Monday, 30 August 2010

Poplar Tree Through the Year

Poplar Tree - August
Originally uploaded by stephenlamb

There is a large Poplar tree at the bottom of our garden. Actually it is partly in our garden and partly in the garden of the house next door. I have just completed a project to photograph it in each month of the year. The project took an unexpected turn in June when a fire caused extensive damage to one side of the tree. The trunk is still very black. We are hoping it will recover during the next year or so.

The photograph above shows the tree in August. Here is the rest of the set:

Poplar Tree - September


Poplar Tree - October


Poplar Tree - November


Poplar Tree - December


Poplar Tree - January


Poplar Tree - February


Poplar Tree - March


Poplar Tree - April


Poplar Tree - May


Poplar Tree - May


Poplar Tree - July


Sunday, 15 August 2010

The Reluctant Flickr Admin Escapes...

Lutterworth, Leicestershire
Originally uploaded by stephenlamb

I was surprised to receive an email from Flickr telling me that I was now the Group Administrator of a Flickr Group called Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service. I was surprised because I had not applied for the position and had only ever posted one photograph to the group - the one shown above.

It turned out that the previous administrator had resigned without securing the succession. In these circumstances, the administrator role passes to the longest serving member of the group - me! I was willing to undertake the role but I know next to nothing about fire engines or fire services. I put a post on the group's message board explaining the situation and asking if anyone else wanted the job. I did not expect much response as the group has very few members.

However, two members offered to take on the role and they both seem much better qualified to do the job than I am. Thanks to Shaun and Danny - and good luck with growing the group.

You can visit the group at

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Staithes, North Yorkshire

Staithes, North Yorkshire
Originally uploaded by stephenlamb

I have continued with scanning my old negatives during the last week. This is the photograph which has produced the most feedback so far. I did intensify the colours a bit - I am finding that many of my old negatives are producing rather pale images. I am not sure whether that is due to the negatives, the scanner, the scanner software or the settings that I am using.

I abandoned the idea of using VueScan as my scanning software. It did not seem to allow scanning negatives in bulk without manual intervention after each frame. Epson's scanning software does and so I will stick with this for now. I am scanning to TIFF and then editing the images in GIMP before saving them as jpegs for upload to Flickr. I sometimes give them a further tweak in Picnik once they are on Flickr.

It is interesting to see many of my old photographs - especially the ones where I now think - "Why did I take that?" I am also being reminded of places that I cannot remember ever going to.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Wheeldale Moor, North York Moors

Wheeldale Moor, North York Moors
Originally uploaded by stephenlamb

I have a large collection of 35 mm negatives of photographs taken between about 1980 and 2007 when I switched to a digital SLR. I have decided that I need to liberate these negatives from the large black binders in which they have been imprisoned for several years. I do not know how many there are - it must be thousands. Most of them are probably dreadful but I am hoping that there a few that are worth editing and uploading to Flickr.

I am using an Epson Perfection 4490 Photo scanner to scan the negatives. Until today I had never used it for this purpose before. It is a slow process - taking about 50 minutes to process two strips of negatives. At present I am using the software supplied by Epson but I am planning to use Vue Scan instead. This should allow me to output RAW files and so give me more editing opportunities.

The photograph shown here is my "proof of concept" image. It proves that I can get the process to work. I need to play around with the process for a bit before I embark seriously on digitising my negatives.

As for this photograph, it would have been taken on a holiday in the North York Moors about 20 years ago. Wheeldale Moor is an old Roman Road which crosses the Moors. One of the fun things about this project is going to be that I will not know when photographs were taken - or sometimes have much idea of what they are. I have kept the negatives safe but neglected to label them with dates, locations or occasion. This is going to be something of a voyage of discovery.
I will record my progress here....