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Cathedral Church Of St Nicholas by Alpha Whiskey Photography

A small but no less beautifully ornate cathedral in the heart of Newcastle, St Nicholas has all the usual photographic opportunities found in these historic buildings. From the grandeur and scale of the columns to the geometric patterns in the architecture, everything in between is a treasure of statues and ornaments with plenty of interesting lighting upon them. All images shot with the Olympus E-M5 and 12-40mm F/2.8 or 60mm F/2.8.

Newcastle Architecture and Street by Alpha Whiskey Photography

Lots of interesting architecture in the heart of Newcastle, particularly around Grainger Town, where the terrific Victorian and Georgian stone and geometry offered plenty of photographic and abstract opportunities. The bright sun cast some pleasing shadows, further helping to accentuate the shapes and spaces under the masonry.And many of the ladies out in town seemed to have a standard dress code of short skirts and high heels; nice to see but somewhat perplexing attire for a Sunday afternoon. Not sure what the owls were doing there either but by then little could surprise us. Most of the people shots were taken by the quayside.All images were made with the Olympus E-M5 and 12-40mm F/2.8 or 60mm F/2.8. 

Olympus 300mm F/4 - A User Experience. by Alpha Whiskey Photography

When Olympus first announced the 300mm F/4 for the m4/3 format there was understandably much enthusiasm for its arrival. After all, it would give users the equivalent field of view of 600mm at F/4 in a far more compact and lighter lens than a DSLR equivalent. I wasn't personally aroused by the prospect but curiosity prompted me to ask Olympus if I could borrow the lens to write up a user experience and they very kindly sent me a copy. 

Kingfishers And Dragonflies by Alpha Whiskey Photography

We were incredibly lucky to see the kingfisher, having been told that they had now left the nature reserve. In fact, we had literally just entered the hide and it showed up, perched neatly on a branch right in front of us! And in between waiting for it to fly back into view I had a great time capturing the very many dragonflies swarming around the hide. I have to thank Natalia's eagle eyes for spotting all of them.All of these images were shot with the Olympus 300mm F/4, kindly loaned to me by Olympus and for which I shall be posting a user experience next. The lens was mounted to the E-M5 via the MC-14 teleconverter, offering an equivalent field of view of 840mm. 

Evening On The Tyne by Alpha Whiskey Photography

Not one to easily resist night lights and reflections I spent an evening on the quayside by the River Tyne hoping to capture some decent exposures at sunset and dusk. I usually do this kind of thing alone (after all, who in their right mind would want to shoot with Alpha Whiskey?!), but on this occasion I benefitted greatly from Natalia's company, and in fact it was her enterprise that had me running back and forth across bridges and by the water to best make use of the sunset hues. By dusk... 
I was able to take some long exposures using a gorillapod wrapped around the railings. After dusk the night brought out the lights and colours a little more but I'm not really a fan of black skies, even with long exposures. Dusk blue is best for me. These images were mostly made with the Olympus E-M5 and 12-40mm F/2.8. 

Postcard From Newcastle by Alpha Whiskey Photography

Probably one of the friendliest towns we have visited, the few of us that made the trip to Newcastle Upon Tyne were pleasantly surprised by how nice everyone we met there was. A stark contrast to terminally angry and miserly Londoners. A small and walkable town of less than 300,000 people, Newcastle boasts a beautiful quayside with some stunning bridges, the most imposing of which is the Tyne Bridge, opened in 1928. The River Tyne is also cradled by the beautiful glass Sage Building and the... 
Millennium Bridge, as well as the Baltic Gallery of Contemporary Art. Within the city, Grainger Town is the historical heart of Newcastle Upon Tyne with stunning architecture designed in the 19th century by Richard Grainger. Amongst the Georgian and Victorian buildings are the now familiar array of shops and eateries that make up a typical city centre. But one can still be impressed by the Theatre Royal and Grey's Monument.We made time for some art at the Laing Gallery and Biscuit Factory, the latter of which is mainly contemporary work for domestic ornamental possession. We also enjoyed St Nicholas Cathedral, small but no less ornate.And of course, we had to see the Angel Of The North on our way out. All the images here were taken with my usual travel complement of the Olympus E-M5, 12-40mm F/2.8, 45mm F/1.8 or 60mm F/2.8. They have been composed and processed in my usual postcard style. In the coming days I will post more from Newcastle, including some dusk and sunset shots from the quayside, more from inside the Cathedral and some architecture. 

Durdle Door At Sunrise by Alpha Whiskey Photography

A few hours of sleep after watching the Milky Way we headed back down to Durdle Door to see the sunrise. It wasn't the greatest sunrise but it did give me ample time to run around capturing a few shots. After which we spent the rest of the day lazing on the beach or swimming in the crystal clear water.The images were processed in Lightroom to my personal taste, and mostly shot with the Olympuses E-M5, 12-40mm F/2.8 and 40-150mm F/2.8. A couple were taken with the Nikon DSLR and wide angle lens I had used on the Milky Way.

Durdle Door Under The Stars by Alpha Whiskey Photography

We were meant to go down to the Jurassic Coast for just the day one day last week at my friend Natalia's request. But the evening before the weather report said there would be a chance of a clear sky. Knowing that there would be minimal light pollution I suggested we venture down that night to perhaps capture the Milky Way over Durdle Door and happily the gamble paid off. Well, sort of. The clouds did eventually move in.But before they did we hurried down to the beach, seemingly the only... 
ones there, and beheld the magnificent Milky Way above us. As I had the car, I took my Nikon DSLR as well as my mirrorless Olympus gear. For the Nikon I took the only wide angle lens I had for it, the Tokina 11-16mm F/2.8. The DSLR is a full frame model and the Tokina is a DX lens but, as I have noted in the past, it will work as a 16mm prime on the camera without vignetting. Having a larger sensor, the Nikon was more sensitive at picking up the stars than my Olympus. So how did I get these shots? I mounted the DSLR and Tokina onto a small Slik Pro III tripod on the pebble beach, set the focus manually to infinity at F/2.8 and ISO 5000. As I couldn't see anything through the viewfinder I took a couple of test shots to establish a correct horizon and then I took some exposures at 20 seconds. For the first shot with Natalia, I positioned her in the centre of the arch, asked her to look up in wonder and remain still for a count of 20 while I light-painted Durdle Door with an LED torch for a few seconds. The clouds had started moving in but we managed to get the Milky Way in the shot.For the other Milky Way shots I simply repositioned the camera along its trajectory, easily visible with the naked eye. The images were processed in Lightroom, mainly with adjustments to contrast to accentuate the Milky Way. After making these shots we slept for a few hours overnight in the car before enjoying the sunrise and spending the day, as intended, on the beach under a hot sun. I will present some photos from the daytime there in a separate post. For now, I hope you enjoy these shots of our galaxy as a reminder of how small, insignificant and yet special we are. 

A Day At Stowe by Alpha Whiskey Photography

Not to waste a sunny day we ventured up to Stow in Buckinghamshire, a beautiful landscape designed by Capability Brown, populated by numerous temples and monuments in the company of serene lakes and ornate bridges. We had been here before over two years ago and much was still fresh in the memory but it was still a terrific way to amble through the summer heat and enjoy the scenery. As well the numerous temples the Palladian Bridge is a popular subject for photographers, of course, but I found the lighting on the white wooden bridge to be more appealing and spent a few minutes trying to eke out shots from there. Everything was shot with Olympus, between the 12-40mm F/2.8 or the 40-150mm F/2.8 mounted on the E-M5. 

Street Photography With A Telephoto Lens. by Alpha Whiskey Photography

Or at least a longer focal length than conventional wisdom suggests. I'm always reading that so-called street photography is best undertaken with a prime lens within the 35-50mm range and I understand the merits of this range for reasons I will elaborate on further down. But convention is naturally a gauntlet that Alpha Whiskey cannot ignore. So before meeting my date I decided to kill an hour in town the other night shooting with a telephoto zoom and mostly at the maximum focal length. 

Introducing SlickPic's Exhibit

Your Portfolio

The Portfolio is the place to showcase your very best photos. Think of it as the collage of the best pictures you've taken. It's separate from your Albums and you can choose whether to make it visible.

Private Affairs

As always, the privacy of your photos and videos is in your control. Because SlickPic offers both private and public photo sharing, you can host all your photos privately and choose to submit only your best photos to your public Portfolio.

High Exposure

The Exhibit allows you to showcase and promote your best work like never before, offering greater visibility and recognition. SlickPic's team of curators looks through all photos in public Portfolios and adds the photos they love to be displayed in the Exhibit.

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