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Have you ever had one of those weeks, where everything is going swimmingly – the emails are responded to, the team are all bumbling along, the phone is ringing an acceptable twice an hour…and then the Good Lord just takes an almighty work turd right on your face, and before you know it you feel like Arnold Shwarzenegger in End of Days.  Your phone rings constantly – your wife’s phone rings itself to death, you meet client after client, take booking after booking, and before you know it your wonderfully planned and masterfully crafted week is dumped with 10 weddings in three days.

Well, if you haven’t already guessed, that’s exactly what happened to us this last week.

And I am ecstatic to say that the team, although tired, dealt with the stress exceptionally well. As always.

But we felt very bad,because, as you all know, our good friends Josh and Lydia have been out here in Barbados with us, and we were hoping to spend a bit of quality time with them.  But clearly that plan was scuppered.

We got everything we possibly could done Saturday night, so that we could all enjoy Sunday together, but then the heavens opened and we were stormed in.  So instead of swimming on the beaches and watching the sunset and drinking beers in the warm, we were stranded in our flooding-fast house playing computer games and cursing the deck of cards we had left back at the hotel.

By all accounts it was a lovely day 🙂

And the day was made even more lovely by the arrival of another guest in our home.  We have had swarms of bees, enormous spiders, bats getting stuck in the roof and a billion millepedes, but this is the first leaf frog I think we have had to date.


I spotted him on the way to the kitchen, and without hesitation dear old Josh grabbed the flash and mounted it on a pocket wizard whilst I bayonetted my macro lens.

And he was ever so good as these two giants surrounded and strobed him like there was no tomorrow.

Because he really was tiny. In this (wonderful) portrait of Josh, you can see how small the wee guy was – he is the little green spec on the left, being bathed in the scrummy bolt-blue f20 from my SB800:

But he just sat there, happily modelling for us, and, upon agreeing we had all got the shots we were after, he wandered off up the wall to enjoy whatever it is leaf frogs do in the ceilings of homes in Barbados.

I do love having an open house.

Thanks for reading guys – more regular posts to come from now on.  Promise.

x

It has been a veeeerrryyyy loong time since my last post, and for that I truly apologise – thanks for waiting and for coming back to see our latest adventures 🙂

It has been crazy busy at work after two of my team resigned, and the wedding calendar is slowly filling up, so Sian and I are working very late into the night most of the time trying to get things sorted…the blog has naturally suffered – as has my photography….I havent been out shooting anything *Shock horror* !

But I am in the process of trying to get my head around a ‘how to page’, which I hope to post more technical stuff about the whats and whys of my photography, and free up the blog for more ramblings and updates from us here in (sometimes) sunny Barbados.

But it is late, and I am tired, and I will have to work that out later…so in the mean time, here is my first ‘ how to blog’.  I hope it is not too boring for all you lovely, non-photography types!

How to take photos of lightning

The weather here in Bim is truly awful at the moment.  We keep getting torrential downpours, followed by searing heat, which makes it utterly unbearable on the muginess side of things, and then perilous on the roads as we aqua plane to where we need to be.  And the very worst part of it is that we get electrical storms, but the clouds and haze are so thick, we rarely actually see any bolts of lightning…which makes for crap photos as I have discovered.

So, in light of a lack of er…lightning, I rooted around the old hard drive and sniffed these bad boys out:

For some reason WordPress has sharpened the buggery out of this on the thumbnail…but, like I say, it’s late and I can’t figure it out – please enlarge the photo by clicking on it to get rid of the early 90s digital-noise-look.

This was taken off the back of the Thomson Celebration when we were sailing to Port Sokhna out in the Red Sea.   I was accompanied by my good friend Josh who taught me this technique – so all credit must go to him.  He is a savagely talented photographer and is living the dream back in Manchester as a freelancer.  If you’re getting married any time soon in the UK, book him before he gets (deservedly) expensive!

Anyways, back to the lesson.  All you really need to get dramatic shots like this one is a little patience and a tripod.  If you don’t have either of these, then I’m afraid you will just have to remember the storm as you see it with the two eyes God gave you.  If you do, it’s time to have some fun.

The first problem you are likely to encounter when shooting lightning is that your camera won’t be able to focus properly.  It is usually very dark when a storm’s a brewing, and so there is little if nothing for your camera to focus on.  You’re best off switching to manual focus for this.  You are going to be shooting quite narrow as well (About F11ish) to make sure that all of your lightning stays sharp, regardless of how close or far away it is from the point of focus.

So, once you have set your focus up, as stated, I would shoot narrow, with quite a high ISO.  These were shot at 640 with the fabled D80 – which is as high as I dared go with old faithful.

Then, all you do is switch your shutter onto bulb mode.

It’s so easy even a photographer can do it.

Bulb mode means that your camera shutter will stay open for as long as you hold the button down, so all you do is hold it down, watch a few flashes…and presto:

This shot was taken over several minutes – each flash of lightning is frozen in the frame, giving the illusion that all of these bolts came at the same time – but they were actually very far apart.

And there you have it.  Once you are happy that you have recorded enough flashes, let go of the shutter button and wait for your camera to process the exposure (this took FOREVER on the D80!). But obviously, if you do not have a bulb mode, you can try your luck with a nice slow shutter speed – the longer you can leave your mirror up the better chance you have of catching that massive flash!

Hope that this has been helpful, and looking forward to sharing some more stories from the Caribbean soon.

Thanks for reading

Ferg x