View Post

Live Members Picture Critique – Product Photography (August 2019)

Karl has over 20 years of experience as a professional photographer, with much of his commercial work being product photography. As a result, this photography critique is guaranteed to provide valuable insight into the world of product photography and shed some light on how to improve your advertising and product photography. Karl will offer his perspective and critique on images …

View Post

Photography backgrounds and how to make your own

To help you make the most of your image, I’ve outlined some key points to think about when selecting a background and included two DIY photography backgrounds that you can easily make yourself.” Whether you’re photographing people or products, there is a wide range of photography backgrounds to choose from. From simple colours to mottled canvas, the sky is the …

View Post

Natural light food photography: Tips for photographing food at home

Here I’ve summarised some of the key points covered in our natural light food photography classes, explaining the planning, preparation, equipment, lighting and techniques used for each. For many photographers just starting out, working from home is common practice. You don’t need a lot of equipment or much space to take great photos. What you will need is just a …

View Post

Top 10 commonly asked photography questions

Whether you’re a new photographer just starting out or have a few years of experience to your name, chances are you’ll have found yourself asking similar questions. Each month I do a live Q&A on social media and I’ve found that many photographers are asking the same questions time and time again. I answer the 10 most commonly asked photography …

View Post

Camera lens buying guide: How to choose the right lens

Lenses are an essential piece of photographic equipment, but with so many options available it can be difficult to know what it all means and how to choose the right one. Here I explain different types of lenses, how to choose the best one for you and why it’s worth considering buying second hand. Put simply, lenses are pieces of …

View Post

Photography pricing – How much to charge for your photography

As someone who’s done it for over 20 years, trust me when I say running a successful photography business requires more than just talent. It requires hard work, dedication and business savvy. Knowing how much to charge for photography is just one of the hurdles you’ll have to overcome if you want to make it, but it can be challenging …

View Post

Identifying & overcoming the challenges of a high-end product shoot

Note: Watch the step-by-step process of how I shot this image in our Product section. I often get asked how I come up with ideas for shoots, but as a commercial photographer I’m often tasked with working to a brief, rather than creating my own concepts. For this Clinique shot, although it wasn’t for a particular project, I went about …

View Post

June 2019 ‘Beautiful Light’ Competition Winners

This month’s theme of ‘Beautiful Light’ proved highly popular and we received an incredible amount of entries – from landscapes to products to portraits. Light is an essential part of any photograph – it can make or break an image. Hard light, soft light, clear early morning light or technically perfect studio light – this month’s theme allowed for a …

View Post

Splash photography — How to photograph liquid splashes

If you’ve never tried splash photography before or if you’re looking for a few useful tips or new ideas, then this is the place to be. I explain the equipment, lighting, important photographic concepts and also share a few creative ideas for you to try. Splash photography is a technique that can add a certain degree of professionalism to your …

View Post

The science and challenges of moon photography

This July marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landings — a historic moment that had a huge impact on technology, particularly photography, as we know it today. To celebrate this historic occasion we’ll be welcoming a technical expert from Hasselblad for an exclusive live talk show, where you’ll be able to see one of the moon cameras and …

View Post

How to photograph the moon: 4 simple tips for you to try

The moon is a beautiful and fascinating subject to photograph, but determining the right exposure and the best compositing can be a challenge. To help you get even better photos, I’ve outlined four simple tips in this blog post. I explain what to consider when it comes to when and where to photograph the moon, what equipment you’ll need, how …

View Post

Portrait lighting ideas – Creative four light setups

When it comes to portrait photography, you often see results that are really quite similar. Softboxes are a go-to modifier and aim is either Butterfly, Loop or Rembrandt lighting. But with a little creativity (and the right knowledge), the possibilities are endless. In previous articles I’ve shown you how to create great portraits using just one, two and three lights …

View Post

Portrait photography lighting ideas — Three creative ways to use three lights

From soft, angelic lighting to darker, more contoured lighting, there’s no end to how creative you can be using three lights for portrait photography. If you’re looking for some creative three light portrait ideas, I’ve put together three different setups you can add to your arsenal. These setups use only basic modifiers and show effective techniques that can help add …

View Post

Portrait lighting setups — Two light setup ideas

In a previous article I discussed three easy portrait lighting setups using just one light, but for those of you who have more equipment, I thought I’d go one step further and show you some more great setups, this time using two lights. When it comes to portrait photography, whether you’re using one light or four, you can get some …

View Post

Portrait photography — Three creative one light portrait lighting setups

I’ve often heard photographers use the excuse that they don’t have many lights, but when it comes to portrait photography, you can get amazing results using just one studio light. Looking to create a beautiful soft light portrait image? Or perhaps you want something more dramatic and moody? Even if you’ve only got one light, with a little creativity you …

View Post

Photography equipment — What professional photographer Ben Thomas has in his bag

Award winning professional photographer Ben Thomas recently joined me in the studio, where we discussed everything from promoting your work to printing and exhibiting images. Ben also shared his go-to equipment and touched on the post production processes he uses to achieve some of his signature images. Many of our members were particularly interested in what equipment Ben uses and …

View Post

Which DSLR camera to buy: A guide to buying the right camera for you

There’s an endless range of DSLR cameras on the market at the moment so if you’re trying to decide on which is the best for you, this article will help you cut through some of the chaos and confusion to reach a decision you won’t regret. I often get asked questions like “What is the best camera to buy?”, “Is …

View Post

Composite photography – Top tips for Photoshop compositing

Composite photos, which are defined as two or more images blended together to create a final image, makes the process of compositing sound quite simplistic, but the truth is that it’s far from easy.  The following tips will make creating your own composite image much more straightforward: Compositing takes time, planning,  a keen eye for detail and a good knowledge …

View Post

Softboxes: Softbox lighting & theory

Softboxes are incredibly popular lighting modifiers — they’re versatile, affordable and fairly portable — and they’ll once again have their chance to shine in this informative photography workshop. Karl will explain how to correctly use these modifiers and examine the theory and science behind them. He’ll be reviewing examples of different results and detail how, why and what is best …

View Post

Become a fashion photographer: Top tips & creative ideas

Fashion photos are a popular genre of photography, but for those starting out it can seem daunting — where do you source outfits, how do you pose your model, how do you get the best lighting? In addition to an extensive knowledge of lighting, you’ll need a unique style, creative ideas and the ability to work with a team. To …

View Post

Live Workshop – Headphones Product Shoot

For this product photography workshop Karl will undertake an advertising style shot of a pair of headphones — a technically complex product that can present a myriad of challenges. This live product photography workshop will cover how to overcome problems such as finding the best composition, lighting gloss and matte surfaces as well as how to work with various shapes …

View Post

Live talk show — Hasselblad and the Apollo Moon Landings

This July marks 50 years since Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made history as the first men to walk on the moon. Broadcast to millions worldwide, this iconic moment was also documented using specifically designed Hasselblad cameras. To celebrate this momentous occasion, Hasselblad technical expert Chris Cooze will join Karl in the studio for a special show to talk about …

View Post

Live Workshop – Creative Portrait Lighting

As a continuation of our Creative Portrait Lighting workshop, this live photography demonstration will demonstrate another creative portrait lighting setup. In this show Karl will demonstrate how to use a combination of lights to achieve a high key portrait effect while maintaining high contrast in the shadows. This particular lighting style, which produces a stunning result, can be achieved with …

View Post

Live Workshop – A Guide to Lighting Emotion

Light determines the mood, style and feeling of a shot and it’s essential that you have the knowledge to create the right mood and emotion in an image. The first step is to identify the appropriate mood and emotion and the second step is to use the correct tools to create the desired lighting. To truly advance your studio photography …

View Post

Members Critique – Retouching and Techniques

In this members critique live show Karl will be assessing members retouching skills and identifying good and bad post production practices. Members will have an opportunity to submit an image for feedback and follow along live as Karl examines their work. Karl will also be answering questions live throughout the show. You’ll learn how to recognise areas that need retouching …

View Post

Top product photography tips

When people ask me about product photography, the most common questions I get asked are things like “What is the best camera for product photography?” Or “Which is the best lens for product photography?”. The reality is that the most important thing you can have isn’t the top camera or most expensive lens — it’s a good understanding of light. …

View Post

3D modeling for photographers

3D modeling and CGI are incredibly relevant to photography nowadays and many photographers are questioning whether it’s worth their time to learn this new skill. I’ve put together a basic guide to getting started with CGI and how it can be used hand in hand with photography. Our 3D modeling & CGI class, presented with Viktor Fejes, provide an introduction …

View Post

March 2019 ‘Motion’ Competition Winners

‘Motion’ was the theme for our March 2019 competition and we were excited to once again give away some great prizes to our members. First prize up for grabs was a Manfrotto 057 Carbon Fiber Tripod while second and third place winners received a Lee Filters The Super Stopper and Lee Filters Filter Foundation Kit respectively. 1st Place – Rich …

View Post

Light meters and why I don’t use them

A recent post about light meters on my Facebook page created a lot of debate and many photographers defended their use, which of course is absolutely OK. I’m not saying you can’t use them, I’m only here to explain why for me they are a waste of money and can negatively affect creativity. Please read on if you have an …

View Post

How to focus stack in Photoshop

I’ve had a lot of members asking me what focus stacking is, when to use it and how to focus stack images in Photoshop. Here you’ll find the answers to all those questions and learn how, using Photoshop, you can get the whole of your image sharp in just a few simple steps. Sometimes, regardless of what camera settings you …

View Post

Ocean pollution awareness campaign

“It is a curious situation that the sea, from which life first arose, should now be threatened by the activities of one form of that life” — Rachel Carson, marine biologist & author. Oceans are vital to human health — they generate half the oxygen we breathe and provide homes for many species that enable us to exist. They regulate …

View Post

Jewellery photography: Top tips for how to photograph jewellery

Whether it’s diamond rings or gemstone necklaces, jewellery photography is notoriously difficult, but there are a few useful techniques you can try that will make the process so much easier.  Diamond necklace jewelry photograph. Jewelry photography classes Watches, rings and necklaces all present a unique set of challenges when it comes to photographing them. Their smooth, shiny surfaces cause chaotic …

View Post

Product photography: How to photograph glasses

Having shot advertising images of designer eyewear for Lagerfeld, Boss, Red or Dead and Hilfiger, this genre of product photography is certainly an area of expertise for Karl. Product photography is about making your product look desirable, but the size, reflective surfaces  and varied textures you find in glasses means it can be very difficult to do this. In this …

View Post

Live Talk Show with Special Guest Ben Thomas

Ben Thomas is an award winning photographer who has garnered global attention with his hyperrealistic imagery of urban and city spaces. Ben’s most recent achievement was earning the prestigious title of Hasselblad Master. His work earned him first place in the Street/Urban category, where he was up against a record-breaking number of entries. His imagery, which makes use of techniques …

View Post

Creative Portrait Techniques Live Show

Do you feel stuck, like you’ve tried every lighting setup there is for portrait photography and run out of new ideas? Studio lighting for portrait photography can often look very similar to other photograph’s work, but with a little inspiration and advice, you can add your own creative twist to create something unique. In this live show Karl will be …

View Post

Live Cosmetics Shoot

In this live photography show Karl will be demonstrating how to light and photograph cosmetic product shots. Cosmetics can be complex objects to light — they’re often small and can feature different textures. Taking the time to analyse your product is the first step, and in this show you’ll see why this is so important. Karl will then show you …

View Post

Members Critique: Landscape Part 2

In this members picture critique Karl will be critiquing and providing professional feedback on landscape images. This informative show will give members who submitted their images before Part 1 an opportunity to receive professional advice and learn from other photographers work. Karl will be discussing what makes a successful landscape photograph, advising how to improve as well as sharing some …