Friday, 21 January 2011


Last week whilst walking through the town of Zofingen, I saw this painting in a shop display window.

What intrigued me was the reflection from the window which showed the same scene.

Couldn't resist making a snap.

 A painting and a reflection

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Earning and shooting bread...

Interesting problem last week.

The company I work for has developed a range of LED lights which can be adjusted to complement various products from meat to designer textiles.

There's a setting for meat to bring out the succulent bloodiness of fresh produce on a butcher's counter to accents to subtly highlight delicate fabrics on a mannequin in a shop window. The lights can also be dimmed without losing colour.

Anyway, I digress.

We discovered at the last minute that there wasn't a suitable image of bread that we could use. I solved this by going to the bread department of a shop where the lights are already installed and working successfully.

The baker in charge gave me a selection of products to play with and I arranged them on a wooden palette. I set the EOS 5d on my Benbo and shot the buns in a vertical orientation because I knew from studying the layout that this would be ideal. My 28 - 135 zoom allowed me to crop tightly and fill the frame as envisaged by our art department.

The setup recorded with my Samsung Galaxy

That finished, I returned and they are now, as I write this, being incorporated into a brochure.

 Close-up. Again taken with the Galaxy

 That's it for now. My next assignment is to shoot some meat and a range of designer lights.

By the way. If you want to know more about these LED lights, my company has produced a microsite where all your questions will be answered. You'll find it here.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

My favourite fourteen

I’ve just been sorting through the images that I took last year in my job as photographer for Regent Lighting here in Switzerland.

I took literally thousands of images and these have now all been categorised, sorted and saved along with their associated backups etc.

I was distracted by reading some of the many “best of” type posts that inevitably appear every year’s end on the ‘net and in print.

With that in mind I decided to choose my favourite images taken in the course of my work last year and remark on a few of them.

All were taken with my Eos 5d. I used my 17 – 40 F4, the 28 – 135 or my 24mm f2.8. The 17 – 40 proved the most popular with the majority taken using that lens.

My work, when I’m on location requires that I reproduce the lighting effects as faithfully as possible. That means no extra lighting. Just me, the camera, a lens and a tripod. Sometimes it’s relatively straightforward such as photographing at dusk of an exterior building lit from out or inside.

These images were all taken using the HDR method of combining three exposures and blending them into one in which details can be seen everywhere.
 Bracketed exposures of 2.5, 1 and 6 seconds. f10
400 ISO. 28 - 135 zoom at 28mm setting.

 Bracketed exposures of 2.5, 1.3 and 5 seconds. f13
400 ISO. 17 - 40 zoom at 17mm setting.

Sometimes however, it gets a tad trickier. I will have to photograph a room where the lights are burning. A “normal” exposure will lead to the lights being “burnt out” on the picture. The same is true if there is a window in the shot, as the daylight can often burn out and look false. This is where HDR again comes to the rescue rendering details in the highlights and shadows.

  Bracketed exposures of 1, 1/2 and 2 seconds. f18
200 ISO. 17 - 40 zoom at 17mm setting

 Bracketed exposures of 1/2, 1/4 and 1 second. f18
400 ISO. 24mm Lens

 Bracketed exposures of 1/2, 1 and 2 seconds. f18
400 ISO. 24mm Lens
Bracketed exposures of 1.3, 1.5 and 3 seconds. f13
400 ISO. 17 - 40 at 17 mm setting

  Bracketed exposures of 1/4, 1/2 and 1/8 seconds. f20
125 ISO. 17 - 40 zoom at 17mm setting

Bracketed exposures of 1/5, 1/10 and 2.5 seconds. f18
200 ISO. 17 - 40 zoom at 17mm setting

Lastly there are street scenes which are also helped with the HDR method.

Bracketed exposures of 5, 2.5 and 10 seconds. f13
200 ISO. 28 - 135  zoom at 28mm setting
 Bracketed exposures of 2.5, 1.3 and 5 seconds. f10
400 ISO. 28 - 135 zoom at 38mm setting

 Bracketed exposures of 2.5, 1.3 and 5 seconds. f10
400 ISO. 28 - 135 zoom at 28mm setting


The only image amongst my favourites for 2010 that wasn’t an HDR is this one.

 Single exposure of 13 seconds. f13
400 ISO. 17 - 40 zoom at 17mm setting

I did make three images but ended up choosing this one as there was enough details already. You can read about the circumstances regarding the taking of this image in a previous blog post here.

All images were taken one of the three lenses mentioned above, normally at the widest setting (in the case of the zooms) with the camera on manual and set to f 10 or above

The 17 – 40 and the 28 – 135 are both nice sharp, contrasty lenses. The only corrections I’ve made are for distortion where the edges of wall etc., are curved. To correct this distortion I use “PT lens” from Tom Niemann. This can be used as a standalone programme or as a plug in for Photoshop. The newer versions of Photoshop have (I believe) this functionality built in. I however am using Photoshop version 7.0. It is a fantastic programme and recognises the camera and lens in use. It then corrects automatically or the user can further refine it. New lenses and Bodies are constantly being added. Take a look. It’s well worth the price.

That's it for now. As usual I appreciate your taking the time to read this and would welcome some comments.
Happy 2011.