A Wedding Photography Bonanza!

To complete a trio of consecutive wedding-related posts, here’s one about my latest wedding adventure… The Rob Pugh Wedding Photography Bonanza!

I first met Rob back at the Gadget Show 2014 when we were both running Olympus cameras.  Since then we’ve both moved onto the Sony platform, but that’s a story for another day…  I did a photo walk around Bristol with Rob later in 2014, where I learned ways to set the camera up in the most efficient way using quick access buttons.

The Wedding Photography Bonanza workshop was a three day event to learn all about the wedding photography business.  From running a business, workflows for editing, albums and printing, lighting, and of course some shooting practice. Again Rob’s expertise in efficiencies shone through.

I learned so much, and realised the stark difference between a serious hobbyist like me who does the odd paid wedding or shoot, and a full-time pro who’s invested the time to get all their processes the most efficient and effective way they can be.  A good example of this is photo editing…  For Silvia and Dave’s wedding I spent around 40 hours editing the photos, whereas Rob would have spent less than six.  Using presets he’s built in Capture One his editing is so fast, and the results so good, he has more time for other income-generating work. 

A few other bits I learned were…  Using Rotolight kits to light brides and grooms and using the clever adjustable colour temperature to match other light sources and make the light look so natural (many of the photos below used Rotolight Neo 2 and Aeos lights).  Using Shootproof to build photo galleries for happy couples with print fulfillment using Loxley Colour.  And using Fundy Designer to design albums, again with print fulfillment by Loxley.

The day I enjoyed the most was shooting with three models, Sorcha, Jessica, and Marc, in wedding clothes.  We did shoots in a church, on the street (with lots of bemused looks from passers by), in a park, and in the hotel where we set up for the three days.  The models were all great, even with a chilly wind blowing outside, and assisted by make up artist Katie

These are some of the best photos I’ve ever taken, and it’s spurred me on to think about doing more photos of people with some proper lighting, and maybe more weddings too. In fact, after posting a few photos from the day I had a wedding photography enquiry! With The Photography Show coming up next month I’ll definitely be looking out for Rotolight and Capture One deals.

Magnificent Men and Their (Tiny!) Flying Machines

Last weekend I was invited to a local model aircraft flying club.  I drove out to rural Oxfordshire, down a dirt track, past a couple of farms, and was greeted with a great variety of model aircraft and their owners.

They’d set themselves up in a field for a family day, and beyond the BBQ and bouncy castle, was some neatly cut grass which made their runway.  Some of the time was dedicated to general flying, some to competitions of flying and landing accuracy, some for none-flyers to try their hand at flying.

I took my camera along to get some photos, and due to the great weather and good light managed to get some good photos.  I’m aiming to see the aircraft flying again soon, so you may find another blog post in a few weeks!

Miniature landscapes at the Pendon Museum

Last weekend, after I’d visited the World Pooh Sticks Championships, I went on to the Pendon Museum. Pendon is just five minutes drive from the Pooh Sticks site and houses three large miniature landscape scenes, a small shop, and a tea room.

The museum was founded in the 1950s by Roye England, and although I’m new to the world of modelling the thing that makes it stand out to me is the attention to detail in the models. I got chatting to some of the friendly volunteer staff who told me that alongside some of the commercially available models there’s a lot of custom built models. Not only do Pendon build their own models, they also run workshops on modelling techniques. One day an American clay sculptor visited and was so taken with the place that she hand made several of the figures exactly to the requirements of the Pendon scenes… you don’t get much more unique than that!

From a photography point of view there’s so much to shoot, and with the relaxed atmosphere, tea and coffee on tap, and protection from whatever the British weather is doing, I could easily spend an entire day here. Sometimes it’s hard to choose a maximum of ten photos from a collection to blog, and this is one of those occasions… even after a couple of rounds of culling I still had 33 photos to choose from, so I hope those I’ve settled on give a good feel of the Pendon Museum.

I’m a big fan of macro photography – taking photos of really small detailed things, generally insects, flowers, and the like. I’ve often seen people use these techniques with Lego mini figures to create fun photos and scenes – a friend of mine, Al Power, seems to have hundreds of the figures and often amazes me with some of his photos. Recently I spotted some photos from Matt Lincoln advertising a Jisc event, which were taken using a different type of mini figure (see examples here and here). It took me a while to realise that these were actually figures from the model railway world.

I browsed a few model shops and a whole new culture opened before my eyes. I expected model trains and railway-related figures, but there’s so much more variety available, even including some adult themes – something I wasn’t expecting to see! So I’ve bought a few figures and some time soon I’ll blog some photos with them.

To capture the photos below I went armed with my macro lens (Olympus 60mm), fisheye lens (Samyang 7.5mm), and walkabout zoom lens (Olympus14-42mm), and a Lens Skirt. The Lens Skirt is basically a flexible fabric pyramid with no bottom and a hole for the lens at the top, it allows me to cut out any reflections when I’m taking photographs through glass. I bought it for taking photos at aquariums and have also used it to take landscape shots from the top of tall buildings. It’s very simple and very effective.