Coastal Landscapes

I found an article that was of particular interest to me, as it covered a topic that I have recently been working on. It covers tips and ideas on how to capture a dramatic coastal picture.

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Digital Photo | May 2014

The image featured is by Guy Edwardes who is a professional landscape, travel and wildlife photographer based in South West England. Edwardes provides a wide variety of images for publishers and advertisers around the world and his images are of high quality and are creative and atmospheric. The picture was shot in Embleton Bay and shows the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle at dawn. The foreground of the image was sharpened during post production.

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Dunstanburgh Castle, © Guy Edwardes, All rights reserved.

The best time of day to shoot a scene such as this is at dawn or dusk, this is the time that the sun floods the landscape with warm and golden light, creating an aesthetically pleasing image. To capture a shot such as this, you will need to extend the shutter speed and set your ISO as low as it will go (typically 100) and set the aperture to the minimum so as to decrease the amount of light let into the camera, then you can set your shutter speed for a long period without the risk of overexposure. It may be necessary to use a Neutral Density (ND) Filter to further reduce the amount of light, allowing for even longer exposure times. A tripod will be essential, especially when shooting with a slow shutter speed.

“Drama is on hand in the form of breaking waves. To capture this energy in your shot, extend your shutter speed”

(Digital Photo, 2014)

References

Guyedwardes.com, (2014). Guy Edwardes Photography. [online] Available at: http://www.guyedwardes.com/index.php [Accessed 29 Apr. 2014].

Shoot Dramatic Coastal Pics. (2014). Digital Photo, (181), pp.32-33.

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Studio Lighting with Holger Pooton

A couple of weeks ago our MA Photography group was privileged to have a studio session on lighting with photographer Holger Pooton. Holger Pooten is a German born, London based photographer who works internationally to produce both personal and commercial work. His images focus on the transitional and ostensibly impossible moments in a dark and surrealistic style. Over the years, Holger has worked for numerous international clients such as Adidas, BMW, Intel, Nikon, Sony Ericsson, to name a few and his pictures have been featured in magazines such as 125 Magazine, Intersection, Vogue and The Guardian. Current projects include portraiture and landscape photography.

I am particularly interested in Holger’s conceptual images, as I am interested in surrealism and the surreal image. I very much look forward to seeing the images that he produces for his landscape project and hope to draw some inspiration from it.

During our session with Holger, he clearly explained to us how light works and the best way to use light to achieve optimal results for our images. Having a basic knowledge of how light works can really help you when doing a shoot and can save yourself a lot of time. Not only did he talk about studio lighting but he also explained that these principles apply to natural light, so this knowledge is beneficial to an outdoor shoot as well. I found myself understanding the nature of light after this session, as he was very good at explaining it in simplistic terms.

There are only three factors which influence the character of a light source:

– The dimensions of the light emitting surface

– Its ability to direct or diffuse the light

– Its distance from the model

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© 2013 Antonio Leanza Companies Ltd

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© 2013 Antonio Leanza Companies Ltd

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© 2013 Antonio Leanza Companies Ltd

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© 2013 Antonio Leanza Companies Ltd

Images taken during the session to demonstrate the different effects that light and its positioning can have on the image.

References

Antonio Leanza. 2014. Overview | Antonio Leanza. [online] Available at: http://www.antonioleanza.com [Accessed: 2 Apr 2014].

Holger Pooten Photography. 2014. Holger Pooten Photography. [online] Available at: http://www.holgerpooten.com [Accessed: 2 Apr 2014].

More Experimentation with Landscapes

After discussing with tutors on how I can adapt my landscape images and continuing on the theme of abstract, I decided to do a little experimentation with cube planets…not strictly landscapes, but something I wanted to try out after working in the studio last week and photographing a standard globe. We were asked to bring in objects to photograph in the studio and I brought in a globe. The aim of the session was to photograph the object in a new and interesting way and I was quite pleased with how the images turned out.

I hope to get the images from the tutor, so that I can post them to this blog as part of my documentation and methodological process.

Here are some images that I experimented with today:

 

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Image 1
© Richard Brochu-Williams

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Image 2
© Richard Brochu-Williams

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Image 3
© Richard Brochu-Williams

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Image 4
© Richard Brochu-Williams

 

I’m not too sure how I feel about the added lens flare and I quite like the first image that does not contain it. Out of all of these Images, I feel that images 1 & 3 work the best as I like the composition of these, but I think that they all work well together as a series.

Practice 2 (Media)

After a nice break for Christmas, it’s now back to the grindstone. I am now embarking on a new assignment within a group as part of a interdisciplinary project. This involves working with a  team and carrying out research then designing an artefact that will be shown at a public exhibition at The Art & Design Gallery, College Lane Campus, University of Hertfordshire on 11th February 2014 at 6.30pm. As we are a group of students from different disciplines, this should prove to be an exciting and intensive experience, allowing us all to contribute to the project in different ways. We will be creating a light projector of some sorts, we still have a lot more research and planning to carry out.

The group consists of:

  • MA Animation (Shreeya Dixit)
  • MA Film & T.V (Armstrong Lian)
  • MA Fine Art (Alex Devlin)
  • MA Games Art (Ozy Ikhine)
  • MA Photographic Media (Richard Brochu-Williams)

Our progress can be followed via the link to the Blog below:

http://teamsoaar.wordpress.com

Portraiture – 160 LED Modelling Light

I am always on the lookout for ways to take portraiture shots outside of the studio and looking for ways to limit the amount of equipment that I need to carry around with me. I was constantly being asked what I wanted for Christmas and took to the internet for some ideas. My first port of call was to a site named 7dayshop.com, a site that offers competitive prices on a wide range of photo accessories, ink, memory and much more. Here I found an item that was of interest to me & Santa was kind enough to deliver it to me on Christmas morning.

Modelling and Video Light – 160 x LED

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7dayshop DS-008 160 LED Modelling Light
Image: Richard Brochu-Williams

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7dayshop DS-008 160 LED Modelling Light
Image: Richard Brochu-Williams

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Colour Diffusers
Image: Richard Brochu-Williams

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Studio Light Adapter / Hot Shoe Adapter / Manual Handle
Image: Richard Brochu-Williams

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Protective Carry Pouch
Image: Richard Brochu-Williams

This modelling light features: The ‘barn door’ style reflective flaps which aid light direction and with 16 exact light output levels ensure precision shooting is achievable. Once the flaps are fully closed they also provide extra protection to the LED’s. The kit includes 4 different colour interchangeable light diffusers: standard clear, cooling blue, warm-up orange and red offering further scope for creativity.

Given the power of light, the unit is still not too hefty and could easily be kept in a larger kit bag. The unit measures in at 150mm by 115mm and when loaded with 6 AA batteries still comes in at under 500g.

The light is powered by either 6 AA sized batteries (standard alkaline or rechargeable) or by utilising the supplied slot in Li-ion camcorder battery plate that will accept; Sony F, FM, FH or Panasonic SD Series batteries. The power level is determined by + and – buttons on the rear of the unit, where you will also find the ON button, the power TEST button along with the LED display.

There are multiple mounting options available, such as straight on the camera using the standard Hot-shoe connector with tightening wheel or utilise the supplied ‘off camera’ handle for more awkward hand held lighting tasks, additionally simply use the desk stand for static close range work (desk mount also has standard Tripod thread mount underneath). This light could alternatively be converted for use as a main studio light by simply slotting the ‘off camera’ handle on to a standard studio light stand.

I am pleased to have this new piece of photographic equipment added to my existing kit.

For more information on this product you can follow the link below:

7dayshop.com. 2013. 7dayshop LED Modelling and Video Light for DSLR, Video and Camcorder Uses – 160 x LED Model. [online] Available at: http://www.7dayshop.com/7dayshop-led-modelling-and-video-light-for-dslr-video-and-camcorder-uses-160-x-led-model [Accessed: 29 Dec 2013].

Portraiture (Cont…)

I have always liked to do portraiture photography outside of the studio setting but have often been put off by the thought of having to carry lots of equipment around with me, but then I came across this article about Interfit Strobies. These are great modifiers for your flashgun and do not take up a lot of room, so if you enjoy using your flashgun out on location these could be the ideal solution.

The modifiers include:

  • Barndoors
  • Honeycomb
  • Snoot
  • Beauty Dish

The price is a reasonable £90 and I think that this is a bit of equipment that I would be interested in acquiring.

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Digital Photo Magazine | Issue 141

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Interfit Strobies

I found an umbrella for the flashgun also.

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Westcott Umbella Kit

Interfit Photographic. 2013. Strobies by Interfit. [online] Available at: http://www.interfitphotographic.com/Strobies/Strobies%20index.html [Accessed: 24 Dec 2013].

Westcott Lighting. 2013. Westcott Lighting – Speedlite ProGrip Umbrella Kit. [online] Available at: http://fjwestcott.com/product/speedlite-progrip-umbrella-kit [Accessed: 24 Dec 2013].

Portrait Accessories. 2011. Digital Photo, Iss. 141 pp. 99-100.

I would like to wish my followers a very Merry Christmas & Best Wishes for the New Year 🙂

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Merry Christmas
© Richard Brochu-Williams

Painting with Light (2)

Today has not been a productive one. Tried experimenting with more light images but nothing seemed to be going to plan. I was hoping to produce some images that were more complex than the ones I made yesterday, but I have realised that the torch I have been using is not suitable for what I wanted to do. Will have to have a rethink, putting the camera away for today…enough is enough! Here are some more simple images that I produced.

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Painting with Light
© Richard Brochu-Williams

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Painting with Light
© Richard Brochu-Williams

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Painting with Light
© Richard Brochu-Williams

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“Merry Christmas, 2013”
A collage created in Photoshop
© Richard Brochu-Williams

The images were created using a small torch in a darkroom, using the following:

  • Nikon D90 Camera
  • AF-S Nikkor DX 18-105mm  1:3.5-5.6 G ED Lens
  • Focal Length – 18mm
  • Tv – 10″
  • Av – F11
  • ISO – 200

I then decided to combine all of the images and add some colour in Photoshop CS6.

Here are a couple more pictures that I took as an experiment, this time using the light from a gas hob.

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Gas Hob
© Richard Brochu-Williams

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Gas Hob
© Richard Brochu-Williams

Painting with Light

Abstract – Painting with Light.

Today I decided to move away from landscape photography and tried experimenting with painting with light. I kept it simple for now, just experimenting with shutter speeds and aperture values. I’m pleased with the results that i got but I will try working on more complex images/designs tomorrow when I have more free time. Until then I’m posting some of the images that I produced today.

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© Richard Brochu-Williams

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© Richard Brochu-Williams

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© Richard Brochu-Williams

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© Richard Brochu-Williams

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© Richard Brochu-Williams

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© Richard Brochu-Williams