Brian A Keen Fine Art

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News Archive - 2008

Nov 2008

Photography News
Padley Gorge.

I travelled up to Padley Gorge in The Peak District to photograph the stream and waterfalls. The weather was ok but the autumn colours were well past their best. I used my Bronica rather than the D200. This was mainly to use up some film before it became too outdated.

Padley Gorge Padley Gorge Padley Gorge
Photography Gallery Updates.
  • 'B&W, Peak District' gallery
  • 'Colour, Peak District' gallery

Oct 2008

Photography News

This month I spent a few days in Liverpool. This including a late afternoon visit to photograph the Antony Gormley Statues on the beach at Crosby.

Despite terrible weather (fierce winds and rain!), I managed to get some reasonable images of the statues. I had to keep the tripod low to avoid camera shake in the gale force winds. I was worried that the salt spray and sandstorm blowing off the beach might damage the camera and lens. Eventually the weather proved too much and I gave up. Annoyingly the weather improved later while I was heading back on the train. There would have been a good sunset if I had stayed another hour or so.

Crosby Statues Crosby Statues

I also took some shots around Liverpool's Waterfront area but building development work made things difficult.

Red Girl In A Hurry Two Doors
Photography Gallery Updates.
  • 'Colour, Unclassified' gallery

Sep 2008

Photography News
Mayor's Thames Festival.

This month I paid a return visit to the Mayor's Thames Festival in London. The crowds during the day made it difficult to get near some of the events, so I concentrated on the night time carnival. I think next time I will not take a tripod: it's too heavy to carry all day and gets in the way. A tripod is not really necessary when using flash at night. With hindsight I think should have used a longer lens and made more use of portrait mode. That should help reduce distracting backgrounds. I set the camera to ISO 200 for the night shots. I found the resulting images to be a bit noisy - probably due to the DX sensor size. I didn't stay for the fireworks later in the evening.

Carinval Carinval

I took few close up shots of an interesting looking clump of orange fungus growing on a dead tree by the river bank near the Open University.


Although the weather this summer has been particularly wet and cloudy, at last we did get one weekend with some sunshine. I attempted some shots of dragon flies on the banks of the River Ouzel. Quite a few were mating and flying in pairs. I tried to capture some in flight but without much success. I need to figure out how to set my macro lens up with a limited focus range and then set the camera up such that the shutter will only fire when the subject comes into focus. I did manage one reasonable close up of a stationary Red Darter basking on a reed.

Red Darter
Willen Trees In Mist.

I captured some local shots of the trees near Willen Lake in the early morning mist using the D200. I converted some to black and white and applied a graded blue/pink tone giving a result similar to a selenium and sepia split toned lith print.

Trees In Mist Trees In Mist
Photography Gallery Updates.
  • 'B&W, Beds, Bucks & Herts' gallery
  • 'Colour, Beds, Bucks & Herts' gallery
  • 'Colour, Thames Festival' gallery
  • 'Colour, Unclassified' gallery
  • 'Colour, Flowers' gallery
  • 'Colour, Macro Insects' gallery

Jul 2008

Photography News

I spent a weeks holiday in Norfolk based in Old Hunstanton. Despite the weather, I managed to get some reasonable shots of Hunstanton Cliffs, closeups of patterns in the sandstone and limestone rocks, the lavender fields around Heacham, poppy fields, old ruined boats along the coast and the Abbey ruins at Walsingham.

Hunstanton cliffs Lavender Fields
Boat Rock Patterns
Sand Dunes.

I wanted to get some shots of the sand dunes, tall grasses and fence posts on the beach using infra-red film. It needed blue sky for the shot to work and I had to wait several days for the right conditions. When the sky did eventually clear, I struggled to find a good composition. One of the images looked reasonable but even then it was not quite what I was hoping for.

Sand Dunes
Creake Abbey.

I tried to photograph Creake Abbey ruins using infra-red film. Unfortunately the light was in the wrong direction and the ruins were having repair work carried out which meant I was unable to get the shots I wanted.

Creake Abbey
St. Edmund Church.

The ruins of St Edmund Church at Egmere also proved difficult because of some horses that were using it as a shelter. A couple of the horses seemed quite aggressive since they had foals to protect. I decided not to stick around for too long just in case.

St. Edmund Church
Photography Gallery Updates.
  • 'B&W, Infrared' gallery
  • 'Colour, Norfolk' gallery
  • 'B&W, Norfolk' gallery

May 2008

Photography News
Ashridge Bluebells.

Another visit to Ashridge to photograph the bluebells. I decided to take my Bronica rather than the digital camera. I used Velvia and Reala and experimented with a vaseline on acetate filter.

Willen Lake Trees.

I captured some early morning images of sunlight filtering through the trees near Willen Lake using the D200.

Spring Morning Spring Morning
Photography Gallery Updates.
  • 'Colour, Beds, Bucks & Herts' gallery

Feb 2008

Photography News
Alport Castles.

The weather forecast predicted cloudless skies for a few days, so I took a day off work, got up early (4:30am) and drove up to the Peak District to photograph the famous 'lone tree' just below Alport Castles. I've seen shots of this tree with the small tarn in the background in a couple of books and galleries on the web. I've been to Alport in the past, but only photographed the 'Alport Castles' landslip.

The drive up took about 2 1/2 hours. On arriving at the Snake Pass I discovered that the road was closed about due to a landslide. Luckily the eastern section of the road was still open and the parking spot near the start of the track up to Alport Farm was still accessible. The early morning light as we left the car looked promising. The climb up from the farm, carrying a heavy camera bag and tripod was hard work but we managed to locate the tree without much difficulty.

It soon became obvious that the image I was hoping for was an afternoon shot. It was impossible to get the tarn in the background without shooting directly into the sun. All I could do was take some images facing in the opposite direction and wait. Later on, after the sun had moved around, I did manage to get some shots with the tarn in the background but it was still tricky to avoid lens flare and a burnt out sky. I really need to buy some graduated nd filters to fit the Nikon DX zooms.

I used my D200 and the 17-55 DX lens at the shortest focal length it would allow (equivalent to about 26mm for an FX sensor). This was the widest lens I had with me. I wished I had brought my 12-24mm DX lens so that I could get more of the background in the shot. I had stupidly left the wider lens at home after deciding my camera bag was already too heavy. For the infra-red film shots I was able to use my 20mm and 24mm lenses which gave more coverage. Because of the position of the sun, I was unable frame the image with the tree against the sky quite how I wanted it. Aircraft vapour trails in the sky were another source of annoyance. Despite the problems, I managed to get some reasonable images - both on the D200 and on infrared film.

Lone Tree Lone Tree Lone Tree Lone Tree
Photography Gallery Updates.
  • 'B&W, Infrared' gallery
  • 'Colour, Peak District' gallery
  • 'B&W, Peak District' gallery

Jan 2008

Website News
Google Search.

A google search facility has been added to the website front page.

Photography News
St. Lawrence Church, Broughton Infrared.

During one of the few good weather days December I made a return visit to Broughton Church to use up some Kodak HIR film. The sky was solid blue which results in a deep black when using infrared film. The resulting scanned images look ok, despite a small amount of fogging on some of the earlier frames. This was probably caused by leaving the film in the camera for too long before processing.

St Lawrence Church

Most of the previous frames on the film were of St. Mary Magdalene Church near Willen Lake. Although it looked promising when I originally took the photographs, the composition looked poor when I viewed the negatives. Consequently I didn't bother scanning them for the website.

Photography Gallery Updates.
  • 'B&W, Infrared' gallery
  • 'B&W, Macro' gallery
Painting News
Oil Paintings.

I finally completed my latest two oil paintings over the Christmas break. These are the Winter Landscape and 'Yellow Rose' Portrait. The photographs now appear in the Oil Paintings gallery. They still need to be varnished once the paint has thoroughly dried.

Winter Yellow Rose
Oil Paintings Gallery Updates.
  • Hush of Winter
  • Yellow Rose
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