Can you get a good shot when there are showers?


I was asked if you could get good shots on the beach when it was overcast and showers. Here is Amie on Bournemouth beach on 30th March last year in exactly those conditions. We were dashing back and forth to the van to avoid the rain and had to simulate some sun with an off camera strobe. So what is the answer, can you?

 

In The Rain

So girls and boys don’t be afraid of getting a little wet. You can still get a shot for your portfolio when rain is predicted and falls.

Tips on masking in Adobe Photoshop CS5


My last post was on a similar subject but the video had no sound. I hadn’t mastered Adobe Captivate 5.5 trial version. I still haven’t but at least I can give you sound . I have now figured out how to stop the panning but I am afraid you will have to put up with it on this one.

This is all about how to create a mask and change the background on your image, hope you get something out of it.

Masking with Adobe Photoshop CS5

Here is the video

and here is the final image

Tips on masking in Adobe Photoshop CS5

Adobe Photoshop – Tips on masking


I cannot believe I haven’t made a post since Easter. I won’t make an excuse because excuses are like a***holes….everybody has one.

Instead I am going to try and help someone who asked me today how to use masks to replace a background. Here is a little demonstration using Adobe Photoshop CS5. There is no sound as I am using Adobe Captivate 5.5 Trial version and sound isn’t included.

Hope you get something out of it.

Happy Easter


I would just like to wish all my followers and anyone new popping in for a visit a very happy Easter.

I would also like to ask The Daily Telegraph why they repeated their easy crossword from last Sunday? Spoilsports.

Roses are Red

Don’t eat too much chocolate and I hope you are with your close family.

What to do when plans don’t go exactly as you would like


I had the pleasure of shooting with Kimberley yesterday. We had discussed a latex outfit and doing a studio shoot but I really fancied the latex with a backdrop of street graffiti. I edited an image I had taken of some graffiti in Volgograd.

I arrived at Kim’s house using my trusty Sat Nav and during our initial chat it became obvious that a location shoot would not be appropriate as she was just over the flu and it was a little chilly outside. She has a well equipped studio with Bowens lights, just what I am used to. Remembering the lighting from my graffiti, I set up a soft box low on her right and used a beauty dish on her face to the left. Beauty dish a stop brighter than soft box.

Here is the result and the graffiti

Volgograd Graffiti and Studio Shot

Into Photoshop and using the select colour range tool I selected the background, with the quick selct tool I refined the edges and created a new layer masking out the background. Copy and paste the graffiti below my masking layer and blended.

Here is that result.

Street Latex

I also wanted to try out my new Lencarta Ringflash. I had used it at Studland but only for fill so not mounted on the camera. This time I used it as it should be and was very pleased with the results and the ease of use. Nice and light and the battery recharges quickly. Also you have good control over the power with an easy read LED.

Here is the result and you can see the distinct halo effect with the shadow which is what ringflash is known for.

Ringflash Portrait

And here is another example but this time in contrasty black and white.

Ringflash contrasty black and white

Have you tried Silver Effex Pro by Nik Software?


I downloaded a trial of Silver Effex Pro by Nik Software.

What a find. It operates in Lightroom and CS5 smoothly.

There are a lot of presets which can be tweaked very precisely. I am impressed at it’s ease of use and flexibility.

Here are a few results, hope you like them

Sinopa Rin at Studland

Sinopa Rin at Studland

Ivy Grant in my studio

Ivy Grant, taken in my studio

A little fashion at Studland

A little fashion at Studland


Gothic Lolitas in my studio

Gothic Lolitas in my studio

My favourite shoes

Favourite Shoes

Cheryl Elizabeth at Studland

Cheryl Elizabeth at Studland

Sinopa Rin Again

Headshot at Studland

And again

Headshot in black and white

Have you heard of Pinterest?


Have you heard of Pinterest?

‘Her Indoors’, always on top of things, tells me that it is the social site of the future.

Click here and the come back and tell me what you think?

They don’t look like on the packet


A baker I am obviously not. Overcooked a packet cookie mix. They still tasted good.

Cookie Time

A Day – one on one


Another good day yesterday doing what I enjoy so much – lighting.

I gave a one day “one on one” course to Judith who was on day two of basic lighting. In our first session we positioned Greatchen, my rather well endowed mannequin, against a white back drop and using one light went through a number of different modifiers without changing the position of the light. It was also demonstrated how a soft box wraps around the subject. Judith was taking photographs of each change. We then went into the office and sat down and reviewed them on the larger screen.

Day two was to be a subject of Judith’s choice. When she arrived she admitted she hadn’t though it through and so off I went to find a suitable object. It’s spring and the daf’s are starting. Three were chosen and dutifully presented to Judith.

You should have seen the frown on her face and the smile on mine. She admitted she had tried on many occasions to photograph daffodils but to no avail. They always looked like blobs was her remark.

Into the studio we go. Judith wanted to produce a soft image against a black backdrop. She chose to use a soft box for her key light which was positioned close and at right angles to the flowers with the back edge lined up with the back edge of the flowers. She took a few images and then we reviewed the. After spotting the shadow on the right of the image we returned and placed a gold reflector on the opposite side from the key light and pointing up. More images and return for another review. The flowers look a little flat and I suggested she throw in a back light. Back to the studio and we set up a light with a snoot diffuser shining from again the opposite side from the key. The reflector had to be moved up and pointing down to eliminate a harsh shadow on the center bud.

Voila, this was the final result of Day 2 with Chris.

Day 2 - Still Life

Over Three Million Views on Flickr


I have just noticed that I now have over three million views on Flickr. Thank you to all who keep visiting me and leaving such nice comments. I will keep the images coming as long as you keep coming back

Thank you

Stats Flickr 28 Feb 12