneak in a little 3D anaglyph image (you’ll need red/cyan glasses for this one)

Green Theme Anaglyph

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Seeing RED


I’ve never been one for taking part in a photo a day challenge, not because I’m too lazy, but life out with photography can be busy, so rather than embark on a task that I know I’ll struggle to complete, I’ve set myself a challenge to take at least one photograph on a topic, once I’ve got one I’m happy with, I’ll move onto the next topic – that might be today, it might be tomorrow or it might be next month.

Today is day one of the challenge with “RED” being the topic.

I took my camera out for a lunch hour wander around Glasgow City Centre. The lighting wasn’t great and the rain was threatening throughout my walk. However within 5 minutes of setting off I found a scene that would let me complete the first challenge; a silhouette of some sort of robot head against a red backdrop painted on a shop shutter in Glasgow’s Parnie Street.

I wasn’t ready to head back to the office just yet so kept wandering a little further. With the rain getting closer I headed down King Street and found a location that I knew would make an interesting 3D anaglyph image (you’ll need red/cyan glasses for this one)–vintage clothing on rails outside a retro clothing store.

Heading back to work I found a second image to meet the challenge criteria, a read fire alarm mounted on a red brick wall…perfect.

Challenge number one complete!

See more of my photography on Flickr:


Posted in photography, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Another Morning on Cathkin Marsh

I awoke on Saturday morning determined to add new photograph to my portfolio without interfering with family plans for the day.

At 7:45 I was sitting in the hide at Cathkin Marsh wildlife reserve with my Sigma 150-600 scanning the water looking for something to photograph under the white overcast sky…nothing, not even a duck.

After a while a decided the day was conspiring against me and I gave up on the water and went for a wee walk around the reserve. Halfway towards the pond and the hope of seeing some frog spawn the silhouette of a heron passed over head and settled on the waters edge.

A quick sprint, or the best impression of a sprint I can do with a 600mm lens on my camera, and I was back at the hide in time to photograph the Heron being chased back into the sky by a pair of Canadian Geese.

A few seconds of high speed shooting delivered a barely acceptable shot of the heron flapping it’s way to an escape.

Maybe next time…


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Queen’s Park Camera Club – President’s Night 2017 (Part 4)

The Image Checklist

The final update in respect of my President’s Night presentation at Queen’s Park Camera Club on the 30th of March 2017.

Below you will find a soft copy of the Image Checklist that I distributed on the evening.  A number of members commented that they thought it was helpful, so here it is in case you lose your hardcopy.

PN A019

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Queen’s Park Camera Club – President’s Night 2017 (Part 3)

This is the penultimate post to compliment Queen’s Park Camera Club President’s Night presentation which I gave on the 30th of March 2017.

Digital 3D Anaglyph Tutorial

When looking for a scene which will make a good 3D image, you abandon the normal rules of composition, you are looking for interest that will be created by the impression of depth more than placement of objects on thirds etc.

You need to take two pictures, one for your left eye and one for your right eye. You need to remember which is which later on when creating the individual layers in photoshop, therefore it is good practice to always shoot them in the same order. I always shoot the left eye and then the right eye image. I do it in this order so that when I view my RAW images in Lightroom’s filmstrip that the first image I see on the strip is the left eye and the image immediately to the right is the for the right eye.

The big question is how far apart should the two images be taken.  I dare say that there is a complex mathematical formula to get this right but as a rule of thumb, if the object yo u are photographing is very close move a very small distance and if it is very far away move a large distance – it’s as technical as that.

If you are editing your RAW images, always remember to apply the same adjustments to both images or else you get some headache inducing effects. I usually do this by adjusting the left image and then use the SYNC function in Lightroom to apply the same edit to the right image.

Once edited save both your images as JPEGs and open them in Photoshop.

To follow the tutorial you can use these right and left images shot from the rooftop of Glassford Street Car Park.

Now the Photoshop bit…

  • Open a new Photoshop document and place the left eye image as the base layer. Call this layer “Left”.
  • Add a new layer and fill it with red (RGB 255,0,0). Call this layer “RED”.
  • Change the “RED” layer blending mode to MULTIPLY.
  • Now create a new layer from the visible layers (Keyboard shortcut CNTRL/ALT/SHIFT/E).
  • Call this new layer “LEFT RED”.

That’s the left image sorted.

  • Create a new layer and paste in the right image. Call this layer “RIGHT”.
  • Create a new layer and fill it with a pale blue (RBG 66,152,155 works just fine). Call this layer “BLUE”.
  • Change the “BLUE” layer blending mode to “MULTIPLY”
  • Now create a new layer from the visible layers (Keyboard shortcut CNTRL/ALT/SHIFT/E)
  • Call this layer “RIGHT BLUE”
  • Change the “RIGHT BLUE” layer blending mode to “SCREEN”

That’s the right image sorted.

  • Now switch off the visibility of all the layers except “LEFT RED” and “RIGHT BLUE” – Hey presto – you now have a 3D image!

3D Example Final.JPG

But at this point it might not look very three dimensional.

To make the 3D work better you need to align the images to each other. This is a bit tricky to explain so stick with me.

Select the “RIGHT BLUE” layer and select a point I the image you want to be crystal clear and align that point in both images, everything in front of that point will project out of the screen towards you and everything behind that point will recede into the distance.

Using this technique you can change the 3D effect by moving the point of image alignment around. Depending upon the scene, how close to the camera foreground objects were and how big a distance you placed between left and right images you will find that making big changes to the point of alignment may cause you to lose the 3D illusion.

If you want to see more fantastic examples of 3D Anaglyph photography check out this link to a Dutch photographer o Flickr:

Hope you enjoying trying out 3D anaglyph photography.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Queen’s Park Camera Club – President’s Night 2017 (Part 2)

Podcasts and 3D images

First the Podcasts…

The two Photography Podcasts I recommended at President’s Night on Thursday were “This Week in Photo” and “Improve Photography”.  Both are good but my preference is for the later.

You can find their websites here:

Both are also available on iTunes if you are an Apply fan.

If fashion photography is your thing you might like “The Breed”, the podcasts are only appear to be available from iTunes:

and the website is here:

Happy listening!

And now the 3D images…

Next post will be a 3D tutorial.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment