Category Archives: Photo-Technique

Playing with Light

The LensBaby Composer Pro 2 with Sweet 50 Optic.

I’ve recently aquired a LENSBABY!  It’s the LensBaby Composer Pro 2 lens with Sweet 50 optic.  Basically a LensBaby is just a lens with a ball-joint, so that the lens can be bent!  Attached to the front of the lens is a removable optic, in my case a 50mm attachment, with a sweet-spot.  That’s an area that is in focus, while the rest of the image is blurred. (Bokeh)  Ok, it’s easier to show you than explain in words…

Lensbaby.jpg

Continue reading Playing with Light

Back to Basics #2 – Shutter Speed

Shutter Speed Facts

If the aperture controls the amount of light that falls on the camera sensor/film, the shutter determines how long that light falls on the film/sensor. Choosing the correct shutter speed is important because:-
* It can freeze a moving subject.
* It can blur moving subjects.
* It can help reduce camera shake.
So, how can we use the shutter speed to best advantage?

Continue reading Back to Basics #2 – Shutter Speed

Belfast Cathedral Qtr Photowalk

One Hour Photowalk in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter.

Spend an hour with your camera, with other enthusiasts and with a local professional photographer, walking through familiar streets, and seeing Belfast through the lens.  Get help along the way with composition and exposure and go home with a days experience, and an SD Card full of great images to share on your social media accounts. Continue reading Belfast Cathedral Qtr Photowalk

Back to Basics #1 – Camera Aperture

BACK TO BASICS #1 – APERTURE

The aperture is the diaphram in your lens which controls the amount of light entering the camera. (The shutter controls the time that the light falls on the film/sensor) The diagramme attached to this post illustrates the effect of closing the aperture diaphram, and how it changes the light falling on the film/sensor. Continue reading Back to Basics #1 – Camera Aperture

Kissing on Camera!

Kissing on Camera!

It wouldn’t be much of an engagement or wedding session if there wasn’t a little cuddling, holding hands and kissing in shot. Now, we are not going to scare your parents (unless you really want to!) but you do want to look like you are together.

We have some nice, standard, formal poses that make you look nice and together without it being all over each other. We also have some more fun styles, that are modern and happy.

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And when it comes to the kiss, well actually we are looking for just the moment before the lips actually meet. The anticipation looks so much better than the event on camera.

Oh, unlike our happy bride and groom here, the guy’s nose always goes behind the girls, we always want the girl at the front 🙂

New Year, New Gear!

It is 2018, and work has begun again after the Christmas break.  2017 was a whirlwind year, with studio appointments peaking to 50 portrait sessions and 10 commercial sessions in November. My New Year Resolution is to slow down, take life a lot easier, and get out into the streets more with a camera.

And there’s the point.  After Christmas I decided to invest in a new camera, and logically it should have been a Nikon D850, after all, I’ve been shooting with Nikons for around 30 years, my lens system is all Nikon, and the D850 is getting rave reviews.

But wandering around the streets with a huge Nikon DSLR,  and a lens to match, = it’s hardly unintrusive.  Some of my wedding photographer friends have been turning to mirrorless cameras.  I was sceptical at first, but I decided that before I’d buy my new Nikon I’d weigh up the pros and cons of buying a Fujifilm X-T2:  Continue reading New Year, New Gear!

Getting the Levels Right

Here’s a useful wee gadget I use in the studio. Made by Lastolite, it helps set the white, black and grey points in post capture processing. 


I simply meter the light in the studio, set the camera to the appropriate aperture and shutter speed (usually 1/125th sec) and then take a shot of the triangle thingy. 

In Lightroom, I will then adjust the white and black sliders to show the triangle as perfect white and black. I select all the files then sync the settings. 

That’s it. All the levels in the whole shoot are now set!  

Nikon FG20 

I picked up this old camera yesterday from my good friend Raymond Cotter. A 1984 Nikon FG20. It was in a pile of cameras in the charity shop. I wrote it off as worthless and he let me have it for display purposes in the studio along with other old camera examples. Last evening I got it out, fixed a Sigma manual focus lens, cleaned it up, and tested its meter. It’s perfect! There’s a wee problem with the film winder, but otherwise it’s in good enough condition. 


Today I’ll load it with Ilford 400ISO Black & White and take it in a test drive. 

If it works – my conscience will be severely tested and I’ll be down to make a donation asap!

I’ll update this post with the results!