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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

 

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.

Sunday fun…

Posted in Weekly Wonderings with tags , , , , , , , , on 18 September 2016 by misselisabethuk

A quick post really to share a photo I took this morning.

I haven’t been completely happy with my 70-300mm lens but I think that’s mainly because I have been using it in the wrong situations.  Also I like taking photos hand-held and feel restricted mounting a tripod for the longer focal length shots where there is not enough light to crank up the shutter speed.

Sometimes it’s all about acting on an opportunity and this morning was one of those times.  There was a bird perched on an aerial on the house at the back of mine and I thought I could do some silhouette photography.  So I went inside changed my lens to my 70-300mm lens and wondered if I would be able to quickly take the shot hand held before the moment passed.

I steadied myself against a wall and put the lens on stabilisation setting 2 and hoped for the best.  By the time I got myself sorted a few of the bird’s mates turned up so it worked out better than I had anticipated.

There was a bit of manipulation in Lightroom in that I cropped the image a bit and lowered the black point /upped the white point to make sure I got a good contrast silhouette.  And volia….

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Hope you are all having a great weekend!

Southbank Skateboarders – 12 August 2016

Posted in Weekly Wonderings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 3 September 2016 by misselisabethuk

As some of you may know I am currently studying a photography degree and as a result of my 3rd Assignment – ‘The Decisive Moment’, which I have now submitted, I found myself at the Southbank Skate Park armed with my camera ready to take some action photography.  We had a number of options with regards to what methods we could use and I chose the ‘frozen moment’ i.e. freezing the action (for those of a technical disposition this means using a high shutter speed).

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I got there but it was a lovely summers evening so the park was buzzing with skateboarders and people in general and I was pleased to see the tourists were taking photographs.  This meant apart from my slightly bigger lens I didn’t feel too inconspicuous.

Luckily there were a number of skateboarders doing some really good tricks so I snapped away.  There was one particular skateboarder who was trying to master a trick so he was doing the same trick over and over again, this was great for me as it meant I could set up my focus point where I knew he was going to jump and then wait until he got to that point before pressing the shutter button.

After I had got everything I needed, I thanked the skateboarder for putting up with my persistent endeavors but would like to thank you again Luca Menegon, you really helped me out!

Here are some of the photographs I took of Luca on the day:

 

If you decide you want to give this a try I would definitely recommend you check out Josh Katz’s video – Skateboarding Photography For Beginners, which covers 10 simple steps to get started in skate photography.

Also for some inspiration take a look at some skateboard photographers work, I found a list on an online skateboarding photo magazine: http://skateboardingphoto.co.uk/

Hope you are all having a great weekend!

Dockside, Chatham (3 photos)…

Posted in Weekly Wonderings with tags , , , , , , , on 31 July 2016 by misselisabethuk


That’s all… Hope you are all having a lovely weekend. 

Norris the Snail…

Posted in Weekly Wonderings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 22 May 2016 by misselisabethuk

This morning I was visited by Norris, an older more experienced member of the snail community.

As we kicked back and discussed world issues he told me about his near death experience with a lawnmower that he had only the other week.  He showed me his injuries which for him were luckily only a slightly shaved head and chipped but not too badly damaged shell (some would disagree).  However, we agreed it could have been a lot worse.

I said I was pleased he had escaped this almost terminal accident, a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, as he was a kindly snail and deserved longevity (although this doesn’t always follow).

Before he went I asked if he minded if I took a few photographs of him as I was trying to improve my photography skills and could he help me out with this.  Of course Norris agreed.  So here are the photographs I took and I would like to dedicate this post to Norris and his snail friends and family…

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It’s all about the… photography…

Posted in General Scribbings with tags , , , , , , , , on 12 March 2016 by misselisabethuk

Hello all.  Hope you are well and taking 2016 by storm.

I haven’t posted on here for a while and for that I apologise but it is for a very good reason – I have another blog set up.

Now don’t get all upset and worried, I haven’t defected and left you all in the lurch to float around aimlessly in wordpress-dom without me, the reason I have set up another blog is for necessity.  It is because I have taken the plunge and gone back to academia and have started a photography degree…. stay with me…let me explain…

Some of you will have seen that I started posting a lot of my own photos on this blog and you may also have seen that I created my own very basic website dedicated to my photography, and in general the photo taking side of things is going very well.  I’m learning loads about the technical side of photography.  However, I thought it was time, being that I was enjoying the medium so much, that I knew more about the world I am starting to immerse myself in; practitioners of photography, history of photography, the art of photography etc.

And so here I am, last month I enrolled on a BA (Hons) Photography degree with the Open College of the Arts, part time alongside my day job and my new blog is an aid to my learning and assessment process.  It is on that blog that I am/will be posting my assignments, research updates, exercises carried out, field trip reviews and much much more.

If you would like to keep track of how I am doing and comment on anything that I post feel free to do so… you can find my new blog here: OCA Learning Log

In the meantime I will be posting on this site more of my non-academic related thoughts and photos, so please stay with me here even if you are not interested in the other things I am doing over on my other blog.

So here’s to a new ventures, no matter how daunting they may feel to start with and have a great weekend!

Here are my latest experimental photography endeavours… I wanted to play with lighting, reflection and colour tone to create different ‘feels’…

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