Posts Tagged ‘ photograph ’

A visit to Broncolor in Switzerland

Due to the recent announcement that Hasselblad will be the importer into the UK of Broncolor lighting I was invited to the Broncolor studio and factory in Allschwil just 4 km from Basle in Switzerland. It’s going to be exciting stocking this new range of excellent products and I was interested in the production of the lighting systems. We arrived very early and had the day to ourselves on the Monday which was a bonus on a works trip !

The guys at Broncolor treated us to a wonderful 3 days and looked after us supremely well. Excellent training on their products, a guided tour of Basle, lovely food & drink and wonderful company. The range of lighting is amazing and is priced to suit all budgets. Broncolor have often been seen as expensive and too complicated to use but these issues have been addressed as extra products have been added to the range. Certainly the Scoro packs are expensive but on a par with their rivals and they out perform them especially in terms of colour temperature control and flash duration. Easy to use, the Scoro’s are top notch. Looking forward to playing with them in the UK. Their battery packs, called the Mobil A2L, are excellent too especially as they are light in weight due to the new lithium batteries and have an added bonus of being able to turn into LED lights with an adapter. This will interest photographers and film makers alike. There are many products in their range , the Grafit, the Senso,the Verso etc and you can view them all at http://www.bron.ch. Well worth a look.

The factory works like clockwork ( not surprising as it’s based in Switzerland ) and it employs 80 people. Every item is handcrafted, checked and re-checked. The procedures for quality control were very impressive indeed and you can see why Broncolor products are regarded as the most reliable in the business.

All in all a fantastic trip and many, many thanks to Urs, Urs 2, Gorden and especially Jacques & Claude Bron for making our visit interesting, educational and fun.

Here are some images from our visit.


All boxed up and ready to be shipped.



Making the Broncolor Para Reflector





Circuit boards and the Senso packs almost complete




Mark checking the circuit boards.


The factory floor



Dom and I playing with the Broncolor Balloon.


Dom enjoying himself and lit with a Scoro pack and Bron hardbox.


The Broncolor bunker ! Nearly all factories in Switzerland must have a bunker in case of nuclear attack or earthquakes. Quite an oddity !

Architecture in Edinburgh, Scotland

I recently spent a few days up in Edinburgh, Scotland and was amazed at some of the wonderful architecture. I particularly liked the combination of old and modern but was really impressed with the modern architecture. My favourite piece of modern architecture was the new Scottish Parliament building in Holyrood, which was designed by the Catalan Enric Miralles, who unfortunately died before its completion. Here are some of my images from this photogenic building.

The other building that I liked was a combination of old & modern architecture used at Usher Hall in the city centre. Here are a couple of my images.

Here are some more images of this beautiful city.

It really was a marvellous short break and this wonderful city is well worth a visit.

The new Pro Centre.

After months of negotiations, many site visits, and a long weekend of shifting boxes the Pro Centre has moved to its new home at 14 Union Walk, London E2.

It’s certainly nicer to work in a building that isn’t crumbling around the edges and hopefully will be a huge success. The showroom is definitely a proper showcase for all the Hasselblad products and many new products that will be arriving soon.

Here are some of the first images of our new home and you must come and visit soon !

In the new Hasselblad Studio

I had a lot of fun last week in the new Hasselblad Studio, which is based in Hoxton, London. Hoxton is a great area to have a studio. The area is full of life and has a wonderfully artistic feel. It helps that the White Cube gallery is nearby and Hoxton Square is crammed with restaurants and pubs. The studio has everything that a photographer needs for a shoot and is backed by the leading photographic suppliers including Profoto, Broncolor, Eizo, Epson, Wacom, OnOne Software, Sandisk and The Printspace. Full details of the studio can be found at http://www.hasselbladstudio.com
The event was a Hands on a Hasselblad Day and details of future events can be found at http://www.handsonahasselblad.com
The events are well worth going to and allow you to have a full play with all the latest equipment and best of all, it’s absolutely free !
Here are three of the images I took of the model, Zoe, who was excellent again. She had to work so hard but was faultless in the way she dealt with the many photographers that attended.
I used the Hasselblad H4D 60 with a HC 120mm. An excellent combo !

H4D 60 Test Shots

I’ve been playing with Hasselblad’s newly released H4D 60. I didn’t get long to test it, about 20 minutes, but managed to get a few shots, which I thought I’d post. I used the camera at 50 ISO, shutter speed of 250/1 and at f19. I arranged some Profoto D1 1000w heads ( three ) and went for a modern, blown out highlights effect. I changed the overall look with Phocus software and finished off with a tiny bit of photoshop. The camera was easy to use, like all of the H series of cameras. I was pleased with the images although with a bit more time I could have got slightly better imagery. This is more to do with the photographer than the camera !! I’m not convinced I like the over filtered effect which is currently in vogue. It all looks a bit cold and lacks a bit of depth.
The camera was fantastic and the quality of the files awesome. This is just what I’d expect from such a high end camera. Faultless. I’m lucky to be able to play with such a wonderful camera and look forward to having another play soon !
Many thanks to my models Steve, David and Dom from the Pro Centre, although if Cameron Diaz is still in the country…..

Architectural Photography

One of my favourite genres within photography is Architectural work. I’ve dabbled a bit and have always found it challenging but rewarding. New buildings are popping up all the time, some of them are highly designed, colourful and asking to be photographed. I’m always looking out for interesting architectural photography and recently came across the work of Michael Wolf. His images are amazing and I thought I’d showcase a few here. The buildings he photographs are not modern but the size of the buildings are incredible and I love the graphic, symmetrical quality of these images.

To shake or not to shake ?

The football world and half of the country ( estimate ! ) were watching on Saturday to see if Wayne Bridge accepted “love rat” and former best friend’s hand in an apology. John Terry who offered his hand, was ignored by Bridge and can you blame him. John Terry, after his recent affair with Bridge’s ex-girlfriend was publicly humiliated in front of the TV cameras and the watching world. I was watching the drama unfold in my local bookmakers when one gentleman suggested that instead of shaking hands, Bridge would be better doing a Vinnie ! The comment brought smiles to all that had heard it and it shows just how powerful a great photograph is. When we’ve all forgotten about the Chelsea players and their infidelities, the image of Vinnie and Gazza will live on for years.

John Terry and Wayne Bridge (Pic:AFP/Getty Images)

Doing a Vinnie !! Count yourself lucky Mr Terry !

Paul Gascoigne, playing for Newcastle, is grabbed by Wimbledon's Vinnie Jones

Hasselblad H4D 40 and H4D 50 Launch at The Pro Centre, London.

On Wednesday the 10th of February, Hasselblad launched their new range of cameras at 50 locations worldwide. I attended the launch at The Procentre, one of London’s largest rental companies and was immediately impressed with the new range of cameras. The launch was very well attended and everything was laid on to have an enjoyable and informative session. The build quality of the cameras was everything you would expect from Hasselblad. There were no noticeable differences between the H4D 40 and the H4D 50 and they both handled equally as well. The main new feature of the cameras was the True Focus button which is situated near the shutter button. Hasselblad’s revolutionary “True Focus” has made the camera much easier to handle and the focusing was as fast as a top of the range DSLR but obviously the picture quality is twice as impressive due to the sensor being twice the size. I love working with the large files that medium format digital provides. The ability to crop into an image, without rendering your file too small for stock library submission, is a major plus point. I’ve done most of my stock work on a Nikon D2X but I’m unable to crop satisfactory, due to stock submission guidelines and image quality. Serious stock shooters will be looking towards medium format digital in increasing numbers I believe.

Below are some of the example’s of images I took at the launch. A couple of the images have been cropped heavily and all have been slightly tweaked in the Phocus software that Hasselblad provided. Phocus has also improved and is becoming one of my favorite pieces of software. You very rarely need to use Photoshop now, which is testament to how good Phocus has become.

This still life was with the H4D 50

This was with the H4D 40.

The following set of images were of the model, Zoe Cornwall, who was excellent to work with. It must be very daunting for a model to perform at an event where there are so many photographers but Zoe was at ease immediately and proved to be a fantastic model for the day.

All the model shots were on the Hasselblad H4D 40. The H4D 50 was in great demand elsewhere !

Hasselblad will be staging further “hands on days” in the future and I’d advise all photographers to have a play with these great cameras.

Funny Bus Stop

On a stroll in my lunch break today, I came across an amusing sight. The bus stop nearest my work had been made ” out of use ” by London buses, however only three yards away was the replacement bus stop ! I love photographing amusing sights and it tickled me all day. The bus passengers were all lined up at the replacement stop but there appeared little wrong with the normal one. Makes you wonder !

Photographing gigs

Photographing gigs is one of the hardest subjects I’ve ever had to photograph. You get to the venue, have three tracks and then you have to leave. I went to the O2 venue in London to photograph a well known band. Luckily I wasn’t there in a professional capacity, so the pressure wasn’t on. No deadlines, no sweat. Just a useful exercise. I’ve had 20 years experience of press calls, celebrities, royalty, sport etc but a live concert was a different kettle of fish ! The first track arrived when I realized I’d forgotten earplugs, a deafening noise, a huge crowd and the protagonists were backlit. Not only were they moving about but the lighting kept changing. Different exposure times, camera at the limit of ISO, struggling with shutter speed. Which lens to use ? The nightmare. Second track arrived and still I was having trouble with everything. Two tracks gone and no worthwhile images. Disaster. The last track that I was allowed to photograph arrived, far too quickly for my liking but luckily I’d managed to get myself slightly more composed. The lighting was better and I managed to get a few worthwhile frames. The buzz of photographing a live gig was immense and possibly one of the hardest events I’ve ever had to photograph. Give me a press call any day ! I really want to do it again though, as I found it highly enjoyable. These are a three of my favorite frames. Give it a go if you get half a chance.