Category: General

First Visit to Dartmoor

First Visit to Dartmoor

One of the places that I really looked forward to visiting when we moved to Devon was Dartmoor.

But where…

Dartmoor is massive! I asked a few people on the #DartmoorHour Twitter feed and got some suggestions.

At the moment we are a bit restricted by a pram but we gave it a go.

So, we choose Meldon Reservoir for our first visit. Initially it was easy going on a stone path, then the dam itself. It then got a bit more tricky down the edge of the reservoir.

After our initial attempt, and our little one deciding she wanted out of the pram, we started afresh carrying her.

The views over the reservoir were pretty amazing as were the surrounding views and the dam too!

There were of course also sheep wandering around?

You can’t walk all around the reservoir these days, do we decided we should head up and see the views. It’s quite steep and can be a bit of a slog if you head directly up it like I did (I wanted to get to the top).

However, ‘the top’ wasn’t quite the top and the kids were running out of steam, so we headed back down and left the ascent for another day.

Windswept and a bit tired we headed back to the car.

Old Cameras

Old Cameras

So, following on from my bottles I decided to photograph some old cameras.

I love old cameras and have a couple myself, but I wanted to created some product style photos but, just straight forward shots on a white back. So nothing fancy to make the photo look old, just clean cut.

I started with an oldie.

and worked my way through the years, this one from the 50s

60s or 70s I believe

then, my first ever camera

right up to a modern day DSLR (albeit a few years old now)

I wanted a low angle on the cameras to make them stand out a bit. I did change the angle a bit on the SLR, but prefer the others.

This is a very simple setup and one I can teach anyone who wanted to take a product style shot. Very quick to do and requires virtually no post editing either.

Photographing Bottles

Photographing Bottles

Sometimes when tutoring you get asked about a specific thing a bit more unusual than normal. This happened today.

Whilst doing a Lightroom session we were discussing past studio work that I had helped out with and the current products that were being photographed were bottles. To be precise, bottles of wine for a large supermarket chain!

I had photographed bottle products before but couldn’t quite remember my setup, so a quick bit of research and also adjusting for the fact that we weren’t in a studio, we set up the light and made some minor adjustments to how it could work and took some shots. They came out well and we wound up the session and I headed home.

I wanted to give it ago in my studio when I got home, so I setup 3 lights. 1 large octagon light as the back light and 2 rectangular soft boxes, one on each side.

I took 6 photos and selected the last couple to show. From starting to set up the lights to final photo was no longer than 20mins and this photos are straight out the camera with just a crop and minor highlight tweak in Lightroom. They are not cutout so the small block at the bottom is a toy brick and is what the bottle was perched on! If this was a ‘proper’ shoot, I would have edited out the wooden block!

The first photo is with both sidelight vertically positioned, creating 2 lines down the bottle.

The next image is with the right light rotated through 90 degrees, this makes a light instead of a strip.

My soft boxes also have a grid in them and this is shown in the highlight on the bottle.

I am not a great wine drinker, so the first bottle I found, was in fact one I had kept for photographing at some point. I was then going to find a wine bottle and try that and remove the grids, but my studio got taken over by Nat, photographing other bits so the other bottle shots will have to follow later.

I think there is some improvement to be made on this so will have another go and show the results too.

Very Lacking…

Very Lacking…

I have to say, that my blog entries on this site this year have been very lacking.

I don’t know if people still read this blog now, but I do need to try and post more often. I have posted regularly on my other site, but this side of my photography has been quiet recently as I have been concentrating on my portraits.

My latest shoot was a pre christening photo shoot for a family just before they went to the church. I’d setup a studio in his surgery and took photos of the family and children. It was definitely a different type of shoot to normal.

I’ve also been trying to build my tuition sessions, although it has been quiet over the summer.

So unfortunately all that coupled together has meant there hasn’t been much to talk about on this blog.

Interesting First Quarter to the Year

Interesting First Quarter to the Year

It’s been an interesting start to the year.

On the tutoring front, I’ve continued Lightroon tuition, done some Mac basics sessions, more Lightroom & helped the same person with studio lighting setups & product shots and lastly fixed an email problem for a lady who’d been having problems for months.

With photography, I’ve done 2 maternity shoots, plus our own. A promotional shoot for an osteopath, lingerie shoots, bodyscapes, a couple ‘statues’ shoot and a fashion shoot!

What a great first quarter of the year! Looking forward to the next quarter.

A Waiting Game

A Waiting Game

February has started as a waiting game. Things need to start for there to be a chain reaction where other things can then start to move.

So, lots of twiddling fingers in the first week.

As this is the case, website updates have been happening! I’ve fixed an issue, that I created a while back, but didn’t realise until today, with the homepage. It now works again with the menus!

Portrait galleries have had updates to them, new images added, tweaks to text etc… New images will be added to the Newborn gallery soon.

I’ve added a couple of new photos to the Mammals Primate gallery too.

On my Portraits website Lee Orchard Photography I’ve added 2 new blog posts, a commercial page, not yet live (this will replace a page on another site that I’m turning off). It shows commercial work we’ve done, mainly Hair & Make Up Portraits, Live shows, like Magician Live and some Food and Product photos.

I’ve also added more photos from recent shoots to the Adults gallery on that site.

So, while waiting I’ll continue tidying & painting in the house, tweaking websites, sorting photos and more…

January

January

January has been an interesting month.

Just before the New Year I did a maternity shoot, so had some nice maternity images to work up at the beginning of the month. I then had another maternity shoot as well as Nat maternity shoot too! So its been a good first half of the month for shoots.

On the training front, the first 2 weeks were relatively quiet, but since then, its been quite busy on the training front, with 2 new people booking session. 1 for Lightroom and another for iMac basics!

I have also updated my top level website. It was a website with lots of photos and information on what I do but with updates to the iPad and then later the iPhone the whole site stop working correctly. Something must have changed on the browser that for some reason stopped it. I’d spent a lot of time trying to sort it, but couldn’t, even spoke to Apple in store and they didn’t know. So I redesigned it and made it my training site.

It outlines the training I offer, costs and reference. I relatively simple site but give the information needed. It still also has links to my photography sites!

So, I’ve been busy, which is good. It stops me writing regular blog entries though, which is a shame, as I like to try and regularly put in updates for my readers!

More Photos Shoots

More Photos Shoots

In my last post, I spoke about doing a lot of portraits shoots recently.

Well, I have been busy. I’ve been doing a lot of Lightroom training and also Photography tuition on a 1-2-1 basis. Its kept me very busy.

In between all of that, I have also been doing more photo shoots!

I did a test business portrait session with a person and they were so pleased with the result, they said the photos were going straight on their website.

In another session, I photographed a boxer, it was one of his pastime activities and we did a range of photos in his boxing gear.

I took some great black and whites too, this one was with a base jumping pack

Other photo shoots this month include a Leather shoot with lots of leather jackets and some cosplay gear. I did some photos for a lady wanting to increase her modelling portfolio with some head hair and makeup photos, in a light gothic style and an unusual shoot with chains and handcuffs!

My last shoot of the year will be a Christmas Maternity shoot.

Tutoring Services

Tutoring Services

I have been tutoring people for over 20 years. I have taught individuals, small groups, large groups and taught for international companies.

Through all this time, I have taught many types of software, but all this is led to one thing. Being able to teach photography and photography related software.

When I started out on my own last year, I offered Lightroom and Photoshop tuition and now offer photography help to people who want to learn to use their camera in more than just the Auto mode.

I teach Lightroom to help people learn to organise there photos and be able to find ‘that photo’ instead of photos just buried on the disk in a folder and how to easily edit their photos in Lightroom too.

I teach Photoshop basics, how to use layers, edit, export and more, but at a simple level to help you learn.

All of my tuition is done at your pace in a non technical language that you understand at your home.

If any of this is of interest to you, please visit my Tutoring Pages to find out how I can help. Also take a look at my references to see what people say.

If you think you would like to learn more about photography, or related software, just drop me mail.

Oops, September

Oops, September

Oh dear, where did September go? Although not as busy as I could be, September just seems to have gone.

So what happened in September? Well there was more web development on going, but this is nearly finished now. I did a great materials photo shoot on a Friday at the beginning of the month followed by another on the Monday! Also photographed another stage in a stages maternity shoot.

I’ve also done more Lightroom training. A busy month for that, helping one person with an emergency and a new customer too as well a some photo shop training.

Nat and I also did a mini lighting session to learn some new lighting techniques and expand our knowledge.

So all of that and all the usual things means that September has passed with only this blog entry. Not really what I wanted, but its been busy.

October, must do better!