At home with Catriona

Catorina Barron -7

Here are a few images from a super quick, casual shoot with Catriona Barron from Wexford. I first met Catriona from a group shoot day that rented my studio a few months ago. She was one of the make-up artists on the day. We kept in touch and Catriona liked the idea of getting a few shots done for her self, so here we are.

It is nice to get out of the studio to shot some times. Shooting on location is how I started off before I got developed the studio. I had nearly forgotten what it was like to have to lug speedlights around on lights stands and the challenge of figuring out how to light each unique location…… great fun all together.

The post title might be a little bit misleading in that is not an all natural light shoot. It is a mix of natural light and some very soft fill flash. The walls in this room were white, so they made great natural reflectors for bouncing around some extra flash. The shot does not instantly look like it was flash due to the balance of the flash and the ambient lights and the quality of the light.

Catorina Barron -6

I can’t recall exactly the power settings I used, but I can guess is that I wanted it to be about a 1/3 to 1 stop under the ambient. Normally to achieve this I would dial in -1 stop in the flash. However in this case, because there was so much white in the room, the flash was already metering for the white and being roughly a stop under and looked great. So I left it. When technology is working… leave it be ūüôā

The other aspect was the quality of the light. This basically how hard or soft it is. The light in these images is very soft. I achieved this by taking the flash and bouncing it off the wall or bit of a wall that was behind me. As the walls are white, light bounces all around the room and does not pick up a colour cast, so all is good.

Olivia Tracy-Hogan on the Beach


Prepare for a slight bombardment of updates over the next day or so. I am  just back from Glasgow where were were shooting the World Pipe Band Games with DE Photo. It was a busy week over there so I am only now finally getting some time to do some updates and clear up the workflow backlog.

First on the list is putting the pictures from a shoot that I had with Olivia & Carol in July. We had a week of great weather in July and I was in full swing with plenty of ¬†beach shoots. The two girls hopped in the car for the short drive down to Wexford for some fun in the sun.¬†Olivia is a Dancer / Radio DJ / Model¬†amongst¬†other things. She is currently signed to Bscene. She is fun, bubbley and great to work with. She also has the most fantastic eyes ever. Here are the best of Olivia’s shots.

The first two Diptych‘s of Olivia made it into Flickr explore one day after the other, which was cool. It is¬†amazing¬†the¬†amount¬†of views and comments that an image can get if it is in explore. The shot above attained the same amount of views in 1 week that my current most viewed reached in 3 months. But that is a mute point as currently people seem to be¬†weaning¬†off Flickr as their photo sharing platform. I use flickr for two main reasons:

  1. Additional image back up
  2. Imaging hosting


Meaning that, with a Flickr Pro account, you can download the full res versions of any image that you put up, so you can upload 100’s of “finished” images and have them hidden from the public, ready to be downloaded if you ever need them. Also, all the images on my blog here are hosted on Flickr. I do this purely because all the images are on Flickr anyway, so there is no point uploading them to my blog also. Also, it means that I keep my wordpress database and server file management relatively simple.
All these shots were done with natural light with the help of some reflectors and diffusers.  As the weather gets worse from now on and the days get darker as we move back in to winter, expect to see the strobes coming back out and used a lot more.




* Edit… I no longer use flicker ūüôā

Orla Murphy – First Encounter

2011 got off to a great start in terms of shoots. With shooting Hannah recently, Orla here and with other shoots organised, it will be a busy year. The plan for this year is to up the game more and to really improve on the shots. Part of that plan included doing more shoots with a full team (Hair, Makeup, Stylist etc. ) and agency models. Orla is signed with Assets and have been doing quite well for her self. She is a beautiful girl and has a great personality to match. We were shooting pieces by award winning Fashion Designer Umit Kutluk.

Orla M -5-6s

I met Umit last year through the DIT fashion show and always kept him in the back of my mind for a shoot. When I confirmed the shoot date with Orla, I then got in touch with Umit to finally get around to shooting with his stuff. That is the great thing about networking and making contacts, if opens up opportunities for collaborations projects.

Hair and Makeup was done by the¬†fabulous¬†Julie Caulfield. Julie really knows her stuff when it comes to makeup. She done a fantastic job with Orla as the shots shoe. Even the close up shots turned out great. Normally you can spot bad makeup in tight head shots because the shot is so close, you can see every little detail. The shoot was a fail in one sense, yet a success in others. The main goal of the shoot was to get some nice outdoor shots shots and some¬†swimwear. However the epic fail came in the form of weather. It was lashing rain pretty much all day. Do it really did kick the plans in the nuts. I had some really nice ideas to. One idea for the brown feather dress was to shoot it in a wood that is located near the house. It would have been far easier to cancel the shoot, but you are never really¬†guaranteed¬†the weather. ¬†And if there was a spell of good weather coming up, the chances of getting every one together again would be slim.¬†Ah well. So instead of nice shots out side, the thinking cap had to start working and come up with a couple of¬†different¬†looks, indoors. The location was my house in Wexford, which I have used in the past for shoots. I don’t like using the same location for shots, so I was running out of fresh rooms to shoot in. Luckily, I saved some of the best locations till last. These include the garage and a room a hallway that has the deer heads. It is a great skill to be able to land on a location and to be able to come up with some shot ideas and make the most of it. I am slowly getting better at it. No matter how bad a location could be, there is always a shot to be had, you just have to picture it. Picturing it with different light, with the background out of focus, close ups etc. After a while you will see things with a different eye. The hallway was a great location, the stag heads are very unusual great. Some times, you have great locations, but you unless you have the cloths to match, then it might not look as good as it could be. In this case though, it worked out good. We managed to get two slightly different looks looks in. The pants stayed the same in both, but the tops were exchanged.All the cloths were made by Umit him self. He is very talented.

After an hour or so in the hall, we want to change look and location. As we were heading back to the room to change make-up and outfit, the thinking cap was back on. It was still raining, so i was thinking of ways in which I could protect the flashes…. still wanting to get some out door shots. I took another look out the window and eventually conceded that there would just be no outdoor shots today. So back to thinking about indoors. I liked the look of another hallway, upstairs this time. There was a nice lamp on a table along with some flowers that worked well. I thought that the red of the carpet and yellow of the walls would contrast nicely to the white of one of the outfits, so we got to work. While the lads were preping Orla, I was setting up the shot. I was looking at it from either side, trying to see which way I liked best. I was taking some times into consideration also, things that I had learned from previous shots. These included the background, a place to hide lights, ambient light features, furniture etc etc. I chose the angle that you see below mainly due to the options it game me for placing a light. Those with a keen eye will¬†recognised¬†that the black and white portrait above was shots at the same time as this series.

Orla M 14-15s

Next stop, it was to the garage to capture the bird dress. While we were out there, we shot the casual, jeans shots also. These turned out nice as there was a bit of blue spay paint on the garage doors that matched in well with the outfit.
I will finish up with the head shots. I am really happy with how these turned out. I tried out a new head shot lighting setup for the first time, and I really like the quality of the light from it. It is super soft and very flattering. I will be posting up some behind the scenes shots at a later date, which will include details on the lighting set up. If you have any comments or questions, you can hit the comments link below and can fire away there. Check back again soon for the behind the scenes shots and lighting setups.

Orla M -20s