Thursday, 30 September 2010

Doodling in Photoshop

Doodling in Photoshop, originally uploaded by It's life Jim.....
This started off as a copycat of the fabulous Froukje, but then somehow wandered off into some bizarre photoshop doodle. No idea where the heart came from, but it just seemed right to add it.

I suppose that photoshop is a guilty pleasure, so it's OK to indulge in occasionally as long as it doesn't go to excess.

Any way I had fun with this, forcing my son to pose for me, then doodling away..... It isn't perfect, but I learnt a bit more about photoshop which was half the point of it.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Stranger #4 - Gino, Barista

Gino works at Josef's Café.... Which is a trailer based café just beside Walton Bridge. It's just behind him in the picture here.

I stopped there for a cup of tea earlier today. As I was sitting sipping the tea he came out from the trailer & started chasing the swans away. (The café is only 30 yards from the River Thames .... and clearly the swans look for a free lunch from the customers occasionally). He seemed in good humour doing this and could see I was amused at the exercise.

After I explained the project to him he was happy to pose.

This picture is #4 in my 100 strangers project. Find out more about the project and see pictures taken by other photographers at

Monday, 27 September 2010

Approaching Tower Bridge in the Great River Race 2010

Spent Saturday competing in the Great River Race 2010.
This is a 21 mile marathon up the River Thames from London Docklands to Richmond. Race is for traditional boats only. (people powered, no sliding seats).

Had a great time - great to see London from a different perspective as well as the pageantry of the race. A larger set of photos here.

Friday, 24 September 2010

An example to us all.....

Last weekend I did a very quick photoshoot for a family celebrating a 60th wedding anniversary.

The happy couple were a perfect example of what we should all be striving for in our personal life..... still together after 60 years, and at a celebration with all their family around.

Tried to get this done as quickly as possible as I didn't want to intrude on their family time, so took less shots than normal, but I think I captured some good ones regardless.

This one was my favourite.... clearly showing their happy and alert characters.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Bristol University Open day

I just loved this building. It's the Wills Memorial Building at Bristol University.

Bristol looks to be Sebe's #1 choice for Uni for his Biochemistry course. I'm hoping he ends up there just for the photo opportunities.

Next time I need to come back with my tripod & do multiple bracketed shots & try one of these smartarse type HDR things. I had to simply burn in more detail on the ceiling & it has suffered a bit from this.

The entry tower on the Wills Memorial Building at Bristol University.

It is a breathtakingly beautiful building.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Stranger #3 - Lucy, Skipper

This is Lucy Herbert. She is a Skipper for the Rivertime Boat Trust.... a charity that takes disabled & disadvantaged children and adults out on boat trips on the River Thames. Donate to the charity here

Met her at the Henley River & Rowing Museum café where I met Dorothea (stranger #2) and once again she spoke to me first to admire Shana my ridgeback dog. (Looks like taking a cute looking dog along is a great introductory ice-breaker).

This picture is #3 in my 100 strangers project. Find out more about the project and see pictures taken by other photographers at
Jim Shields Photography

Stranger #2 - Dorothea, Pensioner

Sat down at the café at the Henley River & Rowing museum. Dorothea came up to me to admire Shana, my Ridgeback dog. We chatted for a little while. She was originally from Germany but has been living in UK for 35 years. Despite this, she still had a heavy accent. A delightful old lady.

I forgot to ask what she used to do, and only half explained about the 100 strangers project, but she was happy to have her photo taken.

This picture is #2 in my 100 strangers project. Find out more about the project and see pictures taken by other photographers at

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Advanced Pilates

Advanced Pilates, originally uploaded by It's life Jim.....
Fun time with my son playing with gravity & rotations today.
Yes - He really is doing that!

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Stranger #1 - Thomas, Head Chef

An easy start to my 100 strangers project.... My son & I were going round Nottingham University on an open day & were admiring the refectory in Lincoln Hall of Residence when Thomas came up to talk to us.

As you can tell from his smile, Thomas is one of those indomitably cheerful people & enthused about his job & the hall that he worked in.

The refectory hall had caught my eye as we toured as it was very "Harry Potteresque" in it's appearance.

Sadly I only had my iphone as a camera, but it seemed to cope OK.

This picture is #1 in my 100 strangers project. Find out more about the project and see pictures taken by other photographers at

Friday, 10 September 2010

The 100 strangers project

The idea: The One Hundred Strangers project is a learning group for people who want to improve the social and technical skills needed for taking portraits of strangers and telling their stories. The method is learning by doing.

The challenge: Take 100 photographs of at least 100 people you don't know. Approach a person or group of people and ask for permission to both take a photo of them and to post it to the 100 strangers group. Get to know your subjects. Who are they? What is their life like?

Monday, 6 September 2010

Essential skills for photographers - Part 1: Capturing Bokeh

bokeh is the blur in out-of-focus areas of an image, or the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Family Portrait - Profiles

Did another family shoot yesterday.

Odd how I always seem to prefer family group shots as B&W. Colour in comments. Be interesting to see what they choose themselves.