Monday, 7 December 2009

No Pixels where harmed

I have been on a bit of a quest to get my post work better and to learn to re-touch portraits. So I've taken some time out to read what I can and to practise. The thing is once to get on the pro re-touching angle everything starts to make sense. No more bluring of skin, no patching and infact no harm to pixels at all.
Lets look at it this way, we spend a fortune on cameras that can capture the smallest detail, along with the sharpest lenses. We shoot in raw (well at least we should) and then it comes to making some modifications to the image in photoshop and if we read some of even the best photoshop gurus, we get started with patch tools, clone tools etc and of course the blur tool to "smooth the skin" What we are doing is damaging pixels, you might not know it at first, but I can bet if you get an image printed large, and I do from time to time, you will notice the damage.
Recomendation for you, go and read works from Gry Garness Better still go any buy her retouching for CS4, its so worth the money at £24. Learn to re-touch with simpathy.
Beleve me, photoshop is so much better when No Pixels where harmed.


Monday, 27 July 2009

Strobist meet

I had a great time hosting the Wirral Strobist meet again. A smaller turn out this time, possibly due to it being mid week. It did give me a good chance to work one to one with a couple of great and enthusiastic photographers. Daz and Neil have realy embraced the strobist idea, and I took the chance to grab a couple of quick portraits of them.
The weather behaved and a good time was had by all.

A great mixture of modifiers, brollies, grids and softboxes used and also a play at high speed syncing with pocket wizzards. Got to organise the next one now :-)


Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Carture one

I recently downloaded the trial of Capture one. I have to say that I'm impressed with the workflow and the resultant images that it gives. I have been using bridge to work on my raw files but it has some limitations. Lightroom works well but the thing that really gets me with Capture one is the tethered option. I can tether my D700 straight into it and that's a great benefit. Nikon's camera control does what it says but then that's another bit of software to buy.
Comparing the pricing means that with the tethered option Capture one is actually making sense.
More examples and thoughts to come.


Sunday, 21 June 2009


Usually I am not a landscape kind of guy, it does not float my boat so to speak. Occasionaly I am in the right place at the right time and I get somthing resonable.
This was taken on a Wiral FlickR dusk till dawn shoot. Not the best weather and I called it a day about 1am.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Something different

I've been looking at new cars, need somthing bigger and more economical, final test today of the Vauxhall, Alfa is next on the list.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Masks we wear part 3

One of the final images from the "Masks we wear" series. I have a lot more of this series to come. Taken on the top of Helsby Hill in Cheshire with one SB800 speedlight and a shoot thru umbrella.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

The masks we wear part2

Ok so I have been on about this project for a while. Its a personal thing for me and essentialy its about the ballance of what we do. I have to be a businessman, artist, IT guy and most of all I have to be there for family. It can be a stuggle some times. This is just a quick shot of part of the series, hope you like,

Thursday, 21 May 2009

The masks we wear

Its been an eventfull week for me. No details but I have not had a camera in my hand for a few days, and that allways gets to me. I have a raft of new projects, ideas and just stuff I want to do.
I tried a few ideas out and one has stuck with me. This is just a test shot but it will give you a feel for part of the image I hope will come together this week.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Lost Light

Well the beginings of the portfolio site are now live. You can see the initial site before its moved to its dedicated server

Much to do,

Thursday, 14 May 2009

High Speed Sync

Hi Speed sync off camera,

Ok I found this by accident and it has become a very useful tool in my lighting. Tricking an off camera flash, be it a small hot shoe or a larger power pack strobe into high speed sync. I only know this works with Nikon, sorry all you Cannon shooters.

What you need:-

Camera, obviously!! Works with my D700 or D300 no problems and should work with any Nikon that has the Auto (FP) setting option in the camera.

SB800 Flash. I use the SB800 because, I have one and it’s got an external PC port.

A pair of pocket wizards. This does not work with the cheaper Chinese radio triggers, sorry but it just doesn’t.

An external flash that could be another hot shoe, or an AlienBee or an Elenchrom Ranger (if you have one I either hate you or love you, but only if you’ll lend it to me!!)

Ok, put your Nikon into High speed FP sync mode in the menu (that’s the flash, bracketing menu)

Put your SB800 on the camera in TTL mode and it will tell you it has gone into FP mode automatically.

Now comes the trick bit!!

Connect a PW via the camera flash port to the SB800. Take another PW and attach normally to the off camera flash you want to fire. Set your off camera flash to full power and bingo!! It syncs at whatever speed you want it to!!

I find it a great addition for adding some nice fill on a very sunny day, or stopping some fast motion. I know Nikons CLS will do the same, but it just does not have the range or work that well in very sunny weather for me.

Don’t ask me how it works, I don’t know.

Disclaimer- I have used this method on my cameras and not had a problem. If you fry a camera, flash or anything else trying this, don’t blame me.
Set up pics and test pics to follow.


Saturday, 9 May 2009

New Direction

We are splitting the blogs!!!
As part of our direction for the next year, we are splitting the blogs and soon to be web sites in two. MS photoraphy blog will keep you up to date with out comercial and sports orientated work and we are launching Lost-Light as a pure people photgraphy endeavour. Its going to be a fun 12 months or so pushing the boundries of what we can offer.
Catch the Lost-Light Blog HERE

A big thanks to tallented photographer Glyn Dewis for mentioning me on his Blog HERE Glyn asked for opinions on his new site and for those that know me, if you ask you will get an honest reply. For all you Nikon users Glyn has a very good description of using multiple exposures in camera to get some great effects.

Now down to work,

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Strobist Meet

Last week I organised a quick introduction to off camera flash for some FlickR members local to home. Got a good response and a few turned out at the marine lake in West Kirby for a brief intro to off camera lighting. I think it opened a few eyes as to the benifits of getting the flash off camera and using some light modifiers.I only took a couple of shots as I was talking alot (not like me, honest!) and giving a few pointers

Great backdrops of the Dee estury and the views into North Wales. Will be holding another in the not to distant future.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Lee & Natalie

Congratulations to Lee and Natalie on there wedding. As a guest I was not photographing, but could not resist getting a few shots in. Lee is also a very good photographer and could not resist texting me from there honeymoon in New York fron B&H photo.

DownHill Fast

A recent product shot of a friends downhill mountainbike, part of a series on downhill riding we are completing as a personal project.
Welcome to the new blog of MS photography. This is where we will publish some of the images and behind the scenes view of our work.