Category Archives: Photography

A Tour of Bristol’s architectural highlights – Shot on the Huawei P20 Pro in black & white

Bristol is full of architectural delights. From the Grand Hotel above in Broad Street to some spectacular buildings in Corn Street.

But it’s not just Corn or Broad Street that holds some architectural gems. Walking around the City centre reveals more great places.

A short walk down to the canal reveals even more buildings.

All these photos were shot on the Huawei P20 Pro using its dedicated monochrome mode.

The above are just a snapshot into the architecture of Bristol city centre.

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Landhydrock House – One of National Trust’s Best Houses – Shot on the Huawei P20 Pro

Landhydrock House #nationaltrust #huaweip20pro

The Landhyrock House stands in 890 acres above the River Fowey in Cornwall near Bodmin. It has been owned and managed by the National Trust since 1953.Much of the present house dates back to Victorian times but some sections date from the 1620s. It is a Grade I listed building and is set in gardens with formal areas. The hill behind the house is planted with a fine selection of shrubs and trees.

Landhydrock House #nationaltrust #huaweip20pro

Landhydrock House #nationaltrust #huaweip20pro

Landhydrock House #nationaltrust #huaweip20pro

Lanhydrock estate belonged to the Augustinian priory of St Petroc at Bodmin but the Dissolution of the Monasteries during the 1530s saw it pass into private hands. In 1620 wealthy merchant Sir Richard Robartes, of Truro, acquired the estate and began building Lanhydrock House, designed to a four-sided layout around a central courtyard and constructed of grey granite.

Landhydrock House #nationaltrust #huaweip20pro

Landhydrock House #nationaltrust #huaweip20pro

Landhydrock House #nationaltrust #huaweip20pro

Robartes died in 1624 but work on the building was continued by his son John Robartes, 1st Earl of Radnor, a notable public figure who served as Lord Privy Seal and Lord President of the Council. The embattled walls were built of rough, massive granite blocks with years 1636 and 1642 on the walls, indicating when they were built.

Landhydrock House #nationaltrust #huaweip20pro

A barbican gate was added and the house was garrisoned by Parliamentary forces in August 1644 when Sir Richard Grenville took possession.

Landhydrock House #nationaltrust #huaweip20pro

Landhydrock House #nationaltrust #huaweip20pro

During the 18th century the east wing of the house was demolished leaving the U-shaped plan seen today.

Landhydrock House #nationaltrust #huaweip20pro

Landhydrock House #nationaltrust #huaweip20pro

Landhydrock House #nationaltrust #huaweip20pro

The public tour is one of the longest of any National Trust house and takes in the service rooms, nurseries and some servants’ bedrooms, as well as the main reception rooms and family bedrooms. In 2004 it was one of the Trust’s ten most visited paid-entry properties, with over 200,000 visitors.

Fangs #HuaweiP20Pro

Landhydrock House #nationaltrust #huaweip20pro

Landhydrock House #nationaltrust #huaweip20pro

All the above photos were shot on the Huawei P20 Pro. Below some monochrome mode shots of the exterior.

Landhydrock House #nationaltrust #huaweip20pro

Landhydrock House #nationaltrust #huaweip20pro

The interior shots were shot using the night mode as light was fairly dim inside most of the rooms. The lack of light is used to protect paintings and other old items that can deteriorate under bright lighting. The night mode is a hand held mode (no tripod needed or used) that shoots up to 6 seconds. For all of the above shots, the P20 Pro choose a 4 second shutter.

Useful Links

Latest pricing on Huawei P20 Pro, cases & accessories on Amazon UK
Info Source – Wikipedia

Huawei P20 Pro – Shooting at Night with the Camera – It’s a BEAST – Auto vs Night vs Pro mode all compared

The task was simple. Take the new Huawei P20 Pro and see how its 3 rear camera setup performed at night The Huawei P20 Pro is able to take 4-5 second hand held long exposure shots without using a tripod.

So how did it do? Well the shots below were taken in time order just before it went completely dark outside.

The shot above is taken in auto, hand held. The exif data shows is ISO 1,250 and the shutter speed of 0.06 seconds.

However, with a quick flip up to night mode in the Huawei P20 Pro camera app, and the above is a 4 second hand held shot. No tripod and a 4 second long exposure. Super impressive stuff. The ISO is 1,000 with a 4 second shutter speed. Look how much less noise there is in this shot.

But if you happen to have a tripod, the manual modes can perform wonders. This is using night mode again, but with a 8 second shutter speed. The ISO was forced down to ISO 100.

A bit of fun above. Using the light painting mode to capture some car light trails. It is now getting close to total darkness, except for the street lamps. The above shot was a 12.6 seconds exposure with an ISO 64. A tripod was used.

Now while I was using the tripod, I used the dedicated monochrome mode to shoot the above. A 8 second exposure. ISO 50.

I cannot stress enough how pitch black it was inside the church. The above shot is auto mode. The ISO is 12,800 with a 0.06 second exposure. That’s right the ISO went as high as 12,800 in this shot. With a upcoming software update, the P20 Pro will be able to shoot with an ISO as high as 102,000.

But as mentioned above, the Huawei P20 Pro has a special night mode. Now it performed a 5 second hand held long exposure. ISO 3,200. Look at how superb the shot is!

And finally, the shot above was taking in Pro mode, ISO 100 with a 8 second exposure.

Some very impressive shots from the Huawei P20 Pro at night/pitch black.

Soussons Forest, Dartmoor National Park – Shot on the Samsung S9+

Yesterday I visited Soussons Forest in Dartmoor National Park and took some photos with my Galaxy S9+. The above shot in the forest is of 3 of my labradors running along the path. Tiggy is out front with Sophie and George holding up the rear.

Photographing trees allows for some superb tree symmetry.

My 4 labradors loved running along the path. Also it was the first day in ages where it wasn’t snowing.

First shot shows Fury in the lead. And the next shot is of George and Sophie running together.

Stunning views.

The forest colours are fantastic to capture.

The above shot used the 2 times zoom of the S9+. Without the optical zoom the shot would be rubbish. In the distance you can see Bellever Tor.

Catching the sun for that special shot.

And finally, logging occurs in the forest.

Dartmoor National Park – The Snow Roads several days later

2 lanes become 1 because of the snow

The main roads in the South West of England may have all been cleared of snow, but up on Dartmoor National Park, that’s not the case.

Snow landscape on Dartmoor

There is still plenty of snow across the landscape, but due to the blizzard conditions and drifts when it fell from Saturday through to Monday morning, the snow ended up being up to 10ft deep in many places on Dartmoor.

Several days later still snow on the roads on Dartmoor

Even after gritting and ploughing, there is just too much snow in places. Many lanes haven’t been ploughed yet either and are literally filled up as high as car roofs.

Snow Roads on Dartmoor

Is winter over? Nope. The forecast is for more snow next week over Easter. All the above photos were shot on the Samsung Galaxy S9+.

Snow Storm hits Princetown on Dartmoor National Park – Photos from the Samsung Galaxy S9+ featuring Snow Dogs

Snowmageddon on Dartmoor

The snow started falling Saturday 17th March 2018, it briefly stopped for 4 hours on Sunday 18th March between 6am and 10.30am, and then it returned at full pelt until 3am on Monday 19th March 2018. Below are photos taken on the 18th March 2018. All the footage is shot on the Samsung Galaxy S9+.

Plus a short video.

The top photo and the one below are of the road leading out of the village. About 300 yards further down, the road was totally blocked with a huge snow drift lasting about 100 yards.

Snowmageddon on Dartmoor

Snowmageddon on Dartmoor

The above shot is at the entrance to Princetown.

Snowmageddon on Dartmoor

You can just about see the Tors in the distance. This was using the 2 x optical zoom of the S9+. The wind was still very strong.

Heres a tweet showing the road further down, that even caused 4 x 4’s to get stuck, including a Police Land Rover. The local police spent 90 mins digging themselves out.

Heres a short video of the conditions https://www.pscp.tv/w/1OyKANbOmWWGb

Part of the main road in Princetown.

Snowmageddon on Dartmoor

Snowmageddon on Dartmoor

Above, its not snowing anymore, but the wind is blowing strongly.

Snowmageddon on Dartmoor

The snow is deep, in many places with 10ft plus snow drifts. Below Fury, Sophie and Tiggy enjoying the snow.

Snowmageddon on Dartmoor

Nothing stops George from having a run.

Snowmageddon on Dartmoor

Snowmageddon on Dartmoor

Above. Hard to tell the 2 girls apart, but Fury is looking down at Sophie.

Snowmageddon on Dartmoor

Above, Tiggy and Sophie.

Snowmageddon on Dartmoor

Above, George and Sophie.

And has winter left for good? More snow is forecasted over Easter!

Samsung Galaxy S9+ – Camera samples comparing the 2 aperture modes of f/1.5 and f/2.4

So the Samsung Galaxy S9+ and S9 camera is the first to have 2 aperture settings. Either a f/1.5 or f/2.4. In auto mode it decides which aperture to use, but switching to Pro mode and you can choose yourself.

So lets take a look at some examples. I have uploaded the full size versions in this post, so click each photo for more options.

Both the photo above and below were shot in f/1.5. This was inside a church which had no lights on. See other shots further down. Going in close at f/1.5 allows for some great natural bokeh. No need for fake portrait modes, even though the S9 camera does have one!

The level of detail in the shot above is excellent. Blown up on a big screen, the photo looks superb.

Above is using the f/2.4 aperture. A much darker shot and some of the detail has been lost. However, a longer shutter speed of 1/4 second would compensate a little. The S9’s OIS is able to hold the image still for a 1/4 second with ease.

Above is f/1.5 on the fake flower. You can create a great bokeh in this setting.

But shooting at f/2.4 as above, creates a sharper crispier image. It’s handy to have the choice to decide.

Above is shot at f/2.4 and is an actual indication of the true light levels inside the church. This is what all the photos in this post had available for natural light.

Now moving to f/1.5 and what a difference.

So there you have it. Photos of the same scene shot in the different aperture options, allowing some creative control. Or just shoot in auto, and let the S9+ make the call.

Ancient Mystic Trees of Dartmoor National Park – Shot on an iPhone X

Wandering around Dartmoor National Park reveals many glorious sites and depending on the time of day, can completely alter the colours of the landscape.

The trees often have a mystic quality about them. Below are a few photos from the iPhone X. Enjoy.

I really like the natural colours of the trees and growth at ground level.

Switching to HDR black and white created a whole new look.

Sometimes it is just nice to take a pano of the scene.

Even the bridges are pretty old now.

And if you visit Dartmoor National Park, keep a look out for the local security guards 🙂

Shot and Edited on an Apple iPhone X – Snow Drifts & Blizzards – The Beast from the East

My village on Dartmoor National Park was late receiving the snow. It first arrived on 1st March and continued on the 2nd. Last night late into the night, more snow fell. In terms of temperatures, we average minus 15 degrees centigrade at night for a week. (wind chill temp).

However, this morning, its all thawing out. Before we get to the video, here are some photos of my village, Princetown.

The below video was filmed using the default camera app on the iPhone X, then edited using iMovie and Luma Fusion apps on the iPhone.

Enjoy.

Kodak Ektra Smartphone Review – The Camera Phone from Kodak

The Kodak Ektra smartphone is a camera or is it a phone, no its simply an android phone, designed to look like a camera. It looks different and actually is pretty easy to hold due to its shape and textures.

Key Specs

– Processor – MediaTek MT6797 Helio X20 Deca-core, 2x Cortex-A72 @ 2.3GHz, 4x Cortex-A53 @ 2.0GHz,4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.4GHz
– OS Android™ 6.0
– DIMENSION 147.8 x 73.35 x 9.69mm (14.02mmat camera lens)
– DISPLAY 5” FullHD 1920×1080
– CONNECTIVITY BT4.1, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz and 5GHz), GPS/Glonass
– MEMORY 32GB ROM, 3GB RAM
– I/O 3.5mm audio, USB 3.0 Type C, microSD™ (Up to 128 GB)
– Single SIM (Nano(4FF))
– SENSORS Ambient Light, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, E-Compass, Proximity sensor
– AUDIO Speaker, Receiver, Dual MIC
– KEY Camera key, Power key, Volume up/down
– BATTERY 3000mAh, with 5V 2A charging, and Pump Express ready
– APPS Kodak Camera, Gallery, Super 8, Selects curation portal, printing apps; Google’s Snapseed™ editor;
MobiSystems’OfficeSuite and File Commander; AVG AntiVirus

Camera Samples

Main Review

In my main review, I take a closer look at the phone, the software, camera software and photo editing.

Conclusion

The Kodak Ektra came out over a year ago costing over £400. At the figure it was not worth the cost. At less than half that price now, it is a nostalgic piece of kit and fun to use. It has also benefitted from many firmware updates, however, the camera is not a patch on current flagship phones.

Useful Links

Kodak Ektra latest pricing on Amazon UK

London Eye and Waterloo Bridge – Shot on an iPhone 7 Plus – Testing the Zoom on iOS 11

The scene was set. On Thursday, I was standing on the roof terrace of the Institute of Engineering and Technology. The sun was out and I was looking a spectacular view of London. I recently installed the full version of iOS 11, that is, non beta, so lets see how the latest firmware compared.

The above photo is using 2 x optical zoom of Waterloo Bridge. Looks superb.

Above is the same shot of Waterloo Bridge but just using the standard lens. The difference is huge. The sun had temporarily hidden behind some clouds, hence the difference is brightness/colour.

So testing the zoom lens at 2 x optical zoom, we can focus nicely on the London Eye.

The next shot above is of the London Eye, using the normal wide lens.

So despite the iPhone 7 Plus being one year old, it still can perform really well. I cant wait to see how the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X perform against the 7.

Joby GripTight ONE Magnetic Tripod Review

Welcome to my review of the superb Joby GripTight ONE Magnetic Tripod.

Key Features

– Compact Design. Patented, compact, foldable design
– Universal Fit. Fits most smartphones with or without a case
– Quick Release. Stainless steel spring loaded design for quick grip and release of smartphone
– Flexible Base. Flexible gorilla pod legs with rotating ball head and magnetic feet provide endless platforms and creative angles

Main Review

Conclusion

The Joby GripTight One Magnetic Tripod is simply amazing. I have used it in so many different scenarios and with a number of portable devices from my iPhone 7 Plus, Samsung Gear 360 (2017) and Sony RX100 camera. Highly recommended.

Available from Amazon UK.

Aukey Flexible Mini Tripod Review – With Phone Mount & GoPro Stand


The Aukey Mini Flexible Tripod is just £12.99 and yet is a full featured tripod. 

Key Features 

– Extremely flexible and versatile tripod for amazing images with an extensive range of phones and cameras.

– Total freedom to capture super-steady shots and videos anytime, anywhere. Fix your phone or camera to tree branches, railings, furniture, and more. Stable standing on sloping and uneven surfaces

– Get the perfect position. Highly adjustable tripod with tilting & rotating ball mount, pivoting legs, and twenty-seven full flex leg parts

– Fits phones up to 5.7″ screen size and a diverse range of cameras from DSLR to compact to GoPro. Also suitable for other devices with 1/4″ screw mounting point. If your phone is larger you just need to use a different phone mount. 

– Maximum Load: 800g 

– Phone Mount Width: 55-70mm 

– Leg Length: 210mm 

– Folded Length: 270mm 

– Weight: 207g 

– Package Contents: AUKEY CP-T03 Flexible Tripod, Phone Mount, GoPro Camera Mount, Two 1/4″ Mounts, 24-Month Warranty Card

Available from Amazon UK.

Video Review 

Shot on the LG V20 – Cotehele House

Yesterday, I showed you a few photos of Cotehele House with some macros of the flowers and insects found in the gardens.

But sometimes you need a super wide angle lens when visiting places to capture the whole room or view. The LG V20 has 2 lenses on the rear, a standard 16mp and a super wide 8mp lens. In terms of raw image quality the iPhone 7 Plus is better but the LG V20 has many tricks up its sleeve.

For example, it has a removable battery, infra red blaster for controlling your TV’s and aircon units, a HiFi Quad DAC, able to power headphones up to 600ohms, a headphone jack too, pro manual video and photo modes on the camera and a secondary display on the front. There’s more too, a real geeks phone!

Anyway, going back to the camera, below are those special wide angle photos from the LG V20 that most phones cannot capture.

If you scroll back a post to the iPhone 7 Plus shot of the rear of the house, this was the same spot I was standing when I took this one with the LG V20. The difference is massive as to how much more you can capture of the scene.

Another side shot. Again, there is a comparison from my post yesterday using the iPhone 7 Plus, standing in the same position.

Here you can capture the whole pond and surrounding area.

The super wide lens makes it a breeze to capture the entire room, all 3 walls and ceiling.

Even when you cant step back any further, you can still get the whole scene in the photo.

Obviously, being super wide does create some curving at the edges.

Overall, for sight seeing, the LG V20 was invaluable.