Brian A Keen Fine Art

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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 - 2015

Monthly Photography, Painting and Website news for the year.

Photos of The Year

A selection of personal favorite photographs for the year with larger image sizes. (click the thumbnails below to enlarge).

News: Jan 2015

Website News
Gallery Selection.

Until now, there was no sensible scheme to define the order in which each gallery is visited when using the 'Prev Galley' and 'Next Gallery' buttons. The same thing applies to the order of the galleries in the 'Select Gallery' pull down list. To avoid reordering the list when new galleries were added, they were simply appended to the end of the list.

I have now added some Javascript to sort the gallery list alphabetically using the name that appears in the 'Select Gallery' pull down list. As all the gallery names are prefixed with either 'B&W' or 'Colour', all the monochrome galleries now appear together before the 'Colour' galleries (as 'B' comes before 'C'). After sorting, the first gallery is now 'B&W Abstract' instead of 'B&W Infrared'.

Gallery Navigation Button Help.

A 'name' field has been added to the gallery navigation buttons. Browsers display the name text in a 'help' pop up when the mouse hovers over the button.

Photos Of The Year Titles.

Previously, image titles only appeared when the mouse hovered over the thumnail. This has been changed so that titles are always displayed.

News Gallery Links.

Links to gallery images from the news pages are now displayed as semi transparent when the mouse hovers over them.

Image links in navigation panes on the gallery pages and now behave in the same way.

Photography News

Another year rolls by. Images from 2014 have now been moved into the 'news archive' pages.

Robin (Thu 15th Jan).

This is the same robin I photographed in the Holy Trinity Churchyard at the end of last year. For a few days, I left scraps of bacon fat, earth worms and bread crumbs on top of some of the gravestones as bait. The same robin would usually appear within five minutes of setting up my tripod so it must have learnt that there would be free food. The bird became tame enough for me to get in close wih my 105mm Macro lens. It almost seemed like it was deliberately posing.

Robin Robin Robin
Woughton Sunrise (Sat 17th Jan).

The weather forecast was for early morning frost with the possibility of snow. When I woke it was still almost dark but there was a hint of light in the sky that looked promising. I grabbed my camera kit and tripod and went out before breakfast. I headed to Woughton and used a wide angle lens to capture the sunrise over the frozen water.

I shot 5 frames with one stop exposure difference between each and processed them using Photomatix software to create an HDR image.

Sunrise
Nikon D200 Focus Mode Switch guard (Sat 17th Jan).

After uploading the first set of sunrise images to my PC, I found that some were not in sharp focus.

I discovered the focus mode switch on the D200 was set to 'manual'. The switch is located near the lens mount and I must have knocked it when I changed lenses. Luckily, for some images, the manual focus position was set to infinity. The depth of field on the wide angle lens meant I just about got away with it.

The position of the focus mode switch is an annoying design flaw on the D200. I have accidently knocked it several times - usually when changing lenses or when taking the camera out of my backpack. I think the camera strap sometimes catches on it.

Sometimes it is obvious when looking though the viewfinder that the lens is not in focus. The missing focus 'beep' from the camera also provides a warning but you don't always notice.

I decided to fabricate a guard for the switch made from a sheet of 20 tho' clear PVC. The PVC is thin enough to cut with scissors. I attached the guard to the front of the camera just below the lens mount using double sided tape. Hopefully it will shield the switch from being moved by accident in future.

Focus Mode Guard
Sunrise Revisited (Tue 20th Jan).

With another early morning frost forecast, I decided to get up early once again for the sunrise at Woughton.

This time, as there was less cloud in the sky, I balanced the exposure for the sky and frozen water using a graduated grey filter. I tried using both ND4 and ND8 filters.

I also tried some shots in portrait mode with the tripod set low to the ground to get some foreground detail. The images were processed as HDR.

I think the sky looks more interesting than my previous attempt at the weekend when I had the focus problem.

Sunrise Sunrise
Oak Tree (Tue 20th Jan).

After shooting the sunrise, I decided to try using a nearby oak tree while there was still some colour in the sky. The images were also processed as HDR.

Oak Tree Oak Tree
Golden Church (Tue 20th Jan).

On my way back, I couldn't resist photographing the Holy Trinity Church reflected in the frozen fishponds. The early morning golden light was perfect. Although I've taken a similar shot in the past, the clouds helped improve the composition.

GoldenChurch
Robin Revisited (Tue 20th Jan).

Some more macro shots of the robin in the same churchyard location. As before, the bird posed nicely for me and allowed me to get close enough to fill the frame using my macro lens. The results are pin sharp when viewed at full size and resolution.

Robin Robin Robin Robin Robin
Willen Lake (Fri 23rd Jan).

Another frosty morning and another early start. This time to catch the sunrise at Willen Lake. It was bitter cold (-5degC at around 07:30am).

Although there was some colour in the sky, Willen Lake itself is not particularly photogenic. It really needed a focal point such as a boat or tree. There were wild fowl on the water, but they usually end up blurred when using slow shutter speeds. I took a few quick shots using a grad ND8 filter to darken the sky before moving on to the Peace Pagoda.

Willen Lake

I was hoping for a better sky at the Peace Pagoda. Shooting into the light meant combining 5 bracketed frames using HDR to avoid ending up with a silhouette and burnt out highlights. The result was ok but nothing special.

Peace Pagoda
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