Strobe vs Constant Lighting Event

Had an interesting day of networking, experimenting and generally nerding around with expensive lighting tech in Bristol yesterday with the multi-talented Dave Kai-Piper and the lovely Ms Chloe-Jasmine Whichello.  The even was hosted by our good friend James Madelin of Enlight Photo, inventor of the amazing Orbis Ring Flash.

Dave Kai-Piper demonstrates the Westcott ICE Light

Dave Kai-Piper demonstrates the Westcott ICE Light

We spent most of the morning discussing the various merits of different types of lighting, from the obvious natural light opportunities, through small speedlights, portable strobes, constant lighting etc.  Along the way we touched on some of the more recent innovations such as small daylight balanced video lights and some of the higher end solutions such as the amazing Westcott ICE Light.  Here’s Dave demonstrating the Westcott ICE light to add a little daylight-balanced fill –>



Here’s an image I shot of the lovely Ms Whichello:

Chloe-Jasmine Whichello

Chloe-Jasmine Whichello

Keeping it in the family

Julia and Kate

Had a cracking day out yesterday with a couple of lovely ladies, mum and daughter, Julia and Kate.

They’d both been given SLRs as presents from their respective hubbies, and thought it was about time they learned how to use them.

Whilst early on in the day we were a little restricted by the foggy weather we managed to cover a lot and by the end of the day both girls were taking some super shots.

Here’s a little quote from a mail I received from Julia earlier..

Just a quick thank-you for a brilliant day yesterday.

Kate and I thoroughly enjoyed the training day, in spite of the cold weather. We both learnt an incredible amount, you are a very good and patient teacher. We both felt much more confident to use our cameras, and to see what you can achieve with a relatively short amount of time and a bit of editing, we were amazed!

Thanks Julia!

 

In the paper this week

Gloucestershire Gazette 7th March

Wedding Belles – Jodie

Had a fun day out assisting my friend James with a wedding-themed shoot for his portfolio.  It wasn’t really my shoot, so I was mainly there to support and encourage James, but he was kind enough to allow me to shoot a few snaps of my own too.

Our ‘bride’ for the day was the beautiful Jodie Woodward who was an absolute natural and a pleasure to shoot.

Thanks to Matthew Thomas Gibson for the use of his salon and the very lovely Robyn Stokes for the styling!

Hats off to the terribly clever James Madelin too as the only lighting in this shot was his amazing invention the Orbis Ring Flash :-)

Shooting in a winter wonderland

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Winter can provide some excellent new photo opportunities with the arrival of frosty mornings, snow and ice.  A once-familiar landscape can take on an entirely different look overnight.

If you’re like me, you’re probably planning to venture out and shoot some photos but before you do, here are a few quick tips to help you make the most of the conditions.

Equipment:

In the UK we don’t generally get it so cold that a camera won’t function, but there are a couple of important considerations:

Firstly, when you head out into the cold you should allow your camera a few minutes to adjust to the colder temperature. If it’s been stored in a typical centrally heated house it’s likely to mist up and that’s not going to lead to nice shots!

You should also be aware that batteries won’t perform as well in the cold either, and it’s likely you’ll find them running out much quicker.  What I usually do is to keep a spare in an inside pocket where it will stay warm. If you do find yourself caught out with a flat battery, it’s worth putting it in your pocket for a while as you’ll often find if it’s warmed up a bit you may get a few more shots out of it.  Please don’t try and warm it up on a heater or anything though as that could well end up damaging the battery!

Exposure compensation:

When most of the scene is snow you’ll need to adjust your exposure by about 1-2 stops to ensure the snow appears pure white.  

The main problem with snow is that its pure white and highly reflective which confuses the camera’s metering system.  Modern cameras have highly sophisticated electronic metering systems that deliver excellent results for a scene with a normal range of contrast. They do this by averaging the range of tones in the image and adjusting until the brightness is mid-grey. This works well when the subject has a wide tonal range with everything from black to white being present, but when it is very bright such as snow the camera underexposes so that the white becomes grey.

This is the classic example where you need to override the camera’s metering and adjust the exposure using the exposure compensation control, or by manually adjusting your shutter speed or aperture in manual.  You’ll usually find an adjustment of about 1.5 stops will be about right, but if in doubt try a couple of bracketed shots at 0, +1 and +2 stops and check them against your histogram display to get a feel for how your particular camera performs.

A nice cup of tea and a sit down…

Over the winter months it’s not always easy to get out and shoot so it’s a great time to take advantage of all that time stuck indoors to develop your digital darkroom skills and learn some new post-processing techniques etc.

I’ve had a few training enquiries recently from people who were pretty good photographers, but really felt overwhelmed by the complexity of the latest software packages and they simply didn’t know where to start.

Maybe I can help?

I am unashamedly a digital photographer, and over the years I’ve gained a lot of experience in digital imaging and post-processing techniques.  My software training, as with all my one-to-one teaching will be tailored to your individual requirements, whether that be to learn some basic editing skills, right through to implement a full digital asset management workflow from scratch.

Typical topics might include:

  • Choosing the right software packages to suit your needs
  • Importing your photos and organising your image library
  • Working with RAW files
  • Basic techniques (Cropping / straightening / resizing)
  • Digital Darkroom techniques (Exposure / Contrast / Colour corrections)
  • Monochrome Conversions
  • Sharpening / noise reduction
  • Preparing files for professional printing

Advanced topics

  • Photo stitching / digital panoramas
  • HDR Processing
  • Portrait retouching (‘Airbrushing’)
  • Digital Photo Restoration: Bring Old Photos Back to Life

Merry Christmas!

christmas-8691
Project 52: Week 52 – Christmas

Just stopping by to wish you all a Merry Christmas folks!

 

 

 

Project 52: 51/52 – Music

WholeLottaLed-2645

Project 52 – Week 51 – Music
A shot of my friend Nick Ferris performing with the amazing  Whole Lotta Led at Gloucester Guildhall.
Friday 14th Devember 2012