Composite Practise

Hello and I hope that you are well?

The other day I was practising some compositing techniques.  Here is one of the images I have put together using a shot of actor, Mel Mills.

This particular technique is one I found in Scott Kelby’s LIGHT IT, SHOOT IT book.  I really like Scott Kelby’s books, mainly because of his writing style, but also the techniques you learn as well.


This second image is one that is still in progress, as I am not happy with some aspects of it.


Thanks as always for stopping by!


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Just some end of the week news…

This week saw the release of a brand new app from Scott Kelby called Lighting Recipes.  I downloaded it as soon as I could and went through a few of them.  I have to say that I love it.  Essentially it is Scott Kelby introducing an image, and then going through the lighting set-up.  It is quick, easy and really easy to digest with diverse shots from inside a studio and out on location.  It is definitely something that I will be referring to on a regular basis and adding to my lighting arsenal.  If you have an iPad then click here and it is FREE!!!

I would also like to introduce a friend of mine who has recently begun to build a photography portfolio, both wet film and digital.  His name is Ian Scanlon.  Ian is a fine art major, and have always been impressed with his amazing portraits – and he has already made a positive start with his photos, too.  Ian has asked me for a few tips regarding the business of photography, and although I am no expert, I have shared a few tips which shall be part of a new blog post.  So please go to his site and give him as much support as you can [click here]

That’s all for this blog, however, I will be posting a new article on my sister site [click here] for an event that I covered.  Have a great weekend!


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Lightroom : Smoothening Skin in Lightroom

Not many people may know this, and up until recently I didn’t either, but there is a tool in Lightroom that allows you to smoothen skin.  Here is a video created by Matt Kloskowski showing you how!

Should you like to find out more about Matt Kloskowski, then go to his site Lightroom Killer Tips [click here] where you will not only get tutorials on Lightroom, but you will also receive a host of FREE downloads!  So there is no excuse not to click through!

Feel free to leave your comments on what you think about this video, and whether this may take over from Photoshop.

What to expect in 2012

Following a good 2011 where I have had the opportunity to work with some really exciting new clients, I am pleased to announce that 2012 is looking to be another good year developing nw10photography.

January will see some media press packs being shot for a client, whose details I am unable to disclose at this stage.  Whereas February will see me covering a Batmitzvah for the daughter of one of my corporate clients.  And in May I will be covering my cousin’s wedding which will be held at the 12 Apostles Greek Church and then followed by a reception in Kew Gardens.  I will also be working on a charity project with money raised going to a very worhtwhile cause called Clic Sergent [click here], sharing more instructional videos, and concentrating on more promo portraits.  So it should be a great year!

Here is a video I would like to share by Scott Kelby (I would highly recommend you invest in his training) on processing an HDR image.  Enjoy!

Thank you for reading, and I look forward to seeing you all in the New Year!



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Stock Market

I have been working on some more stock photos utilising my favoured and reliable model, my son.  The other week we did a shoot at home with the theme being ‘washing teeth’, ‘baking’, and painting.  I have covered baking before, however, this shoot was going to be a selection of images that have been isolated on a white background.

At home I don’t have a studio, so I made use of the garden, and our kitchen.  The set up was a large white sheet on the wall behind, a 60″ umbrella, and a flash set to slave to fire at the background sheet.

The key to this shoot, and any shoot where I use my son, is to make it a fun activity as opposed to me giving instructions on what I want him to do.  This would not be fun, and it would lead to unatural images.

The trusted Ikea table was set up, the paints/brushes were out, and lights were set.  I just snapped away whilst he was enjoying himself. The reason the garden was used was not only for the space, easy to clean, but it was cloudy and the light was nice and soft.

Here I was in the kitchen and again the set up was similar to outside.   The sheet was stuck against the back wall to keep it nice and white, and as well as the 60″ umbrella I also made use of a large reflector to make the images look nice and bright.  I gave my son the ingredients and told him to just take his time and enjoy himself, which he clearly did.
For the teeth washing I was conscious that we had been shooting for a while so I really kept it simple and quick.  I had him in his vest to look more like he was washing his teeth before bed, or in the morning.

The shoot over I took him out for a lovely lunch, which was polished off! I cannot emphasise more, that whomsoever you use, family, or otherwise, always reward them in some fashion for their time and efforts!

Post Processing

The post processing was simple.  I ensured that everything was 100% in camera, so all I did in LR was to pop the colour, and sharpen.  In photoshop I did the following:-
::Adjusted the levels
::Checked for areas where the background was not white
::Skin tidying/eye popping/skin softening using skills learnt from Scott Kelby’s book [click here]

And that was pretty much it! The images were saved and uploaded to Dreamstime [click here]

So, I would urge anyone who has an interest in selling their photos to read this eBook written by Nick Stubbs.  Here I learnt what is required from a photographer to start a career in Stock Photography [click here].

Thanks for reading!


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Book Review : Scott Kelby’s Professional Portrait Retouching Techniques

Today’s post was going to cover a shoot I was supposed to have yesterday (Thursday).  However, the shoot was cancelled so now for something completely different.

I recently bought a great book by Scott Kelby – Professional Portrait Retouching Techniques for Photographers using Photoshop.  Absoloutely bloody brilliant book!!  For anyone who has bought any of Scott Kelby’s books you will by now already know that he has a very easy to read style – just like he is standing there explaining it to you in person.

There are six chapters covering eyes, skin, face, hair, lips, and slimming.  At the very end of the book there are three retouches that Scott goes through, and they are 5 minute, 15 minut, and 30 minutes in length.  Each chapter shows different ways of achieving the techniques because as Scott explains each person you photograph will be different.

The other reasons that I love this book is that you can read the chapters in no particular order – however, if you are going to do the last chapter’s retouches it is assumed that you have already read the whole book.  And, there are some FREE downloads for you in the shape of images to work on, and eyelashes for you to use when doing eyes.

All techniques are broken down step by step, and you have screen grabs to help you along the way.

I would thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who is looking to learn about portrait retouching and move away from bought actions.

Here is a short video with Scott Kelby and Matt Kloskowski talking about Scott’s new book.

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Sigh Clothing Shoot

Here is my full blog post for the shoot I did with Sigh Clothing.  If you have not already seen some sample images [click here] to see a behind the scenes shot and one I did for which is aimed at using for my portfolio, and very different to the brief.

Sigh Clothing [click here] is aimed at women who like to express their individual, sensual nature and laid back style.  The clothing is totally original, using easy to wear fabrics in an organically developing collections.  Sigh Clothing’s range of clothes are aimed for women, occasionally men and children, of all ages, and they can be worn in many different lifestyle situations.

This was the first of a two part shoot – the second using a different model – and the aim was to keep things clean and simple.  We were going to use a light coloured wall as background and they were going to be  acombination of inside as well as outside images – alas, the great British weather did not hold out, and due to heavy rain we could not complete this.

The lighting was simple, hot shoe flash (HSF) firing into a refective umbrella, and a reflector.  As simple as that. The cameras was in manual and set to F5.0, ISO 200, 1/250th. All images were edited in LightRoom, then in Photoshop using techniques learnt in Scott Kelby’s [click here] book that I recently bought called Professional Portrait Retouching Techniques [click here].