St George’s Church .. Iraq

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


klimmen by Steve_Gregory
klimmen, a photo by Steve_Gregory on Flickr.

Either I'm getting better at photography or I'm getting luckier (or just lazy!)

I seem to say this quite a lot lately, but this shot was a real easy to edit. The only processing I did was to increase the black spot and add a little extra exposure.

Obviously, I added a nice frame but nothing more. Not even a crop.... Hope you like it!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

new trails

new trails by Steve_Gregory
new trails, a photo by Steve_Gregory on Flickr.

Today we ventured forth into the darkest depths of the UK. More commonly known as Wales ;^)

Seriously beautiful place with tremendous scenery. Very similar to the English Lake District but with less people - so extra cool for the photographer!

The typical British weather of rain actually stayed away for our entire visit and we was greeted with a nice sky. A good mix of blue and clouds, very nice.

As for the picture, I processed very little in this one. The highlights needed a tweak here and there because of that bright sky and I increased the black spot to make help the contrasts by deepening that gorgeous stone.

A slight crop, a nice frame and that's about that. Really cool image imho - I especially like the low clouds here.

Many more to come ... I hope you like the pic :-)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

sunny days

sunny by Steve_Gregory
sunny, a photo by Steve_Gregory on Flickr.

This image was shot during our walk of Helsby's Woodland Park. It's a small woods sitting in between lots of wealthy people's homes and they've got the old quarry tunnels to view. Pretty interesting.

What really made the day was the weather, it was February and it was nice and sunny - warm enough not to wear a jacket. Yes folks, this really was in England!

Shooting into the sun is always a little hit & miss but I think I got this composed quite nicely with just enough of the sun poking through the trees.

I made no crop and adjusted the highlights slightly. Increased the contrasts and changed the white balance to make everything look a little "richer".

I think it looks pretty cool considering the very few adjustments processed! Hope you agree :)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

black beauty

black beauty by Steve_Gregory
black beauty, a photo by Steve_Gregory on Flickr.

We visited Helsby in Cheshire the other day while the weather was nice. After walking up Helsby Hill, we ventured on and found this nice little farm and a duck pond (I think they had the nerve to call it a lake!) ;-)

I dumbed down the highlights a little and increased the black spot ... cropped for a wider view and nothing more. All done in Apple Aperture 3.

Can you see Black Beauty ?


Friday, February 24, 2012


worship by Steve_Gregory
worship, a photo by Steve_Gregory on Flickr.

There's a cool iPhone app called "Worship" that simply takes your GPS location, displays it on a map and shows you where all the nearby churches are.

IIRC, it takes its data from Google and it all works really well. Not every church is listed (like our own!) but most are and we found this lovely place using this app.

Based in a remote rural village called Hutton Roof on a cold and foggy day. Yes, it's real fog in the picture and nothing ppost-processed!

Hope you like.. many more to come! :)

Thursday, February 23, 2012


spring by Steve_Gregory
spring, a photo by Steve_Gregory on Flickr.

The weather was absolutely lovely today here in the north western parts of England. So, we had a drive out and ended up in a little country village called Barrow, Cheshire.

I obviously cropped this and I amended the white balance, but nothing more. I'm sure you'll agree that it's a nice image of an early spring?

Well, I say that knowing full well they've forecasted lots of rain for the next few days!

Good while it lasted, eh?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


bleak by Steve_Gregory
bleak, a photo by Steve_Gregory on Flickr.

This is an image that I shot because the scene looked so empty, so alone, so dead, so barren .. I just really liked the emptiness of it! Perhaps I was in a depressive mood? ;o)

Ok, so I went to work in Aperture 3 by remove the colour, increasing contrasts and adding a nice square crop.

I then imported that version into Photoshop and added a nice grungy layer that had a gold/metal look to it.... Basically, something gritty with a nice colour that I personally liked.

I then reduced the textures opacity as it was way too strong and then i added another layer on top of it - this was a duplicate copy of the main image which was set to 'screen' and reduced its opacity also until it looked just right, without highlighting everything OTT.

Saved ... and hey-presto Aperture 3 has the new version already for the final adjustment in the BorderFX plugin. I thought a humble frame would be best....

I really wanted to emphasise the bleak loneliness of the harsh landscape within this image. A grungy / metal'ish texture fitted the bill just right.

I hope you like :-)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

foggy view

foggy view by Steve_Gregory
foggy view, a photo by Steve_Gregory on Flickr.

Today we headed out for a couple of hours to visit a really cool place in northern England called Farleton Fell. Great for hiking across its unique landscape along with the lovely views to be had.

Unfortunately not today!

After driving many miles, the fog rolled in only about a mile from our destination! We couldn't see a darn thing and it was so cold too. Great! lol

Still, managed to get a few snaps off and later on visited a couple of local churches. Got lots of great shots here that I'll post soon.

I'd love to say I did lots of cool processing for this picture but the most creative part was making the frame, using BorderFX. (as an Aperture plugin)

Apart from changing the white balance and adding a little contrast (and a nice 16:9 widescreen crop!) there wasn't much else done here. All in Apple Aperture 3.

Hope you like. Comments welcome! ;)

Monday, February 20, 2012

time !

peek by Steve_Gregory
peek, a photo by Steve_Gregory on Flickr.
.. or lack of!

I've had 5 images all ready to upload to my flickr account for a while now but I never seemed to have gotten around to doing it.

So, if you check out my flickr site, then you'll see five (yes, 5 !!!) new pictures to view... All of various styles too but this particular image was a simple process of minor adjustments in Apple Aperture to achieve a vintage feel.

I hope you like !

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Mmmm... Beer!

Mmmm... Beer! by Steve_Gregory
Mmmm... Beer!, a photo by Steve_Gregory on Flickr.

This was one of those captures that failed to impress me.. Why? Well, it wasn't exactly what you'd call a great shot. A little rushed and blurred!

I rushed it because of two reasons: firstly, it was cold and we needed to find somewhere open that served hot coffee! And secondly, i noticed lots of cars on either side of me....

So I rushed and took the shot ... ok, a bad workman, I know, I know!

But at least I'm getting some cool results from the processing. I did some basic processing for the usual things in Aperture and then exported this into the plugin called Topaz Clean.

This really did add some spunk to the pic and cleared up the blur and bad focus / aperture!

Imported from here into Photoshop and layered a nice texture onto it and pasted over a copy of the original - but at a low opacity using the soft blending mode.

Finally, saved it back into Aperture and added a frame using another plugin called BorderFX. Phew.....!

All in all, I think I "fixed" this disappointing image. I'll do better next time! Oops ;)

Ps, when you view - view LARGE !

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


bumps by Steve_Gregory
bumps, a photo by Steve_Gregory on Flickr.

Like all my uploads, I've geo-tagged this image on flickr and I'll try to get more images of this church uploaded soon.

It's a rather unique church! The updates and modifications are something else. There's an ugly clock on the tower and there are bay windows too! Strikingly bad taste for a church!

Anyhow, onto this upload . . . there's not an awful lot to say. Processing wise, I made all the necessary adjustments in Apple Aperture 3 and went for a faded / antique look. Nothing fancy and certainly no plugins used or textures in photoshop!

I originally shot this picture because I liked the tree. Those humpy - bits are rather funny looking plus there was a majestic cross perfectly positioned too. I thought it made rather a nice composition.

Hope you agree?

Monday, February 13, 2012


remains by Steve_Gregory
remains, a photo by Steve_Gregory on Flickr.
I'm continuing on with images from my recent trip to Whalley Abbey in Lancashire, England.

This place is rich in early English Christianity and there are a number of ruins still up, all ready for the keen historian .... or photographer!

The day we visited was REALLY cold and with a rather boring all-white sky. So, after processing it in Apple Aperture 3 i then went to work in Adobe Photoshop to apple some textures and to see what happens!

After finding what I liked, I then made a few minor tweaks in Aperture as I felt the image became a little flat. A little two dimensional (at least in my mind!). So a little dodge & burn here and there and I liked the end result. Hope you do too?

Saturday, February 11, 2012


arty by Steve_Gregory
arty, a photo by Steve_Gregory on Flickr.

Here's what can be done with a little patience and a lot of spare time! lol

There's never any birds near our house as there's only the one tree. The birds just ain't interested - especially so in winter when numbers are lower!

Well, I waited besides an open window for half an hour or so ... freezing my **** off and eventually one turned up. And then another and another!!! So I got some shots off and I think this is the nicest of the lot?

Basically, I processed this in Apple Aperture 3, but doing nothing more than changing the white balance and colours slightly until I was happy.

But there was a huge amount of boring white space called the sky in here.... So I exported the pic into Photoshop as normal and began to search for a texture that worked best.

I think I did ok? Hope you guys like it - comments always welcome :-)

two pints

two pints by Steve_Gregory
two pints, a photo by Steve_Gregory on Flickr.

This was probably my simplest upload to flickr for a long while. A minor crop before selecting the Aperture preset Dramatic Black & White. Increased the exposure a little.. and that's that!

Hope you guys like it? :-)

Wouldn't it be cool to live here? Geo-tagged on flickr also. Thanks for viewing.

Friday, February 10, 2012

american muscle

american muscle by Steve_Gregory
american muscle, a photo by Steve_Gregory on Flickr.

I've just uploaded two versions of this onto Flickr. This black and white version and also a colour one too.

This b/w image was made entirely in Apple Aperture 3. The colour version was also made in this great app but with the help of Topaz Clean (as a plugin). You gotta view the colour version LARGE for the details :-)

Comments welcome !

Thursday, February 9, 2012

it's mine!

it's mine! by Steve_Gregory
it's mine!, a photo by Steve_Gregory on Flickr.

This bird was shot from our backyard but rather than just process or texture it as I usually would - I decided to use an Aperture 3 plugin by Topaz called Clean.

Really cool fx here, I'm sure you'll agree. The original was rather boring in comparison! lol

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


delayed by Steve_Gregory
delayed, a photo by Steve_Gregory on Flickr.

Here is something you don't see everyday, a train station in England! That was one investment we decided to miss over the decades - and now we're paying for it! Just try driving our roads someday...

Enough of the moan! I tried to go for a more vintage / colder feel for this. As if it was taken back in the 70s... Hope I succeeded?

Fully processed in Apple Aperture 3 on my iMac.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

ollie cat

ollie cat by Steve_Gregory
ollie cat, a photo by Steve_Gregory on Flickr.
Picture the scene ... I'm in the living room sitting comfortably on the couch and I notice at the end of the backyard is a cute kitty cat sitting on our fence.

Out comes the gun.... Err no... I meant to say, out comes the 200mm zoom lens! ;o)

Now, bearing in mind that this was shot from a garden and two indoor rooms is impressive enough - BUT - it was also shot through glass too!  So I'm especially happy with the clarity of this capture. All processing done using Apple Aperture 3.

Monday, February 6, 2012

creepy crawly

creepy crawly by Steve_Gregory
creepy crawly, a photo by Steve_Gregory on Flickr.

It's amazing what you stumble across - this little bug was on our gate today. I only noticed it because of its colour!

Tiny little thing, as you can see from the screw in the image. So out came the camera... I've got a 50mm lens that I attached a x1 magnifier lens and I was impressed with the result.

Hardly macro, but I couldn't find the x10 magnifier and I certainly cannot afford a real macro lens! ;o)

The only processing done was a crop and a frame added. Oh and I changed the white balance too... So I'm extra happy how well this turned out!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

lookin' up

lookin' up by Steve_Gregory
lookin' up, a photo by Steve_Gregory on Flickr.

We recently took a day trip out to Whalley Abbey in Lancashire, England. Quite the historic place with a lot of relics to photograph!

I'm uploading a few and here is one. It was processed in Aperture 3 & imported into Topaz Detail plugin.. finished off in photoshop as I wanted to replace the boring all-white sky on this cold winters day!

Comments always welcome!

Friday, February 3, 2012


finale by Steve_Gregory
finale, a photo by Steve_Gregory on Flickr.

Today, I upload my final image from Farleton Knott in Cumbria, England. I've posted many lately from this region and now it's time to move onto something else.

Good job really as we're off out tomorrow for another photography trip. This time we'll be heading into northern Lancashire.

Yup, new pics to process! :-)

Ok ... this particular image is basically SOOC. The only processing I did was to increase contrast. Hope you like it?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

up close

up close by Steve_Gregory
up close, a photo by Steve_Gregory on Flickr.

I've always like the whole depth of field lark and getting those distant objects all nice and fuzzy!

A couple of prior shots using trees failed but I was quite pleasantly surprised by this one. Oh and the sky is totally fake, with thanks to a little texturing and gaussian blur!

Hope you like !

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


wallpaper by Steve_Gregory
wallpaper, a photo by Steve_Gregory on Flickr.

This is just something I made in Aperture with help from a plugin called Topaz Detail. I wanted a new wallpaper for my iMac...

What's your favourite plugin for Aperture 3 & why?