Thursday, 24 March 2011

365/12 - Day 9 - Its five o'clock somewhere

So what happens when you're under the discipline of taking one photo every day to send all the way to Uganda to cheer someone up? you inevitably end up somewhere without your camera, lights, reflectors umbrellas, snoots and gels with the knowledge that you are not going to get to them at any sort of godly time to do a new set up....

Sunday, 20 March 2011

365/12 - Day 8 - Looking back

Before you think I'm slightly obsessed with images of myself, please remember these were for somebody else! Believe it or not I actually don't like being in front of the camera. This is another very simple set-up, the photo was taken in my cloakroom as it has a nice red/crimson curtain. The light is from the 580exII bounced onto white tiles camera right, the room is only about 4ft wide so its also bouncing a second time off the tiles on the left. I used my giraffe as a focal place holder then set the timer and ran.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

365/12 - Day 7 - You can lead a horse to water

I wanted to try something a little different, so out came the trusty Lego! This is one of the last uses of my 50mmf/1.4 prime lens before it was stolen.
Because this is quite a small "set" I had to have the lens on f/1.4 do get a feeling of depth of field (Note the out of focus horse and rider in the background). The other challenge for this in true "playing with Lego" style was to get the fountain (A Lego satellite dish) to provide a reflection like water, the easiest way to do this was to fill it with water... However, after about a minute it leaked out so I plugged the whole with some blue-tack and refilled. The lighting for this is a single 580exII being bounced onto a white card (right) and a secondary bounce off a red plastic chopping bored (left). You can see the contrast in colour from white on the right and red on the left.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

a light supper

Just for fun I grabbed this quick snap today. Its a sneaky shot at the end of a shoot for some family pictures. I just had an idea of hiding the flash in a bowl and tried it out, I think I'll try to improve on this theme in the future. I quite like the idea of light coming out of random objects like bowls.

Stobist Info: another two light set up with a bounce umbrella two feet in front and two feet to the left of the camera on 1/4 power. The bowl is hiding a second flash at 1/16th with a Sto-fen diffuser. Both fired from some cheap eBay remote triggers, I would have used three flashes but the third cheap remote was playing up. The shot was taken at ISO 100 1/80th second at f/9 on the 70-200mm IS II.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

365/12 - Day 6 - Too much to drink is barely enough

As I took these photos so long a go I don't know which photo is coming up each day until I look for the photo to upload here. Well, here we are Day 6 and hopefully I look like a depressed drunk person (in the photo that is).  Yes, I am back out in the road by my house and yes that is the same street light, again helping to create a three-light set up.

Trying not to fry my Fish!

I've recently been setting up my fish tank with a few more fish and giving them something to do. I thought I'd grab a quick shot and came up with this.  This was taken from about 7ft away with the Canon 70-200 F/2.8 IS II at f/6.3. The trick on this was the lighting as you can see from the setup shot one flash is in the AwesomeBox(TM) and the other has a sto-fen diffuser.
The second flash is balanced precariously on the AwesomeBox(TM) this is pretty dangerous for my wallet and the fish! The capacitor in one of those flash units holds a good couple of hundred volts.  The light HAD to come from the top of the tank to avoid glare on the glass, one of the common problems when lighting a tank (I mean normally, for fish and plants etc) is that the light at the top of the water is a lot brighter than when it gets to the bottom. (Just think of the ocean, the sunlight doesn't go all the way to the sea bed). I ran out of time with this and hope to get a better shot with more of the fish in soon.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

365/12 - Day 5

This is definitely one of my favourites from the project. I just had this image in my mind of sitting reading a book in the garden as if it was just as cosy as the living room. So I took my coffee table and leather chair into the garden and set up this shot. As with many of the photos this was a night shoot, which always makes my neighbours a bit twitchy. The quote was found on the internet after taking the photo.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

365/12 - Day 4

Day Four used another "Voice Activated Carbon-Based Shutter Release" aka Sarah Hicks. This is the gate outside Craig and Sarah's (now old) house. The lighting on this was pretty straightforward. One snooted strobe illuminating the bush in the background as it was just out of reach of the key light. The key is a strobe just on the left of the gate (I think it might even have been gorrilla-pod'ed to the gate). The focal plane needed to be about a foot here directly above the gate, to ensure I was all in focus. Although I jumped about one hundred times, I think this is jump number two - Note to self: learn when to quit.

Monday, 7 March 2011


Simon - Braving the rain at midnight.
I was asked to support a youth "stop AIDS" campaign by Dance4life. They were holding a photography campaign and wanted some photos for promotional material. The brief "A selection of photos to inspire people to think about what 'dance' means to them and how they could use dance to communicate a message" A bit vague, so I just started taking photos to find what would come out of it.

365/12 - Day 3

Another liberal use of the street lighting and off camera flash :)

I don't know about you but when I make these images sometimes I have an idea, sometimes I have no idea, sometimes I have a theme, sometimes I have an image in my head that I want to make. Day Three was the latter.
The more astute of you will have noticed this is another Guitar shot, I promise there is only one more featuring a Guitar and its not mine.

By Day Three I was starting to get adventurous, in this photo I wanted it to look like I was walking. The obvious solution is to walk but then on a such a wide shot and so late at night how do I make sure that I'm in the focal plane when I take the photo and of course how do I take the photo?!

Saturday, 5 March 2011

365/12 - Day 2

I have some pretty mean looking gates near my house, so I ventured just passed the end of my drive and set up this shot. If you take a look at the shadows on the floor there are two lights to the left of the shot, both street lights. The trusty bounced white umbrella closed down a lot is just out of shot camera right I decided not to gel the flash as I liked the contrast from the orange street light. I don't know why, I just did. The highlights on the small gate directly behind me are also from the same umbrella. However, the larger gate to the right is lit with a 580exII stopped down a little and snooted with the AwesomeSnoot(TM). This was needed as the right side of the shot was just black otherwise. I would have preferred those house lights to be off (they were when I started... I probably woke them up) but I don't like removing things in the post processing - so they stayed. This took more set up time, more test shots and more "posing" than Day 1 a theme that only gets worse from here on in.

Friday, 4 March 2011

365/12 - Day 1

Just under two years ago, I started reading David Hobby a.k.a Strobist, who in turn had me stumble upon a 365 project by Dustin Diaz.

My girlfriend at the time was going away for a month to Uganda and on the first day she was away I set about occupying myself with a bit of Photography so that I could send her a photo each day. I really didn't have a clue what I was doing but I set about it with the Lighting 101 tutorials whirling around my head.

I sat and stared at the room, nothing. But the I realised staring back at me was Gerald the Giraffe, from Africa.... There was my idea, a nice shot of the two of us, well lit.


I'm not quite sure where this will end up going, but I'd like to post some of my photos here and a few stories of how I came to take them, what they're for etc...
I'd really appreciate comments and thoughts.