Archive for liz515728

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!

It’s all about the light…. and taking great photographs of people!

Posted in Weekly Wonderings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 26 October 2016 by misselisabethuk

As some of you may know I have two blogs currently running, one for the first module of my BA Hons in Photography (Expressing Your Vision) and this one, which is more a record of my thoughts and gives you a glimpse in to my life, likes and other shizzles.  Some might say this is the more interesting blog, some might say “What you talkin’ ’bout Willis”, anyhoo….

Today I went on a photography lesson carried out by a Pret-a-Portrait photographer. I always like to sniff out these opportunities whilst on holiday as they invariably impart some small priceless piece of information which becomes invaluable later.  This lesson was no different; a couple of golden nuggets of information was shared and I will share them with you in this blog.

The lesson was primarily focused about studio lighting for portraits, which is one of my current interests so I used the session to maximise my understanding of how lighting works and fortuitously part four of my course is about light so it was very apt and topical.

The first part of the lesson was a standard presentation.  I had been to one of these session before so knew the format but the additional things I learnt, which maybe I should have already known, were:

  • When the shutter button is pressed one door (curtain) opens and when the shutter closes another door (curtain) shuts.  Many times I have seen the ‘second curtain’ referenced and I now know this means the closing shutter.
  • It is OK in studio to use 200-400 ISO so you can increase the aperture.
  • Hard light produces dark shadows and soft light produces lighter shadows.
  • A smaller light source produces harder light than a larger light source.
  • The terms ‘High Key’ and ‘Low Key’ are derived from the main light source, known as the Key Light.
  • The broad side is when the side lit by the Key Light is facing the camera and the narrow (or ‘short’) side is when the side not lit by the Key Light, the shadow side is  facing the camera.

This may have all been obvious but it is good to hear someone tell you, and also see it done in practice.

The next part of the lesson was the practical bit….

All these images were taken as ISO 400, 1/200 sec. and f/22.  I used my Canon 70D and my Sigma 17-50mm lens which was mostly used at the long end (i.e. 50mm).

The first image (top row, left hand side) shows a High Key set up.  This was achieved by having two lights lighting up the background and a large octobox as the Key Light.

The second image (top row, middle) was achieved by turning off the two lights which were lighting up the background.  This is almost Rembrandt lighting; the main light source is at 45 degrees to the subject and a second light source (which is missing here) is about 1 f-stop less bright directly behind the camera (to lighten the shadows). 

The third image (top row, right hand side) was achieved using a black back ground and a beauty dish.

The fourth image, complete with lens flare, (bottom row, left hand side) was achieved by using a standard reflector with a grid on.  A grid stop the light spilling out of the sides of the light modifier and directs the light in one direction.

The fifth image (bottom row, middle) was achieved by placing a white screen on the opposite side of the subject to the light source to reflect the light spilling past the subject.

The sixth image (bottom row, right hand side) was achieved by placing a black screen on the opposite side of the subject to the light source to absorb the light spilling past the subject.

It is important if you are going to be a portrait photographer that you make your subject/s feel relaxed; talk to them to make them feel at ease, tell a joke, make fun of yourself – whatever works!  You will get more natural shots if there is a relaxed atmosphere.

Lastly, a word about ‘posing’ there are a number of different approaches to this:

1 – The completely un-posed picture – choosing a good spot and waiting for the right moment.  Stage manage.

2 – The posed picture – directing the subject to a precise pose and look but taking their mind off being photographed.

3 – The semi-posed picture – arrange and direct to a point then leave an element of chance.  This option may result in more photographs but you will not know which will turn out the best until the shoot is over.

Hopefully this has given you some food for thought when trying out your own photography.  I certainly now have a lot more set ups I now want to try (and practice) as a result.

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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Time for some guitar 15_04_2016

Posted in Weekly Wonderings with tags , , , , , , , , on 15 April 2016 by misselisabethuk

Hope you enjoy today’s photographs courtesy of my new Sigma 105mm f/2.8 macro lens and Canon 70D camera.  I applied a NIK filter which google are giving away free at the moment, so why wouldn’t I?

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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