Posted by: digibirder | May 29, 2010

Managed a trip out

Well, after all the hoo-haa leading up to the craft fair, I now have a bit of time to get out and about. We did have a little outing into the Peak District today, but it was a bit of a washout, as it rained most of the time. I took my camera gear along, but didn’t take one photo. We walked along part of the Monsal Trail from the old Bakewell Station, then back into Bakewell. It was heaving with people, as there was a farmers’ market and a dog show, so we didn’t hang about too long. We did go into a couple of craft fairs, though, but they seemed as deserted as the one I was at last weekend, despite all the crowds in the town. The lady on the next stand to me at last week’s fair was at one of the craft fairs in Bakewell, and she said that they weren’t getting many people in. It seems to be a matter of luck whether you happen to pick a location and date that is popular with the customers.

At last week’s craft fair someone picked up my card and I received an email from them a couple of days ago regarding another craft fair next weekend in Gainsborough. It’s a bit of a journey for me, but there is also a riverside festival happening that weekend, so that might bring in a few more people. As it’s only £15 I might give it a go, if they have space. She was obviously visiting last week’s fair to drum up some stall-holders for this up-coming event. At least I have plenty of stock left, but then there is the Braithwell Show the following week where I’m sharing a stall with my sister, so if I have good sales next week I will end up a bit short of stuff for that one!

Anyway, yesterday was a glorious day and we went up into the Yorkshire Dales. I had been wanting to find a bluebell wood, so we went to Middleton Woods near Ilkley. As it turned out, we were a little late, as they were past their best, but I managed some decent shots. On our return from the walk, we headed into the town and found a restaurant where we treated ourselves to a delicious lunch, and some rather tasty wine. Not cheap, but very good.

I used my new Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens for all these images, which I am finding to be an excellent lens for the price. I’ve also been playing with my new eBay-bought flashgun, which is also very good. We went down to Old Moor last week and gave it a test run. The images are much better exposed than with the pop-up flash, but I need more practice with it, especially with more creative off-camera side-lit shots.

I have also obtained a fantastic programme that will help when I start offering portrait sessions – it’s called Portrait Professional, and it is amazing what it can do with wrinkles and other skin blemishes, without looking too false. Some of the things it does are a little over-the-top, like the face re-shaping, but if you tone down the effects a little it can give portraits a very professional look. It’s also a lot of fun! Here’s an image of Keith from our 25th anniversary portrait session that I played with. It’s probably a bit over-processed, but it gives some idea of what’s possible. It certainly saves hours in Photoshop trying to get the same effect.

Not sure what we’ll be doing for the rest of the weekend – probably staying put, since it’s a Bank Holiday and everywhere will be packed. I think I may try and get some flash/macro shots of some plants and flowers we bought yesterday. They might come in handy for cards and prints for future fairs. I am also trying to design a logo for my business, to be used on business cards and website, etc, so the images may be OK for that purpose. I called into a printing studio in Sheffield the other day, to ask the price of having a logo designed, but it was a bit out of my price range so I’m having a go myself. Not that I have any design skills to speak of! I have one or two ideas, so I may run them past you all when I have something down on paper.



  1. pics with that lens nice and sharp!

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