lee ramsden blog

Behind the scenes, pregnancy lighting.


I hope that you have enjoyed this week of pregnancy images that i have posted.

Today i thought id share some behind the scenes images and some thoughts with the lighting used.

Maternity Pregnancy pregnantlighting strobes off camera flash professional lancashire photographer venetian blinds behind the scenes BTS set up

Fuji XT1 f5.6 1/30 ISO 800

As you can see from the above image, these were taken in my cramped dinning room. Even without a large space, using a little imagination and being creative with your space, you can create some nice images.

Maternity Pregnancy pregnant strobes off camera flash grey seemless backdrop back light low key high contrast Lee Ramsden

Nikon D800 f5.6 1/200 ISO 100

The important part i find is to light your subject how your like. Once lit well, then you can play with the background and try different things.

The above images are straight out of the camera. RAW files converted to JPGS.

Image on the left - the background was lit with a strobe covered with a red gell. Personally i didn't like this too much and so didn't process this.

The middle image - is obvious. I turned off the background light and so it rendered to black.

Image on the right - i turned the background light around and it shone on to the subject, bouncing back to illuminate the background.

The black background and the grey one, were processed to make the image have a little more interest. If you would like me to show in a future post how i did that, then please let me know.

lighting lit with an over head projector blossom trees skin pregnancy no flash natural Lee Ramsden

Nikon D800 f1.6 1/80 ISO 100 

The above images were not shown in the week, but thought id share them for a little fun.

They were lit, with a simple over head projector. The sort that were used in schools.

I printed on clear plastic an image of blossom i found on a stock image site.

No fancy photoshop here, just an image using a projector.

Maternity Pregnancy pregnant lighting strobes off camera flash long hair professional lancashire photographer images elenchrom quadra ranger snoot softbox grey seemless paper Lee Ramsden

Here is the lighting set up used for the bellow image. The bellow image is unprocessed. A converted RAW file again to JPG.

To create the lines on the background i used a venetian blind that i purchased from B@Q a while ago.

(It was defective and on sale for a fiver, result!)

The lights.

A - Nikon sb900 flashed through the blind to create the background. It was flagged to prevent spill onto the subject.

B- Nikon sb900 through a honey comb grid. To illuminate the bump.

C - Elinchrom Quadra through a snoot to add a touch of light on the face.

D - Elinchrom Ranger through another grid, to add some light on to the hair.

lit through venetian blind nikon sb900 elenchrom flash quadra ranger softbox out of camera unretouched Lee Ramsden Uk professional photographer

Nikon D800 f5.6 1/200 ISO 100

This was a fairly extensive lighting set up. It took a bit of time to set up, one light at a time.

When setting up lights like this, the subject has very little room to move. And so the set up takes patients from both parties. If your subject moves it can throw everything out.

Once the lights are set, relax. Make your subject relax and enjoy what you create!

I hope that you have enjoyed this week, viewing some work quite different from my norm.

Many thanks.


Pregnancy week.

Nikon D800 F5.6 1/200 ISO 100

Morning, thought id share each day this week an image that i have recently taken of my better half.

Thought id kick off with this one, lit with a key, back and hair light. Nothing on the back ground rendering it to absolute black.

Ill post at the end of the week a behind the scenes with the lighting rig.


Lytham Time lapse iPhone images.

Kessler crane timer oracle controler control count down timelapse uk england

Here are a few iPhone images taken whilst i was waiting for a time lapse set up to complete.

As you can see from the above image i had 4 and a half hours to kill...

Kessler crane timer oracle controler control count down timelapse uk england cineslider slide

The Kessler Cineslider. So far I'm pretty impressed with this bit of kit. Each time i take a time-lapse it gets tweaked and set up slightly different. Using lighting stands and moveable heads with the aid of a spirit level helps no end in getting the shoot straight from start to finish. 

time lapse rig kessler sun set colours nikon d700 iphone iphonography slider estury sea beach colours golden hour

My old Nikon D700 is now used for the time lapse work.  

Lytham life boat jetty pier esturay beach sea sand black and white
Lytham St Annes Lancashire England windmill sea beach sand grass bright blue sky church spire iphone image iphonography iPhone4s lee ramsden photography

Lytham green and windmill. 

Helvellyn composite images.

Helvellyn lakes the lake district cumbria striding edge swiril pass photography photo image green traversing death climb advanced composite photoshop tutorial lancashire photographer retoucher tutor educator lessons

Hi, i thought id share the images that i used to create the image bellow.

The top left image was me putting my idea down as a drawing.

The Helvellyn page was created in photoshop with taking some information from Wiki.

Also i used a wood effect background which was warped and pulled about to make it fit into the scene.

Helvellyn lakes the lake district cumbria striding edge swiril pass photography photo image advanced composite photoshop tutorial

Are you new to Blogging?

blog blogging how to begginers guide tip

Hello -If you are new to blogging, thinking of starting a blog or maybe feel that your traffic has gone stale, then this is maybe for you.  

I know that there are a million "Tips" and "How to" out there on social media for bloggers, 

this is not one of them.... but the ramblings, on what I have personally noticed to the traffic on this blog.

The Past

-  I have deleted my Facebook and Twitter accounts. I was sick of the negative content filling my day, people moaning and complaining about insignificant things.... 

medial no FB Twitter Facebook delete account good bye had enough got my life back waste of time fed up time waste red cross social media con ruin lives

Two months on, and it has been amazing, I feel more focused and surprised how much extra time i have acquired. To spend with people that actually mater.  

Social media -is a black hole of time, we are creative people when we get the time. Turn off the social media for a day and see how much more you get done. Turn it off for a week (you will carry on living

trust me) your life will be improved. I am phoning people more, and when working away - emailing. Not as personal as hand written a letter, but an email these days feels much more of a personal way of communicating with someone rather than a "like" on Facebook, or a quick comment on a photo they post. 

Back to the blogging

- Since leaving these two social media giants I have been testing ways in which traffic will now be directed to my blog as previously the main traffic was via Facebook and Twitter. 

When blogging the main point which can not be stressed enough is -

CONTENT IS KING! Post relevant interesting content. Then people will return and view your work. Far too many post on subjects that they do not understand or are even interested in. Listen to your audience, i regularly post answering questions from readers. 

Be yourself- stop posting trying to be someone else. People see right through this and it will only act negatively in long run.

Key wording- this is a vital tool for your images and posts to be seen from search engines. 

You have written an article on late 17th century poetry, performed in the medium of dance. If you have the relevant wording in the post then others who share your views will be able to find this from say google searches. 

This also hugely effects your posted images - Google "image01.jpg" and you will be surprised how many images are uploaded. You have worked hard on taking the image, taken the time editing it, now take a minute to square away a bit of house keeping. 

So rather then the camera generated number, name the file some thing like "yourname,location,subject,date,genre,etc.jpg" Now when people type into Google words that match any of these, your post and images will pop up. 

A note on key wording. Keep it relevant. This is a point which really annoys me, and morally is the lowest way to keyword. It is to include the Subject Masters in your key words. 

So unexpecting viewers looking for an article on a subject/ person, are now viewing your blog with irrelevant content...

I have in the past seen, HDR images of cats in front of the fire with selective colouring and wording saying that this is no "Henry Cartior-Breson"

.... You know what you are doing - STOP IT! 

(Disclaimer- yes I realise the above name is spelt incorrectly- it would be very hypocritical of me to include his name on a post of this nature now..)

The test- My most visited blog page to date is one of a workshop I attended, ran by a Photoshop legend. This guy has a huge following (and well deserved) but by posting my experiences of the course, un-expectingly directs many to my blog from Google searching their name.

To confirm this, last week an American photo legend posted on their blog. images of the Shard building in London. Saying that their images from inside were unusable due to the reflections on the glass.

I commented ( in a non spam way) a blog post that I wrote, on the techniques and equipment that i used to take away the reflections. I included a link to my blog showing the post and my image from inside the Shard. Not so to help this photographer as they are awesome and would know this, but help others who follow. - And in one day I got over 1000 page hits.

I am certainly not one to spam, but find this interesting. It is all good getting the numbers but are the viewers relevant to your work?

More recently I've been testing Google+ I have found huge communities of people with the potential to view your content. But are the 400,000 people in a HDR community worth viewing your posts? 

Me Personally-I post for me, and I regularly go to the beginning of my blog and see how I've improved and it spurs me on to create new work and improve, this blog is a living time line of my images and i enjoy slowly watching them grow over the years. This blog is not compiled to generate business. I use other tools for that.  

Businesses- For those of you trying to direct potential customers, it is finding that right community / audience. 

Facebook has its place, but i find you do not have to be present, that is an excuse. If the content that you create is great, people will still share this. Finding the niche in your postings is the tricky part. Look at what you create and try and think like a customer, where would they be looking. 

Posting too much - I think that there is a fine line with over posting. If the noise that you are creating is too often, people will grow tired of it quickly.

Quench the need to post everyday, cut back your posting and spend the extra time to produce higher quality content. ( I know that this goes against most top tip how to blog sites)

Utilising your blog's schedule function is a handy tool. You have some rare free time, and want to catch up with some blogging. Rather then throw out 20 posts in one hit, schedule them to be published over time. This will give you a clearer conscious that you have content coming out over the next few weeks, and helping you to have more time to spend on other things.

Also on this subject, when posting images i wouldn't post every single image taken on the shoot. Show just your best work rather than 900 images of the same subject. People lose interest and will click off and head else where.

Where ever you decide to post and cast the net, please be unique.

I know that the automated sites out there are time saving, but when for example you are viewing tweets blatantly created by software, with a hyper link to your post. It is highly off-putting and less people will follow the trail.

Monitor - Most blog these days utilise some sort of analytics in the back ground, this blog site for example is ran through Blogger (owned by google) and so i can see how many people view a post, where were they directed from, what country, what browser used etc. This helps in working out trends.

For this site i have seen that the G+ community traffic by far out weights that of the Facebook and Twitter views. And what content is most popular.

This post was created from my own personal views, there are no one size fits all with this, and it is taking the time to work out what is best for you.

My first post was over 5 years ago, which is frightening to think where the time has gone.

I will find it interesting to re-read this post in another 5 years time and look back on how things have changed.

Thanks for reading

- ill go now and enjoy some of my newly acquired free time


Blog how too top tip enjoy free time quit quitting facebook twitter help you tutorial

Setting Sun images.

Thought id share with you some images that were taken yesterday, over at the Lake in Milton Keynes. 

I have included a lighting diagram to show how i lit these images, as i was trying to get some rim lighting going on. 

Lens example having fun jumping
Lens example shot at 200mm Nikon 70-200mm off camera flash
Lens example happy Kelly Moss Ramsden

These images were lit with the sun to the right creating a nice rim light.

A bare speed light to the left and a speed light in a softbox to the left also to fill.

lighting diagram for an out door portrait

Justins Clio Sport.

A  mate owns a Renault Clio Sport and wanted some pictures taking.

On a freezing Sunday morning,

Parked up on Lytham front and took some shots. 

The 2 images below are HDR. 

But have been processed differently, as I processed them in layers building up the scene. Personally I feel that they are too much and so i will be stepping back from the HDR technique for a little while to try out other views. 

<img src="Renault Clio sport" alt="Justin Napier HDR mad sky beach over done cooked silver fake unrealistic look old style lee ramsden"> 
<img src="Renualt Clio sport turbo 2 litre" alt="HDR Lytham Beach fast car">  

Snow in Dunstable.

I spent Christmas working on an oil rig, bummer!

I was down the south of England for New Year with family and loved ones.

As you are all aware the weather has been awful of late.

We got it hard in the North sea over christmas, I was itching to get home and have a play in the snow with the camera before it all melted.

Well, my luck was in, im now in Dunstable and the heavens open, I set out to get some pictures of the snow. 

The sky was dark and not looking good, I take a few shots of the people who are wrapped up warm braving the cold. 

Whilst on the retreat back to the house... 

feeling a bit disappointed, as there wasn't much that could be taken. I see the sky start to clear. 

Oh yes happy days....

I take my time to see what will unfold before my eyes. Some stunning colours started to come out.

I took a few snap shots of the cold and grey. My favourite piece of the weather is the cemetery scene.


<img src="snow scene" alt="Dunstable west street baptist church burial grave yard christianity lee ramsden Bedfordshire"> 
<img src="Father and child on the snow" alt="Dunstable downs Ciltern Chilterns Lee Ramsden"> 
<img src=" Dunstable Downs" alt="snow milfs house wives walking dogging dog walking"> 

Xav and Corinne Shoot.

Good friends of mine Xav and Corinne wanted some pictures taking of themselves. 

Corinne is a singer/song writer. Her personal site is here and goes under the name Vanessa René

" and so want a promo pic, where as Xav loves his bike and so wanted one with his beloved triumph bike...

The Bike picture, i was trying again with the flash at sunset theme i like. This has worked better then the car one i have previously done. 

Once again the TTL mode is letting me down. It has made me bite the bullet and im saving for some pocket wizard flash syncs. With syncs you can be so much more creative too, rather then just placing the flashes where they can see one another.

Here are my 2 favourite images from the day.

<img src="Xav Lomas" alt=" Xav Xavier Lomas Triumph motorbike weybridge surrey lee ramsden">
<img src="www.vanessarene.co.uk" alt="Vanessa rene singer song writer lee ramsden"> 

A new Buzzword for you "Vert-o-rama"

I have seen many photographers now adding albums and calling photos vertorama's.

What is a vertorama? Well simply it's a panorama but vertically. Makes sense now..

for the following images i wanted to play with HDR more.

HDR explained:

"High dynamic range (HDR) images enable photographers to record a greater range of tonal detail than a given camera could capture in a single photo.  This opens up a whole new set of lighting possibilities which one might have previously avoided"

I set the camera to 9 exposures, of different shutter speeds to achieve the full tonal range of a subject.

Took these images into Photomatix software, then a colour balance and tweak in Photoshop. 

But for a Vert you need to do this for all the sections of the photo and then blend together.

The following images are all 9 exposures but into 3 sections, (top-mid-bottom),

So that works out at 27 pictures per each one!

<img src="Vertorama" alt=" vertorama vertical lee ramsden long grass sunset foreground waterbeach Lytham St Annes"> 
<img src=" Lytham life boat" alt="estury sunset sunrise dusk dawn lee ramsden"> 

First time Using Flash at Sunset

I have seen in many different places where i want to take a picture of something while the sun is setting. 

Previously i normally get a silhouette of your subject... 

Well a pop of flash is then required.

So now you have a nice background and your subject all looking good.

Well, I had this shoot for the first time last night, and used the car as the subject.

I took my flash off camera, fired by Nikon's TTL infra-red mode.

The effects are lovely but the TTL mode was driving me nuts, as they have to be in line of sight. So would fire it felt like whenever they wanted.

The flashes were direct light and faced from different angles until I was happy.

Once again this is something im really liking at the moment and so will be Blogging more of this style as and when.

<img src="Audi S-Line Quttro" alt="Audi Fairheaven Lake Lancashire Quattro S3 Sline s-line lee ramsden photography">
<img src="Audi S-Line Quttro" alt="Audi Fairheaven Lake Lancashire Quattro S3 Sline s-line lee ramsden photography">

Assisting on a Spinx Photography shoot.

Last week i was kindly asked by Aimee Spinx, to help out and assist on a shoot she had to do for her uni work. 

A big key for me is there are no egos present, idea’s get thrown about and the work site is a fun and buzzing experience, which puts the models at ease and it shows through in their work.

Be sure to check out the finished pieces on Aimee’s

website Here are a few of my visions of the day…

Nikon D90 Make up before Lee Ramsden www.leeramsden.com professional shoot
Nikon D90 Window light posing material Aimee Spinks
Aimee spinks photographer photography portraiture www.aimeespinks.com lee ramsden www.leeramsden.com professional photographer movie stills

50's Style shoot.

There are many shoots out there of pin up girls, from different eras. 

I really fancied giving it ago.

Kelly has got the largest wardrobe of clothes known to man. So had a rummage around to see what she could find.

She found the out fit in the shoot, which we thought was a 50's style. We looked online for hair styles from that period.  

With Kelly being a hair and beauty expert she did all her own makeup and hair for this shoot.

I have just bought a second, off camera flash. This was the first shoot where I had used another light source. 

It was mainly a flash on a tripod, through an umbrella to soften the light.

I thought the light brought a cool and new edge to my work and am really interested into pushing this idea further.

Nikon D90 Kelly Moss Kelly Ramsden 50's 60' style dress Lytham St Annes Leather Belt tweed suit shoot Lee Ramsden www.leeramsden.com blog
Nikon D90 Behind the Scenes brushing hair getting ready make up lee ramsden kelly moss kelly ramsden

Magic Cards.

I have seen many pictures with playing cards recently and so wanted to try it out. Naturally with my own spin.

The idea of this shot is simple, set up the camera onto the timer.. I then flick the cards and "Click"..... job done...

Why do things always seem so much easier on paper!

What actually happened, was that I wanted a pop of flash, to sharpen it up. Im sure I can, but I couldn't seem to fire off multiple exposures and flash each time. So what ended up was I would set the camera up, take one shot, reset the cards and keep going.

To get the timing right was a nightmare, either to fast or too slow and so I needed to think of something else.

I managed to catch a shot where a couple of cards are coming out of my hand. It lacked that impact from having lots of cards. So what I came up with was, the idea - I would stand behind the camera and throw the cards in-front, whilst pressing the shutter and use photoshop to merge these layers together.

Here is the final shot, plus a shot of the cards being thrown.

<img src="Magical image" alt="Magic trick playing cards thrown lee ramsden"> 

<img src="Magical image" alt="Magic trick playing cards thrown lee ramsden"> 

Nikon D90

Ronin Ryu Atemi JuJitsu, Martial Arts Club.

A mate of mine runs a martial art club in Blackpool. I loved the idea of trying to catch some natural shots of the guys, and girl - doing they're thing.

I didn't want to use a flash on this shoot so I could fit in better and try to be unnoticed.

Scot who runs the Club is a fantastic teacher, very clear and puts things into perspective, so everyone can understand. 

The people who train there are great, there are no ego's, 

all just want to train hard and enjoy it.

Scot runs self defence and fitness classes also.

They dont have a site as such but they are contact able via their

facebook page. 

&lt;img src="Ronin Rhy" alt="Scot Tudhope Judo Throw Black belt master martial arts teacher professional Lee Ramsden"&gt;&nbsp;
&lt;img src="Ronin Rhy" alt="Scot Tudhope Judo Throw Black belt master martial arts teacher professional Lee Ramsden"&gt;&nbsp;

Tower to Tower bike ride.

I previously mentioned how i was networking on the internet with photographers,

Well I have been chatting with a

Paul Brown

, who's work is simple stunning!

Paul said soon he will be in town, Great!

He then went on to why he would be visiting Blackpool,

Paul was taking part in the Eiffel Tower to Blackpool Tower charity bike ride.

(Yes, push bikes!)

Here is an image of Paul back in Blackpool,  Well done!

&lt;img src="Paul Brown" alt="Paul Brown photographer blackpool bike ride Paris Blackpool Tower Lee Ramsden"&gt;&nbsp;
&lt;img src="Blackpool sea front" alt="seagulls Blackpool sea front golden mile Lancashire Lee Ramsden"&gt;&nbsp;

and then we hit the bar.......