Tuesday, 9 November 2021

From Dead Space to Living Place, the Rectory Lane Cemetery renovation in Berkhamsted

A film about the regeneration of Rectory Lane Cemetery in Berkhamsted.  James Moir, Convenor and Project Manager talks about the project, the difficulties, achievements and a space that Berkhamsted can be proud of again.

The cemetery had become neglected and overgrown, historic monuments were damaged and it was an uninviting space to visit. In 2013 the Friends of St Peter’s Great Berkhamsted was founded as a registered charity with the aim of “the preservation, repair, maintenance, restoration, improvement and ornamentation of the fabric of the Parish Church of Great Berkhamsted and of the churchyards belonging to it.”

From Dead Space to Living Place:
The Rectory Lane Cemetery renovation

Rectory Lane Cemetery offered great potential as a community green space and heritage asset – it could be revitalised to enhance Berkhamsted’s amenities. In 2014 the Friends launched the Rectory Lane Cemetery Project to restore it, and a team of volunteers set about clearing overgrown weeds and recording the burials. 

After much hard work, the Friends secured funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Big Lottery Fund to carry out a major three-year programme from 2019 to 2021 to transform Rectory Lane Cemetery from ‘a dead space to a living place’.


Camera Operator & Editor, Phil Richardson

Sound Recordist, Ryan Grayley

Drone Operator, Matt Kay

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Thursday, 28 October 2021

Online Photography Tutorial Videos - MelenTraining

A range of photography training videos with useful tips and tricks to help beginners and enthusiasts improve their photography. 

There are short videos from 4 to 15 mins covering the basics of photography and how to use your camera for beginners on this link MelenTraining Videos

Beginners Photography and basic camera skills

How to start photographing wildlife and birds, improving your landscape and outdoor photography as well as using your iPhone and Photos, plus post production software including Photoshop and Lightroom.

On this blog are also links to the training videos, just click on the Video Gallery tab

Saturday, 5 June 2021

Flitwick Moor Photography workshop with Greensand Country

First outdoor photography group training session since 2019.  A short walk photographing Flitwick Moor on the 19th June.  Part of the serious of training that I’ve undertaken with Greensand Country for Greensand Country Festival 2021.

The moor has woodland, open fields and the damp swampy location gives it a prehistoric atmosphere.  Ideal for wide landscapes and close up detail.

Great for landscape photography and finding scenes of interest.

Blurred water, black and white images and even brilliant colours with the summer trees.  With the marshy swamps and fast flowing river Flit there are photographic opportunities everywhere. 



Saturday, 17 April 2021

Camera Comparison Website

If you've ever been stuck trying to work out which camera to buy, new or used then have a look at Apotelyt it's quick and easy to see the benefits of each camera.  You can compare physical size and location of buttons and features.

For me, when looking at small cameras for street photography it's ideal to see which camera would fit in the 'proverbial pocket' but also be quite unobtrusive.

Fuji X100 or a Panasonic LX100ii?  A GX9 or Sony A7c?

Camera comparison Panasonic GX9 vs Sony A7C

Even information on the worlds most expensive photography lens, the Leica 1600mm ƒ5.6 

If you are looking for site to compare the price of UK camera equipment Camera Price Buster is a good place to start. https://www.camerapricebuster.co.uk/


Wednesday, 10 February 2021

National Trust Photography Course Summer 2009

One of the popular photography courses run at the National Trust Ashridge Estate for DSLR photographers on the 14th August 2009. Aimed at photographers looking to improve their photography skills and learn a few new techniques.

As one of series of course at Ashridge, this was the summer version, the others were Spring bluebells and autumn colours. This was filmed by Matt Kay and edited by MelenFilms. As well as tuition at the base we took a leisurely walk photographing around the woodland estate. For courses, workshops and 1:1 sessions
https://www.melentraining.co.uk/​ The Ashridge Estate is near Berkhamsted in the Chilterns and is great location for photography and a walk.

Saturday, 6 February 2021

MelenTraining First Photography Courses 2006

MelenTraining First Photography Courses 2006
This was my first ever photography course for compact cameras on the 22nd April 2006. It was for beginners and trial session, a fun day and they picked up a few tips. I learned about a lot about photography training that day and the second course in June of 2006 when I set up MelenCourses, as it was then, having changed to MelenTraining www.melentraining.co.uk for courses, workshops and 1:1 sessions. This beginners course was based in the lovely village of Aldbury, near Tring in the Chilterns and i've used it quite a few times since.

MelenTraining first photography course in 2006

This was my second attempt at teaching photography to beginners on another compact camera course on the 24th June 2006.  Lucky with the weather again!

From these early courses I learned about what they needed and what should include, sometimes less is more.  It was as MelenCourses then but now MelenTraining https://www.melentraining.co.uk/ for courses, workshops and 1:1 sessions.

This beginners course was based in the lovely village of Little Gaddesden, near Berkhamsted in the Chilterns and i've used it a few times since.

MelenTraining second photography course in 2006

A training video for beginner photographers use an Olympus Camedia C70.  This was one of the first ideas i had to help photographers back in 2006.  Because digital photography was new quite a few of the inexperienced photographers weren't confident enough to insert either the battery or card into the camera, so waited until they came on one of photography courses to do it.  So this was to help them, they still waited until the day of the course.

Cameras were different 15 years ago, similar shape but much cheaper and with fewer pixels.  This C70 was quite a good little camera, great for holidays and days out with it's 7.1mp image a fairly decent size. The 5x optical zoom was pretty handy, 38-190mm in 35mm format and the camera was easy to use.

The 1GB card made me laugh, i had forgotten how small XD cards used to be, although it seemed adequate and far larger than the 1 and 2mb cards that came with the Casio QV-10 a decade earlier.

Olympus Camedia C70 - MelenTraining 2006

Friday, 29 January 2021

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch Photographing Birds

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch
Photographing Garden Birds

Observe and photograph garden birds, Blue Tits, Robins, Sparrows and many more in your garden this weekend Fri 29 Jan to Sun 31 Jan 2021.

To play your part in the world’s largest bird survey this January, just follow the 

Blue Tit on a support, about to jump on to the feeder in winter,

instructions on this link https://www.rspb.org.uk.

To photograph birds in your garden make sure you have a fairly fast shutter speed at least 1/200th of a second.  Faster is better, especially for Blue Tits as they twitch a lot and move around very fast.

Blue Tit on the feeder eating, in winter.

Blue Tit on a feeder, upside down, in winter.

Unless you're going to set up a hide in the garden indoors is best.  You'll need open the window as the glass can soften the picture and to make sure the birds can't see you block the open window. 

Blue Tit on a feeder waiting to eat, in winter.

Robin on a feeder waiting to eat, in winter.

Indoor bird hide made of cardboard       

If you look at these two pictures you can see a simple indoor cardboard hide that i constructed. 

Open the window, block with cardboard, pull the curtain across and poke the lens through.

The birds won't see you and you can photograph them much easier.

For photography training and further tips visit my site for course and 1:1 training at 

Close up of indoor cardboard bird hide with Robin in view

Cardboard Bird photography indoor hide