Fight night at Teviot0
James Robertson wins Guardian Student Media award0
neil posted in Travel on November 27th, 2008
James Roberson, a friend who I worked with on Student, has won the photographer category of the Guardian Student Media Awards. He wins a pile of cash and a week working for the Guardian newspaper. His portfolio is available here. Good stuff.
21st Birthday portraits0
neil posted in Photos, Neil on November 24th, 2008
The Whisky Picnic1
neil posted in Photos, Neil on November 13th, 2008
Samhuinn, where and why?0
neil posted in Photos, Neil on November 7th, 2008
Never let it be said your gear does’nt get you gigs. I had a phone call a few weeks ago asking “Neil do you have that 70-200 ? With IS?”. The Beltane Fire Society photographers had envisioned Samhuinn as a chance to sharpen up less experienced photographers, however when they managed to get a room in the registry overlooking the stage they came to me because I had “that lens”. I was glad to have it, I enjoy shooting with the BFS performers and high action in low light is a real challenge. This was another challenge as it combined high action in low light with a long lens and considerable distance from the stage.
To stabilize the lens, I borrowed a Calumet tripod from Scott (Fishsuckseggs) which had a very nice, smooth operating head on it. To stop the action I used three flashes. One flash was carried by JR on a hama bracket as he shot from just inside the crowd. The other two flashes, including a SB900 were on the ledge of the rightmost window. The 200mm throw of the SB900 was nice to have here as it would make more efficient use of its output and it was backed up by an SB800. These lights ran full power and combined gave me a working aperture of f/4.5 at ISO640 on the center of the stage. The flash carried by JR was there to give some side/rim lighting and was running at 1/8th or 1/4 power. We also borrowed a remote camera, a Canon 400D, and used its wired remote to command continuous motor drive for the duration of the event. Its exposure time was set at 30 seconds, a bit long in retrospect, and its exposure mode was shutter priority.
Initially I used 1/20th of a second for my shutter speed, but with torches, flares and other exposure changes I was working the shutter speed pretty hard. My general goal was to keep the ambient 2 stops down, but this changed depending on the situation. Canon’s ergonomics seem much better suited for on tripod operation. When you are’nt balancing the camera, the vertical back wheel becomes considerably more usable. With some acts, once I had a usable shot at higher shutter speeds, I would make 1 or 2 second exposures to capture movement with a little flash freeze.
When the wild hunt’s giant wolves advanced through the crowd I tried a panning shot (did I mention I liked this tripod) with some flash on top of it.
In case you’re wondering, myself and all the camera gear was securely fastened to anchors in the room with massively overspecified ropes.
US Presidential Election from Teviot Row House, Edinburgh0
neil posted in Travel on November 5th, 2008
Currently a little blown away.. I had a PR based shoot today and I’ve only just dusted the “best of” Samhuinn. There is a gallery of those images up here.
I’ll write more, about the techniques we used and the exposures I was attempting, once my feet touch the ground and the photos are in the right places.