To Crop or Not to Crop, that is the Question

On July 28, 2013, in Shoots, by teaco

I’ve really had enough of being indecisive….



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It seems like every other day i get an email from some bloke called Rick that goes something like this:

We are one of the best digital images retouching/editing professionals located in China. We provide all kinds of image editing solutions to different companies all over the world.

We provide best quality service in best price.

Our image editing services are: –

 . Cut out/masking, clipping path, deep etching, transparent background  . Dust cleaning, spot cleaning  . Colour correction, black and white, light and shadows etc.

 . Beauty retouching, skin retouching, face retouching, body retouching  . Fashion/Beauty Image Retouching  . Product image Retouching  . Jewellery image Retouching  . Real estate image Retouching  . Portrait image Retouching  . Restoration and repair old images  . Wedding & Event Album Design.

 . Vector Conversion

You can try us by sending a sample image for free test to judge our quality work.

We are waiting for your reply.

Thanks & Regards,


Rondruanin Imaging Professionals

It seems like i am not alone; the forums are full of photographers who are slightly vexed with Rick’s spamming.  It’s not easy to block Rick, as he changes his email address and domain frequently.  It’s no good hitting the UNSUBSCRIBE email link (which changes regularly) as is a “disposable” email service provider that does not have anything to do with the contact email (currently that also changes regularly. It’s interesting to note that is company name also changes as often as the weather. Why on earth would anyone want to use this company for their retouching work???

I did a little googling and this fella seems to know what he is talking about.  His solution is the block Rick by using the encoding string in the email headers.  Howerever, I’m a little lacking in the skills department to fully understand how to execute this solution, and so i am using a slightly easier method by setting up a rule on Microsoft Outlook.

I’m using Microsoft Office 2013, so things may be different for users of other editions, but it’s easy to set up a rule to block Rick as he always has ‘Photo Cut Out’ in the title of his emails. I set up a rule to move any email with ‘Photo Cut Out’ in the title to the junk folder and ‘Rick’ in the subject or body, unless it is actually addressed only to me, or has my name in the to box.  When i’m happy this is working well, i’ll change the rule to ‘delete it’ (first screen shot) so I don’t ever have to see it again.





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Jakarta Model: Lily

On July 27, 2013, in Shoots, by teaco

I’ve been busy processing today, with the new Daft Punk album on full blast.  Here are a few more of Lily from my hotel room shoot.

If anyone is interested in my street photography from my weekend in Jakarta then please see the following links:

Jakarta Fish Market

Walking North Jakarta Streets

More Jakarta Street Photography

Old Man Repairing a Clock, Jakarta

Various shots around Jakarta (Canon A1 and Kodak Ektar 100)

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The old ‘colour and black and white’ dilemma is back again…..



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Black and White, or Colour? Arghhh……

On July 25, 2013, in Shoots, by teaco

Lily, from Jakarta.





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Some more of Meegan (Ginger Rabbit/Pandora)

On July 24, 2013, in Shoots, by teaco

I am liking these shots muchly. That’s the last of this set… next are the nudes on the red bed…. 🙂






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Meegan: Ginger Rabbit meets Pandora

On July 23, 2013, in Shoots, by teaco

I’ve decided to go Black n White with these. It’s an obvious choice really, as I was shooting to create shadows.  I like the way they turned out.

Please see for more of her….






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Meegan is a burlesque performer unlike any other, and goes by the name of Ginger Rabbit.  She totally rocks in this pvc number, and being a redhead surely helps 🙂  We wanted to so something with shadows, as our previous shoot was very ‘high-key’. I thought some hard lighting from a gridded jembo strip-box and gridded reflector would do the trick.  I had two lights on the background, and decided not to blow the highlights, but to keep the whites very close to over-exposing. I also pushed the exposure of the lights on the model a little higher than some people may find ideal, but it’s a look i really like and thought it suited her as she has pale skin.  There is no light on the model from the front, as enough light was reaching her – as you can see in the straight-out-of-camera shot.  I pulled the zoom right back to 24mm to get all the lights in. For the actual shoot  i had the lens set at 70mm, which is about as long as you can get in my front room studio 🙂

Here is how i set it up:

1) Set the softboxes on the backdrop at equal settings.  I took a shot with the camera with the ‘flashies’ enabled.  I set each light to overexpose just a little bit on either side of the model (could see it flashing on the lcd display), but without flashing in shot.

2) I used a lightmeter to set the other lights at around f11, which pushed the exposure to the point of almost overexposing the model and losing detail.

3) The aperture was f8 and the shutter speed at 1/125.  ISO was 100.

Hope this helps! If you have questions then just put them in a comment (below) and i’ll answer them.



On July 8, 2013, in Shoots, by teaco

I did a shoot with Jocelyn a few weeks back.  It was her first time in front of the camera and she was a bit nervous when i was rattling off the first few frames.  After a while she relaxed and we got some good results.  You’d never believe that Jocelyn is 54 years old (she is fine with me posting her age).  It was a really enjoyable shoot and i hope that Jocelyn keeps on modelling!