Mia doesn’t like the flash.


Bang! (#40055)


Result of one of the photography society workshops. We waited for a foggy night and decided to photograph some eerie scenes in the park. We came across this little isle of trees and I had the idea to put a flash behind it. What you see here is a long exposure with 10+ flash fires.

How I Work.


Image 1. The model is a photographer/Dj who asked me to take a landscape photo of him, backlit, in a forest, using his own lighting set up (2 remote flashguns either side). I did the best I could having not really been exposed to the world of photo shoots very much.


Image 2. The model is a friend of the above who tagged along for some hopeful collateral photos. No artificial light used here. He’s even looking at the above photographer. I told the current model to basically not acknowledge me and I’d take some opportunistic photos using the ambient forest light.

Personally I think the latter is better. The empty space gives more depth, rather than focusing all of the attention on the model and the absence of artificial lighting creates an atmospheric portrait.
Basically what I’m saying is: if you can do something, don’t let others tell you how to do it.

Natural (#32030)


One of my first photos of Mia. This is probably the 2nd or 3rd week we’ve had her so she’s around 2 months here and clearly a natural model.
The reason I post this photo in my Chronicles is because it’s unaltered – natural. I bent my flashgun to point at the wall to the left giving nice side lighting. I put a reflector on the right side to brighten up the shadows on the right too.

Lumos (#30205)


This photo started something my course-mates and anyone who’s ever been to the pub with me since, loathed and despised. I started experimenting with off-camera flash and portraiture. This is obviously staged but since then I tried to take these photos in situ, without people noticing (until the inevitable flash). I still class myself as an amateur when it comes to portraits because I lack the experience but having free models that don’t always run away is a good way to practice I think.

Lightroom Experiments: Down.

IMG_4847 Original IMG_4847


Quite similar to the previous post, tried to make the ricochets a bit more subtle and the gun flare a bit more realistic. The difficult part was getting a slight glow from the gun behind the rock.
As for the non-edited bits, the flashgun was pointing down from the top of the brick at the back of the shot to mimic floodlights like those around base camps.
Happy to hear comments about mistakes I made or tips you’d like to give/receive.

Day 7: Bryophyte.

IMG_4785 This post concludes Macro Week #3. Next up are some more toy soldiers.

Here I was going for a minimalist, almost studio-like look. Similar set-up to shutterpresser.com/2014/07/19/day-4-thistle with a radial filter brightening the left side along with the moss, to form a gradient.

Day 5: Sheath.

I can’t think of a reason why a spider would spread its web across a sapling. Was it waiting for the plant to grow and stretch the web? If so, that’s a seriously intelligent and very lazy spider, though those two go hand in hand quite well (at least that’s how I explain my life).

Used my “purple-haze” technique in this one too. I’m sure I’m not a pioneer but that name should stick! (hopefully better than “fetch”).IMG_4776

Day 4: Thistle.

IMG_4757A “technique” I discovered – If yo u place the flash perpendicular to the lens, with some of the light shining into the glass of the lens, it produced this blue, washed-out effect that gives photos an interesting finish. I obviously emphasised the effect a little in Lightroom but the original looked pretty much like this, possibly with a little less contrast. I’ve yet to try this out for portraits.

An important thing to note is that here, the flash is on the right side of the frame, not pointing at the thistle but at a brick wall which was behind me, so the light is bounced and goes across the camera lens on the way to the wall. See the below Paint masterpiece for an explanation.4757