Saturday, 24 December 2011

Christmas Eve in the photoshop...

It's Christmas Eve and I'm still sat here working on the Mac to make sure a client have there work when they start back after the holidays, also have a shoot on next Wednesday to finish up another job. The new year has already got a few bookings in, location work and product shots.

So Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year to one and all.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Bowens Pro Heads, fire and fail...

I've used Bowens flash equipment since I set up as a freelance photographer just over 9 years ago, I'd used it before that in a couple of studios I'd worked for, so naturally when I was looking to upgrade some older kit about 18 months ago it was Bowens that I went for. The Pro heads, with their fast flash duration, were bought and I put some of my older flash equipment on e-bay. I'm beginning to wish I'd kept those older heads, as over the course of a couple of weeks I've had one 500 Pro head stop working and a 750 Pro head nearly go on fire, the smoke was very black and extremely unpleasant. So today Simon from Bob Rigby Photographic came over and picked up the offending equipment to send back to Bowens, luckily they have a two year  warranty, he did point out that the Bowens range is now made in China, which actually came as a bit of a shock. Chinese flash equipment hasn't got the best of reputations for quality or reliability. 

So now I wait till January to see what has gone wrong with my kit, I've still got 3 working heads and I can borrow up to 4 more at a push, but I really don't like the situation. 18 months use for this sort of equipment isn't that much, the heads I e-bayed were 5 years old and are still going strong at a photography business in Dorset.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Horse and flash...

This Saturday evening I headed out to the Foxes Riding School in Ledsham on the Wirral, to meet up with Cress and his rider Angela. The mission was to get some photographs of them, full portrait, head shots of Cress and action shots.

This isn't the first time I've photographed horses, but it was going to be the first using studio flash, I had no idea how the horse would react with flashes popping off all around him.

So whilst Angela schooled him on a lead rope, I set up a Canon speedlight 550EX on a tripod, aiming it at the wall to start with. I fired it, nothing, no reaction from Cress, so moving the 550 around so it was pointing towards Cress, I fired it again, still no adverse reaction, a few more flashes and still no reaction I was good to go.

I unload and set up my Bowens Gemini Pro heads, plugged them into a couple of Bowens Travelpaks and set to work. The heads have a very fast flash duration, even though I was running almost at full power, so there's very little in the way of movement blur in the images, the strip-lights illuminating the indoor arena had no effect on the images at all.

Next time though we will definitely be shooting outdoors in daylight, though I might well use the Bowens heads again to add some dramatic effect. I must thank Angela and especially Cress for the opportunity to get these images, and to Cress again for not taking exception to my equipment or myself. I think you'd agree he's a beautiful horse.