Stephen Studd Photography

Travel Gardens Plants


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IGPOTY awards 2014 “behind the photos”

The International Garden Photographer of the Year awards have just been announced.

‘Sarracenia Flava’: Finalist, Macro Art

Sarracenia Flava all green form pitcher plant IGPOTY monochrome photography by Stephen Studd

For the shot I wanted to give the plant an air of mystery and a fine art feel. I decided to minimise the depth of field and only focus on the nearest part of the plant to the lens. By doing this it would knock all the rest of the plant out of focus. The lighting was chosen to only have the highlight at the nearest point to the lens leaving the rest of the photo to fade into shadow, which gives the air of mystery.

Finally I converted the image to black and white and then split toned the colour in Lightroom.

The photograph was shot with a 180mm Canon macro lens, at f8 with 0.5sec shutter speed at 100 ISO.

‘Watering my allotment’: Commended, Plants & Water, photographed on my allotment Old Bisley Road, Stroud.

“Watering My Allotment” commended in the International Garden Photographer of the Year competition photograph by Stephen Studd IGPOTY

The photograph  was first taken to illustrate a review I did for the Manfrotto Pixi tripod

I had pre-visualised the shot using the mini tripod as I thought it would be able to get to places I couldn`t, in amongst my bean, pumpkin and sweetcorn bed on the allotment. The summer of 2013 in the UK had been a particularly long and dry one and watering became a routine part of visits to the allotment in order to keep my plants alive.

I was after a shot that would convey the feeling of warmth, heat and watering. I chose an evening when the sun was low in the sky, placed the tripod amongst the veg and shot the photo into the sun for a more contemporary feel to the image.

With a cable release I tried a couple of test shots to get the exposure spot on (this can be tricky when shooting straight into the sun.) Then I watered the veg with my watering can, the result I was really pleased with, not only had the Pixi tripod held my very weighty Canon 1Ds Mark II but the streaks of bright backlit water added a beautiful pattern to the resulting image. The only problem I encountered was keeping the water off the camera, which was ironic after such a long hot dry summer.

Woman at the Market, Mandalay, Myanmar (Burma): Highly Commended, Bountiful Earth

Digital photography holidays holiday vacations tour tours workshop workshops to Myanmar Burma Cambodia Angkor Wat Venice marrakech Paris Morocco Prague hosted by Stephen Studd 2014

This image is one of my crossover images, in that I am a travel & garden photographer. I was away on a travel shoot in Burma, whilst also looking for great locations for the photography holidays I run there. Markets are always a great place to visit in any country, especially for travel photography. I had in my mind some of the different categories for IGPOTY and Bountiful Earth was an obvious one at this market in Mandalay. The woman with the bamboo hat, the colours of the scene and the big bags of shallots drew my attention. The market in Mandalay was full of fresh produce and a photographers dream, a place I visited over several days.

Canon EOS 1DS Mark II 70mm f6.3 1/160th sec, 100 ISO

I am a professional garden & travel photographer, my website is www.stephenstuddphotography.com

I also run photography holidays & workshops www.digitalphotographyholidays.com

Twitter; https://twitter.com/StephensPhotos

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/DigitalPhotographyHolidays

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IGPOTY Behind the photo “Watering My Allotment”

Manfrotto Pixi Tripod review stephen studd photography photographer

Watering my Allotment

“Watering My Allotment” was commended in the International Garden Photographer of the Year competition, Plants & Water category. The photograph  was first taken to illustrate a review I did for the Manfrotto Pixi tripod

I had pre-visualised the shot using the mini tripod as I thought it would be able to get to places I couldn`t, in amongst my bean, pumpkin and sweetcorn bed on the allotment. This summer in the UK had been a particularly long and dry one and watering became a routine part of visits to the allotment in order to keep my plants alive.

I was after a shot that would convey the feeling of warmth, heat and watering. I chose an evening when the sun was low in the sky, placed the tripod amongst the veg and shot the photo into the sun for a more contemporary feel to the image.

With a cable release I tried a couple of test shots to get the exposure spot on (this can be tricky when shooting straight into the sun.) Then I watered the veg with my watering can, the result I was really pleased with, not only had the Pixi tripod held my very weighty Canon 1Ds Mark II but the streaks of bright backlit water added a beautiful pattern to the resulting image. The only problem I encountered was keeping the water off the camera, which was ironic after such a long hot dry summer.

My website is www.stephenstuddphotography.com

I also run photography holidays & workshops: www.digitalphotographyholidays.com


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Manfrotto Pixi Tripod Review

Having only used Manfrotto tripods throughout my 25 year professional photography career, I was pleased when I was asked to review their latest tripod the Pixi.

Manfrotto Pixi tripod review Stephen Studd

It has certainly been named correctly, the Pixi weighs in at just 1.4lbs (650g) and has a height of 7 inches (18cm) when closed making it very portable.

As a professional photographer who uses high end Canon DSLR cameras, I wondered how it could be of use to me. It has been designed for holding compact system cameras (CSC`s), the iPhone® (with KLYP), compact cameras and even entry level DSLR’s using a universal ¼” screw thread. Many times on my travels and my recent photo shoot to Burma I saw people balancing their cameras on walls, bags, hats and countless other rests to get their shot; the Pixi would be perfect for those situations as it is extremely portable.

On a recent round the world travel there were countless times when I could have used the Pixi tripod with my compact camera.

Manfrotto Pixi review Stephen Studd

The tripod is very user friendly. A simple red push button (with the Manfrotto logo)releases the ball joint head to move the camera into position for your shot. When the tripod is closed it can be used as a camera grip for keeping the camera steady for making videos, though I have not tested this, I`ll leave that for the videographers.Manfrotto Pixi review Stephen Studd

Once I had played around with the tripod for a while with my compact camera and seen that it would be a very useful lightweight portable piece of equipment,

Manfrotto Pixi Tripod review stephen studd photography photographer

I was keen to really test it out with my Canon 1Ds Mark II as I started to think of photo opportunities for its use.

As well as being a travel photographer I am also a garden photographer and like to be back in the UK for summer as I have an allotment and enjoy growing my own organic fruit and vegetables. I wondered whether the tripod would hold my heavy camera?

I thought of a shot I would like to take, to try out the tripod, a very low angle view from the ground of my vegetable patch with sweetcorn and beans growing in blazing sunshine and the veg being watered, conveying that feeling of mid summer, warmth, freshness and growth.

Manfrotto Pixi Tripod review stephen studd photography photographer

My first shot using the Pixi tripod (above), with my Canon 1Ds Mark II camera with a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM lens, got to an area my Manfrotto 055 wouldn`t be able to and the resulting image was razor sharp.

Manfrotto Pixi Tripod review stephen studd photography photographer

My Canon mounted on the Pixi tripod in amongst the veg patch.

The question is, will it now be part of my kit bag?

My photography kit on a recent photoshoot in Burma (Myanmar)

My photography kit on a recent photoshoot in Burma (Myanmar)

As I can see the Pixi tripod being used in lots of different situations with my different cameras, is lightweight, small and very portable the answer is yes, I think I have found a new Pixi friend.

(Note from the manufacturer if using an entry level DSLR with the Pixi;

PIXI has been developed for entry level DSLRs fitting these basic requirements:
• Body: maximum weight of 650g/1.4lbs
• Focal length: maximum 85mm (standard non professional lens)
• Total equipment payload: maximum 1kg/2.2lbs
Please consider that any semi-professional and professional equipment exceeds these requirements.)

 


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My travel and garden photography website: www.stephenstuddphotography.com

My travel photography holidays & UK photography workshops website: www.digitalphotographyholidays.com


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