Friday, 25 January 2013

Clamshell Lighting Portrait

Clamshell Lighting Speedlite Portrait

Clamshell Lighting
 Finally got round to photographing my little girl, after doing this I had the horrible realisation that she not so little anymore.

For the portrait I used three speedlites,  two were arranged in the clamshell format and the third was used as a hair light with a grid attached.

I don't use a light meter at the moment so I set up the lighting and started of with the key light, which is the top light in the clamshell set up,  set to 1/8th power with a 1/4 cto gel attached give some nice warm tones to the skin and fired through a umbrella.

The fill light, which is the lower, set to one stop less so that was 1/16th power through a umbrella

The hair light I used with a grid attached for two reasons, first it is much more directional and that leads to the second reason, being more controllable allows you to place the light where you want it and not flaring into your lens. This was set to 1/64th power.

I initially had the camera ISO set to 400 and the Lens to F/8.0. I wanted a good depth of field and wanted to keep the speedlites on low power so they recycle quickly allowing you to just keep shooting without waiting for them. After a few trial shots I soon increased this to ISO 800 which as you can see produced some good results. ISO 800 on modern cameras is fine and on the 5D mkiii is flawless.

As I have never worked with any models before I did find it difficult to shoot and communicate ideas to her and trying to find the right pose is a art in itself.

Clamshell Speedlite Portrait

Including the hands in any portrait is always a challenge but I wanted to try, the one thing I will say is that its better not to show the back or palm as a general rule and stick to a profile of them as I have done here. This is a general rule and as any rule I am sure someone has broken them with great results.

This is the first time I have used this clam shell set up and was very pleased with the resulting light. You have complete control of the shadows by either increasing the key light and or reducing the fill light.

Starting to enjoy photographing people even though its outside of my comfort zone and hope to do more of it , would like to here any feedback as long as its constructive either here in the comments or add me as a flickr contact and comment there.


Sunday, 20 January 2013

Thats Snow Portrait

Speedlite Portrait

Well today the snow finally arrived in the far south east of England. Took the opportunity to photograph my wife in the garden. Wanted to try this shot out for a while but had to wait for the right conditions. The umbrella is my telescopic Westcott studio brolly with a speedlite attached to the inside.

The flash was set to manual at 1/4 power and a set of Youngnuo YN622c wireless triggers were used to fire the flash. These are great triggers with full ETTL and you can control them using the in camera menu so you don't need to keep walking to each flash to make changes to the settings, all this is done from the back of the camera.

Mono Portrait

The above mono is a crop from the colour image below, the amount of detail and sharpness continues to astound me, the 5d Mk iii  is a truly amazing camera.
Speedlite Portrait

Monday, 14 January 2013

St Mary The Virgin Church Minster

St Mary The Virgin Church Minster Mono
St Mary The Virgin Church Minster Colour

Was out and about today had a few odd jobs to do but took the camera out with me. On my way back I decided to head off into Minster to photograph the church. It was cold out today and there was a light dusting of snow left over from the previous night, which I hope has added a little something to the Image.

Couldn't decide after which I prefer, the original colour or the mono conversion. Any thoughts welcome here or on my flickr photostream.

Here is a little something about the church, hope you like it.

St. Mary's Church, known as the 'Cathedral on the marshes' is the mother church of western Thanet. Founded in 670AD it was originally both a monastic and a parish church. The first Church was probably built of mud and wood. Close by is the place where St.Augustine landed in 597 to bring Christianity back to this part of Britain.
The oldest part of the present building was built just after the Norman conquest with work continuing for about 100 years. The Chancel is Early English in style. The nave has stood in its present form since about 1150.
The Church has a set of 18 mediaeval monks, stalls (Misericords) which is one of the finest in the south of England.
At the west end of the Church Roman bricks have been used in the wall and tower, which may have come from the nearby villa. An older turret tower of unknown date is incorporated into the massive Norman tower carries a peal of 5 ancient bells, four of which are dated from the early 17th Century. Visit the Bellringers website: Minster Change Ringers
In bygone days the sea would have come up to the Churchyard wall which acted as a barrier during high tides. The turret may have served as a watch tower for shipping.
In the Church grounds is the Old Schools which was the village School from 1847-1946 and is now used by the Church for community functions.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Arlington Square, Margate

Arlington Square Margate
 Took a trip out to Arlington Square in Margate, this area has become rather run down over the last few years and as I write is shrouded in controversy with Tesco trying to acquire the site for future development and locals trying to stop them as they rightly think that Margate deserves a better focal point and attraction for the seafront area. Why not follow the link above and have a read all about the area past and present.

Dreamland Margate

Arlington Graffiti Clown 

Arlington House Margate

The area is very urban looking and as a result has lead to many photographers using the area to take urban style images and portraits.

The area really is crying out for a major development plan to compliment all the work done at the Turner Art Gallery. Something that will help pull in much needed tourists like the Margate resort of years gone by.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Folkestone , Kent

Folkestone Harbour Waiting
Wanted to get out the house today with the camera, day off but had a appointment to keep this morning so when I got home I grabbed the camera and headed out. When I left I had no idea where I was going. I ended up driving to Folkestone. Parked the car and had a walk around. Found myself down by the harbour around half three when a few of the local fishing boats were returning home from a day at sea with there catch. They were greeted by every gull from miles around, there really not as daft as they are funny looking !!

Seagull Folkestone Harbour

 Only managed to get out a few times since Christmas with the new Canon 5D mk iii , the thing that really strikes me is the pin sharp focus system. My previous cameras were the Canon 400d then upgraded to a Canon 7d , I thought the 7D was a great camera but after seeing the raw files from the 5d mkiii I am very pleased I decided to go full frame. The focus is pin sharp. Still trying to get to grips with a few of the features and locating some of the options in the menu when needed but I am getting there and really enjoying the journey.

Back Home


Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Ramsgate Harbour, Kent

Ramsgate Outer Harbour

So 2013 is here, happy new year everyone. What was you up to last night ? I was working until 23:30,got home just in time to see the new year in and watch the fireworks on the telebox.

Today we decided to take down the decorations as I wouldn't get a chance for a while due to working. So once they were down we just had to get out the house for some well deserved fresh air.  Took a walk down through Ramsgate Harbour and along the seafront. There was not a cloud in the sky as you can see it looks like it could be a summers day, except I was still a bit fresh out !

Look forward to 2013 and hope to share loads more images with you and hope to get out again with the camera soon.

Happy New Year all