Saturday, 27 October 2012

Stacey Scissor Hands Halloween Costume
Home Made Background

Stacey Scissor Hands High Key

 We are heading towards the end of the month and with it comes Halloween. This is my daughter, Stacey, who was going out to a party. I had recently purchased a background support frame and today i purchased this white dye sheeting from Dunhelm Mill. It is about 2.9 meters by 4 meters and cost me £25.

The set up was pretty easy, two speedlights on the background fired through a white umbrella and a third was in the Lastolite 60x60 softbox.

They were fired using my new Youngnuo 622c Ettl Wireless triggers. The triggers allow you to control the speedlights from my Canon 7D menu system, very handy. Triggers worked flawlessly and very pleased with them.

High Key Portrait Set Up
The only problem i encountered was a lack of space in my front room!

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Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Thats a Flash Wine

That's a Flash Wine
 This week i was lucky enough to have a third speedlite arrive. The one i chose was the Youngnuo 568 EX. I have to say this speedlite is real value for money and if anyone out there is looking for a second flash or a good flash at a reasonable price then look no more, this flash has it all. I suggest you google it and have a read up as i not here to give a review but i will say i am very pleased with it so far.

Three speedlites give me more set up options or just power if i need it. This shot was taken using the Canon 7Ds built in master controller to activate the three speedlites and i can control the settings from the in camera menu, saves having to change each speedlite then reposition every time i want to try a different setting.

I set up in my front room this time as although the table is lower and smaller i have a bit more room around the edges. I used my two tripods to support a expandable handle which i threaded through a roll of black paper. This gave me the continuous background i wanted.

Setup Shot

As you can see from the set up shot above i placed the Canon 580 EX II with a Lumiquest III softbox to camera left a YN 568ex with a grid attached to camera right and my Canon 430 EXII with a grid camera left and fired behind bottle onto background.

Set Up Info

Canon 7D
Canon 24 - 105mm F/4.0 IS L USM

580 exii was at about 1/8th power
568 ex was at about 1/16th power
430 exii was at about 1/16th power

I use lightroom 4 to import my images and to make some adjustments to the highlights, shadows, whites,blacks and clarity to name but a few but the same results can be had from using just Adobe Camera Raw before importing into Photoshop CS 6 for a few more enhancements.

As for the flash, well that's just fairy dust !

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Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Lemon and Lime Splash Photography

A Splash of Zest

Took these shots of Lemon and Lime in a aquarium which i set up at the kitchen table.The tank was filled a little over half full and i put some black paper on the outside of the back of the tank for the background.

I also screwed up some kitchen foil then straightened it out to give a reflected base which i stood the tank on. This reflects the light back up into the tank and produces the highlights on the underside of the fruit.

I had a speedlite to camera left firing through the side and a speedlight to camera right firing into the tank from above away from the background towards the foil! Both speedlites were wrapped in cling film to protect from splashes.

The speedlites were in manual mode and fired using my Aputure Trigmaster II radio triggers which i think are awesome.

You do need to take some test shots to get the light right but i think somewhere around 1/64th power for the camera left and 1/128th for the camera high right at iso 200, shutter was about 1/160th at about F/16 is a good starting point and adjust as required.

I put a kitchen utensil in the middle of the tank and focused the lens then switched the lens to manual focus to stop it hunting when fired and with the F/16 gives you a good depth of field to play with.

The camera was my Canon 7D on a tripod with my new Canon 24-105mm F/4.0 USM IS L. The Image stabiliser was turned off for this as it was on a tripod.

A Splash of Lemon and Lime

It was then just a matter of dropping the Lemon and Lime into the tank and timing when to hit the radio trigger. After a few goes you can get fairly accurate with when to fire.

Tried many items in the tank but i think these were a good combination. My personal favourite is the sliced Lemon and Lime as i like the way the inside looks in this composition works well with the bubbles and light.

Good fun to do and the possibilities are endless. I strongly suggest you have a go. If you have any comments or questions please ask here or through my Flickr photostream.

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