Window Light: Mwihaki

On June 8, 2013, in Shoots, by teaco

Something i wish i had at my home-studio is a nice big window.  Window light is just the best.

This is definitely the quickest shoot i have ever done, and also the most fun.  Mwihaki is awesome 😉
















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Boudoir Lighting Set-up: Hailey

On June 2, 2013, in Tutorials, by teaco

Here is the lighting set-up for the boudoir shoot with Hailey, which is in the post below. Click to view larger image.

The bedroom is quite small.  As i like to use my 85mm lens I had to shoot from outside the room.  I did try my 50mm but i felt it was just a touch too wide for my taste.

I dropped the ISO as low as possible, and had to put an extra cover on the softbox to reduce the light further. The size of the room is pretty small, at around 3.5 x 3.5 m (that’s about 12 ft x 12 ft for those who don’t get metric).


Hailey: A Little Boudoir

On June 2, 2013, in Shoots, by teaco

I haven’t done a shoot in this room before because it’s a little too small and i don’t like using lenses wider than 50mm.  However, I found a few places where i could shoot with my favourite 85mm to produce this boudoir set of photos for Hailey, for her first ever photo shoot. Most of my shoots are of normal people (not models) and i’m always amazed how well they do. I’m glad i am behind the camera, and not having my photos taken 🙂

I’ll probably use this room again as i thought the results were fine.  These were all shot with a softbox lighting the room (lowest power).  I also had a gridded beauty dish above camera, slightly to the left.  I also  hid a speedlight in the bedside light to make it look like it was on. The trick to getting the nice blurry background is to use a wide aperture; i used f1.6 for these. Using such a wide aperture often result in too much light hitting the sensor. The secret to getting around this is to put a ND filter over your lens to block around 2 stops of light.  Any more and you won’t be able to see through it, any less and you will still get too much light through. Also, reduce the iso to its lower setting.

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This is a great video from Photoshop Product Manager Bryan O’Neil Hughes, who looks at some hidden gems of Adobe Photoshop. These include:

• New techniques to take features in Photoshop even further.
• Tips, tricks, and workflow time-savers that allow you to spend more time creating.
• How to use multiple features together to achieve surprising results.

Can’t see the video:!

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Fremantle Portrait Prize 2013 is now open to submissions, and I’m having a bit of a hard time knowing which photo to enter.  Can you please help out?:

Tick the boxes of your 3 favourite, and we’ll see which photos are the most popular. Thanks!

Fremantle Portrait Prize
Which photos should i enter?


Image 01 (below): Thai Rice Farmer

01 Rice farmer thailand

Image 02 (below): Three Wise Monks


Image 03 (below): Kalang Village Girl


Image 04 (below): Woz Bass

Woz Bass

Image 05 (below): Daryll


Image 06 (below): Russian Kat


Image 07 (below): Jasmine (close-up)


Image 08 (below): Jasmine (nude)


Image 09 (below): Jasmine (glasses)


Image 10 (below): Ket Wangi Orphan


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Callum III: Physique

On February 9, 2013, in Shoots, by teaco

A few photos of Callum getting his gear off.  I don’t know why, but I’m suddenly feeling a little podgy….








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Callum II

On February 9, 2013, in Shoots, by teaco

Here are some more of Callum using a different lighting set-up which, combined with the post production editing, give a much more contrasty look that the previous set.  Lighting was a single gridded Beauty dish to camera right, which is one of my faves.  I asked Callum to step forward from the white wall, so that it would appear grey and cast a more pleasing shadow.



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Male Model (for a change): Callum

On February 9, 2013, in Shoots, by teaco

Callum popped over last month for a shoot.  We played with a few lighting set-ups.  These are pretty fresh b&ws, with 45 degree lighting.  I’ll post some more later where I used different lighting to emphasise his physique.  Might post a lighting diagram or two if anyone is interested.

Cheers, Pete






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Photobook : Wedding Gift

On January 12, 2013, in Stuff, by teaco

A couple of shots from my camera-phone: A hard-back book, made for a client who wanted to give something special to her partner on their wedding day.


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How to Clean a Camera Lens

On December 9, 2012, in Tutorials, by teaco

This questions was recently asked on the Nikon forum and i thought the reply was very good. We’ve all seen people rubbing away at their lenses with their shirt, or using a bit of ‘ha ha’ (breath).  This advice is exactly what i have been doing, although i do get a little lazy and shoot through dusty lenses a bit too often 😉

The best way to clean a lens is to use a piece of lint free lens cleaning tissue and a small amount of Lens Cleaning solution. Do not use anything containing abrasives or solvents, only use Lens Cleaning Solution. First we recommend taking a small blower brush to blow off or brush away loose dust or debris. Next, place a drop or two of cleaner on the tissue (never directly onto the lens) and then wipe the lens in a circular motion, beginning in the center and working your way outward, removing any marks or smear. If the above supplies are not available a clean, dry, soft, lint free cloth can be used to clean the lens. Do not breathe on the lens to fog it for cleaning. There are harmful acids in breath that can damage lens coatings. Just use the blower bulb, then brush, and wipe the lens in a circular spiral from the center outward. The same method can be used to clean the viewfinder eyepiece of Nikon cameras.

Lighting Setup: Rita on the Bed

On November 18, 2012, in Tutorials, by teaco

I’ve been asked to supply the lighting details for the shot of Rita on the bed… this one’s for you Steve!  It was lit with three lights, with a large octa set to fill in the shadows gently.  I actually turned it up slightly following the first shot, which you can see in the images if you look for it.  I could adjust the first in post to be slightly brighter, like the others, but I quite like it the way it is so decided to leave it.

Click on the image to view it in larger size.

If you have any more questions about this shoot or others then just ask. Thanks for looking.


Sneaky Peek: A few of Rita (NSFW)

On November 17, 2012, in Shoots, by teaco

I really should wait and post the whole set together… but i get so impatient to get them online!!!

Here are a few of Rita.




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Posing Tutorials for Models: Hints and Tips

On November 11, 2012, in Tutorials, by teaco

I recently put up a webpage showing the following videos.  I thought i would also embed them into a blog post as it may be a little easier to find. Being in front of the camera can be quite nerve-wracking, particularly if it’s your first ever shoot. Being prepared will get you though, particularly if the photographer is not practised at giving posing help.  These YouTube clips give some basic advice.





And a final piece of advice from me in my favourite saying: If it’s uncomfortable, then it probably looks good.

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Lighting Setup: Hair Light and Rim Lights

On November 11, 2012, in Tutorials, by teaco

Here’s one of those rare shoots when i remembered to pull the zoom back to wide angle to capture the lighting setup.  As you can see, the model is wearing an amazing silver dress, and is lit by:

  • 2 x rim lights (gridded strobes)
  • 1x hair light (gridded strobe
  • 1 x key light (softbox)

Ideally i would like a fill light on the other side of the model, but there is so much light bouncing around in my little studio that i can just about get away without one.  (the key was most probably angled down a bit more for the actual shoot – it seems to be firing upwards in the set-up image)



Daryll Satie

On November 4, 2012, in Shoots, by teaco

I revisited these shots from 2010 recently, as i decide what to upload on my blog after it was wiped by the hacker.  I was wondering what to do with these when I realised I had never looked at them with black and white eyes before.  A little sprinkle of Photoshop and now I’ve got new images to show. I’m loving the full length one with her hands in the air.