Saturday, 29 December 2012

Stormy Broadstairs

Stormy Broadstairs

Well Christmas was really good to me as it brought me a Full Frame camera, the Canon 5D mkiii. Really haven't had much chance to get out with it yet but so far I have been blown away by the level of detail in the raw files to how sharp the images are. The auto focus system has many settings and I am still trying to find my way around but it really does a great job. The build quality is nothing less than impressive and I hope the weather sealing is of similar standard although I don't wish to put it to a test!

Hope to be able to show more images in the coming weeks and months. I still have my Canon 7d and may well be selling this in the near future . I also have a Canon 10-22 lens and Sigma 8-16mm lens I will be selling to. If you are interested in any of them, then please feel free to contact me for further info and help.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Happy Christmas All

Hello to everyone out there, may I wish you all and your family a very merry Christmas and all the best for the coming year. I would like to thank you all for you comments and support over the last year and hope I have improved as a result. I hope to continue to learn over the coming year and look forward to sharing my images with you over the months to come.

Happy Christmas Everyone

Lee Pelling Photography
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Saturday, 22 December 2012

London 2012 The Final Trip of The Year

Southwark Blue
Today myself and fellow photographer +Barry Stewart  visited London for the last time this year, picked a good day as at least the weather was kind and the rain stayed away. Decided to visit a few underground stations as some of the architecture underground is better than that above. The problem I have is recalling which image was taken at which station and thanks to another Flickr contact, Sean Batton, for correcting me on my Flickr post. The above image was actually taken at Southwark underground station and not Waterloo which is originally what I listed it as.

Think you will agree when you actually stop and look around the vast underground network there is some really nice architecture going on from some really old stations to some of the modern stations. The problem in London is so many people all going about there daily lives very few actually ever notice. The other problem for those of us that do is trying to find the composition and time to shoot when there are not vast crowds getting in the way !

Sothwark Underground Station

Kings Cross Roof

The O2


Hopefully in 2013 we will return to continue to document some of the great places our capital has to offer both above and below ground level.

I would like to take this opportunity in thanking you all for your comments and support in 2012 and I wish you all a great Christmas and best wishes for the new year.

Lee Pelling

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Gritty Speedlite Portrait

Gritty Speedlite Portrait

This is my son Ben, I haven't done much photography lately no real reason other than work getting in the way really. I had seen this type of light set up and processing on Kelby Training so thought I would give it a go.
This set up requires three speedlites or strobes. Two speedlites behind model one each side and higher than model aiming down towards the back of the neck area. These two strobes were also fitted with grids to help pin point the light. The idea is to get the light falling on the shoulder separating model from the background and also falling on the cheek area. These were set to about 1/64th power.
The third speedlite is in front of the model and lower so as not to get in the shot and acts as a fill light set to about 1/128th power with a stoffen diffuser fitted.
The camera was set to ISO 800 Shutter speed of 1/200th sec at F/8.0  and the speedlites fired with a set of youngnou 622c wireless triggers.
The lens was a Canon 70 - 200  F/4.0 USM L at 91mm on a Canon 7D
The image was then processed in Lightroom 4 and a few minor tweaks in Photoshop CS6

Strobist Three Light Portrait


Friday, 30 November 2012

Coastal Dreams

Took the camera down to Ramsgate Seafront and found my way down towards the harbour. I wanted a long exposure with some real cloud movement but as you can see even after a 2 min exposure the clouds were not playing ball.

So at home I was processing this image and playing with the colour temperature, I increased the blues and the magenta. I thought this looked like a fantasy type effect so thought what could I do to give it a soft dreamy feel.

Copied the edited image to its own layer (ctrl+shift+Alt+E), in Photoshop. I then duplicated the layer (Ctrl+J) I then applied a Gaussian blur to the layer, just enough to through it slightly out of focus. I added a layer mask set the blend mode to soft light and painted the effect back out of the groyne area.

I quiet like the dreamy feel to the image, not exactly what I was after but sometimes you just got to roll with it!!

Thursday, 15 November 2012

London South Bank Christmas Fair

London South Bank Christmas Fair

With a day off and a plan in mind i headed up to London to get a few shots i had thought about, most of which were long exposures to make use of my Lee Big Stopper. However, i picked the only day this week that had a clear blue sunny sky!! Not good for what i had in mind.

So with my plans in ruins i walked around London for a while and pretty much ended up along the South Bank as the sun was going down, i must have walked for miles, feeling it now poor old man!

The South Bank was setting up for the Christmas fair which was full of colour and smells from mulled wine and crapes. There was lots to look at and if you have never been before i think its well worth a visit, great place to take the family to get in the festive mood.

I had tried to get a shot of the Lady and the Dolphin fountain near Tower Bridge but as i had my tripod out and was setting up some wireless speedlites i was approached by security and was TOLD i was a PROFESSIONAL ! I said have you seen my work then you may feel a bit different if you had lol ! Anyway no point arguing with them so i was polite, as were they to be fair, i gave up on that idea and made my way across Tower Bridge and strolled along the river back towards the South Bank.

Here are a few more shots i managed to get along the way

Blackfriars Bridge

Rebuilding London


Thursday, 1 November 2012

Bushy Ruff House

Bushy Ruff House
Russell Gardens Kearsney

Out for a walk with my wife and came accross this old house. Its located in Kearsney on the Russell Gardens side. Sadly it has extensive fire damage and nothing much remains, but the location and condition of this place made for a great photo.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Stacey Scissor Hands Halloween Costume
Home Made Background

Stacey Scissor Hands High Key

 We are heading towards the end of the month and with it comes Halloween. This is my daughter, Stacey, who was going out to a party. I had recently purchased a background support frame and today i purchased this white dye sheeting from Dunhelm Mill. It is about 2.9 meters by 4 meters and cost me £25.

The set up was pretty easy, two speedlights on the background fired through a white umbrella and a third was in the Lastolite 60x60 softbox.

They were fired using my new Youngnuo 622c Ettl Wireless triggers. The triggers allow you to control the speedlights from my Canon 7D menu system, very handy. Triggers worked flawlessly and very pleased with them.

High Key Portrait Set Up
The only problem i encountered was a lack of space in my front room!

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Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Thats a Flash Wine

That's a Flash Wine
 This week i was lucky enough to have a third speedlite arrive. The one i chose was the Youngnuo 568 EX. I have to say this speedlite is real value for money and if anyone out there is looking for a second flash or a good flash at a reasonable price then look no more, this flash has it all. I suggest you google it and have a read up as i not here to give a review but i will say i am very pleased with it so far.

Three speedlites give me more set up options or just power if i need it. This shot was taken using the Canon 7Ds built in master controller to activate the three speedlites and i can control the settings from the in camera menu, saves having to change each speedlite then reposition every time i want to try a different setting.

I set up in my front room this time as although the table is lower and smaller i have a bit more room around the edges. I used my two tripods to support a expandable handle which i threaded through a roll of black paper. This gave me the continuous background i wanted.

Setup Shot

As you can see from the set up shot above i placed the Canon 580 EX II with a Lumiquest III softbox to camera left a YN 568ex with a grid attached to camera right and my Canon 430 EXII with a grid camera left and fired behind bottle onto background.

Set Up Info

Canon 7D
Canon 24 - 105mm F/4.0 IS L USM

580 exii was at about 1/8th power
568 ex was at about 1/16th power
430 exii was at about 1/16th power

I use lightroom 4 to import my images and to make some adjustments to the highlights, shadows, whites,blacks and clarity to name but a few but the same results can be had from using just Adobe Camera Raw before importing into Photoshop CS 6 for a few more enhancements.

As for the flash, well that's just fairy dust !

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Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Lemon and Lime Splash Photography

A Splash of Zest

Took these shots of Lemon and Lime in a aquarium which i set up at the kitchen table.The tank was filled a little over half full and i put some black paper on the outside of the back of the tank for the background.

I also screwed up some kitchen foil then straightened it out to give a reflected base which i stood the tank on. This reflects the light back up into the tank and produces the highlights on the underside of the fruit.

I had a speedlite to camera left firing through the side and a speedlight to camera right firing into the tank from above away from the background towards the foil! Both speedlites were wrapped in cling film to protect from splashes.

The speedlites were in manual mode and fired using my Aputure Trigmaster II radio triggers which i think are awesome.

You do need to take some test shots to get the light right but i think somewhere around 1/64th power for the camera left and 1/128th for the camera high right at iso 200, shutter was about 1/160th at about F/16 is a good starting point and adjust as required.

I put a kitchen utensil in the middle of the tank and focused the lens then switched the lens to manual focus to stop it hunting when fired and with the F/16 gives you a good depth of field to play with.

The camera was my Canon 7D on a tripod with my new Canon 24-105mm F/4.0 USM IS L. The Image stabiliser was turned off for this as it was on a tripod.

A Splash of Lemon and Lime

It was then just a matter of dropping the Lemon and Lime into the tank and timing when to hit the radio trigger. After a few goes you can get fairly accurate with when to fire.

Tried many items in the tank but i think these were a good combination. My personal favourite is the sliced Lemon and Lime as i like the way the inside looks in this composition works well with the bubbles and light.

Good fun to do and the possibilities are endless. I strongly suggest you have a go. If you have any comments or questions please ask here or through my Flickr photostream.

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Wednesday, 26 September 2012

New Lenses

Forgotten Defences
Canon 24-105mm F/4.0 L IS USM

I have been lucky enough to be able to buy a couple of new lenses, these lenses where for different reasons. This shot was taken with the Canon 24-105mm F/4.0 L IS USM which was purchased to replace my Tamron 17 - 50mm F/2.8 non VC.

I was worried about how this lens would be on a crop sensor camera but i have to say it performs as you would expect a L series glass to do. The wide angle end was covered by another lens i purchased which was the Canon EF-S 10-22mm which has very good reviews. I purchased this for two reasons primarily i didn't have a wide angle i could attach filters to and it covered the focal range missed by the 24-105.

The Warren Folkestone Kent
Canon EF-S 10-22mm F/3.5-F/4.5 USM

The Canon 10-22 is a excellent lens and as many reviews state is very close to what you would expect of a L lens very sharp even wide open.

Very pleased with both lenses so look out for new images taken with them. I am not a lens reviewer at all so if you need more info do what i did and google them and read reviews, but i have to say i am not at all disappointed with my choice.

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Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Sunset Ramsgate Harbour

Ramsgate Harbour Last Light
Had my new lens arrive and decided i wanted to take it out, so i went down to Ramsgate Harbour and took a few shots. While i was there i met a fellow photographer, Dicky Dyer.
This shot was taken from the harbour wall looking back in towards the harbour. Wasn't the best sunset but gave me a chance to try out my lens. I purchased the Canon 24-105mm F/4.0 IS L USM which really is a great lens. I was fully aware that the focal range would change due to my Canon 7D crop sensor, but i have the wide angle covered with the highly regarded Canon EF-S 10-22mm. I was a little concerned at how good the lens would be on a crop sensor but i need not have. Providing you accept this is not a wide angle lens on a crop sensor camera and have that covered with another lens then this is a perfectly good walk around lens, the equivalent focal range is 38-168mm.
I haven't had my 10-22 for very long but this lens combination on a crop body i think is a great set up. Look forward to getting out with them both and hope to get some great images in the future.


Sunday, 9 September 2012

Reculver Towers Long Exposure Lee Big Stopper

Reculver Towers

Well i recently decided to invest in a few descent filters and after much deliberation i went down the Lee Filters route. I purchased the foundation kit along with a couple of wide angle adaptor rings and a 0.6 soft ND Grad filter.

I have to say i am a great believer in you get what you pay for and Lee Filters are fairly expensive but very well made and great results, they come in nice protective cases not a cheap case.

Very quickly i wanted to get the Big Stopper but that is not as easy as it sounds as they are still in short supply. I did find somewhere that had them in stock although they were over priced i decided i would invest, and i am glad i did, this is the first real attempt with the filter which i combined with the 0.6 soft nd grad.

This was a spur of the moment decision to go down to Reculver, glad i did as i also met up with some of the members of East Kent Cameras uk run by Kevin Harwin. Was nice to finally meet some of you and put some faces to the names and the great work they produce.

I have used a B&W screw on 10 stop nd filter before and must say personally i like the Lee system better as they filters are easy to remove and attach and will fit all your lenses with the correct adaptor ring. The adaptor rings are cheaper than having to purchase multiple filters or the fiddly step up/down rings. I found the Lee big stopper did produce a slight cool blue colour cast which is very easily corrected as apposed to the B&W which gave a stronger magenta cast which was not as easy to correct. And the blue cast of the Lee can add to a image in my opinion.

Still waiting for my Canon EF-S 10-22mm to arrive which i ordered from Simply Electronics, they are cheaper but delivery times are long at times , upto several weeks, not sure i will use them again but thats another story.

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Friday, 24 August 2012

Sunrise Viking Bay Broadstairs

Viking Bay Broadstairs Kent

Well holiday is well and truly over and really feels like time for another already, this week was early turn at work for me and luckily for me a long weekend ! With that in mind i decided to do a sunrise shot, which is something i have never done! Normally on a day off i like a lie in after getting up early or getting in late all week, but i thought i must do it so today was the day. Even my wife was up bright and early at four this morning to come with me, and she brought doughnuts!
After looking at possible locations earlier in the week and checking out The Photographers Ephemeris desktop app i decided on Viking Bay, this is the main beach in Broadstairs. Off we set at about half four this morning to scout the area out for the best location to shoot from, wasn't sure if i wanted a high cliff top shot or one that was lower down. My wife and i walked along the cliff top and made our way down onto the boardwalk which runs along the beach area. I tried a couple of test shots but there were a couple of powerful spot lights along the small harbour wall which was causing a lot of flare and loss of detail in the image. Also we wasn't positive of where the sun would actually appear from.
We then decided it would be better back up top looking across the bay from the top of the cliff. I tried a couple of spots and decided on this spot which had some foreground interest with the wild flowers growing along the top of the cliff. It was then just a matter of waiting, and waiting, in hindsight we got there a little earlier than needed but a lesson learnt.
Daylight began to break across the bay with only one other person around at the time, he was on the beach with a metal detector looking for buried treasure no doubt! The sky had a great look about it with some nice blue tones and some clouds. I was thinking this was going to be a great sunrise first time out, how wrong i was.
There was that much cloud that we never actually saw the sun break the horizon, it just kind of appeared two thirds of the way up but banded behind a bank of cloud, then dissapeared never to be seen again!
Really should make more of a effort to get out earlier in the day as the light is just beautiful, just not tomorrow!

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Santa Ponsa Mallorca Holiday

Board Walk Santa Ponsa, Mallorca

Been back from my holiday for over two weeks already, and now feels like i never had one. We went to Santa Ponsa which is on the South West coast of Mallorca. There is not a lot of information on this resort on the web but if you ever get the chance go!

It is a great location as transport is so easy from here. Five minute walk from our hotel was the main bus stop where you could get a bus to pretty much anywhere on the island or even a Taxi.We used the bus for a day out to Palma which was very easy.

Anyway this is the reason i have not managed to post many images but hope normal service will resume soon.

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Thursday, 19 July 2012

Olympic Torch Arrived in Ramsgate Thursday 19th July 2012

Olympic Torch Ramsgate 2012
Today was our day and shine we did. I made my way to the harbour area of Ramsgate at around 09:40 to find that there was already large crowds so trying to find a vantage point without a Photographers Pass, not bitter Andy!, was going to be a challenge.

I could have tried to get to the front of the crowds which were four or five deep along the harbour route but thought i would stand a better chance if i was up a little higher. So i managed to find a spot along the top which i think is Westcliffe Arcade, looking down onto Royal Parade.

This meant i had to use my 70-200mm to get a good shot in as it came around the top as by the time it reached me i would be shooting downwards anyway. The downside meant i couldn't get the harbour in the same shot, which had been my intention for a few days, but you have to make adjustments sometimes as the conditions dictate!

This is our torchbearer for this leg, Chloe Gambrill

Chloe Gambrill Olympic Torchbearer Ramsgate

Chloe's nomination story

Chloe is a truly inspirational young lady who has pushed herself through very difficult times. In June 2005, aged 6, Chloe was diagnosed with leukaemia and began 27 months of chemotherapy treatment. It was an extremely distressing and frightening time, following on from the death of her nannie to breast cancer, but Chloe demonstrated from the very beginning of her treatment that she would not let this illness stop her living her ' normal' life. Only five weeks after being diagnosed, Chloe took part in Cancer Research UK 's Race for Life in memory of her Nannie. This was despite having an operation and chemotherapy treatment only days before. Only 1km into the 5km course she collapsed. She was absolutely unable to stand or walk but refused to get into an ambulance. Having begged me( her mum) to let her carry on we continued to the finish line taking it in turns to carry her. She was so worried that she would let her sponsors down that she would not give up. Following this event she later took part in a sponsored swim at her local swimming club to raise funds for the children's ward where she was being treated. She helped Cancer Research UK promote Race for Life and continued to try and go to school as often as possible, attend ballet and swim, despite being extremely ill. Since finishing treatment she has continued to fund raise and now swims competitively, winning a county medal for the 200m butterfly event. She is a bright, funny, determined 12 year old who never gives up.

(Story as provided by the Torchbearer’s nominator)

You did us proud Chloe your a true inspiration to us all

As the tourchbearer past below us i turned to shoot this shot, and it just struck me that's how it should be done, but i could really have used that spare seat!
That's how it should be done

I have to say i was very impressed with the organisation of the whole event, Kent Police did a great job with their motorcycle riders high fiveing the kids in the crowd as they went passed, a simple touch but a real winner, well done lads.

Thanet council did a great job with the route and crowd control and a swift clean up operation after and re opening the roads with minimal disruption.

It passed by us fairly quickly but i think it was a success and one people will remember for years to come no matter what their opinion on the Olympics is.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Tower Bridge Olympic Rings

Tower Bridge Olympic Rings
The Olympic games is fast approaching and London is full of Olympic fever, even the iconic Tower Bridge has developed the rings.

I have wanted to get this shot for a while but due to work commitments i have been unable to get there. Well this week i find myself free and decided to go get the shot, before the games come to a close. I knew it would be a late finish due to the fact it doesn't get dark till well after nine, but wasn't prepared for just how late i would return home.

Tower Bridge and City Hall
I arrived in London early as i wanted to scout out a few locations for future reference but i think i gave myself to much time so spent a few hours walking around waiting for the right time to head down to Tower Hill.

Trying to find the best vantage point along the riverbank is not as easy as it sounds, due to the amount of people and other togs trying to get the same shot. The retaining wall along the embankment is very wide and with the angle you are looking towards the bridge its almost impossible to get this out of your shot with a wide angle lens.

Tried a few locations from along the embankment and set up. This time of year it does take a while before it gets dark enough for good night shots, even the use of polarising and nd filters didn't help a great deal. Best wait for nature! Then when is is dark the light that illuminate the rings seem to be switched off fairly soon after, or at least on this evening they were.

Then as conditions were all coming together the weather to close in and a totally un forecast shower hit, meaning shooting stopped for some twenty minuets, as i was preparing to go home and said goodbye to some other togs i had met here, the rain stopped so managed to squeeze another few shots in before i left.

The time was getting on and i was all tied up in what i was doing i had not even thought of the return journey home and very quickly worked out i had missed the last high speed train from St Pancras and the services from nearby London Bridge so had to get to Victoria and i just made the 23.22 service which yes tonight terminated at Faversham with a replacement bus the remaining way home, bloody trains!!

Finally got back home at 02:00 hrs shattered!

Also gave me a chance to try out my new bag the Lowepro Classified 200 AW which is a great walk around messenger style bag which is great for easy access to all your gear. Highly recommend this bag as a walk around bag.

Thanks for looking, comments on the images welcome here or my Flickr page

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Wednesday, 4 July 2012

How to Photograph Smoke

It is fair to say that at some point most photographers be it pros or hobbyist's, will at some point try to photograph smoke!

This is where i found myself this morning before work.

Smoke Photography
This is how i set about it.....

Saturday, 23 June 2012

London Trip

The Dark Knight Rises

Good day in London today still working my way through the images but think i got a few to work on. This building is situated near Tower Bridge and City Hall. Not sure the architect new what he was creating at the time but still very impressive building

To see more of my London images keep an eye on my flickr stream 

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Monday, 18 June 2012

Homemade Photography Background

Lee  & Tash

I have been looking at various options for a photography background from the well known brands to just different designs on sheets, the large branded ones are expensive and the bed sheets and things are limited to their size and proportions. So i looked at material and decided to buy some extra wide dye sheeting. This is about 2.5 X 5 meters or 8.5 X 16.5 feet. The size is perfect for any type of portrait work from a single portrait, couples or small family groups. The length is ideal for full length shots as the background simply fills the frame into the foreground , as shown below.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Port Lympne

Tiger at Port Lympne

Todays weather was the best day by far this week so took the family to Port Lympne, after making our way through the ticket office the first place we visited was the Tiger enclosure. These animals are so majestic, i was totally smitten them.

We watched for a while and then left made our way around the complex and before we left revisited the Tigers, they are by far my favourite , so photographic
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Botany Bay Sunset

Sunset Botany Bay Broadstairs

Been meaning to visit this bay for a while and have not been out with the camera for a while , mainly due to work, so decided to finally pay it a visit.

Botany Bay is a beautiful sandy bay near the Captain Digby pub in Kingsgate. The bay is a quiet bay with some great cliff formations which have been carved out by mother nature over thousands of years. The tide goes out a fair distance exposing a large sandy beach with areas of rock, creating interesting rock pools the kids will love to explore.

This is a great bay for the family or as a photographer, its a ideal location for sunsets and on the right day it will not disappoint.

When taking sunset shots i find it better to under expose by about 1 stop, this will bring out the rich vibrant colours and i think it also helps to have the white balance set to cloudy as this will tend to slightly warm the whole image, providing you are shooting in RAW this can be done in post.
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Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Suprise Winner

Didn't even realise they were entered into a draw when i added it to the Aputure Flickr group but this entry has won this months competition and i win a set of new triggers, very nice :-)

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Sunday, 13 May 2012

Golf Society Shoot

The eventual winner with a winning shot

Well this week i attended a golf society day at a local course. I used to play in this society a few years ago but my interest in photography was out growing my interest and talent in golf so i decided to give up the golf to pursue the photography.

The day started out with the usual bacon rolls and a coffee before the first Tee. I took my position just in front and to the side of the tee area, i was using my Canon 7D with a 70 - 200 mm F/4.0 L usm. This gave me a reasonable focal length to not be in the golfers eye line while teeing off.

The thing to remember when photographing this type of event is to keep a high shutter speed, one to reduce the risk of camera shake and two, to freeze the golfer mid flow, this does mean you may have to increase the ISO to get a working shutter speed and for most of the day i was working at around the 800 iso range.

After getting everyone on the first tee i had to try and negotiate the golf course and catch up with the first group out to get more images. Once i found them i remained on that whole and got the who group coming through then repeated this till the final whole.

Did a few presentation shots and a group shot which as it had just started to rain they were not very keen on moving out of the shelter into the open so the composition is not what i would have hoped for.

This was a good event for me to do got a few good images from and produced over 400 images for the society chairman to use as he sees fit.

The post processing was all done in lightroom 4 and was printed by photobox. I have to say the images photobox produced were very very quick in arriving just over 24 hours later however the images were a bit on the dark side so after some advise from another photographer i am trying a different lab DSCL so i will let you know if the images are any better from them.

A few pictures are being shown on my Flickr page and all photos from the day are on my Lee Pelling Photography Facebook Page. Feel free to have a look and any feedback and comments are always welcome

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Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Deb - Speedlite 52 - Week 15

Deb - Speedlite 52 - Week 15
This image was originally planned to be a colour image, i talked my wife into putting on some really over the top make up as i had a idea i wanted to try out,strictly photographic you understand!

As she was getting ready i was setting up in the garden. I had recently purchased a lastolite softbox and really hadn't had the chance to use it.

I set up the softbox on a lightstand with my 580 exii speedlite attached and was fired with Aperture Trigmaster Plus radio transmitters i had a second speedlite, my 430 ex ii , in a tree, which was camera right and slightly behind model.

Trying to find a nice pose that looks good and that the model is happy with is a real art and something which i think i need to learn more about.

We both decided on this image which was in colour but after a mono conversion using Niksoft Silver Efex Pro 2, we both really liked how this looked. If you want to see the original it has been posted on my Flickr Photostream.

The Lastolite softbox is a 24x24 or 60x60 box which is extremely well made and i anticipate this lasting a long time. The quality of light i think is fantastic, it uses two diffusion panels and a silver reflective interior, you can also remove one of the panels for a more contrasty image and masks are also available for creative effects. These can also be made with a few D I Y skills. So far i have to say i much prefer this to an umbrella for portraits and something i will be using more in the future i am sure.

The radio triggers are working very well, they are fully manual so no TTL metering with them but i like to set up manually anyway. These are very reasonably priced if you look around on fleabay you can get them for as little as £20 each, from amazon they are around £90 mark

The lens i was using was my Canon 70-200 F/4.0 L USM which is a fantastic lens. Very sharp great lens for portraits ,weddings or sports and would highly recommend it.
Right, must get off as i am doing a golf society shoot tomorrow at a local golf course so got to prepare for that, images will be posted on my website under RTCGS link for anyone interested.

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Monday, 30 April 2012

Lastolite Ezybox Hotshoe 60 x 60 cm ( 24'' x 24'') - The Softbox forYour Flash

Well finally had the softbox delivered as the first one was lost on transit from carrier.

I have to say it was worth the wait the box is easy to assemble , like a pop up tent! Just attach bracket to rear and two diffusion panels which velcro in and your good to go. There are also additional masks available that you can attach for creative effects and even a honeycombed grid for even more controlled light.

The bracket is well made and designed allowing the most common used speedlites to attach without problem .

The only thing I wanted was to be able to angle the softbox up or down but for this you need a additional bracket which is available for around £15 or you may have a suitable umbrella adapter you may be able to use if you have a large enough spigot.

Not had a chance to really use it yet just one very quick home shoot but I was very impressed with the build quality and the results it produced.

I would highly recommend this softbox to anyone looking for a good speedlite light mod as this makes a great key light especially for portraits.

Hope to have some more images from it soon so check out my Flickr photo stream for latest images

Friday, 27 April 2012

Black Rapid Sport II

Today my new sling strap arrived and would like to recommend it to you all. If you are looking for a new strap for you camera i highly recommend the Black rapid Sport II sling strap. It feels very comfortable to wear and very secure. It is a little expensive for a strap but i am a great believer in you get what you pay for! This is a quality product well made and will last you years.

The sling strap takes all the weight from around your neck and distributes it more evenly. Great for if you out on location walking around. The camera can be locked in position at your hip when not in use and unlocked so you can slide it up the strap to shooting position.

If your camera has a tripod plate you may need to purchase a extra attachment if you want to keep the plate on as well, i purchased the extra for my manfrotto RC2 style plate. You do have to remove strap from camera to use on tripod but this is very quick and easy with the attachment, means you don't have to keep removing the thread all the time.

Check it out on their website, great strap if you in the market for a good one.

I got mine from Amazon site
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Thursday, 19 April 2012

Catbells from Hoarse End

A gentle walk even the grandparents can do ! I think that was a quote I read but you would have to be a pretty fit biddy ! It a fairly steep climb to start before reaching the first flat spot. From here you walk along for a while to you reach a rocky scramble which if, like me, you take the wrong route it turns into a but of a climb up slippery rocks with a nice drop below if you fall. This was a nervous point but one we managed. From here was a short scramble to the summit. After a nice rest and a few photos we walked further along towards high spy although we didn't make it all the way, we came back via a disused mine and along a footpath taking is around catbells towards skelgill. The view from the summit of catbells were breathtaking overlooking Derwent water, keep looking at my Flickr for images to follow in coming days.

Sadly this was our last day and tomorrow we head home leaving behind the lakes I love so much . Thanks to my mate Barry for a good few days hope to do some of the bigger fells next time. Sadly not getting any younger and did find it a bit if a struggle at times .

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Aira Force

Today we went for a walk around the aira force area taking in the view of the main fall along the way. In my opinion the river above the main fall is more picturesque and hope to post ages on my return, again home and showered now off for a drink ;-)

Tuesday, 17 April 2012


Today we made it to the top of Haystacks. On the way we had wind rain sleet hail and yes even snow ! Great walk up visited a couple of tarns on the way and took a few pics . Camera went away in the end due to bad weather hope to post images soon ! Off for a beer now !

Morning from the lakes

Well first morning awake in the lakes and it's been raining all night. Just starting to ease now. Hope to be able to get to Haystacks today where the late great Alfred Wainrights ashes were scattered, may be a wet day but still how to get a few shots !

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Deb - Canon 70-200 F/4.0 L USM

Deb - Canon 70-200 F/4.0 L USM

Finally decided on a new lens and as i didn't really have a good medium telephoto lens this is what i went for. I watched review after review and tied myself up in knot's! After ruling out the top of the range F/2.8 with IS mainly due to budget i looked at both the F/4.0 versions. The F/4.0 with IS was about £500 more expensive than the Non IS version. So given my photography will be mainly outdoors and also with speedlites i decided to plump for the cheapest version the Canon 70-200 F/4.0 L USM was £529.95 but at the moment you can claim £45 cash back from canon via a redemption form available online.

This is my first image i have produced with it so i have yet to see if it lives up to its great reviews. I do have to say that this is my first L lens and the quality is very good and the lens is very sharp. I would have to say if you do a lot of indoor photography then the F/4.0 IS version would be better as this gives you about three stops of extra light and the more expensive F/2.8 will only give you the one stop extra, just my opinion.

Problem is i already want to upgrade my other lenses to L series!! Better buy a lottery ticket i think!!

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Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Riveting Read - Speedlite 52 - Week 12

Riveting Read - Speedlite 52 - Week 12
This is a composite image made up of three seperate images, Each image was done with speedlites in different positions which gives each of me a different look. However it was fairly difficult to work out how to merge the three images together given the different lighting and shaddow casts.


580 ex ii fired into westcott reflective umbrella
430 ex ii fired bare but zoomed into 70mm into the magazine
Aputure Trigmaster Plus Triggers.

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