Blending Light Painting Photos in Photoshop

 Usually when doing light painting workshops, I have several people with torches all lighting the scene at the same time so we catch everything in one frame which you can view there and then on the night. 

But when you are alone, or in small groups, often it isn’t possible because you just cannot get around the subject and surroundings quick enough for one exposure, and also you are almost inevitably going to have some accidental lighting “blobs” here and there as you move around. 

So, in this tutorial I have a series of photographs I photographed alone in the Peak District. 

I used an intervalometer which is built into my camera (you can buy them for cameras which don’t have them inbuilt on Ebay and Amazon), it was set to 15 seconds at ISO 200 with an f-stop of F8 so I could get most things in the foreground Sharp. 

However, the first photograph I took was for the sky, making it as bright as possible so I could get at least a few stars in the image – I think the ISO was upped to around 3200 for this. 

Next I started the intervalometer taking photos (set it to keep going indefinitely and switch it off when you get back to the camera) and walked around the area with my torch painting things as I went along.  This gave me around ten photographs, all with different things lit. 

The tutorial takes it from that point –  starting with the raw files in Lightroom and talks you how to use Photoshop, layers and layer masks to show and hide the bits you want and get the final result.

Night Photography at Kirkstall Abbey, Leeds

Night Photography at Kirkstall Abbey, Leeds

Ok, we’re really lucky to have a ruined abbey right on the edge of our city – and it’s got lots of free parking!

So each year I take a new group of photographers down there to light it up with powerful torches and sparks.

Here’s what we got up to this year – this is Feb 2018.

The group really enjoyed Light Graffiti – that’s drawing things with torches if you keep moving your body doesn’t appear in the photo, just the trace of where the torch went!


Same Photo Cooked Many Ways

Sunset at Gross Glockner – Tirol – Austria

Do you ever take a shot and never manage to settle on a final edited look?

Well this happened with this shot – it’s one of 3 brackets taken at sunset with a 17mm TSe lens… so nice and sharp, oodles of data to play with…. but what to do?

Flat HDR

First off I did a HDR blend and flattened the image out a bit…

Way too much detail in this and it looks a bit bland. But a start point to throw it into NIK plugins

NIK Efex

So I ran them in this order:-

  1. DFine – noise reduction
  2. Pre Sharpener
  3. Viveza – contrast and colour

Managed to keep the shot from burning out or going black, but still not quite there yet.

Colour EFEX

I took the above and tried a mix of filters in Colour EFEX – I think there was

  1. Detail Extractor
  2. Pro Contrast
  3. Graduated Filter
  4. something else I can’t remember

So you can see we got to a darker place and reduced the colours a lot. The process introduced a fair bit of noise in the sky, so ran it through DFine again!

Analog EFex

Had a go at taking the Viveza output through Analog EFEX this time…

Not sure it worked as well as the colour efex version. Analog is better for quirky portraits and city shots than landscapes.

Rewind – HDR EFEX

So for this one, I flattened the original RAW files, selected all 2 and exported them to HDR EFEX.

I’m not a massive fan of this plugin, it tends towards the unbelievable end of the HDR spectrum, which is no good commercially.

But for landscape… well here’s where I got to, after a while meddling. It’s definitely a powerful tool.

MINIMAL with the dark HDR RAW

So after all the detail, how about making something dark and menacing.

The dark shot had the most potential – with fleeting light, deep reds and the snow just about poking out of the gloom.

So this is the darkest of the 3 HDR shots – the shadows lowered and colours upped a little. The highlights and white clip were meddled around with in LIGHTROOM ever so slightly to get texture – and we’re done!

Silver EFEX

No photo is complete till you’ve tried shoving it through Silver EFEX. This one looked pretty good with it’s bold textures in the foreground.

Well there you go – you can throw your files through any number of filters for many effects.

It’s down to taste which is best – I like the black and white, was a bit disappointed with what Viveza gave out for a rare change.

The power of Lightroom is that you can get lost, then just “create a virtual copy” and start afresh and see where it takes you



Tell us in the comments

Summer Nights Workshop – 2016 Review

McFade Summer Nights Workshops 2016

A look back over 12 fantastic evenings – but first some background

Where did the idea of Summer Nights Workshops come from?

Ever since I took Photography seriously I’ve regularly gone out for smaller outings – usually with 1 or 2 friends. We’d find places to go, new things to try out and gradually get loads of ideas and locations to return to.

I found that it broke the weekend up and gave us something to look forward to. Gets you out of the “office mindset” too.

But also, if you just do “a bit” at a time, then built on it regularly – your skills just blossomed and grew.

What are McFade Summer Nights Then?

When I started McFade Training I did lots of weekend trips, bigger outings which cost more and were less frequent. This is probably what most trainers do – more people are free on weekends and you do make more money!

But I’d find that if you saw people every few months, they’d probably not have had reason to go out and practice what they’d learned at the last workshop. In fact, you’d be going over the same ground again to refresh their memories.

So it gave me the idea of re-creating what I’d done with John and Dave in the “noughties” :-

  • a regular evening to look forward to
  • a different location for each session
  • a load of different skills – from towns to landscapes, people to porches.
  • a gradual build up of skills and confidence in the regulars who came

How do you get the most from these nights?

Both financially and in learning, the people who booked the whole series got the most. The evenings were over 33% less – meaning that even if you missed a few, you were still “quids in”.

Also I get to know where people’s skills lie if I see them regularly – I can introduce new things each session which build on the last session.

It also gets people out regularly – people may not go out on their own, but if they’ve got a group session each fortnight, it’s in the diary and they turn.

Obviously, those who just “dip in” to the odd workshop that appeals have a great time too – it’s just they don’t get all the benefits of regular training.

It’s a bit like a personal training session for your creative side! 

In 2017, we’re seriously considering offering this just as a “12 workshop series” – with no individual bookings. We’d love your feedback on that.

What do we do on these nights?

It’s relaxed and fun – that’s the main thing.

There are no egos or know it alls – no competitions or kit envy. It is usually people with basic DSLR cameras who just want to get better at taking photos. We’ve had a 15 year old and a few in their 70’s – there’s no age restrictions.

We try to cover a lot of ground between May and September, a comprehensive series giving people exposure to many topics, each building on the basics of photography – we usually start in towns in May, this year it was York.


We usually start in towns in May, this year it was York. Towns offer a bit of cover if it’s raining, some cool places for sunsets and they’re easy to get to and park. Also I think people rarely photograph towns – it’s a bit scary on your own – so going in group really helps people relax.

It’s dark by 10PM in May too – so you get your first taste of low light photography, which usually is a paradigm shift for most.

We also went to Saltaire – terrible weather meant we stood under a bridge for a while, but a series of creative challenges kept everyone motivated till we could shoot the weirs.


In June we did portraits. All in Leeds, all on location and with a mix of flash and natural light.

Portrait is tricky to get right when you’re new – you have someone rather than an inanimate object to photograph. Do you talk to them or what?

Well the main emphasis on the first one was using long lenses and wide apertures to avoid really busy backgrounds. That’s often the main issue with portrait – the person has all kinds of stuff going on behind them. So stand back, zoom in and blur the background was a great start.

Next was The Blues Brothers – Brian, Chris and Gareth were fantastic but the weather was appalling. We retreated to the Dark Arches and got flashes out – which wasn’t at all planned, but was “real”. Stuff like that really happens – a lot.

The group had a fantastic few hours whilst I changed batteries in the flashes as they faded!


We are in Yorkshire so Landscape is all around us – it made sense to do lots of Landscape workshops. We went to :-

  • Harewood and Almcliffe
  • Burley and Ilkley Moor
  • Pontefract, Ferrybridge and the A1 Bridge
  • Beal and Eggborough

It’s fair to say the weather was mixed for these – and Landscape really does depend on good light.

The Ferrybridge and A1 Workshop

These are all locations the people can return to on better days – but even on a grey night we got 3 great locations and proved that even a fading blue hour sky can look amazing when you know how. The pond shot below was taken on a virtually pitch black lake side!

44-summer-nights-ferrybridge 9-summer-nights-ferrybridge 52-summer-nights-ferrybridge 81-summer-nights-ferrybridge

Beal and Eggborough

Another location roadtrip which I first did in about 2005 – this was about fields, crops and their interaction with the canals and power station.

Again, not the greatest light for it – we learned about foreground interest, balance in composition, reflections and a cool trick at sunset where you make anything you can find into a silhouette with the sky colours blurred behind it – see the thistle below.

ct2a9560 ct2a9603-edit-2 ct2a9671


Harewood and Almscliffe

At last a sunny night – though it was cold on the boulders later on.

A 2 stop workshop where we showed everyone a bridge and weir we found by accident in 2008, then up to some iconic boulders near Harrogate.

Here we looked at the 10 Stop Filter, using boulders foreground interest, finding names and pools rocks and exposing for bright sun

ct2a3349 ct2a3322 ct2a3363 ct2a3374

Burley and Ilkley Moor

This was a very unusual evening – where the sun actually created lots of problems by the weir. The sky was cloudless and therefore boring, and the sun was going stright into people’s lenses creating all kinds of flare.

A nice problem in a way I guess – a little patience and it became less of an issue. Everyone got to try the 10-stop filter for themselves, getting a very smooth water flow over 30 seconds.

The cow and calf was pretty windy and cold – we showed the team how to create great sunset silhouettes again – this time with huge boulders rather than thistles. On top of the rocks are lots of names carved into the rock so we showed how to capture those with ultra wide lenses.

ct2a4004 ct2a3999 ct2a3987 ct2a0198-hdr-edit ct2a0183 ct2a0138-edit


We met at a lovely golf club to take photos of the TVR club’s wonderful cars – but it poured down, a washout.

Tricky suggested we rescue the night by going to the IKEA car park – so over we went, only 10 minutes away. Unfortunately it was pretty busy in there – so I had to get everyone a safe distance away with long lenses.

Gradually the customers disappeared and we got more and more space – the cars spread out and we had a final hour of sci-fi magic. The curvy cars and ultra austere concrete of the car park made for some of the best shots we’ve made over the years.

tvr-car-workshopct2a2506-hdr-edit tvr-car-workshopct2a2426-edit

Bonus at Brimham Rocks

A final landscape workshop up at Brimham rocks followed. We went armed with all the night painting equipment as it’d be dark by 8:30PM.

It was a good job as the sunset never happened and the rocks were not hugely inspiring as the sky went grey. But as soon as it went dark we found our stride and introduced everone to light painting, sparks and light graffiti.

It was great fun getting everyone involved – we had red boulders, stick men and all kinds of ideas flowing.

brimham-rocks-light-painting-7 tvr-car-workshopct2a3874

2 Towns to Finish Off


It’s most famous for Mother Shipton’s Cave and the railway viaduct – we photographed the latter, the cave was shut!

The Nidd was perfectly stil that night, so giving fantastic reflections for everyone. The start was at a road bridge where we had lots of boats for foreground – so the challenge was to use the boats in the composition.

After that we captured street scenes and the viaduct before climbing up to the castle – a very steep stairway which was pretty tiring, but we all got great photos of the bridge and its mirror reflection.

To end the night we had an hour of Pixel Stick fun – some Pac Man ghosts on the bridge then lots of other interactive stuff, with silhouettes and rainbows!

ct2a6068 ct2a6086 ct2a6080 ct2a6116 ct2a6108

Salford Quays and Media City

To finish off is a place went to photograph first in 2004 – The Lowry as it was then, but it’s graduated into Media City now.

A pastel sunset gave a lovely salmon sky as the sun set, then we were into night photography of all the amazing structures and rainbows of colour.

We actually finished at 11:20, an hour and 20 later than usual, as there was so much to shoot – a few left earlier – no one’s obliged to stay till the end!

So That’s All Folks

Summer is now over – we’ll be running weekend workshops over the winter in 2016-2017 and rebooting the Summer Nights again next year – so keep your eye out for them.

Social Media, Marketing and Business Show – Sheffield 2016

Learning from the experts

I went down to see support and learn loads from Andy Firth, Gary King and Rachel Hatfield, who each did a talk on their specialist subjects:-

Ok – I took the camera too 😉

I’ll not go into what each said, you’ll just have to go see them when they next talk – all great.

I did take the camera to get some shots of them in action – photos of presentations are like gold dust on social media, it gives the impression of authority and expertise – then can be sent out on all your usual channels to tell the world you’re the expert.

See if you can spot yourself in this selection:-

Note that these yellow balls were impossible to juggle with – bounced miles as soon as they hit a finger!

Why Chefs are on TV and Photographers Aren’t

I can’t taste or smell the food I see on telly, yet I still watch cooking shows…


I’ve never really got why food is such a compelling viewing pleasure, despite the 2 main senses food excites (taste and smell) are not yet available.

We can’t feel the texture either… so that’s a third sense we’re deprived of.

The number formats I watch diminishes over time… here are 3 main ones.

Master Chef


Just can’t bare the fake tension, over the top commentary and Greg Greengrocer wants gagging.

They say “at this level” virtually every sentence and make it out to be harder than walking up Everest without oxygen and broken glass shards ripping your feet apart your boots…

It’s basically The X Factor with onions.

Kitchen Nightmares USA

Kitchen Nightmares was fantastic in the UK, who can forget the Silsden episode where Gordon tried some seafood and promptly ran outside to throw up! It was entertainment, but you felt he was in there to help – each episode would be different, according to the needs or the restauranteur.

Yet in the USA it’s become a formulaic pain-pleasure mix, where in every episode he:-

  • arrives in good spirits
  • is very pleasant to the waiting staff
  • has a moan about how big the menu is 
  • chooses about 5 dishes, each of which is soggy or not freshly cooked – they’re all terrible
  • he will then give feedback in a very over-the-top way, designed to cause maximum upset
  • all hell breaks loose and he leaves
  • returns for a dinner service which will go horribly wrong, causing arguments and upset
  • leaves in a cloud of smoke, whilst “his team” does a massive re-fit on the restaurant
  • in the morning everything has calmed down, he blindfolds everyone and takes them into the new look venue
  • the love it, he shows them a new menu, they love it, he is a god
  • they do a service with the new menu
  • it goes wrong – there is a breakdown – Gordon says “come on, you can do it” 
  • they finish heroically – motivational team talk time 
  • Gordon leaves to a badly rubbed comment as he walks away

I have watched a few… its entertainment is based on how people react to stress, not in problem solving and support.

The Great British Menu

I quite like The Great British Menu, despite the incidental music being painfully jolly, and the voice over woman whispering over 400 rhetorical questions per episode.

We see chefs:-

  • interpreting a brief,
  • coming up with locally sourced produce,
  • meeting suppliers,
  • using novel techniques and
  • working, dare I say it, at the highest level there is.

I guess we all eat and cook, so seeing it done at this high level is aspirational – though I can’t really see myself doing a lobster bisque or using a foam pump thing soon.

We can “see” the food and “see” the chefs creating it – yet we can’t taste, smell or feel the food, and those are the 3 things I like best about it!

TV is a visual medium…. hmmm

So how about a format which takes something we all do, reveals the processes masters follow and shows you the results in a visual form?

We did have a painting show in the 1970’s – Painting along With Nancy – but how many people actually paint? I did at school…. kinda let it slip since then.

No, it needs mass appeal – something we all do lots, something creative, something we can learn from and be inspired by…

A Photography Format…

Hang on – how about Photography?

  • It’s a visual format, which TV is perfect for,
  • we all have cameras on our phones now
  • it’s a mass participation activity.
  • there are creative and interpretive challenges
  • there are definitely big personalities in the business
  • you can get attractive models on to keep people interested 😉

Most people are taking “beans on toast” standard photos – if you compare it to food.

So how about showing people how to make a lovely portrait using window light, or how to make an emotive photo of a Lambo Aventador. The steak and baked alaska of the photography world, perhaps?

Making the format work…

I’m sure we can replicate the chef shows and :-

  • get a sweat on for the camera – I always do anyway
  • make things look incredibly hard, look frustrated
  • swear a lot
  • get angry with your assistants for minor cock ups
  • have lighting blow over in the wind to build the tension
  • take a few out-of-focus shots to give the narrator something to build the tension with
  • use the latest techniques – like HDR or some new-fangled lighting – so upset traditionalists

I wonder whether we’d end up with the “slebrity tog” instead of the “celebrity chef” then?

Photographers in the spotlight now

There aren’t that many big names – people still think of (David) Bailey as the only one, or Annie Lebowitz if you are slightly more aware.

They are more famous for their subjects than their own personality and technique, though. If Bailey had just photographed normal people for his whole career, would we have heard of him?

Annie is another photographer famous because of famous people she has photographed. Her grand productions often see others doing the actual photography – her being the conductor in an orchestra of technicians.

Rankin is probably the poster boy of the industry at the moment – a man doing a huge range of projects, mainly portraits of stars, but he’s done all kinds of work in deprived communities around the world.

Yet still he’s probably more famous for his rock star shots than those starving kids in Africa.

THE DIFFERENCE – Food isn’t famous… chefs are

Chefs don’t have this problem – the food they are cooking is never more famous than they are, so despite Marcus Wareing producing the perfect Custard Cream for the queen, we still remember him as a chef, rather than the desert.

This is probably the biggest difference between the 2 professions….

Realistic rather than high production

The odd occasion I’ve seen photography shoots on TV, it will be :-

  • in a massive professional studio – which 99% of people have not access to
  • thousands of pounds of lighting – usually 8 feet diameter softboxes and infinitely powerful flash heads, and reflectors the size of the Empire State Building, whereas most people will have a pop up flash on their 600D (other cameras are available)
  • everything will be set up already – no explanation given
  • professional models who need no/little direction – so you really don’t get any hints on posing “REAL PEOPLE”
  • Makeup artists creating impossibly beautiful results
  • Stylists creating outfit combinations you’d never dream of

Then the shoot takes about 30 seconds, you see 3 poses then pan to the art director who’s checking out the shots on a MAC as they pop up – the client looks delighted and you’re done.

The reality…

The reality is different and far more interesting – I’m not saying these shows should be a step-by-step guide to setting up lights and apertures, but maybe they should show things going wrong and how to put them right, like they do on cooking shows.

The early stages of (cringeworthy) singing shows like the X-Factor show people getting stuff wrong, then gradually going on the cliched journey to stardom, step by step.

The Format

I think this is where the industry could create a format. Get Peter Kaye to sort it out – but something like this

  • Obviously, it has to be a “judges scoring you” format as everything has to be. The critique has to be a mix of softly softly and overly harsh – think “Len Goodman” and “Craig Revel Horwood”. One needs to be very “high art” with a Brian Sewall like voice, maybe someone a bit camp and OTT like Bruno Tonioli.
  • Each week there will be different “topics” or “subjects” – so landscape, architecture, fashion, headshots, family portraits, food, cars…. a bit like all the dances in Strictly
  • Photography enthusiasts from many backgrounds and genres are needed for broad appeal – we need the emo girl who makes brooding self-portraits and the old chap who goes on safari with his £8000 lens and Nikon D4
  • Each week everyone gets a brief – everyone gets something different so it’s not boring, maybe rotating the topics, so you have a mix each week.
  • You see them go from concept, set up, shoot, post production and print
  • The judges do their stuff… marking out of 10.
  • We have to let the public vote of course.
  • Someone gets knocked out and we move on

I guess they’d win a job with Bailey…

Anyway – I can’t see the chefs ever being replaced by photographers, despite TV being completely inappropriate for a taste, smell and touch medium. If photographers did do get on telly – lets at least make something people can relate to and learn from.




The Amazing Milky Way at Brimham Rocks

Shooting the Milky Way – If at first you don’t succeed…



Pack up your bags and go back another night!

That’s what happened with our legendary Brimham Rocks workshop this year – the first run was a wash-out no sign of a star, never mind the milky way. Horizontal rain, cold, and no shelter anywhere saw us calling a halt on proceedings before cameras broke and people got hypothermia!

A few weeks later we returned, and wow – the results were magical!

Perfectly dark – no moon!

CT2A4430To see the milky way you need to be somewhere with little light… which Brimham is – but also if there is no moon , you’re on to a winner as the sky will be lots darker.

It was a new moon which had disappeared by 7:30.

Techy Bit

With it being so dark, and there was a chance to get the milky way, we decided to expose to capture stars – so this meant:-

  • long exposures – 30 seconds
  • wider apertures, most at F4 or F5.6
  • High ISO – 800 to 1600

This meant that the skies had enough light in them to reveal the stars in post processing.

The Light Painting Bit

CT2A4435 With the cameras set to capture LOTS of light, the light painting was very different to usual – rather than painting for 30 seconds to light boulders, 2-10 was ample, depending on the torch power and gel thickness.

So most of these shots were a quick wash of light, then we stood in darkness for the rest of the 30 seconds!

The Pixel Stick


We took it, but only did a couple of shots with it – still learning what to do with it to get effective shots – and in this location, it wasn’t really adding much to an already-amazing scene!


Again, we wanted to let the sky do the talking and help the boulders with a coloruful glow, so we only did a few wire wool wheels!

We did however do a few LED orbs – they were fun.

The Photos

How (not) To Clean Your Camera Sensor…?

Do NOT Try This at Home!

I’ve got huge dust problems with my 5D2, so was excited to find a Youtube clip which shows you how to get rid properly…

I really don’t think this is the right way… see what you think!

I actually use a little device called an Arctic Butterfly, which uses a little brush and the gift of Static Electricity to remove dust from your sensor. The first time you do it is scary – but it gets easier… and saves you £50 on a professional clean.

Get Me to the Shoot On Time!

If you have a meeting at 11, say, at a place 15 miles away – what time should you set off to get there on time? 


Hard to say isn’t it – what are the roads like, is there traffic? Anything else?

The “Geeky” Solution…

Here’s what I started doing…

  1. Get your phone out
  2. Open your satnav – download “WAZE” if you don’t have one
  3. Type in the destination address
  4. Let it work out the route
  5. It gives you an arrival time…

Just keep an eye on your phone – it knows about traffic updates, it has the route planned, it tells you when you’ll arrive IF you set off NOW!

So maybe set off when it 10 minutes before your shoot (or meeting) and the job is, as they say, a good un.

HDR Photography isn’t Bad – People Are!

The Perennial HDR Photography Debate

As someone who’s used HDR Photography to make a living and been a fan since 2006, I often get involved HDR debates. Sigh…

The usual comments would be around

[notice]I don’t like HDR, it looks a bit weird[/notice]

or maybe

[notice]I like HDR when it’s done properly[/notice]

and sometimes you get the odd concession…

[notice]Well your HDR is ok because it looks natural[/notice]

I know why people say they don’t like HDR – you can very quickly find thousands of images which make my mental pictures of Grimm Brothers fairy tails look bland… Google image search “bad HDR” or “overcooked HDR” and you’ll see endless examples.

Here’s one of my wheat shots, given the Grunge treatment… horrific


Overcooked in Photomatix

What is HDR?

In a nutshell – High Dynamic Range

Stated simply, the “Dynamic Range” of a camera is gap, in stops, between the and darkest pixel your camera can capture in one shot. There will be a WIKI on it somewhere – go look there for a true definition.

HDR is a technique were we “extend” the range by taking images at different exposures, going from “single dynamic range” to “high dynamic range”.

3 shots

So if you took, say, 3 photos.

  • a “normal” exposure
  • a shot 4 times darker (-2EV)
  • a shot 4 times brighter (+2EV)

You’d extend your “dynamic range” by collecting more information in the “bright bits” and “dark bits” which you can throw into the mix.


Why HDR?

Why would we use it?

Here are several real world examples where :-

  • a nice sky, but dark subject (e.g. a car, or building)
  • a nice subject, but a white sky
  • if you use ND Grads – you get a nice sky AND foreground, but a building goes all dark where the dark bit of the grad goes over it
  • if you use flash – the subject is way to big for your flashes to light OR the ambient light is too bright for your flashes
  • a room photo with blown out windows or really dark corners
  • Waterfalls which are blown out, and nice green surroundings, or nice detailed waterfalls with black surroundings

A geekier way to think of it…

[message type=”info”]Look at your histogram – if you can’t get a shot without either black clipping, or white clipping, you may benefit from HDR.[/message]

So that’s why you’d use it – it’s a way around the limitations of current camera sensors. 


Where it all goes wrong


Noisy, over sharpened clouds – halos…

When I teach HDR, the “capture for HDR” talk takes 5 minutes, then I help people set up their cameras and out we go. It’s actually a LOT easier to capture than traditional photography – but that’s another blog.

[message type=”info”]It’s the software which confuses people – somehow they abandon all taste when seeing these alien sliders.[/message]

They don’t have the same names as “Levels” or “Curves” in Photoshop, but “Tone Compression” and “Local Contrast ”


With all this extra information to hand, we can:-

  • make previously black areas, bright and colourful
  • make clouds hugely dark
  • make light areas darker than bright areas
  • add way too much contrast and create unsightly halos around the edges of things
  • make flat and insipid photos
  • create toothpaste-green grass and indigo blue skies

The list of things you can do goes on… and these may be actual creative decisions by people, they my actually “like” them.

Here’s a typical example of “going to far” – halos, weird noise artefact… just a mess.

Halos... nasty

Halos… nasty

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should!

So if you “can” do all those things – should you?

NO – definitely not!

If you use a knife to chop food in the kitchen, you can also use it to chop off your child’s fingers, or stab passers by in the street… but do you ?

NO – definitely not! 

If you got a new knife you weren’t quite used to, would you change your entire way of cooking?

NO – Probably not! 

You’d probably have a recipe in mind, and hope that the new knife somehow makes it easier to create – chopping onions faster, cubing your meat with ease…

SO why do (usually) very sane photographers, when getting a new tool, like HDR, totally change their approach to image making? 

Why would someone with a “lovely landscapes” portfolio suddenly start producing “eye bleeding” images?

They “could” create these in Lightroom or Photoshop, but didn’t. Now they open up Photomatix/HDR EFEX etc. and all of a sudden are delighted with something that resembles a small childs “new paint set” daubings.

A RAW file edited in lightroom... it's not a HDR, but you can make the same "look" easily, and quickly

A RAW file edited in lightroom… it’s not a HDR, but you can make the same “look” easily, and quickly


Exercise Taste – THINK!!!

I say this in every workshop…

  • Sliders to the middle or left = natural
  • Sliders to the right = surreal

Which is the same with most imaging software, not just HDR.

If you are starting to see things like Halos, cyber-colours and demonic clouds, THINK!!!

Does that look good? Does it look real? Will I like this in 6 months, or even 6 minutes.

Here’s the same shot as above, in Photomatix… a more “muted” approach… nice detail on the wheat too.

HDR normal

Or how about lowering the saturation a little…

normal 2

Looking a little more realistic ?

It’s not hard – it just takes a little practice and exercise of taste.

This last shot would probably have the dark areas lifted a little more in Photomatix (the processing was just for this blog, not a “proper” image), then finished off in Photoshop or Lightroom – usually to sharpen the key details, maybe clone out some flair – the usual things.


What to do if you get stuck…

Ok – so you’ve been moving sliders for 10 minutes and it’s going very wrong…

This is the biggest source of BAD HDR… people don’t accept that they’ve painted themselves into a corner… they keep going, till the death of the image!

Photomatix has 3 methods of Tone Mapping, and 5 or 6 of Exposure Fusion

If you are going nowhere fast, do this..

  • Change your “method” – maybe from an Exposure Fusion to Tone Mapping method
  • Move all the sliders to default position,
  • Slowly move sliders – to the left, to the right, see which “enhances” and which “makes surreal”
  • Gradually change till it looks nice.
  • Look at something else for a few minutes – facebook, twitter, the kettle
  • Come back – look again, does it still look good?


  • Take a look at the “presets” most HDR packages come with
  • Choose one which looks natural or realistic
  • Click on that – this is your new start point


Church Example

Quick overview of a different subject – a church.. one side in shadow, one in bright light. Probably a good candidate for a HDR…

church 1


So how many would go for this as a start point?

church 2

Well that would be one way… but how about the Photographic Preset instead?

church 3


Then have a quick play with the sliders…

church 4

Then you can pop it back into Lightroom and tweak away to your heart’s content.

Here’s a 1 minute tweak…

church 5

HDR Is a Tool…

So to conclude then…

HDR will end when sensor technology next advances – maybe the camera will capture the entire range of tones in a scene, then render what it decides to be the best representation… or give mega-raw-files for you to tone map… who knows.

Till then, this is the best option available in many situations. It works well – far better than my first experience in 2006.

[message type=”info”]When people criticise HDR, they are bemoaning the wrong thing – the technology and tools are fine – it’s the people who use them which make bad images[/message]

A hammer can blacken your thumbnail, bludgeon your brains out, break your teeth and shatter your knee caps – it can also build a buid box, help fit a gate or even keep old ladies warm by fitting an insulating strip around a door.

HDR can make horrendous monstrosities, or beautiful images, which would be otherwise impossible… it’s all in the control of the HUMAN OPERATOR!

“Britain’s got Photographers” – A new TV Format

If TV Did “Popular” Photography

In the wake of the deluge of “talent” shows, which has seen “talented” people battle, week in week out, to survive to the next round – including riveting subjects as:-

  • Baking Cakes
  • Cooking Food
  • Modelling
  • Being a Drag Queen
  • Growing Vegetables
  • oh – and singing…


Here’s an idea for a Photography Format… based on the tried and tested formats above.



  • So we start with a new format, which we will of course send to the americans, with the word “American” tagged on the front of the chosen name. The name will be hooked to “David Bailey” in some way, because he is the only photographer in the UK
  • We will need 3-4 judges – a couple who are touchy feely and cry a lot, a camp man (doesn’t have to be gay, but helps) and a harsh, evil truth teller…. maybe the Legend that is Bailey
  • Of course, we’ll only have to do “popular” photography, which will be portraits of SLEBS and fashion, using SELBS as models… as programming without SLEBS is not alllowed – popular entertainment show producers have no interest in SLEBLESS programming
  • In the later stages, we will of course use send the Togs to high pressured commercial studios to push them “to their limits” and see if they can work “at this level”

The Shoot

  • Most shoots will be in a fake “glitzy photo studio”, made in a TV studio, to avoid the reality of the industry as far as possible and allow TV camera access
  • Photoshoots will form no more than 3% of the show – and there will be no explanation of “what they are doing”, just the odd “sound bite” when “things go wrong”
  • Introducing technical terms like “F-Stop” or “Softbox” will educate and inform, so must be avoided.
  • Competitor Photographers will be able to “jeer” and “question” every move their fellow make – planting seeds of doubt and causing angst, and in an ideal world, heated arguments and fisticuffs
  • The director will make the camera man run around a lot, getting in the way, zooming in on the Tog’s lens a lot as the shoot progresses.
  • Fast paced “Euro-dance” style music will accompany the “shoot”
  • A full day of shooting must be condensed to 3 minutes of “highlights”

The Judging

  • There will be no reasoned critique – just over the top hyperbole or denigration of the resultant images
  • There will be very little explanation of how they achieve the photos – rather a focus on their inspiration, preferably a recently deceased relative or mentor.
  • Personal adversity will be a bonus and encouraged. Contestants without a “sob story” should be given one and coached in the art of crying.
  • Parents – or better still, grand parents – are to be “cut to” at every available opportunity, and encouraged to cry with chopped onions.
  • When the votes are cast – there will be a “fake dramatic delay” of no less than 20 seconds after the compère says “And the tog leaving us to days is……”
  • Exit Music for the leaving Tog will be “You lift me up” or “wind beneath my wings” – and tunes from the same stable – with a summary of their “best bits” playing over it.


Right – off to buy my yacht, this one is going GLOBAL! 

Austria Workshop – Day 1


Waking to see rain was never what we wanted, but you just have to go with what you get… and what we started with was a hearty “Austrian farm” breakfast of yoghurt, meats, cheese, bread, butter, jam, orange juie and lots of coffee. Huge thanks to our hosts Keith and Manu for this each day – just the start you need.

_MG_9327 _MG_9328

So we headed out for a gorge, on the premise that it’d offer some both shelter and some great views – we got the latter, alas no shelter… a little wet! So onwards with a few pit stops to get some dramatic sky shots to a large church commune high in the hills.


A beautiful building – offering shelter and a chance to spend time with each of the delegates, showing them how to get the exposure right and a few ideas on composition. It was pretty dark, so they were all on tripods taking longer exposures and shooting for HDR.

_MG_9404_MG_9369 _MG_9344

Into the restaurant where we all seemed to get the schnitzel and wheat beers, though some had this Austrian wine concoction which tasted like pear juice…. Slurm or something like that!


After lunch, we headed for a lovely lake where we got a wonderfully dramatic sky and green water – made for some pretty amazing shots from everyone. The little jetty was the perfect foreground – I made sure everyone got a go with that.

_MG_9439 _MG_9426

After 2 pit stops there it was time to head back for some birthday drinks and a lovely 3 course meal of Pumpkin soup, weizsswurst and pretzel with potato salad, followed by a lovely cake baked freshly by Manu that day.


As it was a birthday we headed into Ellmau to sample some of the local hopitality and wheat beers – before retiring for the evening.

The Photography “Kit Obsessive”

Photographers fall into many camps, but one that really stands out is the “kit obsessive”.


These tend to:-

  • Talk incessantly about kit – above anything else
  • Buy novelty items they rarely use
  • Are never happy with their current kit
  • Motivated by numbers and specifications
  • Can compare and quote reviews of competing kit items
  • More interested in the tools than the photographic results
  • Are first to hear “new kit speculation”  blogs and forums
  • Always think “if only I had a….” rather than “what can I do with my….”

I’m sure every photographer enjoys using great kit – handling pro kit is like a pianist playing a Steinway, it’s a buzz you get from using the best there is.

The love of music, as with photography, is the creative process – the performance. The tool, be it a beaten old school piano or the £75,000 Steinway grand, is just a vehicle for you to express yourself. A great pianist will sound great on either… and vice versa.


The “kit obsessive” is, to me, missing out on the many beauties of photography – a few of which are:-

  • Finding a perfect, hidden location,
  • Telling a story in one image
  • Capturing the beautiful mountains,
  • Using light falling through a window,
  • Clouds creating amazing shapes,
  • Fleeting smiles from a beautiful model,
  • Waiting for a sunset, only for it to create the reddest sky you’ve ever seen
  • the moment a wild animal looks in your lens,
  • meeting  new and interesting people,
  • conveying awe inspiring power and beauty of a super car,
  • the reaction of the couple seeing their wedding photos for the first time
  • show the magnitude of a sky scraper…..

The list can go on and on and on…. But for me, not one of the true “motivations” is kit.


Example – What do you think about on a commercial shoot?

Imagine a PR shoot with a business person.  Here’s what you tend to focus on….

On these shoots you’ve first and most importantly to talk to the person – shake hands, smile, say hello…. Then keep talking as you set up the lights… Find out things you can talk about later in the shoot… find out what the pics are for, how they’d like to look, see if they’ve any example images…

Then you’ve to suss out the location… where looks good, how to light it, look for windows/mirrors and dodgy reflections – all the time talking to the client of course…


Then you’ve to shoot of course – probably using the same body/lens/flashes you’ve used dozens of times before…. That’s all on auto-pilot… leaving you to guide your client… get them talking about themselves, or something to guide their “mood”…

And that is the wonderful thing about photography – for that time, you have got someone in the palm of your hands, be it some aspiring model or (as I’ve had) a group of senior directors of a multi-billion pound company – no pressure there.

My point is about motivation and enjoyment. Just as a builder has the best power tools for his job, I have the equivalent in camera and lenses – fit for purpose. That’s not in question. It’s what drives you to take photographs that is.


If you are a “kit obsessive”, I implore you to take a step back; start enjoying photography for what it is – recording the light coming into a box.

If your “enjoyment” of photography is the gadgetry, you’re missing the true enjoyment; “seeing” the world around you.


Urban Photoshoot – Gateshead


Never posed before?

Never had your photo taken before?

Nervous in front of the camera?

These 2 Cramlington girls answered yes to all of these – but that didn’t stop us having a great shoot with some cool results.

We’d got a location in mind with a bit of graffiti and in a reasonably quiet area, so all met up there and started to shoot. Alex and Kerry were both completely stuck for what to do, where to look, what expression to make… we’re used to this, unless you’ve got a model or someone with PR experience, it’s always the same.

After the lights were set up it was a case of chatting and getting to know them as we photographed them. As soon as  take their mind away from the camera, you start to get the more creative shots…. though we did get loads of “crying with laughter” type shots…

We offer this “urban portrait” service around the UK – anyone who fancies creating something a bit edgy, different to the usual “studio” feel need look no further.


View from the M62 – Light Trails

Night time means long exposures, things moving through your images, high contrast scenes, a new world of creativity with you camera, a change for your imagination to run wild.

To most, the M62 is a car park they traverse every morning and evening, a place of wasted time and torture.

To a photographer, it’s a scene packed with potential – from this vantage point there are around 10 lanes of traffic.

Add in the occasional blue light from an emergency vehicle, or the flashing yellow lights of the constructions vehicles on the hard shoulder – you get a real mix.

Processing these images in many different ways adds variety – go for ultra high contrast, low clarity for the softer focus, cool white balance for the blue tones, toned black and white…. options abound.

Also don’t assume that you just use your wide lenses – zooming in on a lane can create something pretty spectacular – and highlight the path vehicles take, with the direction the light trails go in

What does McFade do anyway????

What this Leeds Photographer does…

Medding with smart phones takes you to some strange places….

ON this occasion I found an app which did little “mind map” type diagrams, which I thought would be fun for the website… I was white flag waving after 5 minutes of meddling on a little phone screen, so hit google and found “XMind”, a full blown program which does all this kind of thing. It’s free – give it a go… and quick to use.

So started off by plotting out Mcfade Photography – see what I actually do, as people do ask from time to time. Which is nice of course.

Here are the results for our Leeds Photography business… it’s not really finished yet, but these things never are – with every new idea, a new map update’s needed

Click to see full size in a new window

Ok – so next I thought about the training side of things – maybe these things would help focus what is taught on our workshops….

Here’s what happened…

Not sure whether they’re any use to anyone other than McFade Photography, but if you were ever in doubt as to what’s on offer, it’s all here!

Relax…. and escape faster!

Thought for the day….

The people who hate their photo being taken invariably have to stand in front of the camera for far longer than others…. (because they’re tense, look scared and take ages to get a half decent shot as a result)

If you’re one of these, just relax, have fun and don’t get so hung up about it – THAT’s how you get away from it

Ilkley Moor – Photographed in HDR

On Ilkley Moor Bah Tat

A bright mid-morning trip up to the Cow and Calf is a lovely way to start a bank holiday Monday. Light breeze, nice patterned clouds and nice shadows were what we were greeted with.

The ND Grad Problem

Thing is, using ND Grad filters to keep detail in the sky would blacken the top of the rocks. So to get both nice, bright rocks, and the sky, I took 3 shots of each scene (dark, normal and light) and then used Photomatix V 4.2 to blend them together to get the best from all 3 shots.

Working smart

Using the same techniques taught in McFade’s HDR Masterclass, I created one finished image, then batch processed the rest of the shots to the same settings, working smartly increases your efficiency

Finishing off in Lightroom 4

What pops out of Photomatix V4.2 can be stunning in its own right – gone are the days of “cartoon-like” images which need hours of work in Photoshop. You will probably want to tweak the results though, so Lighroom 4 is the perfect tool.

You can tweak colours, make selective adjustments – maybe bring out detail in a wall, add contrast to a sky, brighten up the main focal point.

In this gallery, I’ve added in a few examples from a shoot which lasted about 30 minutes – right up until the sun disappeared behind a HUGE cloud!


So in this set, the HDR had the same settings for each shot and the “effect” was added in Lighroom afterwards.

In order we have..

  1. Normal black and white look
  2. Natural colour HDR – little added in LR
  3. Extra detail added in LR – using Clarity etc.
  4. Pseudo “Bleach Bypass” in LR
  5. High contrast black and white
  6. Natural HDR
  7. Pseudo cross processing
  8. Normal black and white look

Fake that sunset in Lightroom 4

So many landscapes have these amazing sunsets, nuclear red skies with amazing orange hues….

Do you think they “really” looked like that when the photographer was there?

Here’s a demo of how easy they are to fake in Lightroom 4….

  1. Original Look
  2. Tone and Saturation changes
  3. Tidy up dust and lift the dark areas
  4. Lens correction
And that’s it really – just click on the photo to advance through the images

Rocco in the Woods

Leeds Model in Leeds Woods

We’re always on the look out for new locations for both training and shoots with models, families and business people.

So on this rekke shoot Rocco and I took to some woods in Leeds, armed with 2 flashes and a mix of lenses – and got some shots using the surroundings to create atmosphere and background interest.

So this shot uses the winter trees, without their leaves, to create a veil over his head

This was the last shot from the shoot, it was mainly a sky shot with Rocco peeking in, using a polariser to make the sky more interesting, and 2 flashes on Rocco to balance the light – without those he would have been a silhouette

This is a subtle use of the woods – the Canon 28 F1.8 lens was used to focus on Rocco’s face, leaving the rest blurred behind. No flash used

Here he is bouncing away like Zeberdy…. used the path as the lead in the foreground, tree to frame the right, he’s perhaps a bit close to the tree here, maybe a step right by me would get him away from it. Sunlight on the left, flash on the right.

Extreme angles and wide lenses… always make for something completely different to your normal portrait. Here we’ve made the most of the red jeans and the tree canopy by getting low down, lighting him with the sun and 2 lights and using a polariser

Same idea as the shot above, just really like the trees here!

And finally, a bit of colour play – making those blues and reds really jump out.

So venturing off the beaten path into the woods created a whole new “look” for us – off camera flash with speedlites is all about portability and the locations that enables… go out and try the woods for yourself!

Free “Street Photography” Action

It’s true, here’s a FREE Street Photography Action…

Here’s what it does

Transforms a street candid from this…

To this with one click…


“Street” is photography in one of the purest forms. We capture the environment as-is; people going about their business is the subject, rather than moody hills, the relentless sea, colourful birds or clever lighting and posed models.

Candid or Interaction?

We can interact with the people or shoot candidly.

Candid is more random, and because the people are unaware of being photographed you capture them completely naturally.

If you interact, it may just be a smile and wave, or a long conversation, you will get a “connection” with the person – usually eye contact and a smile. It’s still “street” as you still capture people in their usual environment.

Many street photographers present images as black and white – it releases the viewer from the distraction of colour, leaving the story bare for all to see. Hence the creation of this action… to create a consistent black and white look and feel to my street photos.





The McFade-Street action

There are so many ways to go “black and white”.

I’ve created a “Street Action” which I’d like to share with my readers. It takes in a colour photo and gives a quite “punchy” mono version a look which suits many street scenes.

It was created with Photoshop CS5 using standard filters and adjustments, so hopefully it’ll work on all versions (apologies for those for whom it doesn’t work).


Install the Street Action

To get and install it, do the following:-

  1. Send an email to asking for the Street Mono Action
  2. When you get a reply, we’ll send you “MCFADE-STREET.atn” – a photoshop action file
  3. Open Photoshop and drag MCFADE-STREET.atn into the Actions panel – it should be on the right of your screen
  4. MCFADE-STREET will now appear in your Actions panel

Ok it’s ready to use now… or should be!


Use the Street Action

Now you can give it a go on a photo – so:-

  1. load a photo into Photoshop
  2. open up the MCFADE-STREET folder
  3. highlight the STREET_MONO action
  4. Hit the Play button



  • The action flattens your image, so DO NOT USE it on files where you need layer information
  • It works best with unedited, single layer images – straight out of the camera
  • Use the photos created where ever you like, but please credit the action to mcfade photography 


Here are some more before and after shots…

Past Power To the People…


I’m not sure where my fascination with cooling towers came from – maybe the few around Padiham when I was a kid caught my eye? They’re just so incredibly huge and un-natural looking that I’m quite drawn to them. So when I got to Leeds and started discovering the county of West Yorkshire (andy beyond), I’d end up photographing these things whilst my peers were on the piers at Whitby and Saltburn, or in the dales.

Ferrybridge, Eggborough and Drax are the big ones in Yorkshire, and they’re surrounded by large fields, so you can get some nice juxtaposition shots of lovely wheat fields with the towers looming over them!

Don’t get too close though, the security people are soon out to accuse you of being naughty and ask you to move on!

 This dis-used power station is a bit of a find really, you can find all sorts of photographic delights just walking around – the echos you get when stood inside the towers is a totally unique experience. Even a small pebble being kicked causes a long, lingering boom sound. Try singing Puccini in there!

There are 5 towers, each one seems to have a slightly different interior, be it full of wood, totally empty, got a bridge in there or even some kind of cat-walk.

The graffiti boys have been there too, so the grey drabness of 330 feet of concrete is broken by their colourful sprayings.

 They’re so dark inside, that any views outside tend to be just white, so I put an eye in the sky on this next one… just out of curiosity really.


There is a bit of greenery poking through… not a lot though!

You need an ultra wide lens to get floor-to-sky photos 

There is a lot of red brick littering the place – thought I’d bring out the reds in this next shot.

Not sure what the square thing is here, though we guessed it was a huge water tank

Leeds Band Photography on the Bridge

Leeds Band Photography by McFade Photography!


As well as photographing  everything and anything, I also play piano and keyboards in 2 bands – one being the Blues Brother’s tribute band “Sweet Home Chicago”.

The Band got a fantastic brass section comprising of Greg, Sam and Chris, and they seem to be in about 1000 bands between them. So they got most of the members together last week for a shoot with me. Where else but the darkest, moodiest place in Leeds – the Dark Arches… perfect.

Was quite a windy day to say the least, raining like hell too, so most of the photos were taken inside the arches, then we went to the new footbridge over the Aire for a few as well.

They’re all taken with 2 or 3 speedlite flashes, we needed 3 to create light on the musicians and also light the background, in many of the shots. To add variety, each “section” of the bands had a different backdrop, so I was effectively doing about 10 totally different lighting set-ups in 2 hours, quite a challenge!

Processing was mainly done using a cool portrait style I created, then a few were tweaked and meddled with in Photoshop.

All in all, a slightly mental but enjoyable shoot

Here’s a selection from the day – click on any image for a gallery page to pop up

Gallery Notice : Images have either not been selected or couldn't be found

So if you are in a band and need some cool photographs, be it Leeds, Bradford or anywhere in the UK, give us a shout on and we’ll get your profile raised!

Wow – You must have a great camera!!

There are some quite amusing things that people say to photographers from time to time, often when you show them their image on the back of the camera, or present a few prints or a recent book, or even just see the shots on the web. Things like :-

“Wow – that camera’s awesome”


“I wish I had a camera like that so I could get great photos too”

You just politely smile, or on occasion, give them the camera and say “have a go” (with a cheeky smile).  Oddly enough, the shots they take are often not pulitzer prize winners.

Its a bit like going up to Will Self and saying

“I love your work Will, what pen do you use? If I had that pen, I could create fantastic novels, just like yours!”

Or maybe meeting up with David Hockney and saying

“That painting of someone having just dived into the pool – that’s amazing, what brush did you use. If I had a that brush, I could come up with a ground breaking piece of art like that too”

Sure, a good camera and lens makes a difference, in the same way a good drill does to a tradesman. If you gave me the best drill in the world, I’d probably still end up with a door that doesn’t close properly or a sink that leaked. Owning a drill and set of tools does not make me a tradesman – even though I’m a tradesman’s son.

Maybe the reason a shot looks awesome on the back of the camera has something to do with the guy/gal who has spent years learning about camera control, exposure, composition, posing, lighting etc. etc.  ?


Just a thought anyway


I used to work on dairy farms, so am pretty used to cows and their general demeanour – inquisitive, curious and usually pretty friendly.

Just move slowly and they’ll hang around you for a while – feed them a bit of grass and you’ll get a nice tongue photo like this!

Here’s a few shots a quartet of heifers I found on my travels – I can’t wait to show these to AIM Space clients, projected huge on their walls! Sure these would brighten any office walls!

Everyone hates having their portrait taken…… at first

Out of your comfort zone

Unless you are a model, you are completely out of your comfort zone. No one has a camera pointing at them, like a sniper, in normal life. You will be uncomfortable.

So the photographers adds in all the lights flashing, other unfamiliar gizmos like reflectors, snoots and softboxes, and then puts you in odd positions; you really are in unfamiliar territory. Then if you’re on location, there will be people walking past and looking at you… that’s weird – they’ll be looking to see if you are famous!

Relax – it’s only a camera!

As the shoot progresses you will start to relax, photographers sees it every shoot. An amazing build up of confidence that comes as the rapport builds. Rather than feel scared of the lens,  it will, unconsciously, become your friend. You can do what you like and it never answers back – and a good photographer should recognise what you enjoy, and encourage it.

Photographer gives you constant feedback, showing you the shots on camera. You start to see how you are coming across, that your fears were unfounded, the effect the lighting’s creating  something you can never visualise whilst posing.

It takes 2 to tango…

This is also your opportunity to say what you think – if the clothes are not working, or you see something you need changing, we can take that on board and adapt, then check the results again.

It’s a happy feedback loop – the more you see the results, the more honed we can get the look. Also the more you realise that what seems “uncomfortable” when posing, actually looks great on camera; so you are far more willing to expand on the ideas.

In the Zone!

Towards the end of the shoot, you’re in the zone – some call it “flow” – as soon as the photographer has found a new location and set up the lights, you’re in position waiting for him.

Earlier, you were stood with your head down and hands dangling forlornly at your side – now you’re standing with great posture, using your hands and shades to add energy to the shot. You’ve forgotten you were ever nervous about the camera and hardly need any direction from the photographer.

Its at this stage where the magic always seems to happen – everything comes together and you get the “real you” in the photos.

And then the shoot is over!

Not because we end it when things start to flow, but the time flies by so fast the session seems over so quickly.

That’s a pattern I’ve seen over and over again – especially with longer shoots that take in multiple locations. Each new location is a new beginning, a new space for you to occupy and a gives you a new set of ideas.