Tag Archives: Flash Photography

Getting Up Close and Saving Cash

Strawberry flowerWe all love seeing the world like no other, seeing things others don’t see. One way to go this is using macro photography, whether it be film or a still image there is something magical about seeing the world from a bugs persecutive. Over the last couple of years I have needed to shoot macro photography and every time I have planned to do so I find myself looking to picking up a macro lens for my Canon 5D. About thirty seconds later I head up stairs, not for my credit card but for my old Olympus OM kit.

I loved my Olympus OM2n, I still do and would never sell it, I’m emotionally attached to it, and to be honest it probably has very little cash value anymore. I bought the OM2n to replace, and as an upgrade from my first camera an Olympus OM10 which I shot my A Level photography with. At university, a time before digital had really hit the main stream, I shot my degree worth with the OM2n. From that point onwards it’s lived most of its life in a flight case along with lenses, filters and extension barrels. Continue reading »

Making It Look Good.

Recently I shot a wedding for a friend and as part of it I found myself doing something that has become fairly rare for me, actually printing the photographs. I love prints, despite most images that I create now only ever seen only electronically there is still something far nicer than a print or set of prints. Try sharing and passing a stack of photos around a room with family or friends with only one computer screen or iPad. It’s not a social experience unlike a set for physically printed photographs. In the past I have got prints produced by dedicated photo printers in London but on this occasion I decided to try myself as I was only needing prints no bigger than A4. Continue reading »

Pedigree IR Triggering Camera System

Recently I was asked to put together a system to automatically take photos of dogs as they jumped over a small hedge and then could be be easily uploaded to Pedigree’s We’re For Dogs Facebook page.

Safety was my main concern for both the dogs and us humans involved in the affair. Traditionally race line finishes which take photographs use lasers. This is normally fine as the chances of a laser hitting an eye, human or animal is very small due to the positioning height of such devices in relation to the things passing them being relatively constant. Dogs, just like humans come in all shapes and sizes, which leads to uncertainty when positioning possibly eye damaging lasers. To get around this I opted for and Infra Red trigging system. After trawling the internet for a ready made system I came across on made by Cognisys in the US. The Range IR is a clever devise as it is a self contained unit firing out a harmless beam of IR which can be varied in length as desired. When the beam is broken the sensor sends a signal out to the camera and a photograph is taken. Quite frankly I believe its the work of magical Pixies and that’s fine with me. Continue reading »

Getting a Background White Using Aperture

Getting a background white is often a necessity for when images are to be inserted onto a white printed or webpage. The best way to do this is to shoot your subject against a white background and light both the background and your subject separately. But we don’t live in the ideal world and often time space or equipment is not available to us. If you can shoot a clean image of your subject against an white background and as long as the subject is properly exposed it is possible to make the greyness around turn white using Apple’s Aperture program.

The first of the three images below is the raw image I shot  of my Canon 24-70mm using an overhead Elinchrome Dlite 4 with a soft box about 60cm above facing directly down. The camera settings were ISO 200 f11 at 1/125 of a second.

The second image shows an adjusted colour balance using the eyedropper tool in the white balance panel of Apertures Adjustment settings. I use the eyedropper to sample an area of the that I know should be white. If you don’t like what you see first time just keep sampling until you get something you like the look of.

The third image is the result of using the Devignette adjustment in aperture. The Devignette adjustment can be found in the drop down list in the Adjustment tab in Aperture. There are two settings for this adjustment Intensity and Radius. By playing around with both the sliders depending on the image should turn any murky edges to your “white” background to pure white.

Raw image of lens  001.jpgwhite balanced image of lens  002.jpgDevignette filter balanced image of lens  003.jpg

The beauty of using this method if you are using Aperture as your default library is that of speed. You can do all the adjustments within the program without the need to export it or open up Photoshop and as ever you can be assured that the original RAW file is untouched should you need to go back to it.