Articles

Most of my blog entries are transitory in nature.. they’re about what I shot on that day, or what I thought at that time.

These articles are little different. They are meant as a free learning resource about different aspects of photography, covering anything from the basics of exposure all the way through to digital asset management and colour work flow. Please feel free to share the content or link to it, but if you do, all I ask is that the appropriate credit is applied.

In saying that, my blog itself also contains info relating to equipment reviews, editing and workflow tips and tutorials as well as discussions on technique – most of which are listed below.

Blown Highlights & Blocked Up Shadows

Posted by on December 1, 2014 in Blog, Technique | 13 comments

Blown Highlights & Blocked Up Shadows

A little while back, I was invited over to the UK to be part of the selection panel for the Semthwick International Salon – the UK’s biggest FIAP salon. It was a thoroughly enjoyable weekend, with myself and the other selectors looking through almost ten and a half thousand images. Leaving the selection process aside though, I came away from the experience quite bemused about the process of judging images in camera clubs. Over the 3 days, from talking with some of the selectors and indeed senior club members, I was simply amazed to...

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Interpreting Exposure

Posted by on June 18, 2014 in Blog, Technique | 6 comments

Interpreting Exposure

Most hits to my blog come by way of Google searches on metering and exposure; and most questions I am asked whilst giving workshops or demos are also on that same topic. Getting your exposure “right” can sometimes be a frustrating and often mysterious process with results varying wildly from shot to shot, or shoot to shoot. More often than not, I would classify exposure issues as being a class of PEBCAK errors (problem exists between chair and keyboard), i.e. user error. The reason we often have problems, is because we simply...

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Roswell Ivory – The Anatomy Of An Image

Posted by on May 30, 2014 in Blog, Model, Technique | 0 comments

Roswell Ivory – The Anatomy Of An Image

Roswell Ivory is a UK model/writer/artist/all round talented lady that I had the chance to work with recently, during a recent tour of hers, here in Ireland. Originally I had booked an old Georgian building here in Dublin for the shoot with her, but due to a schedule change on my side, my plans were scuppered and we came very close to not having a shoot at all. But on the last few days leading up to the date of the rescheduled shoot, we decided to just head out into the Wicklow hills with only the vaguest idea for a shoot, no real location...

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My 10 Favourite Photoshop Tips

Posted by on May 9, 2014 in Blog, Editing & Workflow | 4 comments

My 10 Favourite Photoshop Tips

I’ve done a few posts about my favourite tips for taking portraits, working with ambient light, working with flash, posing models etc. These have all been related to camera craft, i.e. at the time of capture. So I guess what’s missing is tips for working on photos after they’ve been captured. So here they are, my top 10 tips for processing images in Photoshop. Note that these tips assume you are using Adobe Camera Raw for RAW conversion and CS5 (although most likely they’ll work on earlier and/or later...

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Better Camera Equals Better Photographs?

Posted by on April 11, 2014 in Blog, Equipment, Technique | 2 comments

Better Camera Equals Better Photographs?

I know very few people that, if they could afford it, wouldn’t choose to live in a bigger/brighter/better house in a nicer location with better views. Similarly, given the finances, I know very few people that wouldn’t drive newer, bigger, more comfortable, safer, faster cars. Of course, we all need to live within our means and the two big ticket items I mentioned (house and car) are very often items secured by way of credit – so we often put ourselves into debt to buy them. But it’s the concept that is important, not...

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Controlling Contrast With Distance

Posted by on March 12, 2014 in Blog, Technique | 1 comment

Controlling Contrast With Distance

Let’s assume you expose a subject “correctly” in that there is no loss of detail in the highlights; what is left to worry about at that point is just how much detail there is in the shadows. Our cameras have a limited dynamic range in that they can only capture a certain amount of light between the brightest and darkest points. If we have limited the brightest point, by exposing for it, then the only danger we run into is blocked up shadows (dark areas where there is no detail). In certain situations and in particular in...

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Adding Contrast With Flash

Posted by on February 16, 2014 in Blog, Technique | 4 comments

Adding Contrast With Flash

Although I rarely actually use it, I would still consider flash to be one of the most creative tools available to a photographer. The ability to add light to a scene (often in a controlled manner) opens up huge creative possibilities. From my own perspective, I would certainly not consider myself a power user, but I do understand the basics and am comfortable enough with using flash, to be able to put it to use when (or if) I need it. And on a recent shoot with UK model/dancer Kayleigh Lush, it was most certainly needed. I’d say the...

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Both Model And Photographer

Posted by on January 17, 2014 in Blog, Exhibition & Featured, Technique | 8 comments

Both Model And Photographer

One of the many reasons I chose to pick up photography was that I hated being in front of the lens. I figured, if I could turn my hand to photography itself, I’d end up with the perfect excuse for staying away from the dangerous end of the camera. And by and large that strategy has worked well for me. Even when I’m giving demos or workshops, I do my utmost to avoid being the subject of the photos being taken, opting instead to use mannequins, models or alternatively throw a different photographer to the lions . So when I was...

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Please Apple, I’m Begging You!

Posted by on November 19, 2013 in Blog, Editing & Workflow | 5 comments

Please Apple, I’m Begging You!

There are a few things that most competent photographers are pretty good at. Taking images is obviously one of those things and managing them would be another. The more images we take, the more we realise we have to have a system for storing them and keeping them safe and backed up; a system which allows us to find a single image amongst thousands of others. Every photographer will have a workflow and digital asset management system that is unique to themselves and their needs, but they all do essentially the same thing. So yeah, we get good...

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No Tinkering Needed

Posted by on October 30, 2013 in Blog, Editing & Workflow, Model | 1 comment

No Tinkering Needed

I want to preface this post, by saying that I’m in no way trying to be elitist in discussing what I’m about to discuss. My intention is not to try and elevate this shot above the work of others by suggesting their shots are some how inferior because they “need” to be retouched. This isn’t about getting it right in camera (although of course, I still think that’s a great idea). It’s about me being generally a tinkerer of images – I enjoy to make little tweaks here and little tweaks there....

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