Tips n Tricks

Letting the model know whats expected with DAZ3D

by on Nov.14, 2012, under Kit Bag, Tips n Tricks

 Thanks to the Casting feature on Purple Port I had three models respond to my Oswin themed shoot idea. They didn’t all respond at once and one moving to a University campus and not responding to emails for a while resulted in my saying yes to a second. I may shoot this twice as I’m finding it hard to say no to one of them. Or have them both along to the same shoot and also do a “No, I’m Oswin!” shot :D

The original shot idea has an Oswin lookalike holding herself up on the tops of two Dalek. The final Dalek graphics I hope to get from Stu of CutnPasteGraphics.

For the shoot dummy heads will be used so the pose shown can be shot, “Oswin” looking skyward for “Rescue me chin boy, and show me the stars”. To enable everyone to get a better idea of what I’m aiming for I used a virtual model in DAZ3D, bought a dress for her and experimented with limb positions.

If there are any Dalek builders out there reading this I’d love some help making a top the right shape so the models hands rest in the right place.

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A request to anyone organising a book signing

by on Aug.18, 2012, under Tips n Tricks

UPDATED: 19th August for clarity. Like thousands of other young girls my daughter became a big Tom Daley fan during the London 2012 Olympics. I’d seen a few brief interviews, some of his dives, the documentary, his Facebook page and have now seen him in action at a book signing. His reaction to an request from a fan that was denied by the team around him spoke volumes. He’s the real deal, a great person as well as a world class athlete.  With an A* in Photography too!

Sadly some of the people he relies on can let things down, hence this post in which I’ll make a simple request to anyone organising such an event.

(read the rest of the post…)

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“CALL MY AGENT” it said. A tip for going manual with a reflector in sunny conditions.

by on Mar.25, 2012, under Fashion, Kit Bag, Tips n Tricks

I’d just finished taking some head shots in the studio and was heading to the car when I spotted this lady with her partner, CALL MY AGENT splashed across her sweat top dress. I love fashion and this simple top with its message printed so big across the front made me laugh inside, smile and think “So who is your agent?”.

Loaded up with gear it took me a moment to catch up with the couple. After a bit of conferring in a language I didn’t understand I got a yes.
(read the rest of the post…)

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Lightroom on the move with Windows 7, a USB stick and Visual-Subst

by on Mar.23, 2012, under Kit Bag, Tips n Tricks

If like me you’re running Lightroom on a Windows laptop quite often you might find where your images are located an issue. I have my RAID server image archive mapped to P: on the laptop. I’ll move folders in the Lightroom catalogue that I’m no longer working on to the server and off the local hard drive. Now and then I find myself wanting to edit some of those images. (read the rest of the post…)

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Studio shoots and growing the collection of light shapers

by on Jan.20, 2012, under Fashion, Kit Bag, Tips n Tricks

Thanks to my brilliant fellow photographer father and his eBay eagle eyes I’m now in possession of three Bowens lighting bowls. Two large, one small. All three with barn doors.

This weekend they’ll be transformed into beauty dishes ready for the first of the fashion lighting test shoots that are set to follow over the coming weeks. I’ve a growing list of lighting setups I want to try out with a mix of beauty dishes, softboxes, bare strobes, reflectors, barn doors, shoot through and bounce umbrellas, colour gels and backdrops.

The Bowens bowls will have a round removable ‘plug’ inserted with a hole sized to take either a studio or Canon 580EXII flash head. (read the rest of the post…)

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A quick tip for getting some extra things pinned on Pinterest

by on Jan.18, 2012, under Tips n Tricks

UPDATE: Please read this post and read Pinterests T&Cs before you pin anything.  I think it’s a great service but worry that someones going to be hit by a copyright lawsuit.

I read fashion magazines. Let me rephrase that, I mostly look at fashion magazines. I do read some of the articles but don’t have the time to get from cover to cover reading everything in between. I check out the styles and study the lighting in many of the photographs. Needing to get some desk and shelf space back I ripped them all up, keeping the best images to one side. I wanted to pin some to let others see them. As I don’t hold the copyright I didn’t want to host the images on my site for others to download.  The answer was simple:
(read the rest of the post…)

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Let there be light! Shooting with a silver brolly at a party

by on Jan.17, 2012, under Party!, Portraits, Tips n Tricks

I got a message from a fellow photographer Michele saying a football friend had asked her to take some shots at his mothers birthday party at Bromley Football Club on Saturday evening. She was unable to make it and wondered if I was interested. As the club is only a stones throw from home and I would only be needed for a couple of hours late in the evening I accepted. It turned out Michele’s friend is Mike Delaney, founder of Skills Academy, the soccer training organisation for 5-12 year olds. Mike is also a football choreographer helping put together fast paced action video commercials for clients like Nike, Pepsi, Adidas & Reebok. (read the rest of the post…)

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Who pays who?

by on Jan.14, 2012, under Fashion, Tips n Tricks

This is in part a continuation of my Tips for New Models.

I’m a member of a number of photography and related sites that exist to bring photographers, models, makeup artists (MUA), studios, retouchers, stylists, etc together. There’s been a bit of a recurring pattern building in one of them prompting this post.

If you’re new to the industry don’t expect to be paid at first. You have to speculate to accumulate.

This applies equally to everyone involved, not just the models. Ask yourself “Who is asking for the images to be taken?“.

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Light experiments with Oswald the human camera

by on Nov.01, 2011, under Kit Bag, Portraits, Tips n Tricks

I met Oraddo Triara aka Oswald in the hotel lobby. Sat in a big wicker chair and drawing at speed with a biro he was adding another masterpiece to his ideas sketch book. He had defined the outline shapes of the objects and was adding shading to give them depth and form. A number of pencil portraits were on the table to his side and colourful abstract paintings sat on easels. I’d returned to the floor to ask for his portrait, we ended up speaking at length about light and composition, cameras, exhibitions and family acceptance of an artists work and how that acceptance can change over the years.

There were issues with the 50mm f/1.8 focus and a simple solution, more on that after the jump..

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Shoot digital as if you were shooting film

by on Oct.12, 2011, under Tips n Tricks

Digital technology has brought many changes to photography.

  • We can shoot many more frames at no extra cost other than the time taken to sort through them all and the extra wear and tear on the shutter mechanism.
  • Chimping shots to check exposure, composition and that strobes are firing as expected saves us the delay we used to suffer waiting for film to come back from the lab and possible embarrassment when we find something got our exposure off.
  • Having frames scanned so they can be edited in Photoshop is a step that’s not needed, eliminating the chance of dust and other contaminates from spoiling our work.
  • Making backups of our images is much easier and faster, with the right configuration it can be fully automated.
  • Images can be on the news desk seconds after being shot and seen by millions around the world soon after

Yet with all the good things it brings some novice photographers tell me they shoot a lot but are unhappy with the results. Looking at some of their photo collections I think I know part of their problem.

(read the rest of the post…)

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