Archive for the Weekly Wonderings Category

Tea with Alice…. flash back to July 2016

Posted in Weekly Wonderings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 14 July 2017 by misselisabethuk

Recently I was asked to contribute some images to a charity fundraiser flyer and found myself going through some I took in my early days of photography, when it really was just a hobby hobby, before I signed up to a photography degree and joined a photography club etc.

It was going through these images when I realised I hadn’t posted any of the themed photo shoot images I took with Pinup Doll Alice Oxley back in July 2016.  I had posted a blog with the portrait shots of Alice but not the more themed ones.

So, a year on, I thought now was the time to put some of these images up for you to see. The theme was a 50s style tea party and I had big plans for the shoot but when the day came it was windy and I had to abandon some of the ideas I had.  This taught me that you should ‘always’ have a plan B and expect to re-assess your plans on the day and think on the hoof.  Also not to plan anything too elaborate, keep things simple where you can if you are working solo.

That said it was a brilliant shoot, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and think it was from that moment on that I realised that this was THE hobby for me.  Here are some of the images from the shoot:

Hope you enjoy this post and have a great weekend!

Lois Loren – Photoshoot – 1 July 2017 – The Images

Posted in Weekly Wonderings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 12 July 2017 by misselisabethuk

Following on from my last blog:

Date: 1 July 2017
Location: Underpass, under the Ito Way, Gillingham
Model: Lois Loren Rochester, Kent
Make-Up Artist (‘MUA’): by Lois

I now have some images I can share of my shoot with Lois:

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If you want to see more of my work then please head on over to my website at www.misselisabeth.co.uk

 

Let loose with a camera at the London Aquarium…

Posted in Weekly Wonderings with tags , , , , , , , , on 7 July 2017 by misselisabethuk

I bought a ticket via Eventbrite to go to the London Aquarium (28 June 2017) to learn some techniques for taking photographs underwater.  This workshop I thought was very reasonably priced at £25.00, given entrance to the Aquarium during normal opening hours was not much different.  It felt a bit ‘night at the museum’ only ‘..at the Aquarium’ with up to about 30 people there after closing.

The evening started with a presentation given by INON UK on composition and low-level lighting techniques.  To summarise some of the points of interest raised:

  • get the camera settings right first before taking a shot,
  • think about contrast (opposing colours), textures, the focal point (the eye) and rule of thirds,
  • get close up to subjects.  Your underwater mask will make subjects appear 33% closer and 25% bigger,
  • shoot at eye level,
  • heads wins / tails lose.  Try to get the subject approaching rather than swimming away,
  • try to capture reflections, light shafts and silhouettes for more creative outcomes.

Once the talk was over the practical started.  I attempted panning with the sharks, capture a glimpse of a hiding seahorse, swam with the turtles and laughed at the clown fish to name a few.  I thoroughly recommend this experience if you can take time to go, and what’s more the proceed from the evening go to charity.

Here are the results of my efforts:

Not bad for a first attempt and I would definitely give this a go again and although I am claustrophobic when it comes to being underwater, I was even tempted to try the real thing.  See if I can pluck up the courage…

And so I come to the close on another photographic exploit.  I hope you all have a great weekend, until next time…

Lois Loren – Photoshoot – 1 July 2017

Posted in Weekly Wonderings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 7 July 2017 by misselisabethuk

Had a really great shoot with Lois last weekend we tried a lot of different things out, from ideas I had initially when booking the shoot to some that just came to us on the day whilst being in this amazing location.  Lois and I have worked together a number of times now so we are familiar with how each works – what works and what doesn’t.  There is also a trust that comes with working with someone a number of times, that the result is going to be something that you are both going to be proud of.

Before any shoot Lois and I set up a Pinterest board and both add our ideas to it so we get a feel for what we are both aiming for on the day and it is from there that we decide the wardrobe, makeup and props for the shoot.  I try to limit the wardrobe to a couple of options and then play around with composition and lighting.  Usually we get more than we need to on a 2/3 hour shoot.  I’ve found that unless you have a big production always go simple, it’s the simple ideas, simple wardrobes that work best as you can get creative with lighting, poses etc as well.  There is an endless stream of potential outcomes anyway without getting two complicated with wardrobe and props, which risk too much time being spent on them rather than the photographic output.

Prior to the shoot I did a recce of the location I had stumbled across (not literally) when I was out running one morning. These are the photos I took initially of the location, a few weeks prior to the shoot:

I wanted to see what the light was like and envisage what it might be like on shoot day, trial what settings I needed on my camera and what lens/es I needed to use to get different shots.

I decided for this shoot that I would be a bit more camera orientated as I have been trying out different cameras and mediums of late.  So I decided I would parallel run with my Canon 5D mark III as my main camera, then have some fun with a Konica C35 automatic 35mm camera loaded with a Kentmere ISO 400 black and white 35mm film (still to be developed) and an old Polaroid Impulse camera loaded with a colour 8 exposure Impossible film.

After a shoot I pull all the images together and send them over as digital contact sheets to Lois to choose from.  So, for this post I cannot show you all the digital contacts or film output but what I can show you is one particular digital shot that I had in my mind’s eye which I have already shared in Instagram and the output from the Polaroids.

First the Polaroids:

I was really pleased with these, they give a real 80s vibe and I will definitely shoot Polaroid again.  The other image which I wanted to share on this blog post is one of the digital images already shared on Instagram:

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I wanted to express the feeling of isolation and thought that this was a good metaphor for the idea of limbo, “Limbo is a place where all you can do it wait”.  Recently a person I am close to suffered a mental health episode and was sectioned and whilst this is difficult for that person, those around them are also dealing with a situation which is equally if not more distressing.

It’s difficult to capture the situation in its entirety in this blog post but by having first hand experience of this I can see that both sides are equally isolated, in limbo at the hands of the human condition.  Although we are more aware of mental health nowadays, people in general still do not want to talk about it and those that face living with someone with mental heath issues are often avoided, ‘tarred with the same brush’, because people feel awkward and are unable to deal with it.

As a result of this I have also been thinking more about us as a human race; we strive to prolong life by keeping our bodies fit but ultimately not a lot is known about the brain and what can be done for the ageing brain and maybe, just maybe, the concept of zombie-ism is that the body lives on but our mental capacity dies leaving a body fit as a host physically but with an unfit brain….. hence a zombie craves a new brain to survive…. food for thought?!

On that note, enjoy your day it’s a beautiful day in the UK and I am aiming to get outside and take some more Polaroids, black and white this time.  Take care all.  Peace!

Saal Digital Photo-book Review

Posted in Weekly Wonderings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 3 April 2017 by misselisabethuk

“I’m really pleased with my photo-book from Saal Digital.  It showcases my work and acts as the perfect keepsake; documenting my journey from beginner, to student, to experimental photographer perfectly” by MissElisabeth

Saal Digital  has been running a number of different offers where you can try out their printed products (up to a particular value) in return for a review of the product purchased.

So, who is Saal Digital?

Saal Digital Fotoservice GmbH is one of the leading suppliers of photo products in Europe.

“We are a professional photo lab with great enthusiasm for photography. We are striving for further development of our products in order to achieve higher standards and to meet the needs of our customers. As a modern online service provider, we are specialized in high-quality photo products, including photobooks, photo prints, posters, calendars, greeting cards, wall decors (Alu-Dibond, acrylic glass, PVC foamboard, GalleryPrint), as well as photo gifts.”

Before I go headlong into the full review, I want to say that I have found communications with Saal Digital to be professional, personable, polite and helpful, which in itself is a big selling point before you even get on to the quality of the products that they offer.

Over the past number of weeks I have been posting pages from my photo-book on my Instagram, Twitter and personal Facebook feeds ahead of the full review which you can now find here.  So to my review:

I have to confess that the deadline for my free trial was fast approaching so I had to work quickly but this in itself was a good test of the ease of use of Saal digital’s online work flow and ordering system.

The software downloaded from the web site within minutes and I was very quickly up and running ready to select the product I wanted to trial and the photos I wanted to include.  The hardest part of the process for me was selecting the product I wanted to trial; I had not ordered a photo-book in a while, certainly not from a specialist company such as Saal Digital, so there were some choices I was unfamiliar with.

For ease, and a personal record of my work, I took all the selected images from those which I had entered in to my Photography club competitions or had taken with these competitions in mind and which were already saved as a jpeg of a print quality.  The selects were from my best/favourite images at the time of ordering.

Within an hour of going on the website I had downloaded the software, selected the images, decided on the layout and ordered my chosen photo book.  I chose a 21 x 28 A4 portrait glossy photo-book with 26 pages, unpadded cover without a barcode.  This would normally retail at £39.95.  The postage cost for this product was £4.95.

Please note: You should refer to the Saal Digital web page on ICC profiles and monitor calibration which can be found here.

So, what did I like about the software?

It was easy to download and once downloaded it was very easy to select the required overall product, style options and layouts required.

Swapping page layouts and the number of images per page worked well and quickly. Even when I had already selected the photos I wanted on a particular page I was still able to change the layout and keep the original photos in place (i.e. just change the layout).  I noted that if you were changing from portrait to landscape layouts (or vice verse) there was a bit of re-sizing required, as you would expect, but this was easily done with the useful snap guides.

Each image dragged and dropped into the layout is assessed for image print quality and then rated – in my case I had green rated ‘good’ images and green rated ‘very good’ images, so I felt confident that what would come back in my photo-book would be of the correct quality.

The images imported ‘snap’ to the layouts and I found this particularly impressive with the full-page image layout.

You can add whatever text you want on each page in a variety of different fonts, colours and size etc. and pretty much wherever you want on the page.  Due to self-inflicted time restrictions I did not use this function to its full capacity but with more time I would have definitely used this more.  I would recommend that you spend some time planning your photo-book before going to the online drafting stage to make the most of your product purchase.

What did I NOT like about the software?

There is not a lot of criticism I can give if I’m honest.  The only thing that struck me was that there are a number of advanced more complex features within the software which I did not really understand or indeed try to use.  However, if you are producing these photo-books for your business and used to the optionality normally available (rather than being an amateur like me producing a photo-book more as a record of my development than anything else) then the advanced features probably make sense to you.

The ordering process was easy, once I had reviewed the book and approved it the same software went to take my details, although I had to create a log in at this stage it was still straight forward to do. Also I was surprised how quickly the item was dispatched and received within the postage fee.   I received good communications about where my order was in the ordering cycle, no complaints.

But what about the quality of the product?

I was surprised (in a good way) by the quality of the pages, which were gloss and felt substantial.  I loved the wrap around photo on the front and back cover of the book.  This finish on this was lovely.

The gloss finish of the pages inside reminded me a bit of a child’s book in some respects as the pages could be easily wiped clean, which for a coffee table book would be an advantageous attribute as I imagine the book would potentially need to withstand spillages of food and drink and a bit of man-handling from guests thumbing through the pages.

I am pleased with the A4 size as it also allowed for a double page spread of an A3 landscape image, as well as smaller montage images which you can see in the images below of my photo-book.

I would definitely order from Saal Digital again and more probably as part of my Photography degree studies; I can see that their services/products would be advantageous in my arsenal when preparing for formal assessments.

To end here are a number of the images from the book.  These are not full quality images shown in this blog (some can be found on my official website) instead they are just a representation of my book and it’s layout and how I chose to present my photos on this occasion:

If you are a photographer or even someone who likes to keep their memories safe for future generations I would definitely recommend you take a look at Saal Digital’s website and their products and services.

I have provided some links below to some of the images referenced above should you wish to explore my photography further:

Reflex Photographic Club Blog Post – Winning Image  – 24 November 2016
Lois Loren Blog Post – 15 October 2016
Panning at Brands Hatch – 29 May 2016
Pin Up Doll Alice Oxley – July 2016
Dockside Photography – July 2016

I can also now be found on Fine Art America, where some of my images including the Red Racing car shown above can be purchased.

Lois Loren – Photoshoot – 12 November 2016 – The Images

Posted in Weekly Wonderings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 25 November 2016 by misselisabethuk

Following on from my last blog:

Date: 12 November 2016
Location: Home Studio, Medway – www.misselisabeth.co.uk
Model: Lois Loren Rochester, Kent
Make-Up Artist (‘MUA’): Maria Bradley Rainham, Kent

Lois chose her images and she is now in receipt of all but one so I thought I would share a few of the images with you, as I promised I would…

If you are interested in the work that I am doing then please visit my website www.misselisabeth.co.uk or Twitter or Facebook

Hope you are having a great week – roll on the weekend!

Lois Loren – Photoshoot – 12 November 2016

Posted in Weekly Wonderings with tags , , , , , , , , on 13 November 2016 by misselisabethuk

Date: 12 November 2016
Location: Home Studio, Medway – www.misselisabeth.co.uk
Model: Lois Loren Rochester, Kent
Make-Up Artist (‘MUA’): Maria Bradley Rainham, Kent

Another great shoot with these two lovely ladies.  Both Lois and Maria are great to work with, they are both very patient, good company and professional.  I would definitely recommend them if you’re thinking of hiring a model or make-up artist (MUA).

The brief for this shoot was something a little bit wintery (aiming for a mono-chrome look) and then a glitzy party theme (aiming for high colour – blue).

For this shoot I decided to buy a couple of new light modifiers, a 45 degree reflector with grid and a 55cm beauty dish with grid and diffuser from Essential Photo.  I also bought some blinging jewellery from Ever Faith and some twinkly blue LED lights from Excelvan.

The most difficult part of the shoot was balancing the studio lights on the model with the LED lighting in the background, as studio lights can strip the colour out of other normal lights.  I’m not sure I was entirely successful but I should be able to do something in post to make them stand out more.

As before Lois gets a choice of photos so I will post some once that process has been completed.

The other thing this shoot reinforced to me is that although you may have planned and decided what your shoot will be, in my experience this is fluid due to the ‘on-the-day creativity’ phenomena.  If you are doing a shoot for fun and not to a strict brief, an amazing thing happens when minds come together, creativity happens and ideas start to flow and before you know it you are creating something outside of your original idea that’s organic, unpredictable, spontaneous and in some cases magical.  And I think it is this aspect that I am enjoying the most from my last few shoots.  It’s liberating.

I can’t wait to share the results with you, however, in the meantime have a great week.

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