Monday, 10 December 2012

Elinchrom 44cm Reflector Light Shaper

Retro Reflector on Modern Flash Head

Elinchrom have published their 2013 catalogue which includes one of my favourite light modifiers ever made, the Light Shaper or now the 44cm Reflector with Grid.

I have a (approximately) 30 year old Light Shaper - built to last from pressed aluminium with a metal 6mm honeycomb grid with in-built steel gel/diffuser frame.

This is why I love Elinchrom flash gear - a vintage reflector on a new BX250Ri monobloc flash head

This reflector/modifier can be used as a broad, soft light for small groups and portraits; products and pack shots; for more directional effects with the grid in place or as a softer directional light with a frost, spun or grid cloth diffuser under the honeycomb grid.

Here are a few images of my buddy Rob, an aspiring Rat Pack member!


On its' own the Light Shaper gives a good spread of light and controlled shadows with distinct feathering.


Add the 6mm honeycomb grid for more direction and controlled spill. Positioning of both model and light are critical when using the honeycomb.


 Add Rosco 3032 Light Grid Cloth for a softer controlled beam, reminiscent of Holly style lighting. In the image the key light was the Light Shaper, accent/separation back light provided by a 66 cm Portalite soft box, and background light from a Elinchrom Mini Spot Lite with Rosco 77138 Cats Window D Series gobo.


And finally, the bare white reflector with a silver deflector, so no direct light from the flash tube, which is reflected back from the silvered deflector onto the white surface giving lovely soft shadows with gentle gradation. Image processed with Nik Software Snapseed for Mac Desktop.

Elinchrom flash is available direct from the UK importer The Flash Centre. Contact Simon Burfoot and don't forget to mention this blog - simon@theflashcentre.co.uk







Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Gel Clip Extension Spigot


The Gel Clip Extension Spigot is machined from a solid bar of aluminium.



As many of you will know when shooting off-camera flash on location, conventional tripod lighting stands can be a real pain to position on uneven ground or place close enough to the subject without intruding into your frame. The solution is a lighting accessory boom which can be expensive, so here at Gel Clip we have developed a simple solution for off-camera flash and fans of Strobist lighting techniques - the Gel Clip Extension Spigot.

The Gel Clip extension Spigot has been designed to transform a relatively inexpensive paint roller extension pole into a photography lighting boom with an industry standard 16mm or 5/8th inch spigot which will accept the majority of off-camera flash, hot shoe flash and Strobist accessories with the compatible 16mm or 5/8th inch fitting.

It mounts either in line . . .

. . . or at 90 degrees and secured with a thumb knob to prevent twisting or movement.

Gel Clip Extension Spigot with Manfrotto 026 Lite Tite Swivel Umbrella Adapter
and Enlight Photo Frio cold shoe adaptor.

Also fits portable battery flash such as Elinchrom Ranger Quadra!

Ben and I have been using a prototype of the Extension Spigot for over year so we know it works. I opted for the Harris painters extension pole as it has locking grips which are easy to use with gloved hands - you have to think about your assistant, partner, VAL (Voice-Activated Light stand) when it's cold;-)

The Gel Clip Extension Spigot is only available from selected independent photography accessory resellers:




Painters extension poles are available from any number of outlets, both on the ground and online:






I strongly recommend that you ONLY buy a pole with a metal thread, the less expensive plastic variety will break under load.


As well as fitting standard painters extension poles, the Gel Clip Extension Spigot will also fit 19 mm tubing, including the kind you buy in DIY stores for making clothing rails.

Applications for the Gel Clip Extension Spigot are endless - use 2 or more on a 19mm rod to create a powerful TTL off camera flash; use a 19 mm rail as a background support rail and attach a Gel Clip Extension Spigot at each end of the rail to attach back lights or other accessories; attach multiple Gel Clip Extension Spigots with Speedlites or other flash units to a single rail to create a broad and soft diffused light bank; attach to a lighting stand using a couple of Manfrotto Super Clamps to take the load from your VAL - just remember that someone will need to balance the end away from the gear so the whole shebang doesn't tip over!

Happy snapping and let's see what images you can create with the help of the Gel Clip Extension Spigot.

TTFN











Monday, 12 November 2012

Rogue Flash Bender Softbox with Rosco White Grid Cloth


Speedlites or hot shoe flash are an excellent portable lighting solution which to be usable almost always need modification in some way. The Rogue Flash Bender is an excellent modifier for off-camera hot shoe flash lighting as it gives you a broader soft light from an inherently hard point light source.

 My long-suffering model and daughter Abi
- flattering light courtesy of large Rogue Flash Bender and Rosco 3030 white Grid Cloth

I've been using one for a couple of years now as my standard softener for my Canon Speedlites. There are times when more softening is desirable, especially when creating portraits, and the solution is Rosco’s inexpensive and convenient Grid Cloth.  Rosco’s range of Grid Cloth diffusers come in a variety of different densities as well as the combination Dyed Grids that offer CTB (tungsten to daylight correction) and CTS (daylight to tungsten correction) options.

The following images illustrate the effect of flash on my long suffering model, my eldest daughter Abi, who still manages to smile despite the pain inflicted by her photographer father!


1. Ambient or existing daylight only in my back yard. Notice the yellow tone to the right of Abi's face, this the reflection of a yellow/orange wall about 4 feet away.


2. Direct flash zoomed to 50mm (see kit list below) with Gel Clip holding Rosco 302 Pale Bastard Amber Cinegel to add slight warmth Abi's skin tones. Warm (red/yellow) skin tones always look better than cool (blue/green)!



3. Flash modified with large Rogue Flash Bender, Gel Clip holding Rosco 302 Pale Bastard Amber Cinegel.


4. Flash modified with large Rogue Flash Bender, Gel Clip holding Rosco 302 Pale Bastard Amber Cinegel removed to show effect of warming filter.


5. Flash modified with large Rogue Flash Bender, Gel Clip holding Rosco 302 Pale Bastard Amber Cinegel and Rosco 3030 white Grid Cloth clipped to front of Rogue Flash Bender giving softer shadow edge gradation, not dissimilar to a soft box.


6. As 5 above but distance to Abi doubled. As with a studio softbox, the greater the distance the harder the light becomes. Here the light was held at arms length above and close to frame centre.

For frames 2 to 5 the flash was hand held high and to camera left, at a distance of about 2ft 6in.

I prefer Rosco 02 Bastard Amber and 302 Pale Bastard Amber as a warming gel as it's less red/yellow than the CTO correction gel used by many photographers to warm skin tones. For me CTO, is a daylight to tungsten correction gel, not a skin tone warmer.

Rosco 3030 White Grid Cloth is a material very similar to that used to make the diffusers in the majority of commercially available studio or portable soft boxes. It is used in TV, motion picture and theatre to diffuse light over large areas. Rosco 3030 White Grid Cloth is available as part of the 10" x 12" Diffusion kit, retailing for about £19.99 or as single 20" x 24" sheets for less than £5.00. Cinegel Pale Bastard Amber is available as 20" x 24" sheets.

Rogue Flash Benders are available from many photographic retailers, click here to find a dealer near you.

Rosco lighting gels and diffusers are available in the UK from The Flash Centre


The Original Gel Clip has been designed to fit the majority of hotshot flash units available. It sits in front of the flash tube giving an air gap so the heat energy emitted when the flash fires disapates. Gels are held in place inside the Gel Clip which if fixed in place with a hook and loop strap.

Gel Clip is available from selected UK resellers:

www.crookedimaging.co.uk
www.jackthehat.co.uk

Camera Settings
Manual exposure; Daylight white balance approx. 5100K; Aperture f/4; Shutter 1/50 sec; ISO 320; Metering Evaluative; Focus centre spot AF.

Kit List
Canon EOS 50D
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 prime - just like a 80mm of full frame, but lighter and less expensive!
Canon 580 EXII Speedlite set to eTTL
Large Rogue Flash Bender reflector
Rosco 3030 white Grid Cloth
Fold back clips to attach Grid Cloth to Flash Bender
Handheld, no tripod.

Well that's it, a simple low cost and portable soft box solution for hot shoe flash.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Lowepro Pro Roller x200

I've been working off line for the last few months so about time I caught up with some blog projects;-)

I have now been using my Lowepro Pro Roller x 200 rolling camera case since April 2012 as my "go-bag" of choice. I opted for the bag as it allows me to carry a comprehensive portable battery lighting kit along with a DSLR body, a couple of heavy zoom lenses and an array of accessories.

This short video will give you a flavour of what I crammed into the case.



The kit in this case will cover any number of assignments. I supplement it with a shoulder case containing a carbon fibre tripod, a couple of nano stands, grip head, ali boom, white shoot through brolly and a Sunbounce Micro Mini reflector panel.

The Pro Roller x200 has been well designed and has a removable inner section so the wheeled case can be checked-in and backpack carried onto a flight. I haven't tried to get the packed case into an overhead locker on a plane, but I have tried it in an Easyjet carry-on gauge/frame and sad to say the case is too long and the way I've stuffed it, too fat. I used the Easyjet frame as a test because a friend who works at London Gatwick Airport assures me they have the smallest carry-on dimensions! That being said, for bus, train and car travel it's a cracker.

A quick and dirty iPhone snap of my Lowepro Pro Roller x200
not even squeezing into the Easyjet carry-on gauge!

Click on the image to see the contents of my Pro Roller x200, including a 2 head Elinchrom Ranger Quadra kit with 2 x batteries, Canon Speedlite and accessories giving me a 3 head lighting kit in one convenient rolling case!

If you're going to consider buying a rolling case in the near future, give the Lowepro Pro Roller x100, x200 or x300 a go, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. Shop around as there are some good prices both on and off line available.

My thanks to Paul Noble for filming and editing the video.

TTFN





Sunday, 9 September 2012

Photo Walks for Autumn 2012

Come along an learn how to create images like this!
Hope Gap and Cuckmere Haven from Birling Gap, part of the Seven Sisters chalk cliffs

I have just announced date for the first of my outdoor photography workshop photo walks. You can find out more at http://www.ukphotowalks.com

The coastal walks are very special as they are planned to get the best from the stunning locations to be sure to book now. There is also an exclusive walk at Cuckmere Haven to photograph the Seven Sisters chalk cliffs for people with limited mobility.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

California Sunbounce Pro Reflector

A few weeks ago, prior to their appearance on Big Brothers Bit on the Side I photographed the comedy boy band Rogue 5. Time was tight for this shoot as they travelled from London to Brighton between rehearsals.

Darcy "Winston The Rapper" Rogue 5

Part of the brief was to create head shots as the Rogue 5 characters. Normally I'd use portable battery flash in the form of Elinchrom Ranger Quadras, but as the light and location were so good I opted for available light. I was working with my normal team of Ben Potter assisting and my daughter Hati assisting Ben!

Hati very kindly shot a few BTS frames thus making this post possible.


For the head shots I decided to work in the shade of an old shelter which gave soft natural light from two sides. The background as you can see was a bit grotty and was in need of over lighting - enter the California Sunbounce Pro a 6' x 4' silver/white reflector provided both light on Darcy and the background from the silver surface, effectively doing the work of two smaller reflectors. As you can see in the above shot, the 6' x 4' Pro did a very effective job of lighting two areas in the image.

If you do decide to try this, I suggest you have an able assistant hold the reflector as Sunbounce Pro reflectors also make very effective sails. On light stands, even in light wind conditions they require a lot of sand bags to keep them stable.

That's it, just a quickie today.

TTFN


Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Rogue Flash Benders When Time is Tight!

All quiet on the blog front and social media in general as I'm busy working with off-line clients - i.e. face-to-face work and have been lucky enough to have tickets for Olympic sailing and swimming. But back to reality now!

Joe Williams with the Bomber Command Tribute at Beachy Head in East Sussex 

There are times when you have very little chance to get your shots as time and the English weather are conspiring against you. I recently attended the dedication of the Bomber Command Tribute/Memorial at Beachy Head in Sussex and had a brief opportunity to photograph Joe Williams the ex-bomber command tail gunner who bought the whole project together, along with Mr Peter Field, Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex, Her Majesty The Queen's representative for the county and stand-in when Royalty are otherwise engaged.

During the dedication ceremony the weather held off and the sun shone but close to the end of proceedings the weather closed in and started to rain, leaving a small window for photography. I'm not a fan of on-camera hot shoe flash so try whenever possible to use my Canon Speedlite with an eTTL lead. Ideally I wanted a large light source but there was not the opportunity to set-up a softbox on a lighting stand so used a large Rogue Flash Bender which effectively made my teeny Speedlite into a 11" x 10" soft bounce light source.

The large Rogue Flasbender attached to a Canon Speedlite

As time was against me I literally had one or two frames, no more, so had to make sure everything was set and working as there would be no second chance. The camera was set to Manual exposure with a shutter speed to under expose the ambient light/sky by one stop or so. The flash was set to eTTL with one stop over exposure dialed in - better safe than sorry and as I was shooting RAW and problems could be rectified in post. The Speedlite was held at arms length and positioned based on experience!

Mr Peter Field, Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex

As you can see the Rogue Flash Bender did a great job of modifying a hard native light source. They are easy to use and compact to transport so there's no excuse for not having one with you. I use mine as a wrap for my Speedlite in transit.

Use it as a Speedlite wrap or store flat, you have no excuse not to have one of these beauties in your bag!

Thursday, 28 June 2012

RAF Bomber Command Memorial

Joe Williams, CEO of Bomber Command Tribute Beachy Head Committee 

During the course of World War 2 over 50,000 air crew of RAF Bomber Command gave their lives in the fight against Nazi Germany. Until now they have been the forgotten heroes of the war, now they will be remembered with two new memorials; one to be unveiled by Her Majesty The Queen in Green Park, London today 28th June 2012 and another on the Sussex coast at Beachy Head on Sunday 8th July. Beachy Head was chosen as for many it was the last British land they would ever see.

One veteran of RAF Bomber Command, Joe Williams has made it his mission to create a memorial/tribute to those that lost their lives and have it erected within the South Downs National Park, on the route of the South Downs Way, at Beachy Head in view of the famous lighthouse and close the Beachy Head visitor centre.

You can read more of Joe's story on the Bomber Command Tribute website.

On 26th June 2012 the grey granite Memorial/Tribute was airlifted by an RAF Chinook from RAF Odiham in Hampshire and installed ready to be dedicated on Sunday 8th July 2012.

Chinook HC3

Part of the Memorial/Tribute is carefully flown in by the Chinook HC3

The Chinook also delivered a mobile crane for assembling the Memorial/Tribute

A stunning location!

And don't forget to visit the Memorial/Tribute if you can. It's easily accessible from the Peace Path which forms part of the South Downs Way at Beachy Head, close to the visitor centre and pub. The views are stunning; on a clear day you can see as far as the Isle of Wight.

Beach Head Light House, just one of the stunning views
from the Bomber Command Memorial/Tribute

Watch this blog for information about the creation of the image of Joe Williams - all is not as it seems;-)

TTFN


Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Fotothon 2012 Brighton - Chimping Competition


A feature of Fotothon and our London Photo Walk is the Chimping Competition. This year the UK distributor for Hoodman products has donated a Hoodman Hoodloupe 3 valued at £76.00 - this is the ideal accessory for viewing your LCD in bright ambient light conditions!



http://www.thedarkroom.co.uk/hoodman/hoodloupe-and-accessories/hoodman-hoodloupe.html

You can read my review of the Hoodman Hoodloupe 3 here - to my mind a worthwhile investment for anyone with a DSLR camera who wants to perform critical checks of their images, inside or out.

For those of you not familiar with Chimping, let me explain; a chimping competition is simple - you select what you consider to be your best image from the day and display it on your camera display screen, the organisers will then choose what they consider to be the best image - do remember that the the judges decision is final and may be swayed by bribes yet to be decided;-)

Do remember that the Chimping competition is an opportunity use some of the picture styles built into your camera. If you remember to set your camera to record both RAW & jpeg you'll still be able to use the RAW file to create further images after the competition. And one last rule for the chimping competition. You may not submit the image shown for the "official" best of walk photo competition.

I will also point out that what looks good on you camera LCD screen may not be sharp or usable later on, so please magnify and check your image before presenting it. Also, think about what looks good on your small 3 inch or screen; does it have impact, is it compelling, will it grab the organisers attention? Think about multiple images of each frame when you shoot - portrait, landscape, wide, close-up, position in frame, framing and other compositional devices all help.

And don't forget, you can book your place now by visiting http://www.meetup.com/Fotothon-Photography-Competition/events/70391422/ or http://www.packshots.biz/fotothon-booking/

See you on the 7th July!

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Fotothon 2012

Overall Winner 2011 - Heather Buckley

Fotothon 2012 is still with us despite many personal challenges presented in the last year. I've spent the last week in hospital undergoing tests, Chris is recovering from a hip replacement and Ben is deep into designing books for the 2012 Christmas season!

We are finalising deals with new supporters and are pleased to confirm that SmugMug are a major supporter providing website hosting and upload facility in conjunction with Fastline Media, a fine SmugMug customisation business.

The clue challenges this year are . . . well that would be telling, but that's part of the fun, expect the unexpected. It's a great way to challenge preconceptions, get you thinking outside of the box and create something totally different.

Don't worry if you haven't got fancy kit a couple of the 2011 winners used simple digital point-and-shoot compacts.

Come and join us on Saturday 7th July 2012 for the Brighton photography challenge of the year! Entry is only £10.00 for advance booking or £20.00 if you pay on the day. Children under 16 go free if accompanied by a paying adult.

You can see images from the 2011 competition at www.fotothon.co.uk there are many valuable prizes to be won.

Keep an eye on these media channels for more information:


Fotothon official website sponsored by SmugMug www.fotothon.co.uk

Ian's Blog http://ianpack.blogspot.com

Fotothon on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/214943075202624/

Ian's Twitter Feed http://twitter.com/ianpack

Come on, go for it. Fotothon is great way to explore the wonderful city by the sea that is Brighton & Hove!

AND for all you water sport fans on 7 & 8 July there will be the Paddle Europe's biggest FREE beach and waterspouts festival giving all manner of photo-opportunities.

See you on the 7th July!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

ioShutter Camera Remote


ioShutter™ is a new device from the Enlight Photo the makers of the Orbis Ring Flash & Frio Cold Show which allows you to add extra functionality to a wide range of DSLR and compact cameras. It comprises software designed to run on your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad and a cable which connects the two.

Image courtesy Enlight Photo


The basic ioShutter™Lite app is free from the Apple App Store, with the Pro version being a very reasonable £6.99 in UK or $9.99 elsewhere.

For me this cable is going to be an asset as I have a Canon Powershot G12 from which Canon dropped tethered remote shooting capability (without telling too many people) thus making the camera useless for time lapse shooting and long B exposures, until now. With the ioShutter™ cable and app connected to the camera I'm able to create time lapse movies, control long B exposures and activate the camera remotely by sound or the motion of the iPhone.

Image courtesy Enlight Photo

There are 2 versions of the ioShutter™ cable available now, E3 covering Canon, Pentax, Contax, Samsung and Hasselblad i.e. those cameras with a 2.5 mm stereo jack plug remote connection; the N3 covering those Canon DSLR cameras with the 3 pin remote plug. Cables for Nikon will be available for 10 pin & DC2 later in the year. For a compatibility list click here and select the About tab. The cable is provided with a blue drawstring back for storage, as if you're like me it will end up lost in a camera bag somewhere!


When you enter the ioShutter™ app the screen you see is well designed, uncluttered and accessible. In the centre of the screen is the Shutter Release; above this are icons to indicate which functions are activated. Under the Shutter Release is a numeric display to indicate the count down for timed B exposures or when using the TimeLapse function. All the screen images in this article are direct grabs from ioShutter™ Pro on an Apple iPhone 4.


Touching the button on the left opens a drawer revealing the five functions; Timer, Bulb, Lapse, Sound and Shake.



The Timer function allows you to programme a delay between your camera shutter firing or another ioShutter™ function activating, with the Pro version allowing you to schedule events using the devices built-in Calendar. The Timer function may be used with Bulb, Lapse, Sound and Shake functions.
Lite 20 and 60 seconds only
Pro total control



Bulb allows you to set exposure times longer than those available within your cameras shutter speed range. When shooting long exposures vibration is a danger so triggering your camera with ioShutter™ negates the need for a separate remote release cable. The Bulb function may be used with Timer, Sound and Shake functions but not Lapse.
Lite 60, 90 & 120 seconds only
Pro fully programable



TimeLapse has to be my favourite function as it allows me to expose a series of frames that are then be edited to make a time lapse movie or even a stop motion animation. You can see more about making time lapse movies on my blog. On the TimeLapse screen "Shutter Interval" tab sets the interval between each frame and "Duration" tab the length of time of your total time-lapse sequence.
Lite you'll need to register to receive ioShutter™ updates and special offers*! Then functionality is limited to Every 5 seconds for 5 minutes or 10 minutes and every 30 seconds for 10 minutes.
Pro total control over interval between frames up to 13 days, 23 hours, 59 minutes, 59 seconds.



Sound will trigger your camera by your voice or any other sound. This is a sophisticated facility in that it allows you to set the level of the sound to trigger; the delay between the sound and trigger activation; the duration that the sound exceeds the trigger level. There is a "No Repeat for" function to prevent unwanted audio re-triggering.
Lite Clap to Snap™
Pro Trigger level from 0.0 dB to 1.0 dB. Delay up to 50 seconds. Sound duration up to 10 seconds. No sound repeat for up to 5 seconds.

To give you an idea of the sensitivity of the the Sound trigger, whilst I conducted my initial tests at my home studio, with the Sound level set below 0.3 dB a neighbours lawn mower kept triggering the camera!



Shake activates your camera with movement of the iPhone etc. The iPhone inbuilt vibration signal appears not to activate the ioShutter™ Shake. The "Intensity" of the shake can be set, as can the "Delay" between movement and triggering the camera. With an "Intensity" of 1.0 a deflection of about 2cm or 1 inch is required to trigger the camera; the greater the number on the "Intensity" scale, the more movement required to trigger the camera.
Lite Shake to Take™
Pro choice of direction or axis x, y or z. Intensity from 1.0 to 10.0 and Delay to trigger.

Both Shake & Sound will also activate the Movie function allowing you to trigger the camera by voice or other sound. And if you do get lost you can always go to the "?" Help button at the bottom of each screen for an explanation of what to do!

ioShutter in action. See short time lapse movie below
Photo Copyright 2012 Abi Pack



I'm reliably informed that ioShutter™ will work with all iPhones from 3 onwards and gen4 iPads onwards.

There are any number of cable and wireless remote triggers available on the market; you can buy a cheapie for the Canon Powershot G12 on Ebay for  £5.00 GBP or the Canon branded RS60-E3 for about £15.00 GBP but with none of the ioShutter™ functionality. ioShutter™ retails for around $70.00 US and £59.99 GBP. If you were to buy a branded Canon timer remote for your EOS 5D Mk II the TC-80N3 model would set you back in the region of £100.00 to  £130.00 GBP

James Madelin and the Enlight Photo team have once again created a well thought through, innovative and useful product - the ioShutter™ is the must have accessory for anyone who is serious about their photography. Also, being a software app driven product you will benefit from new features and upgrades as they become available automatically via the App Store.

All I need to do now is get a N3 ioShutter™ cable for my EOS bodies!

Pack's rating 5 stars * * * * *

ioShutter™ is available worldwide direct from Authorised ioShutter™ Resellers.

* You are able to opt out of receiving ioShutter™ updates etc.













Sunday, 6 May 2012

Wedding Photography Challenge

There are loads of people selling themselves as wedding photographers, so let's see who can really hack it. Back in the days before roll film or even 35 mm, photographers attended a wedding with the intention of creating a record for their customer or client, the Bride and Groom with limited resources, normally in the form of a sheet film bellows camera, a bit like Ansel Adams used to create his stunning landscapes - there was nothing else!


Here's the challenge: you only have a 5" x 4" sheet film camera and five double dark slides, that's ten sheets of film in total, what would be your choice of the key/must have shots at a wedding to capture the essence or spirit of the day? To help, you have an assistant/VAL (Voice Activated Lightstand), reflectors and one manual (not TTL) off camera flash.


And don't forget that you have no auto focus, or auto anything, so all the images have to be created/directed with this in mind! No prizes,but would be good to see your shot list on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ian.pack.39

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Portrait Photography Lighting Workshop

On Monday 14th May 2012, Ben & I will be leading a practical Introduction to Studio Portrait Lighting in association with The Flash Centre.

Our lovely model, Sam J

This workshop has been designed specifically for those new to studio lighting or photographers wanting to improve their skills and is great opportunity to learn how to get the best from your existing studio lights; if you're new to studio portrait lighting we can guide you toward the best gear for your needs.

There will be demonstrations and plenty of opportunities to experiment in between times as we have a patient model! During the day we'll show how to get the best from simple lighting using one or two flash heads with modifiers and show you how to create consistent professional results. We'll show you how to recognise good and bad light, some basic posing and also corrective measures whilst working with one or two lights, a wide selection of modifiers and reflectors.

Behind the scenes - creating mood in the studio
with just a couple of Elinchrom BXRi studio flash heads

The fee for this workshop experience is normally £129.00, but if you book before Monday 7th May you save £30.00 and pay only £99.00! Included in the fee are refreshments throughout the day and a light lunch. The studio is based close to the A23 London to Brighton Road about 30 minutes outside of Brighton in Burgess Hill. The studio has ground level access and easy car parking; anyone choosing to travel by train will be collected from Burgess Hill rail station.

To find out more and to book you place now - numbers are limited to 10 places only - visit http://www.packshots.biz/training/studio-portrait-lighting/

If you have any queries or specific requirements, feel free to contact me direct via http://www.packshots.biz/contact/

When you attend one of our workshops we will encourage you to take notes and shoot BTS (Behind The Scenes, like the one above) images for later reference. We also provide an exclusive eBook with a wealth information to help you create better portraits.

Much of what you will learn with us can be used outside of the controlled studio environment. We appreciate that not everyone will have access to a large commercial studio, so much of what we show you can be replicated in your home, office or place of work.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

onOne Software Perfect Effects Free Edition


onOne Software have just release a free edition their Perfect Effects 3 software. Perfect Effects Free Edition contains the next generation of PhotoTools 2.6, 24 + professional photographic FX, live full-screen previews with the ability to combine multiple effects to create your own looks. It also includes Perfect Layers for creation layered files.

Perfect Effects 3 works as a standalone application with the advantage over Nik Software SnapSeed or Never Center's CameraBag in that you can create and save layered files.; it will also work directly with Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Lightroom and Aperture.

For more information or to download for free visit http://www.ononesoftware.com/products/perfect-effects-free/

Monday, 16 April 2012

Rosco LitePad Loop Ring Light Announced

Image Courtesy of Rosco Laboratories, Inc.

It's not often you can say "you heard it here first" but this may well be the case. Today Rosco Labs the US based lighting company have added the Loop to their range of portable LED LitePads. If you're lucky enough to be at the NAB show in Las Vegas then you can get to play with one.

Image Courtesy of Rosco Laboratories, Inc.

The Rosco LitePad Loop is a continuous ring light that provides shadowless lighting when used around the lens of a still or motion picture film or video camera. The light is soft and flattering as it uses Rosco's special indirect LitePad illumination which prevents your talent or model from squinting from un-diffused direct light. The LitePad Loop can be used on or off camera as it uses strong magnets to fix it to the industry standard 15 mm rail mount. Off camera the LitePad Loop will provide a useful battery powered soft light which can be dimmed with the Rosco Single fader Dimmer.

My mole inside Rosco tells me that the LitePad Loop will be available from the the end of April 2012 and will retail for between £499 exc. VAT for the Retail Box kit and £789 exc. VAT for the Pro kit. More information on the kit contents may be found here.