Fed by Photos – Niall and Charlotte Benvie

x-Rite i1Display Pro, NEC Spectraview 272, Retina MacBook Pro and legacy Adobe CS.

Posted by in technical

Upgrading computers and displays is often as fraught as it is essential. These are as fundamental to our work as cameras and lenses and unlike cameras, there are expensive consequences of getting too far behind with upgrades. I recently ran into a number of problems when I replaced my 8 year old NEC 2690 Spectraview for a new Spectraview 272 Reference, a 4 year old MacBook Pro with a new one, and an antique Gretag Macbeth i1 Display 2 with an x-Rite i1Display Pro. Moreover, I wanted to be able to continue…read more

Objectograph Grid Maker

Posted by in technical

Followers of my photography will be aware that I am fond of “objectographs” where numerous elements are brought together in a single piece of work. Often these are leaves or stones shot in the field studio against a pure white, backlit background, sometimes they are extracts of larger objects, such as featured on the granite panel, here. When I started to make objectographs 8 years ago, I did it the hard way with Photoshop, carefully measuring out margins and gaps, making use of the grid feature. Latterly, the job has…read more

Camranger and portraits

Posted by in technical

I had little use for an iPad until I discovered how useful it was for gathering model releases with the ReleaseMe app. Now I would never go back to paper release. But it has really come into its own when paired the CamRanger to create a local wifi network. If you’ve not had a look at this (albeit slightly pricey) device you’re in for a pleasant surprise. I recently photographed about 60 students and 18 member of staff at my children’s school for the Senior Years’ Yearbook. Eliot, as head boy, took full advantage…read more

Easy lighting for iPhone close ups

Posted by in Carlotta's Chocolates, technical

When Charlotte is at work in the chocolate kitchen she, understandably, doesn’t appreciate softboxes, tripods, reflectors and stands when all she needs is an image for Facebook. But I’m picky when it comes to lighting photos, though, and won’t let an iPhone snap lit by built-in flash pass muster. We’ve found a good compromise by shining a 500 Lumens LED Lenser X7R torch through a piece of Flyweight envelope stiffener, my choice of diffusion material for the last two decades. The light is daylight balanced and the Flyweight creates a large bright source with highly feathered…read more

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ReleaseMe app.: the easiest way to collect releases.

Posted by in professional practice, technical

During a number of commissions for the Forestry Commission and Woodland Trust here in Scotland I have been required to photograph lots of complete strangers. This is a nice challenge that requires the photographer to strike up an almost instant rapport with “the talent” who, when they put a lead on their dog that morning, probably didn’t expect to be photographed for publication later that day. But there is nothing guaranteed to turn the mood more at the end of the short session that a photographer producing a pile of dog-earned model release…read more

A great tool for workshop leaders: the CamRanger

Posted by in technical

You can read all about the technical aspects of the CamRanger (including compatible cameras) here but what is far more interesting, I think, is it’s usefulness to workshop leaders. How often have you had your group bunched round your camera’s rear screen as you try to explain what you’ve been doing. Only one or two are close enough to see it properly, then in switches off. No one really learns very much. With the CamRanger, you create a local wireless network that sends your images directly to an iPad or smartphone…read more