Archive for September, 2009

The places I have to go..

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Work has decided to send me to a new site to finish the installation of a new booster pumping station for Scottish Water, well GMJV is the main contractor who we are working for but the client is Scottish Water.

It is situated between Cambusbarry and Touch near Stirling as usual in the absolute middle of nowhere. The worst thing about these contracts is the scenery I have to put up with 😉


DIY Grid Snoots – The Quick Way..

Saturday, September 26th, 2009
Finished Grid Snoot

Finished Grid Snoot

It’s time for a bit of DIY again, this time a nice little grid snoot or two.

I have seen a few tutorials out there in web land detailing how to make these, I have taken the best of each and added my own touches to streamline the process considerably. This method is FAST, no messy glued up fingers, and the grid looks really neat. This version is also immune to the problem of straws falling out caused by the straws becoming unstuck from the brittle dried glue.

Why do you need a grid snoot? Well for one thing they can be VERY much shorter than a normal snoot, to give you an idea how well these restrict the light beam I shot my flash through a bundle of 203mm x 4.3mm straws and from about 15′ away (5m) the spot was about 6 or 8 inches across! Another advantage of grids is that no matter what the shape of your flash head, the spot light is circular.


Macro Photography – Insect World Photos

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

I found a neat little plugin for WordPress and just had to have a play with it :)

It allows me to stick a gallery of photos into this site direct from my Flickr account. It’s not that I can’t afford the bandwidth to host the pictures myself because I have near on unlimited storage and bandwidth but it’s a pain in the backside uploading photos everywhere. With this plugin I can just pull them from Flick without having to mess about.

Anyway, here it is, featuring my rather superb Insect world set from Flickr. The early ones (first 7) in the set were taken with the 18-55 kit lens and close up dioptres bolted on the front, the rest were taken with the superb Sigma 180mm macro.


Animals living in my close!

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

Yes I have finally got my new lens, about bloody time too!

Rushed over to the royal mail depot and picked it up on the way home from work, thought I better get there quick before they decide to wildcat strike over the colour of the vans or something equally stupid.

Anyway, I got a pleasant surprise when I opened the box. I thought it was just the AFS 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6 GII ED like I had, before throwing the camera to the ground, but it is actually the VR version which brings my VR lens collection up to err… two. I don’t suppose it will make much difference as I rarely use VR on the other one (55-200) because it is sat on a tripod 99% of the time anyway lol

Well, work was a bit of a change today, after trailing 3/4 of the way across Scotland to Livingston I was told I was supposed to be at Hamilton, which is half way across Scotland in the direction of where I came from Grrrr. I was working on a Scotish water pumping station which is sited in the Asda car park or rather under it, it is like a 3 storey house but under the car park.


Oh no, work again and lens fiasco

Monday, September 21st, 2009

Well back to work today after spending a week off with some disgusting bug and a stinking cold as well.

I think I should have stayed at home, everything I do is soooo hard work, I am sweating like a sauna tester just picking a screwdriver up never mind anything else.

Anyway, I think there is a photo opportunity in the office, the new board room has a fancy ground glass wall with the company logo etched in which I think may look quite cool back lit. Must remember to bring the camera and a slack handful of flashes sometime.

Well, I suppose I better go back into the shop floor and do something – it’s quite clever this wordpress thingy I am writing this on my mobile phone in my lunch break lol – roll on 4pm that’s all I can say…

Later that day:


DIY Snoots – Very useful tool to have

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

There are times when there is just not enough light to take the picture you want so you have to get some from somewhere, most of us photographer types tend to use a thing called a flash gun! The trouble is flash guns sometimes produce too much of the stuff and throw it all over the place and this is where a nifty little tool like a snoot comes in handy.

A snoot is basically just a tube which you stick on the end of your flash head which blocks light from the sides and leaves you with a tight beam which can be positioned pretty much wherever you want.

PA Katana MD Coming out of the darkness.

PA Katana MD

This shot was taken using a snoot and shows the effect (or one of them) you get by using one. This rather superb model aircraft was sat on my living room floor just in front of my couch and did not make for a very interesting photo when lit normally with an un snooted flash because having a couch sat behind it was just plain awful!

So instead of just sticking a flash somewhere and shooting it, I put a home made snoot on it and positioned the flash to just light up the front of the plane. The results being a more dramatic looking photo and the horrible cream coloured couch background lost in the darkness.