Monthly Archives: July 2013

Stop And Rest A While

Stop-And-rest-A-WhileOne for all you boaties and dreamers out there….especially now the weather has turned so miserable, but in good old Brut spirit we say “well at least the garden needs it” personally I love it all, we should embrace all weathers and get out there…..anything beats being indoors.


Short n sweet today as I have loads on and need to get ready for my knee op on Saturday, well not get ready but make sure I have everything sorted for next week in case I cant walk for a few days.

Will report on the event in due course



Money Supermarket Challenge

Morning all

a few weeks ago I was set a challenge by to do a comparison shot, my Canon 1DS MKIII V a budget camera bought from, “easy you say”… Not So, I say.

Firstly I had to contend with the myriad of point and shoot cameras available compared to and being realistic Canon or Nikon in the DSLR range. A quick google and you’ll get 50 cameras all around the £50 mark all claiming to do everything Joe Public will need and more, image stabilization, HD video, effects galore etc etc. The only thing in my favour is that I am pretty happy with Canon and have always stuck with them since I turned professional in 2009, I currently have a 5d MKII a 1DS MKIII and my favourite scouting camera a S100 that is always with me no matter where I am, it shoots RAW and has many capabilities that my main DSLR has at a fraction of the size and weight.

Anyway, back to the “Hot Shot Challenge”, after much searching and researching amazon reviews I came across a Canon Ixus 130 in used condition with a sale price of £54,59 yup I couldn’t believe it either especially with a rrp of £239 but many on sale approx £175 on

The specification:-

Canon IXUS 130 Details                           canon_ixus130

Camera Type:  Ultra Compact

Megapixels: 14

Zoom: 4x

LCD Screen: 2.7

Memory Cards: SD / SDHC / SDXC

Aspect Ratios: 4:3, 16:9

File Formats: JPEG

Focal Length Equivalent: 28 – 112mm

Shutter Speed: 15 – 1/1500 seconds

Aperture: f/2.8 – f/5.9

Sensitivity: AUTO, ISO 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600

White Balance Settings: Auto (including Face Detection WB), Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Custom

Exposure Compensation: -2EV to +2EV (in 1/3EV steps)

Viewfinder: No

Flash Modes: Auto, Manual Flash On / Off, Slow Synchro

Flash Range: 4m

Metering: Multi-pattern, centre weighted, spot

Shooting Modes: Portrait, Night Snapshot, Kids & Pets, Indoor, Smart Shutter(Smile, Wink Self-Timer, FaceSelf-Timer), Low Light(3.5MP), Color Accent, Color Swap, Fish-eye Effect, Miniature Effect, Beach, Underwater, Foliage, Snow, Fireworks, Long Shutter, Stitch Assist

Maximum Movie Resolution: 1280 x 720

Max Movie Frames Per Sec: 30 fps

Maximum Movie Duration: 4GB or 10 minutes

Macro Focus: 3cm

ManualControls None

Image Stabilisation Yes

Lens Converters No

Self Timer 10 seconds or 2 seconds

Video Out (TV Playback) Yes

Computer Connection Yes

Batteries Lithium-ion Rechargeable

Dimensions 92.2 x 56.1 x 17.8mm

Weight 133g

The Images:-

Well lets start with my 1ds MKIII value approx £5k along with tripod £1k and a Singh Ray Reverse Grad filter £200, oh and not forgetting my trusty 16-35 f2.8 L USM lens £1500, camera bag and associated gear brings a rough total to £8-10k (I know my wife doesn’t know either) but it does afford me an income and the passion for what I do cannot be price tagged, unless you’re my long suffering wife then its probably several hundred pairs of shoes and the relaxing beach holiday we forgo every year for me to follow my dreams!.

Location: Anglesey       Time: 21:21    Date: 15/7/2013



F/11.0, 1/8s, ISO 100, 35mm

Singh Ray Reverse Grad, Lee .9 ND

GITZO GK1581OT Ocean Traveler Tripod

Arctic Muck Boot Wellies, an absolute must, the Irish Sea is freezing even at the height of summer

This is a well balance shot utilising my filters and tripod to hold the position perfectly still. A very small amount of post processing to adjust the light balance and remove dust particles, cropped to suit.

Canon Ixus 130 IS, straight from the camera image


F /2.8, 1/60s, ISO 125, 5mm

Oakley Dispatch Sunglasses

Hand held

I’m a firm believer that composition is king when it comes to photographs, it doesn’t matter if you have a £40k Hassleblad, if it looks wrong it usually is. Composition isn’t something that individuals take easy to being taught, I’m not saying it can’t be learned but you instinctively  know when someone has “the eye”, and this is how I became a photographer, people always thrust the camera in my direction and said “let Adrian take it, he always gets it right” well almost I’d say!

I utilised my sunglasses to act as a filter as I used my expensive filter on my 1DS MKIII image, it certainly helps a lot as the sky is so much brighter than the sea and anything I could do to help balance the light is what matters, it’s still slighty “blown out” as we say, (too bright that some detail is lost) and of course when you shoot without an effective balancing act of light in the foreground , middle and background  you get silhouettes, shadows and blown out areas.

Saying that I really like the result, the camera has created a pleasurable image and definitely a memory pretty close to how I remember the sky and sea that summer night. It does however lack some of my 1Ds’s qualities and this is where the money maker that is 1ds comes in, the overall quality of the Ixus  against my 1ds is far less sharp and noisy (has a grain) and the 14mb shot is no where near the same size pixel wise as my 1ds, being  2935 x 2068 @ 240 pixels/inch V the 1ds’s 5520 x 3680 @ 240 pixels/inch.

In trying to keep this blog as nontechnical as possible it must be said that full frame resolution of the 1ds is far superior to Ixus 130 as well as handling and and overall performance, but this comes at a price and lets face it I don’t carry my 1ds MKIII whilst doing the shopping at Asda but I can say that I do now carry the Ixus 13o everywhere along with my S100 iPhone…..sad you may think but I always remember a saying  “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” now this makes perfect sense when applying this to photography but its actually a quote from Wayne Gretsky a Canadian ice hockey player, but you get the idea.

Will I be using this camera to make money shots that I’d sell on my site, probably not as I don’t think it compares highly enough to my 1ds MKIII’s overwhelming quality and scalability that my customers demand but I would certainly use it for web, blog, social media and just having fun which when it comes down to it is what photography is about FUN and recording the moments that make up our lives.

I think the Ixus 130 IS bought at Amazon was and is worth every penny, its small, practical has some great functions and you don’t worry so much about it just being shoved away in your pocket, keep it handy ready for those occasions that count.

I thought about the image and decided to give it the same chances as I did with my 1DS and run it through the processing in Photoshop just to see what can be made with and image, this is the result.


Think you’ll agree it works rather well now doesn’t it?, this took 5 minutes and could easily be recreated using the iPhone Photoshop App PS Express and PS Touch, maybe not a seller but one to be proud of and certainly when printed say A4 looks very presentable.

Hope you enjoyed this blog, loads more @


A Perfect Setting

Rhosneigr-July-13-2With a little help from my Singh Ray Reverse Grad filter and a perfect setting sun on Anglesey, I think I pretty much nailed this one.

For a change I thought , well it’s warm I’ll wear my flip flops instead of wellies……boy was I wrong the sea is still freezing and as the sun sets it gets a whole lot colder believe me. It took a good hour to warm up again later, note to self, “always have your wellies ready”.

Before I went away I had a shoot for the local authority doing the annual Mayors Parade, it was sweltering heat and carrying 2 cameras didn’t help either, anyway that aside I use an Ansmann Digi Speed 4 Ultra to charge my 2850 batteries for my flash guns and flash PSU but a week before the shoot the charger which isn’t cheap at £60 burned out. I’d had it 3 years plus and it is  the best as it charges their own brand batteries in super fast time which for a pro photographer is essential, it also has a car kit with it so it’s invaluable to me.

After a little discussion with the retailer I emailed Ansmann UK and they said they’d take a look at even though the unit was out of  its warranty period period, so I duly sent it off, not expecting much. (Now has 3 years warranty)


Imagine my surprise when I received a brand new charger compete with 4 x 2850 batteries a week later Free Of Charge, I can only say what a company and what faith they have in their product, it obviously pays to buy the right quality product when you need it and I’ll be sticking with Ansmann for good now.


A massive thank you to Andrew Wright for his kind assistance and exceptional customer service.


cheers all


Way Too Hot….No, Really

Rhosneigr-July-13-1Yes it really was too hot this last week, never thought I’d say that in this country, well it was North Wales.

Had a great week away did a workshop but cancelled one as there simply wasn’t any sky action to play with, not great for teaching.

I’m sure you’ll agree  the “Rock Pool – Sunset Skies” makes up for the lack of skies on the other days I went out too play, fortunately this was the same day as my workshop…phew!

Back home now having been up since 5:30 editing shots from the Mayors Parade I shot just over a week ago, got some beauties, I’ll see if they’ll allow me to post some, the zombies were brilliant.  Had a great day but again it was far too warm to be carrying 2 cameras and flashes for 6 hours, it was a great relief to get them off, I felt like I was

Very busy week again, editing shots from Wales, a new friend and client to help too plus operation pre thingy at Sheffield for my shoulder, 3 hours to work out if you’re OK for the op or not…still better safe than sorry. Will update as and when I get more info

Have a great week


Sunset Journey

Sunset-JourneyPhew!!! how hot is it at the mo…….scorchio

This one from Anglesey on my last workshop shows what you can achieve with filters and a few props, aptly titled I think, each to there own hey.


16-35 2.8 f/22 1.6s

ISO 100

Wellies a must

Workshops booked in for next week Snowdonia and Anglesey, weather looks promising too especially if we get a bit of cloud, should be great. Of course I’ll get a little kayaking in with Dave S, see if I can tempt him further out to see (check coastguard reports) lol.

Back out in The Peaks later this week for a sunset, Stormy’s looking forward to it.



Porth Y Post Pink Sunset

Poth-Y-Post-Sunset-PinkHey all

what a fantastic long weekend, commission shoot. Firstly Friday at Preston Spring and Greta Woods in teh pouring rain and I mean rain, me and Stormer were soaking wet, then Saturday Cleatop, Scaleber and Low Wood in Grassington, all great places but I had a surreal experience at Scaleber Woods where the Big waterfall is.

As we made our way down to the bottom I found we were not alone and to cut a long story short and the fact i am totally naive at this sort of thing honest guv, it was a soft porn shoot of sorts, 2 girls and 3 guys, don’t ask I didn’t want to know… anyway I managed a few shots with one of the girls, she obliged with a few shots looking up the falls semi nude…..Jo was not impressed apparently I’d missed some full frontal shots whilst shooting the falls, how we suffer for our art! lol saying that the falls will be there as and when not sure about the Judy’s.

Go on then since you are my friends here is one of her posing, sure you’ll agree the fall look magnificent!! NOW THEN