Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Another 'shot' from the Heathrow Summer Ball

This photograph that I took at the Heathrow Summer Ball, is of singer Adam Baxter - a guy with an amazing voice who sings 'swing'.

This photo I lit using the Quantum Td5 flash, held on a monopod and shooting through an umbrella. My Nikon D200 was set at F/8.0, iso 800, 1/30s so as to capture some of the ambient light.

Heathrow Summer Ball 2007

Well Saturday was the night of the Heathrow Summer Ball, in aid of Dream Flight, and what a great night it was with loads of things going on such as live band, casino etc ... I was there taking portrait photos of attendees dressed in their best with the help of a good friend, Steve Pratley. The photos were printed on the night using a Mitsubushi Dye Sub printer hired from a company called System Insight. The printer is a superb piece of kit that churns out excellent quality prints in seconds - ideal for an event such as this. Each of the photos were displayed and sold on the night, £10 each with a percentage of the profits going to the Charity.

For those interested the set up I used for taking the photos was: 2 Rotalux softboxes (1m square and 70cm square), 2 Elinchrom D-lite 4 flash heads, and a lastolite collapsible black backdrop. To add a kick of colour onto the backdrop, I set up one Nikon SB800 flash on a stand, held on by a Justin Clamp behind the subjects being photographed, set to Remote at 1/16th power.

The photo attached is of Nick Bell, one of the event organisers, and his partner, to illustrate the portrait lighting effect.

Sunday, 24 June 2007

One more of Jason & Brooke...

Couldn't resist adding this extra photo of Jason & Brooke.

Saturday, 23 June 2007

Jo & Brooke

This photo of Jo & Brooke in the mirror wasn't planned at all. We were all just having a breather between shots and Jo wanted to show how Brooke reacts when she sees herself in the mirror. It was too good of an opportunity to miss so I squeezed in behind the two of them and rattled off a few photos with this being the result. So, another lesson learned ... be flexible and prepared to photograph whatever presents itself.

Jason & Jo Davis

The photos attached to this blog are just a sample from a photography session I did a few days ago with a couple called Jason & Jo Davis and their 5 month old daughter, Brooke (Hope I spelt that correctly Jason). We'd been meaning to get together for a while now to take some shots but there always seemed to be something preventing it.

I guess we spent around about 2 hours taking photos; some using just the one elinchrom flash and some just taking advantage of natural light spilling in from a window behind and to the side of us. Brooke took it all in her stride, not phased by the flash at all, or Mom & Dad passing her between them, changing her a couple of times into different outfits and so on ....

Again, as is usually the case with portraits sessions I do, just over 200 photographs were taken and the great thing is that we're gonna have alot of keepers from that too.

As always, I learn something from every photography session I do and this was no exception. The things that immediately spring to mind are ... 1) Have the shutter set to continuous so you can rattle of a number of shots at once cos babies constantly change their expression, and 2) stand well clear when babies are undressed, hey Jason :o)

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Heathrow Summer Ball Flyer

This coming Saturday is the 2007 Heathrow Airport Summer Ball, to be held at the Sherraton Skyline Hotel, Bath Road, Hillingdon. This is an annual event open to all airport staff and includes live bands, casino etc, all in order to raise money for the Dream Flight Charity who fly terminally ill children around the world to places such as Disney Land, Florida.

I'll be there on the night taking portrait photos of attendees looking their best, and printing the images on the night too. (thanks to a Mitsubushi Dye Sub Printer.)

I'll post a few of the photos from the night at some point this weekend, but for now, here's the flyer that I've designed in photoshop using photographs I've taken recently. I'll be handing them out with the portrait photos and to anyone that stands still long enough.

Monday, 18 June 2007

Quantum T5d Flash

Amongst others things, I've been experimenting with my Quantum T5d flash today whilst out in the garden. This is an incredible piece of kit that I first saw used by World Famous Wedding Photographer, David Ziser, at the Photoshop World Conference in Las Vegas, September 2006. The results can be outstanding; giving really soft lighting to your subject. The photos I've attached to this blog are of my wife Anne in our back garden.

Tomorrow, I'm out photographing Fionnan Noel Quigley who is the newly born baby boy of Paul & Roisin. This will be the first time I've photographed a newly born baby (1 week old) so I'll be sure to post some of the images here too.

Be sure to check back soon,
Bye for now,

Monday, 11 June 2007

Madeleine and Jonny

Every time I go out with my camera I treat it as a new experience, with the intention of learning something. This was certainly the case yesterday as in the afternoon I was over at Paul & Jackie Daly's house photographing their two children, Madeleine & Jonny. As this was the first time I'd photographed them, I thought it best to go there with minimal amount of kit and take natural photos of them playing in their back garden rather than setting up my studio lights etc.

I think I was there for up to a couple of hours and managed to take just under 200 photographs, of which there should be quite a few 'keepers'. Of the things I learned from the experience, the main ones are that kids need to be kept involved in what you're doing, so show them the LCD on the back of the camera so they can see some of the photos of themselves and also get the parents to do things with them and snap away at the result. It was clear to see that Paul is a great Dad to the two of them, as he distracted them by doing such things as playing football and picking raspberries, which made my job alot easier.

Just a small amount of work in photoshop done to the two images attached; namely a diffused glow technique I learned from Photoshop Guru, Ben Willmore.

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Adding some atmosphere using Photoshop.

Whilst out and about today I happened to pass our local church and thought I'd take a photo of one of the old gravestones. The intention was to photograph something such as an old gravestone, and add some atmosphere to using using a photoshop technique. The reason for choosing such a subject was purely to see how the effect works on still life and if I'm honest, I think the subject matter is gonna be more important than ever for it to really work.

By the way, the presentation technique I've used a few times lately (my signature overlayed with text) is a technique I saw used by Scott Kelby, President of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP).

HDR Photography ... truly awesome!!!

I've been looking into the realms of HDR photography alot lately (High Dynamic Range) which creates amazing photographs. The basic principle of the it all is that you set your SLR to take a series of photographs (preferably still images), any amount up to maybe 7. One of the photographs is exposed correctly using the camera metering system and the others are under and over exposed either side of it. All the images are then merged using a special technique in photoshop and the final results are truly outstanding. The images come out at 32 bit and then have to be converted to 8 or 16 bit to be viewed correctly. The result is an image that contains unbelievable detail in the shadows and highlights, and a tonal range that has to be seen to be believed. I'm getting out and about taking images that I can use this technique on and will add them to a future post.

In the mean time, here's another photograph of Sean (not done in HDR) who you will have seen in an earlier post. This was again taken using only natural lighting through a large patio window.

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Another photo of Jerry...

I've just been going through some of the Police photos that I took the other day in Lightroom, and couldn't resist doing the 'Dave Hill' style technique on one more of them. I've read that to get the shiny surface to the skin which adds a little more punch to the technique, the subject being photographed has to apply a little moisturiser to the exposed skin, so I guess I'm gonna have to work on the guys for that. Can't say I hold out much hope so I may have to resort to a little bribery :o)

Hey it's nearly the weekend and I hear that the weather is looking good ... fingers crossed!!!

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Seizing every opportunity...

I remember when I was young, my Mom telling me that as you get older, time goes quicker. This I could never understand, cos surely time goes the same speed no matter how old you are. Well, as I'm getting older, I tend to agree with her. These last few days have just flown by but I've made sure that I managed to squeeze in some photography.

The photos I've attached with this blog entry are of two guys, namely Jerry Fisher and Paul Zieba, who work at Heathrow Airport in the armed section. I took these photos, not just to focus on the composition etc which is obviously really important, but to work on a Photoshop technique I've been looking into for some time now. The technique has been made famous by an American Photographer by the name of Dave Hill and the kind of look he creates involves using the high pass filter, gaussian blur and a few other little tweeks.

I'll post some more images of other work I've done over the last few days, so check back soon.
Bye for now :o)

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