Razor Back Craft Beer Ringwood Brewery

Razor Back Beer Bottle


Craft Beer Shot

For those tuning in to find a blog on shaving your back, well I’m sorry to disappoint.

Razor Back is a craft beer and one of the perks of taking photos of beer is, of course, the fun of taking the empties back to the bottle bank with the stench of stale alcohol wafting around your car.

Using a shutter speed of 1/250 @ f8 ISO 100 ensured that no ambient light was going to be messing with the lighting, which meant that there was no interference of the studio strobes. It also helped to maintain a black background.


Lighting was two strip boxes either side using some diffusion material to make it a softer fall off of light around the edges and then backlit.

I will be disposing of the bottle carefully but I shall make sure that the contents don’t go to waste either.  Well, someone had to drink it!



Razor Back Craft Beer Ringwood Brewery

Feeling part of the party with shutter drag

Shutter Drag

Shutter Drag

No its not smashing your camera up and pulling some important internal parts of your camera across the floor.  Shutter drag is a technique where, instead of using your cameras sync speed to take a flash photograph, you set the shutter speed to a slower amount, for example 0.5 sec.

The examples here are of a Wedding function from last year. You can see everyone is having a great time and the camera has caught that.

Dancing shot without slow sync

Example using shutter drag

However, in the second example, you can see the motion of the disco lights as they streak through the image which gives a more dynamic feel to the images as if the viewer was in that dance.

Dancers having a great time

So what’s going on?

What happens is the flash fires as the shutter opens and freezes any movement caught by the duration of the flash.   The trick is then to move the camera in that half a second window to streak any light from the disco lights thus giving the look of streaky coloured lights throughout the scene.

The trick here is not to overdo this technique. I like to give clients a mixture of both to see what they prefer but I usually get asked “Wow! How do you get those crazy lights?”  Now you know.

With flash there are really two exposures going on. Your aperture controls your flash exposure and your shutter speed controls the ambient light.

I hope to get more into this in future blogs but for now just try messing about with a shutter speed of around 0.5 sec, an I.S.O. of about 400 and f5.6 Aperture – but do experiment with these figures and give it a go next time you are out at a party with your DSLR.

More about flash

Abstract sunflower




Recently I have been back in the studio creating some abstract sunflower images for stock agencies. I initially tried taking a portion of the sunflower head on a white background with a key light with a soft box off to the right and my lastolite background with one bare flash strobe firing into the cavity giving an even white background.

I think this looks good as an abstract image especially with a square crop.

Abstract sunflower

Roll in the dark background

So on now to my very dark brown canvas background where I tried to get some nice brown yellow colour combo’s going.

I decided to make this a square crop also as it seems to hold the composition better.

Lens Choice

Both images were taken on a Canon 100mm macro 2.8 IS lens which gives superb quality and sharpness and is my “go to” lens for this type of shot, although there is a narrow depth of field and the focal point of the image was the flower at centre left, making it pop from the page.

Please feel free to comment.


Sunflowers against a brown canvas


Young woman clutching hands black and white copy space

The result of one flash

Happy New Year!

Well to bring in the new year I decided to give a new strip soft box light modifier a try.

The idea being to try and get some low key images which had a certain simplicity to them. Armed with the Canon 1DX on a tripod this time as I usually shoot hand holding I set about taken a series of images in profile with different poses

Charlotte 1/250 sec f8 ISO 100


I decided on this shoot that I would take some profile shots of my model Charlotte. After some serious shots I cracked a joke about something and she gave out this lovely smile. A first for me she never normally laughs at my jokes and caught on camera. Anyway it turned out to be one of the best shots of the session.

Post Processing.

Not a great deal was done to the image in post other than a mono conversion and I did originally extend the canvas to the left to give Charlotte more space to look into and give a more isolated look to it but I think it took away the impact of the original expression.

Please feel free to comment on any images that I post or have any questions on anything.