BTEC – ‘The Woodturner’

This was completed for “People in the Countryside”.  I wanted to get a classic black and white social-documentary style shot. This was taken at a local countryside fair.  I knew the woodturner would be there, and I was aiming to get a shot like this. What I like about the composition is that it is a photograph of a woodland activity, but with a building in the background, which makes for a “clash” of images. If it had been in a woodland environment then I think it would have been a less interesting picture.  Converting to black and white has worked well. The main feedback from my tutor was “I’d like to see more hands” – I think he was right…

The Woodturner

Photo shoot – The Cyclist

This week I had the chance to photograph one of my colleagues from work.  He had seen one of my pictures I wanted to see if we could get some of him.  This was pretty much my first portrait photo shoot, so there was quite a lot of experimenting.  I took a number of prime lenses – 35mm, 50mm and 90mm.  I also took a couple of flashes although only ended up using one.  There’s quite a lot of shadows in the pictures, and most I like but I think I could have used a reflector to reduce a few of them.  It was quite entertaining but I need to get quicker, and practice my patter! More photos can be found on Flickr


BTEC – ‘Magic Card’

A percentage of our shots had to be ‘digitally manipulated’.  It wasn’t clear what this meant.  Most of my shots I do are manipulated in some way.  In fact, as I shoot mostly in RAW I have to do some sort of manipulation.  This photo completed for ‘Games’ was more of the classic manipulation variety.  Three layers. Me, the front of the card and the back of the card with transparency added in to get the see through effect.

Magic Card

Experimental ?!?!?!?!

There’s an element of my course, that is “experimental”.  However, I’m not really sure what that is yet. So in the meantime, I’m going to assume this is more than manipulating exposure and white balance in Lightroom, and  I’m going to experiment with some pictures in Photoshop Elements.

One day, I may get something I like… Perhaps not… I’m not sure “art” is my strong point.  I wonder if my old art teacher would  have liked this?


Putting it all together

As we’ve been attempting portrait photography on my course I thought I should have a go with some of the bits and bobs I’ve been collecting. For the pictures below the basic setup was a single Nikon SB-900 flash triggered with some cactus remote triggers  (which are very good… except sometimes it looks like the sync speed is completely out, as I get banding) positioned front, right and above and a grey background I recently bought.

The top two photos use an umbrella as a diffuser, and the bottom two are with a bare flash.  For each set,the picture on the right has a reflector positioned bottom left.


I reckon, based on this set of pictures, the flash without the umbrella, and the the reflector are the way to go.

They we go.  Practise run over….