Monday 29 June 2009

Insight into the industry.

I'm fascinated by the shifting sands of the photographic industry

I came across this great piece by Michele McNally, assistant managing editor of the 'New York Times'

If you want to know where we are going and just a little bit more about where we have come from, do read it

I have learned a lot and it has sparked some interesting and lively debate.

And my Favorite lens is....

I hankered for one of these for just about ever but I never really understood just how good it was until I got one

When you shoot at F1.2 with this baby it elevates your work to a different level

In fact I know a photographer who has been asked to pitch for a major ad campaign based on pics he shot with this lens

When I was chatting with my photographer mates who own this lens we came up with a rather irreverent nickname for it

We call it the 'jesus' lens

It is nothing short of magical, super smooth bokeh

Frequently it is the only lens i walk out of the door with, if I could have one lens to use for the rest of my life this would be it, despite the drawbacks...


1. Cost £1800+ in the UK

2. Slow autofocus, great for portraits but sports would be a challenge

3. Size and weight, big and heavy (but I actually like that! it gives me much more stability in low light)

4. Shallowest depth of field ever. At F1.2 means that you can have someone's eyelashes sharp and their eyeball will be out of focus

5. As brilliant as the optics are, they do start to be somewhat challenged at full aperture, leading to a softness(which I like!) and dreaded purple fringing

Purple fringing is a type of chromatic aberration which occurs in high contrast areas (metallic objects are particularly prone to it)

I have found a very quick and easy way of correcting this though, or should I say those clever people at Phase One have

Using the lens correction tool in Capture One Pro, you simply click the purple fringing box and it is done!

Not using endless sliders like other software I could mention......

Check out the before.....note the nasty purple fringe around her face and on her earring

And the after....

And here is the final result

Monday 15 June 2009

'The Descendants' LATEST!

I must admit keeping all of my many personal projects going as well as the the day job (commercial photography) is a bit of a challenge right now.

Very recently I shot the latest set of images in 'The Descendants' series

It was a first for me as it included Helen Pankhurst, the direct descendant of Emeline Pankhurst, the founder of the Suffragettes movement.

Helen is the first woman in the series.

This is not ideal at all.

I want to feature MANY more women but they seem to be very difficult to find

If anyone has any suggestions I would be most grateful.

When a descendant walks into the room I always hold my breath, as you never know just how much of a resemblance there will be.

When I saw Helen, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up.

She looked very, very similar indeed.

As you can see.

I shot the image in a daylight studio without flash

1/15th sec at F4,120mm macro on my Phase One P45+

I try to use similar photographic techniques as in the original

It is real fun reflecting and blocking light with polyboards

Additive and subtractive fill

Opening and closing blinds so the light hits just the right parts of Helen and the set

Here is a short video of the shoot

Hope you find it interesting

I'm cramming my life in a bag right now, heading to Austria for a shoot which I will tell you about in a little while.....

Watch this space