Testing A Saal Digital Product

I had the opportunity to try a wall decor product from “@SaalDigital” for free I had heard of Saal Digital but never tried one of their products.

After looking at their wall decor products I decided to try the Alu-Dibond Butlerfinish print in a 40x50c size.

As this can be used for wall decor, in the home or office and is for indoor and outdoor use. With the direct UV printing, it is especially sun fade and water resistant, so if you hung it in your house you would not have to think about hanging it somewhere where the sun would not hit it directly.

I had just done a wedding dress shoot with Atusa at Hardwick park on the Monday and thought this would be a good type of image to try on their product, as it was something a little different and also it would give me a sample to show clients who were wanting a different type of print from the regular framed with glass. So I loaded the image into photoshop and downloaded the colour profiles supplied by Saal so I could do a proof check on the image once I had it to how I wanted it to look .

So once I was happy with the way the colours and image looked with the proof I saved the image and moved to the Saal website to order my print, and the ordering process was very easy to follow.

I ordered my print on the evening and I was suprised to find an email the next day to say that my print had been processed and and sent out, I ordered it on a Wednesday night and it arrived on Monday morning and this came from Germany. That is good service. I must admit when I recieved the email to say that it had been processed and printed that night what type of quality was the finished product going to be like with that sort of fast turn around. So I waited with trepidation to see what the quality was going to be like and also the colour quality and finish of the product when it arrived. So the package arrives it is well wrapped and protected from damage so the next stage is to open it and see what the print looks like. Well I am absolutely thrilled with the finished item, the quality of the materials and printing are excellent, the image looks excellent on the Alu-Dibond Butlerfinish, it has a slight surreal look to it and when you look at it from different angles it feels like the image has a movement to it. The construction is quite thin with it being of a sandwich type material an aluminum then a a type of foam board then aluminum, but is very strong and sturdy, it can be purchased with different types of mountings , but I chose to go with no types of mounting as I am wanting to use it to show clients, so decided I did not need to be able to hang it. The price it isn’t cheap, but then again I go from what my mother taught me “if you buy cheap you usually get cheap”. The mounting would have added a bit more depending on the type of mounting you went for but at the end of the day the quality is excellent and it looks really good. You could go for a smaller size or for an even larger size as long as the Mega Byte was good enough to give you the quality of a bigger print.

There a lots of labs out their offering all types of products but not many giving you the chance to try one of their products for free, it shows they have great faith in their workmanship, will I use Saal Digital in the future, I can quite honestly say yes, I have been impressed with the whole process from their website to delivery, I might have to test some of their other products to make sure they meet the same high standards but I am confident they will. So “@SaalDigital” if you would like me to test some more of your products for you I would be most willing, and it looks like I have found a new supplier for my printing work.

I have included a link to the Saal Digital Page for the Alu-Dibond Butlerfinish and available mounting types.

http://www.saal-digital.co.uk/wall-decors/alu-dibond/

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Wet Day

We love a bit of sunshine and a nice day especially when doing head shots for a client outdoors, but that is the thing about British weather you can never guarantee you are going to get what you want. So unfortunately we had to do this head shot session on a wet day, as the client was needing the images and we had had to move both our schedules round to get a day that we could both do. With being a Durham born person she was keen to have the head shots done in her local city of Durham.. It may have rained but we managed too get the images we wanted and keep on smiling through.

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Weekend Of MTB

It was the  Kingud/ Borderline  DH Series Rd1 at Hamsterley forest at the weekend. Unfortunately the weather was not going to be as nice as the weekend before with the temperatures failing to break higher than 5 degrees but it was dry. The track best way to describe it in some places it was nearly impossible to walk down with the steepness, rock drop offs and tree roots, to ride a course like this was  going to take some nerve, I managed to talk to one rider and asked how do you get down here and he said “go as fast as you dare and don’t brake”. Saturday was a day of practice and offered many a good photo opportunity with many crashes on one of the steeper parts luckily all riders seemed to bounce well and after picking themselves and the bike back up rode on. Sunday started of promising with the sun showing itself and some light cloud, but with in an hour the cloud had swallowed the sun and any warmth that was there had now totally gone, it was going to be a long cold day. By mid morning we had a few spots of rain and it kept on threatening to rain but held off until it was race time by then it was just raining and raining, making the rocks slippy but the riders did not let off the pace, still managing to get plenty of air and the braver ones taking the line between two trees after clearing the table top in one massive leap. Danny Hart* the new owner of the Descend bike park was also racing in the elite category and can these people ride you never heard there bikes approach it was if they were floating on air as they picked the fastest line and flew past.

*Danny Hart 2016 World Cup Downhill Champion

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One of many scrapes picked up on the steep sections while getting to a good position for photographs

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Start of the crash 1
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Danny Hart World Champion
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Two trees one bike

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Lying it down as you head round the berm

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Table top clearance

 

 

KAMINO

I was offered the chance to come and take some photographs at a local bands practice session, as I had said I was wanting to expand my music photography portfolio. This is just a few of the images from the session.

Band Members, Colin Lynch, Geoff Rose, Micky Pearson, Peter Atherton, Neil Nattris

http://www.sdbphotography.co.uk

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Not To Little And Not To Much

f my wanders around the forest, I had walked this path many a time and just happened to glance to my right this one time to see this small amount of water cascading over the edge, so decided I would come back when the conditions were right for capturing it. Thing with waterfalls is they are either a small trickle due to lack of water or a massive torrent due to heavy amounts of rain. So I have been watching how much rain we have been having lately, so it rained last night again so I thought there would be a good chance that it would be flowing nicely, not a   torrent but a nice steady flow that would make for a good composition and a pleasing image, and I was not disappointed. I visited another waterfall in the forest that is quite well hidden which I have photographed before which was only a small trickle last time and this was flowing nicely as well. Only down side was I found out I had a split in my Muck Boots Wellies so ended up with a very wet foot, but a small price to pay for getting the image.

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Newly discovered Waterfall wide angle shot.
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Cascading down the rock face
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Photographed again 

THEN AND NOW A JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY

So this is a piece I wrote when I had been in BNI Champions core group for about two months, have toyed with publishing it for a long time, but never had the courage to. But today is a landmark day so I thought it might help others who struggle. Who Knows.

Good questions and I hope I can give you the answer, basically I was invited to attend a BNI meeting by a friend I was watching one of his You Tube videos and he kept on mentioning this BNI, so I got in touch with him and said what is this BNI you keep talking about, so he invited me along I visited, talked to people and found out it is so much more than just networking organisation, they informed me that someone called Russ Sawdon would give me a ring about a chapter closer to where I lived. So Russ rang we talked about the BNI he told me they were launching a new group, would I like to go along. So I said yes, I am glad he could not see the terror I was feeling.  I have to say I wasn’t a confident person at the time so I am very good at agreeing to do things and then think about it afterwards so I quickly Googled BNI, and to say some of the stories I read from people who had been in or claimed to have been members were not very positive but there were plenty of positive ones as well, but I decided I had said I would go, and a lot of the stories I had read on the internet were a good few years old and you have to sometimes take what you read with a pinch of salt so to speak.

So the day arrives there was a room full of people that I didn’t know and terrified would be an understatement, I hadn’t really mixed in a big group of people for a few years, but that is another story which I might tell sometime. So there I am in this room like a rabbit in a headlight convinced  everybody was looking at me, but of course they were not so I do what I think is networking basically talk to the first person that I catch their eye and this helps me relax sort off, as time goes on I get introduced to a person called Alan Foster, we have a quick chat about what I did and what Alan’s company was and I was invited to join my first BNI that’s was located at a very nice hotel and country park. It started well but unfortunately it did not work out as a Core Group.

So I decided not to join another BNI for a while due to personnel reasons and I needed to decide whether I wanted to carry on with my photography, so time passed and Alan dropped me a line telling me about a new core group he was launching with 50 members at the time I turned him down for certain personnel reasons but it was always in the back of my mind. So time passed and we were due to renew our mortgage so I said I will get in touch with Karen from the core group  I was in previously not realising that Karen was now a member of Alan’s new core group that he was building. So Karen came we talked mortgage’s and also BNI, Karen asked if I would like to come along, I said I would think about it, then Karen asked me to Sub for her at a meeting, I talked to Tracy about it and she said go and sub for Karen, so Karen invited me to attend a meeting before subbing for her so it was a chance to meet other Core Group members so I wasn’t walking in blind as well, I knew one or two people from the last Core group I was in, but the nerves were there and the fear as well. The meeting went well, and then I went back and subbed for Karen. What it made me realise was how much I had let myself get isolated from the outside world all the confidence I had built in the last core group had almost gone my passion for my photography had waned and I felt I had lost my way with my photography and business. I felt like I had come almost full circle, back to where I was before the BNI. So many an hours went by chatting to Tracy about things and deep down I knew I wanted to re-join but I wasn’t sure I could contribute what was needed to help grow the group. So I had my one to one with Alan over coffee, and the positive help and feedback I received off Alan was great. When a successful businessman can have faith in someone like me there must be something I was doing that was right or he saw something that I couldn’t.

So where are we know I have learnt that I have the creative passion back for my photography, but the business side is something I have to work on but the group is so supportive, advice and help is there you only need to ask. I feel like I am contributing to the group in a small way, but with time I am sure my contribution will grow.

It is very easy to let yourself doubt, and lack of confidence hold you back, and it still does in some areas, I am now learning to ask someone for help is not a sign of weakness or stupidity. Where do I see myself in a couple of year’s time successful not just as a photographer, not just in the work I do but in the way I help others in my Chapter and people in general.

The core chapter that I am in is called Champions we meet at Sedgefield Racecourse on a Friday morning we are going for 50+ members and are well on the way to achieving this, I feel I have made so many new friends in the group and grown as a person in confidence and direction, I have been in the group for just over two months now.

What would I say to people? “don’t let your self-doubts and fears hold you back, don’t believe everything that someone tells you about an organisation or what you read, the best way is to experience it for yourself., my lack of confidence and self-belief nearly stopped me don’t let it stop you.

Thank you Tracy, Karen and Alan.

So Where Is The Chapter Now

And to all my fellow BNI members in Champions Chapter, the future is bright for us all.

So today we have locked down the chapter, the vision Alan Foster had and has worked hard to achieve with Andrew Simpson, and Gemma Taylor is now a reality. Exciting times are ahead for all the Champions, and the future is looking bright.

Stephen D Brian From Core to BNI Champion Member

http://www.bni.co.uk/

 

Bring On The Dancing Girls

I was asked to take some images at a burlesque and drag/comedy night.For Dukes Cabaret & Showdolls, I am always looking to expand my photographic experience, so how could I turn down the opportunity. So we arrive at the venue about an hour before it is due to start, just to check out good vantage points and see how good the lighting would be, the venue was quite good but the lighting consisted of six spotlights with different colour gels on them quite away back from the stage and throwing really poor light out, I noticed that there were two white spots not on so I asked the venue in the hope that they would say the two spot lights would be switched on for the start, but as I suspected no that was all the light I was getting, so it was basically High ISO, and a low a speed as I dared go with out getting any blur or minimal in arm and leg movement. So the night progressed the acts were brilliant and I really enjoyed photographing the show, as with all things new learned a lot, so am looking to do some music and other entertainment events, and who know the lighting can only get better. Hopefully.

Just a few images from the evening

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Taking Images For Community Campus 87

I have had the privilege of going to do some photographic work for Community Campus 87, who run a variety of projects focused upon young person centred development, and on housing services for the homeless. So far the work I have done has mainly been taking images of their staff at desks and a few head shots, so they can update their website and other literature and also images of their properties in different stages of repair and refurbishment. One of the nice things about working with Community Campus87 is finding out about there day today work and their future plans are, it is nice to see how they are helping people from disadvantaged backgrounds and helping them turn their lives around. One of the things that struck me when meeting the staff was how positive they were about everything, and the hard work they put in to help people.

Community Campus 87 Website

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Stings Like Bee Beautiful As Butterfly

I am always looking for new challenges with my photography, I like shooting action images but I do shoot other subjects and genres as well. 

After a conversation with a Francis Jones a boxer I asked about taking some images of him while training, unfortunately Francis was already working with another photographer but he said he knew someone and he would put me in touch with them, to see if they would be interested in working with me on what I will call a project. The boxer he put me in touch with was Hannah a twenty-two year old, one of the first things that struck me when I met Hannah was the smile that puts you at ease as soon as you meet her. So we go inside the boxing club and sit down to talk, about what I am looking for in images, and to find out a bit more about Hannah, and one of the things that struck me is how focused she is and driven towards her goals. We talked for about forty-five minutes and arranged to meet the following week to capture some images, I asked whether her coaches would be fine with me coming along and taking pictures while she trained and with that she said “yes it will be fine”, so I said we better check with your coaches that they are happy for me to attend a training session, in walks one of the coaches you can tell he is a boxer, not saying I was nervous maybe a bit apprehensive as he might just say no get out and don’t come back. But my fears were unfounded he was very pleasant and happy for me to come along and take photographs of Hannah training. 

So the day arrives for me to go to the evening training session the gym is not far from where I live so a short car journey is all it took I pull up outside and I can see inside the club lots of bodies moving around, nerves take a hold a little bit, not long after I arrived so did Hannah with the infectious smile she says hello and I follow her inside, there is a lady on the door collecting subs for training , Hannah pays her subs and I say hello to the lady and walk in then the voice pipes up “are you here to train”, in a joking voice I say do I look like need the exercise which I probably do and quickly explain that I am there to take some photographs of Hannah training. So I am through the door and I feel like all the eyes are focused on me a stranger in the camp but I think I was probably being very self-conscious, I say hello to the coach I had seen the other night and quietly say hello to other people not wanting to look out of place but with a camera bag it was hard not to stand out I was getting a few quizzical looks from people probably wondering what I was doing. So it’s time for training feeling like I was intruding on the club a bit I moved around watching my every step so I made sure that I didn’t get in the way of anybody’s training session as I thought that would be the quickest way to get ejected from the club, but as time went on I felt like they were accommodating me by making sure they didn’t get in my way. So the first photographic session went well, I have to say I have never photographed anything quite as hard, as one minute you are focused then like lightning Hannah has moved to a different spot throwing punches and working as hard as the men in the club. I have to say a big thank you to the boxing club for allowing me in and I thought it was very nice for them to invite me back anytime I want, so I will be doing another session with Hannah on Monday night, and will be looking to do some other photographic work with Hannah, in the coming months.

More images can be viewed at http://www.sdbphotography.uk/

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Inside and Out

When you get asked to photograph a very expensive house you don’t say no. I was asked by http://bunglebugestates.properties to photograph a very nice property for them which was going up for sale. The day started of warm and the light was getting harsh so i wanted to get the outside shots done before the sun rose to high and the light became to harsh. Once I completed the outside photographs I decided to start upstairs and work my way down to the ground floor. I knew the temperature outside was rising as the heat i the house start rising and the light coming through the windows was becoming very harsh, and unforgiving. So it was a case of trying to balance a good exposure against the light coming in from the windows I didn’t want to under expose the images by a huge amount as this would have caused more problems in post processing. So it was a case of getting an exposure that was sitting nice in the camera histogram that I could work with when processing. I tried a few shots with the lights on but didn’t like the way the lights were shining I thought it would look nice with the lights on in the chandeliers, but soon scrapped that idea as the brightness was harsh and did not enhance the photograph, or do justice to the magnificence of the lights.

So here are a few images from the shoot, on what must have been one of the hottest days of the year.brantingham-drive-dim8307brantingham-drive-sdim8297brantingham-drive-sdim8326brantingham-drive-sdim8338brantingham-drive-sdim8364brantingham-drive-sdim8366brantingham-drive-sdim8390