Fellow Photographers,

This weeks newsletter is a few hours later than normal for two reasons – firstly it’s Christmas and a few seasonal preparations got in the way. (I have now finally finished my Christmas shopping!).   But secondly and more significantly I’ve been working to resolve some of the booking problems that a few of you have been experiencing with my website.  I believe I have finally got it all resolved.  For the techies among you and those who have experienced the problems you can read all about it in the blog section of this newsletter.

Also in the blog section is a link to my Christmas message on YouTube and technical feature on mirror lockup.

Our two featured events in this issue of the newsletter are Focus Stacking on 2nd January and Bodyscapes on 16th January.

Just to let you know that we still have two places available for our post Christmas shoot on 27th December with model Calamity.

All the remains is for me to thank you all for supporting the studio in 2014, wish you a very happy Christmas.

And as ever… please read on….


Deal of Day

[Deal of the Day] 10% off Boudoir Workshop

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Boudoir Photography is quite popular.  This weeks deal of the day is for our Boudoir Workshop which is scheduled for 17th January 2015.  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.

To get 10% off the price enter the code BOUD10PC when booking.  The offer is available till 28th December 2014 but only applies to those booking in and paying in full before that time.

You can book your place here: http://www.ians-studio.co.uk/events/boudoir-workshop-3/ – The price include lunch and printed notes.


Forthcoming Events

Friday, 2 January 2015 – Focus Stacking

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Location: Ian’s Studio
Time: 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Price: £17

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 £15

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


Friday, 16 January 2015 – Bodyscapes

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Location: Ian’s Studio
Time: 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Price: £29

In this Friday Night at the Studio event we look at how to use the nude female form and a few props to create abstract images that are reminiscent of landscapes..

In addition to landscape-esque images we will also look at ways of photographing portions of our models body to create other abstract images.

Price: £29

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


From the Blog…

[BLOG] Booking Problems Solved (take 2)

iansstudio-booking graphic

A little while back I posted to say that I thought I had resolved the booking problems and password reset problems that had been plaguing a minority of users of the site.  That didn’t prove to be 100% accurate – unfortunately.  Over this last weekend, with the help of a couple of photographers and with the help of some tech support from my hosting company.  I think we really have solved them this time.

Firstly it transpires that some of problems were being caused by a security patch that the hosting company had applied some months ago.  This patch locked out anyone who accessed the login script more than twice in five minutes.  Unfortunately the same login script also handled password resets.  Thus anyone who requested an email to reset their password… and actioned it withing five minutes became automatically locked out!  Wordpress (on which my website is based) has since been updated to solve the original problem.  I have therefore asked the hosting company to remove the patch and they have done so.

Secondly is appears that a number of people have been trying to login using their email address rather than using the username supplied by the website.  This has given the impression that they are locked out of the site.  I have now implemented a plugin which means that you can log-in using EITHER your email address or the username supplied by the site.  Hopefully this will make the site and booking easier.

Thirdly, it appears that some returning customers have been filling out the ‘new user’ form to book an event, rather than logging in.  This has either generated and error because the email address is already in use… or they have ended up with two account each with a different username.  To help prevent this in future I have updated the booking form to make it more obvious that existing should log in.

Hopefully these changes will make the booking experience easier for all concerned.  If you do experience any further errors or problems please let me know and I do my best to solve them.


[BLOG] Mirror lockup

Valletta skyline at night, Malta – 30sec exposure… on a very wobbly, broken tripod!

In a recent blog post I talked about using “mirror lockup”.  I thought I’d take a few moments to explain a little more about mirror lockup, why and when I would use it.

The problem

When on tripod there is always a risk that pressing the shutter release will cause a slight but perceptible jolting of the camera.  This is why photographers use remote triggers or cable-releases, to prevent that from happening. Additionally if your tripod is not absolutely rock solid, even the effect of the mirror flipping-up introduce a slight vibration.

So what can you do on those occasions when you don’t you don’t have a cable release or remote trigger for your camera?  And how can you prevent the vibration introduced by the mirror flipping up?

The Solution

The solution to both is “mirror lockup”.

Let’s look firstly at the scenario where you have a remote trigger but you are concerned about vibration caused by the mirror flipping up.  Enable mirror lock-up. This is usually done within your cameras menu system.  For more recent Canon cameras you will find it on the first of the camera menu screens (see the image below) for other cameras you may need to check your manual or search through the menus.

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When enabled the first time you press the shutter release on your remote control the mirror will flip up.  Wait a few seconds then press the shutter release again and the image will be created.

But what if you don’t have a cable release or remote trigger? If this is the case you need to enable self-timer.  Most cameras will give you two versions of self timer.  10secs is the standard but your camera should also offer you a 2sec timer.  This latter option is designed to work with mirror lock up.  Press the shutter release on the camera.  The mirror will flip up.  The after two seconds the image will be created.  The two second pause ensures any vibration from the mirror flipping up has died down and that there is time for you to get your hands away from the camera so that you aren’t going to nudge the tripod.

It is worth noting that on some cameras if you enable mirror lockup, and then select self-timer a timer duration of 2secs may be automatically selected.  I once had once camera where enabling mirror lockup was the only way to get a 2sec self-timer.

Things to think about

If you need to start your exposure at a precise time (eg as a train passes a certain point) it is very tricky to work using the 2sec self-timer, and the only sensible approach is to use a remote trigger, press the shutter release once and wait for the precise moment you need to take the image and then press the shutter release on the remote trigger a second time.

Using mirror lockup as described above I have successfully taken sharp long exposure images on some very wobbly tripods.  This is worth knowing if you are travelling abroad and need to keep the weight of your camera gear down to an absolute minimum.  There is no substitute for a good solid tripod if you have access to one, but mirror lockup is a useful tool when one is not available.

The image I started this blog post with is just one such occasion.  I was travelling with a light-weight travel tripod and the tripod head of broke while I was on the trip.  While I was still able to attach the camera to the tripod it was far from stable.  Mirror lockup enabled me to get a sharp image event with a 30sec exposure.


[Video] Happy Christmas

In case you haven’t seen it yet – I have a little Christmas thank you video up on YouTube…  And as it says in the video I hope you have a very Happy Christmas and a great New Year…. oh yes… and also as it says in the video… Please subscribe to the video feed on YouTube.  Also please subscribe to our weekly newsletter for weekly 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.


Photo of the Day

POTD Fri, 12 Dec 2014: No silhouettes please we’re British


This image of model Laura comes from our “All you need are strobes” night at the studio. As part of the night I showed a technique for creating a silhoutte using a Union Flag and a couple of strobes behind it.

You can see a wider selection of images taken at the event here: http://photos.imb.biz/model/shoot/laura-strobes

If you want to know more about creating silhouette images in April 2015 I am running an event covering a number of different techniques: http://www.ians-studio.co.uk/events/shooting-silhouettes/

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: FG1212A-G15096


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 4 Nov 2004: Camels in the Desert.


Camels in the Desert. Wadi al-Sebua, New Sebua, Upper Egypt, Egypt. 

NUMBER OF SALES TO DATE: 1
SOLD VIA: Alamy
LICENCE: Rights Managed

This is one of my pre-digital images. This trip to Egypt in 2003 was my last trip using a film camera.

I eventualy tracked down the sale to a Cox and Kings travel brochure for a Nile Cruise holiday.

4 Nov 2004
Country: United Kingdom
Usage: Editorial
Media: Travel brochures
Industry sector: Travel and Tourism
Sub-Industry: Travel Agents/Operators
Print run: up to 20,000
Placement: Inside
Image Size: 1/8 page
Start: 04 November 2004
End: 04 November 2005

Alamy link: http://www.alamy.com/image-details-popup.asp?Imageid={509F20AC-3262-4606-9A3F-BB8886120D1D}

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: EV0319A-F00416


The Full Programme

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

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.

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