Brian A Keen Fine Art

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Photos of The Month

A selection of recent personal favorite photographs from the galleries. (click the thumbnails below to enlarge).

Welcome

This web site was first created in 2004 as a showcase for my two main hobbies: photography and painting.

As well as containing galleries to display my work, there are monthly news pages. These serve as a 'blog' containing day-to-day ramblings about my photography and painting. The news pages also describe any major updates to the web site.

There are pages containing information about my photography tools and techniques. Technical details about the web site construction and the underlying database are also included for anyone who might be interested.

The web site is continually evolving and improving as I learn more about web design and attempt to conform to the ever-changing design standards. I am not a professional web designer, so I hope you will forgive technical or spelling errors etc. I would rather spend my time taking photographs or painting than spend hours creating a technically perfect web site that works on all browsers and platforms. The pages are often checked using the W3C Markup Validation Service. There are too many browsers out there to check them all but I do try and verify that the pages are rendered correctly on the latest versions of Internet Explorer and Firefox running with a display resolution of 1024x768 pixels.

I deliberately keep most of the images uploaded to the website small (usually only 400 pixels or less on the longest side). This reduces storage requirements, upload and download times and helps prevent unauthorised copying for commercial use.

I hope you enjoy my pictures. The galleries are frequently updated as more images are added, so do come back and see what's new.

Brian

Photo Gallery Slideshow

A selection of colour photographs from the galleries.

News: Apr 2014

Photography News
Morning Mist.

There was some early morning mist and fog on Easter Monday (21st April). It's fairly unusual to get mist at this time of year; it was partly down to the rain the previous day.

It's a shame the bluebells were not yet at their best until later in the month as mist can produce some really nice effects. The mist takes on the blue colour reflected up from the flowers. As it was a bank holiday I expect my favorite bluebell location (Dockey Wood in Ashridge) would have been too crowded for photography in any case.

I photographed the poplar trees around Willen Lake using my Canon G11.

Willen Lake Trees Willen Lake Trees Willen Lake Trees Willen Lake Trees Willen Lake Trees Willen Lake Trees

Some of the images were converted to monochrome and split toned using Adobe Raw.

Willen Lake Trees Willen Lake Trees

The unusual trees by the lake shore in front of The Premier Inn provide interesting, spooky silhouetes. The morning sun is just visible in the mist. The images are enhanced by converting to monochrome and split toning.

Willen Lake Trees Willen Lake Tree Willen Lake Tree Willen Lake Tree
Gallery Updates.
  • 'Colour, Beds, Bucks & Herts' gallery
  • 'B&W, Beds, Bucks & Herts' gallery

News: Mar 2014

Photography News
London.

We spent a day photographing in London on Saturday 1st March. This included a visit to one of London's cemeteries, Trafalgar Square followed by a walk down the south bank of the river to photograph Tower Bridge at dusk. On the way we photographed anything that caught our eye including the graffiti and skateboard park at the Southbank Centre.

Paddington Old Cemetery.

The original intention was to visit Kensal Green Cemetery but after a navigational error (we had no map) we ended up at the nearby smaller Paddington Old Cemetery instead. Unfortunately the main chapel building near the center of the grounds was being renovated and was fenced off.

Paddington Cemetery Paddington Cemetery Paddington Cemetery Paddington Cemetery

we found a few shots on the short walk back to Queens Park tube station.

Peeling Paint Urban Decay Blue Door Grey Wall
Trafalgar Square.

A few not very imaginative shots around Trafalgar Square on the way to Waterloo Bridge and the south bank.

Pall Mall Yoda Blue Cock Canadian Embassy
South Bank.

There were the usual street artists and an old-fashioned merry-go-round. I deliberately used a slow shutter speed to blur the movement.

Merry Go Round Merry Go Round
Southbank Skate Park.

The Southbank Centre Skate Park has plenty of interesting graffiti but is quite dark for photography. Without flash, the skateboarders are inevitably blurred. There are more images in the 'Colour Graffiti' gallery.

Graffiti Graffiti
Blackfriars Bridge.

Some not very original shots around Blackfriars Bridge.

Blackfriars Bridge Blackfriars Bridge Blackfriars Bridge Blackfriars Bridge

A captured moment - a little girl and her sister find a flower washed up on the river bank.

Girls abd Flower
St. Paul's.

The almost mandatory postcard/tourist images looking across the river to St. Paul's. In my defence, the light and clouds did look quite good that day.

St Pauls St Pauls
Tate Modern.

The girl wearing red caught my eye. The low light meant the two girls were blurred which helps convey the impression of movement.

Girls Walking
Millenium Bridge.

Another classic postcard image.

Millenium Bridge Millenium Bridge
Hays Galleria.

The Navigators sculpture by David Kemp. It really needed a tripod because the light inside the Galleria was so dim.

Hays Galleria Hays Galleria Hays Galleria
Wall Poster.

It would have been nice to pose a figure in front.

Wall Poster
Tower Bridge.

The best time to photograph the bridge is at dusk when the floodlights are switched on but there is still some light in the sky. I had no tripod with me, so had to find somewhere to rest the camera.

Tower Bridge Tower Bridge Tower Bridge
Thames skyline at dusk.

A couple of shots looking west from Tower Bridge.

Thames Skyline Thames Skyline
Tower Bridge Medium Format.

I made a return visit to Tower Bridge late in the afternoon a couple of weeks later. This time I took my medium format kit, velvia film and a tripod. Unfortunately there were no clouds in the sky, but the results are not too bad.

I scanned the film using an Epson 4870 photo flatbed scanner using 8000x6000 pixels and 48bits/pixel. This gave a large high resolution 48M pixel image. To avoid accentuating any grain in the sky, I selectively applied USM to the bridge only. I selectively applied a noise filter to the sky area to get a nice smooth graded tone with virtually no visible grain. You won't see the difference on the much smaller image on the website.

Tower Bridge Shard

I couldn't resist a couple of shots of the illuminated glass RPC building on the way back to Tower Bridge tube station. I like the way you can see right inside the building. It reminded me of looking into an aquarium.

RPC Building
Local Images.

These back lit reeds by the river were shot early one cold morning during 'the golden hour'. The orange light from the low sun was perfect. Preventing lens flare is tricky when shooting into the light.

Reeds
Mist.

A succession of misty mornings with no wind produced some interesting local images, both in colour and monochrome.

I really enjoy photographing in misty weather. It is a great way to isolate the subject from otherwise obtrusive backgrounds. The soft diffused light gives delicate tones and desaturated colours. Most of these were shot around Campbell Park.

Peace Pagoda Crows Diamonds Memorial Columns Object Sculpture Willen Lake Lamps Lamp Lost In Space Talk To The Trees Armillary Sphere Misty Trees

I added a sky with an ominous dark cloud from another photograph to accentuate the 'shelter' sculpture. It also helps balance the composition.

Shelter
Daffodils.

A repeat shot of daffodils with the Holy Trinity Church in the background.

Daffodils
Gallery Updates.
  • 'Colour, Beds, Bucks & Herts' gallery
  • 'B&W, Beds, Bucks & Herts' gallery
  • 'Colour, Macro' gallery
  • 'Colour, London' gallery

News: Feb 2014

Photography News
Local Images.

This mute swan obligingly posed for me with the Holy Trinity Church in the background.

Mute Swan

Colourful patterns on an old log.

Log Patterns

Graffiti under a bridge.

Graffiti

Shadows.

Shadows
Gallery Updates.
  • 'Colour, Beds, Bucks & Herts' gallery
  • 'Colour, Macro' gallery

News: Jan 2014

Photography News
Storms.

The start of 2014 brought heavy rain and storms. When the sun did manage to appear between the clouds, it created some nice lighting for photography. It did mean braving the showers, being prepared to get wet and waiting for the right conditions.

Approaching Storm
Mackerel Sky.

A classic mackerel sky (altocumulus clouds) shot early one morning following a disintegrating frontal system.

Mackerel Sky Mackerel Sky Mackerel Sky Mackerel Sky
Frozen Leaves.

A couple of cold mornings made for some interesting macro images of frost covered leaves. I used my Canon G11 hand held which unfortunately meant not all the images were sharp. Next time I will take my Nikon, macro lens and a tripod.

Frosty Leaves Frosty Leaves
Wrest Park, Bedfordshire.

Wrest Park is open at weekends (10:00 - 16:00) in winter. Being out of season has the advantage of fewer people to get in the way. You can have the gardens almost to yourself for the first hour or so after opening. Choosing a Sunday with bright weather meant not having to wait around for the light.

Unfortunately, the much photographed shadow patterns inside The Orangery cannot be seen at this time of year as the sun is too low.

I mainly used my Nikon D200 but also took my Nikon FE with a roll of precious outdated Kodak HIE infrared film.

The Pavilion mad a good subject for infrared. Puddles created reflections that added foreground interest and helped the composition.

Pavillion Pavillion Pavillion

Te sun was not in the right position to get a decent image of the Bath House. To avoid ending up with a silhouette, I tried a different angle using a path to create a lead-in for the eye. Unfortunately the foreground was in shadow so the resulting image is not that strong.

Bath House

Below is a selection of colour and monochrome images from Wrest Park. The full set of images can be found in the 'Colour, Beds, Bucks & Herts' and 'B&W, Beds, Bucks & Herts' galleries.

Orangery Pavillion Shadow Swan Lake Orangery Pavillion Statue Bowling Green House Pavillion Dome HDR Wrest Park House
Segenhoe Church, Bedfordshire.

We visited the church ruin near Ridgemont on the way back from Wrest Park. It was almost dark with a clear sky and full moon. Obtaining the correct exposure for both church and moon was impossible. With hindsight I could have shot 2 or more frames and combined them into a single HDR image.

Segenhoe Church Segenhoe Church
Frost and Ice.

Some local macro shots of frost and ice patterns.

Ice Patterns Ice Patterns Ice Patterns Ice Patterns Ice Patterns Ice Patterns Frosty Bramble
Rosebery Music Room.

I managed to capture some pink skies and clouds by getting up early one morning. The clouds also look good when converted to mono.

Rosebery Music Room Rosebery Music Room

A pair of Swans on the fish ponds behind the church made an interesting foreground.

Rosebery Music Room
Misty Morning.

Trees on a cold January morning with a weak winter sun breaking though the fog.

Tree Reflection Saplings In Mist
Tree In Mist Tree In Mist Tree In Mist
Gallery Updates.
  • 'Colour, Beds, Bucks & Herts' gallery
  • 'B&W, Beds, Bucks & Herts' gallery
  • 'Colour, Macro' gallery
  • 'Mono, Macro' gallery
  • 'Infrared' gallery
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