Saturday, 22 July 2017

Dulwich Park



Third shot with Janayah. She is quickly settling into the photoshoots now. She's not bothered by passersby. You can see it in her face, she just looks relaxed.

It was also an opportunity for me to use a new speed light. It supports High Speed Sync (HSS). This means I can use as fast a shutter speed as I want with the speed light. There a lot of explanations about what HSS is and how it works. So I wont go into to a lot of detail.

When a flash of any kind is used there is a maximum shutter speed that can be used, it's called the sync speed. If you go above this speed a shadow is cast on the sensor by the shutter as the flash fires.

Why would you user HSS? If you want to alter the exposure you use a smaller aperture, right?

If there is a well lit background, you either expose for it and have the subject in silhouette, or expose for the subject and have the background over-exposed. With HSS you expose for the background with the combination of shutter speed and aperture. And use the flash to light the subject.

If the location is well lit, without HSS you would have to use a very small aperture to in order to be able to user a shutter at your camera's sync speed. A side effect of a small aperture is a big depth of field. So the background will be in focus. By blurring it with a combination of large aperture and HSS, the subject stands out more.

My speed light isn't powerful enough to completely overpower the sun, so the nearly cloudless sky is still largely over exposed. But Janayah isn't silhouetted and the rest of the background is well exposed.


Two different styles of outfit, two different areas of the park. I think the bridge suited the dress Janayah was wearing. I also used a 80-200 that I had only previously used for motorsport. The long lens is used to foreshorten perspective. Combined with a large aperture it made Janayah stand out more, almost giving a 3D effect. It meant standing a long way from Janayah, losing a little of the connection I like to have in my pictures. But I liked the results, I'll use it again if space allows.

I hope you like the results.

85mm lens


These two are at 200mm on my 80-200mm telephoto zoom


And then with HSS and the 85mm again







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Thursday, 20 July 2017

Zara at the Hacienda


This post is a bit out of time. I thought I had wrote it already. This shoot happened way back in June.

I had worked with Zara before, quite a long time ago in fact. I wanted to arrange something this year. It took a lot of back and forth before our schedules coincided. She had a studio day with two hours free. I had wanted to shoot at this new studio so it was a perfect match. Here is a link to the studio.

The studio has great natural light streaming in through huge windows, but loads of lighting equipment too.

Sean is very helpful and relaxed, always good in a studio host.

I used just natural in two of the rooms, but a one light setup in the other. I had used a beauty dish once before. I really liked the effect it produced. I hoped to balance flash and natural light. I think I got it right. Zara doesn't look studio lit. I turned off the light and it was very apparent what the beauty dish was doing. I'll use this technique again. That's the good thing about working with a great model. I can experiment and try new techniques without worrying about directing the model. Zara is brilliant.

Natural light.





And now the beauty dish and natural light.






It would be great to know what you think.

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Saturday, 15 July 2017

Steampunk Westerham

 

Today was to be a solo ride. Matt was expecting a furniture delivery this morning. This time of year there are other so many tasks that need doing; the days a longer. But it doesn't feel like there is any extra time.

The normal question arose; where to go? Westerham was the answer, via some off road sections near Woldingham. Then down the Limpsfield Rd and Clarks Lane. I remembered another off road section through a forest just past Westerham, just off the A25. I eventually found the correct turn off, but I had underestimated how much further the forest was, so I turned back and headed for the green.

That's when I came across the Steampunk horse statue. It, and 23 companions are raising money for a hospice. Find out more here. I have donated, if you can, please donate as well.

It is very impressive. Art I can understand and appreciate.

The herd is on show until the end of September.


It certainly provided a welcome change of view as I ate my cereal bars and had a drink. But before long it was time to head home.

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Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Caterham to Canterbury

Me, a piece of cake and a medal


I hadn't participated in a sponsored ride for two years. RideLondon was a big hassle to get to, and my local Multiple Sclerosis centre don't run a sponsored event anymore. 

A few weeks previously I had seen a shared event on my FB time line. It was run by a local bike shop Larner Cycles, it was on a day I was free, and it started in Caterham. So the alarm wouldn't need to go off at silly o'clock. The only issue would getting home from Canterbury. I could cycle home again, but that would be 130 miles. I knew I didn't have the time. But they said they could arrange transport, so I signed up. 

The morning of the event was overcast and a little chilly, a light jacket was needed. I forgot the sun screen. But I thought I wouldn't need it so didn't return home to pick it up. 

I arrived, signed on, listened to the safety briefing and was off just before nine.

I have cycled a few events and long rides on my own. I don't mind, it allows me to ride at my own pace. I don't have to push myself to keep up or wait for people to catch up with me. But this time I didn't want to ride alone. I left the start in a small group. Within a couple of miles it had strung out and I found a cyclist that was riding at roughly the same pace and me, and wanted some company. His name was Andrew. We soon settled into a comfortable pace. He was training for RideLondon. It was good to chat about my two rides. Let him know what to expect. 

Andrew cycles from Peckham out to Tatsfield so some of the early route was familiar to him. I pointed out a few tougher hills he could tackle. He was after an extra challenge ahead of his big ride next month. 

The first food stop was a little different from those at other events. There wasn't just bananas and energy gels. I can't eat banana, so it was good to see other fruit, cakes and chocolate.

There was much made of the lunch stop. I expected the same as the first one. How wrong I was. Tea, coffee, tasty sandwiches and muffins awaited us. It would have been all too easy to stop for a very long time. The sun was now out and making it’s presence felt. Luckily Andrew had sun screen, mine was still on the kitchen table.

After a particularly rough section, loads of gravel, flint and potholes. Andrew got a puncture. He suggested I should leave him and go on, I said I would stay. It didn't take to sort out and we were on our way again. Then maybe half a mile later he got another puncture. This time the piece of flint was easy to see, it left a slit in the tyre. He didn't have another inner tube or patches. So I gave him one of my tubes. Had I not stayed with Andrew when he got the first puncture he would have had to wait for the support vehicle. 

We started together, we would finish together.

We were now around ten miles from Canterbury. I thought it would ease up a bit as the previous ten miles had included a lot of hills. If anything this last section had some of the steepest hills. Or was I getting tired? 

Eventually we entered Canterbury, Andrew remarked how the traffic seemed more oppressive after the largely quiet roads we had been on for most of the ride. Although that isn't to say the quiet roads had all been pleasant. The level of selfishness shown by some drivers is hard to believe. 

Before we knew it we were turning into the grounds of Tower House, and crossing the finish line. 

A medal, a goody bag, and some more food including home made cakes awaited. What a great day. 

Andrew hadn’t booked a lift home. Adam, the organiser, quickly organised an extra space. And without any fuss we were quickly on our way back to the start. 



I’m definitely doing it again next year. Hopefully I can get a group together. 



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