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photonews 25.9.2012

On this day in 1907 Kodak launch the first folding pocket camera. 90 sleeps until Christmas


01268 413811 

Silver Jewellery


Right, lets kick off this month's newsletter with some pictures of pretty shiny things. We were approached, through a recommendation, by a young, up and coming jewellery designer who required photography for her new website. We sat down and discussed her ideas and came up with a concept for her leader images on the new site. The jewellery design is heavily influenced by the female form, so we suggested using close ups of the body as a background. Budget on the project was tight, so a brave friend volunteered to be the model. She turned out to be fantastic as she previously had worked as a life model and could pose while remaining perfectly still and hold her breath while we exposed the images. The bulk of the photography was shot on a white gloss surface to contrast against the darker main images on the site, which has proved to be very effective and created lots of interest. So if you are looking for ideas and require something different give us a call!

This Month
Crock Pot Chill Pot


It may just be a coincidence but I included an article about Electrothermal this time last year. That image was from their laboratory division but the images above this year are a lot closer to some people's hearts as it is used to make dinners and cool drinks. The Crockpot Chillpot can boil water to heat Army ration packs and make tea and then can be switched to cool water when they are working in hot environments. We were asked to come up with some descriptive images that got the point across. So the product was dropped into an icy environment and in contrast to the desert scene. The foreground was created in the studio and the background was sourced from our image library and a commercially available image library. The set up and lighting was designed to allow the foreground and background to blend together in order to make the finished image look more realistic. This method is a whole lot cheaper than flying to the North Pole!


Flash Power

We like to maintain and update our equipment to try to keep us at the forefront of technology and have recently just finished an upgrade program of our studio lights. Our original Bowens packs are taking retirement and have been replaced by newer Quadx units. These new packs recharge much faster so we never miss a shot, allow us greater adjustment and give a much more consistent flash output. The flash duration is faster, freezing the action and they use less electricity making them greener too. An added bonus for Phil and I is that they are much lighter to carry on location.
If we added up the total power produced by all the kit in the studio it comes in at 61,000 joules. Which if laid end to end, single file in a line, would reach from the studio in Basildon to Norwich City Centre, which is nearly 90 miles of flash. If they were all fired simultaneously, the flash would be nearly as bright as the sun, so it's best not to look directly at it. Of course it would blow all the fuses and make everyone else's lights in Laindon flicker. So if you do require some photography, we now offer a tanning service too!

Dr Mark

Extreme Jpeg

In the past I have mentioned the damage repeated saving of images as Jpegs can cause and wanted to show some examples. So this month the above image shows our robot lady at various stages of degradation. We have repeatedly opened and saved the image and actually made a little video of the file changing (click here to see). What really interested us was how quickly the effect happen and Jpeg artefacts could be seen in the image after only 6-7 saves at a respectable setting (10 in Photoshop) It wasn't just the detail that was lost but the colour fidelity as well. At around 20-30 saves smooth colour graduation erupted in blocks and finally, when into the 100's the image gained a mosaic effect. Funnily enough the file sizes started to actually get larger! So my advice is if you have an image that require lots of work, which will be done over a period of time, save the image as a Tiff (without Jpeg compression) or as a PSD file. Although it does means we will all have to go out and buy much larger harddrives.

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