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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IMG_3299

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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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

duke-the-show-dolls-dsc_5030duke-dsc_4702duke-dsc_4888fiona-dsc_4700fiona-vintage-dsc_4724show-doll-vintage-dsc_4742show-dolls-double-exposure-dsc_4845show-dolls-dsc_4760show-dolls-dsc_4926show-dolls-vintage-dsc_4758

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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Home Studio

I think one of my biggest dilemmas has been do I need a studio to be successful. The answer is no it took me along time to figure out this most simple of questions really, I did a lot of internet searching on photographers and quite a lot use there homes as a studio clearing part of a room and setting up there backdrop and lights, it is easy to get drawn into to be professional you need a studio, don’t get me wrong one day I would like a studio and it would make life much easier having backdrops and whitewall and everything just ready to go, but sometimes you have to work with what you have. So I did my first family shoot and fancy dress shoot at my home. We decided to clear part of the lounge to set up the space was not huge but it was big enough to have a successful shoot and their is nothing like challenging yourself with a photoshoot of young children. I was told they would be shy when they first came in till they got used to me and relaxed, and then the fun began young children have a lot of energy and enthusiasm for doing things so it became quite a challenge to catch a nice pose or natural image of them when they were not bouncing and running around, fortunately the parents were on hand to help calm them down. I started by having my camera on the tripod but this turned out to be a mistake as by the time I had them in my view finder and adjusted they were doing something different. So the tripod was abandoned and hand held was was the option, it is nice to get images of children being themselves but it was nice to get some images of the children being calm, and you have to talk and look through the viewfinder at the same time to get the children to look at you as it only takes a split second to lose the chance of getting the image you see before they change expression or move. They say every photo shoot is an opportunity to learn and it certainly was I know what I would do different next time and you forget how much energy a 2 and 3yr old have especially since our own children are a lot older.

This is just a small selection from the two shoots I did with the girls and parents, for all the running round and excitement the photo shoots were a pleasure to do.

Sophia & Isabella -DSC_4737Sophia -DSC_4726Sophia -DSC_4942Sophia -DSC_5051Sophia -DSC_5075Family -DSC_4765Isabella & Sophia -DSC_4925Isabella & Sophia -DSC_5029Isabella -DSC_4950Isabella -DSC_5102

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and. Another reason I decided to do a lot of my portrait work at home is to do with the fatigue of setting up a backdrop especially when it is vinyl and comes on an aluminum tube there is quite some weight in it and takes two to set up safely. I also use a pop up grey and blue backdrop that is large when expanded to say the least. I know they will fit in the space I have. Having a muscle condition makes the assembly tiring so at least at home I can set up the day before. Not all photo shoots require a backdrop set up, but for the ones that do I will mainly be working from home for now where

Flash, Camera, Pose

Just received my Pixapro Lumi 400 800Ws studio flash kit, to use at home and in other places. So decided to test it out on my oldest son theses are just a few of the images taken with the flashes.

I was also inspired by Light, a new camera technology that just hit the market. and their #VantagePoint project.

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A Summers Evening

A summers evening, my son practicing a few tricks on his BMX, perfect time to get the camera out and practice a bit of movement and action photography, I decided to share this image.

I was also inspired by Light, a new camera technology that just hit the market. and their #VantagePoint project.

Pegging -051

Nikon D90

ISO – 100

F3.8 – @24mm

1/200 sec

Flash

Photographer Shooting The Photographer

An Iconic landmark that is the Angel of The North, standing tall looking out over the valley, I had wanted to photograph the Angel for quite a while, but had never really put it as a priority. We have been getting some lovely sunrises on the October mornings, so decided I would get prepared the night before pack my camera and tripod ready to set off in the morning.” We had been getting some lovely sunrises on the October mornings, so decided I would get prepared the night before pack my camera and tripod ready to set off in the morning.”in the morning. I like to get to places with plenty of time to get set up and wander around, so I can check out different angles and shooting positions, as the alarm clock stirs me awake at 5am knowing that I would be there around about 6am or a bit earlier, I  arrive looking at the sky thinking to myself that maybe the sky is not going to be as nice as it has been the last few days, but one always hopes as the cloud cover was quite heavy but it could break to give that lovely morning warm glow. So I set up shoot a few images of the Angel from different angles, looking hoping for the sky but it becomes clear that today is not the day for the warm colors of a sunrise. I had been there for a couple of hours as time just goes so fast when you are engrossed in a passion such as photography, I notice this group of people wandering over towards the Angel, and notice that one of the group has a camera in her hand as I stand and watch her move around the Angel I can sense she is looking for a good angle to get a photograph. I have the camera set up and I just stand there and wait and hope, she is going to take a picture, but I also hope she stands long enough for me to capture her taking the image, as I was shooting on  very low shutter speed for the time of the morning. So the sunrise might not have appeared, but I had the fortune to capture this image of a young woman seeking her own version of the perfect shot. I became the photographer shooting the photographer.

I was also inspired by Light, a new camera technology that just hit the market and their #VantagePoint project.

Angel Of The North -036
Photographer Shooting The Photographer

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Sigma SD 1 Merrill, 17-50mm Lens

ISO 100

F22

 

THE MARRIAGE OF PAUL & LAURA

I was very privileged to be the official photographer at the wedding of Paul and Laura which was to be held at the venue As You Like It, in Jesmond in Newcastle Upon Tyne. From the outside the place to be fair just looks like a giant office block, but when you walk through the doors that is when the magic happens and you are transported into a world of old world charm with glamour.

So I arrive a good hour before the actual wedding with cameras bags and beautiful assistant who just happens to be my wife, so I can get a feel for the set up and check lighting in the place to see how much flash I would have to use which turned out to be the whole day I thought this might be the case as I had done a recce of the venue a couple of months before to have a look around. So the groom arrives, later than expected as his transport was late picking him up but that is what happens at weddings or is that the bride being late. So we have a chat I capture a couple of pictures of him and the best man and have a chat with the gentleman performing the ceremony to see where i can stand and what I can do explaining that I would have to use flash because of the light and he said ” you can do what you want as long as Paul and Laura are happy with it” I told him that I had told them what I wanted to do and he said “that’s fine”. So we head back up the stairs as the guest are starting to arrive and use this opportunity to get a few images, as it is nearing the time for the bride to arrive everybody makes their way to the seating area and the wait for the bride begins and we wait people are getting a little concerned as the time passes, phone calls are made and eventually the bride arrives. In the words of the bride “it is fashionable for the bride to be late, but not when the bride is ready and the transport is late picking me up”, Anyway the transport eventually arrives and the bride looks stunning in her white dress, so a few images are taken upstairs then downstairs for the ceremony which passes without a hitch and a good day was had by all.

The wedding was Halloween themed due to being the day before.

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