Grosvenor Pulford Shoot

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Here are some images from a model shoot at the Grosvenor Pulford. I met up with some photographer friends and a couple of models and we spent a couple of hours testing different things. The models did a great job, despite being their first time and we took some shots indoors and braved the harsh light outside to test some off camera flash situations. Great practice for a wedding, when there is no time to try – you just have to know!

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2012 Week 10 – 35L Portrait

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Canon 35L @ f1.4, 1/1250 ISO100. This lens is awesome! I cannot take it off my camera again. In fact, I’m never letting it go and you’re gonna have to tear it out of my cold dead hands when I die…. Unless the 50L or 85L come my way, this is my favourite lens for the foreseeable future. Canon’s L primes are just unreal.

Caergwrle Castle - Marie Lloyd Photography

Do I really have to explain why?? 🙂

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2012 Week 9 – Ruthin Castle Flowers

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Canon 70-200 2.8L @ 70mm, ISO3200 f2.8 1/15s – it was rather dark! Good job this lens has IS 🙂

Wedding bouquet detail shot at Ruthin Castle

I love this shot! I saw the funnel shaped shadow coming through the door at the side of the bar and when the bar quietened down as people had gone to eat, I borrowed the flowers and shot this. Completely ambient light, with just a bit of colour correction and contrast added in post. A tip of the hat to Eric Yerke‘s work which you can see on this very blog!

2012 Week 8 – Peckforton Castle Bridal Portrait

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Canon 35L @ f3.2, 1/100, ISO1600. 580EXII flash in a Lastolite 54cm softbox with grid, triggered by Radio Poppers manually.

Wedding portrait of bride in Wine Cellar at Peckforton Castle

This was the first proper live test of three new things together! A new lens (35L), Radio Poppers Px system and the Lastolite softbox with grid. I have of course used them all prior to the wedding, but this was a real world test with the pressure on. 🙂

The room was really dark – f1.4 @ 1/40, ISO3200 – for a normal exposure, so I underexposed the ambient about 4 stops and positioned the single light to around 45 degrees camera right and checked with a Sekonic meter. The main shot was a full length portrait with the sandstone column central and bride directly in front, but I also shot this to give her a little more placement in the surroundings by bringing in the bar in the background. If I did it again, I’d maybe move her a little more left of camera and pull back a little further to keep her wholly within the column, but I’m pretty pleased as it is!

2012 Week 7 – Four Rings

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Canon 100L Macro f4 ISO800 1/100. Lit with a video light above and slightly left of camera.

Wedding Rings at Peckforton Castle on an old lock

I always look forward to the ring shot at a wedding and try to come up with something different each time. Marie spotted the round handle on the door to the strong room at Peckforton Castle, Cheshire and suggested tying it in with the rings and so we came up with this!

2012 Week 6 – The Dee at Chester

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Sigma 50mm ISO400 f5.6 1/125. A pretty straightforward view of the River Dee from the Queens Park suspension bridge.

The bridge was originally built in 1852 but when Chester Corporation accepted the responsibility for the bridge, they decided to demolish it. This happened in August 1922 and a new bridge took its place. The opening of the current bridge took place on 18 April 1923. Here you can see the bandstand at The Groves, The Lady Diana and The Mark Twain showboats.

Chester River Show Boats - Lady Diana & Mark Twain

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Lastolite 54cm Ezybox

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After buying and being impressed with a 90cm Westcott softbox, I decided to try out a more portable version and ordered the Mini Apollo kit. These work in a similar way to the larger unit and the flash is fully contained within the softbox. Unfortunately, with any sort of hotshoe mounted trigger the flash will not fit inside due to the umbrella style of the mount. I also tried with my Radio Poppers which mount on the front of the flash but no joy.

So, I sent it back and plumped for the horribly expensive Lastolite 54cm Ezybox Hotshoe kit. I found a deal for about £170 which included a grid to reduce the spread of light, a nice quality lightstand and a short handheld stand for holding the box up. It’s all good quality kit and the only issue I had to address was again mounting the flash on the back of the unit. Using the Radio Poppers requires you to use their specific shoe for the flash which has a screw thread in the base. The lastolite expects you to mount the flash using a hotshoe clamp, so I had to ditch this and buy a decent size thumbscrew. All works a treat now I figured it out!

The softbox connects to the ring mount literally by squashing it in – a little disconcerting, but time will tell if it’s a reliable solution. The softbox and stands come with their own good quality fleece lined bags and the softbox folds up to fit. The grid attaches with velcro and works well, but you do lose a lot of light even when the subject is directly in front. Quite how much, I’ll have to measure with a meter but it does a fine job of controlling spill as it’s quite a deep grid.

Lastolite 54cm Softbox with grid

Lastolite Portrait with grid on 54cm softbox

These first two images are taken indoors with the grid using a 24-70L and below are a couple taken outside with the Sigma 50mm 1.4. I’m amazed that these are basically straight out of camera – the contrast and colour are really nice using the Lastolite softbox.

Portrait with Lastolite 54cm softbox

Lastolite Softbox portrait - off camera flash

I’m using it for it’s first wedding next weekend, so I’ll see how it goes.

2012 Week 5 – The Old Camera

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Canon 24-70 f2.8L @ 35mm. ISO400 f5.6 1/160 Lit with a 60cm sq softbox with grid.

No. 3A Folding Autographic Brownie
We found this camera in amongst some of Marie’s gran’s things stored in an old suitcase from the 1950’s. There are loads of images from it from 1949-51 in Ceylon (Sri Lanka), along with various newspapers, RAF papers, postcards and all sorts of other interesting paraphernalia. It had a list price of $18 (about $400 in todays money) when it was made by the Eastman Kodak Company, who are in dire financial trouble right now and may be about to disappear for good, making this image somewhat topical. It still seems to be in working order, but quite where you can buy A122 roll film from these days is anyone’s guess….

Here’s a bit of blurb I found on the web.

The No. 3A Folding Autographic Brownie Camera was manufactured by the Eastman Kodak company from 1916 to 1926. Capable of taking ten exposures, 3 1/4 x 5 1/2 inches on no. A 122 roll film cartridge. Constructed with a metal body covered in a durable imitation leather. The hardware is finished with nickel and black enamel. Features included the autographic feature to personalize the photo, adjustable focus with automatic focusing lock, reversible ground glass finder and two tripod sockets. The camera measures 1 11/16 x 4 5/16 x 9 5/16 inches when closed and weighs 32 ounces.

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2012 Week 4 – Marie with Texture

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Canon 70-200 2.8L @ f3.5 ISO400 150mm.

We had a photo shoot this week with a couple whose wedding is coming up soon and I grabbed a quick portrait of Marie during the session. I liked the slight over exposure on her face, the wind giving a bit of life to her hair and the muted brown colour palette. I figured it needed a little texture on the background, so had a play with Photoshop and came up with this.

All natural light, just a little contrast boost, the texture (masked roughly from her face and body), sharpened and exported.

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2012 Week 3 – Fire up the Quattro!

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Canon 24-70 at 35mm 1/50s f5.6 ISO200

Two 580EXii’s on lightstands moved around various locations and heights either side of the car, always equal on each side. 1/8th power. Then a flash composite created from 9 or 10 images, masked a little due to strong reflections on the number plate but mainly each layer just had the blend mode set to lighten. Then a bit of tone mapping to create the HDR look and a touch of mist (as the wind was not blowing the right way for the smoke bombs to do their stuff….)

This car was actually Marie’s 30th birthday present, it’s a 2.0TDi 170bhp Quattro Sportback with a good helping of extras. Lots of fun to drive and does 50mpg – well recommended, especially at this time of year with 4wd and heated seats! 🙂

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