Brian A Keen Fine Art

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News Archive - 2012

Monthly Photography, Painting and Website news for the year.

Photos of The Year

A selection of personal favorite photographs for the year with larger image sizes. (click the thumbnails below to enlarge).

News: Aug 2012

Photography News

The new growth on this group of stinging nettles caught my eye.

Photography Gallery Updates.
  • 'Mono, Unclassified' gallery

News: May 2012

Photography News
Spring Wood.

A footpath lined with bluebells and wild garlic leads the eye into this shot of a local wood. The new leaves at this time of year provide a bright yellow-green colour. I tried to avoid any distracting highlights of bright sky between the leaves.

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

News: Mar 2012

Photography News

Some early warm dry spring weather brought out the daffodils. Early morning mist helped create some atmospheric images.

Holy Trinity Church.

A couple of repeat shots of the church in Woolstone with daffodils in the foreground. One with the church shrouded in mist, the other bathed in orange evening sun. I used the Canon G11 to get a decent depth of field. The camera was mounted on a low tripod. It is an awkward shot because the daffodils are just in front of a hedge and there is no room to get behind the camera. Luckily the moveable LCD display on the G11 made things easier.

Church Church
Campbell Park.

More trees in the mist. These were converted to monochrome and split toned.

Trees in Mist

This image of a lone tree in the mist has some very delicate tones. It needed some cloning work to remove some metal railings around the base. I created the vignette effect using the airbrush tool in photoshop. Behind the tree is the beacon mound shrouded in mist. One version is split toned but the plain monochrome image works well too.

Tree in Mist Tree in Mist

These three trees in the morning mist with daffodils in the foreground made a pleasing composition.

Trees and Daffodils

I shot these daffodil heads in a pond in Campbell Park using my macro lens. A polarising filter was used to remove surface reflections.


A mass of daffodils in the morning mist in Campbell Park.

Daffodils Daffodils

I picked out these back lit daffodils among the mass of flowers in Campbell Park.

Daffodils Daffodils Daffodils
Photography Gallery Updates.
  • 'Colour, Beds, Bucks & Herts' gallery
  • 'Colour, Macro, Flowers' gallery
  • 'Mono, Beds, Bucks & Herts' gallery

News: Feb 2012

Website News

New photo galleries have been added following my recent trip to North Wales.

Photography News

February brought with it the first snow of the year in the South East.

Red Door.

The peeling red paint on this door caught my eye when I took my car into a garage for new tyres. It was shot hand held using the Canon G11. Because the light was low, it is not quite as sharp as I would have liked. I may need to make a return visit with a tripod.

Red Door
Berkhamsted Castle Ruin.

This was shot on a cold frosty morning. The lighting on the foreground and stonework was flat but the overcast sky was quite bright. I could have unintentionally ended up with a silhouette. Luckily the raw image from the Canon G11 managed to hold the detail in both the shadow and highlight areas. The original image from the camera looked somewhat uninspiring and I almost overlooked it. However after converting to mono, some selective dodging and burning followed by split toning in photoshop, the result looks better than I expected.

Berkhamsted Canal.

Frost covered rope on the side of a barge.

Ice Patterns.

I shot these ice patterns on the canal in Milton Keynes when the snow arrived.

Ice Patterns Ice Patterns
St Peter's Church.

The ruin of St Peter's Church at Stanton Low in winter makes an interesting subject in both colour and toned monochrome.

Church Ruin Church Ruin
Church Ruin
Dead Tree.

This dead tree is next to the ruin of St Peter's Church. It makes a good subject on it's own. The composition is helped by the weak winter sun, just visible behind the grey overcast sky.

Dead Tree Dead Tree Dead Tree

The gap in the stone wall in the foreground makes a pleasing composition.

Dead Tree
More Snow.

As the roads were slippery after more overnight snow, I decided to go into work late. Instead I spent an hour or so in the morning photographing some local images around The Lee using the Canon G11. The sun eventually made an appearance providing some colour in the sky.

Tree and Snow Tree and Snow Tree and Snow
Tree and Snow Park Gate
Park Cottage.

The morning sun added some sparkle to the snow.

Park Cottage Park Cottage Park Cottage
Cool Wall.

Painting on the wall of the underpass at Willen Lake.

Cool Wall
North Wales.

I took some time off work at the end of the month for a week of photography in North Wales based at Porthmadog.

Most of the images are in two new galleries: one for colour and one for monochrome. I have only included a selection of the best images on these news pages.

Valle Crucis Abbey.

Valle Crucis Abbey ruin is just of the A5 at Llangollen. The best viewpoint is from the road above looking down. Unfortunately the view is spoilt by the adjacent caravan park. It is difficult to understand how planning permission for a caravan site was given in an area of outstanding natural beauty.

The vaulting inside the Chapter House makes an interesting image.

Valle Crucis Abbey
Welsh Highland Railway.

The narrow gauge steam railway makes an interesting subject for photography. My first attempt at photographing the train on it's way through the Aberglaslyn Pass was a bit of a disaster - using a polarising filter meant my shutter speed was too slow and the train was blurred. I made sure I used a higher ISO setting for subsequent shots of moving trains. This does mean additional noise - especially when using the Canon G11 with it's relatively small sensor. Things were a bit easier at Porthmadog station as the trains were either stationary or moving slowly.

Steam Train Steam Train Steam Train Steam Train Steam Train
Nant Gwynant.

Looking down on Llyn Gwynant. This really needed a grad grey filter to reduce the brightness in the sky.

Nant Gwynant

A gap in the clouds illuminated an isolated white painted farmhouse along the Llanberis pass.

Sunlight and Mountain Mist.

Sunlight streaming though the mist over the mountains created some interesting recession images. The high contrast made it tricky to get the right exposure while avoiding burnt-out highlights.

Mountain Light Mountain Light
Boat House.

A boat house at Lyn y Dywarchen near Rhyd Ddu.

Lone Tree
Lone Tree.

This lone tree with a rainbow behind was impossible to resist. Climbing over a drystone wall topped with barbed wire to get close was a bit hazardous. The next problem was trying to avoid the photographer's shadow on the foreground.

Lone Tree Lone Tree
Porth Dinllaen

Details from boats and buildings at Porth Dinllaen on the Lleyn Peninsula.

Grain Patterns Flaking Paint
Cwmorthin Slate Quarries.

A visit to the disused slate quarries at Cwmorthin near Blaenau Ffestiniog gave an opportunity to use some of my precious Kodak HIR 35mm film. Although outdated, the negatives look ok with no visible fogging in the frame borders. The contrast is quite high but that is the nature of the film. The film was developed in undiluted stock homebrew ID11 made from raw chemicals.

Cwmorthin Cwmorthin Cwmorthin Cwmorthin

Some digital images of the quarry, the miner's barracks and the quarry master's house shot with the Nikon D200.

Cwmorthin Cwmorthin Cwmorthin Cwmorthin Cwmorthin Cwmorthin

Some of the quarry images also work well when converted to monochrome. I applied a slight blue tint to reflect the original colours of the slate.

Cwmorthin Cwmorthin

There are some photogenic waterfalls next to the path leading up to the quarry. The dark slate helps enhance the white of the water. I used a neutral density filter to give a slow shutter speed. The images look good in both colour and monochrome.

Cwmorthin Waterfall Cwmorthin Waterfall
Cwmorthin Waterfall Cwmorthin Waterfall

I really did not have enough time at this location. There is a wealth of interesting images and I would love to return to explore further.


The famous suspension bridge built by Thomas Telford in 1826. Some temporary scaffolding provided a high viewpoint.

Conwy Bridge Conwy Bridge Conwy Bridge Conwy Bridge

Just south-west of Porthmadog is a small sandy bay at Borth-y-Guest. I got up early one morning to get this shot of a beached sailing yacht as the sun came up. The landscape format image may look like colour but it has been converted to monochrome and split toned.

Sunrise Sunrise
Porthmadog Panorama.

A stitched panorama of the view of the mountains looking south-east from Porthmadog.

Porthmadog Panorama

A short drive from Porthmadog and the setting for the cult TV series The Prisoner.

We made two separate trips: The first visit was on a weekday. The weather was cloudy so there were fewer people which made photography somewhat easier. The overcast skies produced muted pastel colours. The weather on the second visit was brighter with sunshine and blue skies which gave more contrast. Being a weekend meant there were a few more people around but as it was out of season it was not too crowded.

I found that a telephoto zoom lens was best at finding interesting and unusual compositions. Here are just a few of the images. See the new "Colour, Portmerion" gallery for the full set.

Portmerion Portmerion Portmerion Portmerion Portmerion Portmerion

These images of trees in mist were all shot in the local park one foggy morning. They have all been toned using Photoshop's gradient mapping.

Trees in Fog Trees in Fog Trees in Fog Trees in Fog Park Cottage in Fog
Photography Gallery Updates.
  • 'Colour, Misc' gallery
  • 'Colour, Beds, Bucks & Herts' gallery
  • 'Colour, Wales' gallery
  • 'Mono, Beds, Bucks & Herts' gallery

News: Jan 2012

Website News

Clicking on a thumbnail on the news pages now brings up a framed version of the larger sized image in the same way as when viewed from the galleries. The news archive pages have been updated so that they operate in the same way.

Photography News

Three days of cold clear weather in early January gave an opportunity to shoot in the early morning frost.

Ice Patterns.

Macro shots of frozen puddles using the Canon G11.

Ice Patterns Ice Patterns
Woolstone Church.

The Holy Trinity Church (now The Rosebery Music Room) photographed on a frosty January morning using the Canon G11. The orange low early morning orange sun enhances the stonework.

As it is not far away, I have tried this shot under a number of different lighting conditions. I am still waiting to capture the perfect image with church lit by the sun under a really dark stormy sky.

Holy Trinity Church

Another version, converted to monochrome and toned using photoshop's gradient mapping.

Holy Trinity Church

The Canon G11 coped well with the tricky exposure against the early morning sun.

Photography Gallery Updates.
  • 'Colour, Misc' gallery
  • 'Colour, Beds, Bucks & Herts' gallery
  • 'Mono, Beds, Bucks & Herts' gallery
  • 'Infrared' gallery
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