Fellow Photographers,

To misquote Sesame Street… this weeks newsletter is brought to you by the word “back”.

We have two models who are coming back to the studio after sometime away – that is Willow Rose (Boudoir Workshop and 4×4 Day) and Rachael F; we have details of my “back to basics” Introduction to DSLR Photography course and also these weeks blog entry is a tale about exposure problems and why it has led me to start using back button focusing.

But before all that we a Photographing Men event at the studio this Friday Evening… And to keep the theme going I’m sure we will be photographing our model’s back!

For all this and more please read back… erm… I mean read on….


Forthcoming Events

Friday, 16 August 2013 – Photographing Men

Photographing Men

Location: Ian’s Studio
Time: 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Price: £25

Tonight’s Friday Night Event challenges us to create great images of men.  We will work with a male model to create a range of male portraits and images.

Our model for this event is new model Daniel Carr-Swift – sorry no profile to link to yet.  I have seen professionally taken images of him but I don’t have the right to reproduce them here.

We will look at a number of lighting set-ups, and use a selection of props to enhance our images.

Price: £25

Please book via my website: http://www.ians-studio.co.uk/events/photographing-men/


Saturday, 17 August 2013 – Boudoir Workshop

Boudoir Workshop

Location: Ian’s Studio
Time: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Price: £69

In this workshop we will look at a number of different techniques for creating Boudoir style images.  The workshop will look at different lighting techniques and the use of different props and a few cheats for creating a boudoir set

Our model will be working to topless/implied nude for this workshop.  The model for this event will be Willow Rose.  Take a look at her profile on Purpleport: http://purpleport.com/portfolio/willowrose/?referrer=iansstudio

If you want to see images I shot of Willow Rose at an art nude workshop, 18 months ago you can find them here:  http://photos.imb.biz/models/shoot/willowrose

Printed notes and lunch will be provided.

Price: £69

A deposit of £25 is required to secure your place.

Please book via my website: http://www.ians-studio.co.uk/events/boudoir-workshop-2/


Monday, 26 August 2013 – Willow Rose 4×4

Willow Rose 4x4

Location: Ian’s Studio
Time: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Price: £65

Willow Rose is back! And this time she will be modeling for two four hour sessions each of which will be restricted to just four photographers.

Willow modeled for one of my art nude workshops 18 months ago.  Shortly after that workhop she moved down to Cornwall.  It is no exaggeration to say that had she not moved out of the area she would have been a very regular and very popular model at the studio.

Willow will be bringing a variety of looks to this “4×4″ event and will be working at various levels up to art nude. To get some idea of the breath of styles that Willow covers please take a look at her profile on Purpleport: http://purpleport.com/portfolio/willowrose/?referrer=iansstudio

If you want to see images I shot at the art nude workshop with her from 18 months ago you can find them here:  http://photos.imb.biz/models/shoot/willowrose

Don’t miss this opportunity… it might be another 18 months before Willow is back in Manchester!

You have the choice of morning or afternoon session.
The morning session starts at 9.30am, the afternoon session starts at 2.30pm

Price: £65

Please book via my website: http://www.ians-studio.co.uk/events/willow-rose-4×4/


Saturday, 7 September 2013 – Welcome back Rachael F

Welcome back Rachael F

Location: Ian’s Studio
Time: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Price: £65

After a year on placement model/photographer Rachael F is back at Ian’s Studio.  At this special one-off event Rachael will be both modelling and photographing.

For the first 3hrs Rachael will be the model. For the remaining 3hrs she will join the photographers as we shoot a model that she has chosen. The model Rachel has chosen is Luin.

You can see images from some of the events that Rachael has modeled at here: http://photos.imb.biz/model/rachael and you can see Rachael’s Purpleport profile here: http://purpleport.com/portfolio/rachaelf/?referrer=iansstudio

Luin will be working at a mix of levels including modelling cyberdog fashion and some nude work.  You can see her profile here: http://purpleport.com/portfolio/luin/?referrer=iansstudio

We are limiting the number of photographers for this event to six (plus Rachael of course).  I expect this event will sell out so please book early to avoid disappointment.

Please note lunch is not provided at this event.

Price: £65

Please book via my website: http://www.ians-studio.co.uk/events/welcome-back-rachael-f/


Tuesday, 10 September 2013 – Introduction to DSLR Photography Course

Introduction to DSLR Photography Course

Location: Ian’s Studio
Time: 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM
Price: £149

This course will give all the basics to go out and start creating great images. The course is 7 sessions long and will be running fortnightly on Tuesday evenings 7.30pm – 10pm. starting Tuesday 10 September

The course content will include the following:

  • Composition, seeing and finding great photos.
  • Camera settings – understand what your camera can do
  • Getting the camera off auto:  understanding F-Stops, shutter speeds, focal lengths and ISO
  • White balance – what is it and when to change it
  • Flash photography.  Creative ways to use your flash gun to enhance your photos
  • Controlling the light – reflectors, defusers and filters.
  • RAW and JPG – what’s the difference?  Why shoot RAW?  How to process it
  • Downloading, processing and editing.
  • Sharing your photos on-line
  • Photography in difficult conditions:  at night, in the heat of the day, in the rain.
  • Photo critiques – learning how to assess your photos and teaching yourself to improve.

The course is aimed at beginners and those who wish to consolidate their photographic knowledge.  As with any course the time spent on any given subject will be tailored to reflect the current knowledge and experience of those attending.

Printed course materials (over 100 pages of notes) will be provided to all attendees.  Throughout the course there will be opportunities should you wish to have your photographs assessed to help you improve.

The total cost of the course is £149.   A minimum deposit of £40 is required to reserve you place on the course.

Please note: The course is designed for users of DSLR cameras.  If you have a “compact” camera or a “bridge” camera please contact me to discuss its suitability for this course.

Please book via my website: http://www.ians-studio.co.uk/events/introduction-to-dslr-photography-course-3/


From the Blog…

Exposure Error and Back Button Focusing

During my recent trip to Croatia I confirmed something that I had hitherto only suspected.  My Canon 5D Mk III was not always giving me accurate exposures when used in Aperture Priority mode…. although to be strictly accurate as with most photography issues the problem wasn’t with the camera… it was with the photographer.

My confession…

I didn’t read the manual, and there was a significant change between how my 5D Mk 1 worked and how my 5D mk III worked.  In aperture priority mode, as I am sure you are aware, you set the aperture… the camera calculates the shutter speed.  The issue is WHEN does it calculate it?  On my old 5D Mk 1 it calculated the exposure at the time the photograph was taken (ie when you fully press the shutter release), or when you pressed the exposure lock button (the button with the “*” symbol on the back of the camera).  On the Mk III however, the exposure is calculated when you half press the shutter release.

So what?

Now this may not sound like a big difference but when you use “focus recompose” as I do a lot it makes all the difference in the world.

I very rarely want my subject in the centre of the image.  Usually I place the subject off to one side.  Yes I could change my focus point to be one that is over the subject, but it is far quicker to point my central focus point at the subject, focus, recompose and shoot.  By default that focusing is done by half pressing the shutter release and holding it down, on the Mk III the exposure is calculated at the same time and locked in.

Why is this a bad thing?

Assume your subject is standing near a bright light source (but not so close to it that it will be in your final composition).  If that light source appears in the viewfinder while you are moving your focus point over the subject and half press the shutter release it will be taken into account as the camera calculates the exposure.  Recompose the image and the exposure the camera uses is incorrect for the final composition.

So what is the solution?

Most cameras enable you to customise when certain functions like exposure and focusing take place.  On the 5D Mk III, however, while I can prevent exposure from being locked in on half shutter press and only calculated on full shutter press… this also disables focusing on half shutter and full shutter press too.  This means to use auto-focus it is necessary to use the AF-ON button on the back of the camera.

Back button focusing

Focusing this way is known as ‘back button’ focusing and is used by a lot of photographers – some find it more intuitive.  It is an extra step when taking photos and when you first start using it, it can take a while for it to become second nature and will lead to the inevitable missed shots.  There are times that focusing like that is a real advantage.  Sports photography for example you can pre-focus on a point and just wait for your subject to arrive there without having to keep your finger half pressed on the release.

My perspective

I used to back button focus a few years ago and then for no particular reason reverted so I have slipped back into working that way with little problem, and in fact I think it has helped my photography because I have to think about focusing rather that just letting it happen.  And as for my exposures they are much better now because the camera is calculating them based on the actual image it is creating.

Lesson to learn

  • It always pays to read the manual for your camera.  Had I done so I might have discovered this change earlier.
  • When does YOUR camera calculate it’s exposure?  Is it when you expect it to?
  • Try back button focusing if you don’t already – any change to how you work makes you think about what you are doing photographically.  You might even find you prefer to work that way.

Photo of the Day

POTD 2 Aug 2013 – Creative Glamour

This event at the studio was all about taking a creative approach to glamour photography.  Finding the boundary between art nude and glamour.  Our model was the amazing Michela and I for one am very pleased with the results.  You can see a little more from the shoot here:  http://photos.imb.biz/model/shoot/creativeglamour but please not that some of the images do contain nudity and are thus ” Not Safe for Work” (NSFW).


The Full Programme

For full details of all our fourthcomming events please use the links below or click on the event eFlyer.

• Friday, 16 August 2013 – Photographing Men
• Saturday, 17 August 2013 – Boudoir Workshop
• Monday, 26 August 2013 – Willow Rose 4×4
• Saturday, 7 September 2013 – Welcome back Rachael F
• Tuesday, 10 September 2013 – Introduction to DSLR Photography Course
• Saturday, 14 September 2013 – Introduction to Studio Photography Workshop
• Saturday, 21 September 2013 – Introduction to Wedding Photography Workshop
• Friday, 11 October 2013 – Black and White Night
• Sunday, 20 October 2013 – Comprehensive Studio Photography Course
• Friday, 8 November 2013 – Tattoo Night
• Monday, 25 November 2013 – South Manchester Camera Club Talk