Category Archives: Tech Tips
North Circular Road
Another cold day and I’m out again working at finding urban landscapes. An image here cropped from the original Phase One RAW file then processed using the Capture One software. Applying on camera filtration in the form of Lee ND grads would have been very difficult here if not impossible because of the various structures so I made sure that I held the details in the highlights for the sky then used the Capture One controls to pull out more shadow detail.
And I struggle with poor circulation in my hands so cameras outdoors in winter can prove difficult. the most practical solution I’ve come across is to carry rechargeable handwarmers. They make all the difference.
Details: Phase One c/w IQ160, 35mm, 3 secs, f22, 50 ISO, no filtration
So here I go again. Another unusual situation to place the camera in and see what I’m able to get out of it.
I’ve spent this evening driving along the A13 towards Tilbury. I managed to get locked into a car park near on the Rainham Marshes, the local police station was closed so I was getting ready to dial the emergency services when a man from the nearby refuge site turned up with a key & let me out. I didn’t fancy a 20 mile walk or trying to hitch. I was pulling off the main road at different junctions, parking & then walking to see what oddness I could find.
Living in such a large metropolitan area as London has meant that urban landscapes make up a large proportion of my own landscape material as well as offering locations for the teaching of workshops on the Shadows and Light programme.
Details: Phase One c/w IQ160, 35mm, 15 secs, f12, 100 ISO, no filtration
Still getting familiar with this new camera & every time I put it to use I delight in having medium format once again. It did well on this day as at -3C the re-chargeable batteries held up well. Alex & Sav at the Flash Centre were right when they said that the cold didn’t effect the camera adversely. I came across this horse by chance & as I had no treats he wasn’t prepared to spend too long near me. It was a good opportunity to try the camera in shutter priority mode whilst shooting across the light to keep the sky as rich as possible.
Details: Phase One c/w IQ160, 35mm, 1/60 sec, f12, 100 ISO, no filtration
Millwall Inner Dock, London
Details: Phase One c/w IQ160, 35mm, 1/4 sec, f22, 100 ISO, 0.3ND Grad filter
My first urban landscape shot with the Phase One system on a late December afternoon in the Isle of Dogs at the heart of London’s Docklands. An area that I’ve visited and shot in since the old docks closed down in the late 1970’s leading to it becoming a land in limbo. I was working for the Daily Telegraph when they moved into 1 Canada Sq and the area was still one huge building site. Some wag on the paper decide to name the everything to west as the Avenue of the Victory of Capitalism whilst all to the east was referred to as the Avenue of the Failure of Capitalism.
So, December has been spent getting to grips with the Phase One DMF camera system & what a beast it is. With the IQ160 digital back I’m able to produce 60mb RAW files which, after processing through the Capture One software, generate a 175mb TIFF.
Coming to Phase One after 30 years using Hasselblads requires a mental shift on my part however this camera is fairly straightforward to use & the interface is certainly intuitive, a huge bonus for a non propeller head like me! Perhaps the biggest adaptation that I have had to make is using an eye-level viewfinder in a pentaprism. I’m so used to waist-level finders & an image that is flipped left-right that I need to stop & think. I notice this acutely at this time of year when shooting outdoors from a very low camera position – I have to lie on the floor which is either cold, wet, muddy or all three…
If you’re interested in these cameras & are UK based I’d recommend that you talk to Alex & Sav at The Flash Centre. They’re a solid, reliable supplier who know their stuff, also tell them that you know Julian at Shadows & Light.
To give you an idea of what the camera is capable of here’s a mixed light urban landscape shot.
Details: Phase One c/w IQ160, 35mm, 4 secs, f22, 50 ISO, no filtration, mixed lighting
Ghost Bike, Kings Cross, London
BMX Riders, Stourbridge
In the bleak mid winter the daylight hours are very short and if you’re lucky it’s cold, windy & there are snow flurries, precisely what happened on this occasion. My plan was to do a portrait of Josh Cox, a pro BMX Rider & to put the camera to the test in the sort of situation that I am so used to handling. By the time of this set up the weather had changed for the worse, it was snowing hard so we moved to the top of the town centre multi storey where we could at least stay dry. However word went out by text to all the local lads & within 20 mins we had an audience. Being one to never waste a new opportunity I decided to utilise all these extra characters to build yet another shot.
And yes, I had to lie on the cold concrete in order to see through the viewfinder, give me a WLF every time.
Many thanks to Josh (black hat) & Ben Turner for helping to organise the shoot.
Details: Phase One c/w IQ160, 35mm, 1/8sec, f11 2/3, 200 ISO, Elinchrom Ranger flash