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.
One of the advantages of studio lighting is the huge range of modifiers that are available for shaping light, from softboxes, umbrellas, strip lights, snoots, beauty dishes et al.
Using available/window light, we rarely have such flexibility and often need to improvise if we need to somehow modify the light.
For this shot, we were shooting on a wide open landing, lit by 3 large windows, flooding the space with light. However, the windows had wooden shutters; a common feature of houses around the south of France. So rather than bathing...
I’ve noticed that I am quite formulaic in my approach to photography. I tend to follow certain practices, which in turn leads to my work following a certain style.
One of the first things I always think about is contrast – how much differentiation do I want between the light and shadow in an image. Invariably, I opt for drama, which requires me “shoving” the model quite close to the window, increasing the contrast in an image; giving nice light and shadows to the shot.
Another rule I invariably follow is that I light...
I am normally so fastidious when it comes to work flow and in particular file/image management. I tend to cross the t’s and dot the i’s and this regimented approach that I have adopted has meant that I have never lost a single image since I started photography. Not only have I never lost one, but I’m also able to instantly find one, be it through the use of keywords or catalog sets. I know which images have been published, printed, accepted, awarded, loved or hated down through the years.
Until that is… today ❗
Recently I was invited along to a camera club here in Dublin to give a day long workshop on portrait retouching in Photoshop. To be honest, as nice as it was to be asked, it was also pretty nerve wracking. Photography wise, I’m more than happy standing in front of a group of photographers, no matter what their level, and present my work or deliver a workshop. I’m very comfortable with my own work and how to describe it and teach the methods I use.
But Photoshop is another matter entirely. Whilst I am very comfortable with the...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...