Thursday, 21 January 2010

So how much do photographers earn?

A great post over at A Photo Editor where several established advertising shooters spill some of the beans on what they earn. Anyone billing a million dollars? Sure. But the surprising thing is how much gets eaten up in costs...most are only netting about 1/3rd to 1/5th of what they bill. If you run a big studio with several staff and have expensive productions with models etc for every shoot, that money gets eaten up pretty fast.

Head over to APE for the skinny.

Billboards are BIG!

The shoot I did for the Jamaica Tourist Board has finally come to fruition, with 48-sheet billboard posters all over London and the south east at the moment. It's great to see my work all around the city and printed so large - those billboards are seriously large! They've used a few shots for the billboards, with more as adverts in magazines. Nice.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Lightweight battery flash review

One of the challenges of shooting outdoor sports such as skiing and hiking is that you have to carry all of your gear with you on location. So if you don't want to have back ache at the end of the day it is important to travel with lightweight kit. And if you want lighting, that means speedlights.

The problem is that speedlights are not that powerful. On a sunny day, it's often necessary to shoot at f/11 or greater in order to keep the shutter speed below the camera's max flash sync speed. At f/11 the range of a speedlight is pretty limited, and drops dramatically once you put it through a softbox.

The answer of course it to carry more powerful flashes. But unless you have several assistants, carrying a couple of Profoto 7Bs or Elinchrom Rangers is out of the question. Each pack, head and modifier combo comes in at 15kg+.

Elinchrom has tried to fill the gap between speedlights and the more powerful battery flashes with the new Quadra series. At 400 w/s they are only 1/3rd of the power of the 7B or Ranger, but still approx 5X more powerful than a speedlight. They are also about 1/3 of the weight of their larger cousins, meaning they are a realistic option to stick in a backpack and carry out into the field.

I've been toying with the idea of renting some to test them out for a few months now. UK-based photographer Simon Keitch has a review of the Quadras on his blog here.

Monday, 4 January 2010

The highest ski lift in the world

Welcome to 2010! It's the first week back in the office at Julian Love Photography and it's time to start planning for the first shoot of the year. As many of you know, I love to shoot winter sports. I've been addicted to skiing ever since growing up in Norway, and as I've grown older I've mellowed enough to even have some snowboarders among my friends.

So imagine if someone told you to go here:
  • It's the highest ski lift in the world, dropping you off at 4000m
  • There are no pistes - just make your own tracks through the powder on the way down
  • Just getting there will be half the adventure - because it's in Indian Kashmir in the foothills of the Himalaya

Enough to get the juices flowing I'm sure you'll agree...

We'll be shooting stills and video, action and lifestyle. We head out on Jan 22nd, so stay tuned and look out for updates as we go, wifi access permitting!