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photonews 21.11.2013

1977 1st flight of Concorde London to NY 33 sleeps until Christmas  

www.photographicassignments.co.uk

 

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James Bond Calendar
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This Month
Examples of the Pages

James Bond

Obviously we dont like to talk about about it... but we have recently been undertaking some work for charity. A client of ours (Stu at Musto) started asking me some strange questions relating to photography and to cut a long story short, it transpired he had volunteered to design & photograph a charity calendar. Think Mums with buns & the Womens Institute. Realisticaly this would have been far too much for Stu to handle, so we offered to do the photography part & leave Stu to the design. So for four weekends the studio was full of volunteers willing to take on the rolls of classic Bond & Bond girls. Of course, some of this involved just lying on the cold studio floor, the tasteful shedding of clothing or being painted head to toe with gold. The guys mainly got away with shirts off or smart suits while looking mean and moody.The charity in question is The Alzheimers Society and all funds raised from the calendar were donated to them. If anyone is interested in buying a calendar then please contact us & we can see if there any more available. As you can see from the images, Stu, Tina (Organiser) and all the boys & girls did a fantastic job. The whole experience was great fun & I look forward to working with them again next year.

 
Blog
Poor Old G4 Mac

R.I.P

Our faithful old rip (a computer that drives the printer) has died. R.I.P I mention this as this was the first Mac G4 we bought after taking over the company. During that time it has had many roles, from the primary machine that ran the 5x4 scanning back to then becoming our designated retouching machine and finally driving the printers. Like many machines from that era it was essentially the same broom but it has had two new handles and two new heads. That was the joy of being able to update internals of computers. But now it has sadly died. To be fair I believe Angela has been through 3 PC's in that time and because we stick to a strict backup regime no data, software or images have been lost. So let this be a warning to all of you, to backup your drives regularly as this incident happened without warning. One day it was humming along merrily, then with a feeble sigh one of the processors popped. But don't be sad, the computer now has a brand new role in the afterlife as our doorstop. It's been replaced with a shiny, silver laptop, aka our old location MacbookPro. So the circle of computer life continues.

Technology
Effects of Shutter Speed

Shutter Speed

Following on from last month when we spoke about effects of aperture, this month we will touch on the influence of shutter speeds. In a nutshell, the shutter speed is how long the light is allowed to expose the film or chip in your camera. The longer the exposure, the more light but also the increased likelyhood for the subject to move. Now this can be good if you are photographing running water and want to create a smooth glassy look, but not so good if you are photographing the kids and they won't sit still. Of course, with all these things, there is no hard and fast rule as it can be used creatively, such as when you are panning a moving object, i.e. blurring the background but keeping the subject sharp. Alternatively using a faster shutter speed and freezing scenes that can't be seen with the naked eye, like water splashes. So, as guide, its best not to hand hold your camera if you are using a shutter speed less than 1/60th of second on a standard lens (faster if its a long lens) and if you are trying to freeze the kids playing in the garden, then you should be looking at 1/250th and above to keep them sharp. So to be on the absolute safe side, best practise is to always use some kind of support, which is why you always see us using a tripod or studio stand.

Dr Mark
Dr Mark

Best By Hand

As you can tell I'm a little saddened at the demise of one of my trusty old Macs. I must have spent a good couple of years sat in front of it retouching all your work, so its a real shame to see it go. Talking of retouching, a huge amount of post production took place for the charity calendar and it was all done by hand. No cheap & tacky short cuts, just lots of honest hard learnt photoshop work. All the photography was shot in the studio on the white infinity cove. Each shot was then individually lit to match the background shots (check out the pool image) and comped together by Stu. This was all dissmissed by a photographer I met at the calendar launch. She said it could all be done on a green screen with a computer plug in and that I should look at some of the examples that she had on her website. Unfortunately for her, the software she had used removed the tips of the models fingers, cut into their hair and generally bled in. Possibly fine for quick web snaps but not what I would allow or the standard a client would expect from us. So the moral of this story is beware when you are offered cheap retouching, especially clipping paths because you really do get what you pay for.

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