Fellow Photographers,

One of the great things about photography as a hobby (or as a career for that matter) is that there is always more we can learn.  The theme of this weeks newsletter is just that – it is all about taking your photography to the next level… no matter what level you are currently at.

I know that not all subscribers to this newsletter are DSLR shooters who regularly book studios.  Some subscribers are people who perhaps only get a camera out for holidays and special occasions.  Not every subscriber shoots with a DSLR, some use point-and-shoot cameras, some even use camera phones.  No matter where you are currently at with your photography I am trying to include things in this weekly newsletter which will help take your skills to your next level.

  • This week’s featured post is aimed at beginners and explores the different “creative modes” that most camera have.
  • For those who have good grasp on the basics but want to learn more.  I have been using the tag line “taking your photography to the next level” for my Intermediate Photography Course for a few years. The course starts a new 8 week run tomorrow (Tuesday 21st April) there are still places available if you would like to join.
  • Perhaps the next level for some is to actually earn some money from your photography.  If you are thinking about wedding photography as a potential income stream you might be interested in my one day Introduction to Wedding Photography Workshop which is taking place this Saturday.
  • Finally this week, for those interested in studio photography, why not come along to our Shooting Silhouettes event on Friday night (24th April) and learn a number of different techniques for creating silhouettes.

For all of this and more please read on….

Featured Post

Creative Modes

This is a blog post that is designed for photography beginners… whether you shoot with an entry level DSLR or a point-and-shoot camera.

If you are new to photography there is a temptation to leave your camera on automatic all the time.  As you progress you will want learn how you can take control.  A first step to this can sometimes be just using and understanding what the different ‘creative modes’ do on your camera.  It is worth taking the time to understand what these modes actually do… then later when you progress to taking more control of your photography you the same effects that the modes do by setting the aperture, shutter speed and ISO yourself.

Creative modes, are usually indicated by icons such as a person, a flower, mountain etc. The modes are very similar to the fully automatic mode except that they are each optimised for a certain type of photography. As with the full automatic mode you will find that the camera takes control of functions such as ISO settings, metering modes and focusing modes. These modes will vary from camera to camera. You will need to check your manual for specific details for your camera.  But below are the five most common modes and an explanation as to what they do.


Portrait mode will favor wide aperture (low f-number), to give a blurred background, this will result in a high shutter speed to reduce camera shake. Low ISO is favoured to reduce noise and give softer skin. Flash may be automaticaly activated if required


This mode favours small aperture (large f-number), to give a maximum depth of field. This will result in a slow shutter speed, so you may need to use a tripod or support the camera. Low ISO is favoured to reduce noise. Flash disabled – it’ll never reach the mountains! Some camera may enhance greens when processing


Favours fast shutter speed to freeze the action, which will result in a wide aperture and thus shallow DOF. May use high ISO (to ensure a fast shutter speed) this may give some noise. The flash is disabled – it’ll never reach the action. Some cameras may go into multi-shot mode

Pets & Children

Favours a higher ISO than portrait mode to get a slightly faster shutter speed (children & pets move!). Because the aperture is smaller there is a wider DOF than portrait mode. Flash is enabled but make sure subject is within range of your flash (typically no more than 5m).


Flash is disabled, (you will be too close to subject). This mode may enhance greens when processing the image. Shutter & aperture settings are based on an algorithm to give max DOF but to keep the shutter speed reasonably high. The algorithm is probably camera specific

Forthcoming Events

Tuesday, 21 April 2015 – Intermediate Photography Course (8 Sessions)


Location: Ian’s Studio
Time: 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM
Price: £165 (8 sessions) £155 (7 sessions)

Weekly on TUESDAY Evenings 7.30pm to 10pm (approximately) from Tuesday 21st April 2015.  

The course will consist of eight sessions (session 5 on glamour, boudoir, & art nude is optional).  Each session will be two and half hours in length.

Please note this is classroom based training with practical homework assignments to back-up what we have covered in each session.  Discounts will be available to course attendees to attend other events at the studio.

Each session will look at one or two related genres of photography.  We will cover techniques and equipment, and I will be providing practical advice and where appropriate I’ll share experiences from a professional perspective.

  • 21 April – Session 1 :  Travel and Architecture
  • 28 April – Session 2 : Available light portraiture and Weddings
  • 05 May – Session 3 : Off Camera flash and strobist techniques
  • 12 May – Session 4 : Studio portraiture
  • 19 May – Session 5 : Glamour, boudoir and art nude photography
  • 26 May – Session 6 : Events, theatre and performance photography
  • 02 June – Session 7 : Macro, product and commercial photography
  • 09 June – Session 8 : Sports and wildlife photography

Each session will leave you with some homework to reinforce the skills and techniques we have talked about.

8 Sessions: £165.
or 7 Sessions (omitting session 5) : £155

The course is aimed at photographers who have a reasonable level of photographic knowledge.  I have designed the course to be particularly suitable for those who have already completed my “Introduction to DSLR Photography” course.  If you have not completed that course, you should have an understanding of photographic techniques such as exposure, aperture, controlling depth of field, etc.  Experience of using flash guns is useful but not essential.  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 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.

Places on the course will be limited.  

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/intermediate-photography-course-8-sessions/

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.

The model for this event will be Gabriella Lissoni.  you can find her profile on Purpleport: http://purpleport.com/portfolio/madalinapetrusel/?referrer=ianbutty

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

Price £29

Maximum number of places will seven.

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

Saturday, 25 April 2015 – Introduction to Wedding Photography Workshop


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

At some point all photographers get asked to photograph a wedding – even if it is on an informal basis just as a favour for a friend.  This workshop will introduce you to what is involved.

While taking the photographs is relatively straightforward what scares most photographers is the fact that you have limited time and only have one chance at a wedding.  In this workshop we give special emphasis on the ‘stage management’ role that a wedding photographer has to assume.

We look at the planning side, and how to make sure things run smoothly from a photographic perspective.  We go through the day looking at different scenes that wedding photographers have to photograph.

We conclude the workshop with the chance to photograph bride and groom models.

(Please note: 4 or more attendees are required to be able to book both bride and groom models.  If there are 2 or 3 attendees on the workshop we will only have a bride model to shoot.  With only 1 attendee I can still run the workshop as a one-to-one training session but would not be able to offer the chance to shoot). 

Cost £69 (Includes lunch and notes)

Full payment or a deposit of £25 is required to secure a place – please book using the form below.  

Please book via my website: http://www.ians-studio.co.uk/events/introduction-to-wedding-photography-workshop-6/

From the Blog…

[Video Extra] Time-lapse: MV Azores Arriving at Bristol Avonmouth

After a voyage lasting 17 days, the cruise ship MV Azores, returned to port at Bristol Avonmouth on Saturday 11 April 2015. I stood at the front of the vessel for two hours taking a photograph every 5 seconds to create this time-lapse video of it’s return. By the power of time-lapse those 2 hours have been compressed down to under 90 seconds.

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

Custom Thumbnail

What do you think about this video?  Did you enjoy it?  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 (2 Years ago toay) Fri, 19 Apr 2013: Lynx Effect


Multiple table top techniques used to create this image. Firstly the bottle of shower gel is photographed on black plastic to ensure the reflections appear.

The rear light has a blue gel on it the front light no gel. Once the lighting is correct the product is given a light spraying with water.

The smoke is photographed sperately against a black background and duplicated and flipped so that it mirrors from left to right. Finally the smoke is mirrored again vertically and distorted slightly to create it’s reflection.

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: FF0419A-G05973

POTD Sun, 5 Apr 2015: Flowers of Funchal

Close-up of a pink rose

This POTD is one of many flower images I created while visiting Funchal in Madeira.

Maderia is famed for it’s displays of sprintime flowers so as we were only here for one day, I took the opportunity to go round a few of the parks to get some flower images.

You can see the other images I made on this visit here: http://photos.imb.biz/travel/madeira/funchal2015

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: FH0405A-G04361

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 22 Jun 2005: Two Stone Coffin Lids in Tanis

Two stone coffin lids in Tanis in the Eastern Delta of the Nile. The left coffin is that of General Wendjebaendjed, Commander of the Egyptian Army, the coffin used to belong to Amunhotpe. The right coffin belonged to High Priest, Hornakht. He was a son of the XXII dynasty pharaoh, Osorkon II, Tanis is where most of the buildings and structures of Avaris (Pi-Ramesse) were moved to.

LICENCE: Rights Managed

These are two stone coffin lids in Tanis in the Eastern Delta of the Nile. For once I actually found out exactly who bought this image, and how it was used. It was bought by and published in “The Lonely Planet Guide to Egypt”. That is quite an honour as Lonely Planet guides don’t tend to include may photographs.

Not only that but one of the other images (a trader on top of Mount Sinai) in the same guide was also one of mine.

22 Jun 2005
Country: World English Language
Usage: Editorial
Media: Travel guides -print and/or e-book
Industry sector: Media Industry
Sub-Industry: Publishing
Print run: up to 50,000
Placement: Inside
Image Size: 1 page
Start: 22 June 2005
End: 22 June 2008

Alamy link: http://www.alamy.com/image-details-popup.asp?Imageid={73EE69AA-F638-4E9F-9A5F-5046D1854017}

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: EW0504C-D01625

The Full Programme

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

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.