Thursday, 16 July 2009

Project 52 ... 26

Bow your head to Sensei Rolf...

D200, Tamron 17 - 50, f2.8, Vivitar 285, SB 800, both gridded.

Rolf has dedicated much of his free time over many years teaching karate to children, specifically Shotokai Karate. The club is in Winkfield, you can find out more about it here. Rolf has a great way with the children and they progress at a fantastic rate with his teaching and understanding of this amazing martial art. Sadly he is leaving the country to pursue his career. He shall be sorely missed on Saturday mornings!

I had Rolf sit in seiza for this shot. Not a posture I am comfortable in myself, but Rolf was very patient when I set up the strobes. I had both flashguns at camera right and left respectively, both gridded and both about 3 feet higher than Rolf's head. I killed the ambient and then tweaked the aperture / flash power until I got the shot I wanted. Thanks Rolf, and good luck!

Tuesday, 14 July 2009


There is an elegance in symmetry, an elegance that is often overlooked, but when it is there it is plain to see.
Court House, Tralee, Co. Kerry, Ireland

Heidi and Helga

These two great girls, Heidi and Helga are drama dedicated in a big way. they are always in some production or other and they always excel!

D200, Tamron 17 - 50 f2.8, SB 800

This shot was set up as a bit of fun one summer evening in the south of Ireland, yes we do have summers there ... sometimes ...

The shot was lit with an SB 800 in the Guinness umbrella, fired by the SU 4 super slave built in to the flash. A great fun shot, thanks girls!

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Project 52 ... 25

Meet Glyn...

D200, Nikon 105 Vr, ambient light

I have only known Glyn for about a year or so. We met through our mutual passion for photography, the big difference being that Glyn gets to do it all day everyday! He is a gifted and talented photographer and his pictures are excellent. He is also a nice guy too!

He led the Scott Kelby Photowalk last year in Windsor and is doing the same this year in Guildford. I am on the list and looking forward to it! You can see some of his fantastic work here.

This shot was taken in one of the covered entrances in Eton a few weeks ago. Eton is a great place for location portraits as there are not too many tourists and just enough people wandering around with a camera for you to not stand out. The photo is the result of a technique Glyn showed me on the day. When the sun is harsh, find an area that is shaded with a top cover, with your subject in the shade, the light bounces around and they are in a sort of softbox, then use the exposure compensation mode and over expose a stop or two until you get the desired effect. It is all done with ambient light. And nobody used strobes...

D200, Nikon 105 Vr, ambient light

This shot was for another project, Half Cut is the working title.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Project 52 ... 24

Meet Cathy. A wonderful lady I met in my Spanish class!

D200, SB 80, shoot thro' umbrella to camera left

Cathy spends half of her time here and the other half in sunny Spain. Where her excellent grasp of the language no doubt comes in handy! Her she is amongst one of her vices ... handbags! We've dealt with shoes ... sort of ... I guess its a natural progression to handbags

This was a first for me - the first use of a shoot through umbrella. The flash was set to 1/4 power and, as usual, I dropped the ambient about a stop or so. Camera setts I don't remember, but about 1/250 or so.

Thanks Cathy for being a great sport! The shot took about half an hour to set up and get right and thanks again to my VAL, Katy.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Project 52 ... 23

Meet Maggie...

D200, Tamron 17 - 50 f2.8, SB800 softbox, camera left

Maggie is a bit of a culinary expert. She works for the culinary genius Mr Roux and she tells me she loves her job. The theme of this shot was always going to have food in it in some shape or form. Maggie also sings in the choir at Mass on a Sunday and her dulcet tones fill the air like the song of an Angel! She is very well know and liked in the community.

The shot here in Maggie's back garden, when I suggested using the garden bench, she went and dressed it herself! Much better than I could have done it - she told me she had done it before (I shall file that away for future reference...) so I let her get on with it. I set up the SB 800 in a softbox to camera left with a 1/2 CTO (colour temperature orange) gel on it to warm up the photo. The ambient is under exposed by about a stop or so. I wanted to reproduce the late evening glow on an overcast night. The camera was at 1/200th or so and I tweaked the f-stop until I got the shot I wanted. Maggie is always smiling and this shot in a sequence was the one for me.

Thanks Maggie for letting me into your home, maybe next time you'll bake a cake...?

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Project 52 ... 22

Meet Krzysztof. Krzysztof is an honest to goodness, living, breathing, Time Lord.


D200, Tamron 17 - 50 f2.8, available light

He tells me ...

'my job is to build and run the most accurate atomic clock to calibrate the unit of time of the UK and global time scale. As the unit of time (the second) is defined base on a period of characteristic oscillations in a caesium atom, I need to physically take some caesium, wiggle it with microwaves (a bit like in the m-w oven) of approximately known frequency and check if the atoms respond to the wiggle. They would only respond if m-w frequency is just right. Better even, I can tune that frequency so the atomic response is max. This gives me a frequency of accurately known value (the atoms are telling me what it is), which I can feed into a clock.'

Right. I have known Krzysztof for years and he is a well liked and respected member of the community. Someday he is going to show me around Krakow I hope. We met when our boys were in the same school - that's the time when you lose your identity and become someone's dad, we got on well form the start!

When I popped around to take his portrait, he asked me to include a clock that belonged to his Grandfather, which was perfect given his job! However, the clock was in a really dark corner of the house and try as I might, I could not light the clock and Krzysztof. So we retired to his conservatory and I did a multiple exposure in camera and it worked. I then added a few more of the clocks in photoshop afterwards. The tint is reminiscent of 'Alfred Steiglitz, 'Camera Work' photographs which I admire so much.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Another Chrysler ...

Another fine example of 1960's automotive design...


D200, Nikon 105 VR