HM Queen Elizabeth II … pt 2.

Wednesday 14th was the day of the ceremonial procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall where her late majesty would lay in state until the funeral.

I was allocated an elevated “rota” position on The Mall . The procession was due to start at 2:30pm but having checked out the position the day before, I wanted to ensure that I had the forward corner position to enable me to shoot the approaching procession so after waiting for a pret to open for my breakfast, I arrived at the position slightly after 7:35. Yet again a long wait ensued.

My position (iPhone)

The above image shows my position. An hour or two before the procession I set up a GFX50R with the Laowa 17mm, clamping it to the scaffolding to be triggered by a pocket wizard setup to get a wide image of the procession. The difficulty then is to ignore the camera and not keep fiddling / testing / adjusting it all the time up to till its needed.

GFX50R / 17mm @F5.6 ISO 320

The GFX was being triggered by either the HS2 or TX3 which I would be shooting in a burst mode, however the GFX would only fire on the first shutter press. To get rou5nd that and get a burst from the GFX I set it up in a bracketing mode (shutterspeed) at +/- third of a stop which got be 5 frames per burst.

GFX50R / 17mm @F5.6 ISO 320

Alongside the GFX I had two other cameras set up: The X-H2S with the 150-600 plus an X-T3 with 50-140 (both triggering the GFX).

X-H2S / 150-600 (at 730mm Equiv) F7.1 1/500th

As the procession moved down the Mall I started with the longer of the cameras, trying to pick smaller frames and members of the royal family from the scene.

X-H2S / 150-600 (at 458mm Equiv) F6.4 1/500th

Shooting with a fixed shutter speed and a changing aperture (due to the zoom), the ISO was reducing as the procession moved closer. These three images give an idea of the flexibility and aperture changing.

X-H2S / 150-600 (at 225mm Equiv) F5.6 1/500th

Once the procession got to this point it was a quick switch to the X-T3.

X-T3 / 50-140 (at 75mm Equiv) 1/500th
X-T3 / 50-140 (at 99mm Equiv) 1/500th

Then back to the X-H2S for the final image(s) as her late Majesty moved away.

X-H2S / 150-600 (at 900mm Equiv) F8 1/500th

Once out of view it was sit down, edit the images (on the iPad following the workflow I have outlined previously), with pre-set metadata in ShutterSnitch, waiting for the public to disperse so I actually had a strong enough signal to actually transmit the images. (Long story but it seems 4G is far more robust in these situations than 5G).

So after getting to the stand at 7:40am(ish), I finally left it at about 3:30pm (maybe later). However the day was not finished yet, during the time on the stand I received details that I would have a 30 minute position at the Laying in state .. but thats for the next post..

I look forward to hearing your comments… Until the next time..

Frightfest 2022

Packed Bag: GFX50R / X-T3 / X-H2S / 16-55 / 90 / 56 / 35 / Godox Lights / Triggers

Since 2009 my August Bank Holiday Weekend has been spent in Leicester Square as the official photographer for the Frightfest Film Festival.

This year was no different as I headed up last Thursday morning with the Think Tank Airport full to the brim with 3 Fuji Cameras, Assorted Lenses plus Godox lighting (with a couple of Lume LED’s thrown in for good measure).

With full control of the Frightfest Media Wall and it being many of the filmmakers first experience of one, I try to make it a fun time for all whilst I endeavour to create images that are a cut above the normal flat step and repeat images that emanate from most of these events.

Tom Felton : X-T3 / 56 @ 2.2 / Single Light

I do this by setting up an AD200 on a stand controlled by a camera mounted V1 on the X-H2S. I also set up an X-T3 with a controller so I can switch to that using just the AD200 for single light portraits. With the V1 controlling the light I can change the balance, making the light flatter or adding more shape with the AD200 on the fly.

Megan Rose Buxton : X-H2S / 16-55 / 2 Lights

I augment this by moving mine and the subjects position / angle as we shoot to bring in the shadow I want.

Kyra Gardner / X-T3 / 56 @ 2.0 / Single Light

Of course this is all only possible because I have complete freedom (within reason) and a bit more time than the rest of the photographers. With the number of films attending (I shot over 60 films + atmosphere & a dinner over the weekend) there are always time limits so I have to work fast.

Zach Cregger : X-T3 / 56 @ 2.8

These limits are even more pronounced when photographing a genre icon like Dario Argento. With the security pressures keeping the autograph hunters at bay along with Dario’s increasing frailty it meant working very fast while he was with me. As I have photographed Dario a few times I decided to go all out and just go for a single light portrait on the GFX. With the language barrier between us i knew I had to get the light right up front as I would not have much time to adjust. I have too say I was fairly pleased with this…

Dario Argento : GFX50R / 63 @ 2.8 Single Light

The Timelapse below shows creating this image

Photographing Dario Timelapse / iPhone

Away from the media wall I created a number of portraits over the weekend featuring the Cinema staff who wore horror cosplay. These portraits will be the subject of the next post.

Self Portrait on IMAX screen : iPhone

As always, I select a good number of images from around the festival to create a slideshow on the IMAX screen before the last film screens. For the first time I put my self portrait / light test in. The bottom line is that the images have to be good & sharp to stand up to this huge sized scrutiny…. (They do 😉 )

Until the next post, let me know your thoughts and, as always, stay creative !

Getting images out of ShutterSnitch (workflow pt. 7)

A very short post on how to get the images out of ShutterSnitch and on to a main PC. The app, when running offers two methods of connection: FTP or Webdav (accessible using Finder on a mac). The username and connection settings are shown in the main settings dialog for ShutterSnitch, it is this username plus the password configured when the ShutterSnitch was first set up that are used to connect.

ShutterSnitch only shares the current image collection (hence me putting into a single collection) so confirm the settings as above and then switch to the collection to transfer before attempting to connect.

Here I am using the Connect to Server tool from the Go menu in finder on my MacBook. Note the use of the webdav port listed above in conjunction of the IP address of the iPad setting on the WiFi network (the IP address for the iPad can be found by using the i icon in the network settings.

The image files are listed as expected and copy/paste etc can be used to copy them into the required folder. Once copied ok, I delete them.

This image shows the images in Photomechanic after copying.

I do not actually add the images I send vis ShutterSnitch into my Lightroom Library, the sent ones I keep just as an archive of images “just in case”. My main Library/Archive is maintained by synchronising Lightroom Mobile to my MacBook based main library before carrying out a minimum number of housekeeping steps before they are filed away.

The next post will detail these housekeeping steps before I move on to other tools use in my Workflow.

As ever,, any questions or thoughts? Get in Touch!

Putting it all together (Workflow pt. 6)

Camera, Images, Action !!

To paraphrase a well known saying. If you have followed these last few posts you will know that we are sending images from Lightroom Mobile to ShutterSnitch where we have configured Metadata & FTP locations to send the images to. Now lets tie it all together.

Accessing the gear icon for the actions.

The sliding arrow points to the action that will be applied to each image as it arrives in the application. So what does this particular action do?

That action on my system, changes the file name to suit the destination (I wont break this down – it should be self evident once you add this task to your action) then it applies one of the Metadata presets (as I showed a few posts back). Finally it exports to the FTP location.

The clever bit being that if the send to the location is a success , the action “Sent Alamy” is also run. What does that do?

It applies another Metadata Preset (one that only sets the rating and label).

Then it moves the image to another collection “ALL SENT”

This (hopefully) leaves the initial collection empty as all the images move out of it as they are sent. Any that do remain need re-sending.

The final 2 images of this post show Lightroom and ShutterSnitch sitting side by side on the iPad screen (use the 3 dots to set up split screen view) allowing editing to continue as ShutterSnitch sends.

This post ends the workflow as it is on the iPad itself. The next post will start to look at how I work on the desktop, moving the images off of the iPad, consolidating the images in the main library and other processes that have really advanced my workflow. (Beware – Lightroom plugin’s ahoy!)

Any comment or questions – get in touch!

Quick FTP Setup of ShutterSnitch (Workflow pt 4.5)

This post is just going to be a very quick How To configure sending images to an FTP server.,

I mentioned previously that the key to this app are the Actions and this is where we need to head to configure sending. Use the gear icon in the collection to access then click Edit.

Create a new task

Name it then click + at add a task

The only task we are going to add (at this stage) is to Export to a Location

Next the list of available locations are listed. (So we can define a number of locations – have listed a number of agencies, folders etc). Click Edit to create a new one and the green + next to FTP.

Enter the FTP details required (probably provided by the agency, client etc).

Note we can configure particular processes to happen as part of the sending task for example sending a re-sized version of the image or kicking off additional tasks if the send was successful.

The next post will put the metadata and sending posts into an action that handles the image as it arrives in ShutterSnitch.

I look forward to your comments.

Have You Meta data ? (iPad Workflow pt 4)

This post is a duplicate from one a few years ago but with some additional ideas for using collection names with a few more examples showing how flexible the system is.

From our last post we are at a point where we have exporting images from Lightroom to a collection of images in ShutterSnitch with key information (main image description) in the title field.

Note: I have totally skipped actions which ShutterSnitch may apply to arriving images at this point – if you have actions defined, for the sake of setting up the MetaData, ensure “Do Nothing” is selected. This will make sense later.

The first issue is, where do we start with our data? Can we start with Photomechanic? The answer to this is yes we can. I export the XMP from PM into Dropbox and then on the iPAD, export the file into ShutterSnitch.

Note: If starting from a Photomechanic template, the variables will need replacing as the syntax is different.

Select file in DropBox / Export / Copy to Shutter / Create a Preset

The i Icon on the top toolbar switches ShutterSnitch to the Metadata Editor.

The Metadata Editor

As shown in the above images there are a number of options along the lower screen. The left-most tool is the Preset Editor

The choices are just to select a preset or use the Edit button to edit the presets available (the usual iOS left swipe to delete) or click to edit. Hold down to duplicate an existing preset.

First a basic preset of mine (from a Kermode 3D show) where the caption is automatically built from the Title (as added in Lightroom) and a number of other fields. For this show I know the location and all the other details. The only things that change are the subject/person. In the image (Title) and the Date.

The blue circle tick to the right indicates wether the field is applied in the preset, so as we are using the title field from Lightroom this is unticked next to the Title/Object. Notice the %%titleObject%% – this is a variable .

There are far fewer in ShutterSnitch. They may be accessed from the tool hi-lighted above. Below is a typical preset driven by the Title/Object Name field with the date automatically added also.

Headline, Caption, Keywords and other metadata in the preset.

And the next example is the template I used at Glastonbury this year. Note. That I have brought the %%colname%% variable into play (Collection name). This gave me the simple solution for ever changing locations (or events), multiple image collections, one for each stage or location, sending images from Lightroom direct into the correct collection building a complex caption.

Hint: As we are driving the Title / Object Name from Lightroom, all of the above preset(s) could be applied to all images when selected and a quick check as you flick through will reveal all of the fields set. Alternatively they could be applied through an action automatically as the image(s) arrive from Lightroom (hint!)

Once the preset is created, other tools are available in the editor. Quick select strings (which are field sensitive, so create them in the Title field if that is where you plan to insert them) may be created and selected.

This enables a list to be built, maybe copying and pasting from a website before the event

Use Split Screen on the iPAD to Copy/Paste into Quick Select Strings

The final options are Shortcodes.

Press and hold to edit the available lists. Creating new Sets and editing are fairly straightforward.

In use Shortcodes are slightly less usable than in Photomechanic as after entering the code (however many letters you use), the Icon (tee-shirt) needs a quick click for the software to expand the code to it’s full length. Shortcodes do, however save on spelling errors and incorrectly titled subjects.

Once the metadata is added the images can be sent (most likely using FTP ). The next post will look at configuring the FTP before we start putting it all together in an action that automates the whole process.

More Soon. As ever – let me know what you think.

iPad Workflow Part 2

This post is really just a re-write of an earlier post (here) and to be honest this part of the workflow has not changed much although I will add a few more notes.

Having imported the images into a separate folder (as covered in the last post here) , I set a filter to show only the unflagged photos.

This means that once I have finished with an image (at this stage) it disappears from view. The shortcut keys X & P work the same on the iPad / Lightroom Mobile as they do on the desktop (reject & pick) so hitting X means I am straight on to the next image. If the image is a pick, I complete the edit first before labelling it as a picked image (this is where having a keyboard on the iPad makes a huge difference).

Note: There is no need to switch into any other view or mode, the X & P keys work in the edit screen (shown below)

My Presets – replicates my Lightroom Classic

One of the key features of editing in Lightroom are the develop presets. My mobile presets mimic my desktop (Lightroom Classic) presets. However getting these presets from your desktop to iPad is not the simplest procedure. There are basically 2 options.

Use an image (or number of images) that are synchronised between the devices:

  • In LR Classic (desktop), apply the preset to transfer to an image.
  • Wait for that image edit to synchronise onto the iPad.
  • On the iPad, select the image & Create preset using the current settings

Use Lightroom CC on the desktop to import develop presets

  • The Adobe Photography plan includes the Lightroom CC version
  • Download this to your desktop/laptop in addition to the Classic version
  • Open Lightroom Classic and view the Presets Settings in the preferences to show the presets folder. (Once you have the folder you can close this application).
  • Open Lightroom CC, From the file menu Import Profiles & Presets
  • Select the presets from the folder found above.
  • The presets will synchronise.

I always start and edit with one of my standard presets then tweak it. Another shortcut here is the cmd-c / cmd-v (copy/paste) which works for develop settings again, as on the desktop. So once I have the image as I like it, I cmd-c copy the develop settings (a window displays confirming which settings I wish to copy).

Copy Settings

Cmd-v asks no such questions and just pastes those settings on to the current image

One of the things I don’t understand is that Adobe have implemented some of the keyboard shortcuts but not all of them. I.e. why is cmd-z for undo not implemented? Or R for resize. See this post in the support community.

Depending on the specific job, I either add a title in the metadata now, before selecting pick or I pick and run through all of the images once I have edited them all, adding the title to the metadata. To edit the metadata, select the I icon at the lower right.

Note: I only add the title. The caption is generated at a later step.

Once the title is added, I select P to pick before moving on to the next image. Repeat until all of the images have been viewed.

No more unflagged photos

The full range of Lightroom edit controls are available (Geometry, Noise Reduction, Sharpening etc) so these is no reason that the editing process should be any different to how it is on a desktop. For those of you that are worried about the speed of editing, my M1 iPad Pro is way more responsive editing the 50MP Raw files produced by my GFX than my 2019 15” MBP.

If there is anything else you want to do to the image(s) which you cannot do in Lightroom (for example montaging images together), the share button has an edit in photoshop tool. Photoshop on the iPad is a tool that is developing quickly, it in no way matches its desktop version yet but it does feature layers, layer masks and adjustment layers, working well with lightroom.

Editing & Export Options

This sums up my image selection and editing process. The next stage is to export the images (accessed from the share button) – which will be the subject of the next post (scheduled for Monday next week)

In the meantime, if you have any questions or would just like to comment , would love to hear your thoughts, especially if you have another way of doing this.

Until Monday ..

Mobile Workflow Overview

I mentioned in my last post that these writings would be more about my workflow, thoughts and practices and less about camera equipment reviews.

The next few posts will revisit my mobile workflow and the use of the iPad as a very serious tool (laptop replacement), starting with this very basic overview.

A very poor iPhone image of my iPad in its keyboard case

My mobile (travel) kit consists of;

  • IPad Pro M1
  • Gold and Cherry iPad keyboard case
  • Apple Pencil
  • Apple Magic Mouse (Series 2 preferred)
  • Lightroom Mobile (Adobe photography plan inc. Photoshop)
  • ShutterSnitch
Lightroom Mobile & ShutterSnitch running in a split screen

One of the key improvements over the last couple of years of using the iPad has been the multitasking (various split screens, slide over etc) and later posts will show how the applications can work together in a similar way to a full blown computer (mac or otherwise).

The workflow outline:

  • Create Collection in Lightroom for job
  • Import from memory cards direct into collection
  • Select and edit photos in lightroom
  • Add titles
  • Create a collection in ShutterSnitch for the job
  • Share images to ShutterSnitch collection which completes the captioning and sends via ftp
  • Archive the images
Lightroom during the image selection and editing process

The next post will start to detail the intricacies of using Lightroom efficiently and outline some possible pitfalls (there are a few!).

Until then.