Weekly CycleTog: Ian's 52, Week 15

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#1
Week 15 Posted

I've been deliberating this for a couple of weeks now... Should I or shouldn't I?

I tried the 52 back in 2010 and made it about 20 weeks in I think before burning out. For me, shooting a different topic every week was too much, and I ended up taking a picture of anything just to get it done that week. It ended up being "not fun".

So this year, I'm not following the themes. What I am going to challenge myself with though, is to get one photo a week that I'm happy with based on locations I can get to in my lunch hour on my push bike. That way I also get some exercise too! My rules are:

- All images to be taken within a 30min cycling distance of my house.
- All images to be taken with a 24mm prime (38mm on my crop body)
- No left/right side crops - just top & bottom (All images to be used as screensavers when I'm done!)

So with the first day of non-rain of the year, off I went exploring.


My 52: Week 1 by Harlequin565, on Flickr

I may revisit this shot as it looks a bit washed out on this screen. Lesson to learn: Reset my custom function settings on the camera. It was annoying to have to keep resetting ISO, Aperture and shutter speed every time I turned the camera on.

Thanks for reading and viewing. Need to have a look at some other 52s now!

Ian.
 
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#2
Hi IAn , welcome aboard :wave:

Thats still some fair old challenge you've set yourself...but you've hit the nail right on the head...it should be FUN & I love the idea of using your shots as screen savers (y)

Quite liking your 1st image....possibly needs a little contrast boost but very peaceful to look at...slightly blown are's in the sky to the right but not badly enough to detract for me :)

good work mister....look forward to seeing how your project unfolds (y)
 
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#3
Good luck with your 52 Ian. You already know it needs a little tweak to your contrast, but I do like that sky. I'm not sure that the left hand side does much for me. A few steps forward or to the side would remove that distraction and keep the lone tree as the subject.
 
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#4
Nice one - reckon I'd find the no cropping left or right a hard one to stick to - sure lots of comments will be about things people would like to not see on those sides - but stick with it and I'm sure you'll nail it in shot and save lots of editing time later (y)

Good first shot - like the lone tree - and nice interest in the sky too.
 
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#5
Hi IAn , welcome aboard :wave:

Thats still some fair old challenge you've set yourself...but you've hit the nail right on the head...it should be FUN & I love the idea of using your shots as screen savers (y)

Quite liking your 1st image....possibly needs a little contrast boost but very peaceful to look at...slightly blown are's in the sky to the right but not badly enough to detract for me :)

good work mister....look forward to seeing how your project unfolds (y)
Thanks for the comments Lynne! Agreed with the contrast. Also need to look at how images are transferring from Lightroom to Flickr as LR didn't show any blown highlights, but I agree, they do look blown. Hmm...

Good luck with your 52 Ian. You already know it needs a little tweak to your contrast, but I do like that sky. I'm not sure that the left hand side does much for me. A few steps forward or to the side would remove that distraction and keep the lone tree as the subject.
Really useful honest crit - thanks Darren. I did include it as "foreground interest" on the side, which I'm not sure has worked. And the only way to get closer is leap over the fence which has a long drop the other side. Still - every time I ride past this tree it gets me thinking about how best to capture it.

Nice one - reckon I'd find the no cropping left or right a hard one to stick to - sure lots of comments will be about things people would like to not see on those sides - but stick with it and I'm sure you'll nail it in shot and save lots of editing time later (y)

Good first shot - like the lone tree - and nice interest in the sky too.
Looks like my sideways foreground interest didn't work. Thanks for corroborating Darren's comment Graham. The good news is that all my editing is taking less time than it takes to download the shots! It's so nice to get out of Photoshop and just stick with Lightroom and SEP.

Thanks all for your comments. Week 2 coming soon!

Ian.
 
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#6
The last few days have been really interesting. Doing the same 7 mile circuit every day has had me looking at the same bits of landscape and trying to figure out how best to shoot it at 24mm. I've taken other lenses out over the course of the week which has added a lot of variety, and also taken out my film camera which is full frame and therefore more wideangle with the 24mm prime. Have to finish the film though before I can dev it and see how it came out.

I've been very lucky weather wise too. A couple of misty days and a lovely frost yesterday which also falls in line with you other 52'ers doing Season. I can join you - if only for the one month :)


Week 2 - Ice by Harlequin565, on Flickr​

This is just a flooded field.
Got down low to capture the foreground, and it looks like I've missed the focus point. My app says 24mm on a crop sensor and focussing at 3m means everything distant should be in focus. The trees in the background do look a bit blurry though.
Also took a portrait version which is much better but would make a bad screensaver.

I think I've got good tonal range throughout, but the sky looks deadly boring. The crop took most of the top of the image away.
I seem to be putting my shots up early too. I think I somehow got a week ahead of myself, so I have a far better showing for week 1. Have a look at my Flickr if you're interested in more. The map route (courtesy of Google Maps) is also there.

Health wise, I'm 14 days into my routine and am noticing already that I'm much fitter. It takes around an hour to do the circuit with various photo stops on the way. My push bike is 20 years old and a new one isn't on the cards this year at least. Ho hum! Week 1 I had 12 gears, by week two I'm down to 6. Let's hope the attrition rate doesn't continue!

Anyway - enough blathering on... Time to get commenting elsewhere. Thanks for reading!

Ian
 
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#7
A really nice shot Ian, fine detail in foreground, ice mid and tree background makes a fine composition and B&W adds to it. Congrats!
 
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#8
'Ello, and welcome.

2 cracking Seasons there. Really bleak b&w. Flickr is a bugger for doing 'stuff' to photographs :bat:

Of the 2 it's #2 for me. Mainly because I'm not keen on the LH tree in #1.

The low angle and th fact you've pushed the horizon towards the upper of the frame appeals to me.

Good start.
 
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#9
Love the idea. I'm a cyclist myself and I also like your other criteria on the cropping.

Good luck with this - your flickr week2 portrait is simply stunning, but I see what you mean about the screensaver! - Keep it up (and the cycling too) I'll be watching this thread with interest.
 
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#10
Really like the idea, and you've made a fantastic start Ian.

Some of your Flickr images are great, love the composition and style.
 
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#11
Great idea for a challenge. I like both shots, good use of b&w.
 
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#12
You've got some real crackers on your flickr Ian. I have to say I prefer the composition of the portrait shot, but the foreground has worked better this week than last. My opinion (and it's easy to say it from here :)) would be to get down even lower. Pack yourself a bin bag to lie on when you go out (y)
 
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#13
good luck for your 52, you've set yourself quite a challenge.. will be interesting to see the landscapes change as the year goes on..

both very 'seasonal' like the sky on the first one.. might have moved a little so the tree on the left wasn't in shot as I do like a lone tree shot :)

like the foreground interest in the second shot.. nice reflections from the trees too..

hope the bike holds up (y)
 
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#14
My opinion (and it's easy to say it from here :)) would be to get down even lower. Pack yourself a bin bag to lie on when you go out (y)
Thanks for all the comments guys. really appreciated considering I'm not on a formal 52 :)

Totally agree with the above Darren. At the moment I'm too lazy to get off my bike unless I really see a shot I want. That portrait on my Flickr was taken whilst on my knees. A bin bag is a great idea - especially at this time of year as everything is so flippin' wet (or snowy!)

Oh and Michelle... It's falling to bits slowly. Still got 6 gears but they seem to change just when I don't want them to :(

Ian.
 
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#15
Week 3

I spoke to soon! The gears attached to the pedals are now broke and so that's halved me down to 3. I've been out and about this week quite happily with my camera but have taken different lenses just to see what happens looking at the same landscape with different focal lengths. I've had some interesting results, but left myself quite late to actually go out with the 24mm.

I'm also getting fed up (already!!!) with cycling the same route and am trying to pick out other routes that offer some interest. Have set up a google map with my routes on it - which has been another learning experience. Adding my shots to the various parts of the map is fun - you can see it here: Map Link

Anyway - here's the shot for week 3. Again, more images are available on Flickr.


52/3 Tracks by Harlequin565, on Flickr

Learning points & self-crit:

- Composition is fine. Few odd bits of branches top right slightly distracting
- Sky is horrible, but then it's been flat grey and miserable all week.
- Not overly happy with the processing. Could do with being a bit darker.

I've also not been getting around as many other 52's this week as I'd liked. I intend to remedy that next week as things hopefully calm down at work/home.

Ian.
 
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#16
Think you've pretty much covered it all yourself - the odd twig you can pull out the way if it's close enough - but these aren't. The skies have been dire for the past few months as far as I'm concerned :LOL:

Great composition, lines starting on a third and leading into the frame where they then disappear round a corner - great!
 
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#17
Sorry about the bike!

Composition is good.. Like the tracks curving off in the distance.. Not much you could do about the sky but it doesn't detract overall from the image.
 
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#18
I'm worried about your bike! - I have 4 and they live like queens in my garage while my poor car has to sit out in all weathers. Some say I'm a bit fanatical tbh lol.
Anyway, the railway tracks make a good subject and you have done well given your self imposed restrictions on lens and cropping. I think the others have covered everything else I could have said.

I adore your "heavens above" shot on Flickr. Keep up the good work, and fix your bike - she's your steel horse!
 
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#19
Thanks for your comments guys!

Week 4

Well it's been an ok week. The bike really started to fall apart on me on Wednesday and hacking through fields and whatnot has been a real pain with 3 gears.

I've been still taking photos though and leaving it until the end of the week to post anything mainly because it's better to evaluate all of them rather than just throw anything up.


52/4 Infra Red by Harlequin565, on Flickr

This is my preferred shot from the 4 shots on Flickr. The foreground detail is sadly lacking and I did look! But trekking into the field to get closer just wasn't an option. Such a beautiful blue sky though and it converted to B&W really well IMO.

Bought a new bike on Saturday afternoon. No more excuses!

Thanks for reading!

Ian.
 
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#21
Nice clouds - not really seen many of those for a while, what about giving your bike a starring role as your portable foreground interest? :thinking:

Was going to suggest zooming in to lose some foreground, but then went back and noted you're using a prime lens @;lol:
 
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#22
Another corker Ian.
Can't help myself though. What bike did you get, and what's his/her name?
It's a Kona Fire Mountain and it doesn't have a name! Good lord... People name their push bikes? Do we have a facepalm emote yet?

Nice clouds - not really seen many of those for a while, what about giving your bike a starring role as your portable foreground interest? :thinking:

Was going to suggest zooming in to lose some foreground, but then went back and noted you're using a prime lens @;lol:
My old bike is in a similar shot to this, but it's in my film camera waiting to be developed. But now that I have my shiny new bike - I can cycle closer! A pedal power zoom!

Thanks for the comments guys.

Ian.
 
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#23
Excellent choice of bike there Ian, very good Value for money, reasonable shocks and hydraulic brakes too (y)

RE Names - Erm, yes. [facepalm] Otherwise it's like calling your wife "the wife" what are you? a caveman? :shake: - Wait till you and he/she have had a few adventures together you will feel differently.:love:
 
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#24
Week 5

This is why I love my new bike (which will remain nameless Brian!). I can get properly off-road with it and reach a location where I can get a decent composition. Not sure the crop is in the right place and probably should be moved up a bit to avoid cropping that bit of tree off. That would be at the expense of the foreground though.


52/5 Lone Tree by Harlequin565, on Flickr
Gah - just realised, that shot above was at 10mm. Doesn't qualify but I'm not taking it out now.

Aaanyway... This one though - was at 24mm.

I took Darren's advice and got down on the floor to take this. However I didn't have a bin bag with me so I got wet and muddy. I think it was worth it though for the low POV.

I've also figured out how to make my own Google Map and have plotted all my Flickr images on it. Amazing to see so many photogenic places on one's doorstep. I'm so lucky!

[MAP]/maps/ms?msid=217590324012221593277.0004d303d445fc411d136&msa=0[/MAP]
 
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#25
.........based on locations I can get to in my lunch hour..............
So does ^^^this^^^ mean that all your shots are going to be taken around lunch time, so no early morning / late afternoon shots?? Going to give you some tricky lighting if we ever get to summer will it not?

Prefer the first of these two (sorry), the effect of movement in the sky is great, the tips of the twigs could be cloned out to give the effect of not being clipped quite easily,.

I think I'm slooowwwly "getting" B&W, are all your's going to be this for this challenge?

Oh - and I think "nameless Brian" is a fab name for your bike. :naughty:
 
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#27
So does ^^^this^^^ mean that all your shots are going to be taken around lunch time, so no early morning / late afternoon shots?? Going to give you some tricky lighting if we ever get to summer will it not?

Prefer the first of these two (sorry), the effect of movement in the sky is great, the tips of the twigs could be cloned out to give the effect of not being clipped quite easily,.

I think I'm slooowwwly "getting" B&W, are all your's going to be this for this challenge?
No. At the moment, I end up on conference calls over lunch (today it's been from 10:30 and is all the way through to 4) so I will be dipping out when I can. At the weekends I can also be a lot more flexible. And as for the summer - I'm expecting more grey flat skies and lots of rain. :) As for the editing, I did consider B&W for winter and Colour for Summer. Would be cool to put some sort of effect on Spring & Autumn too - though those autumn colours would be wasted on anything other than full colour images. I have no real "rule" for this so I'll have to wait & see. Everything is so monochromatic at the moment (brown & green and you're done). Will have to see what spring brings.

Oh - and I think "nameless Brian" is a fab name for your bike. :naughty:
No. Just... No.

Ian.
 
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#28
Week 6

The camera has only been out twice this week, but today I did ok. Lovely blue skies and plenty of clouds. One thing I am noticing is that the daffs are starting to poke their shoots out and I'm thinking of moving to colour for my first shot of one.

Work has been really busy this week, so pp and commenting has been very slow. Happy to plod along at my own pace though and am still enjoying this project 6 weeks in. I like both of these shots so they both go up.

Thanks for looking!


Both look best on black on Flickr.

Still trying to get my head around why these shots look "faded" when uploaded. They look much more punchy in LR...

Ian.
 
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#29
Been tardy in posting and very tardy in commenting, but keeping on keeping on is the key here. Also getting really fed up of lugging my 50D around and have been looking at selling up all my Canon stuff in exchange for an E-X1. It'll have to wait until after daughter #2's prom though....

Aaanyway, I have actually been shooting, even though the number of shots per week is going down. Car problems, hospital visits, gardening and other life challenges have been getting in the way of me getting out with my camera. Week 7 was a bit of an explore down a footpath off the main drag and quite disappointing. However this image for me is a sign of the times. People stuck in front of Tweedle and Facefriends rather than out playing (or even mowing the pitch!!).


52/7 Goalposts by Harlequin565, on Flickr​

Week 8 was a bit of a different take on things. Tyring to see the world a bit differently. This shot is a reflection, and "not real". Contrast pumped to add a bit of definition. Reminds me of when I was a kid and I imagined a whole 'nother world on the other side of the mirror.


Hoping for a decent day today or tomorrow to get week 9 done. Thanks for reading!

Ian.
 
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#30
Nice to see you're still going strong Ian. I like these two (more in the context of your project than as stand alone images tbh) You show great imagination. Keep on Keeping on.

PS How's "Nameless Brian" settling in?
 
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#32
Thanks for the comments folks!

I've had a bit of a hiatus recently because I've sold my 50D and all my lenses and bought a Fuji X-E1. It's put fresh life back into my photography!

However I only have the zoom to match the 24mm prime I was using, so am going to mix things up a bit. Still sticking to a prime lens and will alternate between the 14mm f2.8 and the 35mm f1.4. Real life also threw a spanner in the works with my wife needing a hip replacement (she goes into surgery tomorrow!) so I don't know how much time I'm going to have over the coming weeks.

With spring in the air though, it's time to move into colour. I'm ignoring the missing weeks (9-12) but can catch up with 13 & 14 (I'm guessing we're on week 14 now?!)

Week 13 was taken with my new landscape lens. 14mm translates to 21mm on the X-E1 sensor. I'm now shooting in jpeg mode with the Velvia film simulation to reduce the amount of processing to an absolute minimum.


And the X-E1 also shoots in 16:9 mode meaning I don't have to crop anything and get to see the results in the viewfinder before I shoot. I know it's a cropped image in-camera, but the processing on these shots is now very minimal.

Week 14 was an outing with the 35mm (52mm equiv) and I like the advantage of the reach. With the Nik suite free to anyone who has one of their offerings (I had Silver Efex Pro) I downloaded and had a go with a couple of the presets. Again - no cropping as I shot 16:9, but I think in future I'll crop in PP as I took some portraits while I was out and they look ridiculously tall and narrow.


Here's hoping I can get back into it!

Thanks for reading!

Ian.
 
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#33
Welcome back Ian.

I like the colours, I'm not so keen on wk 14's vignette... but an interesting composition non the less.

Sorry to hear about your lady, hope all goes well.
 
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#34
Week 15

Al is doing well. She's still bed bound but one week post-op and she's out and about on crutches for an hour a day.

I'm taking the opportunity to get out and about myself, and tried a different route down to the Weaver this week with my 14mm and a set of Lee Seven5 filters. Just the ND grad and the big stopper.

This was shot in RAW, then PP'd using Colour Efex Pro with a toned down cross process look. It's amazing to see that I can get shots just as good as with my old DSLR for a quarter of the weight. I love this new camera.


Ian.
 
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#35
Nice to see some colour coming in to your shots - obviously brought about by the change in the weather. Which is very welcome!

This latest one really working for me..... the empty space of the water in the foreground really leads you up into the image - and the left hand bank does this too.

And finally some blue sky with great clouds. The darkening in the lower corners of this latest one could be reduced a bit for my taste.
 
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#36
Thanks Graham.

Maybe I should have pp'd it out, but the darkness was from the shadows in the trees behind me. Looking at it again - maybe it's filter vignetting. Hmmm... have to have a think about that!

Cheers for popping in and commenting!

Ian.
 
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#37
Welcome back Ian.

I like the colours, I'm not so keen on wk 14's vignette... but an interesting composition non the less.

Sorry to hear about your lady, hope all goes well.
Thanks for your comment Brian, and your well wishes. Belting week 15 you had there :)

Ian.
 
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