Sunday, 31 July 2011

Elinchrom 70 cm Deep Octa

On Wednesday Ben & I joined a small group of photographers on Brighton Beach to help them improve their skills shooting with a tripod.

Earlier in the evening we had done a test shot so I had my Elinchrom Ranger Quadra RX with me and a 70 cm Deep Octa soft box.

I thought that it would be fun to get a quick shot of the group "for the record". Camera on a tripod 1 second exposure, f5.6, 320 ISO. For me it's good to get out and just shoot for the sake of it and the Brighton Photographers MeetUp Group made both of us feel very welcome. Thanks guys. 

All the products mentioned here are available from The Flash Centre. Contact Simon Burfoot by email to place your order

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Mac OS X Lion to DVD

Well, the OS we've all been waiting for has finally been released by Apple, but only as a download from the App Store. So if you're like me and want a DVD "just in case" you can either wait for Apple to release a disk later in the year at a premium price of $70 or make your own DVD, which is simple if you remember to close the auto-installer after Lion has downloaded.

If you go to the following link you will find detailed, yet simple instructions on how to make you very own bootable Mac OS X Lion DVD:

I have just made my own DVD and it works!

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Photographers Beware - Bracknell Forest Borough Council

I am in the process of researching a project and came across this statement in a document published by Bracknell Forest Borough Council.

Please keep a copy of the Agreement and return it the Communications and Marketing Team
at: Easthampstead House, Town Square, Bracknell, Berkshire RG12 1AQ.
• I understand that in the context of data protection legislation, a photographer taking photographs
working on commission for the Council will be considered as a "data processor". The Council's
agreement to work with me is on the basis that I work under instruction from the Council;
• I understand that the Council will only work with photographers who guarantee to act appropriately to
prevent unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss or destruction of, or damage
to, personal data including photographs;
The copyright for the photographs I produce when commissioned by the Council will be owned by the
Council. These photographs may be used by the Council for any purpose it wishes (subject to the
Council’s compliance with data protection). I am aware that permission has not been given to me to
use the photographs for any purpose.
• I understand that I may not disclose the photographs to any other person unless specifically required to
do so in order to fulfil the requirements of photographic work to be undertaken for the Council.
• I understand that if I wish to disclose or use a photograph for any purpose of my own I must obtain the
prior written permission of the Council.

You have been warned, Bracknell Forest Borough Council want your intellectual property!

Friday, 15 July 2011

Canon Off-Camera Flash - Outdoor PR Images

Last Wednesday I attended a meeting of our local business association at the Plumpton College, a land based college close to the South Downs in East Sussex. We had a wonderful evening hosted by Des Lambert, the college Principle.

 Des Lambert, Principle, Plumpton College talks to BHBPA members about the college and the extensive estate it farms within the South Downs National Park

Needless to say I took a camera Speedlite with me. Just a shame that my trusty friend and VAL (Voice Activated Light Stand) Ben wasn't there, but he ended up fire-fighting a crisis at the publishers he works for!

As is the case in England, the weather wasn't really on my side so I needed to do a little enhancing to get some decent images. The create the above image of Des I took the Canon 580 EXII Speedlite off-camera left with an eTTL lead; the Canon 5D MkII was set to Av mode with the background under exposed by a stop or so for a little drama. The Speedlite was set to over exposure by 2/3 stop. By doing this I placed emphasis on the main subject, Des and the people in the background receed. A wide stop adds to the background de-emphasis.

Image processing and post-production were carried out with Bridge and Photoshop. Basic exposure tweeks in Bridge then a few local adjustments in PS using a dodge/burn adjustment layer.

As you can see from this unlit image, the light was pretty flat and boring and needed a bit of a lift.

This shot of Des was lit and exposed very much as the first. You can see the effect of the Speedlite by the light area in the image. The darker area was not lit by the flash and is the ambient exposure recorded by the camera sensor.I would have preferred to light this shot from the right rather than the left to place more emphasis on Des's face. The trouble was no Ben, but I still got a usable shot.

To get this image I had to move a way from the group. Don't be shy about getting into a different position to get your images; run with the crowd and you'll get run-of-the-mill images. Change your position and point-of-view (PoV) and you'll create images that stand out from the crowd.

Have a great weekend and keep an eye open for news of the Fotothon winners to be announced tomorrow - providing they all respond to our notification emails!


Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Fotothon 2011 - Winners Chosen

Chris, Ben & I, together with serious input from Charlie Waite & Nigel Atherton means that very shortly we will be announcing the Fotothon Brighton winners. The task has not been easy; the standard of entries has far exceeded our expectations with some real stunners. The overall winner is well deserved and everyone who entered is to be congratulated.

We will be contacting all winners within the next 48 hours to get the high resolution original files together with model release forms where applicable.

Our thanks to both Charlie & Nigel for their support in this venture. Without the support of everyone involved Fotothon would not have evolved to where it is in such a short time.