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.

Sold – Fotobyte Softbox (x2)

Posted by on April 8, 2013 in Blog, For Sale | 2 comments

Sold – Fotobyte Softbox (x2)

I’m a bit of an equipment hoarder – once I buy something it’s rare I ever sell it. But that habit is slowly starting to change as my house and equipment bags are slowly starting to run out of space. The selling trend started before Christmas when I parted with my much loved but equally much unused Elinchrom Quadras. So in keeping with that trend I’m looking to offload two Fotobyte hot shoe flash softboxes (40cm x 40cm). Originally purchased through E-Bay for €40 each plus shipping (€12) back in January 2011, this...

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D4 – First Impressions

Posted by on March 29, 2013 in Blog, Equipment | 6 comments

D4 – First Impressions

I can not emphasise enough just how much I love my D3. I bought it in late 2007 and still to this day I still find it an amazing camera. OK granted, I don’t have a huge amount to compare it to, considering I haven’t owned that many camera bodies in my time (starting with a Nikon D70, moving on to a Nikon D2x and then in late 2007 on to a Nikon D3), but even leaving comparisons aside and looking at it in its own right, the D3 is damn close to being THE PERFECT camera. Most importantly it offers superb image quality, which when it...

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Some Flash Portraits

Posted by on March 22, 2013 in Blog, Equipment, Model, Technique | 3 comments

Some Flash Portraits

I definitely wouldn’t consider myself a flash power user, nor a studio lighting expert, in fact quite the opposite But I know the basics, and if I really need to put my hand to it, I can use a simple flash to create reasonably dramatic lighting. During a recent workshop, by and large the majority of the content I focused on was using ambient/available light, but there was a small section over each of the 3 days where I used a little bit of flash. The portraits below are pretty much as simple as it gets lighting wise (technically) and...

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1000 ISO – The Low Light Challenge

Posted by on March 8, 2013 in Blog, Technique | 5 comments

1000 ISO – The Low Light Challenge

Most of the places I shoot in are dark.. like REALLY dark! As an example, at the recent workshop, when I arrived in the morning before all the photographers (shortly before 9am), my meter read a 13 second exposure at f:2.8 and ISO800. OK, granted, it was early in the day so the sun was still quite low and the windows were facing across the street at an apartment complex, so they’d never get direct sun light, even if the sun were to shine in that direction (which it didn’t). Over the course of the day, as the sun rose higher in the...

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10 Tips For Using Flash

Posted by on February 8, 2013 in Blog, Technique | 2 comments

10 Tips For Using Flash

Whilst I was never really a serious user of flash, it plays an even smaller and ever decreasing part in my photography these days. The locations that I shoot in and am attracted to, tend to be locations with really nice ambient light – there may not always be a lot of it, but the quality of it is often the appeal. So with natural light to hand, I tend not to see the point of using flash. But regardless of this fact, I still get asked from time to time, to give small workshops or presentations on the use of flash. Most recently, I gave a...

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Local Versus Global Contrast

Posted by on February 1, 2013 in Blog, Editing & Workflow | 5 comments

Local Versus Global Contrast

Put simply, contrast is the different between light and dark. An image with good contrast, will have detail from black (shadow) all the way through to white (highlight), where as a low contrast image will be missing true blacks and/or true whites. There are lots of tools available for increasing/improving the contrast in an image, most notably the levels and/or curves adjustment layers in Photoshop. Whilst they are both controlled in different ways, they effectively operate on an image in the same way, in that they move the darker tones...

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Before And After (Warts And All)

Posted by on January 11, 2013 in Blog, Editing & Workflow | 2 comments

Before And After (Warts And All)

There seems to be a trend amongst photographers at the moment, posting images that are “un-retouched” or “straight out of the camera” as if this some how makes the shot better? Well for me, I’m all for giving a shot a little bit of loving in Photoshop. What’s important for me is the final image, more so than the journey. So I don’t necessarily care if a shot is arrived at through hours of retouching effort or indeed uploaded straight from the camera – it’s all about the image at the end of...

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Take A Better Snapshot

Posted by on November 23, 2012 in Blog, Technique | 1 comment

Take A Better Snapshot

Yes, I did use the dreaded term… “Snapshot”. A lot of photographers, including myself, hate to have our work referred to as a snap, or snapshot. To me, there’s a big difference between a snapshot and a photograph. A photograph is constructed, where a snapshot is really just recorded. It’s all the various elements that go into constructing a photograph, that make it such! The composition, the lighting, the mood etc. where as a snapshot is just “grabbed” without thoughts to any photographic aspects. But,...

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Your Camera Can’t Meter For Flash

Posted by on October 26, 2012 in Blog, Technique | 8 comments

Your Camera Can’t Meter For Flash

Let me say this again… your camera can not meter for flash. Cameras have what are known as ambient light meters (reflective light meters to be exact); they measure continuous light, or light that is there all the time. They don’t have the capability to meter flash, which is a strobe or pulse of light, of very short duration that is only there for a fraction of the exposure. So why is this important? Well, most people use their flashes on camera. OK, so I know this is a cardinal sin and they should be burned at the stake for doing...

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It’s OK To Cheat

Posted by on October 15, 2012 in Blog, Editing & Workflow | 4 comments

It’s OK To Cheat

Depending on your point of view, I’m either incredibly lazy, or incredibly efficient. For me, in pretty much everything I do, it’s all about the maximum gain for the least effort and this ethos feeds into my photography. When shooting I’ll put a little bit of extra effort in when taking an image, in order to avoid having to put a lot of effort in later in Photoshop. So I do my best to get it as close to being “right” in camera as I can. But some times, no matter what you do, you can’t quite get a shot...

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