Archive for February, 2014

In the studio today regarding something completely different but wanted to capture some smoke shots for a potential image I’m thinking about.

Having completed the shoot I simply inverted one of the smoke shots to create a “Dark figure against a light background” and obviously in it’s original from the reverse.

Arty enough to stop head banging on desk, doubt it but I like it anyway.


Created with just one incense stick and single flash.

This next image was taken whilst using 3 incense sticks later in the shoot to show the setup. You can see the single flash unit with barn doors attached.


100mm macro, f/8, 1/125th sec & ISO 100

Another image from the 3 stick trial being Light on a dark background potential.



50mm, f/8, 1/125th and ISO 100

Back into the studio this morning with an idea that could qualify for 2 of the required parts of this SA2. I just need to decide which to place it in.

My initial idea was to complete the “Light figure on a dark background” segment. Using a plasma ball I began playing about with various shutter speeds and apertures which gave some nice effects. I then began adding further light, firstly with hand held LED’s and then LED’s swung on varying lengths of string. Mixed with the differing shutter speeds this gave several differing effects with the same light.

I finally got an image, which I was happy with, which just also happened to have an exposure time of 4 seconds so making it eligible for the exposures segment too.

Here is a quick contact sheet showing the development of the idea, those that looked good and those which were wiped out by the strength of the LED lighting.

The plasma sphere was placed onto a stool against my studios black background. 5Diii situated on tripod with external remote trigger/timer attached.



And the final image below. The additional light swirls were added by the LED light being swung on a length of string around the sphere.



Technicals 100mm macro, 4 sec, f/4 and ISO 100.

5 Min Long Exposure Candidate.

Posted: February 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

As planned I returned to the studio today, with my family, to attempt a rather different 5 minute long exposure image. I had decided that the random red light trails were a little annoying and I was now going to spell out the word “Fear” with the light instead. This would also be flashing so the word “FEAR” was not so obvious. I also decided to omit the multi-coloured LED fairy wand as the earlier images looked just too busy. I had also decided to mix the lighting between the LED and flash. If you look carefully it is layered top to bottom in 3 layers, flash, painting, & flash.

We rehearsed the whole process a couple of times and came in around the 4 min 50 sec on both occasions. Movements and process were methodical and done with care with only 2 small LED’s marking the outer of the frame on the studio floor for positioning purposes. The process was I wrote FEAR with flashing bike light, I then wrote Paul David Photography with single LED, then family standing left of centre & standing right of centre being light painted with LED, kneeling right of centre then left of centre lit with flash, daughter with skull seated lit with flash, me standing with skull lit by son with flash then myself with random red face lit with bike light whilst standing on a chair.

As a single exposure image I am extremely happy with this as something totally different to the usual long exposure production. Our year tutor has posted this comment during the week –

“Finally, apart from the ‘copy’ challenges, many images are so lacking in originality, creativity and the slightest hint of imagination that I am constantly falling asleep with boredom and hitting my head on the desk. This hurts. Please read the brief:

Hopefully this image will save his head from the alleged self abuse.

The lighting tools for the image are shown below along with the skull. Additionally a remote timing trigger was attached to my 5Diii to ensure the 300 second exposure.



The development process


And potentially my final image for the 5 minute exposure in SA2.


Technicals – 300 Sec, f/8, 47mm and ISO 100

Long exposure (Tests).

Posted: February 20, 2014 in Uncategorized

I have decided to complete, at least, the 5 minute long exposure, for SA2, in a different way. I tested various light sources today and their effect during a long exposure in the studio. LED and flash appear to be the best for sheer light intensity. Several of my daughters toy lights just never made the grade at all. I also tried using a set of disco lights but they were simply too bright facing the lens. Facing away from the lens they just created a white light on the wall.

Having completed this exercise I am now ready to create a final product image. Owing to family commitments this will be completed tomorrow.

Firstly here are a few from the testing of light sources.



And the final idea, for the day, which I will be building upon.



300 seconds, f/8, 50mm and ISO 100.

Aysgarth Long Exposures.

Posted: February 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

Continuing with my water theme, for the long exposure task, we had a family trip out to Aysgarth Falls today. We visited the upper, middle and lower falls and I took long exposures at all of them. Today however I concentrated on the specific timings, as per the task, for the images. The river and falls were very swollen and extremely dangerous. I have visited before in the summer when they are lower which gives many more opportunities for locating the trust tripod without fear of you and all your equipment being swept away to serious injury or untimely death. Common sense stated things would be conducted from a more than safe distance.

Firstly from the upper falls came this image. Though I would have liked to have been lower and, thus closer, to the water the state of the bank dictated otherwise. Yes I could have got down there but the water was running at the ledge height and no image is worth dying for.



30 Seconds, 24mm, f/7.1 and ISO 100 using 10 stop ND filter.

The middle falls were a little more complex to shoot owing to the limited space given on the embankment. I therefore decided to utilise the steps, down to the viewing point, as part of the image composition. The encroachment of the trees with the path leading down down to the platform, in my opinion, give an excellent leading line into the actual falls.



60 seconds, 35mm, f/5 and ISO 100

The final image comes from the lower falls. Only one way to shoot these and thats to get down onto the actual rocks at the side of the falls. Damp and covered in slime algae this was one trip I made alone. I assessed the situation and made the decision to shoot where my family could still see me. Whilst this was not potentially the best vantage point it was indeed the safest.


300 second exposure, f/16, 41mm and ISO 100.

Planned trips out over the next few days will see more long exposures with water but also some seriously different night work.

Whitby long exposures.

Posted: February 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

A trip to Whitby gave me an excellent opportunity to potentially get some of the long exposure images required for my “Short Assignments 2”. Packed my tripod, ND filters and off we went.

Managed to get a few of reasonable images that I liked. The actual taking of the images is not exactly rocket science and indeed rather simple after a few years of trying. Calculating the additional exposure time for the strength of filter, f/stop and ISO is made even easier as most manufacturers now include charts, with the potential exposure conversions on, within the kit. The difficulty I find is choosing an actual scene which suits a long exposure. Water is the obvious choice for me as I just love the look given with such an exposure.

I ended up taking one from the top of the cliff overlooking the harbour wall. This resulted in giving the image being split by the wall. One side busy being battered by the heavy swell of the sea to the relative calmness of the harbour itself.

Some ghosting can be seen on the wall where people were walking about yet amazingly my kids stood still for the duration of this image being taken. The chap in front of them was moving slightly when a few potential big waves threatened him.


The technicals are 30mm, f/9, 30 sec & ISO 100.

All images are taken using a 10 stop Neutral Density filter unless stated.

The following images were taken from around the area where my kids were standing on the first image.


This was a 2 min exposure, f/10, 30mm and ISO 100


This was 6.5 sec, f/2.8, 30mm and ISO 100

This final image would possibly be one that I may use for my final five in the short assignments.

Moving across a little I used the walkway entering the sea to guide the eye into the scene. I also liked the cloud effects and direction of them which is always something to consider when long exposing with a large sky.


A 1 minute exposure, f/10, 24mm and ISO 100

Another Avenue

Posted: February 13, 2014 in Uncategorized

Having missed a lecture today I thought it best to pop this on just to show what I was doing. I had been booked to cover a Pre-School gymnastics/excercise group called Tumbletime. The request was to capture enough images for their website which is in dire need of some colour. Ended up bagging a ton of images of the kids having fun and managed to get provisionally booked for another pre-school shoot, in the next few weeks, a wedding in May and a couple of family studio shoots.

This lads mum was one of those who made a booking with me and was happy for me to use this image of him too. Sent this to the manager of the group as an idea for their Facebook page image.


Sherlock Image.

Posted: February 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

So here below is my version of the Shelock image we were asked to copy.

The basic criteria of copying the image was to use a maximum of two lights. The lighting was very hard and so I used 2 x 60° reflectors to mimic this. The original image actor had a superb nose for the Rembrandt effect. I was unable to find such a nose so my Dad bravely stepped up for the challenge.

My Dad was also able to provide the overcoat and hat, once we were told the heavy tweed effect hat and coat in the original did not need to be used, which certainly helped.

I set the lighting up to create, as near as possible, the rembrandt effect and the lighting to the rear of the subject. I mixed 20° & 30° honeycombs with subtle height adjustments of the heads until the lighting was as I liked. Unfortunately my Dads coat collar was not as deep as the copy image and so I had light leak onto his ear, unlike the copy. This also caused light spill between the back of his head and the spot on the cheek which the collar, on the original, obliterated with its size.

The hand and pipe were then adjusted to give the illuminated back of the hand whilst maintaining some rim light outline on the pipe.

Overall I’m happy with the outcome though having a truly massive collared tweed coat, roll brim tweed hat and a model with a straight pointed nose may have made things more akin to the original.

No cropping whatsoever and just a B&W conversion via Greyscale.



50mm, f/8, 1/125th and ISO 100. 2 x Bowens 750 Pro lights used.

Back to normality ?

Posted: February 3, 2014 in Uncategorized

Well for a few weeks anyway….

A final weekend of pre-booked family portraits so that my studio is now booking free until March. This time will be used to construct the set I have planned, which owing to it’s size is semi-permanent, for my final major images due in May. Amazingly I took a studio booking for March over the weekend with the 4 week wait no problem for the client.

A mammoth weekend of event photography completed too with two major schools events in gymnastics and trampolining. My approach and execution and coverage of these events is now well polished and the results speak for themselves. I sold a total of 181 images over the two days and had over 40 emails requesting images from parents unable to travel to the event on the respective dates. I now have 4 weeks until the next major comp’ with a minor gradings event in 2 weeks time so time to recover 😉

The downside is muscle fatigue. My camera, grip & lens used for events rocks in at a near 3Kg which I am holding for several hours, non stop, taking images. For short afternoon events, as per Saturday, this isn’t a great problem but covering a 4 class trampolining competition with 6 beds as on Sunday for nearly 8 hours certainly takes it’s toll physically.

Doing nothing today but I plan to start construction of my set tomorrow which I am seriously looking forward to. Out with the designer again this Thursday to agree on fabric and then things will certainly get moving.

Thought I’d pop a typical contact sheet of event images on. This particular set come from Sunday’s competition. Love this profession 🙂


Not entirely sure if this comes under the status of “figure” but saw this and thought of a dark figure against a light background. I’ll seek clarification on “figure” but even so I just loved the angles, lines and shape the pylon offered from this position. Lifeless grey, but bright, sky helped on this occasion too.

Odd how such a representation of everyday life potentially covered an image.


For the technical geeks it is 50mm, f/2.8, 1/80th sec and iso 100

Edit – 3/2/14

Had a quick dig about today regarding the definition of figure and this pylon does indeed come under the definition. I will therefore use this image as part of the light/dark figure challenge. Encouraged as we are to find ideas “out of the box” I think this qualifies nicely.

Quote from the Oxford Dictionary (British & World English)

“A shape which is defined by one or more lines in two dimensions (such as a circle or a triangle), or one or more surfaces in three dimensions (such as a sphere or a cuboid), either considered mathematically in geometry or used as a decorative design: a red ground with white and blue geometrical figures”