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photonews 30.07.2013

47 years ago England won the World Cup.

27 days until August Bank Holiday


01268 413811 

The Archive
Musto Jacket


Back in 1964 Keith Musto established the Musto brand by engineering a sailing range using quality fabrics to keep sailors warm dry and comfortable. Some 30 years later he diversified into casual clothing using the same high standards he had for his sailing range.
Musto sailing products often improve with age giving them character and a softer well worn look.
This season they have looked back at some of their favourite garments and incorporated the "Much loved, well worn look". Inspired by the back story we produced a series of images that reflected the same thinking. We went with the idea that the jacket had been thrown down after a hard days sailing. Emmie from Musto came well prepared with absolutely loads of props which she had acquired from the sales office and the deepest depths of the stock room.
We chose a rough wooden background, setting the scene dressed it with stones, nets, etc which complimented the Musto products and Emmie's props. To add drama to the image we lit the scene with a 15 inch matt beauty dish with the centre cap removed, positioned low to bring out all the texture. Reflectors were positioned around the set to stop the shadows from completely filling in. Then a vignette was added in Capture One (our camera software) to frame the image. As you can see the jackets were styled in a very loose relaxed way to give a contemporary feel.
Strangely for us there was very little post production, just a tweak of levels, an enhancement of colour and a little tidying up. This was perfect as the job was needed yesterday!!

This Month
spin and zoom coin

Peta-Uk Video

Peta-UK design very clever solutions for people with arthritis, reduced grip strength or disability.
Like a lot of companies, they had realised that they needed richer content on their website, especially as the products they sell have many important features.
The proposed short videos would act as a mini advertising demo as well a user guide for the Occupational Therapist/ Carers.
The plan was quite straight forward, an Occupational Therapist shows the key features and benefits of the product. In this case scissors designed to help children with special needs to develop their motor control. A child model would then use the product and a voice over emphasises the main points and explains how to use them. A location was found, as was our professional carer and child models. Filming went well, lots of tea, coffee and chocolate chip cookies! Rough edits were made to help finalise the scripts and all that was left to do was record the voice over. It had been agreed to do the recording at the client's offices as this meant all the experts would be on hand if there were any problems with dialogue etc.
It also helped being a nice quiet location, until the day of the recording! Maybe the road was being used for a diversion, or everyone just wanted to take the scenic route, but for whatever reason every 20 seconds a lorry came roaring by.
The poor voice over artist must have read the script a hundred times, not just to get the phrasing right but also to get a clean recording. In the end with some clever editing we got there.



In the Shadows

At last summer is here, lovely blue skies, full sun, not a hint of rain. You would imagine that photographers like us would finally be satisfied, but no we are not. We really are a fussy bunch. Our problem is that when you have extremely sunny conditions it increases the contrast ratios i.e. the difference between the highlights and the shadows. It can become so great that it's impossible to capture a scene without the shadows becoming black or the highlights going solid white.
Very often when shooting in daylight we get asked why we're using a flash, "It's lovely and sunny, you can't need more light." Well the answer is yes and the technique is called "Fill-In Flash". What we aim to do is lighten the shadow areas with the flash and balance the exposure, so that the highlights can be recorded properly. The ratio depends on the subject matter, and the amount of shape or texture you wish to show. Here comes the science bit… If the exposure is f11 at 125th of a second and you want a light ratio of 2 to 1, then you need to set the flash gun to f8 to deliver half the light of the ambient exposure. This should fill in the shadows but still retain some shape. As with most photographic techniques it can be used for other reasons.
If you under-expose the ambient light level but set the flash to the correct exposure you can create dramatic effects and make your subject stand out from a darker richer background.
If this is all getting a bit much, maybe its just best to give us a call and let us take the reading and pictures for you.

Dr Mark
Professor Mark

Steam Punk

As some of you may know in my distant past I used to be a sixth form tutor. My main subject was of course photography, but I also taught art and believe it or not pottery!
Teaching gets in your blood and after we took over Photographic Assignments I started to get involved with local colleges and helping students with studio sessions and work experience.
As you can imagine there is a huge difference between what can be taught in college and what can be observed and learnt in the real working environment.
More recently I have helped with adult education classes and for me that has been a real eye opener.
Most of the students have better 35mm gear than us! The latest model cameras with big shiny lenses and all the accessories.
I keep having to explain to them, that it's not the kit that makes the difference but the planning and thought processes. Also our gear has to pay its way, they are tools. We can't just buy equipment because we want it, we have to absolutely need it. Angela just wont allow it, even if I beg. These evenings usually work both ways, the students bring with them loads of enthusiasm, creativity and ideas, mainly mad ones, but you get the gist.
Generally they move in different circles and introduce to me new trends and fashions. So much so that I'm off to the charity shop to buy what I need to make my new Steam Punk outfit for the weekend. If you don't know what I'm talking about Google it. :-)

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