Tag Archives: Silver Street Store

Judge’s Lodgings Studio Photography Workshop

Following the success of the LCE arranged Doddington Hall Portrait Photo workshop, they have arranged several follow-on workshops. On 28th February we had a Studio Photography Workshop that was hosted by John Clements and this time within the boundaries of Lincoln at the Judge’s Lodgings which is adjacent to the main entrance of Lincoln Castle and a short distance from Lincoln Cathedral.

There were 12 places available and (due to a last-minute cancellation) 11 workshop attendees, I recognised just over half of them from the Doddington Hall shoot last year. Like the previous workshop the camera you used didn’t matter and although I was the only one shooting with an Olympus (OM-D E-M1 MarkII) there was a good mix of Fuji, Canon DSLRs and Nikon DSLRs, surprisingly there were no Sony shooters. Although I was the lone Olympus user, the fact that had a E-M1 Mark II did generate some interest as not many had been seen in the wild. One of the users whose name escapes me for now (sorry not good with names) did show many things you could do with the OM-D, some I was aware of and some other things that were unknown to me – Thank you to whoever you are (if I found out their name I will update this post accordingly).

Taken straight from the LCE Events website here are the details for the course:
Photographing people is the most popular of subjects. But to do it well combines many skills such as lighting, composition and good guidance. So, join us on this workshop as highly respected pro photographer John Clements, shows and explains how to create a wide range of lighting skills and techniques, enabling repeatable and enjoyable results to be achieved when photographing people.

Following very positive feedback after his mini lighting sessions at our Doddington Hall event, imagine what can be achieved sharing a full day with someone who is used by major companies to teach and demystify lighting skills. Leave with a genuinely useful understanding of studio lighting, how it works, and how to shape light with it, to suit various face and body shapes, from the individual to small groups.

Easy to follow step-by-step, this inspiring day is equally suitable for those starting out, simply wanting a recap, or the pro, seeking a refresh and some new ideas. You will also create and leave with some fine images.

Some key areas covered include:

  • Understanding studio flash.
  • Camera settings for studio lighting.
  • Using a light meter for simple and advanced studio lighting arrangements.
  • Real world practical guide to using reflectors, umbrellas, soft-boxes and other common accessories for people photography.
  • Repeatable and practical lighting arrangements for repeatability, inside and out.
  • Working in and around the home or small studio/office environment.
  • Solutions to common people’s lighting needs, such as photographing people wearing glasses and dealing with various body and face shapes.
  • Posing & composition tips.
  • Creating clean white backgrounds.
  • Working with the ‘natural’ backdrop.
  • Creating ‘the quick’ backdrop solution.
  • Practical shooting sessions to cement the techniques and skills on the day.

The images:
Over the course of the day John would discuss a technique and then practically show the technique using the model who you might recognise as Katie from the Doddington Hall Photo-shoot. Some of these were part of an overall lighting strategy towards a final photo and some were single light effects.

The first 2 photos were from the same set of single light head-shots,I like both of these two especially Katie’s expression in the second photo:

The next photo was with two lights and has Katie’s hair undone:

We re-shot the “Black Widow” photo from Doddington Hall again, I’m much happier with this photo over my earlier attempt. Kudos to Katie for this one as it was very cold outside on the day and she only had the coat to keep her warm:

For the final session of the day we were split into two groups, and each group was given a room and brief for a photo shoot. We knew what Katie was wearing and our brief was to shoot an environmental photograph of Katie. I must say that this was a challenging part of the course and really makes you think about so many things, the room we were in was very big and there were so many distracting elements to avoid or camouflage in some way. I took a few photos and the only I really like is shown below:

I must say I had a great day and will join John on some other LCE courses he’s planning to run later in the year. I always enjoy networking with other photographers and I usually learn something new. If you would like to join any of the LCE courses, keep an eye on their Events page.


Lincoln Photo Show 2016

Today’s the day of the annual London Camera Exchange (LCE) Lincoln’s Photo show at the Lincoln Drill Hall on Free Schhool Lane and runs from 11am – 4pm, entry is as usual free

This year it is on a Sunday (previous years were the Wednesday nearest the 5th November – so a bit earlier in the year too); LCE promises a great day out for everyone from the keen beginner to the seasoned pro. They have stands packed with products, advice and demos from the likes of:

  • Olympus
  • Canon
  • Sony
  • Nikon
  • Sigma
  • Panasonicv
  • Fuji
  • Tamron

Along with a wealth of accessories from:

  • Manfrotto
  • Metz
  • Lastolite
  • Hoya
  • Tenba
  • Hahnel

This year LCE have three guest speakers, each giving an hours presentation on their work and how they achieve the results they get:

11.45am – 12.45pm
Gavin Hoey – Portrait photographer and photoshop master, Gavin gives a unique presentation using Olympus cameras and “smoke and mirrors” to create photography like you’ve never seen before.

1pm – 2pm
Joe Cornish – One of Britain’s most experienced landscape photographers, Joe will present his work on the most amazing landscapes in the world, sharing advice and techniques acquired in years of experience using Sony equipment such as A7RII and G Master lenses.

2.15pm – 3.15pm
Bertie Gregory – 23 years old and travels the world for National Geographic creating amazing films for the National Geographic Channel using Canon equipment including the Eos 1DX MKII. Examples of Bertie’s work can be found at natgeo.com/wildlife

All presentations are free and will run within the main hall along with exhibitions from a group of local camera clubs.

LCE also promise special show only offers and great part exchange deals – I’m not sure what these are so we’ll have to wait and see.

If there’s anything of interest I might post my thoughts and my highlights.

I (like LCE) hope to see you there too!

Driven to Abstraction

Yesterday I attended a local (in Lincoln) LCE-Olympus organised event titled “Driven to Abstraction” which was an Urban Street Photography event, you can read more about this here. However I have copied the synopsis of the event from the Olympus ImageSpace website below:

Professional photographer Steve Gosling invites you to get creative with the urban environment and seek abstracts in architecture for an exciting event Olympus is hosting in association with the Lincoln branch of the London Camera Exchange (LCE) in Silver Street. The date for your diary is 20th June for the ‘Urban Abstracts’ workshop, but be quick if this sounds of interest, as only 10 places are available to the lucky applicants

As well as Steve I had the pleasure to meet up with Aiden from Olympus too and although I took my Nikon D810 with me I only used the Olympus supplied OM-D E-M5 Mark II camera. What follows are my favourite photographs that I took during the on event.

We met up at the Silver Street Store of London Camera Exchange, there were 6 participants as well as Steve and Aiden; my friend Richard was among them. As planned, we left the store together and went to a local coffee shop to go through some introductions and talk about what we all hoped to achieve for the day. The coffee shop was “The Angel” which is just a few doors down from where I work and this was my first experience there. Olympus kindly footed the bill for the drinks we all had – I had to settle for a black coffee as they don’t serve skimmed milk :(.

As we were sitting down we were joined by another photographer to take the total up to 7. Both Richard and I were the only non-Olympus shooters in the group, some of the group use Olympus exclusively whilst others use Olympus in tandem with another DSLR.

Steve asked us one by one what we hoped to achieve during the course and my response was to take something beyond the mundane snapshot type of photograph that I always end up taking during urban type street photography. After a short slide show from Steve of some of his work and ideas behind the shots we all could choose Olympus gear to shoot with from Aiden bag of goodies. Most just wanted to try out difference lenses or different bodies wheres both Richard and I needed a body and lens. Richard wanted to try out the OM-D E-M10 whilst I wanted a go with the OM-D E-M5 Mark-II. I also went with the M.Zuiko 17mm f1.8 lens initially as this would give me the field of view of a 34mm lens (I have a 35mm f1.8 Nikkor lens on my wish list at the moment).

Here is Aiden with his bag of Olympus goodness allowing one of the participants to choose their gear for the day:

The plan was to walk to the top of Steep Hill and meet up in the grounds of the Cathedral and then walk around taking pictures. After talking to Steve (far right in picture below) I should look for “pictures” before I took the shot:

My Cathedral Pictures:
I was looking ahead, up and below an noticed these tire tracks, after a little contrast increase ion Lightroom I have picture I very much like:

There is a sculpture around one side of the cathedral and I got closer to get this shot which I call “3 fingers”:

The contrast between the shiny new brass knocker versus the rusty ironware on this door was very interesting:

Richard stands very straight and the parallel between him and the stone pillar was the point of this photo:

I was shooting the cathedral through a hole in a wooden and iron bench when this girl walked across the frame, a piece of serendipity. I had many photos of her as she walked across the frame and her juxtaposition at then far left to the aperture in the bench side works nicely:

Steve also suggested looking at reflections too, I noticed that the building to my right was clearley reflecting on the bonnet of this burgundy car. At first glance it looks like the white balance is off but you can see that this is not the case as the range at the top-right shows the colour of the brown road:

We were also asked to look at patterns like this metal warning plate:

Red and Blue doors:

On the way down Steep Hill:
For anyone who does not know Lincoln, the Cathedral and castle are located at the top of a hill. The main street down towards the town centre at the bottom of the hill is called Steep Hill- it as aptly named i.e. it is very steep – walking up the hill needs good legs and some stamina.

I personally wanted to show a lot of texture in my photos and this is a close up of some of the black woodwork on this Tudor style building:

These stairs could be located anywhere, where do they go and what’s behind the doors:

I was intersted in the various different patterns in relatively small piece of road:

Opposite this piece of road was very badly corroded brickwork:

Towards the bottom of the hill was this piece of tarmac road with other stone pieces embedded, I love the contrast:

After another chat with Steve and Aiden they suggested that I go for a different lens and I was given the 60mm f2.8 Macro lens to try, this stayed on the camera for the rest of the day.

Brayford Wharf:
After walking through town and going down the Glory Hole (yes that’s a real location name in Lincoln) we arrived on the North part of Brayford Wharf, I haven’t been here for a while an it seems different now that I no longer work here.

On the side of the Royal William IV pub was this face in the stone. I was initially interested in the texture of the stone work but after taking a few picture I saw this face:

I noticed this solitary buoy on the water of the Brayford Pool and like the composition:

My last two shots are of the fencing around the exposed part of the jetty mid-way down on the Brayford Pool. Firstly one of the fence posts:

And one of my favourite shots, a close up of the metal wire part:

After taking the last shots we had a Q and A session with Steven and then ventured back to the LCE shop where we gave Aiden back his Olympus gear.

Thought on the Driven to Abstraction Olympus event:
I had a great day even though I was on feet for almost the whole day, I’m pretty sure Richard had a great time too. Steve has taught me to open my eyes a lot more particularly in a place where I have lived for over 16 years now. I have to say that I came away with a few shots that I am really proud of, I did try a lot more and although I do have some mundane snapshots I also tried lots of different things; some worked as evidence by these photos and some that did not. Steve also suggested that some photos on their own may have lesser impact tan if there were part of a set of photos printed on the same page in a 4, 6 or 8 set grid for example. I really think I learned something during the day so it was well worth it. I certainly would like to go on another course with Steve as he is really great teacher and all round nice guy – thanks Steve!

I would also like to thank Aiden from Olympus, I have met Aiden a number of times now and he always remembers me – he’s another nice guy and I hope to see him again. The Olympus OM-D E-M5II operated in a very similarr manner to the OMM-D E-M1 that I used to own, but the real icing on the cake was the fully vari-angle LCD screen on the rear of the camera and I hope that the markII of the E-M1 has this too.

I enjoyed using the Olympus OM-D for the day, it felt like an old friend (maybe one I should not have left behind so soon). However, I don’t miss the terrible battery life which is the Achilles heals of all Mirrorless cameras (not just Olympus); one thing I noticed is that we all had to change batteries during the day. My Nikon batteries last a lot longer – many shoots per charge.

LCE Lincoln Photo Week

Starting on Monday 8th June both of the Lincoln London Camera Exchanges will be hosting their annual Photo Week. Each store is hosting different events on each day from Monday to Saturday. Unlike last year most companies will only present their company’s products at a single Store.

Details for the LCE website are as below:

Silver Street Store:
Welcome to the 2nd annual Lincoln Photo Week, where we bring you special offers and expert advice direct from the manufacturer across both our Lincoln stores. Here at Silver St we will be focusing on Canon, Olympus and Lowepro with teams from all three brands instore during the week offering hands on demos, expert advice and the chance to try out the latest kit such as the EOS 5Ds and OMD EM5 MKII. We will have special offers running on all the brands throughout the week and great part exchange deals too…..why not bring your old kit to upgrade! Along with our special Photo Week offers there will also be a range of cashback, finance and bundle offers from Canon and Olympus to take advantage of making Lincoln Photo Week the perfect time to buy your next piece of kit. Keep up to date with the latest Photo Week news on our facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/LCELincolnPro you can also find us on Twitter and Instagram too.

High Street Store:
Here at the London Camera Exchange High Street branch we’re dedicating an ENTIRE WEEK to all things photographic. From Monday to Saturday we will be having EXCLUSIVE on the day deals with some of the leading manufacturers in the Photographic & Optics fields.

Vortex – One of the leading brands in Optics. Will be showcasing the latest ranges of binoculars, field scopes and accessories.
Newpro – Quality optics and photographic accessories. Straps, scope adapters and much more.

Fujifilm – Multi-award winning compact system and pro compact cameras. A chance to see the X-T1, X-E2 & X-PRO1 Series along with the range of lenses. Also a chance to see the X30 & X100T Compacts.
Intro2020 – Tamron lenses, Cokin & Hoya filters, Kenko adapters, Velbon tripods camera straps and cleaning kits.

Intro are back! But they’ll be focusing on their NEW LYTRO ILLUM. A camera that allows you to change the image AFTER you’ve taken the shot! Come along for a demonstration and a chat.

** ALL WEEK WE’RE RUNNING A HAWKE PROMOTION – Come in store to demo anything from the Hawke range and be entered in to a prize draw for a FREE PAIR OF BINOCULARS **

Sony – One of the photographic industries largest companies. A chance to demo the exciting A7 Full Frame compacts, as well as a range on A, E & FE mount lenses. There will also be a chance to try their multi-award winning compact range including the RX100 series, RX10 & HX compact range.
Manfrotto & Lastolite – Manfrotto will be bringing their excellent range of tripods, bags & accessories as well as a range of the Lastolite items like studio kit, lights and backgrounds.

Panasonic – With fantastic class-leading cameras such as the GH4, LX100 & the FXZ1000, Panasonic are one of the most exciting brands out there. Offering fantastic performance, cutting edge technologies AND 4K video today is a day you should really come down with an open mind and try something different!

Nikon – “Saving the best ‘til last! a lot of you might say. Nikon are without a doubt one of the big guns of the photography world. And it’s a chance to come see the pro range of the D810, D750 & D610 as well as the BRAND NEW D7200 and don’t forget the brilliant D5500 and D3300. Also a great range or lenses and accessories are available for you to try.

We will also be running DAILY DRAWS to win GOODIES BAGS.

I have to say that I’m interested in trying out some Tamron lenses on my Nikon D810 on Tuesday and again on Saturday when Nikon themselves turn up.

It’s worth visiting one or both of the stores this week as you can bag yourself a bargain – just make sure you get the right store on the right day!

Today is OM-D-Day

It’s finally the day of the LCE Photo and Optics show and in less than 4 hours the show will start (it was 4 when when I created and posted this). I have already written quite a few posts about this over the last couple of weeks so please go and read a few of my more recent blog posts.

For those that don’t know I am calling this OM-D-Day as this is the day that I pickup my Olympus OM-D E-M1 camera and 12-40mm f2.8 lens kit. I am not sure exactly what the “show offer” will be but I am led to believe that it will be less than the £1699 that the E-M1 kit costs today. I will also get a free grip, a £150 cash-back and LCE now have an exclusive additional 3 year warranty on their OM-D cameras and kits which gives you a total of 5½ years.

The other Olympus part of the show for me is that I will finally get to play with the new 40-150mm f2.8 PRO lens and 1.4x tele-converter as well as some of more “exotic” M.Zuiko glass such as the excellent 75mm f1.8 and the 12mm f1.8. I also can’t wait to see Damian McGillicuddy in action as he is doing 2 portrait shoots during the show; I have only seen him in YouTube videos.

Whatever you are looking forward to see at the show, more details can be found at the LCE website here.

Lincoln Photo and Optics Show 2014


The date for the “Lincoln Photo and Optics Show 2014” is getting nearer, in fact it’s 3 weeks away from today (on 5th November). As per the last few years the show is being held at the “Drill Hall” here in Lincoln only a short distance form the host’s (LCE) Silver Street store.

Apparently this is the 11th year that there has been a show, almost as long as I have lived in Lincoln. The first shows were held at “The Lawn” not far from the Lincoln Castle. Fortunately the last few years shows have been held at the Drill Hall and this is a far better and easier to get to location.

The show starts at 1PM and continues until 7PM and there is no entry fee; arrive early (after 1PM of course) if you want to grab yourself a bargain as there will be some exclusive show offers from LCE as well as some of the exhibitors who will be at the show, so far the list includes:

  • Canon – first public appearances for the 7D MKII
  • Olympus – Damian McGillicuddy will be there as will the new 40-150 f/2.8 PRO lens
  • Sony
  • Nikon
  • Panasonic – the new LX100 will be there as well as the GH4
  • Fuji – we might get to see some of the just announced lenses as well as the silver X-T1
  • Sigma – try the new 150-600mm lens
  • Manfrotto/Lastolite
  • Lowepro
  • Intro2020 (Tamron lenses, Metz lighting and flash, Tamrac photo bags and rucksacks, Hoya filters, OpTech straps, Lytro cameras and the 360 Fly
  • Hama (Sandisk memory cards, Celestron astro and field scopes and binoculars)
  • Hahnel
  • Swarovski
  • Vortex

This year there is a new “Live Arena” which will host a rolling series of product showcases, portrait shoots and seminars from industry experts and top pro photographers, the live arena schedule is as follows:

1.20PM – 1.50PM – Canon EOS 7D MKII showcase with writer and pro photographer Dave Newton.
2.00PM – 2.40PM – Portrait photography with Damian McGillicuddy and Olympus.
2.50PM – 3.10PM – Manfrotto tripods, heads and camera bags – product presentation.
3.20PM – 3.40PM – Animal photography with Wild Arena and Canon.
3.50PM – 4.20PM – Canon EOS 7D MKII showcase with writer and pro photographer Dave Newton.
4.30PM – 4.50PM – Michael Wayne-Plant – a talk on street photography and an exhibition of his work, in association with Sony.
5.00PM – 5.40PM – Portrait photography with Damian McGillicuddy and Olympus.
5.50PM – 6.20PM – Canon (details TBC)
6.30PM – 6.50PM – Lastolite studio kit – product demonstration.

Please note that the above times are subject to change; it is best to check the LCE events web site (here) nearer the time to make sure you don’t miss an event that you would like to see.

More information can be found on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/LCELincolnPro

Or you can follow Twitter for more updates at http://www.twitter.com/LCELincolnPro

I hope to see you there.

Revisiting the Olympus MFT System – Part 4


The other parts of the “Revisiting the Olympus MFT System” series can be found below:

Controlled testing of the OM-D E-M1?
Continuing on from my previous post I had to go back to the LCE store to re-test the camera. It took a few days (as they had sold their only E-M1) but fortunately for me when I went back to the LCE Silver Street store on Friday they had had another OM-D E-M1 delivered and it was ready for me to do some test shots. Lee got the camera out of the case, handed it to me and I inserted my test card.

This time I set the white balance to Auto set the lowest ISO which is 200 on this camera – I could have sworn it was 100 but this appears to be an extended setting as opposed to the base ISO – never mind. So I started to shoot test shots from 200 upwards and unusually for me I could do this without taking my eye of the viewfinder, this bodes well as this is not something I normally do. At first I could not get the camera to autofocus so the first two shots were out of focus, eventually I remembered the manual focus clutch mechanism at the front of the lens; once this was moved back to the “auto” position we had a working autofocus system again. So there I was taking pictures at each setting when I remembered when I got to ISO 3200 about setting the camera to RAW. Arrgghh!


So after a quick jump to the menus and turning on the RAW + JPEG setting I counted my test shots this time starting at high ISO (3200) and went downwards until I go to ISO 200 again. I had to do this quickly as the low battery setting was blinking red.

Just a side not here; when selecting a JPG quality in the menus (with or without RAW) it isn’t obvious which of them gives you the highest quality and at first I wasn’t sure that I had picked the correct one. I’m not sure who in Olympus designed the menu system, it is horrendous and could put potential users off with its overly complex structure. Frequently used settings are buried, most of the labelling is cryptic at best and some of the options are not in the menus you expect. There seems to be a difference of opinion on where some of these settings should go, all of the other camera manufacturers put them in one place but Olympus puts them somewhere else – go and see the Potato episode of Blackadder II. With all that said it appears that I did pick the correct option.

Edmund Blackadder: Look, there’s no need to panic. Someone in the crew will know how to steer this thing.
Captain Rum: The crew, milord?
Edmund Blackadder: Yes, the crew.
Captain Rum: What crew?
Edmund Blackadder: I was under the impression that it was common maritime practice for a ship to have a crew.
Captain Rum: Opinion is divided on the subject.
Edmund Blackadder: Oh, really? [starting to get the picture]
Captain Rum: Yahs. All the other captains say it is; I say it isn’t.
Edmund Blackadder: Oh, God; Mad as a brush.

I had a quick look at the JPGs on my work computer and I had to say they were very nice and the built-in noise reduction in the JPG files was very nice. Needless to say I decided that the ISO performance was acceptable and very good from inside a dingy Photographic retail shop (it wasn’t much nicer outside either). In fact I went to the shop after work and put down a deposit on the 40-150 f2.8 PRO Zukio lens that won’t be available until late November – I think that I am the second person to put down a deposit on this lens.

That night I had a look at the RAW files in Lightroom and this confirmed my earlier opinions, although I will need to apply some noise reduction on the higher ISO pictures. In fact, if you are a low light shooter you might be better off with a camera that has a larger sensor (i.e. Nikon D750 or Sony A7). I’m not normally at such high ISO settings so this shouldn’t be a problem for me. I also had a look at shots from other photographers on the web at various ISO settings and they all looked very good so I think that for me this is a non issue. This coupled with the very good Olympus glass (PRO lens line up and the fast primes) means for me that this is a good system to invest in.

Now you might ask why I didn’t get the OM-D E-M1 at this point – there are three reasons:

  1. Even though there is a free grip offer on at the moment as well as some cash-back (see reason 2), the Lincoln Photo and Optics show is only a few weeks away and I might get an even better show deal on the day. Last year’s offers on the OM-D E-M1 were very good; I might get a free battery or lens cloth or something else.
  2. If you purchase the camera and then a lens within 30 days after the purchase, you get £150 cash-back. I would like to use the cash-back on the 40-150mm f2.8 lens if possible. The lens isn’t out until late November, I therefore need to purchase the camera no more than 30 days before this, preferably in November, the show is on the 5th so is the most obvious time to purchase it.
  3. Funds – Although I now have the proceeds from the sale of the Panasonic gear (that I didn’t want), I am still waiting for the refund from Panasonic which should be in my account next week sometime.

So there you have it – decision made. I just need to wait 😦