Thursday, 25 August 2011

Elinchrom Ranger Quadra Flash FOR SALE

A friend wants to upgrade his flash and has the following FOR SALE: Elinchrom Ranger Quadra 2 head 'S' set, controller, 2 x batteries etc all in hard carry case. A bargain at £900. Contact me direct and I'll put you in touch ianpack(a) - just replace the (a) with the @ symbol;-)

Monday, 15 August 2011

Shoreham Air Show 2011

 RAF Merlin HC Mk3
Shoreham Airport sits next to the River Adur over looked by the spectacular chapel of Lancing College

Saturday & Sunday 20th & 21st August 2011

From little acorns do mighty oaks grow and Shoreham Air Show has to be on of the finest examples of this I have seen. In 1989 Don Bean MBE and his wife decided to start a small event in a hangar at Shoreham Airport in West Sussex to raise money for the RAFA Wings Appeal. The Shoreham Air Show has grown year on year since and continues to grow. It is the only event of its' kind in the UK run entirely by volunteers.

Don and his team work flat out for the whole year planning and negotiating a varied and breath-taking display of civil, military, fixed and rotary wind aircraft. They also plan extensive ground displays and entertainment for aviation widows/widowers (those whose partners are leaft behind whilst the other oohhs and aahhs over buzzy things in the sky for over seven hours). On the ground there will be childrens' entertainment, crafts, charities, a variety of static displays and of course beer and food.

On Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st August the air show gates will open early with the flying display schedules to start at 10:30 AM going on until around 5:00 PM when the spectacular Avro Vulcan will make an appearance.

Justyn Gorman with his Extra 300L

During the show the Shoreham based pilot will display his awesome aerobatic skills in the Extra 300L. Justyn has developed a new display this year drawing influeneces from aerobatics champions Diana Britten and Xavier de Lapparent. Justyns display contains some thrilling manoeuvers and gyroscopic tumbles pulling high G-forces during the display without the benefit of a g-suit from which fast jet pilots benefit.

 A somewhat draughty position!

One of the highlights of the show is sure to be the utterly fearless Brietling Wingwalkers perched atop the wings of 1940s vintage Boeing Steerman biplanes. This year Shoreham is one of the few venues to see all four Steerman in the wing perform together.

Great skill and concentration is required from the pilots when flying in close formation
The list of displays may be found at the Shoreham Air Show website. Do go along and prepare to be amazed at the skill and dedication of the pilots and also raise money for a very worthy cause, the RAFA Wing Appeal.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Photography White Balance Technique

There will be times when you go out with a specific image in mind and as in England the weather will let you down.

  Making the most of cr4p natural light!

Ben & I went out with the intention of doing a test shot for a series of new images we're working on. We really wanted the warm light from the setting sun to provide a backdrop for the shot of Kim on the beach. And as is the norm here, the cloud came over and obscured the sun giving us boring, flat grey sky with no clouds for interest.

The main light was to be be an Elinchrom Quadra Ranger RX modified with a Rotalux 70 cm Deep Octa. I could have gone with any number of lighting designs here but opted for warmth in the sky with direction from the Octa. As I did not have my Rosco CalColor gels with me I used a Rosco product called #3072 or 1/2 Blue Grid Cloth.

My thanks to Ben Potter for this BTS  frame showing the lighting

This is a fabric or textile similar to the rip stop nylon used to make sails or parachutes. Rosco Labs have created an accurately colour corrected textile to raise the colour temperature of your lights. #3072 or 1/2 Blue Silent Grid Cloth is used primarily in the film and theatre industries for modifying light sources over a large area in studios or stages. I have found it very useful when using soft boxes or similar light modifiers with stills photography.

The technique used here I mention in my blog back in January 2011 and have to thank American photographer Rolando Gomez for the inspiration. Once mastered, this white balance technique which I have dubbed "Cross Balancing" is pure workflow.

First of all you need to decide the colour you want to change to sky and ambient light. Then look at a colour wheel and choose the colour opposite the final choosen colour, this is the complimentary colour. This colour wheel has been extracted from the Rosco booklet Filter Facts which I strongly recommend you download and keep for future reference. If you light (i.e. are a serious stills or video photographer) sooner or later you will need to refer to it.

9 Steps for Cross Balancing workflow:
  1. Decide on backgound colour.
  2. Select CalColor gel.
  3. Correct and modify light source.
  4. Take white balance reference where model/subject will be.
  5. Preferably set custom white balance in camera so you can preview what's happening.
  6. Get your shots.
  7. Post-production white balance. Remember to shoot RAW as any in camera custom white balance will only affect the JPEG/preview file.
  8. Adjust image.
  9. Print or publish image(s).
 White balance is essential with this technique.

The uncorrected image, a bit cool for my liking . . .

The final image white balanced in post-production/processing.

Here is the finished image. The skin tones look more natural and the shadows have picked up the false colour of the ambient fill light.

Another lighting idea to try soon.



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

Monday, 1 August 2011

Worldwide Photo Walk 2012 - Brighton

Well, it's official Worldwide Photo Walk will take place over the weekend of 1 & 2 October 2011.

More information may be found about the worldwide event over at Scott Kelby's blog and the official Worldwide Photo Walk website. If you're in the Brighton, UK area on Saturday 1st October Ben Potter & I will be leading the Brighton event, with maybe a couple of Fotothon style clues thrown in for a bit of fun! More information about the Brighton event will be posted here, just as soon as Ben & I have come up with a fresh new route for 2011.

Ben & I have led the Brighton Worldwide Photo Walk for the last 2 years - here's a wee promo we created in 2009 for the event.

We look forward to meeting everyone on the 1st October. I'm sure that there will be some famililar faces and maybe even some new ones!