Saturday, 1 December 2012

Mobile Studio

 Which room can you use?

 Space for a backdrop or use the room how it is?

 How much space do you need?

 De-clutter the room.

 Move anything which may fall over and break.

Will shooting along the rooms diagonal give you more space?

Can you shoot from a doorway, a hallway or other room?

What furniture can be used?

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Feathered Lighting

Damian McGillicuddy gave us a great demonstration of feathered lighting at a Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers (SWPP) meeting in Bristol.

The way he explained it was by asking was there any landscape photographers in the audience. Then asked them what was the best time of day for the best light. So back came the answer, an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset. This is where you get a nice soft light with gentle shadows.

So applying this to portrait lighting, the one main light is simply not pointed directly at the subject but to the space directly in front of the subject, resulting in a nice soft light with gentle shadows.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Slow Sync Flash

Mainly for SLR's, the shutter speeds is the time between the first and second curtain sweeping across the sensor. Flash is usually triggered at first curtain. With a slow shutter speed, subject movement or blur, can still be recorded with flash.

With first curtain the blur occurs after the flash, if the flash is set at second curtain, the blur occurs before the flash.

So if a moving car was photographed using flash at a slow shutter speed and the flash was set to fire at second curtain then car could appear sharp but with a blurred image of the car behind it.

The idea being to create a sense of movement and speed.

Bright background lights.

Slow shutter speed.

Expose for ambient light.

Second curtain flash.

Main subject to be centre of frame.

Zoom from tele to wide.


Sunday, 2 September 2012

Sandwich Lighting

Easily my favourite lighting technique.

Strong sunlight can produce harsh lighting and a cloudy day the lighting can be flat.

When the light comes from two opposite directions it can be both soft and give the subject that 3D effect.

When it happens naturally the results can be stunning. Good luck with that one!


When it does not happen naturally the easiest way to do this is to take your subject out of the strong sunlight and put them in the shade of a tree, with the background in full sun and bounce the light back in onto your subject or use flash.

Where there is no sun light, 2 flash guns or 1 flash and a reflector, can be used either side of the subject.

With only 1 key light, there are not lots of unnatural key lights in people’s eyes.

Saturday, 4 August 2012


For night photography you may need a long exposure, so you will need a tripod or solid surface.

If your camera is small, light or well balanced you can use a small pocket tripod.

It can be carried about with you all the time, unlike a full height tripod that can easily be left at home or in the car.

Just place the tripod on a wall.

On the ground for a interesting pov (most pictures are taken at eye level).

But remember to switch off the IS.

You can visit the pound shop for a tripod, but I like to splash the cash spend nearly twice as much and get one without the ball and socket which works with a DSLR.

Use your screen not eyepeice to compose the picture.

Set the timer for a 2 second delay.

If you are not working with street lights then a exposure of several minutes or even hours will be required to record the image by moon or star light.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Location Portraits

Like wedding photography, you have to get it right on the day, you may not get a second chance.

Organise the shoot.

Discus what at they want from the shoot.

What is the style of the shoot, traditional, modern, creative, arty, fun or all of them.

Come up with fun ideas that will interest them.

Discus wardrobe do's and don'ts.

Have a plan if the weather is bad, postpone last minute or go undercover somewhere.

Know the area for the shoot. If you don't already know the area you will need to visit beforehand or get there early. What direction will the light be in for the time of the the shoot. What will make a nice background for the style of shoot.

When you meet for the shoot, take some time to talk to them to put them at ease, to get that pose, natural smile or that special look.

During the shoot, give them feedback with encouraging words, that click of the shutter, a smile at the image on the back of the camera (even if it's rubbish) and constantly showing them the pics. Point out what pics you like and why and find out what they think so you can all keep doing the do.

Direct people. Keep things moving with ideas and listen to what they are saying. If you have an idea, say, don't wish you had ofter the shoot. Experiment but be respectful, this is someones little girl.

Create arty pictures even if you don't feel arty at the time. 

No pressure then!

Monday, 4 June 2012

Thursday, 3 May 2012


The job of the landscape photographer is to create an image so nice it makes the viewer want to visit it, or imagine they were there.

Landscape. Try to have interest in foreground, middle and backgroundto lead the eye around and create depth.

Silhouettes are easy with a strong shape and the light the other side to the subject.

Rivers. A tripod and long shutter speed to blur the motion.

Sunday, 1 April 2012


Planning & Research. Before your visit, look at travel guides or go on the Internet, sites like Flickr for inspiration. Or if you don't have time look around at the postcards for sale on holiday, talk to the locals or see what other photographers have snapped.

Have fun with an unusual pov.


Holidays. Tell a story by including signs, even road signs, in your set of holiday photos. It could give you instant recollection of where you are have been when explaining to others.


Thursday, 1 March 2012

Modelling Tips

What to bring.

Chaperone. Preferably someone who can add to the shoot with encouragement, ideas and is happy to help.

USB memory stick for your images, if you want them there and then. Otherwise they can be email to you with any edited versions.

If it's winter. A big, warm coat, umbrella, comfortable shoes, hat, gloves, a hot water bottle, flask of hot drink for in-between shoot moments and a towel and warm, dry clothes for after the shoot.

If it's meant to be summer. A big, warm coat, umbrella, comfortable shoes, hat, gloves, a hot water bottle, flask of hot drink for in-between shoot moments and a towel and warm, dry clothes for after the shoot.

Additional clothes (if there’s somewhere to change or you remove layers or you're a quick change artist!).

Not so comfortable shoes, bangles, beads, rings and dangly earrings.

To make you portrait more personal, any props you want to bring; mobile phone, headphones, makeup, glasses, sunglasses, hat, scarf, hooded top, handbag, bicycle or somthing to do with a hobby. It’s up to you!

Your portfolio.

Your personality, enthusiasm and beautiful smile!

Model Release. A contract you may be asked to sign or you might ask the photographer to provide. Some publishers will not use the images unless they know one has been done in case either of you become famous and there is an argument over where the images can be used.