Category Archives: Photography

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.

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.

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

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

Lightroom 4 – continued review


In my last post I gave a brief review of Lightroom 4 Beta. I stated that I was having a problem when I uploaded an image to Flickr.

Petesky came up with this solution:

“Ok, checked your blog. Now I see what you mean. I had exactly the same problem as you with lightoom. Lightoom default is to export images (to an editing program) as Prophoto RGB.You need to go into Edit-Peferences-External Editing and change it to sRGB.”

That did sort it and so thank you Petesky.

I decided to give it another go and edited one of this series of 15 images and then synchronised. All the images were updated and no firther edits were made before I used the slide show function to produce the video below.

Verdict cannot wait for my jewelry shoot on February 4, the post production work has just been cut down to about 10 minutes.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 – a review


A beta version of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 has just been released and as many have recommended this product as both an editing tool and a way to manage a large catalogue of photographs, I downloaded a copy and tried it out.

This is the first time that I have ever used Lightroom and at first glance it looks like a great tool. This beta version has no help in the upload but it was easy to navigate, import to a catalogue, name sets, add tags and metadata. I then tried some editing and again was surprised at the ease of use but when I uploaded it to Flickr….not the same as my screen at all. I then did the same tweaks in CS5 and uploaded to Flickr and got what I saw on the screen. Checked all the colour settings which all match up to SRGB. Baffling.

So verdict, great for catalogueing but as for editing won’t change yet until I know what is going on with the upload process. If that was sorted would be great for batch processing and reduce workflow considerably. Never did find out how to re-size an image for different mediums but I am sure it must be there somewhere.

Here are the two edits and before downloading they looked identical

Lightroom

Edit with Lightroom 4

CS5

Edit with CS5