Lee Ballard Photography

A photo journal

Bath time

I know, it’s been a while. And it’s not like I haven’t had things to blog about, I just keep getting otherwise distracted. Anyway, new year (well, 8 weeks ago) so new approach to blogging. I’m going to make a bigger effort (again).

 

So much to tell. I have launched a new string to my bow that I’ll explore in a post of it’s own soon but check out Cherry Picked Photos to see more and “like” it on Facebook.

In May I am travelling to Iceland to spend a week visiting companies and exploring the country for Land Rover World and as part of that some companies have sent me some equipment to try out and review out there. Most of it I’ll blog about in due course but two items that were delivered this week to me were E-Cases from Cascade Designs for my HTC phone and my iPad (yes, I have an iProduct now!).

 

These are basically, fabric and plastic “pockets” that you place your device into and seal with a trademarked “SealLock” zip. The joy of these things are that not only is the device fully functional behind the plastic window but also it’s waterproof up to 1 meter for 30 minutes.

 

I have a number of friends that I know have dropped their phone in either the bath or the sink to it’s demise and one of these would have saved it. I’m awaiting details on pricing but will let you know as soon as I know it.

 

Oh, they do work too!

Testing an E-Case

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Flowers

Well I know we’re still in the throws of mid-winter but it’s nice to think ahead to spring. Not to say there aren’t many photo opportunities during the winter but whilst tidying one of the hard drives I came across some flowers from last spring that I thought I’d share.

I took some Daffodils from the garden and gave them a mini high key shoot in the studio. I have below, shown the set-up I used and a final image. I used a studio strobe with softbox behind the flowers for the background and then provided the key light with a portable strobe and shoot through white brolly. I could have used a studio strobe here for the key light, it was just what was to hand at the time as the portable was already set up anyway.

The set up

Setting up

Daffodil

High key flower

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Star results

And here is the best result from last night’s star photography. It’s technically a ten minute exposure but rather than one 600 second exposure I tried 20, 30 second exposures and layered in Photoshop.

Ten minutes

Ten minutes

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Stars in the lens

Tonight was a beautiful night for stargazers and photographers alike. The moon is but a mere slice of it’s cratered beauty and the night was cloudless and clear. A real time to have a go at star photography if you have yet to try it. Now I have had a go at this aspect of life behind a lens in the past with some success. I hadn’t planned on doing any shooting tonight but then thought I’d pop out and stand in the field at the end of the road for an hour and experiment a little.

The main experiment I wanted to try was to utilise different ISO’s. In the past I had always used 100 or 200 as a speed and was happy with the results however I read an article a while ago where it was suggested that more stars were visible to higher ISO’s. Obvious really but I didn’t expect quite so many more. The camera really does see far more than the naked eye when the settings are right. The picture below was shot with an ISO of 1600, shutter open for 30 seconds and an aperture of F/3.5. Now noise does start to creep in so I think next time I’ll play more with 400 and 800 and I shall also drive a little way to try and reduce the light pollution. I have the venue in mind so as they say somewhere or other, ‘watch this space’.

The image below is not quite straight out of the camera, I tweaked the contrast a little and turned it mono to reduce the effect of the light pollution.

Stars at 1600 ISO

More than the eye can see

And in true ‘Blue Peter’ style, here is a moon image I shot last year.

The Moon

The Moon, enlarged from a shot through just a 250mm lens

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A new year is almost upon us

Well 2011 is almost upon us. I guess it’s time to reflect on 2010. How was it for you? Whatever your answer, good or bad, I sincerely hope that 2011 is better. From a photographic perspective my year has been pretty good though quiet-ish in the last month or so due to other things needing my attention. I am already looking forward to a number of projects next year and will be working with some amazing people. Some for the first time, others for the second, third or more.

Below is a short gallery of some of this years work, I hope you enjoy.

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A very Merry Christmas to all

I would just like to wish everyone all the very best seasons greetings and I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas. There are still Team Chaos Macmillan charity Mud and Maiden calendars available so please buy one if you haven’t already. Available here.

Anwich Photography Christmas

Merry Christmas

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A special thank you

Whilst I cannot thank enough, those models that posed in the cold and mud for the Macmillan Charity Calendar, a special thank you must also be extended to three photographers.

Ste Jones – Kitaeru Photography

Ste travelled that morning all the way from Wigan to help out on the shoot and he done a sterling job. His Facebook page can be found here and I urge you to take a look at his work.

Ste Jones

Ste aka Mr Kitaeru

James Rose – Roziekins Photography

James is a new photographer in professional terms. He is also a very experienced model. He was honoured to be asked to help out on the shoot and we were honoured to have his help. His Facebook page can be found here and his Model Mayhem photographer portfolio can be seen here.

Roziekins at work

Richard Rollinson – Zero72 Photography

Richard was brought onboard late in the day to come and help out with behind the scenes shooting and general bit and pieces and he is a true star. The only reason none of his images made the final calendar is due to people looking at another photographer and suchlike. I know a club that was at the shoot are very appreciative of his efforts with their vehicles and I know myself and many others are appreciative of his taxi skills during the shoot.

A special mention goes to Richard as just after taking the Christmas shot in the montage below, he slipped and severely damaged his ankle, so much so, it’s still not fully recovered. His Facebook page can be seen here.

Richard Obi-Wan

Richard Obi-Wan demonstrating the force

It was my pleasure to work with these gentlemen and they will have the first invites to the next charity shoot I am involved with. They all gave selflessly as did the models.

Other photographic mentions must go to Simon Ward-Hastelow, Mike Fox and Andy Watson.

Credits in the three images above, Richard Rollinson, Simon Ward-Hastelow, Mike Fox (calendar inserts, James Rose and Ste Jones).

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