Fellow Photographers,

I am finally back from my travels – for five out of the last seven weeks I have been out of the country.  I have been lecturing on photography aboard the cruise ship MV Azores. First as it travelled to Norway to see the northern lights and then for the last two and a bit weeks as it headed south to Portugal and the Azores.  I have previously welcomed the photographers who were with me on the Norway cruise who subscribed to this newsletter.  This time I wish to welcome the photographers who were on the Portugal and Azores cruise.

If you follow me on twitter or on Facebook or just visit my website regularly you may be forgiven for not realising I was away.  My daily and weekly posts and tweets were all scheduled in advance, as were the weekly newsletters that went out each Monday morning.  You may be wondering why I went to the trouble of doing this – well apart from the fact it is good business sense, one of the reasons I post images everyday and share hints and tips is because I believe it helps photographers to develop their skills.  You may not remember everything I post but if you take the time to look at the images and read the comments some of it will brush off.  A friend once described it a learning by drip-feed!

With that rather lengthy intro out of the way, what’s in this week’s newsletter?

  • My featured post this week answers on of the frequent questions I get about Lightroom – should you use one catalog or many?
  • I am high lighting two Friday evening studio events both about of which involve lighting from behind. This week sees Rick Bradbury leading a session on Backlighting and the following week I will be leading a session on Shooting Silhouettes.
  • Two very different Photos of the Day (POTD) – one showing a simple worms-eye vein technique for photographing flowers and the other showing some more advanced lighting and editing techniques.

For all this and more…. please read on….

PS….  NOT featured in this week’s newsletter are the two courses that are both starting in the next few days.

Featured Post

BLOG: Lightroom – One Catalog or Many?

One of the frequent LIghtroom questions I get asked is should I use one catalog or multiple?

Reasons to use just one catalog

LR5SplashThere are many arguments for using a single catalog for all your images. The most compelling reason is that it keeps everything in one place making it easy to locate and retrieve any image at any time.

Lightroom 3 was extensively modified by adobe to try to make it possible for users to have a single large catalog for all their images, and Adobe now advise this approach. Many photographers now have catalogs in excess of 100,000 images. In my case my catalog has almost 200,000 images in it.  Some still report performance issues with very large catalogs, I have found with a modern PC that I haven’t had any significant performance issues with my 200,000 image catalog.

Reasons to use multiple catalogs

There are some reasons why you may wish to work with multiple catalogs:

  • Demo catalog – I have a separate catalog that I use when I am teaching or lecturing about Lightroom.  This allows me to demonstrate actions which I would not want to run on my master catalog.
  • Event photographers with a large volume of images of a “shoot, sell, archive” nature, may use a new catalog for each event they cover.  But even with this approach it is still worth moving some of the best images into a master catalog
  • Different catalogs for different types of photography. Eg I have a separate catalog for all my timelaspe images, when I am shooting time-lapse I can very quickly create hundreds if not thousands of images.  As I would never search for these images on an image by image basis there is no point having them cluttering up my master catalog.
  • I used to have a “Work in progress” catalog a small extract from my master catalog on an external drive. This enabled me to have some images that I can work with on the laptop. When work was completed they are imported in to the master catalog and removed from the work in progress catalog.  While this approach may still be of use to some photographers – however since LR5 there are easier solutions to this using smart previews.

Forthcoming Events

Friday, 17 April 2015 – Backlighting


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

As Ian will not be available for part of the evening this event will be co-led by Rick Bradbury.  For tonight’s event we will be lighting from behind with back lighting techniques. Many people will see the main light for a photograph in front of the subject, let’s change that up and stick the light behind them.

With back lighting you can make things light and airy or really dramatic with the use of one simple light source.

Grab your camera and let’s get to work.

The model for this event will be Rosie Eliot. You can see more of her work on Purple Port. http://purpleport.com/portfolio/rosieeliotmodel/

Cost £27

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

Friday, 24 April 2015 – Shooting Silhouettes


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

Tonight’s Friday Night at the Studio event will be all about shooting silhouettes.  We will look at a couple of different techniques for creating interesting silhouettes.

To give maximum flexibility our model will be working to art nude levels for this shoot.

Details of the model will be published shortly.

Price £29

Maximum number of places will seven.

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

Photo of the Day

POTD (7 Years Ago Today) : Mon, 13 Apr 2008: Daffodils

Dafodils and blue sky


Out in Bramhall park. This is a classic worms-eye view of some daffodils. One of the many ways you can make an image stand out is to photograph the subject from somewhere that the average person doesn’t see it. In this case I put the camera on the ground and shot the flowers looking up!

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: FB0413A-E01302

POTD (3 Years Ago Today) : Sat, 14 Apr 2012: Digital Rain and Night Photography


This is a shot from our night photography workshop in Woodford. The rain and lightning was added in post production.

2015 Update:
If you want to know more about the techniques used you can find details of our next night photography workshop here: http://www.ians-studio.co.uk/nightworkshop

If you want to know more about digital rain and digital lightning you might want to come to our next digital rain workshop: http://www.ians-studio.co.uk/digitalrain

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: FE0414A-E06656-2

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 21 Jun 2005: The Garden Tomb, Petra, Jordan

The Garden Tomb, Petra, Jordan

LICENCE: Rights Managed

This is one of the less well known parts of the ancient city of Petra. It is known as the garden tomb.

From the sales data is that it was used for a feature in a monthly magazine.

21 Jun 2005
Country: Italy
Usage: Editorial
Media: Magazine – Print only
Industry sector: Media Industry
Sub-Industry: Publishing
Print run: up to 25,000
Placement: Inside
Image Size: 1/4 page
Start: 21 June 2005
End: 21 July 2005

Alamy link: http://www.alamy.com/image-details-popup.asp?Imageid={3D4028D4-B180-4AFA-BB0C-E6001A04CB58}

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: EW0512C-D02341

The Full Programme

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

Wednesday, 15 April 2015 – Introduction to DSLR Photography Course
Friday, 17 April 2015 – Backlighting
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
Friday, 8 May 2015 – Friday Night Venom
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.