Sunday, 29 August 2010

Shoreham Air Show 2010 - Workshop Report

Last weekend, 21st & 22nd August 2010 I was honoured to host Park Cameras first photography workshop at Shoreham Air Show, down on the south coast of England, close to Brighton. The event was well attended by a great bunch of photographers. Despite the typically English summer weather a great day was had by all.

A little protection from the English summer!

Here are a few BTS (behind the scenes) photographs taken by my fellow photographer Paul Noble who provided invaluable help and guidance to the participants throughout the weekend.

The group were lucky enough to experience a unique air side photo walk led by members of the air show volunteer staff. The pilots and ground crews were very cooperative and even staged a mock WWII style scramble - see images under the above link.

G-HHII BE505 XP-L Hawker Hurricane 2B

I did manage to get a few frames myself during the day and tried out a few techniques to share the next time I lead an aviation photo workshop, which with any luck will be next year - despite the weather participant feedback was excellent.

North American P-51D Mustang 472218 G-HAEC

"Don't panic Mr Mainwaring!!!" There were a fine bunch of very authentic re-enactors!

I for one am looking forward to next year or maybe sooner. If anyone who attended the Shore Air Show Photo Workshop is interested in a meet-up do get in touch.


Thursday, 12 August 2010

Shoreham Airshow 2010 - Park Cameras Photo Workshop - Update

Harvard T6 Texan

If you haven't booked you place on the Park Cameras Shoreham Air Show Photo Workshop, now is the time to do so. Earlier today I attended the press briefing with the Park Cameras Marketing Manager, Mark Robinson to hear and see what's on offer next weekend. The final display line-up has been announced and it looks like it will be a weekend filled with something for everyone, whether you're a hardened aviation enthusiast, or just want to improve your ground-to-air photography skills.

Hispano HA1112 MIL (Me109) and Supermarine Spitfire XI PL965

You can see the full display line-up here on the Shoreham Air Show website.

When you attend the air show, please be sure that you have adequate data storage and batteries for your camera. As an example, this morning I shot the the BAC Strikemaster, Blades aerobatics, the Me109 & Spitfire plus a few incidental frames and used 18Gb of Compact Flash cards! So over the course of a 6 hour display with over 30 different aircraft you are going to chew up a whole load of CF or other memory cards, especially, if like me you choose to shoot RAW and jpeg at 6+ frames per second on a Canon 50D.

Those of you attending the show should contact Park Cameras for a special deal on memory cards before next weekend - you'll not be disappointed!

The Blades in close formation flying Extra 300s

Those of you that own a hard drive storage device such as the Epson P3000 series will be wise to take it along ready formatted and with a freshly charged battery. Alternatively, if you have a MacBook or laptop, you may want to think about taking it along as a backup device, but quite frankly, memory cards are so inexpensive now, you may just want a pocketful of chips which will be a lot lighter to carry.

Hispano HA1112 MIL (Me109)

One of the main advantages of the attending the Park Cameras Shoreham Air Show Photo Workshop is you will be right at the centre of the display line with an uninterrupted view of the action - no climbing over other spectators or resorting to steps to get that crucial shot - the whole display is centred around the VIP area where we have our own dedicated hospitality area. You get the opportunity to get the shots that others cannot.

Another advantage of the Shoreham Air Show is the flight line - this runs roughly South West to North East which means the light for the majority of the day is falling on the display aircraft and not in your eyes making for better images - see the frame of the Harvard T6 Texan at the top of this article.

If you are thinking of coming along don't hesitate, contact Park Cameras and book you place now - the 2010 show is very special - it's the 21st Anniversary of the Shoreham Air Show, RAFA are using the show to launch the 2010 Wings Appeal, 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain AND we are running a competition for the best image created by workshop participants. The winning image will be included in the 2011 Shoreham Air Show guide. If there is a sufficiently outstanding image, it may even get to the cover of the guide.

I look forward to seeing you next weekend.



Monday, 9 August 2010

Blogging Theft

This is theft

Thomasa Wilson stop stealing copyright content owns this, see for original post.

Rosco Litepads

My apologies if the blog has been quiet for the last week or so but I'm working on new projects which really need some serious input on my behalf. One of these projects involves the new Rosco Litepads, an innovative range of LED light sources for stills, video and cinematography.

Big light from a battery powered source!

In my long photography career I have worked with any number of continuous light sources, the majority of  them "hot" lights, i.e. lights that generate heat as a by-product of emitting light. Over the last few years there have been innovations in lighting technology such as HMI lights and lights that use daylight corrected flicker-free fluorescent tubes. The down side of all these lights is they need mains electricity or a generator to provide the power to run.

Over the last year or two LED (Light Emitting Diode) technology has matured to the extent that these little solid-state electronic devices now produce sufficient light output to be made into viable alternatives for hot incandescent/tungsten light sources and bulky fluorescent tube based lights.

LED lights use less power than conventional lights, bulbs never need replacing as there is no filament to break or tube to deteriorate with age and best of all they are compact and run from low-energy light sources such as a car battery or even AA batteries - yes that's right, the humble torch and MP3 player battery! And emit little or no heat.

Rosco Labs have introduced a new range of light weight and thin (currently 3/8th inch approx.) daylight balanced LED lights called Litepads - these range in size from a 3 inch disc to a 24 inch soft light; all run from the supplied AC mains mains to 12v DC transformer or alternative 12v DC car accessory plug or 8 x AA batteries.

I've been lucky enough to have a set of these lights to play with (sorry "work" with) for the last few weeks and am very impressed. The basic kit I have comprises a 12 x 12 inch Litepad and 2 x 12 x 6 inch Litepads with T brackets for fixing to standard lighting stands and grip gear, spigot adaptors, AC to DC and battery power supplies, plus an inline dimmer. Yes, these lights can be dimmed without any change in colour temperature, unlike hot incandescent/tungsten lights which when dimmed the colour temperature generally lowered or warmed up.

Currently I am using these lights for both studio and location portrait and product photography, and can see innumerable applications for both stills and video photography, especially when working away from civilisation i.e. mains power and where weight and volume are a major consideration.

Voice Activated Light Stand in use
Notice the AA battery pack taped to the top of the VAL pole

In addition to the set mentioned above I also have a 24 inch Litepad which I took on location last week for a tutorial at a beach location. The shot at the top of this article was lit with the Rosco 24" Litepad with a California Sunbounce Micro Mini as a below chin fill light.

24 inch Rosco Litpad - the skinny latte of lighting

Because I decided to travel light I went the VAL route and used Voice Activated Light stands in order to work quickly in the fading dusk light. Below are a few shots from the session, including some created before the sun set.

Over the coming weeks I'll be using the Rosco Litepads whenever I can to give you an insight to the versatility of this range of lights.

Wide stop, drag the shutter, big light in close

A very effective light source just out of frame to camera left

24 inch Litepad on the pebbles with a 12 x 6 inch at camera left to separate the dark top from the dark sky!

Creating mood with good composition and a little post-production

Inspired by Bruce Weber's work for Hollister