Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Wildlife of Southern Africa 2012 Calendar

After many late nights since returning from my trip to South Africa and Botswana I've finally got a new calendar together for 2012!  It is filled with 13 (including the cover) of my favorite wildlife photos from the trip printed on A3 200gsm satin art paper with a sturdy top wire binding and hanger.  They are a fantastic gift idea and if you order before the 17th of December in many parts of the world then you will receive your order before Christmas (Redbubble Christmas shipping dates).

If you are looking at this post mid year and don't want to wait 6 months to get a calendar you actually select which month of the year you want you calendar to start when you order.  The default should be Janurary but make sure you double check before you click Add to Cart.

African Wildlife is not your thing then I also have several other calendars available in my Calendar Album or go to my portfolio page for card & prints of all my photos including many more from the trip.  If I can get a few more photos uploaded tonight I might have a "Birds of Southern Africa" calendar too.

For the photographers out there, all images were taken with a Canon 7D with Canon 100-400.

Monday, 21 November 2011

South African Adventure

So for those of you that don’t know, I’m in South Africa! I’m having a holiday that has involved some time in game parks while touring around South Africa (and a bit of Botswana) and obviously taking a few photos, just a few…
Currently at the half-way point but I thought I share a photo or two, you’ll have to go to flickr for more: South Africa Set

Monday, 20 June 2011

That's not a flash, THIS is a flash

Ever wanted a bit of fill flash on that aeroplane you are flying alongside?  Or overpower the sun that on that luxury yacht cruising the harbor?  Well Claes Axstål has a just the rig to get the job done!  Although the article doesn't really talk about the set-up for specific photos it does mention shooting medium format with leaf shutter to get a higher sync speed (Mamiya 645DF) and lighting with twin Profoto 7b heads with Magnum reflectors for power and short flash duration.  Check out the "Claes Axstål Challenges the Sun" post on on the Profoto blog for more details and some amazing photos.
via strobist

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Focus after taking the photo: Computational Photography

Here's a novel idea, take your photo and then decide where you want the focus point to be! This is one of the possibilities of computational photography, it is unclear from this article if it is possible without a plenoptic camera (uses microlenses to capture multiple images). I wonder if this can be used to extend the DOF as well as just choose your focus point. Oh and it has possibilities for various other uses such as HDR which combine multiple images.
Photo Rumors: Startup company Lytro promises to redefine photography with computational imaging

Monday, 9 May 2011

Glacial Stream

Glacial Stream Panorama
Glacial Stream, a photo by will_hl on Flickr.
Going back through old photos I thought I'd have another go and processing (LR3) and stitching (CS3) this one. Was able to bring out the shadow detail better and correct the perspective so I could keep the waterfall on the left in the shot. The original version is here.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Commercial food photography

Last year I had the opportunity to combine two things I dearly love, Food & Photography, and get paid for doing it!

Last year while setting up a graduation group photo at Ridley College (will write a post on that soon) I was approached by the head chief of Hot Dish catering, Michael Shaw, to take some food photos during the day.  I said sure, thinking he just wanted some photos of the spread while doing the event coverage.  A few moments later he started laying out a table for a formal set-up.  Anyway I quickly organised some lights, took a few shots and landed myself a couple of dedicated food shoots.

The main aim of the shoots was to produce advertising images for the web site, print advertising and any press releases.  Some also ended up being used for as a submission for food competitions and some may even make it into a book one day.  This meant that they needed to be clear commercial images but be 'artsy' enough to not just look generic or for a fast food store.

With that in mind and the knowledge that we had to produce a lot of images quickly as a default I used a two light set-up; a small softbox key light high, behind and slightly to the side and a relatively on axis fill through a silk (shower curtain) to fill the shadows and give another spectral highlight on the food.  I also used a reflector or two for most shots.

Lamb Kebab Arancini Balls
Hot Dish Catering
Dukkah and bread Cheese Platter
Coffee treats
All photos by Will Hore-Lacy, food styling by Michael Shaw.
Thanks to Michael for letting me post these and with any luck there will be more to come in the future!

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

New Canon EF 200-400mm announced

Canon has just announced it is developing the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender1.4x and it looks sensational! It will cost a mint and weigh a tonne but I suspect it was be a sensational lens for wildlife and sports photographers who need some extra length. The Nikon 200-400 f/4 is very highly regarded so provided canon doesn't do anything too silly, I think this lens will be a huge success.

The downside of this lens is going to be the size, weight and $$$$. You can't make a f/4 long zoom without a lot of glass and steel (or magnesium or whatever they are using these days) so it will be big. I heard someone say the Nikon goes for around $7000 so that gives a ball park for the Canon, given it includes a teleconverter I wouldn't expect it to be less.

In my last blog post I mentioned that there were some rumours that canon would be replacing/updating the 100-400 soon. Well there were also some rumours that the new 70-300 IS would fill that gap and that they might go for something new for a new xxx-400 zoom. Looks like they went for something new!

Anyway, not long after that last blog I did end up buying a second hand Canon 100-400mm, and even with this announcement, I'm glad I did for a few reasons.
  1. I’m currently getting photos I couldn’t any other way and it was the best option at the time. (Just had a trip down to Tasmania)
  2. I won’t be able to afford the new 200-400mm for a very long time, and
  3. It’s a less expensive way to try wildlife photography and practice, practice, practice. Results are improving already!
Pied Oystercatchers feeding
Pied Oyster catchers at Fortescue Bay, Tasmania (Canon 50D with Canon 100-400 IS)
So all in all it looks like a great lens but given the weight and the price it's time to hit the gym... and then the casino?