Archive for November, 2015

Another week over.

Posted: November 30, 2015 in Uncategorized

With only a mere 3500 images last week from one competition and one christening things have been something of a breeze over the weekend. Everything edited for the competition within 12 hrs and the christening was edited and uploaded to the gallery wishing 4hrs of getting home. A very limited number of outdoor images owing to the weather so some very simple studio images to process.

Online sales continue to be strong from all recent events and also going back through the year. Many parents who attended the national finals event requested codes for the previous qualifiers that we had covered. These have been visited very healthily as people create year montages from the events they competed at.

It is great that we have been booked for the entire series next year as this will give potential customers an even bigger choice of images through the year to compile those year end montages.

This week we have a mother and toddler xmas shoot in Beverley on Saturday and then the NW Schools Gymnastics Qualifier in Wigan on Sunday. About 60 families for portraits on Saturday and then 450+ competitors on the Sunday should keep me busy for a few days afterwards.

One from the weekend gymnastics.

cover

And a fun one from the christening shoot. They jumped in front of the camera at the end yet their youngest wouldn’t play ball. Great little lad and the family have booked in to return for a formal sitting family image after Xmas.

Karen.jpg

Advertisements

Another 10,000+ images.

Posted: November 26, 2015 in Uncategorized

A weekend shooting at the Olympic Park Copper Box Arena in London last weekend was great fun.

Editing the 10,000+ images from the 2 days has just taken two of us 3.5 days to complete.

Website inundated with hits and my emails in meltdown with all the code requests, even though we handed out over 1000 DL Slips over the 2 days.

Sales doing superb so I’m now going for a lay down before the Yorkshire Schools Competition this weekend.

Love this job 🙂_MGL1998

A big weekend looming..

Posted: November 18, 2015 in Uncategorized

This weekend is possibly our biggest weekend of work this year when we attend the Olympic Park Copper Box Arena as official photographers for the UK National Trampoline League Finals.

Some 750+ competitors over the two days of competition is comparable to the last qualifier, in Cardiff, so we know that we’ll be kept busy. We are also expecting to match if not exceed the 10,000 images we took at Cardiff so some serious editing to be completed also.

Nothing really to say other than I’m going to enjoy every minute of it and hope my family do too.

We have worked some of the biggest sports arenas within the UK over the last couple of years yet this is certainly a personal pinnacle for me and for the business as a whole.

Looks nice too.

CBox

More work used by media.

Posted: November 17, 2015 in Uncategorized

Pleased to say that another image of mine has been used my the media, namely the Scottish Evening Telegraph. They were kind enough to contact me and discuss terms unlike some outlets that have used my images even though the copyright/proof mark remains visible.

The image was from our coverage of the Home Nations Trampoline Competition. Cropped to fit the paper header they also gave my credit text a good size too which was unexpected yet nice.

So here is a copy of the publication sent over via the editor as a thanks for my cooperation and easy negotiation on rights/payment/usage.

Evening Telegraph.jpg

Catch up time

Posted: November 17, 2015 in Uncategorized

Well another manic weekend completed of which the Saturday became our most profitable single days trading of the year so far. As we have three  bigger events coming along this bodes well for the financial commitment we placed into the business at the start of the year.

Many people just don’t understand the cost of the equipment we use. I had a comment at the weekend that my camera must have cost a few hundred pounds. I smiled and stated the price was a tad higher and the gentleman responded with well it can’t be too much. Another gent at the desk commented that it would be some £3-4k I was holding to which the first gent nearly fainted when I confirmed.

Both my lad and I have gripped 5Diii’s with 70-200 f/2.8 zooms attached for the gymnastics with spare 24-70 f/2.8’s at hand for closer work. This means we are each holding roughly £4k of equipment at any time through an event. Add the laptops, screens, printers, tables, media, spare batteries, speed lights and additional photographic spares and this year cost us a huge chunk of last years profits.

The investment however has paid off as we are producing more imagery at events which in turn is generating more sales at the events and also via our online galleries.

We maintain a low selling price and profit margin but owing to the growth and event coverage we now undertake, everything is still worthwhile at a final profit level. We are cheaper than our rivals, produce better imagery and final finished product.

Saturday was the final Yorkshire Trampoline Championships Competition of the year and seriously hard work. Thankfully it was run well which allowed us to undertake our task relatively unhindered.

Pose of the day went to this young lady. A lot of the competitors now know us by name and have started pulling faces/poses whilst waiting to start their routines. This was one of them.

_MGL9831 copy

With all my editing up to date, all clients in receipt of their products and galleries available to view I had nothing to do this week. Thus with the shopping complete and the house tidied I ventured into the studio to try something new.

The something new was high speed photography with water and balloons. My plan was to complete this without any technical aid such as a ‘Triggertrap’ device or similar.

The shoot was completed using cheap balloons from the local supermarket, a single Canon 600ex-rt and a 5Diii on a tripod. The balloons were hung, via string, from the hooks used with adult shoots against a black background.

I had tried this with a Bowens 750pro at minimum power so allegedly flashing at 1/2300th Sec. Whilst it worked to a certain degree I preferred the finish from the speed light firing at an alleged setting of 1/2500th sec. Without getting too technical about light speed being more important than shutter speed etc this is something I will work on further when I next have a free week to mess about.

The balloon was popped via a sewing pin sellotaped to a BBQ skewer. This negated any removal of an intrusional hand holding the pin.

The hit rate was roughly 1 in 2 or 50% in capturing a ‘good’ image of the balloon bursting. Some were missed completely, in that fraction of a second, whilst some were almost devoid of water owing to late capture.

Two images from the shoot are below. This first is from a round balloon that can bee seen with the shape of the water whilst the sausage shaped balloons left water almost looking like a bottle made of water which was quite fun. This can be seen in the second image.

One good tip is lining the floor of the studio and having a good sturdy mop to hand.

Balloon

Image 2

Balloon 2

A fantastic photographic opportunity happened this week at the annual Whitby Goth Festival in Whitby. English Heritage decided to illuminate Whitby Abbey along with providing stories & plays which was absolutely superb. As a family entertainment evening it was simply brilliant and as a spectacle to photograph it was very cool too.

With tripod in hand I joined many other enthusiastic photographers in capturing the spectacle along side those who couldn’t work out why their compact camera or phone flash wouldn’t light things up for them. A whole array of lighting effects gave many opportunities with the only issue that the lighting was LED so extremely sharp and detail destroying at times.

As a photographer I would recommend this as a must visit and as a family I would also recommend this as the entertainment laid on was superb and had us all laughing away on many occasions.

_MGL6246 6x4

The weekend saw us cover boxing for the first time. A rather late booking, with just a weeks notice, with a remit to cover six charity bouts at the KC Stadium in Hull. The organiser had been given our details on a recommendation by an existing customer. He had allegedly been let down on previous occasions by other alleged professionals. Why someone would agree a fee and then not turn up still bemuses me. The evening went smoothly, without incident and we were paid, in full, before we left.

Whilst covering any sport is no problem for us the usual challenge is adequate lighting and this event proved no different. The room itself was huge and yet lit with nothing more than low wattage lighting. With a good % of this lighting not working it would have been beneficial to have taken half a dozen candles to ringside to double the rooms lumens output.

As with most sport photography, freezing the action is what provides the marketable/sellable image. My son and I had thrown a few mock air moves, to set up the cameras, and found that anything under 1/500th sec simply blurred. Our problem was that our 5Diii’s were bottoming out at f/2.8, 1/400th at ISO 12,000 with the 24-70 and 70-200mm we expected to use. Luckily we have a 50mm f/1.2 in our arsenal of lenses which gave at least one of us a fighting chance. At f/2 we hit an ISO of 5000 and at f/1.2 4000. The f/1.2 made things a little tricky if anything moved off the narrow focus plane and so the f/2 was used because of the negligibility in ISO quality. Whilst this denied my son the flexibility of a zoom the images would be of a better quality. I decided to fight with the 24-70 f/2.8 and adjust the underexposed images in PP.

This was certainly an event to push us technically yet without such challenges life could and would be boring.

One of the images from the evening is below.

box 1