30 Dec 2010


If only we could retain the joy, wonder and innocence we had as children... the world would be sooo much better!

29 Dec 2010

Eliminate That Hotspot!

While I was out shooting Santa last week I had some spare time to play with my flash and shoot through umbrella set-up and took the following shot:

As you can see there is a distinct hotspot in the umbrella. Not so great for even distribution of light, which is the point of the umbrella to start off with. Of course it does help to distribute light, but not as well as it could. The flash was set to about 50mm here, so I flipped out the built in diffuser and it automatically went to 14mm wide with the following result:

Beautiful even distribution of light resulting in a better wrap around effect for portraits!

The light stand used here is in fact a junky old cheap tripod with the head removed and refitted to an extension pole which I then mounted to the top of the junky old cheap tripod, I then drilled a hole through the plastic head (taking care to avoid anything important) and voila! Nice tall light stand for the man on a limited budget. Here is a close up of the head:

Some people say I'm tight, but I like to think of myself as frugal...

25 Dec 2010

Shooting Santa...

...a profitable low point in my artistic career! Lets face it there is no artistic value in doing the typical Santa in the mall shots, but it does provide the bread and milk money.

I decided to go for the less is more philosophy and had a single shoot through umbrella with a Nikon SB600 flash, camera set to manual, 1/80s, f5.6, customised portrait mode, jpg only (to save time). The results were quite adequate for the task at hand:

The setup
Santa with baby

Santa with another kid

Santa and Helper
Everybody loves Christmas! Except the Grinch I suppose, but he wasn't there.

22 Dec 2010

Blue flowers in black and white...

If you are on a very tight budget and don't want to spend a whole lot of money (or any at all), Picasa by Google is a simple but fairly effective editing tool. It doesn't have the options of Photoshop, Paintshop Pro or the GIMP, but it is fast and very easy to use. It has all that the amateur home photographer/happy snapper needs, so don't buy into the "I must have Photoshop" line, you can great results without blowing the bank or needing a three month course in how to use the program first! (Photoshop will not make you a better photographer either btw.)

Picasa also has a few extra little bits that make it easy to publish to Picasa's on-line web-album, resize for email, and even watermark, if you feel the need. Download it here: Picasa

Taken with a Nikon D90 and Nikon 35 f1.8DX, edited in Picasa.

13 Dec 2010

The Power of a Fast Prime Lens!

Grand kids eating junk that will probably stunt their growth and hinder the development of their brains...

Nikon D90, Nikon 35 f1.8DX, hand held in crummy light inside a well known and popular (not sure why) fast food joint, no flash.

3 Dec 2010

Our Christmas tree is up...

Hooray, hooray, oh happy day!! Don't you just love Christmas? Ours started early this year!! Hooray, hooray!

Our Christmas Tree

Nikon D90, Nikon 50mm f1.8, deliberately defocussed and hand held by the oldest kid this side of the North Pole!