Co – Operative Food journey continues. Time lapse of my recent journey from Reigate to Luton. Made this 2 min time lapse as en experiment to see how the iphone performs. Not sure its worth watching to the end. But I hope to improve on this further with more iphone time lapse car journeys and other subjects.
845 miles and still counting. Currently photographing store mangers portraits for The co-operative food across the South East. Having a great time meeting friendly and dedicated staff. Drinking to much coffee and eating to many chocolates brownies though.
Recent portrait work commissioned by the Financial Times to photograph the Eben Upton the Founder of Cambridge based Rasberry Pi for the FT Business Page. Rasberry Pi manufacture pocket sized affordable computers for school children. Priced at £24. The company has won acclaim for inventing the versatile computer which can be put to a multitude of uses.
Only just found out how easy it is to take a screen shot of your iphone screen. By this I mean the ability to take a photograph or copy the iphone screen to your Photos folder on the iphone. This is useful if you want to store information that might only be available when you have an internet connection, copy a message, or if you need to quickly send an error message for technical support.
Once your iphone is displaying the page you want to capture e.g. a webpage, email, message etc. follow these steps.
1) Simply press the Home button and the On/Off/Lock switch at the same time.
2) As you press the Home button and On/off Switch simultaneously the screen will flash white and a camera shutter will sound. You have then captured a screen shot of your iphone screen and this can be viewed in Photos.
If you get the timing wrong Siri will open or you will lock the iphone.
I believe this works for all iphone/ipad’s running iOS 2.0 or higher.
I recently shot a quick self promotion photograph of a model holding a champagne glass and watching a Sunset on Reigate Heath, Surrey. The image was pulled together at the last minute, due to my schedule and wanting the ideal weather conditions, despite the amazing weather we have had in the last few weeks. There has not been many clouds or there has been to much cloud cover at the time I wanted to shoot. I finally got my window of opportunity after the first wave of thunderstorms toward the end of July. This is an explanation of how the shot was created.
I found the location after many evenings walking from home to the Windmill at Reigate Heath Golf club. I was struck by the calm and tranquility of the surroundings with the quiet occasionally interrupted by the metallic tang of golfers teeing off from the nearby golf course. As the Sun set the view and hills seemed to take on a grand ambiance. I returned with a camera and captured a basic wide/panoramic landscape image. I had not really intended to shoot into the Sun before sunset but while waiting for the Sun to vanish I took a few shots to review.
1) Here is the first image before the Sun set
2) and image after the Sun had set.
It was clear after reviewing the results that the winner was the shot before Sun set. The image shot into the Sun had a greater tonal range than I was expecting this was increased with enhancement in Lightroom using the graduation tool. The contrast was also excellent and this is mostly in part due to the amazing optics of the 21mm Zeiss (Distagon T* 2,8/21) lens used. A fantastic lens for landscape photography by reducing flare exceptionally well. The first image taken directly into the setting Sun struck me as a great image to use for an email announcing my recent relocation to Surrey. It is positive, bright and has the obvious connotations with bright horizons and new beginnings etc. It only lacked one thing a person.
I decided then that I needed a model to complete the composition and because the location is very close to the Reigate Heath Golf Club house restaurant/bar it must have one of the best views for dining and drinking in Surrey and so it seemed appropriate to have a model posed with a drink enjoying the setting Sun and views toward the north downs. I just needed my schedule, a model and the sky conditions to align. When they did one evening after a long hot day I grabbed my camera equipment two lights and raced to the location before the Sun started to kiss the horizon.
I had planned the lighting placement and new where I would need my two flash lights. As the model was placed very close to the camera position would certainly be in shadow I wanted to place my lights so that they complimented the existing and only other light source of the setting Sun. The position I chose to shot from had the added complication being on a slope downwards from the camera position and in my haste to leave and get to the location I had forgotten to bring anything to put under the light stands to make the ground level, in the end this was overcome with my camera bag and by using the club patio area.
I placed the first light (1.) in front and to the right of the model aimed slightly on her right side and front. The second light (2.) was placed on camera left much further away from the model and in the polar opposite direction of light (1.) I took a couple of test frames and decided that the position of light (1.) was to directional and created obvious harsh shadows behind the models right arm as seen here.
Light (1.) was positioned closer and more to the side of the model with the expectation that the shadows would shorten and soften. The second light (2.) also needed tweaking this was placed again to be more in the opposite direction further forward and aimed back toward the model. In order to stop the slight stand from toppling over on the ueven ground I put the handle of camera bag under one leg of the light stand. Ordinarily I would have an assistant hold the light or tie the stand down with weights and bungee cord. Both lights were unmodified SB800′s. It made sense to leave the lights bare so as to align with the suns very directional light fall. Exposure ended up being f/10 1/50th sec iso 100 with the lights set at 1/4 – 1/2 power I think, as I was working very fast I don’t recall the exact power level. I used an exposure which would give a good balance between the brightest area of sky and the foreground trees/foliage. I recall wanting as much depth of field as possible without exceeding the output from the lights. As the sun was brightest light source I worked quickly at finding the right aperture to expose the flashlights and then reduced the shutter speed to provide the exposure for the model sky and foreground trees. The unprocessed raw file would need work to further help balance the foreground and background this was achieved by using grad filters in Lightroom and curve layers in photoshop. Then adding colour correction, contrast layers and a solid colour layer of mid grey set to 27% opacity in a lighten blend mode to soften the dark shadow areas. Finally adding a subtle vignette mask to the edges to further bring draw your eye into the image.
Final Lighting position digram below:
Final result works very well and conveys the relaxed atmosphere and beauty of the location. It also demonstrates the importance of lighting on location. The result would not have been possible without supplemental lighting to add shape and detail. Post production was also an important element to balance the foreground with background and enhance contrast.
After five fabulous years in Cambridge and continued expansion of my business and client base, I have chosen to relocate my main office to Reigate in Surrey. This places me centrally between my professional bases in London, Cambridgeshire and the South East with improved rail, road and air access to my clients elsewhere across the UK and Europe.
The main core of my work continues to be commercial and corporate portrait photography.
The platform I use to supply and archive images online has been redesigned by photoshelter. The interface is more streamlined, updated to be responsive to screen size and provides better tools for social media sharing. To complement my expanding online archive of stock images I intend to begin uploading more images taken locally within Surrey for purchase under licence.
For some time now I have longed to have a simple light weight tethering solution for Nikon cameras, more portable and light weight than a laptop. When the ipad and camera connection kit came along I thought this might be the solution, unfortunately it was not that simple. There is now a fantastic product available called CamRanger that allows wireless tethering to mobile devices and laptops via wifi. Created by Dave Pawlowski and his wife Melissa, who both have a love of the outdoors. They needed a wireless device to control the focus and framing while taking distance shots with both Dave and Melissa in a kayak.
Its a small device about the size of an iphone which plugs into the USB port of your camera and then transmits via an ad-hoc wifi network to your mobile device phone/tablet or computer. It has a range of 50m and is straight forward to setup and quick to use.
I love this device for location shooting and an aid to composition especially as it has the ability to operate the Camera’s LiveView function. Enabling me to leave the camera position and work in front of the camera, positioning objects or directing models while viewing a live image of the frame on an ipad/iphone. It also makes reviewing the frame or image by the client/art director very straight forward especially as the ipad is cable free. The transmitter will fit in a pocket or clip to a belt/tripod in the provided pouch and so its very easy to shoot with the USB cable attached and walk around with camera in hand. Dave and Melissa’s blog provide some other creative ways of attaching the transmitter to a camera
I have not tested the range of the signal yet, but as I do not have a need to be more than a few metres from the camera I am not to concerned with any range limitations.
The camera is controlled via the free software available for mac OS/iOS, Android and Windows OS. Setup takes about 2mins and the interface is well designed and thought out. Once connected to the camera its possibleto view images alreday captured to the camera memory card or to import directly to the tablet/laptop. Obviously its a lot faster to view jpgs rather than raw files and I tend to capture Raw+jpg for this reason.
My drawbacks to the CamRanger iOS application:
- If the camera is offline and not connected, its not possible to see images which have been saved to the device already from within the CamRanger app. You need to open the camera roll in Photos to see the images. This is fine and makes sense, however I would prefer to remain within one application and be able to view images offline if the ‘Auto Save’ option is on. CamRanger has a very simple but great ratings matrix and the ability to use this is lost once offline.
- CamRanger app will display captured image thumbnails within the main interface screen during each connection session. So if you disconnect and reconnect a new strip of thumbnails will be created for the new captures. This can be frustrating if you lose the connection. You will then need to reload the entire memory card by tapping the memory card icon to view previous shots. This can be counter intuitive for some clients who expect to jump to a previous shot but also see the latest capture. There is also no option to view jpg only and so if your shooting both Raw+Jpg the scroll through to previous shots can take a while.
I’m very pleased that this device has come to the market place, I think it fits well the photographer who needs a portable lightweight tethering solution for location shooting. It would not be well suited for those shooting very large files or who need the reliability of wired tethering. I have yet to go kayaking with it but its inspiring some great possibilities for self portraiture. I will update this post as I use CamRanger more in the future for commercial work and hopefully provide more insight into how effective its use can be in the field.