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Newsletter week 20

Morning All !

This week we have the pleasure of reading Paul Cooper's guest edition which I know you will find interesting.

Well done Paul !!

Don't forget that if any of you wish to write a guest edition, just let me know.



Hi Guys, I’m this week's guest editor for edition No20. When first asked by Derek to guest edit this issue, I initially wrote about taking images of comet Neowise. That ran to three pages on its own so I have cut my cloth and will follow Maru’s excellent example.   Congratulations😀, to Amanda for winning last weeks “My Garden” lockdown competition with "Feed me".  Well done Amanda! Next week it’s “"National Trust or English Heritage Properties" - please submit your entries as soon as possible, deadline Wed Noon. Firstly, my background;  I was a home birth in Newquay and my first (and best ever) house was in Marazion overlooking the Mount. After my daughter, Tamsen was born I left the Merchant Navy (as 5 months away was too long) and worked for Marconi Radar in Chelmsford, Essex for the rest of my career. My wife of 35 years died unexpectedly of kidney failure which made both work and Essex seem pointless and so I took slightly early retirement and returned to Cornwall and most of my family. Lockdown for me was almost total isolation.  My daughter was insistent I didn’t go shopping so Doogie, a mischievous miniature dachshund, and Scruffy, a  senile Border Terrier kept me company over the weeks of the pandemic.  We are now venturing out again, but still avoiding crowded events and areas.

After reading a recent article on an exploding beef-burger, and with the lockdown competition “Still life” looming through the Mizzle I decided to nail some pallet wood together, with some fishing line and try this genre for myself.

Exploding beefburger set-up
Exploding beefburger set-up

Like Maru, I had also experimented with f stops through lockdown so I knew roughly where to start (f8) to have the whole ‘explosion’ in focus but I experimented with the lens height from level with the plate (rubbish) through the image left to near verticle (also rubbish!).

The best angle is from slightly above, but not vertical. You may need to twist some of the food to present its best side.

Exploding beefburger result

Lessons learned;  

  • Don't use fishing line (it's too shiny and hard to edit out); 

  • Don't daisy-chain the fishing line through several levels as lettuce is lots lighter than tomato and the gaps look wrong; 

  • Don’t use burger cheese (it’s too thin and the lines cut it - this piece has a plastic support under it)

  • I did use two lines per level but they were a bit too close together. When I poured on the sauce I had a cascade of food debris as the lines were not wide enough to balance everything.

  • Don’t use this genre for out-of-camera competitions; it NEEDS post-processing!

  • Don't accidentally kick sleeping dogs (they get grumpy!)

As a first attempt, the result is good enough to encourage me to try again but is not as polished as the article that triggered the attempt.

I hope you are well, and happy and I am looking forward to the return of normality of ‘The Space’ as soon as it is safe to do so.

All the very best,  Paul


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