Tuesday, 18 January 2011

A New Toy

I had the good luck to be given a Lastolite Ezybox softbox for my birthday last December and up until now I haven’t had a chance to use it. Katy and I set it up last night and had a play with it.

First impressions are that it’s a doddle to put up; a flick of the wrist and the softbox takes shape. I am not going to go into the how to set it up as it was fairly straightforward, if you use one you'll see what I mean. Putting it away was just as easy. I made one modification; I removed the cold shoe that came with the bracket and replaced it with one of the flash triggers I use. The model I got was the 60cm one.

The light from it was amazing and very controllable. It was made for the type of portrait shots I like to do; film noir. I have been getting similar results with using a closed down reflective umbrella, but the draw back of this approach is that there is the umbrella rod close to your subjects face just waiting to poke their eye out. Not recommended. And also I find it harder to reach in close to the subjects face to adjust the flash output. The softbox can be almost touching the models face and you still have easy access to the flash, because nits behind it.

the setup

I have yet to use it outside, but given the weight and shape it cannot be any worse than an umbrella in the wind. Fort these shots we killed the ambient, more or less and then added back in the softbox light.

And thanks again to Katy for being the model… and the photography in the end...

Noel and Katy

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Happy New Year to Maria and Joe

As part of that project last year, I photographed Joe one summer evening. A great time was had by all. At the end of the shoot, which didn't last very long - as we were all eager to get back to the great Sicilian feast they had prepared, I persuaded Maria, his beautiful partner, to pose with him. The tone when photographing Joe had been moody and thoughtful, so we took a final shot in the same vein. One frame was all it took and I had the shot. Sometimes it really does happen like that. 

Maria and Joe
A nicer couple you could not meet!

I wanted to wish them a happy new year as they ahd a bit of a let down at Christmas. Long story short; they, and all their family were due to fly to the USA and take a cruise down south, but couldn't get out of Gatwick because of the white stuff! Maria's brother managed to make it from Manchester, but he was the only one to get away! I bet he enjoyed that! And this was a special family celebration, Maria's Parents 50th Wedding Anniversary! Anyway, I am told they are planning on taking the holiday in the new year. I wish them all good luck and curse the snow!

You will remember Maria as one of the first portraits from the previous year. A pleasure to shoot, and you can't say that everyday. Definitely one of the favourites, here it is again; Maria in her trademark pink.

(definitely one of the favourites...)

Happy New Year guys,
and I am looking forward to seeing next years holiday snaps...


Saturday, 1 January 2011

A very Happy New Year to all...!!!

2010 is behind us and 2011 is here. What a year it has been! Full of ups and downs, but mostly, I am happy to say, ups! This year has thought me that photography is a wonderful tool to make things happen. I'll be posting more about this as the year goes on.

A new year, a new project. I shall be spending more time in the studio and more time working on my portfolio. Not quite sure what the project will be yet; too many great ideas I am happy to say!

I was given a present of an iPad this year from a very good friend of mine, so I am hoping this will help in the social networking side of things. No resolutions, I am just going to do more of the stuff I love. This next year is going to be focused (pardon the pun) on having maximum fun with my photography.

 I leave you with this piece of street art I came across in Dublin last year...

Artist... unknown,
but maybe that's their 'tag' in the corner,
whoever you are, great spraying!

So, all the best for the New Year and may all your wishes come through...