Digital Media Design


Studio Photo Gallery

Studio Photography

A series of photographs I shot using my Canon EOS 60D in a Bournemouth photographic studio.

The lens used is the standard Canon 50mm F1.8 prime lens and all photos were shot using either using aperture priority or manual mode. The photos were then processed using Adobe Lightroom 4.


Portfolio and Showreel

Portfolio and Showreel

Portfolio and Showreel

I’ve been researching showreels on YouTube and in Google search results. The conclusion I have come to is that like a CV you really need to put together a selection of showreels to showcase your skills and target a specific role or company – very much like a CV and covering letter.

Showreel Guidelines (Obtained from a variety of online sources)

  1. showreel-clapper

    Make the first 10 seconds of the showreel count – unlike other films don’t build up to a climax you need to make an impact in the opening of the showreel.

  2. Keep it short under 2 minutes
  3. Only show your best work
  4. Don’t put your contact details in the credits – put these on the DVD sleeve (Not sure why but this is what my research recommends)
  5. A showreel should include supporting work – Personal Statement, links to websites, storyboard sketches, it’s best to put this all on the disk as documents can  get separated/lost at the receiving end.
  6. Think about presentation (eye catching)

The showreel I edited together (above) is to showcase my camera work if I was targetting a photography role then I would put forward a showreel of my photographs most probably in a slideshow.

Showreels online Information sources

  • My Portfolio website can be found at click here
  • Computer Arts – Showreels a Dummys Guide click here


Photography – Studio Location Photography Final Submission

studio location photography

Applied Studio Location Photography – Short CourseAlfa Romeo

For the final submission I have to shortlist from the 100’s of photographs taken over the last 10 weeks just 25 photographs. Of which at least 1 or 2 should be from each of the assignments set either in class or as mid week home assignments.

Broncolor Studio LightingAssignments for the studio location photography course include ‘Still-life for Advertising’, ‘Studio and Creative Lighting Techniques’, ‘Editorial’ and ‘Fashion/Portrait Photography’. Photographs were taken in Studio using state of the art studio Broncolor lighting equipment and on location using either natural light or battery powered lighting. We had a choice of location for the Editorial location shoot and our choice was Swanage, which proved to be a good choice as we were extremely lucky with the weather – cold but dry and bright.Broncolor Studio Lighting Pack

The second location shoot took place at Upton Country Park, the weather unfortunately not so kind but luckily we were shooting indoors in the basement of Upton House a Grade II listed building. We used the natural light filtering through the dirty windows and portable studio/location lighting kit. The reflectors we brought along proved to be essential when using the natural lighting and also proved useful when using the lighting equipment – something similar is now on my wish list. They are cheap to buy and the results obtained when reflecting natural light onto a models face amazing, removing the shadows produced by the main light source.

My 25 Studio Location Photography Shortlist (24 shown)




Photography – Twin Sails Bridge – Summer Photography Project


Twin Sails Bridge - Poole Dorset

Twin Sails Bridge – Poole Dorset

In association with the Poole Tourist Board a project to photograph the Twin Sails Bridge was set along with a competition, the prize to see your photograph used in promotional material by the Poole Tourist Board.

As I was unfamiliar with the Bridge my first task was to do some research on the bridge itself, which I began by searching for images of the bridge on the internet. I found literally thousands of images, the bridge, new in construction had attracted the intentions of many photographers both professional and amateur in the short few months that construction had been completed. I quickly realised this was not going to be one of those situations where a unique photograph would be possible.

I then went onto research the bridge itself and discovered the name of the bridge came from its design, when open the bridge clearly appeared to look like the sails and twin masts of a sailing boat. For that reason it was apparent that for the brief to be fulfilled any photograph I took must be when the bridge was open and must be taken from a location where the twin sails were clearly visible.

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My first set of photographs were taken at 12.30pm one very hot and sunny day, I picked 12.30pm as this is one of the bridges scheduled opening times. I set the tripod up with my Canon EOS 60D fitted with the Canon 18mm to 55mm kit lens. Using Aperture Priority I shot off a sequence of images capturing the bridge in its various states as it opened, lifting the road surface up to allow the waiting boats to pass beneath. The using the camera hand-held and now fitted with a 50mm prime lens I fired off another sequence of images, capturing details of the structure, using the depth of field to attract the viewers eye.

I then relocated to RNLI’s headquarters building where they kindly let me shoot another sequence of photographs from an external walkway looking towards one side of the bridge. These photographs I considered to be less successful as even with the Canon EOS 60D fitted with my most powerful zoom lens 55mm to 250mm and this set to its maximum magnification I was too far away for capture the details of the bridge.

As this is a working bridge cars, cyclists and pedestrians were visible in many of the photographs I’d taken. For the purposes of this project I decided these would distract from the central subject of the bridge and so in post production I removed all of these from the photographs using Photoshop CS5. At the same time I removed some of the shoreline details for example Electricity Pylons, Street Lighting poles from the photographs I would put forward.

Just for fun I also dropped into one of the photographs an image of a full moon, added a gradient to simulate night leaving the structure of the bridge in full daylight or in this case simulating moonlight. Although I thought this was my best image I decided not to enter it as it too far from reality.

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Having some time on my hands and being in the area I decided to visit the bridge on another occasion but carrying only my iPhone 4S this time. Sunday morning at 10.30am in time to capture the bridge again at one of its scheduled opening times. This time with permission I positioned myself on private land at one side of the bridge and using the iPhone 4S and the Camera+ App I photographed the bridge as it rose into the Twin Sails position.

I was lucky again on this occasion with excellent weather and the bonus of heavy cloud formations in the distance adding some interest to the sky which had been absent on the previous photographs.


Both sets of photographs have their merits but surprisingly I think the iPhone 4S photographs are my preferred choice. There’s little difference in quality in fact the wider angle of the iPhone 4S lens allowed me to capture much more of the bridge than my Canons EOS 60D could although fitted with it’s 18mm to 55mm kit lens set at its widest angle.

I also felt the cloud formations added much more interest to the sky rather than the unbroken blue sky for the Canons photographs. The filters and presets of the iPhones Camera+ App also allowed for excellent options for editing these photographs adding more interest to the final images.


The next stage was to select which photographs I would submit for printing and for the competition. This was my only mistake I left the printing to the day of the competition picking them up just minutes before submission and unfortunately I submitted them even though I was not happy with the final result. In my opinion the prints were too dark and lacked the fine details of the images I’d reviewed on screen.

Needless to say I was not surprised when they failed to win the overall prize but happy to hear they will be used in the marketing material by the Poole Tourist Board with the artist being identified by name in the description.




Photography Short Course – Flash Photography 2

Flash Photography

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Flash Photography

This was our second introduction to using Flash Photography on the Photography Short Course and follows on directly from where we left off from the previous weeks Balloon bursting.Water Balloon

A large fish tank filled with water standing on a table in front of a dark cloth background. A stand alone flash unit with a wireless trigger was positioned above and to the right of the balloon with the camera mounted on a tripod also positioned directly facing the tank. We held something in the water where we hoped the object would enter the water to pre focus, which meant all we needed to do was click the trigger.

The idea this time was to trigger the shutter just as an object was dropped into the fish tank. There was also a large glass vase filled with water and using a side flash, with a black or white card background to photograph objects agaisnt but unfortunately time did not permit me the opportunity to try this setup.

The pictures above show the result of those I caught as they dropped into the fish tank however there are many more pictures of empty tanks (triggered before entry) and tanks with the items laying at the bottom of the tank (Flash triggered late). What I learned from this simple exercise is timing and of course typical settings for using Flash to capture moving objects – to freeze a moment in time.

We repeated this experiment using a smaller fish tank but this time using a hand held Flash connected using a hot shoe adapter, connecting to the flash using a cable.

I’ve limited the editing to cropping and adding a tint using Lightroom 4, which can be downloaded as a 30 day trial version from Adobes website.

Camera Settings – Canon EOS 60D

None of these settings are set in stone but these seemed to give the best results.

  • Camera set to Manual
  • White Balance set to Flash
  • Shutter Speed 1/125 to 1/250 (depending on which flash gun was used)
  • Aperture set between F8 to F11


Photography Short Course – Using the Flash

Photography Short Course
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This was our first introduction to using Flash on the Photography Short Course.

Balloons filled with water were suspended against a dark cloth background. A stand alone flash unit with a wireless trigger was positioned above and to the right of the balloon with the camera mounted on a tripod also positioned slightly to the right.

By using a dart the idea was to trigger the shutter just as a thrown dart bursts the Balloon.Water Balloon burst with a dart

The pictures above show the result of those I caught as they burst however there are many more pictures of intact Balloons and darts yet to touch the Balloon. What I learned from this simple exercise is timing and of course typical settings for using Flash to capture moving objects – to freeze a moment in time.

I also found out how good the basic Flash fitted to the Canon is at doing something like this – some of those pictures are taken using the cameras flash and some using an external flash unit costing £100’s – can you tell which is which?

I’ve limited the editing to cropping only using Lightroom 4, which can be downloaded as a 30 day trial version from Adobes website.

Camera Settings – Canon EOS 60D

None of these settings are set in stone but these seemed to give the best results.

  • Camera set to Manual
  • White Balance set to Flash
  • Shutter Speed 1/200
  • Aperture set between F8 to F11


iPhone 4S – My Favorite Apps

iPhone 4S

iPhone 4S

I thought it would be a good idea to post about my iPhone 4S and how good it is for the  digital media student or for the photographer looking for inspiration.

In the short time I’ve had the iPhone 4S  I am already in love with the upgraded Camera and some of the brilliant camera Apps that I’ve downloaded from the App Store.

iPhone 4S – Camera+

Camera+ iPhone 4S App

My favourite camera App for the iPhone 4S at the moment is Camera+

The camera side of the app includes a useful digital zoom the option to select the auto-focus point and control the exposure separately by using a second finger to move the exposure point around the screen.

It includes an image stableliser a grid for positioning the subject on screen (rule of thirds) and a handy timer for that rare opportunity when you want to appear in your own shots.

The camera lacks the video option but the camera is not the real reason for buying this App it’s the image editing features that really sell this app.

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Camera+ Edit Mode

So you take your photo then edit the same photo in the camera; for example maybe improving the Clarity, cropping the photo – maybe giving it that popular square look, followed by adding one of the many effects  as well and finally adding a frame. The other good news is that the editing features are not only limited to the photos that you take but you can apply them retrospectively to photos in your camera roll and the other albums on your iPhone.

The final plus point is the ability to upload to Facebook or share on Twitter so that your photo creations can be immediately available for view on the Social Network of your choice.

This iPhone 4S App was on sale when I bought it less than £2.00 and most probably would still be a bargain at double that price.



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More iPhone 4S using the Camera+ App Example Images can be found on my Facebook Albums



Hipstamatic photography without using an iPhone for your MAC – Image Tricks

In a previous post I’ve mentioned a App called Photoscape for the PC which is an photo editing tool which can re-produce the aesthetics of the iPhone Hipstamatic App.

Image Tricks

Image Tricks for MAC Photo & Imaging Editing App

I got to wondering if there was a similar App available for the MAC, after some researching on the internet I came across Image Tricks offering very similar Photo and Imaging Editing to Photoscapes. Again this is a Free App with the exception of a few of the effects which are limited to the Pro version but the Free Version still has plenty to offer. You can download Image Tricks from Belight Software site.

Image Tricks Screenshot

Image Tricks Screenshot


Photoscape – Hipstamatic on the PC

Photoscape Start Page Screenshot

Hipstamatic on the PC

I’ve been a fan of the Hipstamatic photography App on the iPhone since it was first introduced and at the same time feeling left out of the fun because I did not at the time own an iPhone.

A bit of research on the Internet for Hipstamatic style image editing software, plugins and Apps I came across a number of references in Forums for an App called Photoscape. (See link to download at the bottom of the page)

Hipstamatic on the PC – In just a few minutes of downloading Photoscape I was cropping photos using the 1:1 setting creating that square photo look and then letting my imagination run wild using the Filters, Saturation, Brightness and Contrast to get that Hipstamatic look. The final touch was adding a frame from the huge list on offer to give a retro or vintage look.

Hipstamatic Look

For the picture of the boat which I think is a close approximation of the Hipstamatic Look I used the following settings:-

  1. Crop picture using the 1:1 setting which I then resized as 800 x 800 pixels for the internet.
  2. Using the ‘Bright Color’ tool I set the Hue to be +45, contrast to +100, darken to +80, saturation to +100 and finally ticked the grey tone option.
  3. I then added the Cali05 frame
  4. Finally I added backlight selecting the +200 setting which I applied twice.

Hipstamatic on the PC – It’s FREEPhotoscape App Choices

What’s really great, is that for absolutely no outlay you can still have all this fun editing your photographs because Photoscape is absolutely FREE. Even better you also do not have to own or buy a iPhone (any camera or camera phone will do) to be up and running producing your own Hipstamatic styled photos in minutes.

The only problem I have now is being able to stop myself from going back through my old photos and giving them the Hipstamatic look. On the other hand it does breathe life back into old forgotten photographs.

Photoscape can be downloaded from CNET ( or Brothersoft alternatively  click this link Photoscape to go directly to Photoscape’s homepage.

Hipstamatic on the PC – Another BonusMontage using Photoscape's Page Tool

I almost forgot to mention that Photoscape offers other features including Screen Capture, Animation among many others but one feature which I will look at in more depth in another post is Page, what this does is allow you to combine/position multiple images onto a page (Montage).  My idea for this would be to create a Photo Album which you could then printout into maybe a book format – ideal for artists needing to produce a portfolio of work for a potential customer?

I’ve added a Gallery of the images that I’ve produced using the Photoscape App, which I’m adding to on an almost daily basis – so watch this space for updates.

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Photography Cloning – Bring on the Clones

Photography Cloning

A simple 30 minute project.

Photography Cloning

Photography Cloning, cloning yourself or indeed anyone/anything is easy as long as you have access to some form of image editing software such as Photoshop or any other Image manipulation App. I suspect even Paint would work. You just need to plan your shots and be able to cut and paste sections from the individual photographs into another photograph. An App that uses Layers works best though.

Picasa Slideshow

The Free App Picasa which runs on a PC and MAC can create a good quality slideshow/video from your photographs and also lets you upload to YouTube quickly and easily, it even allows you to add a soundtrack and titles with no fuss whatsoever.

Photography Cloning - Final Picture

Photography Cloning – Final Picture

So how is this done?

Like all these types of Photographs you need to do some planning first, for my photographic effort I simply split the scene down the middle. The first shot would be the picture of on the left side and therefore closest to the camera, call this the 1st Picture. The second shot was on the right side and furthest from the camera. So that’s all you need to do from a photography aspect, just take these 2 photographs, but the key is that you must not move the camera and ideally the lighting should be controlled to keep the exposure the same for both photos.

Photography Cloning - 1st Picture

Photography Cloning – 1st Picture

I set the camera Canon EOS 60D to AV mode that is Aperture priority, I set the exposure to f4. I then used the self timer for the shots, a 10 second delay was more than enough time to be seated in time for the camera to take the shot.

Photoshop – Photography Cloning

Post Production – This part was relatively simple, first open both photographs and then using the square marquee tool I just selected one half of one of the images, copied this and then pasted this as a new layer into the 2nd image – call this the background. A small amount of adjustment was needed to make sure the 2 half’s lined up correctly.

Photography Cloning - 2nd Picture

Photography Cloning – 2nd Picture

As I’d shot using the available light coming through a window the brightness did vary between the 2 half’s so I manually adjusted the brightness of 1 half to match the other. Flatten the image and then the final job was to use the healing brush tool to remove the line you will always get at the join of the two photographs. That’s it job done, now you have the technique you can go wild and add more images in the same way, it just takes a little more planning. The order that you cut and paste has some effect but you can clone yourself, or anything as many times as you want just by using this method.

Photography Cloning - Using Photoshop to paste the clone

Photography Cloning – Using Photoshop to paste the clone

Finally for the final image I used HDR Darkroom to add an HDR effect to the completed image.

The Clone Movie

To make the movie I used Picasa. This is just so easy to use. I’d already uploaded the photographs into a folder called clones and all I then had to do was select from Picasa menu create movie and the App does the rest, it even selected the images and then it automatically generated the titles from the folders name.

All I then had to do was set the size of the movie and then add a soundtrack, for which I chose an 11 second track and selected the option to make the movie length fit to the audio track length. The final option is to share this onto the internet by clicking the YouTube option and the App does the rest, it even prompts you to add titles, tags, a category and a description to your movie.

Photography Cloning - Using HDR Darkroom for the HDR Effect

Photography Cloning – Using HDR Darkroom for the HDR Effect

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