Lighthouse And Pier
Lighthouse and pier came about whilst on a weekend away on the East Coast, I was taking an
early morning walk before breakfast with my camera (of course) and a Monopod sometimes a monopod is less
intrusive and people don’t stop and stare as much as when using a tripod.
A monopod is also quicker to use although, not as stable as a tripod they can be a great help to stabalise the camera in low light.
This image did not need much photoshop work just the standard levels and curves with attention paid to the lights to make them stand out.
I kept the mysterious figure in the left of the image but would have preferred him placed to right empty space for more impact, but
not everything always goes to plan…the Gull sat on the lamp post looked interested in what I was doing.
This image can be licensed through
I wanted an image that conveyed a bit of fear and the apprehension that some people feel when entering spooky graveyard at night.
This was to be an addition my stock image portfolio. An impossible scene to hope to capture in one go.
So I set about creating this image. the first thing I did was create a storyboard, nothing too elaborate but a sketch of the idea which would
represent the photograph I had in mind
This image was created with three different photographs. the first image is the graveyard scene, the second is the sky and the third was an image of a Jackdaw.
The three images were assembled in layers using Adobe Photoshop.
The image was then dodged and burned to accentuate the light and dark parts of the image.
The image was given a slight blue tone for a night time effect and an image was created..
This Image can be licensed through
Gravestone And Chain
While looking for something different to create an image from I came across this gravestone and chain on a visit to the East Coast.
The gravestone had a carved chain wrapped round it and an anchor as it’s base.
The occupier of the grave had been a Sea captain and some stone mason had taken great care in creating this monument in the
likeness of a chain wrapping round the cross and an anchor as the support.
The light was created by an early morning storm just beginning to clear and it made the chain seem more metallic in it’s appearance.
Just after I took this photograph the cloud took over again and it rained heavily, the wind blew hard and another storm front moved in.
The light disappeared and black cloud took over changing the scene completely.
This image can be Licensed through Trevillion Images
Key And Candle
This image was taken as part of a series of still life images for my stock portfolio. i was not really well versed in still life imaging at the time.
This image although it looks simple was quite difficult to produce with my limited knowledge of still life setups.
My first problem was how to get the background light to stop lighting the candle too much as I wanted the lighter parts at the bottom and the top.
The overall lighting was provided by an Elinchrom Quadra head, the two other lights used were Nikon speed lights.
One being a SB600 and the other a SB900 (both of which were destroyed on a windy location shoot).
The background is a painted canvas roll up which I use a lot now for a creating sombre mood in the image.
One speed light was gelled red and snooted for the effect behind the candle, the other was gelled with a 1/4 CTO for the warm look at candle base.
I left the key in shadow to add a bit of mystery to the image.
The Key and Candle holder were both bought for a few pence at a car boot sale local to me.
All in all I am quite happy with the way it turned out.
I think this should be of interest to wedding photographers, but I also beleive that this can be applied to many businesses.
[youtube width=”640″ height=”480″ video_id=”3hpJ1iPD5RQ”]
Just for fun.
It seems that the stock shortage of this 36 Megapixel Monster camera
is starting to filter through.
Warehouse Express have The Nikon D800 in stock if anyone is wanting to buy one, Just a quick heads up!!
Cash Back Offers
An Infra Red image
uses a spectrum of light invisible to the human eye .
Light with wavelengths from approximately 700 and 900nm (nanometers) is called infrared light.
Infra red photography can be very re-warding and sometimes very frustrating. I started taking infra red images with film cameras and an infra red filter,
this made the exposure times very long as an infra red filter is almost opaque. Focus and composition had to be done previous to either screwing the filter onto the lens or
sliding it into a holder fixed to the lens.
Now with the advent of the Digital camera IR conversions are the best way to go. When I was ready to move on from my Nikon D200
I had it converted here in about 2006. At the time my conversion was done there were few places to be able to get the job done.
Life pixel were very quick and professional in the conversion they did for me even though it was around the Christmas period.
I had a colour IR filter placed in front of the sensor of my D200 and have enjoyed handheld IR photography ever since.
To get to the scene above some editing has to be done such as white balancing and channel swapping.
An IR image from initially starts it’s life as all red (surprise surprise) and white balancing can be quite tricky.
On a lot of cameras the white balance can be set in camera by taking a shot of green grass in daylight and using that image for the white balance.
Unfortunately the Nikon D200 can not get a decent white balance in this way, but playing around can get you pretty close.
More information about IR white balance and Processing can be found here
I created an IR profile for my camera and Adobe Labs DNG Convertor and Profiler which makes life easier when it comes to editing.
Nikon Capture NX2 is also usefull if using converted Nikon cameras or indeed and IR filter on a Nikon camera.
A snippet of what can be done is
demonstrated on this page
All I can say is if you fancy having an old camera converted and start enjoying IR photography is, go for it. It’s fun
Nissin Di 866 Mk2 Flash
The Nissin Di866 flash for Nikon is the most powerful in the Nissin Range of flash units with models compatible with Nikon Digital Cameras.
In the professional flash unit choice between the expensive Nikon SB-900 and Nissin Di866, The Nissin is a second choice; it is as powerful as Nikon Version, and also cheaper.
Cheaper is always good, but does this flash live up to it’s supposed specification. Well in my opinion no it doesn’t. I bought
mine from Harrison Cameras and they were superb with their customer service. My first Nissin arrived
faulty making a noise when switched on akin to a chip fryer happily cooking away, I phoned them and they arranged at their own cost to send a new one
and collect the faulty one next day, even though it was a Saturday delivery.
Well the second one arrived and it was much better although the noise from the flash was still there albeit much diminished in volume. After checking around the internet I found
that the hissing noise is a “feature ” of these flashguns, i.e. they all suffer from it in one degree or the other not good methinks.
Anyway the second flash
served well for a couple of months and just died whilst out on a shoot. Again I phoned Harrison Cameras and spoke to a lovely lady who’s name
unfortunately escapes me at the moment, but anyway she asked if I would prefer to upgrade to Nikon Flash instead.
I should really have paid the extra and taken the offer instead I opted to try another, which was sent out next day delivery and the old unit collected at the same time.
Again this was under warranty.
The Nissin Di 866 Mk2 constantly underexposes in iTTL and is not really that consistent in its output in manual mode either.
All in all I find the Nissin to be a poor replacement for a good flash unit and I should have stuck with the Nikon flashes.
The firmware is supposedly upgradeable via USB but it seems to be a dealer upgrade only (correct me if I am wrong here.)
All in all the flash is useable but it takes some getting used to its fluctuating power output, so no recommendations for the flash from me.
I have read and heard that the Metz 58 is a far better product but it is a bit more costly. Oh the noise can be annoying also but used off camera it can’t be heard.
The firmware must be completely different from Nikons units also as it is not compatible with the Pocket Wizard Flex5 units although some control
can be had using the unit in iTTL on a Flex5 and an AC3 controller.
Saving up now for a Nikon SB910 and use the Nissin Di866 as a fill flash when using small flashes on a shoot.
- Usable camera : CANON digital camera, NIKON digital camera
- Guide Number (ISO100) : 60m, 198ft. (105mm), 40m, 132ft. (35mm)
- Focal length Coverage : 24～105mm (18mm with wide angle diffuser)
- Power Source : 4 x AA battery
- Recycle Time : 0.1-5.5 sec. (Alkaline, NiMH)
- Number of Flashes : 150-1500 times
- Flash Duration : Manual mode 1/300 (Full Power) , TTL mode 1/300-1/30000 sec.
- Energy Saving : Auto power off Off, 10, 15, 30, 45, 60 mins
Stand-by mode 30 sec.
Display off Display screen switch off
- Color Temperature : 5600K
- Flash Power Control System : Full Auto E-TTL, E-TTL II (for Canon), i-TTL (for Nikon), Ev compensation adjustment on camera
TTL E-TTL, E-TTL II (for Canon), i-TTL (for Nikon), [Advanced] Ev compensation, Manual zoom, Sub-flash allowed
Auto Aperture Flash F1.4-F16 (ISO100), 1/3 Ev steps, [Advanced] Manual zoom, Sub-flash allowed
Manual Power Full-1/128, 1/3Ev steps, [Advanced] Manual zoom, Sub-flash allowed
Multi-flash Frequency-90Hz, 1-90 times, Power 1/8-1/128
- Wireless Remote flash Slave:
Slave Digital Slave / Film & Studio Slave, [Advanced] Sub-Flash Allowed
Wireless TTL Master / Remote, 4 Channels, 3 Groups (A, B, C), Modes: Off/ TTL/ Manual, TTL Flash Ratio Adjustable
- Ev Compensation on flash : -0.3 – +3.0, 1/3Ev steps
- My TTL setting : -0.3 – +3.0, 1/3Ev steps
- Bounce Function : Upward 90 degree, Left 90 degree, Right 180 degree
- Sub-flash: Manual Full – 1/8, 1Ev steps
- FE/FV Lock : [FEL] OR [*] Button for Canon, [AE-L] OR [AF-L] for Nikon
- Rear curtain sync. : Yes
- High speed sync. : Yes
- Red eye reduction mode for Nikon: Yes
- Slow sync. mode for Nikon: Yes
- Red eye reduction mode + Slow sync. mode for Nikon : Yes
- AF assist light distance : 0.7-10m
- Operation Control mode : Color Display (Auto Rotation)
- Firmware Upadate Terminal : USB
- X terminal : Yes
- External power pack socket : Nissin Power Pack PS-300, Canon original pack, Nikon original pack (except Nikon SD-9)
- Accessories : Soft Pouch, Flash Stand with Tripod screw
- Dimension : 74(W) x 139(H) x 113(D) mm / 2.91(W) x 5.47(H) x 4.45(D) inches
- Weight : 380gr. w/o battery
Continuing in the wildlife vein, todays image is of a Superb Starling
A very common bird, the only way to avoid seeing it in Kenya is to keep your eyes permanently closed.
In suitable areas it’s quite often seen in company with the less common Hildebrandt’s Starling. It’s quite easy to miss the Hildebrandt’s because of the considerable similarity between the two birds.
The Superb Starling differs from Hildebrandt’s in having white, not red, eyes and a white breast-band.
The colour and markings can be, or seem to be, quite variable. In some lights the entire head, back and wings can seem to be a glossy blue with no markings at all.
Although it is a common bird in both Kenya and Tanzania, it is still a very fetching bird with a colourful plumage.
18cm. A small, short-tailed starling with a distinctive plumage.
Iridescent blue-to-green back, upper breast, wings and tail
Red-orange belly separated from the blue breast by a white band
White undertail-coverts and wing linings
Eagle Owl Portrait
Todays wildlife image post is an Eagle Owl Portrait I did quite a while ago. I really like these animals they are a fantastic subject for photographers
with their massive eyes, they make for a good image.
These birds are very distinct in their features and most Owls have feathers designed for silent flight.
Some facts about these creatures can be found here.
Their eyes and vision are very special and information on their eyes and workings can be found here.
The Owls have their eyes set in the front of the face. Their eyes are very large in comparison to their head, and instead of being round like ours, are pear-shaped. What we see is the small part of the eye.
The biggest part at the back of the eye has a lot of room for special light-receiving rods in the retina. This allows the owl to see well in low light conditions.
Because of the shape of the eye, their eyes are fixed in the skull and cannot move up or down or side to side.
This of course makes the owl at risk to attacks from behind, but a special neck mechanism allows the head to turn around very quickly.
Owls’ eye colour can give an indication as to its activity time. An owl with very dark eyes is normally active at night (nocturnal), an owl with yellow eyes is active during the day (diurnal), and an owl with orange eyes is active at dawn and dusk (crepuscular).
There are some exceptions to this rule though.
All in all this makes them a great predator and whatever they are hunting will most usually lose out.