Day 4 : Balancing Act

Day 4 of the Missing Pages at challenge was all about white balance. They did suggest doing a sunrise and sunset shoot, But after a misspent youth 🙂 I prefer the comforts of a bed or my favourite bar enjoying all the varieties of rum they have.

So I adapted slightly by using some plastic containers against a white background. The day is very overcast with heavy rain clouds – the UK April Showers living up to their name! They were shot at f3.5 with a shutter speed of 1/12 to 1/80
AWB – Auto White Balance:

This has done a reasonable job given the conditions.It does need some work in Lightroom 5 but a good effort.

Day Light White Balance :

Horace Daylight white Balance

Horace Daylight white Balance

I think this is very dull. I tried it later in the garden and it did a much better job. So I will give it some more practice when I am out and about.

Cloudy White Balance :

Horace Cloudy White Balance

Horace Cloudy White Balance

I can see where the algorythms have tried to warm the picture but it still looks “muddy” to me

Tungsten White Balance :

Horace Tungsten White Balance

Horace Tungsten White Balance

The famous “blue reef” effect as I shot in daylight 🙂

Fluorescent White Balance :

Horace Fluorescent White Balance

Horace Fluorescent White Balance

Here I can clearly see the green tinge around the rims.

Fluorescent H White Balance :


Horace Fluorescent White Balance

Horace Fluorescent White Balance

I cannot see the difference with the above 😦

Flash White Balance :

Horace Flash White Balance

Horace Flash White Balance

A definite warming effect taking place here. I can guess that this is to counter the bleaching effect of flash.

Underwater White Balance :

Horace Underwater White Balance

Horace Underwater White Balance

A reddish tinge has appeared which I guess is to counteract the blue waves from the sea?

So what have I learned today? Shoot RAW so I can adjust the white balance as I see fit! And leave the white balance for the jpg previews to AWB.


Day 2: To P or not to P

Today’s Missing Pages article from was all about the ‘P’ button. And please excuse the awful pun, I just couldn’t resist.

Confession time. When I woke up and read this lesson, I was in two minds if I should skip this lesson. I have been reading that it is the “Great Satan” on many of the photography boards. Usually by those cognoscenti who seem to post a lot of words but few images.

But I loaded up Horace with an SD card and donned a brave face 🙂 And what a lot I learned! It was a case of only knowing when and how to use a tool once you have mastered it. I now know how to use it but have not yet fully mastered it. But I have set aside some time to practice some more.

What I find really useful was it did not like going below 1/60. It helped me a lot as I sometimes get “shaky hands”. Nothing serious, just that if asked to hold my hand out straight and keep it still, I would fail every time 😦 On the plus side, my setting up, clipping and unclipping speed from a tripod became much faster 🙂

For today, I roped in another model. This time it is Percy. I choose Percy, and he agreed, because the light conditions were all over the place from gloomy, shady, cloudy to sunny. And as Percy is a brilliant bubble gum pink colour, I could practice contrast between various colours. The picture shown is the best from the session. I had great fun doing this practice today. So a good reminder to me that when I don’t feel like doing something, give it a try – it may turn out to be more fun that I thought!


Percy Pig Model

Percy Pig Model

And here is what I learned and wrote down on some 3″ x 5″ card:

Shooting in ‘P’, ISO starter points:

  •     80 or 100: Bright sunny day
  •     200: Gloomy / Hazy or outdoor shade on a sunny day
  •     400: Indoors cloudy conditions outside
  •     800: Low-light conditions

And now onto Day 3….

The start of the journey…

Let me introduce you to ‘Henry’. He is my first experiment in moving away from auto everything or the “P” button on Horace. I have been reading the Missing Pages articles on A small step and it was surprising how much photo knowledge I have forgotten. Equally, it is even more surprising how much I enjoyed the simplest of exercises.

Today’s exercises involved taking an object and shooting it indoors and out at different ISO settings.

But this is Henry on my daughter’s swing in our garden.


Henry on the swing

Henry on the swing

It was a RAW file which I imported into Lightroom and converted to jpeg format for a web upload. I won’t show all the images as some were pretty awful. And this blog is part learning and part rehabilitation. The consultant tells me that the more I exercise the body and brain, the swifter the recovery. I also think he means I am overweight compared to hospital standards but I did point out that it has taken me both a misspent youth and a number of years to achieve my current figure! 🙂

It also helps that this is Day One of Blogging 101 homework. I am a little late in starting but that was due to some health challenges.

Who I Am and Why I’m Here

Let me introduce myself. I’m called Mac and my camera is called Horace.

Last year, after a couple of major strokes, I was advised by the Hospital Consultant to take up a hobby. He also suggested that I write a journal daily too. Both together, he said, would help exercise my body and mind.

Hence the reason why this blog has been started. Each day, I will post something, hopefully with pictures. 🙂

I am starting from scratch – the very basics of photography. I will start with “Missing Pages” from After that, I will choose a topic and focus on that. I already know that I want to master portraits next. Colour ones, lifestyle ones, headshots for cinema and theatre people, fun portraits, black and white ones… the list goes on.  🙂

So please join in Horace’s Big Adventure and do let me know of your blogs. I love learning and showing things that catch my eye and just say “I wish I had thought of that…”

Mac and Horace