Category Archives: Photography

Monochrome at the National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London

Monochrome was one of those exhibitions at the National Gallery that  I booked for more out of a sense of duty. How wrong I was!! it was fantastic. It was amazing that drawings and paintings looked so much more 3D in black and white than in colour.

‘La Grande Odalisque’ in black and white. The pillars are in the glaring yellow colour of the last room of the exhibition

Ingres’s  (1780-1867) La Grande Odalisque was so much more sensual and fleshy in monochrome than in colour. You have to go to the exhibition and see Ingres’s own black and white version to see just what I mean.

Ingres’s La Grande Odalisque in colour

The  paintings and drawings of stone sculptures were so life-like you could imagine that seen by candlelight without bright daylight or electricity viewers would believe they were real. Some incredible trompe l’oeil. A must see.

Image of a young girl painted to look like a photograph


Once photography became commonplace, some artists regarded it as an enemy. Others like the author of this delightful portrait of a young girl meant his work  to be like a photograph. Artists were told to Imitate,  Rival or Challenge.

My only caveat. The last room deigned by Olaf Eliasson  was lit entirely in very bright yellow – ostensibly to make it easier to see details. But I ended up with flickering lights behind my left eye for ages. I think there should have been a warning and the possibility of missing that room – though I couldn’t have known it would affect me so adversely.

Morley Further Education College, London SE1 7HT

Autumn Course Guide 2017

It’s that time again – enrolment for the Autumn term 2017.

It’s a great time for me – choosing which subjects I’m going to study though, with cuts in funding, courses are much more expensive than they used to be. When I first retired, I could afford to attend courses every day, sometime twice a day, but the cost is now prohibitive though still excellent value.


I took some Summer Courses this year including  an excellent two-day ‘Getting to know your digital camera’ at Morley. I have a Canon Compact camera and feel most ashamed that I’ve been using it entirely on Automatic when it has so many facilities you only get with an SLR.  Shame on me.

I use Photoshop CC for touching up my images but the course introduced me to Lightroom – a whole new ballpark. I’ve ordered a couple of manuals from my library and will see which I prefer – pros and cons!!


Red sky in the morning Shepherd's warning
Red sky in the morning Shepherd’s warning

Until I booked for the One to One training course at the Nikon School just off Oxford Street Schools I had no idea of the many functions of my Coolpix 340p Camera. My photography course at the Mary Ward Centre had been excellent but with us all having different compact cameras the tutor could only point out some of the features and the thick manual is daunting. I never managed to get good pictures of dark skies – the inbuilt meter over compensated and they look like daylight.

New Red Constellation
New Red Constellation

The many cranes in London with their red warning lights make you think there are new red constellations in the night sky.

Photography 2 – Lines and repetitions

Ready for recycling
Ready for recycling

This week we went out into Queen Square to photograph lines and repetitions. I am so used to just snapping photos before someone moves out or into the frame. It’s quite different taking the time to compose the picture.

Can't have too many pockets
Can’t be too rich or  have too many pockets . The case has 5 large pockets  and one zipped pocket inside

Finally found a Briggs and Riley briefcase which doubles as a handbag and carry-all with a pocket large enough to take my laptop. A band at the back allows me to hang it on the pull-out handles on my luggage cases.

Photography at the Mary Ward Centre


Taking what promises to be an excellent photography course at the Mary Ward Centre.
After I lost my simpler digital camera I got talked into buying a Nikon 340 which has a fantastic lens and a huge number of possible settings. I joined the course to discover how to use them.

Using the MACRO setting
A late blooming white rose

During the first lesson we went out into Queen Square and took a number of shots using the macro setting, focussing on a near object and then swivelling to take in the distance which would then be blurred.  Great technique.