Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

2012 – Year in Review

Posted: December 30, 2012 in Reviews
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It’s that time of year to sit back and reflect on 2012 and to look forward to the new year ahead and set some goals.
2012 has been a good year as I finally found some direction in my photography. We closed down our family portrait business as it wasn’t really me. I did enjoy the newborn sessions, but otherwise it was just a distraction from what I really wanted to do which was to create images for the book industry.
about_image
Stock Review
During 2012 I had around 400 new images approved on:-  Arcangel (180),  Alamy (125), Micro (70) and StockFood (20). Sales from Arcangel were disappointing compared to 2011 especially as I increased by portfolio by 40%. Alamy and StockFood were steady and sales from all my Micro sites were similar to 2011 which was good as I haven’t spent much time increasing my portfolio with these sites.
Purchased
As per normal I’ve spent too much money on kit. The biggies were 2 strip softboxes, Adobe Creative Cloud membership, Ipad and a Canon M. The Ipad is fantastic and gets used every day, don’t know if I could live without it. I am still not sure about the Canon M. I love the weight and size, but the slow AF is killing me especially as I’ve started to do a bit of street photography. Also I attended a couple of workshops and training sessions with Miss Aniela and Glyn Dewis.
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Future Plans
For 2013 it’s simple. Continue to increase my portfolio on Arcangel and StockFood, try my hand at creating videos for Arcangel, continue to improve my composting skills hopefully by attending another Glyn Dewis training session. Also if time permits I want to start learning the basics of 3D, mayby starting with 3D in Photoshop.
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I can’t wait to see what 2013 brings.

The camera arrived about 2 weeks ago and I recently took it to London for the day to give it a run out. All images are jpegs straight from the camera. They are not great images as I am not a street photographer plus the light was very flat. Will shoot RAW on my next portrait session.

The first thing you notice is the size. Very small and minimalistic with a small grip. For me this isn’t a problem as I have small hands and I wanted a small camera especially when out with the family.

The touch screen is nice and I can navigate around it at speed, so I am not missing all the buttons and dials. However what I don’t like is the settings can be easily changed whilst the camera bounces of my hip. I even managed to enable the touch shutter mode and took some pictures! Would be nice to have button to disable or lock the screen. Need to read the manual .

Now onto the focusing. Yes it’s slow but it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. For street photography it’s way too slow, but for my normal portrait work it’s fine.

Image quality is what you expect from a Canon camera with the same sensor and processer as the EOS D650.

Overall I am loving the size and weight and so is my back. A lens roadmap from Canon would be nice and a firmware to speed up the focusing.

Vizify

Posted: July 30, 2012 in Reviews
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A couple of days ago I came across Vizify which allows you to create a graphical bio and can link to your on-line content (tweet, photos, work history, etc). I am still in the process of setting my bio up and so far I am very impress with it. The only thing I can’t find is a way to add an email link to a page as I am thinking this could replace my about page on my sites.

Here’s my Vizify link

Portfolio | Flickr | Facebook 

After attending Glyn’s workshop and seeing various examples of strip softboxes being used I decide that I MUST have a set.  As all my studio lights are Bowens so I first looked at their offerings. The Bowens Lumiair Strip 140 looks great, but at £230 each they were out of my price range especially as I wanted two.

The next option was the Lastolite Hotrod Strip Softbox with a Bowens ‘S’ type adapter. At around £130 each with the adapter I decide to purchase them. I especially liked how they came in small bag as I don’t have a lot of space to store equipment.

I’ve now been using them for a couple of months and overall I am pleased with them. Once you get used to bending the bars they can be assembled quickly. The light seems soft and even from them, however I am only using them for edge lighting to separate the model from the background for my composite work.

The only thing I don’t like is the ‘S’ type adapter which is a couple of millimeters too big for the softboxes which meant I had to find longer screws to fit the two items together and the adapter is also a couple of millimeters too big to lock into place on my Bowens studio lights. None of this is a Lastolite issue as the ‘S’ type adapter came from another company.

UPDATE – 25th June 2012

Just been emailed by the supplier about the Hotrods – They were not designed to be fitted to Bowens or any other studio lights. Doing so could result in a fire hazard as the fabric and plastic components are too close to the flash head. I would recommend that you do not continue to use them in the setup you have at the moment. We do specify they are for battery powered flashguns both in the brochure and on the website.

I been following Miss Aniela work for a couple of years since I came across her on Flickr. I’ve have her Multiplicity, AbandonedSelf-Portrait Photography books and recently purchased Creative Portrait Photography. I have even tried the levitation and cloning style images link1, link2 with some success.

When I found out about her Workshops I wanted to sign up straight away, but £395 is a lot of money, so I sat on the fence debating if I could afford the Workshop. After reading various write ups and seeing the pictures from previous Workshops I decide to take the plunge and booked my place.

I arrived early which allowed me to have a quick look around the house and grounds before the Workshop started. The house was stunning, I also got a quick look at a couple of models having their hair and makeup done. They were also looking stunning.

After the introductions and the plan for the day was explained by Natalie and Matt we were paired up and sent to our first location to meet out first model Jessica.

After each hour we moved to a new location with a different model. Each model was wearing one off outfits designed by Ralph Pink and were totally stunning. By the end of the day we had worked in 5 locations with 5 models and I had taken 500 images.

Overall the day was fantastic and great experience working with agency signed models, professional hair and makeup and one off designs by Ralph Pink and not forget the advice and guidance provided by Natalie and Matt during the day. Great value for money, highly recommended and will be definatly attending another workshop soon.

Here’s a selection of my favourite images from the first 3 modes I photographed. Will post more images soon. Also check out the Miss Aniela Fashion Shoot Experience Flickr group for more great images from her Workshops.