Read more about our day out and see more of my images from the day, don't forget to like and if you click on a image it will open in a bigger version. Please feel free to share the link,like and commentRead More
After the last few evenings of sitting at home and seeing a great looking sunset i decided to head off out to capture it last night. You guessed it cloud base was very low and spoiled the sunset! Still i had not been to Botany Bay for a while so i still enjoyed the walk along the beach and taking some images while i was there.
The image above was the very last set of images i took on the way back to the car. I took a series of images exposing for the sky, the foreground and the chalk stacks. I selected two images that had the best range and digitally blended them in photoshop using luminosity masks. I was fairly pleased with the final result although i not sure of the composition.Read More
I took a quick trip up to London , as i wanted to photograph the Adams Plaza Bridge . This connects Crossrail Place to One Canada Square.It forms part of the Canary Wharf Crossrail Station.This whole complex will consist of the underground station a new ticket hall , four floors of retail and a landscape rooftop garden.Read More
Took a trip down to Hastings yesterday , have not been here for a fair while so thought it would make a change .
Here are a few of the images i got from the day out.Read More
Took a trip over to Margate last night as i had a family member displaying his work at a gallery in Margate, not the Turner but the Margate Pie Factory . His work forms part of the East Kent College Art , Media and Photography Exhibition. Its a great little gallery and if you get the chance its well worth a visit to look at the work of future local artists. All their work on display is for sale so you could purchase a piece that has some real value in years to come.
After the Exhibit had finished i made my way back to the harbour area where i had parked my car, grabbed my gear and walked along the harbour area at Margate waiting for the sun to set. Turns out it was not the best sunset !Read More
Today saw the 34th Bucket and Spade Run arrive at Ramsgate, on the cliff top at government acre. The event first started in 1981, where it started in Blackheath and made its way down to Ramsgate. The start point has changed numerous times over the years but this years event started from Beach Court Gardens in Challock near Canterbury, Kent.
The event seems to grow in popularity every year with more and more cars being displayed. There are to many cars to fit on Government Acre so more cars are parked up both sides of the promenade towards the boating pool.
The event is organised by Ramsgate Old Motor and Motor Cycle Club so if you are interest why not click on the link and have a look at their website which has all the details of the club and how to get involved.
For me, as a photographer these types of car shows present some challenging circumstances. There are so many cars all packed in and a lot of people so trying to get a shot of a car on location with a clean background is almost impossible. So the best thing to do is try and focus on the details of the cars. If a car grabs your eye try and think what it is that attracted you to it and attempt to capture this element of the car, so you are shooting some details of the car.Even this is a challenge !.
Here is a collection of images i managed to get from today's event, hope you enjoy and if you want to ask any questions please dont hesitate to get in touch.Read More
Today i am four weeks and two days post op! I am starting to be able to walk further and further, i am getting stronger as the days go by and hope to be back to full fitness soon.
I managed to get myself down to Broadstairs and took my camera. The first time i have been out shooting in over a month.
Well the weather is slowly improving and there were some making the most of it today on the beach at Broadstairs, Viking Bay. Summer is just around the corner.Read More
You may have noticed that i have been a little lazy lately and not much in the way of new content being posted. Well today i attended a pre op appointment for a procedure i have to undergo next week.
I am due to have a total left hip replacement which means i will be a little restricted and not able to get out with my camera. I hope the surgery will , in time, mean i can get out more often and to places i could not get to due to my current condition. I have been in constant pain for the last few years and hope that after a short period of rest i should be much more mobile and pain free. I am trying to remain positive as i know its the best thing long term.
Hope to resume normal service as soon as possible....................................................
Last night i decided to head out with my new strobist gear, the Godox Wistro AD360 bare bulb speedlite. I wanted to see how easy it was to set up and use on location. The unit is solid and far more transportable than a set of studio lights. It has 360 watt seconds of power and with the right trigger set can perform high speed sync.
The unit i mounted on a light boom stand with a Bowens S Mount adapter to which i added a four foot octabox. The octa was far more of a handful than the flash ! Once set i weighted it down with extra sandbag as we were shooting on the harbour wall and didn't want to see my gear disappear over the edge !
I wanted to keep the shutter speed at 200th of a sec to match the focal length i wanted to shoot at, took a ambient light reading in camera and set it to about one to two stops under exposed , i set my aperture to F/4.0 as this was what i wanted to achieve the shallow depth of field. I took a flash meter reading and adjusted the power until it read the F/4.0 i wanted and then shot away.
Here are a few more images from the evening .......
I found the audible alarm from the unit very handy to know when the flash was recycled and ready to fire. I purchased the optional cable that connects the unit to the power pack on both ports to increase the recycle times allowing you to shoot faster and not break the flow. I would highly recommend this cable to anyone using this flash.
So far i am loving the build quality the portability and the power this thing provides, the quality of light from the bare bulb seems to also be better than a standard flash.
I have just received a delivery of my new Godox Wistro AD360 strobe light. I have had my eye on it on and off for a long time but finally decided to invest in one. I wanted something that was more powerful than a standard speedlight but also that was small and transportable. This ticked all the boxes.
The unit arrived and i was eager to try out the high speed sync option which was for me a large part of why i purchased it. It was disappointing to find that the kit i purchased would not work straight out of the box. I ordered it with the FT-16 triggers. These triggers allow you to fire the flash and control the power remotely however they do not do high speed sync.
I have a set of youngnuo 622 triggers which do high speed sync, so after trailing the web i discovered that if you connect these triggers to the flash via a pc sync cable, not supplied, you can get them to do high speed sync, its not ideal as you have to then use the FT-16 to change the power settings but still works well.
The unit is really well made but i did think the power cable that connects to the power pack seems a little cheaper but time will tell. The fact that this is a very reasonably priced unit and the portability of it makes it something you really should look at if you do portraits on location. I also purchased the optional cable to connect one flash to both the power points on the battery to half the recycle time of the flash.
I also purchased the umbrella type beauty dish that comes with a front diffuser and a grid. The set up above is what was used to take the first image, I haven't had a chance to try the unit in a bigger softbox but look forward to shooting more with it.
When i first started to post my images online i used to put a big watermark across the whole image right through the middle and thought i was protecting my images. After a while i started to read lots of articles and listened to many differing opinions on the subject. I then made myself a custom brush for a one click solution on a separate layer i was able to position and re size the watermark to the desired position.
I then formed the opinion that if anyone really wanted to steal my online images they could fairly easily remove the watermark without to much problem, so i decided i just would not use a watermark at all.
Well after watching a episode of The Grid Live with Scott Kelby and crew my opinions have changed once more ! Watch the episode for yourself and see what you think. They make a pretty good case to have a small watermark , which is also good for branding, as if its removed it shows intent to defraud and may make it easier to enforce your copyright.
You have to understand that they are in America and will talk about having to register your image with the copyright office , which is not require in the UK at least. You automatically own the copyright to the image the moment you capture it.
Makes for a interesting debate, what are your thoughts....?
If you haven't already then please subscribe to the KelbyOne channel its full of great shows with lots of helpful advise,hints and tips.
Took a drive down to Margate with the intention of photographing the exterior of the Turner Contemporary Gallery. I like the modern architecture which is a stark contrast to its surroundings in Margate.
There was a fair bit of cloud around today which is ideal for long exposures as you get some nice movements in the clouds. The above image was taken with a Lee Big Stopper at ISO 50 F/22 for 90sec. I like the contrast of the soft sky and the hard angles of the building. I also like the way the light reflects from the building itself.
Had a look all around but was struggling to find a way in !
I drove down and parked along the harbour arm at Margate, and like most places in Thanet i could not believe Thanet Council think that £2 per hour is a reasonable charge. No wonder i was one of only a handful of cars, i hope they reconsider their charges and parking polices in general before the Turner sinks !
Just got back from a quick trip to London with my wife. I booked the hotel a couple of weeks ago to take my wife out for a Valentines Day trip and a evening out. This is the Second time we have stayed at this hotel, which we are both so impressed with. The customer care you receive on arrival is very good where nothing is to much trouble. Check in is not until 14:00hrs although we arrived just after 11:00, hoping to at least be able to leave out luggage while we headed out for some lunch. However on arrival we were told that our room was all ready and we could go straight up.
As you can see from the above image , the room is a fair size, the huge flower is actually a door to the wardrobe , following around , you have a small kitchen area with Tea/Coffee facilities and a sink. A microwave and fridge are also provide. Then you come to the door for the bathroom beyond which is a seating area with table and a second wall mounted tv. Great hotel and highly recommend it if you want a good , centrally located hotel. This is directly opposite Westminster and Big Ben.
In the Evening we had a nice walk down to the Southbank. Walked along from Westminster all the way up to Tower Bridge . On the way back we stopped of for Dinner at a Pub by Blackfriars Bridge called Doggetts Coat and Badge . Nice pub with a restaurant upstairs over looking the Thames, great views and a nice meal.
Some days you just have to get away from it all. I have been going a bit stir crazy the last few days. Today although the weather was cold it was at least dry. I decided to head off out with the camera. I haven't managed to get out much since i got my new Pelican 1510 case and wanted to see how it would be out and about.
The case itself is airport carry on size although i did discover when i weighed it that it would exceed most airline carry on allowance at around 14 kg , you wouldn't want to carry it to far, just as well it has some really sturdy robust wheels and a retractable handle to pull it along. I also have a Benro Travel Angel 2 Carbon fiber Tripod which i also had with me. The Tripod is small and lightweight and has a handy carry bag which i looped around the retractable handle. This is a great way to move around and i like being able to put the case on the floor , open it and be able to access all my gear easily. The case is built like a tank and i have every confidence it will serve me many many years and protect my gear well. Its also completely waterproof which is nice to know my gear will be fine should the heavens open.
The above image was taken at Iso 100 F/13 30sec exposure. I had a Lee big Stopper and a ND3 soft grad filter attatched to my Canon 17-40 F/4 L USM. Basic adjustments in lightroom a few adjustments in Photoshop and converted to mono uing Google Niksoft Silver Efex Pro 2.
Many photographers want to be able to make money from their images but its a difficult subject to research as not everyone will be honest and open with their charges. In my experience, when i set up my website and started my blog i started to get the odd company and magazine asking if they can use one of my images and how much would i charge. For me when this started to happen i was just delighted that someone liked my image enough to want to purchase it and use it in some form or other. This is where it starts to get tricky. My first question is what will the image be used for, although most of the time i find they tend to add this information when they make the initial contact. Is it for a magazine a website or both ? Starting out i had no idea what my images were worth, so i picked a figure from the air that i thought was not going to scare them off! However i soon realized that i was under valuing my images and myself. One of the best pieces of advise i got was to actually ask what their budget is. You may well find that they have a budget in mind far higher than you were initially going to charge. If they are not forth coming with this information then you need a way to price your work at a level that is considered to be the industry standard. This way you are not going to under sell yourself. A lot of companies can be put off by being to cheap. So how do you do this ? Well i found a great website that gives you up to date fees that Freelance Photographers are currently charging for a wide variety of services. The figures they give are just a ball park figure and is not meant to be set in stone but gives you a starting point to be able to negotiate a fee that is acceptable to both parties and you know you are not charging far to little or indeed far to much !!
Oh the link !!
Freelance Fee Guide , its a great resource for fees and if you have a dig around the site you will find a hole host of information like copyright and usage rights, well worth bookmarking and referring to as and when you need it. Hope you find that as useful as i have.
Over the years you tend to acquire a lot of gear and as a result you need something to carry it around in. I have, as my wife will tell you, tried many different types of bags, from backpacks, messenger bags , pouches, to tactical vests ! I have come to the conclusion that there really is no one bag that will suit every situation.
As i am not as young or fit as i used to be and i am lucky enough to have acquired some good equipment over the years, i have decided to purchase a good quality hard case for my gear. This will serve a couple of different purposes. I chose to go with the Pelican 1510. Pelican is a company with a great reputation for hard cases that they are so confident with, they come with a lifetime warranty.
This case is advertised as being the maximum required size for airport carry on luggage, but i would still check with the carrier before travelling, even if it is within the limits you may find it exceeds the maximum allowed weight ! The case also has a extendable handle at the top with wheels on the bottom to allow you to pull the case along as you would a suitcase. This will make things easier when travelling or when out shooting in many different locations. The case is also waterproof , dust proof and pretty much indestructible . Great for just storing your gear for extended periods in the knowledge its well protected.
This case as with many pelican products, comes in several configurations from the pick and pluck foam to custom made inserts. I went for the padded dividers as you can configure the layout to suit your needs, and if your needs change well , change the layout. This is not possible with the pick and pluck unless you order another set of inserts. I also went with the lid organizer so i can put all the other smaller accessories in the case, such as lens pens, batteries, remotes and all the little bits and pieces we end up just throwing in, just in case !
As you can see from the image above the case is not huge and i was a little disappointing i couldn't fit ALL my gear into it but i have managed to get all the important stuff in. A word of warning that if you have a Canon 5D Mark III with a battery grip it will fit as long as you don't fill up the lid organizer pocket adjacent to it !!
Overall i am very happy with the case as it makes it easier to carry around more equipment in a well protected case and highly recommend it if you are looking for a top quality hard case to protect your gear.
This morning was a busy time as my wife and i removed all the Christmas decorations and packed them away for another year. The weather was cold and miserable and remained foggy all day.
Come the late afternoon i decided i would go out with the camera down to the harbour for two reasons. Firstly i thought that the fog would add atmosphere to the illuminated harbour area and secondly and perhaps my main motivation was to try out my Christmas present from my wife. This was a new light weight carbon fiber travel tripod.
I had spent weeks researching which tripod to go for from the manfrotto, gitso and three legged thing but i decided on one made by Benro. The C2682T is a great tripod and i am very pleased i decided on this model. I took it out tonight and looped it onto the straps of my backpack and hardly noticed it was there. This is already a major plus when compared to my Manfrotto 055xprob, which is also a great tripod but extremely heavy to lug around on location all day.
The Benro C2682T is a eight core carbon fiber construction which makes it very strong and light. This is not a review of the product but if you are seriously looking for a good, well priced travel tripod i would highly recommend you have a look at it before making a decision.
This shot of the Harbour at Ramsgate was taken at Iso 100 F/14 for a 8 second exposure time to get some light trails in the image and smooth out the water.
I had several people come and talk to me while i was out taking shots, it still never ceases to amaze me how the fact you have a camera makes you more approachable by total strangers, not that this is a bad thing and i am happy to chat to those that approach me.
Took a walk down along the seafront this morning, needed to get out and get some fresh air after all the festive cheer. I would just like to take this opportunity to wish all my friends and family a very happy new year and hope 2015 is a great year for you all.
Despite the cold blowy weather there were a few people around this morning walking along the beach and even some surfers further out with the big old kites pulling them along at speed.
Its the first time i have been along the seafront this far up for a while and noticed a few new buildings have been erected in a modern style of architecture and a trend i hope will continue, i have seen signs for a while now that Ramsgate is slowly improving and again hope this continues this year. Ramsgate has some great areas that, with the right improvements and funding could see Ramsgate back on the tourist map, i for one hope so.
The Ramsgate Royal Yacht club is this year holding a competition for all the boats in the harbour. The best decorated boat There is a fair few boats taking part which really makes a great scene along the harbour this time of year.
I tried to catch the scene showing the light trails of the local traffic and the boats in the harbour. I tried to get this in one image but i found that the sign of the Travelodge kept blowing out due to the long exposure time. So i took several images ,layered them and merged them in photoshop to make this final image
Below you will find some more images i took from the same visit.
This week was a mix of emotions for me because i was asked to do a wedding. Nothing much unusual there for some, but for me i have never done wedding photography before so i was very nervous about the whole thing. I was asked by my oldest , and i mean that in a nice way , best mate. It was a very intimate affair and as such there were no other guests. He was also fully aware that i had no experience of being a wedding photographer and so i was doing it for the experience, and boy what a experience!
I arrived at his house two days before the event , along with my wife. We stayed with him and his now wife, for the first night and on the second day we headed out to The Alexander Hotel and Utopia Spar, Sussex. We were met by several members of staff who must have seen us coming on cctv. We had our bags taken in and when we checked in, taken to our rooms. The big thing that struck me throughout our stay was the first class service we received from the staff who are one of the biggest assets of the hotel.
We spent our first day looking around the grounds and checking out some locations for our photos the following day. From the moment i was up on the day of the wedding i was thinking about settings etc, do i shoot manual , in AV mode and use exposure combination , flash or natural light, as i discovered the answer is yes to all of them. My settings were changing all day long. Natural light window portraits and outside with the groom early in the morning, with and without fill flash. You really have to think on your feet as the locations you shoot change all the time. I have had to rescue a few images in post but as this is my first wedding i am happy to allow myself some errors.
As this was a very intimate affair i also didn't have all the normal formals to do but i still wanted to get lots of different images for the couple. So i found myself trying to enjoy the day but also thinking of shots and locations all day long. I have a new found admiration for weddings photographers lol !
Here are a few of the shots from the day, well from the ones i have processed thus far, i cant bring myself to batch process , if i was doing this everyday and needed to speed up my workflow i can understand sometimes this needs to be done.
I did learn a valuable lesson as i set up a four foot octabox outside in full sun with just a single speedlite , was not really powerful enough to use in such a large light modifier at the distance i had it. Good experience and once i had a few shots under my belt i was feeling happier and relaxed into the role a little more. I am now thinking i wish i had done this or i should have done that but i guess that is the learning curve you only get with experience.
Great couple of days with a great couple, i hope you have a few images you like to remember your day by. Here is wishing you both all the happiness for the future .