When out in Poland recently Olga, Daria and myself made a sunset...with only one flash.
having got myself some gels for flashes at last i decided it was about time i played with them. So off we went into the woods with the girls dressed up and looking good and myself holding a lot of camera equipment (as normal...).
Fist things first i found a nice dark area of forest that had a decent cold light in it:
Next i needed to create a warm glowing sun, so i used my helpful light stand Daria to move around and adjust the flash settings with a full CTO gel over the flash. The flash was zoomed in to create a strong directional light, but as it was a good 5-10 meters from the subject we needed all that strength even when shooting at higher ISO, as i needed to keep the shutter speed up so that the ambient didn't go all blury with my 70-200 f4 handheld. After moving the light around and finding a good spot to photograph from we got some great pictures of Olga in the sunset in the forest.
Now it was Daria's tern. She normally hates having photos taken of her, but she looked great and in a very short time we relaxed her enough to get a few nice shots. Olga took over as the lightstand whilst Daria did her thing and posed for the camera.
Thanks for the help girls! It was a fun little shoot.
I spent the day at Kingsbridge show yesterday. this is a yearly event where farmers and locals come to show their animals produce and compete in events from horse riding and dog shows to the best chocolate brownie.
There's some lovely characters and a real sense of the strong local community around here. Its good to see people enjoying themselves so much. I decided to try and get some portraits fo the various people at the show and also catch some of the details of the event.
Of course the characters are not just people at events like this, there are many interesting animals too.
I decided as there was hardly any light and i wanted to really consentrate on the characters i was photographing to try and use my 50mm 1.8 at about f2-f2.2 most of the time, this made getting the focus in the right place in the shots very difficult, especially when the character was a very animated one. out of the 10 frames i took of one person only 2-3 were useable because the rest were so vastly out of focus. but with a depth of field so small when you get it right the outcome just looks gorgeous! (One major inspiration for this type of shooting was Benoit Paille on flickr who has some gorgeous shots of strangers that really stand out due their processing and lovely out of focus background.)
For more shots see the whole set from the show on flickr.
I got back a few days ago from some time away with my girlfriend Olga, including a couple of days looking around the city of Bilbao. This is a great city that has in the past decade or two really put a lot into rebuidling it's image and moving away a bit from it's industrial past.
There's some amazing architecture around the city ranging from the pretty old town to some amazing structures down by the waterfront. After a bit of a wonder around i decided to make the most of my new lense and set myself a challenge: architecture not normally being my thing i thought i'd try and get some nice architecture shots and abstracts from the skyscrapers, bridges and crazy buildings that were around. This led to some surprising results, very different to my normal work, but i'm quite pleased with myself really.
Some of the glass windows on a large pair of skyscrapers down by the river
My new Canon 70-200 f4 L lense performed awesomely, some of the pictures are so lovely and sharp. I need to get used to photographing with such a long lense that exaggerates even the slightest movements of your hands dramatically and can cause camera shake very easily. I couldn't afford the image stabalised version, but that will probably mean i end up with a better technique so maybe its a good thing.
Part of an awesome suspension bridge across the river
A wider shot of one of the skyscrapers by the river
the first day we spent in Bilbao mainly involved just wondering around, finding crazy structures and interesting shops and cafes/bars. There's many interesting and random things dotted around, for example we found some interesting cone structres that turned out to be the windows for a bar below the ground.
The second day we spent in Bilbao was put aside for the awesome Guggenheim museum. This is a truely amazing building and i decided to carry on my architecture challenge by attempting to capture the curves and shiny tones of this structure.
To be truely honest its quite hard to take a bad photo of this building, almost every part of it is interesting and has its own charm. I was particurly interested by some of the less photographed parts and less typical views, for example the large stairway beside the main building.
I also found an interesting wave shaped part of the building that really caught my attention as an interesting subject.
It's definitely worth a visit if you are in the area even if you dont spend time inside the museum. To be honest the outside of it is probably the most interesting part.
Did a shoot a little while ago assisting Jamie Corbin and grabbed a little bit of time with the model for my own shots.
Amy was a great model, throwing every shape i asked her to with great ease. Nice one Amy.
Wanted to get some movement shots, so i used my normal technique of getting the model to "pop" or move on 3 after a count ("1...2...3!"). So we tried a few different things, from quite dramatic poses such as above. To more cheesey normal poses such as the one below.
I borrowed Jamie's 10-20mm sigma for this, really wanted to get wide so that i could grab as much of the grass as possible. It had such a great texture i didn't want to miss it out of the shot, and wanted the make it a feature. So i got nice and low with the wide angle.
Pretty simple light setup: two lights, plus the sun. A big shoot-through umbrella as the front/main light with a couple of sb28's shooting through it (thanks be to duct tape!). Another smaller shoot-through was just behind the model on the opposite side (camera left) giving a bit of light for her hair and the dark side. i exposed for the sky and filled in the rest with the lights.
thanks Jamie for letting take over for a little while, and thanks to Amy, a great fun shoot.
We had been to Glastonbury for a day trip in Oscars car and went to pick up his mother on the way back from bristol airport. As always the plane was delayed (late), so with a bit of time to spare as some lighting kit in the boot i did a quick 5 minute shoot with Ewan as my model. Nothing fancy but good fun.
Set up involved Oscar and Anita holding two sb28's (with wireless triggers on them), one zoomed to 85mm as key from left, one just behind Ewan as fill/hairlight wide at 28mm. Both were bare. The other hairlight is the sun from behind. I had some issues with flair, but i'm pretty sure i'm managed to get rid of it in post-processing.
Its always fun to mess about with light like this, thanks Ewan for grinning so nicely for me!