Fellow Photographers,

This past week started with a disaster.  A corrupt memory card leading to the loss of 6 video that I had shot for my YouTube channel.  As a result this weeks video is not the one I had planned or even shot.  It is a much older one that hadn’t previously be released all about battery storage.   You can find out more about it in the blog section of this newsletter.

I’m highlighting the post Christmas event with model Calamity again this week – bookings are going reasonably we but there is still some space left.  I know it is difficult at this time in December to think about anything post-Christmas, but if you are thinking of coming to that day – please don’t delay in making your booking as I am restricting the number of photographers to just five.

The photo of the day image I have picked for this newsletter is from our recent Concept to Creation event.  I’m consider other events along similar lines for the future, where there will be a chance to look at how we create images from the initial ideas to the execution and editing.

Also in this weeks newsletter is my 10 point guide to how to take photographs of Christmas lights.

So for all this and more…. please read on…

PS.  Don’t forget this Friday is my FREE Christmas Critiques event – if you are planing to come, please book via the website so I know how many mince pies to buy.

Deal of Day

[Deal of the Day] £5 Off : 3 Lights 3 Points


This week’s deal of the day is £5 off early bookings for Rick Bradbury’s 3 Lights – 3 Points event, which he will be running on Friday 23rd January.

Rick is running the event that week because I will be ‘treading the boards’ again, in “No Sex Please, we’re British” at CHADS (Cheadle Hulme Amateur Dramatics Society) – http://www.chads.co.uk/

To book you place and claim your discount please go to : http://www.ians-studio.co.uk/events/three-lights-three-points/ and enter the code: 3L3P5 when making your booking.

The code is valid until Friday 19th December.

Forthcoming Events

Saturday, 27 December 2014 – Oh, Calamity!


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

On the Friday between Christmas and New Year, I try to run a full day event.  This year that Friday will be Boxing Day – so instead of running an event on Boxing Day we have a group shoot on Saturday 27th December.

For this event I have invited back model Calamity, who recently modeled for our sold out “Unusual Underwear” event.  Event and model both proved to be very popular.  For this new event Calamity will be working at mixed levels up to Art Nude.  To ensure that everyone gets plenty of time to shoot with Calamity I will be limiting the maximum number of photographers for this event to just FIVE.

You can find Calamity’s profile on Purpleport:  http://purpleport.com/portfolio/calamity/?referrer=ianbutty (Contains nudity)

Price: £69

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

Friday, 2 January 2015 – Focus Stacking


Location: Ian’s Studio
Time: 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Price: £15

Start 2015 by learning a new photography technique – Focus Stacking

One of the limitations with macro photography is the very shallow depth of field.  At this Friday night event we will explore the use of focus stacking when doing macro photography work.

If you have your own macro lenses, or extension tubes please bring them along.  If you are a canon shooter I will have some that you can borrow.

Other kit to bring: tripod and focusing rails if you have them.  (Don’t panic if you don’t as I have both at the studio that you can use).  If you wish to follow through the focus stacking techniques on your own laptop you are welcome to bring that along too.

Once we have taken a set of images, I will guide you through techniques for combining the images together to get that all important wide depth of field.

Price £17

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

From the Blog…

[Video 017] Battery Storage

I’ve had a trying week when it comes to video.  Due to a corrupt/dead SD card I lost 6 videos that I had recorded at the studio last week.  An attempt to rerecord them was thwarted by strong winds and a very noisy banging fence.  So for this week’s VideoCast I have chosen to release an older video.

This VideoCast was recorded before I got my current lavelier (tie clip) microphone, so the sound quality is not as good as my more recent videos.  Sorry about that.  I do hope however that the information, hints and tips on how to store your rechargeable batteries will still be of help to you.   Hopefully normal service will be resumed next week!

Please subscribe to the video feed on YouTube.  Also please subscribe to our weekly newsletter for more Photography Hints, Tips and How-Tos.

For the best way to view the video – please click the full screen icon and veiw in HD.

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What do you think about this video?  Did you find it helpful?  Please comment here on my blog page; or comment on the video page on YouTube and let me know your thoughts.

[BLOG] Photographing Christmas Lights

It’s Christmas time and the lights are on.   It’s a great time to have a go at some night photography.  So here’s my top ten tips for those who are new to night photography.

  1. Time of day is critical.  The aim with night photography is to balance the fading daylight with the artificial lights on buildings and/or Christmas decorations.  The ideal time to shoot most scenes is about 20 minutes after the official sunset time.  Check the sunset time on http://www.timeanddate.com/ – the window of opportunity lasts for about 20mins.  During this time the sky will be recorded as a vibrant blue colour.
  2. You will need a tripod – find one as sturdy as possible.  If you want a light weight one, look for one with a hook on the base of the stock so you can hang your camera bag on it for extra stability.
  3. A lot of your exposure will be several seconds so turn off any vibration reduction/image stabilisation you have on your lens or camera.
  4. If you have cable release or remote control use it so you don’t knock the camera when taking your shots.  If you don’t have one then enable mirror lock-up on the camera and set a 2sec self-timer.  The mirror will go up when you press the shutter release then 2 seconds later, after any vibration has stopped the image will be created.
  5. Set your ISO to 100 or as low as it will go on your camera.  Don’t use auto ISO.
  6. If you are wanting to capture light trails from car head/tail lights you will need an exposure of about 15secs or longer.
  7. Shoot in manual mode.  Set your aperture initially to f/8, then adjust the shutter speed until the little pointer in the viewfinder is in the middle.  If the shutter speed isn’t long enough – close down the aperture a couple of stops to say f/16 and increase the shutter speed.
  8. Take a test shot – examine it on the back of your camera, adjust the shutter or aperture if it is over or under exposed.
  9. Keep checking the images as you take them, the light is changing and you will need to adjust your settings.  If the light is changing quite rapidly, you may want to work in aperture priority mode.  The camera will adjust the exposure time for each shot as the light changes.  However you may need to use exposure compensation to adjust the exposures depending on the scene you are photographing.
  10. Warm clothing and gloves.  It’s winter and you will be standing around for a long time, wrap-up warm!


(Click to see images full size)

For more examples of my night photography round Manchester take a look at this album:

Photo of the Day

POTD Fri, 5 Dec 2014: YouTube Killed the Video Star

Bex at Concept to Creation event

This image comes from our recent “Concept to Creation” event at the studio. The four hour session involved a team of photographers, a model and an MUA (Make-up Artist) deciding on two concept images we wanted to create. Between us we settled on two idea this was the first one we shot.

After shooting we spent the last hour looking at the post processing for the images.

You can see the ligting set up for this image and for versions of the other concept in my gallery here: http://photos.imb.biz/model/shoot/bexh-concepts (note that the there is small amount of nudity in the second image)

PLEASE NOTE: This is not a source of free photographs.
This photograph is (c) Ian M Butterfield. All rights are reserved. No use Is permitted (including non-commercial use) without prior permission. If you wish to use any of my photographs please ask first.

Image Reference: FG1205B-G14957

Stock Sales

For those who are interested in Stock Photography here’s some information about some of the strange and not so strange sales that I have made.

SALE 6 Aug 2004: A detail from Trevi Fountain

A detail from Trevi Fountain

LICENCE: Rights Managed

Rome was a trip where I learned more about travel and stock photography than on any other trip. The weather was awful, so I had to tackle my subjects a completely different way way, this included getting deails in the city.

6 Aug 2004
Country: United Kingdom
Usage: Editorial
Media: Travel brochures
Industry sector: Travel and Tourism
Sub-Industry: Package Holidays
Print run: up to 100,000
Placement: Inside
Image Size: 1/8 page
Start: 06 August 2004
End: 06 August 2005

Alamy link: http://www.alamy.com/image-details-popup.asp?Imageid={3A58E297-332D-4DE3-8172-F54151205E01}

PLEASE NOTE: This is not a source of free photographs.
This photograph is (c) Ian M Butterfield. All rights are reserved. No use Is permitted (including non-commercial use) without prior permission. If you wish to use any of my photographs please ask first.

Image Reference: EW0222E-D00447

The Full Programme

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

Friday, 19 December 2014 – Christmas Critiques 2014
Saturday, 27 December 2014 – Oh, Calamity!
Friday, 2 January 2015 – Focus Stacking
Friday, 9 January 2015 – Steam Punk
Sunday, 11 January 2015 – Introduction to DSLR Photography Course
Tuesday, 13 January 2015 – Mounting and Matting – Rerun Again!
Friday, 16 January 2015 – Bodyscapes
Saturday, 17 January 2015 – Boudoir Workshop
Friday, 23 January 2015 – Three Lights Three Points
Friday, 6 February 2015 – RPS Distinctions Night
Saturday, 7 February 2015 – Lightroom Training Day
Friday, 13 February 2015 – Friday the Thirteenth – Part 2 – Fear Factor!
Friday, 20 February 2015 – Clear Slime Nude
Saturday, 21 February 2015 – Messy Day
Friday, 20 March 2015 – Glamour Girl Night
Saturday, 21 March 2015 – Art Nude Workshop
Tuesday, 21 April 2015 – Intermediate Photography Course (8 Sessions)
Friday, 24 April 2015 – Shooting Silhouettes
Saturday, 25 April 2015 – Introduction to Wedding Photography Workshop
Monday, 4 May 2015 – 120:20 Challenge: Manchester
Saturday, 9 May 2015 – Night Photography Workshop
Sunday, 10 May 2015 – Comprehensive Studio Photography Course
Friday, 15 May 2015 – Pregnancy Night – With Maude
Friday, 19 June 2015 – Falling Down and Floating Up
Saturday, 5 September 2015 – Learn to Use Your flash Workshop
Wednesday, 30 September 2015 – In-Depth Art Nude Course
Saturday, 10 October 2015 – Messy Art Nude Workshop
Saturday, 24 October 2015 – Studio Photography Taster Day

Don’t forget our referral programme

£10 for each new photographer you refer to the studio who goes on to book for an event, workshop or course. More details here.