TDI News

New Year, New Profile Photo for LinkedIn

The Making of a New Profile Photo for LinkedIn

The Reason Why…

I have been working on my social media profile for a few weeks now. I have a Google+ account, with a page for TDI, an Instagram account and most recently a LinkedIn account and now Twitter. I am in the process of getting to know the strengths and weaknesses of these, how they work, and how best to engage with them and will be linking. My LinkedIn account is really to support my other career as a psychiatrist but I have previously used the same (branding) image as for TDI and my other accounts. Thinking that I probably need something a little more formal, my wife agreed to help me take a fresh portrait for LinkedIn.

A New Fridge-Freezer, A New Problem

Towards the end of last year our built in Fridge-Freezer decided that it would start freezing everything in the fridge, as well as the freezer, and to make so much ice that the drawers in the freezer wouldn’t open at all. Fearing a fire, and not having enough time to source a reasonably priced built in unit, or re-fit it in the appropriate cupboard, we elected to have a free-standing unit instead. In fairness this has been a great success, my daughter has decorated it with magnets, and uses it as a noticeboard for maths puzzles for her poor old dad to write down and solve. But here’s the rub. I can’t easily move the kitchen table out to the side like I used to, because a third of that space is now Fridge-Freezer!! So using the kitchen as a studio to capture a new profile photo is a world more grief than it used to be. Still, I needed some exercise because the weather had trashed our planned cycle ride today (too much ice this morning, too much rain and gale force winds this afternoon). Plus my bike’s not well at the moment either. So moving a heavy table and running up and down stairs a lot seemed just the ticket.

New Profile Photo

The Area to Clear, Ho Hum..

So here’s the thing, that kitchen table had to go out in the hallway. Would it go out through the doors? Could we lift it? If it was out in the hallway, could we get back in the kitchen? Was I going to be able to carry my equipment from upstairs past the obstruction? Who knew, we had to give it a try. After, that is, Helen had cleaned the floor!!

New Profile Photo

Phew, That Looks Better!!

After much shoving and scraping, and even more hoovering and washing, a space was made available in the now pristine cooking and dining area. So, whilst Helen moved on to pastures new, for further housework opportunities, I set about bringing the necessary equipment downstairs, and stockpiling it into the hallway. Hmm.. That’s a bit of a mess you’ve got there thought I. I wonder how long Helen is going to stay patient with you?

Hallway Carnage...

Hallway Carnage…

So onto the setup and test shots. I went with the D4 with 70-200 f2.8. This was going to be quite heavy for Helen, but she was confident that she could manage anything I threw at her. I decided not to shoot tethered. It was just one portrait and the image on the back of the D4, particularly with the 3 channel histogram, was more than sufficient to judge framing and exposure. I used my favorite portrait set-up of the Lastolite Triflector and Nikon Speedlight fired through a Joe McNally Ezybox with soft white interior and 2 layers of diffusion. For separation I used a second speedlight (an old SB800, in SU4 mode at 1/32 power) fired through a Bowens grid-spot attached via the rather superb Interfit Strobies XS Int326 gizmo. As usual, the camera was connected to the key light using a PocketWizard Flex Mini TT1 and Flex TT5 set up with the AC3 Zone Controller set to -2/3 exposure compensation, with ISO 200, 1/160th second and f8. Finally, my favoured Lastolite black velvet panel, suspended from a suitable stand, completed the picture.

So That's how it's Done!!

So That’s how it’s Done!!

We have daylight balanced LED lighting in our kitchen, so I left those on during the shoot. The only slight problem was teaching Helen to use the back-focus button (I have all my cameras set up this way for my wildlife photography) instead of half pressing the shutter release, but she picked this up really quickly, and didn’t need reminding to focus on the forward eye.

Until next time,

R.

Another Image of the Week

Another Image of the Week for TDI

At Printer’s Inc

“Robin in the Snow” (above) has been featured as the Image of the Week at The Printers Inc over the Christmas week 2013. The Doctor’s Images is particularly pleased to have this slot over the festive period, not least because of the very christmassy nature of this particular photograph. This is not the first time that TDI has achieved the coveted Image of the Week slot at The Printers Inc, as an image of a Eurasian Eagle Owl was featured earlier in 2013. I didn’t have to travel too far for this one as “Robin in the Snow” was taken in my back garden. See Photographing Garden Birds in the Snow (published on 26th March) 2013 for further details of the shoot.

Robin in the Snow and the Eurasian Eagle Owl in Flight are both available to purchase from TDI and The Printer’s Inc.

 

Image of the Week

Eurasian Eagle Owl in Flight

 

Best wishes,

Robin.

Free Postage

Free Postage in UK until February 2014

Free Postage on UK Deliveries

TDI are pleased to announce that there will be free postage on images delivered within the UK until February 2014.

Here at TDI we have also recently reviewed our pricing policy and reduced out tariffs across the board. Check out our wide selection of wildlife and macro images, and see if there is anything you would like to hang on your own wall, or give as a gift, this Christmas. We have a range of stretched canvas, semi-gloss and premium matte prints available in sizes from A5 through to size A0 on selected images.

Prices range from £5 for an A5 Premium Matte print, through to £166 for a 40×60 inch Stretched Canvas. Canvas prints can be purchased for as little as £20, with A3 Premium Matte prints available for as little as £10.

Our prints are professionally produced by The Printers Inc.

Coming Soon…

A selection of garden bird images, including birds in snowy settings, will shortly be available to order from TDI.

Best wishes,

Robin.

Christmas Bargains

Christmas Bargains…

Christmas Bargains…

Just a quick note to let you know about TDI’s Christmas Bargains. Here at TDI we have reviewed our pricing policy and reduced out tariffs across the board.

Check out our wide selection of wildlife and macro images, and see if there is anything you would like to hang on your own wall, or give as a gift, at this special time of year. We have a range of stretched canvas, semi-gloss and premium matte prints available in sizes from A5 through to size A0 on selected images.

Prices range from £5 for an A5 Premium Matte print, through to £166 for a 40×60 inch Stretched Canvas.

Canvas prints can be purchased for as little as £20, with A3 Premium Matte prints available for as little as £10.

Our prints are professionally produced by The Printers Inc.

Here are some examples of the prints for sale in the gallery below:

Gallery of Christmas Bargains

Best wishes,

Robin.

NetMagic

The NetMagic Shoot

Bill and Wendy from NetMagic are friends of mine. Bill has been helping me get started with cycling again, after a 20 year rest from regular exercise (I kid you not!!). In a way, that’s a whole blog piece for another time. I’m certainly not willing to share any images of me as a MAMIL until I’m quite a lot fitter, the shame would be much too alarming for my family (and me of course!).

The NetMagic team are working on their web presence at the moment, and Bill mentioned to me that they were looking out for suitable images. I offered to help out with the corporate portraits and an image that gave a sense of the purpose of the enterprise, which is essentially all about helping students (see below).

NetMagic Tuition and Training Services provides:

  • Private tuition (GCSE and AS/A2 level) in a range of subjects
  • Exam Preparation and Study Skills support
  • University Application Advice (Personal Statement Review)
  • Oxford and Cambridge Application support with preparing to apply, the application process and mock interviews.
  • Specialist support for students with specific learning difficulties of all ages, such as those with dyslexia, dyspraxia and autistic spectrum disorder.

The Technical Stuff

I used 2 setups for the shoot. First-up was a black (velvet) background with two flash. The first as a keylight at 45 degrees above the subject, shot through my favorite double diffused, 54cm Lastolite  Professional, Joe McNally EzyBox Hotshoe. The second strobe was a hair-light shot through a grid. Both flashes were on Pocket Wizard Flex TT-5 radio triggers, and so easily controllable from camera. Both lights were set camera-left. The set (on the kitchen table, as it happens) was built with books from my study and props from the kitchen. I have heard it stated that you should use the same quality of light on the hair as with the keylight, but I really like the sharpness of a grid spot on the hair and I think that a lot of photograhers shoot that way.

The second setup was a more traditional corporate portrait affair. Keylight courtesy of Joe McNally, a Lastolite Tri-Grip reflector and a low-tech grey background (a £7 grey bed sheet, courtesy of ASDA), in this case, simply thrown over the velvet background panel and clipped on with A-Clamps to keep it taut. A hair-light shot through a grid, and finally a background light shot through a Lastolite Micro-Apollo softbox. Again all the strobes were on Flex TT-5 radio triggers controlled from the camera.

Post-Processing

Given the nature of the lighting, not too much was required. A quick run through OnOne software’s Perfect Portrait 2, the addition of mid-tone contrast from Color Efex Pro 4 and my usual 3-pass sharpening regimen.

The Images

The best way to see them is to swing by NetMagic and check out their excellent facilities. You may well know someone that could benefit from their services and they would be delighted to take your call.

Cheers,

Robin.

Print Sales Update

Print Sales Update

Barn, Little and Great Grey Owl Prints now for Sale

Just a brief note to let you know that I have extended the availability of owl prints from TDI to include a selection of Barn Owls, Little Owls and Great Grey Owls. Images of the owls were taken in a range of settings including some at night and in the snow, static and in flight. The Great Grey Owls in flight are particularly attractive. This print sales update is in addition to the previously available Long-Eared and Eurasian Eagle Owl photographs.

Prints of a wide range of other birds of prey (including Falcons, Buzzard, Golden Eagle and Merlin), the Deer rut, Seals and a collection of Macro images are also available for purchase under Print Orders from the TDI homepage or other page menu header. Over the coming weeks I will be adding a  selection of Red Kite images and extending the Macro collection with some of my favourite lifestyle images.

Selection of Images from the Owl Collection

If you live in Cheshire and would like to experience a diverse range of birds of prey at first hand, check out the Gauntlet Birds of Prey Eagle and Vulture Park. They have daily flying displays and knowledgeable staff. They offer a range of bird of prey experiences, for individuals, families, for half days and full days. They also offer photography workshops.

Best wishes,

Robin.

Print Sales Come to The Doctor’s Images

Print Sales Reach TDI

Friends and colleagues have been encouraging me to sell my images for some time now. I have had to wait for the necessary technology to do this to reach the UK, but now it’s here! Canvas and poster prints are now available for selected images. Simply go to the Sales menu and click on the “Buy this Print” button, or click on the image itself, and from there you will be guided through the process of making a purchase. Various sizes of poster and canvas print are available, at very reasonable prices, depending upon the original image size.

Starting Small

To begin with, print sales will start with images from the TDI home page. Initially I have selected images from my Peregrine Falcon, Common Buzzard and (Premium) Kingfisher Collections. Over time I will add other images from the TDI home page, and will be open to special orders from elsewhere on the TDI site by request. If you are particularly attracted to an image that you see in the Blog, Finest or Archive sections, simply drop me a line and I will let you know if it is available for sale.

Special Editions

From time to time there will be Special Limited Edition prints. These will be slightly more expensive, but will be certificated from a strictly limited run.

I hope you see something you like!

Best wishes,

Robin.