From Camera to Wall

From Camera To Wall - Part Five - The Art of Post Production

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Welcome to part five of six newsletters 'From Camera - Wall'

Following on from the previous newsletter 'Viewing Session and Choosing What's Best For You', we are now exploring 'The Art of Post Production'.

Post Production

With modern day technology being so accessible, we have become accustomed to instant results at the touch of a button. I'd like to give you a glimpse behind the scenes at SMS Creative Photography with this short video below, demonstrating just what's entailed in the post production process with Ben, one of our skilled in-house digital artists. 

All the images we take are treated individually and processed through a series of careful actions to reach our stringent standards, we are so proud of.

 

Please join me next time for the final part of the series 'Printing' to learn a little more about the process 'From Camera to Wall'.

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now.

Stella

From Camera To Wall - Part Four - Viewing Session and Choosing What's Best For You

Welcome to part four in a series of six newsletters 'From Camera - Wall'

Following on from the previous newsletter Photographing on Location & Equipment Used,

we are now exploring the 'Viewing Session and Choosing What's Best For You'.

Viewing

A week or so after your location shoot you are invited into the comfort of our studio for a presentation of the photographs. An hour is set aside to go through the images to select your favourites, don't worry I have already done the first edit.

A number of images are shown on the screen so a comparison can be made and shuffled into different folders of preference. The images below give an idea of what to expect.

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A selection of images to choose your favourites from...

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a variety of templates to help choose which works best for you...

Choosing

Depending on how you choose to display your photographs, either for yourself or as a gift, different layouts, papers, glass, frames and acrylic finishes are suggested to suit you.

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different ways to display four different photographs...

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a single image can work just as well...

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compare an example of colour to black and white before deciding...

The above is all done prior to skilled in-house post production, which will feature in Part Five - 'Editing and Post Production'.

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and there is a variety of frames to choose from.

Please join me in two weeks time to learn a little more about the process 'From Camera to Wall'.

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now.

Stella

From Camera To Wall - Part Three - Photographing on Location & Equipment Used

Following on from the previous newsletter 'Meeting the Family and Planning the Shoot' we are now exploring Part Three in a series called 'From Camera to Wall', this time it's 'Photographing on Location and Equipment Used'.

Location

I'm choosing to use a recent shoot in a meadow as an example, I always get there about 15 minutes before the shoot is due to start to get a feel for the light, I use a hand held light meter so I can set the camera accordingly. Checking out the angles is a must, I especially like shooting low down, sometimes lying on the ground, so the appropriate footwear and clothing for the weather conditions is a must, I've been caught out a few times by getting this wrong!

Equipment

The next thing to be sure of is your camera equipment, you have to have everything you need within easy access, a variety of pocket sizes are ideal for a lens cloth, back up memory cards and tissues all close to hand. The essentials are fully charged batteries and memory cards of at least 16gb each, I always shoot RAW files with each file size approximately 25mb, compared to Jpegs at 5mb - I'll go into this in more detail in part four.

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The cameras, lenses and light meter used on the shoot, the flash is for filling in any harsh shadows.

Using at least two camera bodies, one with a 70-200mm f2.8 lens and one a 24-120mm f1.4 lens so I can shoot fast without having to think about changing lens, which would often mean missing a winning shot.

On this shoot I had a third camera body fitted with a 50mm f1.4 prime lens, I've had this lens for as long as I can remember and it never fails to disappoint, it's manual focus is a little slower than the more up to date auto focus lenses, the results more than make up for this.

I always shoot on manual mode and often a high ISO (sensitivity of digital sensor to light) about 800, so I can use a wide open aperture for shallow depth of field and a fast shutter speed.

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I refer to the histogram to check my exposures are correct and adjust the shutter speed accordingly, and don't look at each image once taken as this wastes precious shooting time and interrupts the flow of the shoot. The internal light meter is a valuable tool, you can see this through the viewfinder to monitor exposure.

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Using a 70-200mm lens.

Always communicate with your subjects to give them direction and to engage with them to capture candid expressions, these two cuties were a pleasure to work with. I prefer to shoot with the sun behind them, but ideally clouds give a softer light. In harsh sunlight I'd use a little fill in flash to soften the shadows.

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Press the shutter when you feel their expressions are the most natural.

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Shoot at low levels to include more of the foreground...

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...to achieve engaging results.

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Taken with the 50mm lens f4 1/1600 200 ISO works for this lens.

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Select your focusing point so the rest of the image is out of focus, together with a wide open aperture results in shallow depth of field.

Please join me in two weeks time for Part Four - 'Editing and Post Production'  to learn a little more about the process "From Camera to Wall".

Thanks for reading, I hope I've inspired you!

Stella

From Camera to Wall - Part Two - Meeting the Family and Planning the Shoot

Welcome to Part Two, in a series of six fortnightly newsletters, unraveling the passage we take "From Camera to Wall"

Part one covered Framing and Hanging - today it's - "Meeting the Family or Individual and Planning the Shoot" - a paramount piece of the puzzle to achieve the desired creation. Taking place during an initial relaxed consultation to discuss the purpose of the shoot, be it a special occasion, family get together, leaving the country, gift for relatives, and many other big or small milestones.

Planning the Shoot

Finding the most suitable location makes all the difference to reflect the moment in time, such as a fun family environment or a bustling cityscape to solidify the right tone and emotion.

A location alone may not have meaning, however by simply adding a person or more to the frame naturally creates an emotion.

The images below show a small sample variety of ideas.

Some of the many factors to consider when choosing a location are:-

  • Time of day 
  • Ease of access
  • Camera angle
  • Number of people and animals in the shoot
  • Where the sun is at certain times of day (cloud often works better than harsh sunlight)
  • Wet weather plan
  • Sunny day (back lighting works best)
  • Colour and style of clothes to suit the person, background/location
  • Window/ambient light for inside shoots
  • Composition
  • Professional hair & makeup? (Oh go on!)
  • Time to do the shoot (usually one hour plus)
  • Special permission to use certain places
  • Pathways and foliage to create depth

Please join me in two weeks time for Part Three - "Photo Shoot and Equipment Used" to learn a little more about the process "From Camera to Wall".

Thanks for reading, I hope I've inspired you!

Bye for now.

Stella

From Camera to Wall - Part One - Framing and Hanging

In the modern day, the perception of a photograph has changed with the advent of the life altering device that lives in all of our pockets, the mobile phone. With the benefits of a sense of consistent connection to all, but more appropriately the speed and ease of photography. Photographs now have a very different meaning, or do they?

We can all still admire the end result of a professional photograph hanging on a wall, but do we really know what it takes to get to this stage? I'm unsure we do, let me take this opportunity to unveil just what this process entails.

Starting in reverse order, with the final stage first - Framing and Hanging - part one in a series of six fortnightly newsletters. Over the coming weeks, demystifying the steps we take from 'Camera to Wall’.

Framing

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Once you have selected the frame you'd like to showcase your photograph in, we work closely with master craftsmen we trust to achieve first class results. The wooden mouldings are made in England and Italy in a wide range of finishes. Each photograph is dry mounted to keep flat with an overlay mount if preferred, then sealed in the frame to prevent moisture and dust from seeping in.

We recommend using Art Glass, to cut reflection by 99% and to reveal the true colours of the photograph that ordinary glass doesn't. For work that is being transported abroad, acrylic instead of glass is a must, it's lightweight and shatter proof.

Nothing passes quality control until every join and cut is inspected to pass our strict attention to detail. We even make sure each piece has it's own certificate of authenticity added to the back, this shows which frame and mount card was used and the date the photograph was taken on, just to remind you in years to come.

Hanging

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We also offer a service to deliver to your home or work premises, and to hang your photographs, so easy to get this part wrong. I oversee the hanging process using a trusted gallerist, who comes equipped with the correct tools for the job, including a laser line level, so vertically and horizontally everything is spot on, no more left a bit down a bit! Always a pleasure to see the end result and happy customers.

Please join me in two weeks time for Part Two - Meeting the Customer and Planning the Shoot.

Bye for now.

Stella