Sunday, April 26, 2020

Endangered Species

...things to do while practising isolation.
There is a local online news outlet named Breaking Belize News that I styled this image after as a spoof posting. The State Of Emergency and it's limitations to free movement means that in spite of being in what looks like paradise, we are not at liberty to go and enjoy it. Instead we are mandated to stay at home, and sometimes I can't help wondering if this is what it's like for some zoo animals.

We are allowed to be out for exercise on foot in the mornings and we use this time to walk and run our dogs. As we arrived back at our home, I asked my wife to quickly pose for the image that had finally come together in my mind.

Working digitally, I turned my wife's shirt into a robe with a sort of belt and then re-illustrated her head to an alien shape with blue tones. I also recoloured her hand. Next I drew a metal sign attached to the gate with the words 'Endangered Species'.

Finally I drew an interactive display panel to place into the composition. A little glow is added to the buttons and then I added a support bar seemingly attaching the panel to the gate.

When shooting the base image, a speedlite was fired to give the foreground contrast and definition.



Main Image
  • Location: Sittee Point, Belize.
  • Camera: Nikon DSLR, crop frame.
  • F number: f/5.6
  • Focal length 17mm APS lens
  • Exposure: 1/60
  • ISO: 100
  • Manual
  • Flash fired - 1 speedlite.







Saturday, April 25, 2020

Out of this world — Earth Day 2020

This image was created for a motorcycle adventure tour business in Belize. It was used as marketing and awareness imagery on Earth Day 2020. 

This was also put together during a national quarantine period so working with models was not an option. Using my bike and myself as a model, I was able to work around the situation.
Without a telescope, and unable to travel into space to shoot planetary photos for myself, I made some royalty free image purchases from Shutterstock's online image library. Halos were added and a Belize flag placed onto the image of planet Earth.

For the two selfies I took, the camera was set up and locked down on a tripod. I also placed one speedlite at 45º left of the scene, and one speedlite at 25º to the right of the scene. I shot in the shade so that I could achieve good contrast with the lighting for punchy images. Exposures were fired with a remote trigger.

I changed jackets between the two shots to help create the illusion of separate riders in the final image. Both bike and rider shots were carefully cut out. the helmet colour on one shot is changed to red and the pants of the other shot have been changed to a red colour. To finish off there is some shadow and tone adjustments to both cut outs after they have been positioned into the composition.
Finally a holographic sign is included to tie the concept all together.

Rider Images
  • Location: Sittee Point, Belize.
  • Camera: Nikon DSLR, crop frame.
  • F number: f/7.1
  • Focal length 29mm APS lens
  • Exposure: 1/25
  • ISO: 100
  • Manual
  • Flash fired - 2 speedlites.










Friday, April 24, 2020

Drinking to your health.

...things to do while practising isolation.
Comments about possible explorations for cures for the Covid19 virus, made by the leader of a large country, got this image taking shape in my head as I went to bed. When I woke up in the morning I knew exactly what I was going to do to bring the image in my mind into fruition.

I opened the refrigerator to get some soda cans together to set up the shot. However, as we are currently in a state of emergency, I found we had already finished off all our cans of soda drinks except for one can of San Pellegrino. Not to worry — just need to do a little extra work.

Locking the camera down on a tripod allowed me to take eight exposures of the same can, while changing it's position in each exposure to simulate multiple cans positioned next to each other.

Once I had all eight shots, I transferred the files to my computer and merged the shots together to get the final cluster of cans that I wanted.

Next I made some text changes and slight modifications to a Dettol and Lysol label. Now it was just a process of warping my modified labels to the images of the cans in my composition. To finish off the image I added some shading and highlights to the new labels.

Main Image
  • Location: Sittee Point, Belize.
  • Camera: Nikon DSLR, crop frame.
  • F number: f/5.6
  • Focal length 38mm APS lens
  • Exposure: 1/4
  • ISO: 100
  • Manual
  • No additional lighting used.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Joy, Pain, & Distressed

...things to do while practising isolation.

I haven't done any tabletop photography for a while. But while I was cleaning one of my model cars last night I thought, "why not do a quick set-up and shot with it?".

So I took over the dining table and detached my model F40 Ferrari from it's display stand.

 After deciding on the angle I wanted to use, I locked the camera in place on a tripod. Next I set up the lighting to get the mood I wanted for the final image. I knew I wanted the scene to be taking place at night in low lighting conditions, so I set the exposure on my camera to view the ambient light in the scene as almost completely black. Once the settings for this was achieved, I was now at liberty to completely control how the light would work for me using artificial lighting.

I worked with 2 speedlites set to low power and also used a small red LED light which I placed inside the model car. To prevent overspill of the light from the speedlites, I used spotlight modifiers to create a more direct and controllable beam of light.

The top of the raised engine compartment also has a glass panel which allowed me to direct some of the light through it to give illumination to the engine. 

The despondent figure sitting on the back of the car is myself. using the same camera settings, but repositioning the lights enabled me to keep the shot looking the same as the rest of the scene so that when I comped it into the final image, it looked as if it was part of the scene all along.

Finally, I 'distressed' the image by using some texture images I have, blending the texture into the image until I was happy with what I was seeing.
Main Image
  • Location: Sittee Point, Belize.
  • Camera: Nikon DSLR, crop frame.
  • F number: f/3.5
  • Focal length 50mm APS lens
  • Exposure: 1/80
  • ISO: 100
  • Manual
  • Flash fired (3 light set-up)











Sunday, April 19, 2020

Blowing In The Wind

...things to do while practising isolation.
First I took a selfie outdoors. The sunlight was quite strong and harsh so since I had chosen to use just one light, I aimed it at the shadow area under the tree to the right. I did this to lighten up the shadow a little so that I wouldn't end up with a large solid black area that might detract from the focus of the composition. I didn't want the area too light either otherwise the leaves wouldn't show up against it.
The cross size bears no relation to the subject :)
You can see from the original selfie, I had also raked up most of the leaves from the grass so that I could use them to complete the final image.

I had collected all the leaves I raked up into a garden basket. It was fairly windy and the direction of the wind would dictate the direction the leaves would be travelling in the final image.

Using the self timer on the camera, I gathered up an armful of leaves and then tossed them across the area where I wanted to get shots of the leaves being blown in the wind.
I did this three or four times to make sure I had a good spread of leaves for the final look. Then it was just a straightforward job of cutting and comping until I got the end result for this piece.


Main Image:
  • Location: Sittee Point, Belize.
  • Camera: Nikon DSLR, crop frame.
  • F number: f/5
  • Focal length 50mm APS lens
  • Exposure: 1/800
  • ISO: 100
  • Manual
  • Flash fired (1 light set-up)

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Dawg Fight

... things to do while practising isolation.

Because of the quarantine restrictions I have no-one to spar with during my boxing sessions. During a normal session, sometimes the dogs come and play along with us while we are training. Especially Jazz who likes to join in when we are trading punches sometimes. So I had this idea for an image.


As most of these are, it's another selfie. I got Jazz to stand on his hind legs and then helped him to position his paws the way I wanted them.

Once I had that shot, I was able to look at it so that I could position myself to compliment the position and pose that Jazz was in. The exposures were all made with a remote trigger so that I didn't need to move out of the correct position once I had found it.

It was a little tricky operating the trigger with boxing gloves but I managed to find a way of holding and operating it that worked out.


In the frame that I finally chose, Pepper was fortunately also in the right position for what I ha in mind. To finish off, I added some more shadowing and took a picture of a pair of children's boxing gloves which I then comped onto Jazz' paws.


























Main Image:
  • Location: Sittee Point, Belize.
  • Camera: Nikon DSLR, crop frame.
  • F number: f/4.5
  • Focal length 17mm APS lens
  • Exposure: 1/320
  • ISO: 100
  • Manual
  • Flash fired (1 light set-up)

Cake Raid

... things to do while practising isolation

My wife had just baked some banana bread and it was cooling in the kitchen as the late evening sunlight streamed through the window. The light reminded me of an Indiana Jones type of scene.

The main background shot which, I will likely be also making available as a stock image through some of the online collections I subscribe to, is shot using a tripod at just a little above eye level. Focus and exposure has also been set and locked down. To get the strong contrasting light, I spot metered the light to get the exposure I wanted.

This is another selfie and to achieve the body position I needed, I hung from a ladder set up in the living room. There is a single speedlight positioned to the right of the camera and the exposure was made using the self timer on the camera.

I made a cut-out of myself and comped it into the main image, adjusting the tone and shading as needed, then I painted in the reflections and shadow below me and on the side of the plastic surface to the right of me.

And finally I added the type.

Main Image:
  • Location: Sittee Point, Belize.
  • Camera: Nikon DSLR, crop frame.
  • F number: f/7.1
  • Focal length 19mm APS lens
  • Exposure: 1/8
  • ISO: 100
  • Manual
  • Flash fired (1 light set-up)

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

A little Spring-cleaning























This selfie is comprised of 3 shots. The camera is set up on a tripod with the focus, exposure and flash information all locked down.

The base image was taken with a sheet in my hands to make my pose more realistic to the finished position I had in mind. In the 3rd image I simply tossed a bucket of leaves into the breeze. The images are all exposed with the camera's timer, and one speedlight is used for fill, positioned to the left of camera. All 3 images were then combined digitally in Photoshop.

I illustrated the surface underneath the lawn on my computer and added texture and shading.

  • Location: Sittee Point, Belize.
  • Camera: Nikon DSLR, crop frame.
  • F number: f/7.1
  • Focal length 20mm APS lens
  • Exposure: 1/250
  • ISO: 100
  • Manual
  • Flash fired (1 light set-up)

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Essential work for the Easter Bunny

This Easter shoot had been planned before the country went into Corona Lockdown. Originally there was to be a model available for this shoot. But now we're on lockdown so unable to mix with people outside of our immediate households except for essential needs or services.
The client still wanted the shoot done so that they had marketing pieces for the Easter weekend. This meant that I ended up shooting this as a selfie while dressed in a rabbit suit and used one of my own bikes. It's shot on my property and I set up the lighting and camera so that I could use remote triggers to get the shots.

To get the idea across for the main image (above) I produced a quick cartoon visual for approval.




While shooting, the local police drove by on a golf cart. Seeing the bike and lighting equipment they slowed down. They looked in my direction and could only see someone in a rabbit suit. I waved to them and one of them waved back. The other officer quickly drove the golf cart away. 

So who knows. Maybe they now believe there is an Eater Bunny for real, or, just that there's some crazy person living at my house ;-)

  • Location: Sittee Point, Belize.
  • Camera: Nikon DSLR, crop frame.
  • F number: f/5
  • Focal length 19mm APS lens
  • Exposure: 1/640
  • ISO: 100
  • Manual
  • Flash fired (2 light set-up)


Saturday, April 11, 2020

A Quiet Place To Read With A Biscuit And A Cup Of Tea

...things to do while practising isolation.
This is shot on the Southern Highway. What is notable is that this is the only road that allows you to travel by vehicle, to south in the country, from any other location in Belize. And here I am, able to lie down in the middle of the road at noon, to take a selfie with a book in my hand. The mug and the plate of biscuits were shot and added when I returned home.

  • Location: Southern Highway nr. Dangriga, Belize.
  • Camera: Nikon DSLR, crop frame.
  • F number: f/4.5
  • Focal length 50mm APS lens
  • Exposure: 1/500
  • Manual
  • Flash fired

Thursday, April 9, 2020

There's Only 'I' In My Team

Things to do while practising isolation...

Here's the team I put together for a solo game of softball. I made 5 exposures user a self timer. Camera set to manual and focus set to manual and all locked down.

  • Location: Sittee Point, Belize.
  • Camera: Nikon DSLR, crop frame.
  • F number: f/7.1
  • Focal length 17mm APS lens
  • Exposure: 1/250
  • Manual
  • Flash fired

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Completing the puzzle

Here's another lockdown image from my series — Things to do while practising isolation.
The main overall image is a single shot using a timer to catch myself mid-air. The jigsaw effect is done with retouching including the individual jigsaw pieces.

  • Location: Sittee Point, Belize.
  • Camera: Nikon DSLR, crop frame.
  • F number: f/7.1
  • Focal length 20mm APS lens
  • Exposure: 1/160
  • Manual
  • Flash fired

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Beginner's Guide To Walking On Water.

We are currently living in a State Of Emergency here in Belize in response to the Covid19 virus outbreak around the world.We are to stay home unless we have an essential need of goods or services away from our homes.

While passing the time I have been creating some images through my photography.

This image is a clean single frame with the camera held low above the water surface. The image has been enhanced with the use of typography and copy.

The overall format mimics Breaking Belize News, an online news service.

  • Location: Sittee River, Belize.
  • Camera: Nikon DSLR, crop frame.
  • F number: f/5
  • Focal length 17mm APS lens
  • Exposure: 1/60
  • Manual
  • Flash fired