Signal to Noise Ratios in Photography
February 6, 2020 by admin in Hints and tips 1 Comment

When taking a photo, you need to get a good exposure. And to get a good exposure, you need to get as much light into your camera as you can, without over exposing the shot and blowing out your highlights.  There are some exceptions to this but in general the more light you let in to your camera (as long as you’re not over exposing the photo), the better the signal you will have for the camera to build that image, however, there is a little more to it than that and the signal to noise ratio is a really good thing to understand to really have an idea of what the camera is doing and how to get the best results from it. First of all it’s good to know what noise is.  Noise is a slight variation in the colour and luminance between pixels in your photo. The greater the variation, the more it becomes visible as a texture. When you get a lot of variations in the colour, you’ll tend to see greens and reds in your solid colours. And when you just get a variance in luminance, it gives the look of a texture in those […]

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A7Rii vs A7iii – Which one is for you?
November 8, 2018 by admin in Hints and tips, Photography 0 Comments

I’ve had these two cameras now for a while. A lot of you have been asking which one should I buy and even though the A7rii is the previous generation, its exactly the same price as the a7iii at the moment (Nov 2018), at $1,998. So I looked into the differences and similarities. Downloadable images So click on the image above to see my comparison video and then click on this link to go to the downloadable images. I’ve taken a few city night-scapes in Dubai as well as some astrophotography shots. Unfortunately I caught the cable on my external hard drive when I was backing up the astro shots (was lazy and didn’t back them up right away…..only after editing the good ones!)….. anyway, I  lost all of the raw files from that nights shoot, so they are only jpegs….but you should be able to see the similarities between the two cameras when shooting night-scapes. With the price of the A7riii being much higher, and the specs being subtly different, the A7iii seems like the one to get, however, with the release of this Camera, there seems to be a load of a7rii’s that have flooded onto the market. […]

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Star trails Today I am going to show you how to take and edit star trails Now I mainly take single shots of starry skies and the milkyway in my astrophotography shots. I haven’t really tried star trails so this is my first proper go. Star trails are those images where you see the stars streaking across the sky……not that type of streaking…… You’ll need Lightroom Photoshop and StrastaX. StarstaX is freeware and is a great tool for compiling these star trails! Click here to download the program. You’ll need Lightroom and photoshop as well. If you don’t have this, click on the link in the description to a free 30 day trial. To shoot the photographs, you need a tripod and an intervalometer and obviously a camera. To get a circular pattern, find the North Star and get it on your centre line…..or if you think of a better composition, just remember the North Star will be the rotational point. If you point in other directions you can get quite cool and sometimes weird patters from slightly curved lines to waves lines….wider lenses seem to distort and bend the lines and longer focal lengths produce straighter lines (with only […]

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Don’t buy a variable ND filter if you’re a photographer

Don’t buy a variable ND filter if you’re a photographer I’ve got many different types of ND filters, from circular filters right through to soft grads and had grads on a special bracket. However when I first wanted a filter, I looked at and thought a variable ND filter would be great all in one solution. Little did I know that this really isn’t the case…. An ND filter is basically like sunglasses for your camera. There are many different types and after years of spending, I have a lot of different types. The first one I started on was a variable ND filter…..after a lot of research, it seemed like the ultimate solution to carry one slightly bigger filter around instead of a whole stack of them, as it covers everything from a 1 stop to a 10 stop and beyond! Normal ND filters are darkened bits of glass that are balanced so they don’t throw a colourcast on your image. You can get everything from a slight drop in light to a huge drop in light. Variable ND filters are different in that they have two bits of glass in them. As you rotate the outer ring, the amount of […]

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Long Exposure Noise reduction
October 19, 2018 by admin in Hints and tips, Photography 0 Comments

Does long exposure NR make that much of a difference? This week I’ll be looking at the results of using the long exposure noise reduction. A lot of cameras nowadays have a function called long exposure noise reduction. I always have it turned off as it takes the same time as the exposure to process the image, which is really annoying especially when you’re shooting with longer exposures. I’ve been wondering what this function actually does so I’m going to go for a walk around the marina here in Dubai this evening and test it, to see if it really worth the wait. It’s in now way a scientific test or at the levels of DXO testing, just me and my camera shooting from a bridge into a bay of lights. I’ll shoot a series of different shots with different settings, with and without NR on. As it is to do with noise, I’ll shoot different ISO’s (as that is the main setting that increases the noise) and I’ll shoot through the shutter speeds……… I’ll probably need my ND filter and tripod. If I shoot up to 20 second exposures, it doesn’t make a difference, so astro shots on the […]

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How to get that Blurry Background Photograph
April 28, 2018 by admin in Hints and tips 0 Comments

This week I’ll show you how to get that blurry out of focus background look. By this I mean a shallow depth of focus where the subject is in focus and the background smoothly falls out of focus. When DSLR’s first started doing video, this was all the rage. In movies, when you have a closeup, it usually is shot on a lens that will give you this effect. And in photography, it has been around for years. You’ve just got to know how to set up your camera to get it. These are the different ways to get the effect, but when you combine them, you can really get the effect working in your favour. Now I am not going to go into the science behind this because I’d be here for hours, I’m just going to quickly go over what you need to know to get this effect working for you, when you want it. 1.Aperture  If you have a lens with a really low F number, you can get the background out of focus quite easily. The nifty fifty from canon is your cheapest way into this, but if you have a cropped sensor, this lens will […]

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Daddy Funk – THE drum teacher to have in Scotland!
September 11, 2017 by admin in Musician, People 0 Comments

As well as photography, I make short films and promos. Check out my vimeo page if you’re interested. You can also click on the image above to see Daddy Funk’s promo video! Over the last year, I’ve been filming a lot with Daddy Funk (a.k.a. Simon Greenhill). Whenever, I shoot a film, I always try to get my stills camera out and get some behind the scenes shots to use and some action shots whilst we’ve got the lights up! With Simon, we did just that and he performed magnificently! Simon is a great drum teacher and really is a guru in the industry. He has so many endorsements (Istanbul Agop Cymbals & Los Cabos Drumsticks, in association with BR Distribution in the UK), and so much talent that if you want a drum teacher and you live in Birmingham, he’s the man to see. In January 2016, we filmed a promo video together. This showcased his talents and highlighted his skills as a drummer and a teacher. Click here for the video. In September, we filmed his teachings which will be spread out over several different videos. Keep an eye out on his all new, and very cool website and for […]

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Maverick Race
September 4, 2017 by admin in Events 0 Comments

Over the summer I was lucky enough to be the Maverick Race official photographer. Initially, I thought this would be a relatively straight forward job………………………….I was very wrong! Taking photographs of runners in some pretty amazing places sounds like a dream job, and it was. But one thing I forgot to think about was my fitness levels for the event. Now I consider myself a pretty fit guy; I eat well, I train periodically and I do lots of different sports from kitesurfing to mountain biking. But, running is a very different kind of fitness. The job was to capture the feel of the day shooting the runners, the location and the countryside. So I headed to the first event in Somerset programming into the satnav a beautiful place called Fingle Bridge. After a two and a half hour drive, I arrived at 8am and got all of my kit ready after doing a recce. There was lots of opportunities for great images and it looked like it would be a great day’s shooting. The runners started turning up and I started shooting. When people are comfortable in their environment or are focusing on something else, it makes it easy […]

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