Winner of Nikon In-Frame Spring Theme Competition

Thanks for all your votes as I won the Nikon In-Frame Competition. I am now open to offers for a Nikon Coolpix 610 camera which was the prize.

Here is the website page and if you click HERE you will be taken to the site

 

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Photo of the Day on Professional Photographer

Another one of my images was chosen by the the Professional Photographer website – this time as their Photo of the Day on 22nd April 2015.

Here is an extract from their website showing my image, which will soon be appearing on my website.

I took this photo of a spiral staircase inside a lovely Art Deco building in Liverpool, whilst I was there on a photo assignment. I wish I had my wide angle lens with me so that I could have fit more of the staircase in. I hadn’t been expecting to shoot any interiors that day. Hope you like it

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Photo of the Day on Photography Monthly

One of my images was chosen by the Photography Monthly  website as their Photo of the Day on 16th April 2015.

Here is an extract from their website showing my image. It is a shot of an osteospermum which has been photo-stacked – which involves taking about 7 or 8 shots and combining them to get a deeper depth of field and a sharper focus.   I will try to get this photo added to my website shortly

 

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Winner of Bob Books “Night” Competition

Nice surprise this week when one of my travel shots from last year’s holiday was selected by Bob Books as the winning image in their January Photo of the Month competition. I can highly recommend Bob Books for their great quality photo books and framed prints. I have one myself.

This photo was posted to my Blog in September 2014 after my holiday there as it was one of my personal favourites. There is not a lot more I can say about the photo that I haven’t said already, just that I am delighted that it is a winner.

Just looking at the photo makes me feel the warm sea breeze on my skin. That’s the great thing about photography. It has the power to evoke great memories.

Here is an extract from the the Bob Books blog page showing my winning entry.

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Feature in Practical Photography Magazine

I was very happy when Practical Photography asked if they could do a feature on me in their magazine.

They had singled out one of my images from the gallery on their website and had contacted me to see if they could write a feature on me If you read the article, you will note that the one thing they picked up on was that my photo had been shot at 800 ISO to achieve a speed of 1/200 sec. They thought I could have cut it down to 400 ISO to achieve a speed of 1/100 sec. But a 24-70 lens is very big, long, and heavy. When using heavy lenses like this on a D600 (which is also heavy but handles high ISO very well) I would suggest always getting your speed up as high as you can, as a blurred shot will look a lot worse than one with a little bit of noise in it. You can correct the noise, but you cannot correct the camera shake. I think 1/200 sec is the lowest I usually go when the camera is hand-held. Better still, always carry a tripod….. though around the streets of London, this can be a little tiring. BUT you have to suffer for your art.

The article they wrote about me is now in their latest March 2015 issue, on the shelves now. And my shot and the article are below.

 

Rory features in Practical Photography Magazine
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Photo of the Week on Professional Photographer

I am very happy this week as on one of my images has been chosen by the Professional Photographer website as their Photo of the Week.

Here is an extract from their website showing my image, which is for sale here on my website

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Holiday in Dubrovnik

I have just come back from a wonderful few days in Dubrovnik. What a beautiful place. Everything they say about it being the Jewel of the Adriatic is true. It’s small, compact, friendly and has some great sightseeing and restaurants. In the old days, it rivalled Venice as a maritime trading state. And of course it is a Unesco World Heritage Site – and very photogenic.

I will be posting a few photos of Dubrovnik on my website  soon, but here is one I took just as the sun was setting. It was taken from the hotel we stayed at. I made great sacrifices to get this shot as the ice had melted in my mojito cocktail by the time I rejoined my wife in the bar.

 

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Experts overrule crowd vote in N-Photo Photocrowd competition

There is a fun new site around called Photocrowd that runs regular competitions, and it is fun watching how the crowd vote for each image in real time.

I recently entered their Gardens competition. I decided to enter a photo which was different to the normal garden theme – it had more of a still life feel to it, and I wasn’t sure how it would be received.

On completion of the competition, the crowd had voted it into 23rd place, but the editors of N-Photo Magazine voted it as the winner. It was interesting reading the judges’ critique of it.

What I found very interesting is how the crowd will always go for the very cute or the chocolate box image and will sometimes ignore images that try to be different and challenging. You can watch the images as they are added to the competitions and you can almost guess which ones the crowds will go for. The dilemma I often have is whether to shoot to please the masses, or whether to shoot for myself? I am sure a lot of you also have this in your minds.

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Annual Spring Pilgrimage

I started my annual spring pilgrimage to bring some colour to my small patio garden and visited the local garden centre.

This gerbera immediately grabbed my attention with the 2 main flower heads back to back, so I splashed the cash and bought it along with various other colourful (photogenic) plants.

When I got home, instead of potting it up, I spent an hour with it propped on the top of my wheelie bin in the corner of my patio using the lid from one of my recycling boxes as a background.

It was quite windy and was threatening to rain and I tried to ignore the washing on the line that was flapping around my head, as I slipped into the creative zone in an effort to find the best angles and compositions.

Happy with my shots, I ran indoors, grabbed a coffee, stuck the SD card in my mac and waited for the massive D800 files to upload…….grabbed another coffee……At last, the shots were there for me to start working on.

This image started off in Lightroom with a few general adjustments before I sent it to Color Efex Pro and tried to get a little creative alchemy going, blending 5 or 6 filters together to achieve the image I wanted.

I hope you like it.  By the way, I bought a lot more plants and you might be seeing them sometime soon…Now for the hard part, my wife is nagging me to plant them up in the garden.

The photo is for sale on my website Rory McDonaldImagine how good it would look on your wall in a nice large frame? A shortcut to the actual photo on the website can be found here in case you want to buy a print.

Alternatively, you can licence it from Getty Images by clicking here

 

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Venetian Regatta Double Page Article in Wanderlust Magazine

I entered a competition on the  Wanderlust Magazine website a few weeks ago. There was a small prize to be won on the theme of Water.

I entered a few photos, one of which was a photo I had taken in Venice a couple of years ago whilst there celebrating my 25th wedding anniversary. Without realising, my wife had booked the weekend when the Regatta was on.

Its not often you see the grand canal in Venice thronged the way it would have been in Canaletto’s time. The race was the Regatta of the four ancient maritime republics and it is held every June. The crews compete in traditional 17th century livery. All of the motor boats and water busses were suspended for the race, and the bridges along the route were packed with tourists cheering on the crews. The event really brings Venice to life and gives an insight into its history and traditions.  I took this shot from the Academie Bridge.

Alas, I didn’t win the competition, but the editor of Wanderlust Magazine contacted me and asked if they could feature my photo in their magazine. I said YES of course but wasn’t expecting to receive a double page spread of it.

The photo is for sale on my full website Rory McDonaldImagine how good it would look on your wall in a nice large frame? A shortcut to the actual photo on the website can be found HERE in case you want to buy a print.

Alternatively, you can licence it from Getty Images by clicking here

Here is the extract from the current June magazine.

Rory features in Wanderlust Magazine
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