Prom Portrait

Prom Portrait  

Time really is flying past, this is my Niece who has just left school and as we are getting very American , she had a school prom to attend. This is a portrait i took after the event.


Three light set up

Key light ( Canon 580exii )

Camera left in a 16" gridded beauty dish 1/8th power

Fill Light ( Youngnuo 568 exii )

Camera right in 24" square softbox 1/16th power

Background light ( Canon 430 exii )

Bare gridded speedlite 1/64th power

Seamless grey background and speedlites triggered with the Youngnuo yn622c triggers.

Fathers Day Portraits

Fathers Day Portraits  

Today was Fathers day here in the UK and this is my dad. This is the first time i have photographed him since i have been doing portraits. He agreed to allow me to take some images and these were some of the results. I used a single speedlite in a 16" beauty dish to fill the shadows.


speedlite portrait


I had the beauty dish on the end of a small boom arm which is much more stable when using outside in windy conditions.


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The art of photography can really be challenging at times. Trying to get the lighting right , the camera settings and all the technical stuff , let alone having to come up with poses and trying to get emotion into your images. This selfie sums up my continued inability to communicate or connect with my models or even myself !!!



2ft x 2ft Gridded softbox camera right with a 580 ex ii at 1/4 power as Key light

16 inch gridded beauty dish up high on camera axis at 1/32 as fill light

A gridded 430exii on the background at 1/64th power

All strobes fired with Youngnuo 622c Triggers

Here are a few more images from the same session. I am happy that my lighting seems to be going in the right direction , must make effort and get some more willing models , must be patient, to work with lol !

Sekonic L478dr


Speedlite Portrait

  Portrait with small flaashes

Speedlite Portrait

This is Deb, my wife, she hates her photo being taken but i managed to get her in front of my camera as i had set up a make shift studio in a tiny spare room. The room is only 10 feet long by 9 feet wide, has a built in cupboard taking up some room right next to a inward opening door. So to position the lights where you want them is very difficult and have to kind of work around the limitations of the room.


I set a roll of grey seamless paper as the background as far back against the wall as i could get it, and raised it as high as i could. The lighting was a three light set up.


  • Key light was a youngnuo yn-568ex in a lastolite 24" x 24" softbox to camera left at 1/4 power
  • Fill light was a canon 580 exii in a 16" socked beauty dish to camera left at 1/16 power
  • Background light was a canon 430exii behind model at 1/64th power.


Due to the confines of my set up i found myself shooting from the landing on the first step of a ladder so i could shoot slightly downwards. Does not help being so short myself !

If you want to see a larger view visit it here on my FLicR account or click the smaller image above to show a larger version

I used lightroom 5 for some basic editing and finished in Photoshop cc. Still learning the lighting set ups and retouching techniques, i welcome your feedback and advise.

Here is another image from the same set up

Speedlite portrait

Grey Seamless Background

Beauty Dish Speedlite portrait  

Today i received a parcel from amazon, which was a little bit of a surprise as it should not have arrived until Thursday according to their website. You can tell the order was rushed through as they delivered the wrong colour seamless background i ordered !!

The background i got was still grey just the wrong shade, i ordered Storm Grey and received Slate Grey. I think the Slate Grey is a little lighter in colour. Its not a huge problem as with grey seamless you can move the subject away from the background and it will fall to black or you can decide to light it and turn it bright white, put a gel on the lighting and turn it any colour you like.

In the image above i set up the seamless background on a stand and had my son, Ben stand about two to three feet from the background, i set my Key light in a 16" beauty dish and had that boomed overhead and slightly to camera right, this was mainly due to the tight space i was working in and the boom arm was tight against the wall of my spare room!

I placed a second light behind and facing him set to very low power to help separate him from the background. I then had my wife hold a gold round reflector below and to camera left to provide some warm fill light, this is what you can see has spilled onto the background but i actually like the warm tones it provides.

Still only used the beauty dish a few times and i am still learning how to control the light with it but i do like the light it gives and will continue to learn how to use it as i go. I also have a grid and a diffuser which changes the light again.

Beauty dish with grid


As you can see from the above image there is hardly any spill onto the background at all with the honeycomb grid attached, and the image below with the sock attached.


Beauty dish with diffuser sock

Mazda RX-8

This is definatley the car Disney should have chosen to play the part of Lightening McQueen in the hit film Cars

This is definitely the car Disney should have chosen to play the part of Lightening McQueen in the hit film Cars



Last night decided to go out again with Lee Crosbie for some more strobist work. The weather all day long had been really nice bright and sunny although a little breezy. In the absence of a better subject we decided to try a car shot ,my RX 8. Drove down to Joss Bay in Broadstairs area and set up. I parked my car on the grass which is used as a overspill car park , so as the North Foreland lighthouse was in the background.

As the light was still fairly strong trying to get the background dark enough took us into high speed sync territory for a while but the sky was still lacking any atmosphere or drama. We had initially set up just two bare speedlites but this wasn't giving us a even spread of light so we set up a third , one on the front of the car the second to the rear and the third in the middle , later we added a forth inside the car with a blue gel attached.

The speedlites really do show up every little defect in the body work , even the swirls in the paintwork are made to look even worse than they usually appear. Gave me a real sense of appreciation to the many professional car photographers out there that have this down to a fine art.

I would have liked to try a couple of other things like attaching a soft box to the speedlites and or umbrellas to see if that softened the light and cut down the secular highlights, but due to the windy conditions we decided against this and left it for another day. The other option would have been to light paint it with one speedlites but as it doesn't get dark till late this time of year gave that idea a miss also as I was at work on early turn this morning !

I like the shot of the car face on , just looks like Lightening McQueen from the Disney movie Cars. I think the RX-8 would have been the better model to go with personally.

While we were there we were being watched by someone sitting in their car who eventually came over and introduced himself to Lee Crosbie as he was one of his Flickr contacts, Del Smith,  but had never actually met till now. Small world really !

See more images Below



Mazda RX 8 at Joss Bay Broadstairs

Photographed at Joss Bay Broadstairs with upto four speedlites

Strobist Portrait

Strobist Portrait Yesterday evening I had the opportunity to go out with a friend and fellow photographer ,Lee Crosbie ,check his flickr stream out got some great stuff. We headed off down to a place called Hampton, around the Herne Bay area. When we arrived the tide was in and so there wasn't much of a shot there, luckily we had our speedlites and light stands with us just in case we wanted to try some outdoor strobist portraits. This was a great opportunity to get in some much needed practice. We very quickly set up and we took it in turns to be the photographer and the other the reluctant model !

Some of the images were single strobe and some were a two light set up using the setting sun as a third light source. The idea was to try and underexpose for the ambient and pop some flash in on the subject to make them stand out from the scene. Got some nice results and look forward to getting out there with Lee again to get some more practice sessions in.