Thursday, 30 June 2011

Gemma Aguilar with Guitar

This is another shot from my shoot with Gemma for her website. I needed to drop to f/13 to underexpose the sky enough as I dare not increase the shutter speed to over 1/200 to ensure syncing with the Lencarta Safari Flash head. Lighting was sun to camera left, flash with standard reflector to camera right. I used the Canon 35mm f/1.4 L and went in close-ish as I wanted Gemma to have an imposing presence in the shot.

Canon EOS-1D Mark III, f/13 @ 35 mm, 1/200, ISO 100

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Kezia - a rare smile!

Kezia doesn't normally smile for photos, so this is a shot of some rarity!

Lighting for this shot was a ringflash on camera and a second light to camera right.

Canon EOS-1D Mark III, f/2.8 @ 70 mm, 1/50, ISO 200

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Ashby St Ledgers Church

#hdr - All sorts of tricks were used on this shot! Firstly it is a blend of three exposures on 1DIII, 12-24mm @ 15mm, f/8. I then used the distortion correction tool in Photoshop Elements to stop some of the converging verticals. Finally I converted to sepia, increased the blacks, added a few grad filters and deliberately pushed the sharpening!!

Monday, 27 June 2011

Church tower at Ashby St Ledger

This is a composite (HDR) of three images. Camera was tripod-mounted and pointing skyward. I liked the imposing feel from the combination of B&W and the ultra wide lens.

Canon EOS-1D Mark III, f/8 @ 12 mm, 1/3, ISO 100

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Kezia and the dual carriageway

@KeziaRaiSuicide: Kezia on a bridge over a dual carriageway. Designed to be 'edgier' in feel to the shots on the blog two days ago.

Kez was lit with a beauty dish and relatively long exposure of 1 second lit the background and gave some gentle light trails from passing cars. You can tell from slight blurring of her arms that the 1 second exposure allowed some subject movement but she kept her face very still and therefore this was rendered pin sharp.

Canon EOS-1D Mark III, f/4.5 @ 95 mm, 1s, ISO 400

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Gemma Aguilar

I was delighted to photograph the talented singer songwriter @gemma_aguilar last month for her new website and forthcoming EP & single. Today Gemma opened for Blue at 'Armed Forces Day'.

This shot was used for the cover of her new EP, to be released 3rd July.

For this shot I used the Canon 1DMKIII with the 35mm f/1.4 L. I shot at f/13 to darken the background and lit Gemma with a combination of the sun camera right, and Lencarta Safari camera left.

Canon EOS-1D Mark III, f/13 @ 35 mm, 1/160, ISO 100

Please check out her website and music in the link above.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Kezia in a field!

#Portrait: In this first shot Kezia was lit with a ring flash on camera and then a gridded beauty dish from the right to add a highlight to the hair. The sky was quite dark and I wanted a rich blue colour so I had the camera on a tripod and used a slow shutter speed. As there was little natural light on Kez the slow shutter speed didn't add blur.

EXIF: Canon EOS-1D Mark III, f/3.5 @ 70 mm, 1/5, ISO 200

For shot two I opted for a gridded beauty dish high and to camera left. This gives a controlled beam of light and gives a dramatic fall off as if Kez is in a spotlight.

EXIF: Canon EOS-1D Mark III, f/5 @ 80 mm, 1/125, ISO 200

Thursday, 23 June 2011

LEDs in the steps

I liked the blue LEDs in the steps here, but exposure was a nightmare as the steps were so dark, but the LEDs were so light. Solution was too hugely underexpose, lighten in Lightroom all of the shot except the LEDs.

I used a thin depth of field to try and draw the eye into the shot & the simple / abstract composition is potentially helped with the LEDs making a triangle.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011


This is a portrait of Nicki - taken on a Canon 1DsII + Canon 35mm f/1.4 L @ f/3.2 to keep all of Nicki in focus whilst blurring the background. Exposure was ISO50, 1/8000s which underexposed the background nicely whilst Nicki was lit with a 580EXII.

If I'm being critical, the sun was behind me and this has caused Nicki to close her eyes a fraction, but the view the other way was poor, so I went for this angle knowing the risks!

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

BMX Stunt Cycling

Four shots today of some amazing young cyclists in Swansea - thanks guys! All on Sigma 85mm, 1DsII @ ISO 800 + 580EXII.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Graveyard scene

Shooting 3 shots wide open on the 35mm f/1.4 on a full frame body creates a thin depth of field and allows an HDR.

I was trying to add depth to the shot by focussing on the central gravestone. A minor irritation is the tree in the background lining up with the grave, but this is less of a distraction when the shot is viewed full-screen.

Trackless Sleepers

Close up of some trackless sleepers on a local railway line - I used a telephoto lens (135mm) at a wide aperture (f/2.0) to focus attention on one section of the photo.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Photographing the photographer

A candid taken at a fete today. 1DsII + 70-200 f/2.8 @ f/2.8 (to isolate the camera and blur the rest). 1/640s, ISO100

Friday, 17 June 2011

South Shields Sunset

Sunset at South Shields caught on an 85mm lens @ f/2.8. Set of 3 exposures blended in Photomatix.

It's a fairly straightforward shot, but I liked the lighting on the buildings in the distance.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Conversation Piece aka "The Weebles of South Shields"

These are affectionately know as 'The Weebles' - despite going in close with a wide angle for a hopefully dramatic perspective, unfortunately the resulting shot was a little dull. Fortunately I'd anticipated this (the light was a bit flat at this point) so I bracketed a few exposures and created an HDR which (to my eyes) brings the scene alive.

1D3, 12-24 @ 12mm, f/5.6.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Ship leaving the Tyne

Shot at dusk - I really liked the muted colours here.

1D3, 85mm @ f/2.0, 1/500 @ ISO400

Monday, 13 June 2011

Three more model shots

All of these are on the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 - a lens I'm growing increasingly fond of. In each case I used a wide aperture to throw the background out of focus.

Saturday, 11 June 2011


After an edgier look with this model - f/2.2 on the 50mm for thin dof (note how out of focus the shoes are!). Sun was behind Tori and a 580EXII through a brolley (off camera obviously) was used for fill.


This was taken on the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 wide open attached to the 1DIII. 1/160sec, ISO 100, Lencarta flash to camera left, ND filter to drop ambient light.

A bit of a catch up - 3 models

Doing yesterday's, today's and tomrrow's post in one go!

This is Toni - in all honesty I screwed up the settings on this shot, but got away with it!

I shot at f/1.6 on the Sigma 85mm attached to the 1DIII. I had a Lencarta light set up to give some false sun, but set the shutter speed to high for it to sync - luckily the real sun came out, so problem solved!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Groyne Lighthouse

I love this lighthouse and really liked the combination of colours in this shot. I took it on a 50mm lens @ f/4 blending three exposures.

Groyne Lighthouse Sunset

Sorry this is a day late - no internet connection last night!

Three shots were taken and blended for this one - all at 12mm on a Sigma 12-24mm, f/8 on a 1DIII.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011


Taken on a 135mm f/2.0 close to minimum focus distance. Taken wide open to maximise background blur (at the expense of slightly loss of depth of field on the caterpillar). Hand held with fill flash.

Monday, 6 June 2011


This is a shot of a fly taken on the Canon 1DIII with the Sigma 150mm macro lens @ f/9, 1/400s with HSS flash.

The flash was off camera on a bracket and this gives more interesting light that a standard ring flash in my opinion - the shadows give more depth to the shot.

Sunday, 5 June 2011


Canon 1DIII, 50mm f/1.4 lens wide open for a thin depth of field. 1/8000s @ ISO100 with a dab of HSS flash to fill. Slight upping of blue saturation in Lightroom.

Saturday, 4 June 2011


Ladybird taken @ f/1.4 to blur the background. I liked the contrast between the main area of green and the spot of colour.

1DIII, Sigma 85mm f/1.4 @ f/1.4,  1/1600, ISO100

Friday, 3 June 2011


A candid of some ladies walking down the high street. 1DIII + Sigma 85mm f/1.4 @ f/2.0, 1/1600sec ISO100.

Trick here is to appear to shooting at something totally different so as not to attract attention - as you take the camera from my eye stare hard and critically at something near where the subject was standing.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Kezia in a derelict doorway

Kezia lurks in a doorway in a derelict building. Lit with one flash high and to camera far left. 1DsII, 1/250s, f/2 on the Canon 35mm f/1.4. Split toning applied in LR.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Quirky portrait of Tammy

I went for an unusual perspective on this one. Tammy was resting against the wall and leaning forward. She was lit using a ringflash mounted around the lens (24-105mm @ 58mm) which is why the background is much darker than the face - the light falls away rapidly.  Problem with the wall was it was prone to glare and you can see this on the top right hand side, despite me dialing in some under-exposure in Lightroom.

1DsII, f/10 @ 1/125s, ISO100.