Saturday, 28 July 2007

Practicing with HDR processing

Still buzzing from yesterday's seminar with Ben Willmore, I've been experimenting a little with curves and adjustment layers within photoshop. The picture that I've attached to this blog entry, I took whilst photographing Jon & Marianne Martin's Wedding a few weeks back. It's a bracketed imaged (4 shots of different exposures) that I've combined and then heavily processed in photoshop to give the effect.

Friday, 27 July 2007

What a week!!!!

Well, talk about walking round with a smile on my face; a great week so far of learning photography with Damien Lovegrove and Photoshop with Ben Willmore, with yet more time with Damien Lovegrove on Tuesday next week for a full day's Wedding Shoot. As if that wasn't enough, I logged onto the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP) website this evening to discover that one of my images has won 'Image of the week'.

The NAPP has over 70,000 members (and growing) worldwide and is the largest graphics and digital imaging organisation, in the world, so to have an image voted as image of the week from amongst so many talented people is very exciting. Just receiving congratulations messages from other members beats any prize....well, almost any :o)

I've included a snap shot of the NAPP homepage showing a thumbnail of the image, and also again, I've attached the full sized version for you to see.

Ben Willmore in the UK

Well this is really turning out to be one heck of a week; starting off with a day's photography with Damien Lovegrove and then today, a whole day's seminar with Ben Willmore teaching photoshop techniques for photographers.

Ben is one of the best teachers in the world when it comes to Photoshop. He's a best selling author and has several DVD's covering many aspects of photoshop and is in demand across the world by many blue chip companies. Ever since I started using photoshop, Ben has always been one of my favourite instructors / authors. He has this incredible knack of making everything within the program look so easy but also is able to make it understandable, and when I had the opportunity to see Ben in action out in Las Vegas at the Photoshop World Conference last September, I was blown away!

A huge thankyou to both Ben and the team at the NAPP (National Association of Photoshop Professionals, of which I'm a member) for coming over from the United States and sharing the seminar ... AWESOME!!!

Thursday, 26 July 2007

A couple more natural light photos

Here's another couple of photos that I took during my time spent with Damien Lovegrove, again using natural light.
This really was a fantastic day, shared with a cracking group of keen photographers.

A day with Damien Lovegrove

Having spent the day yesterday with World Class Photographer, Damien Lovegrove my head hasn't stopped spinning. The whole day from start to finish was just an incredible learning experience that has totally changed the way I now think about photography and how to capture truly beautiful, thought provoking images.

Damien's method of explaining certain principles and his whole demeanour was infectious, and it's now very easy to see why, when his Wedding Photography is in the region of £10,000, he is inundated with work.

I now can't wait to go and spend more time with him to help push my photography on to a new level. Thankfully I don't have to wait too long as I'm back with him for another full day on Monday :o)

Here's a couple of the photographs I took during the day; one with natural light and one with the use of an off camera Nikon SB800 Speedlight.

Sunday, 22 July 2007

Pregnancy photos

Ever since last year when I scanned in several thousand slides of photographs taken by my wife's brother Dave, I've put much more emphasis on taking as many 'day to day' photos as possible. Seeing all the photos that Dave took actually made me quite envious (but in a good way) that he had a record of the family growing up through the years.

So...when my sister Sian asked me to take some photos whilst she was pregnant I was thrilled. This is a subject that to date I'd never photographed so I spent quite a bit of time getting ideas from other photographers, so I could capture some really tasteful images. I decided that the style I wanted to adopt was with Sian wearing just a plain white long sleeved shirt and blue denim jeans. Her shirt was undone from the bottom up, just enough to reveal 'the bump' and I was 'made up' when Andrew, her husband, got in on the photos too. Equipment that I took was my trusty black Lastolite Collapsible background and 2 Nikon SB800's which were shot though umbrellas to give nice soft lighting.

These photos understandably are quite personal so I won't be posting any with this blog entry; however, over time I'll make sure I post up some photos of this very special baby.

Monday, 16 July 2007

Another photo of the Red Arrows in action

Here's another shot I took of the Red Arrows during their display. This was the first time I'd witnessed them in action and it's clear now what all the hype is about. Those guys really do set the standard for what aerobic displays are all about ... a first class display that really makes you hold your breath at times, particularly when they do the head on pass at over 400 mph, with a gap between them of only 6ft!!!

A day out at RAF Fairford

Sunday just passed, I spent a fabulous day out at the Royal International Air Tattoo in Fairford, with my wife Anne, and good friends Amanda & Tim.

The day started off with a delicious breakfast at Amanda & Tim’s house, and then we set off in convoy for the 1 hour drive to RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve wanted to go to one of the military air displays (not that I’m a spotter) but just to see what big boys toys are all about :o) It really was a superb day with some breath taking displays by the American and Italian Air Forces, and also getting the chance to witness the Red Arrows in action.

Naturally, my trusty Nikon was to hand so I managed to rattle off a few shots; some of which I’ve added to this blog. (click on them for a larger version)

Incredibly the rain stayed away for most of the day so we were able to tuck into the mountain of food prepared by Anne & Amanda, which I must say was bloomin’ marvellous!

All in all a great day spent with great friends.

Thursday, 12 July 2007

Some more photos of Fionnan

Thought I'd add these extra couple of photos of Baby Fionnan; resting on his mom, and holding onto his Dad's finger....bless.

Click here to see more photos

Baby Fionnan

A few weeks ago now, I went over to Paul & Roisin Quigley's home to take photos of their new baby boy, Fionnan. The little lad was only a week old at the time, and despite his tender age, wasn't phased by the lighting I set up, and being passed between Mum & Dad for the different photos.

I just want to say 'Thankyou' to both Paul & Roisin for their kind words about how happy they are with the results.

Seeing people react positively to what I do, gives a feeling that money simply can't buy; and it's that which makes me hungry to constantly keep learning and improving.

Their gain is our loss!

Friday 4th August 2007 is Mark Hunt's last working day on Team 2 at Heathrow Airport, as he's soon to be making the move over to Western Australia to join the Police in Perth.

The move is undoubtedly a good thing for Mark & his family but he'll certainly be leaving a gap on the Team. In the two and a half years I've known him, I can honestly say he's one of the nicest guys I've ever met and this is echoed by most everyone who knows him.

Good on ya mate!

Sunday, 8 July 2007

Mr & Mrs Jon Martin

Thursday last week (5th July) I was both a guest and the official photographer at Jon Martin & Marianne Rowell's Wedding, held at The George Hotel, Buckden in Cambridgeshire.

I was ably assisted by my wife Anne during the start of the day when we went to Marianne's parents' house and photographed her wedding shoes, bouquet and dress; with just a couple of photos of Marianne getting ready. From there we made our way back to the hotel which was all of 2 minutes away where we were joined by a friend of mine, Steve Pratley. I then went on to take photographs of the decor, the cake and then Jon & his Best Man, Dave.

Thankfully the weather held out for most of the day so I was able to get all the 'must have' photos taken but our time was cut short in the Knot Garden at Buckden Towers, as the rain started to fall. The garden used to belong to Catherine of Aragon, and is beautifully maintained, with many areas within it, that are just great for Wedding Photography.

All in all, it was a thoroughly enjoyable day that due to the weather, at times was challenging. All in all, we took 965 photographs that I've now started editing so I can show around 100 to Jon & Marianne when they return from their Honeymoon.

The two photos attached are ones I've edited quickly so that I had something to add to this post. Both are from ones I took in the Knot Garden.

Monday, 2 July 2007

Just for laughs!!!

Hi All,

Well with the recent Terrorist activities going on in Ibiza and Glasgow, and as a consequence, the increased security measures at Heathrow Airport, there's clearly a need for little 'light relief'.

So ... I thought it time I put together a long overdue poster using Photoshop.
As usual there has to be a "victim", but hey, you know what they say ... "If you can't take a joke, then you shouldn't have joined".

Enjoy :o)


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