Enhance your ebay listing with video

25 08 2009

Didn’t know if this would work – I have embedded a video for one of my ebay listings to help show the product in action. Spot the owlets!

The item’s simply a stainless steel ruler, which I use in my ecological work. Rulers are a pretty dull topic (!) – but it’s great when you find a well-designed piece of kit. Good tools make life easier, especially when you’re working outdoors.

Take a peek…


Purple Poppy

20 11 2008

©2008 Jason Ball

Perfect for a greetings card – one of the photographs at my new Zenfolio site, in a section called Poppyfield Gallery. An excellent lens, the professional Canon 70-200mm f2.8 L IS USM, enabled me to get a strong bokeh.

What is bokeh? Sounds Japanese, I thought, and yes, apparently it is the Japanese word for ‘blur’, says the Silverbased blog. I agree with the writer, it’s important not to think of this word as applicable to all blurring! Ronnie Henry gives us a concise definition.

A photographer can utilise Depth of Field creatively to reduce the prominence of background detail and emphasise the foreground parts of the picture. As you can see, I’ve ‘isolated’ this purple poppy within the image. (The flower stands out, and you don’t see what else is in the garden.) Bokeh, I would say, refers to what you have done with the off-focus background. Strong bokeh creates a pleasant effect, like a soft haze.

Bokeh is a stationary blur which is valuable, in a technical sense, to the photographer. It’s usually deliberate rather than accidental, e.g. due to movement or a failure to focus. I’m not saying accidental blur has no place! Sometimes accidents in photography give amazing results that otherwise you’d never see.

Pull the aperture wide open and you’re more likely to get a strong bokeh. So a lens with a big aperture – such as f1.4 or f2.8 – is what you want if you’re after this kind of result.

pop orchid
bit daisy
shackford softness

Jason Ball

Fireworks wallpaper

16 11 2008

Here’s a photograph of fireworks against a black night sky which you can use this FREE for your computer screen’s desktop wallpaper. Click the image to see it full size, then ‘Right Click and Save As‘ to download. It’s sized 1024 x 768 pixels. © 2008 Jason Ball

This makes a very good screen background because it’s mainly black, so you can see everything on your desktop clearly. The best ‘wallpapers’ are a nice clean image, without too much detail. Some people like a tranquil setting, others prefer dramatic backdrop!


I went to a brillliant fireworks display at Lambourn Woodlands and managed to get a few really nice pictures like this. See them on my Zenfolio web gallery. Zenfolio is a great online gallery and you can buy my pictures there as prints – it’s the best option for anybody in the USA and Canada.

Photographers looking to sell – I’d recommend Zenfolio’s Premium package (only $100/year as I write) because it gives you the most flexible and adaptable gallery facility.

You’ll save tonnes of time because the Premium deal enables bespoke watermarks – and puts them onto your images to help protect your copyright. Having your pictures instantly watermarked means you don’t have spend hours doing it! When you make sales of printed goods through Zenfolio fulfillment partners, the service fee is taken only from the profit earned, which is fantastic.

Get a discount with this code: JXC-YXA-WNZ when you sign up to Zenfolio. They offer a Free Trial account for two weeks so you can see if you like it. http://www.zenfolio.com


GM conference photoshoot

10 11 2008

conference image

I’ll be packing my cameras and joining the conference on GM crops and food security which takes place in Westminster on Wednesday 12th November at the QEII Conference Centre.

About the conference
The wide-ranging programme of international speakers is now set. This is your last chance to buy tickets – only £65 including lunch. (Can this really be London? Places are supported by the project partners, hence the low price.) Call now to book your place – 01488 658279

Feeding The World…
Are GM Crops fit for Purpose? If not, then what?

12 November 2008
Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre
“This conference will examine, searchingly and honestly, the claims and counter claims of one of the most critical issues of our time.”

Freelance me
I am covering the whole event and will be able to get a comprehensive range of pictures including behind-the-scenes reportage. If you would like to freelance me to ensure that you get exclusive photography and news copy, please get in touch.

Free-to-use stock images
Freebies are available now at the Feeding the World Conference press resources page. If you’re reporting this event in the news (and only this event!) then please feel welcome to use these images in your article – on the condition that the picture is clearly credited. Let me know if you use my photos – I’ll add a link to your website.

Anybody who does not comply with the conditions will be asked to make a donation to the Sheepdrove Trust, at the going rates used by The Guardian for stock imagery fees. Can’t say fairer than that!

Please contact me if you’d like to use a picture of mine for another reason. I’m likely to ask for the same fee rates as linked above. Or you might like to negotiate a user licence (EULA).


©2008 Jason Ball


6 11 2008

Breakfast Bangers - copyright 2008 Jason Ball

Delicious sizzling sausages – just look at this great fryup!

My photo features on the homepage of Sheepdrove Organic Farm as they celebrate British Sausage Week (3rd – 9th Nov2008). Their special offer is rather irresistable.  Sheepdrove has a Buy-1-Get-1-Free deal for Organic Traditional Pork Sausages and their Organic Chicken, Honey and Herb Sausages. This week only. So buy now

Organic Turkey Photos

18 10 2008

Spent a short photo session for Organic Free Range Turkeys with photographer Isabelle Plasschaert yesterday, who’s growing her portfolio on British Food. The weather was very kind to us, a sunny October day.

Sheepdrove Organic Farm’s free-range birds were a sight Isabelle had never seen before, with woodland edge habitats and herb-rich pastures to roam, not to mention renewable energy! Yes, solar photovoltaic panels and wind turbines recharge the batteries driving their feeders.

The organic turkeys are getting ready for Christmas of course. (Order your Organic Xmas Turkey now!) They are impressive birds, and as a flock they are enchanting! Okay, perhaps not the most handsome of poultry, but they are quirky, curious, and friendly. They make huge amounts of noise too, when they get going and start calling in chorus.

Yesterday I didn’t have time to take my proper camera, so I only took a few shots and video clips. Some of my better photographs of Organic Free Range Turkeys are up for sale on the Photographers Direct website

and here.

Isabelle said “The turkeys surrounded me as if I were a big celeb they wanted a glimpse off, some even dared to peck the lens. It was truly hilarious to see them follow me from one end to the other, as if I was some pack leader they blindly followed, screaming loudly and enthusiastically.”

“It also eroded the distrust I somehow had of the Free Range label… never being quite sure how truly free range those animals live. At Sheepdrove they are SO free range that the chickens astonished me for not using all their available space … they seemed to stay close to their own houses, gardens and hedges.”

Take a look at Isabelle’s pictures here.
I have pictures of plucked turkeys here!
You can buy my images as digital stock at Photographers Direct

© Jason Ball

Not bad for a beginner

7 10 2008

OK, I can manage website design, working with professional web designers, and doing a blog on WordPress is quite straightforward. But I’m not a HTML expert, just a novice when it comes to actually creating the website all by myself. Nevertheless, I’m quite pleased with the simple home page that I’ve made for the GM Feeding the World Conference.