Is there a cathedral in that puddle?

Reflections can make for interesting photos, and with the rain in Salisbury, Sharon was prompted to ask the question in the title of this post – alas with all the puddles around I just couldn’t get a nice shot of the cathedral. That is, until we checked out the Salisbury and South Wiltshire museum. As we approached the museum – and being cued in to look for reflections I saw a great reflection in the window. The result is this fragmented view of the cathedral:

Salisbury Cathedral

Salisbury Cathedral

I used a wide aperture lens out to f2.8 in order to ensure that the focus would be on the cathedral, while leaving the window frame a little out of focus.

Sometimes you can find great reflections inside too – the modern font in the cathedral provides a wonderful reflective surface in which to mirror the main windows. The font was designed by William Pye and is the first permanent font for over 150 years. It was commissioned over ten years ago by by the then Canon Treasurer and now Dean of Salisbury, the Very Revd June Osborne. The font is three metres across and constructed as a bronze cruciform vessel atop a purbeck marble plinth. The water flows constantly, but the font is so constructed as to provide a perfectly smooth surface.

Salisbury cathedral font

Salisbury cathedral font

So it’s worth looking for opportunities for interesting reflections 🙂




Magpie ‘selfies’: ioShutterPro – remote DSLR trigger for the iPhone

I’ve been experimenting with ways to remotely trigger my camera and thus not scare off the birds that drink from our bird bath. Enter ioShutterPro – an app for the iphone along with a lead that connects the phone to the camera.

Magpie larks

Magpie larks

The app enables several ways to control the camera, including by sound, shaking the phone, bulb for long exposures, by timer or by time-lapse – enabling those great flower opening sequences – which is its main advertised use.

There is also a related app called ioShutterCam from the same guys at enlightphotopro.com that enables you to do all these things just using your iphone camera – no need for the big DSLR camera for that one!

All this came about when a couple of young magpie larks came to drink at the bird bath one hot day. They were chirping away happily so I pulled out the camera and quietly entered the kitchen hoping to catch them through the window. But no, as soon as I came into view they took off like startled magpies!

Time for a better setup. I pulled out the tripod and focused the camera on the bird bath, connected the ioShutterPro lead to the phone and the camera, set it on sound trigger and before long the magpies were back. This time, as they called to each other they took their own photos – maggie ‘selfies’!

Magpie larks

Magpie larks

Here is the setup I used

ioShutterPro app

ioShutterPro app

This setup could be used for many types of sound triggered photography, such as self-triggered jumping shots making yourself look weightless – just be sure you have a soft place to land!

What would you use a sound triggered camera for? Let me know in the comments 🙂




The first glance is not always the story

So here is a street photo with a story…

The glance

The glance

The photo above could have been taken anywhere. It shows a man and a woman exchanging a glance – perhaps there is a chemistry there.

But it didn’t start out this way. Sometimes when you take a photo it can be worth looking closely at the whole photo, and occasionally you will find that the drama is in the margins of the photo.

What the crop leaves out is what makes this the story of an interaction between two people at a distance. Perhaps an older man looking at an attractive young woman. The reality is of course a little more prosaic. Let’s see the original photo:

Festival morris dancers

Festival morris dancers

The woman walked out from a side alley at the festival and was attracted by the morris side performing a dance further up the street. The man coincidentally walked out and had yet to hear the commotion caused by the dancers, so he was looking down the street.

By cropping down to the right hand side the couple were brought more centrally into the picture – almost on the thirds. By rendering it as a black and white image, it became a timeless story about a man and a woman. Street photography is always about the story – indeed all photography is arguably about the story. Sometimes it isn’t always the obvious one 🙂

Have you seen an alternative story in one of your photos? Why not leave a comment below and share your story 🙂