New Blog….

Following on from several succesful (I think) Street photography trips to London, and a Canon Sponsored double page feature in this months Photography News… and in no way connected to the fact this blogs limit is bulging and spilling over.

I am creating a brand new self hosted website centering around my street and urban photography adventures it’s also connected to my INSTAGRAM

Announcing…..

Londonist Captures

The intent is to showcase some of my imagery from London and other towns and citys as well as eventually be a guide to those places for fellow creatives.

You’ll see images such as these.

Please do consider taking a look and perhaps subscribing to the site as I would love it to grow.

2 strobes…1 model.. and some perspex

Attended a little free session at park cameras today run by Olympus and Gavin Hoey in which we looked at the merits of small strobes, in this case the battery powered godox ad200.

Simple to set up and remarkably effective

And the result…

Great option for this style of image.

Testing the Eos r

Finally got round to having some time out to play with the mirrorless EOS r yesterday. It’s a phenomenal camera and quite the learning curve coming from a DSLR.

It does however take alot of the testing and guesswork out of exposing as you can see exactly what you are getting on the evf rather than the normal. Clear view (although that can be turned off too).

The focus is instant and bang on and I find the kit lens to be very sharp.

Just one image for now as I’m going through them. Quickly edited on the fly on snapseed for mobile. I quite like it.

Fox in perfect light

There are moments in life where time seems to just stop. A perfect point in the ongoing daily grind.

Today I had the absolute pleasure of having around 20 such minutes with this beautiful creature.

It was – 1c and the sun had broken the clouds at the nature reserve where I was taking a walk. Down the concrete sidewall came this fox, wandering looking for a spot to rest and it just so happened to choose a spot 50 feet from me to lay and warm up in the winter sun.

Perfect light and a perfect subject combined to make this.

What a privelege it is to present this image of my perfect moment seeing this stunner.

The hardest shoot ever..

So as many people who read this blog will know, I have a fear of shooting people. Actually that’s not strictly true, I thoroughly dislike shooting people in any way, shape or form. It’s not that I dislike people or the art of shooting them, it’s the fact I have absolutely no idea how to pose them, how to accurately tell their story in a shot and how to then edit that to its fullest. It just sets off my anxiety… It’s something I need to work on.

I’ll be honest I’d much rather be in a field shooting deer, birds or insects than in a studio space or room shooting humans for any reason.

So with that in mind I totally went against every instinct I have and I agreed to help a fellow (now ex) RACC student when she shot a friends wedding. It was without doubt the biggest learning curve I have had and I’m not entirely sure I could even glean a little satisfaction from it. In fact it’s almost cemented my view that I cannot happily shoot people and animals are much much easier.

From the onset it was hard going, a Dimly lit venue with terrible lighting, no flash could be used and outside it was absolutely pouring down, which ruled out the lovely shots in the park or sunshine that initially we thought would be great.

In some shots we were hitting iso 12800 which luckily the 5d mark 4 can handle pretty well. Out of the 1000 or so images I took there are perhaps 80 usable and decent quality images to select a set which is actually surprising given the terrible lighting at the venue.

Trying to get and arrange a large group of people to pose, smile and cooperate when half pissed and hungry was a challenge in itself and one I can only admire wedding photographers for dealing with.

So putting all that aside I thought I’d show 1 image from day which I am pleased with. Backlit by a window in the world’s smallest bridal room I hope I managed to make it a nice shot.

Many lessons learned from that day, not least that weddings are not my forte unless it’s one of those kooky animal ones in a forest somewhere.

I will (no doubt) go against my instincts and try again and again because I suppose you can never stop trying new things and learning.

Seascapes and long exposure

Unit 33 lens based image making critieria P 1,2,3,4,5

As part of my potential project includes seascapes during my time in Brighton testing the 24mm lens I decided I would try some long exposure with an ND filter to see how the images would come out.

The weather was dull, cloudy and spitting but with a nice blue hue to the sky  but if I’m honest I found this ideal as bright sun would have affected my shutter speed even more than I wanted.

Compositionally I was hoping to practice leading lines and I feel in the beach lover shot below I almost got some lines in there pointing to parts of the image to lead the eye.

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I also took some other shots of the old pier isolating it away from any human elements which wasn’t easy as there were lots of people either taking images or waiting for the starling murmeration to take place right around the time I was photographing the pier.

 

Overall I am quite pleased with how these came out and the performance of the new lens I used and I can see me getting alot of use from this in future projects.

 

Flash Photography

Unit 33 lens based image making critieria P 1,2,3,4,5

Last week we talked at length about the uses of a flash in photography and where and when it can be effectively used to your advantage. there are several situations where flash is needed to light the subject or the background of an image particularly in studio settings but also outdoors. Some of the these are listed below.

  • Fill Flash for backlit subjects to eliminate dark areas and shadows and correctly expose the subject whilst maintaining the background exposure.
  • To freeze motion where a shutter speed is not attainable or the light does not permit fast enough shutter with use of other variables to expose image.
  • For clarity and colour reproduction sometimes flash is warranted
  • To light a subject from a particular angle or to create shadows or mood in an image where the correct angle or   light situation is not available.
  • To change the overall dynamics of a particular lighting setup or situation – with flash you can effectively turn bright sunny days into night time with high speed sync or only light a particular part of an image without the ambient light contaminating the scene.

I experimented last year with flash to freeze paint drops and try to capture the splash as it hit a white tile

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We used flash last term in the studio during portrait sessions to show the different ways you can light subjects too.

 

To effectively use flash you should use manual setting and adjust the camera to your chosen aperture and use the lowest ISO that will allow for the scene you wish to take you should then adjust your shutter to somewhere near your flash sync speed or if using high speed sync you can tailor to any shutter speed you wish within the bounds of your flash capability.

This will be ongoing.

 

 

 

A photographic coincidence – James Clerk Maxwell

Unit 33 lens based image making critieria P 1,2

During my holiday in Scotland I stayed in a village called Parton in Galloway, during my stay in a cottage I noticed a line in the house manual that a famous physicist was a former resident and was buried in the churchyard less than 5 minutes from the cottage.

Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be none other than James Clerk Maxwell who created the first colour photograph and who we had been discussing in the lesson not 2 weeks earlier.

James Clerk Maxwell gave the first demonstration of colour photography to the Royal Institution in London in 1861 – the year that Edinburgh Photographic Society was founded.

  • His demonstration was based on a specification outlined in a paper that he presented to the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1855.
  • For his demonstration, he arranged for three photographs of a tartan ribbon to be taken by the professional photographer, Thomas Sutton.  Each was made using a black+white slide.  These slides were exposed respectively  through red, green and blue filters.

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  • He then projected the slides simultaneously using three magic lanterns, all pointing at the same screen.  Each of the three slides was projected through its own colour of filter to create a coloured  image of the original ribbon on the screen. 

1861colour

  • The image included all the original colours on the ribbon.  e.g. The red and green together gave a yellow image, and all three colours together gave a white image.

The next morning I took a stroll up to the church to pay my respects…. can’t think of a more perfect spot to be laid to rest surrounded by the autumn colours which his methods enabled people to capture in photographs.

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