It was the 2nd Bishops Stortford Camera Club Studio Club today and we had a “Desparate Housewives” style photoshoot. I’m not allowed to show any of the shots from the actual shoot yet as we were doing it for a local business, but it was great fun. In the picture are 4 of my camera club colleagues posing as we set up the lighting.

I’ve done this shot to myself (a couple of years ago) so I don’t feel bad about doing it to one of our cats, Elijah. So three shots, one is the standard Elijah and two are symetrical versions of him created by using one half of his face on each side (if that makes sense). Now, can you tell which the real Elijah is? To make it easier for you, I haven’t hidden the give away clues…

I don’t do much compositing – taking more than 1 picture and merging them together to create a new shot – but this is one that came out really well. This was an original shot of Badger, one of our cats taken a couple of years ago merged with a new background and a new “title” added in photoshop. The background is a slightly amended version of this free download from Gavin Hoey.

So the Photographers Day at Linton Zoo arrived and what a scorcher it was. Now, you may think that a lovely hot sunny day is ideal for getting amongst the animals and getting some lovely pictures…well, it is better than if it was tipping it down with rain! However, all that sunshine casts some really tricky shadows which can really spoil a good picture.

Nevertheless, I went bonkers with the camera and came home with over 2,000 shots…the poor old camera will be warn out if I keep that rate of shooting up!

So here’s one shot that I was looking forward to taking – the Bearded Dragon. If you want to see more of the Linton Zoo shots you can visit my Flickr page.

Do you ever watch Monkey World? I must admit, I do enjoy the antics of all the chimps there, but I do have a soft spot for the Cotton Top Tamarin’s, so I was delighted to find some at Linton Zoo in Cambridgeshire.

Linton Zoo takes in rare and abandoned animals and gives them a new life, they also have a very successful rare animal breeding program here so it’s well worth a visit to help them support these rare animals.

I’ll be back in a month as I’m taking part in their photographers day where we can get behind the scenes and get closer access to the animals…I wonder if they’ll let me snuggle a lion?

Another visit to Audley End House for their Victorian Day. They had a lady showing her birds of prey and this was one of them – a lovely Kestral.


363/366 Introducing Ena

If you look back through this 366 project you will see periodic examples of my wife’s knitting. Well, she’s now going to try and earn some money from her hobby so obtained a dummy head and a separate torso for modeling and display purposes. So I got presented with a large array of knitted goods to photograph. I used a spotlight lamp as a fill light and my Nikon SB600 flash as my main light sources and did OK. It does have to be said, I need to get a replacement for the spotlight lamp and I need to get a roll of paper for backgrounds. Still, not a bad start.

Oh, by the way, she’s called Ena (after Ena Sharples of course) and the torso is called Hilda (Ogden – both from Coronation Street if you didn’t know).

Introducing Ena-27-Edit


355/366 The Works Christmas Party – At The Tables

It was the works Christmas party last night and we went to a big marquee out in North Weald to a “From Russia With Love” themed party. It was good fun. By the time I took this shot I’d had a bottle and a half of Shiraz and 3 pints so I was quite surprised I didn’t have to straighten it too much…I had a headache this morning 😉

At The Tables



352/366 Chris Hillman

This gentleman is our tutor on our City and Guilds Level 2 Photography course in Chelmsford. As you will gather, this evening we have been learning lighting for portraiture photography, with an emphasis on the correct focal length to use. This was shot at 70mm, ideally I should have had my 70-200mm lens with me so I could have gone to somewhere around 100mm. This was processed using Portrait Professional which is an excellent piece of software.

Chris Hillman


351/366 Peeping Through The Tinsel

This is the lesser spotted Badger. I am rarely allowed to approach him, let alone photograph him. He is definitely my wife’s cat and has as little to do with me as he can. Here he is waiting for his mother to come upstairs to bed, peeping through the banisters and tinsel.

Peeping Through The Tinsel