Lee Ballard Photography

A photo journal

Chris Giles

 

I like to try and promote friends and sites that I like or feel would be interesting to others whenever I can.

 

With this in mind I’d like to share with you  an interview with Brighton based photographer Chris Giles. Chris (who is in fact an old friend of mine) spoke with Friday-Ad, where he discusses his love of photography, gives some good advice on how to choose a wedding photographer and shares some thoughts on where he thinks the industry is heading.

Yes it’s a blatant link in to a commercial site but if it helps a friend get even more exposure then all is good in my book.

Friday-Ad meets Brighton photographer Chris Giles

Add a comment

The Inverse Square Law

I’m a geek at heart. I love numbers and maths so the inverse square law and photographic reciprocities all make sense to me. But, they’re not above the non-maths geeks level of understanding. In photography you may already use reciprocities and not realise it. If you drop your shutter speed by a stop, from 1/250th to 1/125 for example, you might close your aperture down from f/4 to f/5.6 to achieve the same exposure.

That in itself is using reciprocity.

Now, the inverse square law states that if you double the distance from a light source, you need four times the amount of power to light the same item. I would go further but instead, and the purpose of this post today, I’ll introduce you to a friend of mine’s site,  DIY film. It’s a site in it’s reborn infancy but already has some very well written and educational articles. Even if you’re not technically minded you’ll find something of interest for you there.

Anyway, I’ll leave you to make your own minds up and you can also follow the site’s page on Facebook should you wish to.

Add a comment

Meet the Fro!

I must admit, I have only recently (past few months) discovered the talent of Jared Polin, aka “The Fro”. 

He has a YouTube collection of videos close to a thousand in number and he makes some of the easiest to watch and interesting videos on photography. For free. Sort of.

Whether you’re a total beginner or a time served professional, I’m sure most people can find something of interest in his videos. From his well rounded and extensive rant on the virtues of shooting RAW over just Jpeg to his 5 minute portraits shoots with other well known photographers, there is something for pretty much everyone.

This is the bio from his own site,

Jared Polin is an accomplished photographer whose work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Spin Magazine and countless other international publications. He has recently pointed his talents to the business world and established himself as an entrepreneur with incredible vision and impressive results. In 2010, Jared launched FroKnowsPhoto.com, a fun and informative website for photographers that provides guidance in the art, process, equipment and experience of capturing moments in photos. Jared’s unique style and media savvy helped him grow the site’s audience to over one million unique visits within the first 15 months, while his playfully instructional YouTube videos have exceeded 10 million impressions in the same amount of time. The popularity of his “I Shoot Raw” brand of merchandise has catapulted Jared and FroKnowsPhoto to worldwide recognition, creating a legion of fans and photographers of all skill levels who flock to the site for education and assistance.

In addition to renowned photographer and online superstar, Jared has become a trusted advisor and consultant to brands and companies looking to expand their visibility online. A recognizable personality at social media business and photo conferences around the United States, Jared is a sought-after speaker and a leading expert on photography and the use of content development and marketing.

 

When I say it’s sort of free. He funds his site from advertisers and from sales of merchandise such as the awesome “I shoot RAW” t-shirts.

 

So please, take a look at Fro Knows Photo, visit the advertisers and then go buy a t-shirt as Jared is an awesome bloke and from the few emails we’ve exchanged, very helpful too so his site and videos are worth helping him to keep producing. Oh, and he does know his stuff and is also not too proud to admit when he doesn’t.

Add a comment

The great debate

Competition is usually a good thing for the advancement of technology. Be it between General Motors and Ford in the motor industry or HTC and Apple in the smart-phone industry. Competition always advances the equipment. At no time does technology advance faster than during a war when lives and liberty are at stake.

Competition can also be fun. There are a number of well known rivalries in society and our photography industry, PC vs MAC is a common one but probably the biggest rivalry between owners is Canon vs Nikon.

I love the banter that occurs between users of the opposing makes. I am and always have been a Canon fan and advocate. Not to say there is anything wrong with Nikon, I just first fell for a Canon (35mm days) and have stuck with the brand since.

A conversation on my Facebook profile led me to avoid putting a most (in my opinion) excellent retort to an insult aimed at Canon. I had mentioned that Nikon had gone down in my estimation as it turns out they sponsor Hollyoaks. A friend’s reply included the comment, and I paraphrase, “At least they [Nikon] don’t make photocopiers”.
The perfect response from a Canon user would be, “Yes they do, the D700, D3s, D7000……..etc etc” but that is unfair and untrue.

When, as frequently I do, I get asked by aspiring photographers for their advice on what camera they should get I usually just say that whilst I’m a Canon man, my advice is that they should go to a shop somewhere and spend some time trying out different cameras, from Canon and Nikon (and even from Sony and Pentax if they wish, who usually sit on the sidelines as the Canon/Nikon debate rages on) and see what they like the feel of. Everyone has different preferences and likes and dislikes so you need to find a machine that suits you, not anyone else.

At the end of the day (don’t you love a good cliché) both brands are really within a hair’s breadth of one another, each slightly ahead of the other in certain aspects but it really is a choice of personal preference.

Personally I’ll be sticking with Canon for the foreseeable future, and if Canon UK are reading this, I’ll let you know where to send the free gear 🙂

One a side note, I have gotten hold of a 50mm f1.4 so will hopefully be able to give that a good test over the next week or two and post some results on here.

Add a comment

Seals and the old green eyed monster

One of the things that, for some years now, I have been meaning to do since living in Lincolnshire, was to visit Donna Nook on the coast in winter. Now Donna Nook is not a resort of any description, in fact the RAF spend a lot of time bombing it as it’s a NATO bombing range and it’s formerly been a prisoner of war camp, so it’s hardly the destination of choice for a fun day out. Or is it.

Donna Nook is also a nature reserve with a wonderful claim to fame. Firstly, it was the first national nature reserve on Ministry of Defence land and secondly, it is home to one of the UK’s largest Grey Seal colonies. For the most part of the year the seals are out at sea or on distant sand banks but in November/December they move onto the dunes on the mainland to have their pups. Between them they have up to 1300 pups each year and the spectacle of the seals and their pups lounging on the beach is a sight to behold.

Thanks to the wonderful work of the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust and it’s volunteers, the viewing of the seals is managed by wardens and the public have a rare chance to get within a few feet of the seals with only a fence to separate them.  This gives a wonderful chance for photographers and children to get close to seeing these beautiful animals.

This brings me to my main point. I took my boys there a couple of weeks ago. We had a wonderful time, they each gained a soft toy seal from the shop on the beach and I gained a few photographs of the seals. This however led to the green eyed monster. You see there were a number of photographers on the beach with large equipment. Well, large lenses at least. I spotted one photographer with an £11,000 Canon lens and another searching through the SELECTION of large lenses in his car’s boot, deciding which one to use. Whilst I will be the first to say that equipment doesn’t maketh the photographer, in some cases, it does help a lot.

For my next trip there, I will hire a large, fast lens if I haven’t won the lottery and been able to buy one myself.

Add a comment

Updating

As some of you will know, in addition to this site and my ‘waffle’ blog, I have my commercial site/portfolio, www.anwickphotography.co.uk.

Anwick Photography

Now it just so happens that when I went to update some of the images a few days ago I realised I needed to update the theme software which led me to a decision, keep the theme, which I loved, or move to a new design. I thought that like most things, a new appearance every now and again can be a good thing so I decided to move to a new theme style.

The change means that behind the scenes it’s far quicker for me to update the site and at the front, there is more for the visitor to see. Anyway, I spent a number of hours the other night up as after installing the theme at about 11pm it occurred to me I need to put some content in as the content from the old style didn’t carry across. I therefore went to bed at 3am, happy in the knowledge that at least visitors had something to look at.

On another note, the 2012 Mud and Maidens calendar is now available to order. It’s currently at the printers (lets not go there) but as soon as I receive the delivery, any orders will be despatched. You can order it following the ‘buy calendar’ tab at Team Chaos.

Add a comment

Perks of the job

Sometimes the perks that come with this job are just too much fun. A couple of weeks ago I spent the day at Kahn Design in Bradford, mainly looking at their superbly refinished Range Rovers but also as a by product I was able to look closely at some of the other vehicles in their showroom. Bugatti Veyrons, Ferraris, Aston Martins and more. As well as more Range Rovers that you could shake a proverbial stick at.

Kahn, to put it simply, take the best in the world and make them just a little bit better. Actually the level of finish you get with a Kahn vehicle surpasses that of the top manufacturers in the world. Have a look at their website and see what I mean.  It was a privilege to spend the day there and be taken up to the Yorkshire moors by Deon Jacobs in a Vesuvius Range Rover Sport for some amazing photo opportunities.

Inside Kahn

Inside Kahn's showroom

Then, yesterday I had the pleasure of spending the day with Land Rover World photographing and driving not only the current line up from Land Rover but also most of the current competition that the green oval faces. It was a day where my entire lottery win shopping list could be driven (almost, Aston Martin were obviously absent). And it wasn’t just for show, we were able to put the vehicles through their paces off road and the ability of them was impressive. Even to the point where I proved to my editor (not that he doubted it) that a Range Rover Sport and then even the Range Rover Evoque were not only more than capable of a steep descent and assent but were also capable of said assent in reverse. On road tyres. Yes technology has taken driver skill out of much of the equation but it’s nice to know that whilst many of the competition’s products are merely 4×4 in design and not in ability off road, the latest green oval (well, former green oval, Range Rover is a separate brand now) is more than capable off road. Not that many will even see more that a puddle of course.

Sport

I spent much of the day in this beauty

Add a comment

No matter…….

……how often you say to yourself that you must post articles more often, it still doesn’t happen. Never mind. Well lets get up to speed.

In a previous post I mentioned some extra work the talented Pete Tynan was doing for a publication. This was the resulting image as appearing in the July issue of Land Rover World and I must say, Pete certainly worked his magic.

Imposing punk rock

It’s been a busy month or so with other things too. As well as moving house I spent a few days sailing and another photographic job gave me an excuse to see a very dear friend. Whilst visiting my friend we spent the afternoon at Woburn Safari Park (free entry and discounted food too) so I took a few images, including one of the ‘Lesser spotted stealth rhino’ (long story) as seen below. See if you can spot the hidden Rhino.

The job that followed was a trip to the Newbury 4×4 and vintage spares day, oddly enough, in Newbury. Those in Land Rover circles will quite possibly remember the Old Sodbury sortouts (now in a new location) and this event is at the same showground. For this we required two models, Jes Fisher and Emma Marquick were chosen and we had a very relaxed and leisurely day wandering and shooting. Shame all shoots can’t be that relaxed, but then, sometimes the pressure can help.

Sea King on training manoeuvres

Sea King on training manoeuvres

Windmills

Windmills at sea

Sailing

Sailing

Can you see the Rhino

Ninja Rhino in training

Jes Fisher finding a Land Rover she loved

Emma Marquick

Add a comment

Maidens and magic editing

Well the shoot for the 2012 Mud and Maidens calendar is in the planning and will be happening in July. If you’re a model, interested in applying for the casting for the calendar then please email me lee@anwickphotography.co.uk with your details.

The below image for the calendar was shot by me, features the lovely Miss Lily Stark and was designed and edited by the very talented Pete Tynan. There had been a different plan for the image but when the weather didn’t want to co-operate I threw the shoot at Pete and he worked his magic.

I have also recently made use of Pete’s services for another shoot but I won’t be able to show that image until the publication in which it is appearing hit’s the shelves. Don’t want to spoil the impact.

Pete's magic, Miss Lily Stark, and me.

Add a comment

Note to self, must post more often!

Okay so I have been a little on the lazy side when it comes to posting on here. Not to say I haven’t been busy though.

In amongst everything else I found myself in my home county of Kent a couple of weekends ago. I had a editorial shoot in East Sussex and an old friend of mine (going back some 25 years)  was celebrating her birthday on the Saturday night in Tenterden in Kent so it seemed the perfect coincidence to catch up with some friends I had not seen for many years.

Back to the photographic point. For the night in the pub I wanted to record the evening for prosperity and potentially blackmail purposes so I decided to take a camera with me. Initially I opted to leave the flash guns at the friend’s I was staying at so as to minimise bulk, planning to use high ISO settings. I fitted a small lens, turned off raw so didn’t have to take extra memory cards and off we went. After a few shots in a dark pub however I decided that the high ISO setting, whilst able to cope with the low light impressively, was just a tad grainy for my liking so I had to resort to pressing the button and using the built in flash. Let get things straight here. Shooting usually with a flashgun I really hate the pop-up flashes offered on DSLR’s and have never used them on any of mine apart from once, at the top of the Eiffel tower when the flashguns were 700ft below me!

So I popped the flash and expected to spend the evening deleting overexposed white-outs and red eye galore. Well, and I’ll hold my hands up here, I was actually pleasantly surprised. Whilst not publication quality images, the built in flash actually performed admirably and all of my friends were very pleased with the results.  So the moral of the story, when you think you know all the tricks your DSLR has for you, it’ll sometimes pull a nice surprise out the hat.

On another note, a few weeks ago I mentioned a shoot with the lovely Nona Nightmare for Land Rover World. Well the magazine hit’s the shelves next week and I urge you to go and get your copy with Nona on the front and featured on a four page spread inside.

Land Rover World, June 2011

Nona on the cover of LRW

And keep and eye out for a future issue of the magazine featuring the drummer from the Anti-Nowhere League and his matching custom built drum kit and Land Rover.

Anti No-Where League drummer with custom drums and matching Land Rover

Anti-Nowhere League drummer Nato, with custom drums and matching Land Rover

See you next time. I promise it won’t be so long.

Add a comment