Saturday, 31 December 2011

Favourite pic of the year!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Many thanks for looking at my blog - everyone from those who subscribe, through those who find me on Twitter / Facebook, to those who dip in and out!

I thought I'd finish the year with my favourite picture from the year, which I happened to take in January.

I carefully took two shots with all the lights in the same position so the shadows would look consistent and then spent some time combining the shots in Photoshop Elements.

Canon EOS-1D Mark III, f/9 @ 67 mm, 1/125, ISO 100

Friday, 30 December 2011

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Lilly Anthers and Stigma

Unusual for me - lit with diffuse natural light outdoors.

Canon EOS-1D Mark III, f/4.5 @ 100 mm, 1/250, ISO 800, No Flash

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Faery Figurine

Lit with 580EXII off-camera with ETTL cord shot into a silver brolley. Very thin depth of field with a wide aperture (f/2.0) at close-focussing distance. Focus on face using liveview.

Canon EOS-1D Mark III, f/2 @ 100 mm, 1/300, ISO 100, Flash

Monday, 26 December 2011

Leaf veins

Shot with the Zeiss 100mm Makro Planar. Camera on tripod focussed with live view on 10x magnification. Flash off-camera and shot through leaf to reveal the detail.

Canon EOS-1D Mark III, f/8 @ 100 mm, 1/300, ISO 100, Flash

Christmas Lights

I've been admiring the lights on this house periodically as I drove past and finally decided snap them yesterday.

I used a thin dof (f/1.4) and focussed on the house to draw the eye to the 'Merry Christmas'. The highlight on the bottom right annoys me a fraction, but overall it's ok for a snap!

Canon EOS-1D Mark III, f/1.4 @ 35 mm, 1/200, ISO 800, No Flash

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Christmas Candle

Merry Christmas all!

Canon EOS-1D Mark III, f/2 @ 35 mm, 1/320, ISO 800, No Flash

Friday, 23 December 2011

Water droplets + 100% crop

Shot with the zeiss macro and off-camera 580EXII shooting through a white brolley. Included a 100% crop to show the detail in the droplets - it's worth clicking-through to see it large!

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II, f/5.6 @ 100 mm, 1/200, ISO 400, Flash

Frozen by flash

Kezia is pin-sharp despite the slow shutter speed of 1/5 second (handheld, although with an image stabiliser).  The flash duration (580EXII on camera, gridded dish to camera right) is so short that the slow shutter speed was irrelevant - so little ambient light on Kez that the flash froze the pose perfectly. The slow shutter speed did allow the sky to reveal some blue to the camera though.

Canon EOS-1D Mark III, f/3.5 @ 123 mm, 1/5, ISO 200, Flash

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Skull smile

This was a tricky one to light - I upped the ISO to 1600 so that the light from the candle warmed the left hand side of the face and I used a shoot-through brolley on the right to light the rest of Sarah.

In Lightroom I then darkened the finger nails, lightened the eyes and upped the blacks to darken the background more.

Canon EOS-1D Mark III, f/2 @ 35 mm, 1/100, ISO 1600, Flash

Mediaeval Baebes concert

A couple of snaps from tonight's concert - opening song and signing after the show. I'm impressed with the quality of the X100 especially given these were at ISO 1600!

FUJIFILM FinePix X100, f/2 @ 23 mm, 1/30, ISO 1600, No Flash
FUJIFILM FinePix X100, f/2 @ 23 mm, 1/75, ISO 1600, Flash

Monday, 19 December 2011

Old Typewriter Details

I like the slightly abstract nature of these close-ups. These were taken handheld (not recommended) using a manual focus lens (Zeiss Planar 100mm) and live-view. Flash was bounced off the ceiling. I managed to get the desired effect, but it would have been lots easier with a tripod!

Canon EOS-1D Mark III, f/4.5 @ 100 mm, 1/300, ISO 400, Flash

anon EOS-1D Mark III, f/9 @ 100 mm, 1/300, ISO 400, Flash

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Flower patterns and family portrait

Taken with a beauty dish from front. Pattern created in photoshop elements by copying the layer and expanding the canvas. I used the 100mm Zeiss Makro Planar ZE for this shot.

Canon EOS-1D Mark III, f/6.3 @ 100 mm, 1/200, ISO 100

Next up a family portrait I took for a work colleague. Lighting groups can be tricky and with restricted space it is best to go for a large soft centrally-positioned modifier. I used a large octabox and lit the background with a couple of bare studio flashes. I used the Sigma 50mm f.1.4 for this.

Canon EOS-1D Mark III, f/8 @ 50 mm, 1/125, ISO 100,

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Don't Blink & Headpiece

Canon EOS-1D Mark III, f/5.6 @ 85 mm, 1/300, ISO 100, Flash

Canon EOS-1D Mark III, f/5 @ 85 mm, 1/300, ISO 100, Flash

A band's eye view

I liked all the lights in this, but getting the exposure right was a challenge.

I bounced flash off the ceiling at -2 stops and tried different apertures until I was happy with the colour balance and overall brightness.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Old typewriter and flower with xmas lights

Firstly a shot taken handheld (should have got a tripod really, but got away with it) using the 100mm Zeiss Makro. To light it I bounced flash of the ceiling to avoid glaring from the metal keys.
Canon EOS-1D Mark III, f/9 @ 100 mm, 1/300, ISO 400, Flash

Secondly a shot in low light when I really should have used a tripod. Even at ISO1600 and a fast aperture (f/2.0) it was still exposed at 1/30s - much lower than the 1/200s I would have wanted for hand-holding. I braced myself against a chair and tried not to breathe!

The flower had some fairly lights about 2 metres behind it. I love the way they've turned into disks of light.

Canon EOS-1D Mark III, f/2 @ 100 mm, 1/30, ISO 1600, No Flash

Monday, 12 December 2011

The reflection

Studio shot of flower, reflection added in PhotoShop Elements.

Canon EOS-1D Mark III, f/5.6 @ 100 mm, 1/200, ISO 100

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Portrait of Alison

This is a portrait of my cousin, Alison. The shot was taken handheld using the manual-focus Zeiss Makro Planar 100mm f/2.0 ZE. To ensure accurate focussing I used live view at 10x magnification.

There is a very slender depth of field shooting at f/2.0 at a relatively close distance - notice the near eye is perfect sharp (the Makro Planar is ridiculously sharp when correctly focussed) but even the far eye is starting to slip out of the depth of field.

Some might argue I should have stopped down to f/5.6 or so to get both eyes sharp, but I rather like the effect as it is in this particular photo.

Canon EOS-1D Mark III, f/2 @ 100 mm, 1/300, ISO 200

Mono Rose

Canon EOS-1D Mark III, f/7.1 @ 100 mm, 1/200, ISO 100

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Lilly in studio lights

Canon EOS-1D Mark III, f/8 @ 100 mm, 1/200, ISO 100

This shot was taken using the Zeiss 100mm f/2 Makro Planar. The detail when view up-close is incredible. The shot is worth clicking on and seeing full size - it is a 100% crop.

Here is the lighting setup. Just out of frame on camera right was a reflector to soften shadows on the right hand side. Basically a studio flash with gridded dish on subject left. Black cloth background also draped over a table with a clamp holding the flower.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Selectively Coloured Sarah

In this shot I reduced the saturation of the reds etc to zero to remove skin tones and reduced the saturation of the blues / greens so they were more subtle.

Canon EOS-1D Mark III, f/2 @ 35 mm, 1/300, ISO 200, Flash

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Pyretta from the Past

With this shot of Sarah (Pyretta) I added a sepia tone to give a vintage feel.

Canon EOS-1D Mark III, f/3.2 @ 35 mm, 1/300, ISO 100, Flash

Tuesday, 6 December 2011


I had a fun shoot with Sarah for about an hour this evening. This shot used a thin depth of field to blur the background nicely (f/2.0) and I used two 580EXII flashguns to light the picture. The main light was off-camera on a cord shooting through a white brolley above camera and to the left. A second gun was fired at the ceiling to give an even light across the background.

In lightroom I added a gradient filter to darken the bottom of the frame and added a slight white vignette.

Canon EOS-1D Mark III, f/2 @ 35 mm, 1/300, ISO 200, Flash

Split-toned Lou

FUJIFILM FinePix X100, f/2.8 @ 23 mm, 1/150, ISO 200, Flash