Fellow Photographers,

This week’s newsletter is a little different.

Hopefully you will have noticed that last week I have been posting photographs from a trip to Rome that I did in 2004.  The postings have been part of my POTD (Photo of the Day) series where I am posting an image that I took on that day exactly a number of years previously.

You may have noticed a lot of comments about the weather in the Rome series of images.  That is because we had the worst possible weather for travel photography rain and when it wasn’t raining flat white skies.  But it wasn’t all bad news.  On my return I wrote a feature about photography when the weather turns bad which was published in Practical Photography magazine.  The main feature in this week is a version of that article.

This coming Friday Rick will be running an event on my behalf.  That event is called “Booted and Suited” and is all about learning to photograph men.

As you read this I will be on the MV Azores where I am lecturing on photography as the ship sails round Norway in search of the Northern Lights.  There will be a full report and photos on my return.

Till then…. please read on…


Featured Post

[BLOG] Rome – Photography when the weather turns bad

Rome had more rain on my first day there, than it should have had all month. This was followed by more rain and dull grey skies. A good travel photograph should make the viewer want to go and see the place for themselves. It is very difficult to evoke that kind of response if the photograph shows dull grey skies.

If the sky is dull and boring, frame your photograph to eliminate it. Go for details or keep the top of the frame below the line of the horizon.

For location portraits, the even, flat light that you get on dull days makes for an attractive picture. But take care: grey sky can easily creep into a shot. In the photograph in the colonnade at Piazza San Pietro, had I taken it two paces to the right, the white sky would have been visible between the columns. This shot also illustrates another useful tip – a little dash of red in a photograph always helps to brighten up a dull scene.

It isn’t always possible to remove the sky completely from a photograph. At such times filters can rescue an uninspiring image. Photographers know the importance of a neutral density graduate (ND grad) filter. Replacing the ND grad with a coloured graduate not only prevents the overexposure of the clouds but adds interest to an otherwise uninteresting sky.

Dusk is the time for ‘night’ shots. The aim is to try to take the shot at the time when the illumination from any flood lights matches the residual illumination from the sun that has just gone over the horizon. When taking night shots at this time of day, even if the sky has been grey all day, over a 20-30 second exposure it tends to appear blue on the final image!

In the rain, look for brightly coloured umbrellas to add a splash of colour and provide vivid contrast to the grey surrounds. A reflection of a well known monument in a puddle can give an unusual and sometime surreal view of a sight that is taken for granted.

It’s a very rare trip when you won’t get any good weather. Decide in advance which shots are important to you. There may only be a couple of hours of sunshine and blue sky, you don’t want to waste it deciding what you want to photograph.

And a final thought – unless you are a pro travel photographer it doesn’t really matter if you don’t come back with rolls of marketable photographs. Whatever you take will remind you of your trip, so “Chill out! Relax. This is supposed to be a holiday!”


Post Script: In the years that followed this trip I had more stock sales from the Rome trip than from any other.  The trip has more than paid for itself.  I put this down to the fact that I was forced to think creatively when getting my photographs and as a result I have perhaps a different take on Rome to the standard travel images that everyone else produces.

A larger selection of my images from Rome can be found here: http://photos.imb.biz/travel/country/italy/rome


Forthcoming Events

Friday, 6 March 2015 – Booted and Suited

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Location: Ian’s Studio
Time: 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Price: £27

This event will be led by Rick Bradbury.  We will be working with a male model.  The looks will range from suited and booted through to more casual ware.

During this event we will also look at type/styles of light that can be used with male models as well as poses.

You will have plenty of time to shoot and Rick Bradbury be on hand to answer any questions and set lighting.

A lot of events tend to use female models so let’s change that up and add to your portrait experience.

Charge your batteries and clean that lens… let’s shoot.

The model for the event will be MattS – http://purpleport.com/portfolio/matts/

Price: £27

Please book via my website: http://www.ians-studio.co.uk/events/booted-and-suited/


Saturday, 21 March 2015 – Art Nude Workshop

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Location: Ian’s Studio
Time: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Price: £82

At this workshop will look at a number of basic art nude set-ups.  Including single light set-ups to multi light set-up.  Each lighting set will be documented in the printed notes that accompany the workshop.

The day will be suitable for those who are a little unsure about where to start with art nude photography; but time will be built into the day to enable more experienced photographers to build on these set-ups.

We will look at some basic techniques to bring out the best in the subject you are photographing, including how to put your subject at their ease.  These techniques are particularly use for anyone wishing to expand their boudoir photography business to include offering art nude shoots to their clients.

I am pleased to announce that the model for this event will be Vivi Blue – http://purpleport.com/portfolio/sellers/?referrer=ianbutty – Viv is a very experience art nude model and she describes art nude as her favourite genre.

There will be opportunities to create high-key (white background) images, low-key (black background) images and bodyscape images.  A large selection of props will be available to enhance the images and to help inspire you with ideas.

Cost £82 per person (this includes lunch and printed notes).

Please book via my website: http://www.ians-studio.co.uk/events/art-nude-workshop-4/


Photo of the Day

POTD (2 Years ago today) Thu, 28 Feb 2013: Purple Gloves


Purple washing up gloves against a roller blind

TWO  YEARS AGO TODAY….

This is a grab shot. Purple rubber gloves against the kitchen roller blind. Processing in post production to have lomography effect. Gives it a bit of B-movie horror effect.

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: FF0228A-E02844


Recent 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 2014: The Medina, Sousse.


The Medina, Sousse. As seen from the round tower (nador) of the Ribat, a fortified monastery within the Medina, Sousse, Tunisia. The building at the top hill is Sousse Archaeological Museum.

NUMBER OF SALES TO DATE: 3
SOLD VIA: Alamy
LICENCE: Rights Managed

As seen from the round tower (nador) of the Ribat, a fortified monastery within the Medina, Sousse, Tunisia. The building at the top hill is Sousse Archaeological Museum.

Not really a lot to say about this image, it was a pretty much a simple snapshot. I’ve used a couple of rules of composition with it. Repetition of the building in the lower two thirds of the image and (approximately) rules of third for where I placed the horizon line. I did take a horizontal version of the scene, but in my opinion the vertical is a much stronger image. So I guess that’s a good tip for those starting out in photography – take both orientations and see which works best.

Always worth offering both aspect ratios if you are selling stock – it doubles the chance that you will have the right image when the buyer is looking for a particular aspect ratio.

Here’s the licencing data:

2 Sep 2011
Country: Worldwide
Usage: Editorial
Media: Textbook – print and e-book
Print run: Unlimited
Placement: Inside
Image Size: 2 page spread
Start: 01 September 2011
End: 01 September 2036

30 Jul 2014
Country: Worldwide
Usage: Editorial
Media: Textbook – print and e-book
Print run: Unlimited
Placement: Inside
Image Size: 2 page spread
Start: 01 January 2015
End: 01 January 2040
Re-clearing of an existing Edition/ Program. All terms and rights granted as per the Alamy Preferred Vendor Agreement dated 26th January 2010 prevail. Flat rate per image, license period 20 years.

4 Nov 2014
Country: Worldwide
Usage: Editorial
Media: Textbook – print and e-book
Print run: Unlimited
Placement: Inside
Image Size: 2 page spread
Start: 01 February 2015
End: 01 February 2040
Re-clearing of an existing Edition/ Program. All terms and rights granted as per the Alamy Preferred Vendor Agreement dated 26th January 2010 prevail. Flat rate per image, license period 20 years.

Alamy link: http://www.alamy.com/image-details-popup.asp?Imageid={E837C37B-2525-44C8-B66A-12CF080C78D0}

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: EY0401A-E00531


The Full Programme

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

Friday, 6 March 2015 – Booted and Suited
Friday, 20 March 2015 – Glamour Girl Night
Saturday, 21 March 2015 – Art Nude Workshop
Wednesday, 15 April 2015 – Introduction to DSLR Photography Course
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, 19 June 2015 – Falling Down and Floating Up
Saturday, 5 September 2015 – Learn to Use Your flash Workshop
Saturday, 19 September 2015 – Digital Rain & Wet-look Glamour 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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