Funny How Thing Work Out Sometimes…

30 12 2010

Often when I go scouting I don’t take a camera along with me, or else I’ll just take a pocket camera with me (or iPhone).  However when I went scouting on Tuesday to the rock shelf on the Southern side of Avoca Beach, I knew there were photo opportunities there because I have walked the shelf before.  So I decided to take my “big camera” along with filter belt and tripod.

The weather was overcast which made the lighting quite flat.  When I got to the spot that I wanted to photograph, I composed the shots I was thinking of, and used filters to slow down my shutter speed.  For the shot that you see here, I used my 10 stop B&W filter to allow me to shoot with 30sec shutter durations even at 3PM.  Later on I used 3 filters (3stop Grad ND, 3 stop ND and Polariser) which allowed me to shoot waves with a 1-2 sec shutter duration even in mid afternoon.

I was pretty happy with my shots and looking forward to dawn on Wednesday when I would go for my “keepers”, but as it turns out it was a glarey “blah” sunrise and I wasn’t at all happy with the shots that I got. So I ended up processing up my scouting shot.

The original raw files- Top=Scouting trip, Bottom=Sunrise

You can see the dramatic differences in the lighting in the two RAW images above.  The top image was the shot from the scouting trip on Tuesday @ 3PM taken during overcast skies.  The bottom image was taken at about 5AM on Wednesday with a BLAH sunrise.

For those interested in my post processing it included

  1. Colour correction to fix the colour cast introduced by the 10 stop filter
  2. High contrast b&w layer blended in multiply mode to get dark dramatic water
  3. Used Nik Color Effex “Brilliance and Warmth” filter to warm up the rocks
  4. A bit of “Freaky detail” on foreground rocks
  5. Desaturating image using Joselph Holmes colour variants
  6. Some dodge/burn and darkening curves
  7. Vignette.

I guess the lesson in all this is… if the light is good, then scout with your “real camera” and filters.

Happy New Year



First Shoot With the Lumodi Beauty Dish

13 12 2010

Well last night one of my photo buddies (Gavin) and I had a fun afternoon shoot. Two models has asked us to do some studio shots of them for their portf0lio.  So Gavin and I arranged to set up two different shooting stations in my mum’s ballet studio (nice and handy having access to a ballet studio).  We shot for several hours using different lighting configurations…. umbrellas, beauty dishes and Gavin’s Octa.  It was a very relaxed and enjoyable shoot.  The girls were having fun, and Gavin and I were as happy as pigs in shit.

Shot above was my first real shoot using my new Lumodi Beauty Dish.  For close-up work I really love it.  Gorgeous light quality!

Lighting info:

  • SB900 into Lomodi Beauty dish above camera
  • Silver reflector below camera
  • Gridded sofbox with Yugoebay cheap shit strobe for backlight
  • SB600 through grid on grey background paper for halo effect.

Anyway, the quote of the night came from Gavin.  He arrived about 2 hours after me, and set up his lights and background.  Then Brittany went over to shoot with him and faster than you can say “let me get an exposure reading”  Gavin had Brittany topless…. but then the classic quote came shortly afterwards…. “Don’t worry if your nipples are exposed… I can always fix that in Photoshop”!

Ah…. Photoshop…. where would we be without it 🙂

Lots more shots to process, plus some shots from my Dancer shoot on Tuesday night.


Testing My Lumodi Beauty Dish

5 12 2010



This weekend I took delivery of a Lumodi Beauty dish.  I managed to coax my youngest son into an ad-hoc modelling session with me in the lounge room so that I could get a feel for the light qualities of this particular modifier.  It’s a bit weird to get used to compared to say a shoot-through brolly or a soft box.  Feels as though it is less forgiving in terms of placement, however I do like the quality of the light from it.

I have two studio shoots coming up in the next week.  The one on Tuesday night is going to be very ambitious, but if it comes off it will be spectacular (stay tuned), and then a session on the weekend with two models where I am just focusing on head and shoulders shots.  This should allow me to really focus on lighting and working with the models.