Category: General

The Langtree Tractor Run 2017

The Langtree Tractor Run 2017

Yesterday was Fathers Day. It was also the Langtree Tractor Run. This sounded like fun and it was for a good cause for our local pre school, Little Bears, so we booked up in advance and spent the week checking the weather forecast. It looked like it was going to be hot!

So, yesterday we headed out armed with hats, suncream and water and went to Langtree. We weren’t too sure what to expect, other than it was a tractor run with about 50 tractors!

The timings seemed a little vague on how long the run was and having never done it before we really just had no idea…

We set off from a field in Langtree on 1 of the 3 trailers, with what then looked like the other tractors jostling and squabbling for position.

Through the farm and down a track to the road.

Now I must say at this stage, these photos are taken from back of a bouncy trailer with nothing really to lean on or indeed focus on!

We’d been going for a while now, but checking the map we had found, it seemed like a long route and we hadn’t travelled far…

Then off roading again to more tracks and across fields.

Through more farms…

and fields, well it was a tractor run…

We eventually, an 1hr 30mins later, made it to the half way point, Shebbear Village square!

A chance to stretch our legs…

before getting back on the trailer and heading back towards Langtree, via many places I hadn’t been.

It was great to just sit there and watch the countryside go by, wave and people and looking over all the hedgerows.

The whole trip from leaving to getting back was around 3 hours. A little uncomfortable at times bouncing up and down on the wood benches in the trailer. The other trailer had a sofa and even some covering but we survived and was rewarded with a great roast meal and amazing ice creams at the end.

The kids enjoyed it, mostly, and so did we, although it was a little long but definitely something you should do at least once.

Vertoramas at the Gorge

Vertoramas at the Gorge

Vertorama photos can be great fun and have a real impact on the viewer.

If you don’t know, a Vertorama is a vertical panorama with images stitched together vertically. It can take a bit of practice to get them right, but the result is worth it.

They can be made from stitching just 2 images together, or multiple images.

I recently visited Lynford Gorge and this was a great chance to take some.

My first chance was when walking towards the Devils Cauldron, there were some very tall trees that I wanted to try and capture and show the height of them.

This images is composed of 6 images in totals.

My second vertorama was a lot more tricky, is was down in the cauldron itself. The lighting at the bottom where the water flowed was dark, in the middle, even less light then towards the top a lot brighter, making the exposure range very wide. Even so, I think it worked out ok. A couple of the exposure were 1/4 to 1/2 second, hand held.

Again, this was 6 images, stitched together.

My final vertorama was a lot easier. Just 2 images, but it really adds impact to the photo by showing it in this manner.

Vertoramas can be fun and it can seem like you are shooting in meduim format when you create the final image, at least with the 2 image versions.

This is something I am going to be doing more of and will be offering some tuition on it too!

I have more vertorama images in my Vertoramas Gallery

Free Texture No1

Free Texture No1

As I mentioned and promised recently I am giving away one of my new textures for free and all I ask in return, is for you to like my Facebook page.

Facebook.com/LeeOrchardPhotography

So, my first free texture is this one. It is of view old stonework. The file is a jpg image, 5000px across the long edge @ 300dpi and is profiled to AdobeRGB. Oh and it is a 10mb file.

It is free to download and use as you like for personal and commercial use. If you would like to link back to me via Twitter (@LeoPhotography) Instagram (@LeoPhotographyUK) or Facebook (@LeeOrchardPhotography), that is much appreciated, but not required.


Click the thumbnail to open the file.

Once the image has opened, you can save it to your computer using the save option on right mouse click menu.

Here is an image I have created using it.

I hope you like my first texture giveaway and I hope to see some of your creations using it.

Handmade Cards

Handmade Cards

Occasionally I get to photograph something a little different.

I know a lady who creates lovely handmade cards and over the past few years I have got to photograph them for her website. I must have photographed over 50 cards, but it seems that I never blogged about them. So, time to change that!

This image shows a couple of the cards from the recent batch. I have put them together in a mini squared layout for ease of showing on them on the blog.

These are simple to photograph, but not so easy if you don’t have the right setup. I can offer crafters and other creative artists the service to have their work photographed and a reasonable price.

First Month in Devon

First Month in Devon

Well, we have now been living in Devon for about a month. Have we enjoyed it? Oh yes! Is it different? Very!

You have to plan ahead more. This is mainly because we are now a bit remote and don’t have shops on our dropstep any more.

What we do have on our doorstep though, makes up for it!

We have lots of open space.

which has made for some great sunsets, which are either just outside my front door, or a little walk around the village.

The dark night skies have enabled me to experiment a bit more with my night photography. I can take them from the back garden and although there is a street light in the distance I can turn a little to remove any light from the photo. I’ve included a little light in this one as I think it adds to the photo.

One of the main reasons we chose where we now are, was its location. We are quite close to all sorts of places, the Moors and the coasts. So we have been out exploring.

The rough sea and rocks of Bude are very dramatic

And next to Bude, Widemouth Bay, which is also very impressive, (I’ve added more Widemouth Bay photos to the Landscapes Galleries)

and Westward Ho! which took us totally by surprise.

Finally, one of the Moors, which I have to admit I have been most excited about visiting. We went to Dartmoor, or should I say the very edge of it.

It was still impressive and I think the first time I have seen close up or crossed a dam.

So, exploring our new area is definitely fun and is going to be a great adventure!

First Visit to Dartmoor

First Visit to Dartmoor

One of the places that I really looked forward to visiting when we moved to Devon was Dartmoor.

But where…

Dartmoor is massive! I asked a few people on the #DartmoorHour Twitter feed and got some suggestions.

At the moment we are a bit restricted by a pram but we gave it a go.

So, we choose Meldon Reservoir for our first visit. Initially it was easy going on a stone path, then the dam itself. It then got a bit more tricky down the edge of the reservoir.

After our initial attempt, and our little one deciding she wanted out of the pram, we started afresh carrying her.

The views over the reservoir were pretty amazing as were the surrounding views and the dam too!

There were of course also sheep wandering around?

You can’t walk all around the reservoir these days, do we decided we should head up and see the views. It’s quite steep and can be a bit of a slog if you head directly up it like I did (I wanted to get to the top).

However, ‘the top’ wasn’t quite the top and the kids were running out of steam, so we headed back down and left the ascent for another day.

Windswept and a bit tired we headed back to the car.

Old Cameras

Old Cameras

So, following on from my bottles I decided to photograph some old cameras.

I love old cameras and have a couple myself, but I wanted to created some product style photos but, just straight forward shots on a white back. So nothing fancy to make the photo look old, just clean cut.

I started with an oldie.

and worked my way through the years, this one from the 50s

60s or 70s I believe

then, my first ever camera

right up to a modern day DSLR (albeit a few years old now)

I wanted a low angle on the cameras to make them stand out a bit. I did change the angle a bit on the SLR, but prefer the others.

This is a very simple setup and one I can teach anyone who wanted to take a product style shot. Very quick to do and requires virtually no post editing either.

Photographing Bottles

Photographing Bottles

Sometimes when tutoring you get asked about a specific thing a bit more unusual than normal. This happened today.

Whilst doing a Lightroom session we were discussing past studio work that I had helped out with and the current products that were being photographed were bottles. To be precise, bottles of wine for a large supermarket chain!

I had photographed bottle products before but couldn’t quite remember my setup, so a quick bit of research and also adjusting for the fact that we weren’t in a studio, we set up the light and made some minor adjustments to how it could work and took some shots. They came out well and we wound up the session and I headed home.

I wanted to give it ago in my studio when I got home, so I setup 3 lights. 1 large octagon light as the back light and 2 rectangular soft boxes, one on each side.

I took 6 photos and selected the last couple to show. From starting to set up the lights to final photo was no longer than 20mins and this photos are straight out the camera with just a crop and minor highlight tweak in Lightroom. They are not cutout so the small block at the bottom is a toy brick and is what the bottle was perched on! If this was a ‘proper’ shoot, I would have edited out the wooden block!

The first photo is with both sidelight vertically positioned, creating 2 lines down the bottle.

The next image is with the right light rotated through 90 degrees, this makes a light instead of a strip.

My soft boxes also have a grid in them and this is shown in the highlight on the bottle.

I am not a great wine drinker, so the first bottle I found, was in fact one I had kept for photographing at some point. I was then going to find a wine bottle and try that and remove the grids, but my studio got taken over by Nat, photographing other bits so the other bottle shots will have to follow later.

I think there is some improvement to be made on this so will have another go and show the results too.

Very Lacking…

Very Lacking…

I have to say, that my blog entries on this site this year have been very lacking.

I don’t know if people still read this blog now, but I do need to try and post more often. I have posted regularly on my other site, but this side of my photography has been quiet recently as I have been concentrating on my portraits.

My latest shoot was a pre christening photo shoot for a family just before they went to the church. I’d setup a studio in his surgery and took photos of the family and children. It was definitely a different type of shoot to normal.

I’ve also been trying to build my tuition sessions, although it has been quiet over the summer.

So unfortunately all that coupled together has meant there hasn’t been much to talk about on this blog.

Interesting First Quarter to the Year

Interesting First Quarter to the Year

It’s been an interesting start to the year.

On the tutoring front, I’ve continued Lightroon tuition, done some Mac basics sessions, more Lightroom & helped the same person with studio lighting setups & product shots and lastly fixed an email problem for a lady who’d been having problems for months.

With photography, I’ve done 2 maternity shoots, plus our own. A promotional shoot for an osteopath, lingerie shoots, bodyscapes, a couple ‘statues’ shoot and a fashion shoot!

What a great first quarter of the year! Looking forward to the next quarter.