Wednesday, 20 April 2011


Grace, originally uploaded by DrFireball.

Photo from recent shoot in Kirkstall Abbey. Only had couple of hours and the time flew like the wind. Two great dancers - Fliss and Helena who performed beautifully. More photos will be uploaded as soon as I get a chance :-)

This shot was lit using my El Octa hidden behind a pillar and triggered with a pocketwizard (as the sky port seemed to have a problem with the stone work......)

Post production was done in LR and SEP2 for the b&w conversion.

I had an assistant along and this proved to be incredibly helpful - thanks Steve!

Once again hope y'all enjoy


Saturday, 16 April 2011

Time waits for no man

Time waits for no man, originally uploaded by DrFireball.

This is taken from a commissioned shoot today - for the MUA's final degree show. The brief was for 1920's theme - got the work from my Film Noir shoot with Dani previously.

As expected got on great with Dani and it was good to meet Samantha (the MUA). Generally i shoot for myself and so it was interesting having a "client" whose needs were different to mine. Hopefully this all went to plan though and I look forward to seeing the prints as part of the show.

I was told where the shoot was to be in advance and so took the opportunity to scout the area. Busy part of Ilkley but fortunately those who did choose to look on left us well alone. The wind was up at times but this did not prevent me using the El Octa. Thus shot was taken from a small stepladder that I brought along in expectation of this shot. The lighting was via a 135cm Deep octa and two quadras. "Chimped" rather than metered :-)

Post production using a touch of liquify and SEP2 (becoming a bigger fan the more I use it.)



Monday, 4 April 2011

Dance (Explored)

Dance (Explored), originally uploaded by DrFireball.

Good day this one in a studio in Stockport. I don't often go into studios as I tend to prefer shooting on location however I could not pass up the opportunity to use their enormous infinity cove.

Had two hours and managed to get my first two photos into Flickr explore from the day (I possibly understand a little more on how to do this- I reckon it involves "proper" comments from folk rather than "awards"....)
Anyhoo back to the shoot. Started with two very large parabolic umbrellas with three speedlights on a trisync bracket - idea being that the duration of the flash would be shorter than that of a studio strobe. Eventually used two quadras left and right in the para-umbrellas. These were powered from the B socket. Swtiching off all the ambient light in the studio we then used the modelling lights to give the camera a chance to autofocus. The 5dMkII did well here despite what I (and loads of others on certain forums) might have thought. I used back button focus and Emma did a pre-bounce to get more height and alert me to her jump.

The infinity cove wasn't lit other than from the spill from the umbrellas and I coloured the background in PP.



Faith, originally uploaded by DrFireball.

My first magazine publication!
Published this month in Professional Photography mag where I managed to get a 1/2 page. Very happy :-)

This was an interesting shoot on a number of levels. Taking a portrait of a colleague and friend and wanting to capture him correctly. Started "in the ring" and was not getting what I wanted in any way. Was using a gridded beauty light and quadras for rim lighting. Eventually moved into the gym proper where there were a number of hanging punchbags. This shot was set up using a strip softbox camera left as key with one quadra camera right. As ususal I was working too fast to make any notes about lighting ratios........
The subject kept punching away and I was looking for the best composition as I moved around and suddenly saw the text on the wall at which point I knew that I had a good shot.
Very happy with the catchlights in his eyes and the intensity that descibes Martin perfectly. I was shooting in monochrome on the 5dMkII and performed the final conversion using lightroom.

Have to say that the colour shots look good also - may even post some soon :-)


Saturday, 2 April 2011

Uplift -EXPLORED !

Uplift -EXPLORED !, originally uploaded by DrFireball.

Initially this photo was a bit of a slow burner for me - almost did not post it onto Flickr - but then when I did it became very popular and made it onto Explore.

Good day at a location that I have used a fair bit now - biggest problem was the wind. I almost always use a softbox if I can but due to the wind I had the Elinchrom Ranger camera right with a 21 inch reflector. This gave me oodles of power and I was very pleased to see that I could freeze the action without the ambient light blurring things.
I underexposed the ambient by about one stop and by using a small aperture was able to get a sunstar.

Post processing was done in photoshop to cool the tones down.

Fliss is a dance teacher and was able to keep jumping all day! She gave me a "pre-bounce" to enable me to get ready for the shot and also to give her more height on the jump. I set the AF to servo on the 5dmkII and was pleased that it coped - often focussing directly into the sun is difficult - in essence the large depth of field created by overpowering the sun helps a lot with focus in this setting.

Lastly there were a few climbers around who must have wondered what we were up to but were friendly and left us alone.

Looking forward to doing more dance orientated stuff soon - hopefully in a really cool location I have found - will post soon.

Thanks for stopping by