Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Brighton and Hove Calender 2014

In 2012 I was approached by North Laine photography who considered one of my pictures for Brighton and Hove's 2013 calender, alas my picture didn't get in due to it not fitting the theme required for that year.
2012 went and 2013 came and once again I was contacted by Nigel swallow from North Laine Photography to be considered once more to appear in the calender.
I waited with bated breath until I finally got the fabulous news saying my picture had made it into the 2014 edition of this wonderful calender.

Brighton and Hove Calender 2014
 My picture of the Chattri war memorial with star trails and plane trails made Novembers top shot with a high glossy page all to itself.
I just wanted to say what a great honor it is to be chosen out of thousands of pictures and included in such a great product that will be in thousands of homes across the country and world.
I also want to say a big thank you to the creator of this project Nigel swallow who put's this together every year giving local people and photographers the chance to share their work and be a part of something special.

Great Job Nigel :)

Help to support this great project and keep it going for years to come by visiting the link below and purchasing this high quality calender stuffed full of amazing pictures in and around Brighton and Hove.
Brighton and Hove Calender 2014

This calender can be shipped worldwide and bought in multiple quantities so what are you waiting for :)

You can also pick up the calender amongst other amazing products from the seasonal stalls.
  • Outside Snoopers Paradise, 7-8 Kensington Gardens, Brighton, BN1 4AL.
  •  By Natwest Bank, Churchill Square, Brighton, BN1 2RG.
  •  City Books, 23 Western Rd, Hove, East Sussex BN3 1AF.
You can also check out how I took the picture on my Flickr page 
Flickr link

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Sunday, 4 August 2013

Shaw Harley Davidson

This is one for all those motorbike fans as well as my photographer followers as I had the privilege of spending the day at Shaw Harley Davidson in Golden Cross, Sussex courtesy of the dealer principle Steven Willis.
A big thank you to Steven for allowing me to come along with all my equipment and a big thank you to all your amazing staff who made me feel welcome and helped by moving bikes around and letting me take pictures of them.

My first port of call was the front of the showroom to get some pictures of the outside with the famous Harley Davidson logo with it's iconic shape and orangey colour.
I took some long exposures to make the use of the cloudy sky streaming past the showroom, I then converted to mono to add drama but wanted to keep the orange of that cool sign so colour popped it back in.

Shaw Harley Davidson

Another few pictures from the front before moving on.

Next I moved around the sides of the building looking for new angles and bikes and even though the sky was a bit bland I managed to get a few shots to add to my list of pictures.

Next on my list was the custom workshop so took some shots inside and out using various lenses capturing not only the bikes but the guys inside working their magic on these amazing machines.

Outside The Custom Workshop

Inside The Custom Workshop

After chatting with the guys and watching them work I decided to head into the warehouse where the bikes were stored.
The warehouse was a great opportunity to try out some strobist stuff  due to the choice of fantastic custom bikes and the available space to set up.
After checking out Harley Davidson's website I noticed a lot of their bike shots were on white backdrops which is great for product shots and advertising giving a nice clean finish,  I like to do things different and experiment so mixed it up a bit with some creativity on the fly.

I set up my black velvet backdrop using my background support then asked the warehouse guys to place a motorbike in front of it.
I didn't move the bikes myself as they were huge and I felt like I would have dropped them.
In fact they were so big my backdrop was 6ft wide and still wasn't wide enough so had to use photographic skills to combat this.
I used all my flashguns creatively to get some cool and fun shots to get pictures like this.

Shane 'Shakey' Byrne
This bike actually belongs to Shane 'Shakey' Byrne who is the 2003, 2008 and 2012 British superbike champion.
This shot combined the use of four flashguns.
Left and right of the bike just out of shot where 2 x Jessops 360 AFD's on stands, 1/2 power.
In front of the camera on a floor stand was a yongnuo 560 II, 128th power.
In the motorcycle helmet was a Nikon SB600 with a green gel, 1/4 power.
All flashguns where fired via my yongnuo RF602 trigger and receivers.

As you can see the black backdrop and selective lighting has given this a nice dynamic and dark feel to it.

Here is the same bike with a slightly different lighting set up.
I placed two flashguns on the floor behind the wheels illuminating them from the back which has created some nice floor shadows.

Another cool Harley which I chose as I loved the colour.
I placed a flashgun on the floor behind the front wheel with a yellow gel in keeping with the bike colour.

I ran out of time at this point and had to pack up my gear but enjoyed every moment of it.

Check out Shaw Harley Davidson's website and make sure you stop by their showroom to be amazed with some amazing pieces of machinery.
Their address can be found on their website.

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Monday, 8 July 2013

Nikon Presentation

Some fantastic news, I was told I won second place in Park Camera's Imaging festival competition and the theme was 'Summer'.

Here is the winning picture which is of my daughter in a rapeseed field.

It was a lovely surprise getting the e-mail as I forgot all about the competition.
I was invited to Park Cameras to receive my prize which was presented to me by Store supervisor Shaun Allen.
The prize was a Nikon D5200 with Nikon 18-55 kit lens.

Here is a picture of me and my daughter accepting the prize from Shaun Allen with my daughter holding a copy of the winning picture.

I want to thank everyone at Park Cameras and Nikon for this wonderful prize which will mostly act as a video camera to film my upcoming YouTube video's.

Here is my YouTube video of me unboxing this camera.

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Monday, 1 July 2013

Long Exposure Photography

Even though I love doing quirky portraits my long exposure pictures seem to be amongst my most popular shots on Flickr.
For this reason I have made a video to show what equipment I use and how I get the shots I do.
Included in the video is the equipment I use, how to do a custom white balance in camera to correct colour casts for 10 stop filters and me down the beach putting all these things into practice with a picture at the end from the beach itself.

Doing videos is very very new to me so is a big learning curve, sometimes the lighting might not be right or the sound quality may not be very good in places.
I want to apologize for the sound of the beach part of the video due to me using the built in microphone of my Nikon D7100 which has picked up the howling wind.
I am in the process of getting an external microphone that plugs into my D7100 which will hopefully improve audio quality indoors and out, so bare with me.


I hope you enjoyed my video and that it might have helped in anyway to improve your photography or to just give an insight into long exposures.

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Wednesday, 19 June 2013

How To Use A Reflector

I have finally got round to doing my second Youtube video.
Youtube videos are starting to get quite addictive even though I have only done my second one.
The only other thing is they can be quite nerve racking and make you feel a bit self concious until you get your confidence up.
For my first video's I'm trying to come up with concept's that are easyish to describe and put across, not that I have done a good job of that but what the hell I'm having fun doing it.

This video shows some uses for your reflector and what it's good for.


I didn't have anyone to pose for me to get the best from the reflectors, I also wanted to take stills whilst using the reflectors to show before and afters, I couldn't do this which was a shame.
I used the reflector on myself and as I couldn't see the effect at the time of filming I didn't realize how extreme the light was being reflected.
It looks like I was burning my head off LoL.
As the reflector was so close to my face the light was amazingly over powered so if you try using a reflector hold it further away from the subject to decrease the intensity.
Also when you are taking stills pictures you will be adjusting your camera settings to help control the light hitting your subject, combined you should get some really good shots.
At least I showed the principle of the reflector which I hope helps a few people out.

Now I'm new to this video lark so lots to learn and confidence to build, I now know I need an external mic for my DSLR to improve audio quality.
In this video you can hear the wind, other noises and I could have been a lot louder so this is something I will be looking into.

I hope you enjoyed the video and please feel free to leave a comment in the box below.
If you want to request me to do a video tutorial on anything in particular drop me a note in the comment box.

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Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Colour VS Mono

I had a walk around Bodiam castle East Sussex to try and capture some nice evening colours and test out my new Nikon D7100.
Alas the orangey red fiery sky I was hoping for didn't happen but being the photographic trooper I am I carried on.
I took some lovely pictures of this amazing piece of British history with fabulously reflective and watery moat enjoying every second of it.
It was a peaceful and tranquil evening only bumping into one other person who also came armed with their camera looking for photographic goodness.
After a good old chin wag I stood there waiting for the light to fall and a change in the sky colour.
The gods of colour were not watching over me on this trip as I came away with a few nice shots but not the vibrant smack in your face WoW factor I was looking for.

Here is a colour version of Bodiam Castle with an underwhelming colour to it.

Bodiam Castle
I am very pleased with this picture but just imagine it with that sky on fire and that colour reflecting in the moat, perhaps like a river of blood, now that would have been dramatic and awesome.

Whilst post processing the colour version I had a little tinker (no not a toilet) and magically took away the allure of all that colour to see what effect it would have by changing it to black and white.

Here is the Black and White version.

Bodiam Castle

The question is what is better colour or black and white.
Well there is no definitive answer as it depends on the individual.
Some of you will be drawn to the colour version and some of you will swear by mono.
I love both versions but to me mono just seems to add character and drama to a shot and can increase impact.
Personally I love both types of genre's and love having the choice by shooting Raw.
So don't limit yourself by saying I only shoot black and white, make sure you capture that picture in colour then decide if it would look better devoid of all those colourful pixels.

I would love to know what you prefer out of the two pictures so please leave a comment below.

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Saturday, 8 June 2013

Youtube Superstar

I finally got round to doing my first ever Youtube video.
This is called  'Whats in my camera bag'.
Basically I kept it simple by filming myself showing and explaining everything I keep in my camera bag.
I started on the outside working my way in.
As this is my first ever video I was a little nervous so paused a few times trying to think about what to say next, as my confidence grows I'm sure things will flow a lot better and be a lot smoother.
Also you can see me constantly looking away, this was because on a previous practice run I waffled on so much I went over my cameras maximum allotted 20 minutes and the camera stopped recording, I carried on without realizing Doh!, anyway I had a full screen countdown timer on the computer that I kept looking at to keep within time (learn't something new straight away).

Check out my video below

I hope you enjoyed the video, if you did please leave a comment below or on Youtube and share the link with your friends, also a thumbs up would be great and don't forget to subscribe to see all my new content as it goes live.

Here is a picture of the set up I was using.
Video set up
As you can see it is quite a good space but I had to use my Sigma 10-20 for it's ultra wide angle to fit in the top of my head and my camera bag at close quarters.
The lighting in this part of the room wasn't brilliant so I got out my Elemental studio strobes to use the modelling lights to brighten up the area but as I started one of the modelling lamps went kaput so I was left with one.
With a single strobe I was getting harsh shadows so I pointed it directly at my bag instead of me so everyone could see what was going on in the bag.
To do this video I used my new Nikon D7100 to test it out and check the quality.
Very impressed so far but will be looking at an external microphone to improve sound quality.
The D7100 was placed on my Manfrotto 055xprob which you can see in the picture above and I used the D7100 to take this picture that's why it's not on the tripod.
The best thing about this picture is our cat looking through the kitchen door lol.

Please feel free to leave suggestions on how I can improve my video's or if there is anything you would like to see like certain tutorials, drop me a comment and I will try and do it for you.
I'm looking for loads of ideas to get the ball rolling.

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