Street Photography Day

February 02, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

A bit of street photography.

 

Not done this for a long while, and a work colleague wanted to go out into Manchester to do a bit of street photography, so though it was about time I went out and about and see what I could capture.

As usual it was a typical grey, miserable day in Manchester, with very little detail in the skies, so looking for inspiration at times I found difficult.

We started off in Albert Square, where chinese new year celebrations were in full show... _DSC5043_DSC5043Manchester Street Photography ....this processed in Lightroom and using selective colouring to bring out the red lanterns against the back drop of Manchester Town Hall.

 

Then a wander up Moseley Street for some long exposure photography, using the trams. Took a few attempts to get this shot, due to people walking past, but it's expected as Moseley Street is a busy little place full of office blocks.

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There seem to be more and more rough sleepers in Manchester city centre these days, and whilst wandering round to Market Street, I didn't expect one to be placing his bank card into the hole in the wall.

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Round to High Street, and a great place to practise panning techniques, in between trams. This shot again processed in Lightroom.

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Over to Deansgate Castlefield tram stop and capturing a dramatic shot of the bridge leading from the tram platform to Deansgate Rail Station. As is the norm with Manchester, lots of building and construction work going on, so I decided to edit out the cranes in this shot, and also using a few processed in Lightroom, managed to bring out some detail in the sky to create a dramatic look to the picture.

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Whenever I get out and about in town, I always love to shoot a miniature style picture. This miniature tram 'n' traffic shot, taken from the bridge from Piccadilly rail station, across London Road.

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Whilst to some the trams are a bit of a nuisance in Manchester, to me, as a photographer, they are a great source for a shot. This picture below taken at St Peter's Square and was a shot for my weekly #52project, with this week's theme of capturedmotion.

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Finally, and what most photographers who do street photography like to shoot....people. 

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Although by the end of the day my feet were killing me, and at times lacking in inspiration for a shot, I'm quite happy with those I've picked out and certainly will be taking to the streets of Manchester, and other areas, more to hone my street photography skills further,

 


Belated Happy New Year!!!!

January 18, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Well a hectic end to 2016 with lots of portrait shoots (indoors and outdoors), not to mention a wonderful busy family Christmas, meant little time to do anything else, lease of all try to update this blog. I've resisted the new years resolution to keep this blog up to date, but will certainly attempt to post a bit more regular than last year.

So to 2017!!!! Going to be another busy year, and started off with a studio family shoot. Jan, his partner Lucia and their two boys came to our studio for an hour long shoot.

 

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Using both a black and a white backdrop, and also using my daughter's Paw Patrol toys as props, we had great fun and provided the family with some fantastic images, which they gave amazing feedback on.

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As well as a set of colour, they also get a set of black and white images too, all available for them to download from their own private online gallery.

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If you wish to book a family photo shoot, then feel free to contact us on 07714 418708, or visit our contact page.

 

 


Portraits in direct sunlight.

July 20, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

After a stressful Wednesday, blighted by car problems...basically a convertible roof that wouldn't go back down, and having to ever so gently squeeze my car into my mothers garage overnight, due to the impending storms that were forecast that evening and following morning (yep they never materialsied, thanks Met Office!!!!), it was another day in the sun and an afternoon keeping both my nephews occupied.

As it was another glorious afternoon, it was time to get the 2 boys out into the garden and grab a few snapshots of them both together.

The sun was very bright, so for all these shots I made sure that they were facing away from the sun, with the sun creating a nice little backlight, and using off camera flash to fill in the shadows. Also shooting this way, ensures your subject isn't squinting.

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For those who have tried, but failed, to shoot family pics in the sun, with the sun behind, it's quite straightforward.

STEP 1, AMBIENT LIGHT METERING - Place camera in either aperture priority or shutter speed priority mode and take a meter reading with your subjects in the shot. I also use evaluative metering. Once you have the meter reading you desire, place the camera in manual mode and dial in the settings. 

STEP 2, OFF CAMERA FLASH METERING - This is where having a light meter is handy, if you don't then it's just about adjusting the off camera flash. Set up your off camera speedlight (in manual mode), start with around half power, and using your light meter take a reading of the flash from under the chin of your subject. The flash power needs to be the same settings as you've dialled in STEP 1. The idea behind using off camera flash in daylight is to eliminate any harsh shadows created by sunlight, and also to fill in these shadows without making it look too much like you've used a speed light. 

STEP 3 - Click away and fire some shots. Doing it this way, and keeping the flash the same settings as your ambient light, you eliminate harsh shadows and also fill in where you tend to get harsh shadows whilst shooting in direct sunlight (round the eyes, cheeks, nose). You also get that fantastic catchlight in the eyes of your subject.

Don't forget that shooting this way, you can also control the ambient light, by changing your aperture settings. To create a more moody ambient background, make your aperture smaller but don't change the power of your speed light. No matter how much you change the aperture, the power of the speed light on your subject will remain the same.

boys2Noah & EliasISO 100 - f/5.0 - 1/250sec - 50mm

boys3Noah & EliasISO 100 - f/5.0 - 1/250sec - 50mm

So get out, while we have our 3 day summer, and get those gorgeous family snaps using the guide above.

 


It's been a while....BLOG UPDATE!!!! Weddings & Price Freezes

July 08, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Yep it's been a while, so time for a quick blog update!!!

 

Again, busy both photography and personally recently so not had chance to post for a few months. So what's been happening I hear you cry!!!

 

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Firstly, the wedding of Shaun and Toni at Bury Town Hall and reception at the Boltholt Country Park Hotel in Bury. It was a wonderful ceremony and a gorgeous setting for the reception afterwards, and I've never seen a couple sooooo suited and in love. 

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It was such a pleasure to work with these two and in such a beautiful setting too. The Boltholt Hotel is a fantastic wedding venue, with a gorgeous lake and lawns at the front, that make a wedding photographers dream when it comes to capturing the bride and groom shots after the ceremony.

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I'm currently working through all the shots and ahead of the time normally taken to deliver the final shots to my clients.

I wish Shaun and Toni all the best for the future, and along with their little boy Corban, who recently featured in one of my newborn shoots, they make a wonderful family together.

 

Wedding Prices for 2017!!!!

 

I'm fully booked up for 2016, not even spaces for last minute weddings I'm afraid, and 2017 is booking up really quick too, but there are a few spaces available if you haven't booked your wedding photographer for next year....and I'm freezing my prices too!!!!

All weddings booked for 2017 will be at the same price as 2016, so if it's on your list of things to organise then time to get it done before I'm fully booked again. Visit my wedding page for more details on my wedding packages.

 


A little update as to what I've been up to recently....

April 23, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Good morning, and a happy Saturday to one and all. I've been a bit quiet with the blog recently so thought it's high time I updated you all with what's been going on recently.

It's been such a busy time recently, not just photography wise but generally too and I've hardly had any chance to sit and write a new blog.

So firstly, it's been a busy time since I put my "2 shoots for £40" offer on here and various Facebook pages.

My first booking was with Lee and Anthony who wanted some shots with their nephew Ethan. This shoot was taken in their home and I took my portable studio set up along.

_DSC9671_DSC9671Lowry Theatre Time to occupy Ethan with some toys, and bring some more colour into the shots taken against the white background.

_DSC9685_DSC9685Lowry Theatre After the usual family posed shots, I took the backdrop down and the lights away and decided on a more natural shoot with Ethan playing with his toys in the front room. There was also a nice large front window with light streaming through it, so it was natural light all the way for the rest of the shot....I do prefer working with natural light.

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_DSC9922_DSC9922Lowry Theatre All 3 were fantastic to work with and Ethan especially was a delightful little boy with the most amazing blue eyes. I'm just waiting now for a combination of a sunny Saturday morning, and a free one when I'm not already booked to shoot their outdoor shots.

 

 

I've just recently moved into the world of newborn baby shoots. There's been a bit of a baby boom recently amongst my friends so a good opportunity to get them to my mini studio set up and get some newborn shots added to my portfolio.

Firstly Lisa, her partner Helen and their gorgeous little girl Thea.

This has been a steep learning curve for me, but was very pleased on how the shots have come out. 

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Then the following day it was Shaun, his fiancé Toni and their little boy Corban. Corban arrived asleep, ideal for posed shots, but with his being a light sleeper he soon woke up and his eyes were everywhere.

Still it was another fantastic shoot and again really happy with how the shots came out.

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Really enjoyed both these shoots and have a few more booked off the back of these shots, and looking forward to adding more to my portfolio.

 

 

Another reason why I love photography is that I always have friends who are either keen to take it up as a hobby, or already take pictures but are keen to improve and just get out whenever possible to shoot some pictures. This week I went out into Manchester with my mate Yorkie, and normally we do some street photography. This time though we went out with a pre-requisite of what shots we wanted to take. 

The first I wanted to shoot was the new Co-op building in the centre of Manchester, some say this is like a mini version of the gherkin in London.

coop building (1 of 1)coop building (1 of 1)Lowry Theatre Ideally I wanted more drama with the clouds in this shot. I used a ND filter to create slow cloud movement, but as it was a typical grey day in Manchester, I didn't get the movement I was after. Also removed a couple of posts in the front of the building in photoshop.

Then we moved to Victoria train station as we wanted to capture trams in miniature form. I do love experimenting with this form of photography and certainly Manchester lends itself to it very well.

_DSC0313_DSC0313Lowry Theatre Finally onto Piccadilly tram stop and some motion blur capture, and pretty pleased with how this one turned out.

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So it's been a busy few weeks and it looks to be getting busier too, not just photography wise too. Taken up golf last year and now have quite a few society matches coming along soon, so have invested in a few lessons, I'm also training to run the Manchester 10k run, raising money for Pancreatic Cancer Research, and you can visit my Just Giving page to read my story and make a donation if you so wish https://www.justgiving.com/Simon-Norton5