Posts Tagged ‘ Professional ’

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 !

Getting your images to look professional with Photoshop

Here’s a quick tip for photoshop. I’ve wondered how professional photographers and retouchers get that hard edged, graphic look in the photographs that they produce. One of the ways they do it is so simple.
Open your file in photoshop. Do a duplicate layer and call it background copy. Go to Image adjustments and desaturate. Then go to windows layer and overlay the two images. You can set the opacity between 50-100%. Whatever you think works best. To save your image, go to save as and turn the file into a jpeg rather than a psd file. And voila ! That’s all !!
Here are a couple of examples that hopefully show the effect.


Original image without any photoshop.

The same image altered in Photoshop.


Original image, slightly adjusted in photoshop.

Altered in photoshop, with opacity at 80%.

You should give it a go. It works well if used correctly.

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.

Hasselblad announces the H4D 40

Is this what an H4D 40 looks like ?

Shame you can’t see what the true focus button looks like.

But it should be the business.

Hasselblad announces the H4D 40

Hasselblad have recently been having a clock on their website that was ticking down, much to the interest of photographers worldwide. The clock has produced much chatter on internet forums as photographers speculated on what the countdown was going to reveal.

All was revealed today at 5.00pm UK time. After a ten minute technical hitch, Hasselblad announced the H4D 40 and a Hasselblad User Club. This is the release from Hasselblad.

At Hasselblad, we’ve been taking image quality to new and unexplored heights for over fifty years now. And now, we are proud to announce the launch of the new Hasselblad H4D-40, bringing ultimate image quality to an entirely new generation of photographers. The H4D-40 will help your photography to grow in ways you never dreamed possible.

As easy to use as any 35mm camera and featuring a 40 Megapixel Medium Format sensor, our easy to use new Phocus 2.0 software, and the new True Focus AF, the H4D-40 provides the perfect entry point into the Hasselblad world. The H4D-40 gives you full access to the entire Hasselblad system of software, lenses, and features and has been designed to meet the needs of the most demanding high-end commercial photographers – and yours.

We are launching the H4D-40 at special “hands-on” events in over 50 cities throughout the world starting February 10, 2010. To find a launch event near you click on the link to the right.

February 10th will also see the launch of an exciting new area on the Hasselblad website, the Hasselblad Owners’ Club. More info about this exciting addition to the Hasselblad world can also be found by clicking on the links to the right.

We look forward to seeing you on February 10th!

The Hasselblad Owners’ club release is as follows,

On February 10th, we are launching an exciting new addition to the Hasselblad experience. The Hasselblad Owners’ Club will provide a forum for Hasselblad owners to interact with Hasselblad representatives and each other, market their businesses, and share their photography with the world. The Hasselblad Owners Club will give Hasselblad photographers a direct communication channel to the professional photo industry and the over 1.4 million annual visitors to the Hasselblad website.
The Hasselblad Owners’ Club – Exclusive Access
Each Hasselblad photographer will be given online space on which to present a brief biography, share links to their studios or portfolios, and to show a selection of their images. Only registered Hasselblad owners will have full access to this exclusive area. Membership in the Hasselblad Owners Club will be free to any registered owner of a Hasselblad product.
The Hasselblad Owners’ Club – General Access
Members of the general public and all visitors to the site will be able to view photographer profiles and images and to browse photographers by type of photography or location.
Voting Area
Photographers can elect to have their images take part in a monthly voting process. Voting will be open to other registered owners only. Top ranking photographs will be prominently featured on the Hasselblad website.
This Months’ Photos
The top ranked image each month will be displayed on the front page of the Hasselblad website and the photographer will be given a special profile interview and featured in our Hasselblad Showcase section.
Social Media and Links
Members of the Hasselblad Owners’ Club will be given full access to the Official Hasselblad Facebook site, the Hasselblad Forum, and access to special product offers via Twitter and other social media. A wide range of other Hasselblad social media channels will also be organized in one convenient portal.