Its All Gone Dark

It was a very chill out weekend, so as we are back to the grindstone today thought I would share this invisible black background set up with you guys.

I follow a cool photographer and retoucher called Glyn Dewis. He has been posting some new work which he uses an invisible black background. He photographs his subject in day light, but using a single strobe or speedlight creates a black background, while his subject get perfectly lit. So I thought I would show you how its done to.

This is done by being able to trigger off camera flash and doing the following.

1 Setting your camera to manual
2 setting the ISO to its lowest, normally iso100
3 Setting your shutter speed to its highest sync speed for flash, the Norm is 1/250th or 1/200th. I have a Canon EOS 6D for some reason Canon thought 1/180th would be ok, I don’t know why they have done this but they did.
4 Set your aperture just high enough, so when you take a picture its just black on the back of your camera with no flash firing.

When you take another shot with the flash switched on you will capture what ever is being lit by the flash and all other light will drop off leaving a black background.

As you can see by this first image I was set up in my garden in daylight.

DW Images Photography set up

The second shot below is from the back of the camera without the flash firing. Its given me a great starting point my aperture was about F10.

DWi Set Up

This third image is my final shot after I had been playing around with the flash position to get the look I wanted.

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Looking for professional photography in Milton Keynes? DW Images Photography offers Headshot, Product and Commercial photography at their Bletchley studio.


The Power Of LinkedIn

Had Mark come to the studio this morning, he owns Corporate Drama and he wanted to update his head shots. Spent a couple of hrs with him in the studio this morning and he went away with some awesome shots.

These shots prove the power of using LinkedIn to network, I was making connections last week and Mark was one of them. My timing was perfect as he was looking to have new head shots. He checked out my profile and website that day and booked his session.

Picking and choosing the right people to connect with will pay dividends and don’t bombard people with loads of messages telling them what you do. Be polite send a thank you for the connection and explain your services, tell them that you’re their if they need you. Send updates every so often just as a reminder but don’t be pushy. Its all about networking! Upset a connection and you have lost all of those potential recommendations.

Professional Head Shot Studio Photography – Corporate, Social Media, Actors – Bletchley, Milton Keynes


Since the introduction of photography in 1839, portraiture has been one of the most widely practiced forms of the medium. Starting in the early 20th century, however, some photographers began to question whether a single image could adequately capture the complexity of an individual.

One of the things that photographers have done for many years is take self-portraits. These self-portraits are not normally in the same style as they would be if photographing someone else. They have made serial self- portraits that investigate the malleability of personal identity.

Photographing them- selves as shadows, blurs, or partial reflections, Lee Friedlander was one of these photographers. He made disorienting images that hint at the instability of self-representation.

Why does he want to be preserved as venerable in these images? Is it that photographers like Friedlander see the world in a completely different way to the rest of us, and wants to put back a little humanity. Identity is a very personal thing and we have a good idea in our own heads of what we look like and who we are. But this is always so much different to what other people actually think of us. So self-portraiture seems to be one of the ways we unload all our emotions, to let others know how we actually feel.


lee_friedlander_self_portraits_in_the_picture lee-friedlander


Product and commercial photography based in Milton Keynes

Digital To Darkroom

Digital Photography Meets Traditional Silver Based Techniques

Today has all been about darkroom experimentation, and what a blast I have had. As a photographer I still like to shoot film and you can’t beat that feeling when you open the dev tank after you have shot a processed a roll. If your anything like me I can’t wait to get into the dark room and print a contact sheet and chose the images I want to print. This got me thinking; I want to make prints of some of my digital work. “So just print it, the printer is next to you on your desk” I hear you cry. Its not that simple, I want to print them in the darkroom. I want to bring the traditional silver based method into my digital photography, and today I have…

I started by picking two images from a recent shoot I did and opening them up in Photoshop, these are the two I picked.

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Next was to make the negative so I made sure they where both converted to greyscale. I then inverted the images and adjusted the curves to bring up the contrast. IMG_8524-Edit IMG_8588-Edit Screen Shot 2014-01-18 at 16.55.56 Screen Shot 2014-01-18 at 16.56.15

After I had made the adjustments I printed both negatives on to transparencies and cut down to size. I had made both 8×10 ready to fit the paper I had in my darkroom.

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So off to the darkroom with my digital negatives in hand and proceeded to make test exposures to make sure I have the correct setting. As these negatives are 10×8 I needed to make contact prints and once I had everything set correctly I made my first full exposure of the first negative. I worked out that with the No 5 Filter and the smallest aperture setting on my enlarger the exposure time would be 14 sec.

14 seconds went by and into the developer goes the paper and wait with bated breath; a couple of seconds went by as if by magic the image begins to appear. The paper getting darker as this most wonderful of chemical reactions takes place, done we have a print so into the stop bath for about 30 sec then into the rapid fix bath. At this point I know
I have a image printed but under the red light of the darkroom you don’t get the real sense of what you have just printed, so I left it in the fix for a little longer then transferred the print to the water bath for a quick wash.

Now time to take a look so I get the print from the water bath and take it into the daylight, I couldn’t asked for anything better as this is a complete first attempt at processing a digital image this way. I was blown away with the results so back into the darkroom to print the next negative I had made, keeping everything the same I made the second exposure, and again I was blown away with the finished print. I have 2 really cool prints that were originally digital images shot on my Canon EOS.

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