New camera test drive

Posted on 3rd September 2017 by Admin under General, Photography
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So I have been a Canon shooter for all of my digital life but this does not mean I am not open for change. The Canon system has served me well and there was never ever an option for me to move over to Nikon because the two brands are competing against each other and both are moving in the same direction so there really is no point. But for me looking into the future there is a third player muscling into the mix and that is Sony but what Sony is doing differently is they are developing the mirrorless system, if you are not sure what that means here is a brief description

Mirrorless vs DSLR: introduction. … Like DSLRs, mirrorless cameras (also known as CSCs or compact system cameras) allow you to change lenses, but as the name might suggest, they don’t feature a complex mirror system like DSLRs do. This means that they can in principle be smaller, lighter and mechanically simpler.

The idea of having a system that is half the weight would be a real bonus but that’s not the reason I have invested in this new addition. Plain & simple it was the focusing ability of this small camera practically its ability to track focus by locking on to a subject was the deciding factor and if it works like they claim it will this could be a deal breaker.

So I have had this new camera a week, firstly let me say the operating menus is completely different to anything I have ever experienced to be honest its bloody confusing and somewhat frustrating. I have spent three solid day learning how to set it up properly if you are not willing to spend time reading the manual this will not be the camera for you.

Ok back to the camera – after spending what seemed like an eternity learning how it works it was time to take it for a test drive and what better way to test out the auto focusing at a high tempo karate session so off I went armed with just the camera and lens…

…After shooting a 2hr karate session and shooting like a madman lol I tested out the AF system and my first impressions was very impressed the focus tracking rarely missed a beat and I know 100% that when using my Canon it would at some point fail when someone crosses the path of my subject but the Sony it continued focusing on the person I was tracking

This is an example of how the camera kept its focusing even when someone passed the path of the subject the same sequence with my canon would have lost focus by the 4th shot.

Its early days but very pleased with the results

The session started at 7pm in one of the studios in Total fitness so the lighting was not the best no flash because I was testing the focus tracking in continuous shooting mode at 11fps (yes its that quick)

Camera settings for the test: shutter priorty – 200th shutter 5.6f @ 3200 iso with exposure comp set to +1 and continuous shooting 11fps

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Why the Selfie?

Posted on 15th August 2017 by Admin under General, Photography
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New softbox

Ok, so you may be wondering what’s with the selfies that I posted the other day…

Firstly I’m not a big lover of selfies particularly the mobile phone selfies and please don’t get me started with the filters you know the ones I mean…

This video sums it up for me lol

Well, to be honest, I really don’t appear too often in photos, If you asked me how many times have I had my photo taken my answer would be not many.

So going back to this post the reason is I was testing out a new softbox modifier. I really do need to start looking for someone who is willing to do some test shots in return for images. If anyone is interested message me with your details – you will be doing us all a favour that way you don’t have to see my ugly mug again lol.

The softbox in question is the Phot-R 60cm/24″ Studio Softbox Diffuser Photo Hotshoe Flash with Honeycomb Grid

It’s a nice compact softbox that folds into its own carry case for easy travel.

So my main aim was to test the softbox but I never just do one thing when testing I always like to push the boat out and experiment

My plan was as follows:

  • Shoot a self-portrait with just one light
  • Make the background go black (no need to set up a portable background)
  • Shoot teethed straight into Lightroom
  • Use live view setting on camera & test the focusing capabilities in this mode
  • Shoot with just 50mm 1.8 lens wide open

Setting up the softbox was a piece of cake, just remove from the case when you open it, it goes from around 7″ to 24″ just like the pop-up tents then add the inner & outer diffuser panel just pop it onto a light stand and you are good to go.

But wait there is an addition to this kit and that is the honeycomb grid and this is very important if you wish to control the light spread from the box and for me to control the light hitting the background remember I want the background to go black this is essential

all that was left for me to do was put the camera on a tripod attach my faithful flash triggers to flash & camera attach the cable to camera & laptop sync it to lightroom & I’m good to go.

A couple things to take into account when doing this type of shot is: firstly you must take into account the position of the light on this occasion I went camera left around 45 degrees.

Secondly use inverse square law and remember to get the light close as possible to the subject on this occasion I had the light about a foot away from me and the distance from me to the background was around 4 or 5 feet allowing the light to quickly drop off before hitting the background and to finish off I slightly feathered the light at an angle by having the light slightly ahead of me to get more of a wrap around light.

Then shoot away & remember to have fun. 🙂

Shot A was taken without the honeycomb grid if you look closely you can clearly see that the light has spilled onto the background.




Shot B I added the honeycomb grid and you can see there is no light spill on the background also the light drops off the top


Looking at the two images I personally prefer image B I like the shadows and how it made the background go black also in image A you can still see part of the softbox.

And to finish off here’s me having fun 🙂











Photo story

Posted on 13th August 2017 by Admin under General, Photography
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60’s Retro style shoot

Last Thursday I had the pleasure to shoot with Dani and I had planned to shoot in the studio but with the light nights and Dani rocking a 60’s style vibe we decided to spend an hour outside shooting with the available light. So off we went looking for the right spot we turned down one of the side streets and found a spot that could easily create that 60’s vibe.

So we have our spot now we need to develop our theme, so the story was young love waiting for her first love, will they turn up…


Special Offer

Posted on 25th July 2017 by Admin under General, Karate, Photography, Website HELP
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I have been monitoring the page visits and It’s time to do some archiving! Yes, it’s that time where I need to trim down the pages, sorry but it needs to be done. The thing is you may not be too fussed right now but when you want to look back in say five or even 10 years from now and little Jonny or little Alice is growing up and you did not keep a record will you regret it? only you can answer that…

so once they are gone they are gone adiós, arrivederci, Auf Wiedersehen, sayonara.

But all is not lost

So here’s the deal I have set up the option to buy an individual download at the discount price which you usually get when you buy multiple numbers of the same size download.

this is a time sensitive offer So don’t delay

MY tip would be if you want the option to get yourself a small print along with sharing on your social network sites I would suggest you choose Digital Download Image (downsized to 1200px)
Download at 1200px, suitable for 240dpi prints up to 5 inches, for large images on the web, for AV presentations for just a £1 for each digital image download.





If you are having problems viewing videos on your mobile phone

Posted on 6th July 2017 by Admin under Website HELP
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Ok I’m going to be brutally honest here. Viewing a photography website in mobile mode is not what a photographer wants to hear but in reality, most people use a mobile for convenience but here lies the problem! The default setting on a mobile phone is the striped down version of a website so it will load quickly it’s not the fully functioning all sing dance website that the desktop version is. If you have a puncture and put space saving wheel on your car my guess is you are going to sort that puncture out ASAP why? Because it a substandard product and only meant for temporary measure. So for all the hard work the developers put into improving the mobile version of the site it will never match the full version and in all honesty there is no need to view in mobile because the desktop versions adjusts automatically to any size screen.

So you may be happy browsing in mobile vision and on most occasions you have no problems then that fine happy days 🙂 but on the odd occasion you have problems viewing things i.e., it won’t play a video

it just shows the first frame like image below

But when you switch to the desktop version it will look like the image below and it will play :).

What shock horror I have to do something are you serious? sadly yes but its not difficult in fact its just 2 clicks

Here’s how to do it on my site

below are the steps to change it.

1st click on the 3dash icon then scroll down to bottom of page click on view desktop website finally you are in the desktop version use the menu to find the video you want to view

So please share this to anyone that you think it may benefit by clicking on the orange share button at the bottom of the page it looks like this

so share share share share and share again








How to share from my website

Posted on 3rd April 2017 by Admin under General, Karate, Photography, Website HELP
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just a quick update my new site is so easy to share there is an orange share button at the bottom of virtually every page and when you click it, you can share to a variety of social media platforms 

there is also a show someone button that lets you email to friends & family



HKGB – Bolton Course with Sensei Antony Pendlebury

Posted on 1st April 2017 by Admin under Karate
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Last night Sensei Antony Pendlebury delivered an excellent course at Bolton TF.

I have to say when it comes to taking photos this course didn’t disappoint. I always look for three things when I’m shooting karate – emotion, technique & commitment if I can capture any of those elements then I’m very happy.

The thing I love about courses is I have a free reign what I mean by this is I put no pressure on myself compared to gradings where I expect myself to get certain shots regardless of how people perform. When I’m doing a course I can do my own thing and in some ways, it’s up to the students to perform to get my attention

Just one final word, I am always looking for an image to present itself. Last night I believe I have at least one but actually I think maybe four or five, when edited the way I want will be a part of my new martial arts wall art collection.

Happy days


Hasha Karate GB B&B grading

Posted on 27th March 2017 by Admin under Karate
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Firstly let me congratulate everyone who took part in this the first B&B grading under the new banner HKGB and let me tell you it was a cracker some really high standards well done to all involved.

The grading had everything I could have wished for –  great kata’s the kumite was on fire and something that I always try to capture in every grading, emotion and this grading had fighting spirit in every element so much so that I used my 70-200 zoom a lot more than I usually do.  Don’t take my word for it judge for yourself just checkout the images.

Site update

Posted on 23rd March 2017 by Admin under General, Karate
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I have been working on the Hasha Karate GB page so now everything is in one place and you will see the page is now in the main menu bar for easy access.

Some new features to the site:

The packages feature means that I can now add multiple products into a package which is then offered to buyers at a reduced rate or as a special offer.

Print finish & price structure

Professional Photo Glossy print on Fuji paper. Ideal for images that require an extra punch, especially when used in exhibition work or for presentation. All Glossy prints are printed on Fuji Crystal Archive Paper.

Professional Photo Lustre print on Fuji paper.

There is a new tiered price structure which gives you discounted price when you purchase multiple images of the same size for example if you purchase 6×4 prints – Unit price 3.50; drops to 3.00 for orders of 3 or more; drops to 2.50 for orders of 5 or more. Volume pricing will be shown during checkout.

Another new feature is the option to purchase an image in black and white to do this when you add an image to the shopping cart it will look like this

just click on the text that says click to crop or convert image

I am also offering a free social media download of any image you purchase which you will receive the link to download it in your confirmation email.

For a limited period If you only want images for your social media pages then I am now offering social media digital download for just 0.99p per image





Hasha Karate GB – Altrincham course 10/3/17

Posted on 14th March 2017 by Admin under Karate

An excellent course If you did not attend this is what you missed.

Quoting Sensei Best  “The main point of a seminar is to disseminate knowledge in order for students to better understand the application of techniques, the thought process, the fluidity of movement, where to generate power and how. Most importantly how it works (application).
I think that was achieved in today’s seminar with a thorough breakdown of kata’s Chinte and Wankan”.

Ok, it’s no secret when it comes to taking pictures that I love kumite but when kata is taught the way Sensei Best teaches it and the students put 100% effort in each move, you have my attention! Tonight was a pleasure to photograph and I will let you into a little secret if I take lots of photos I’m enjoying it so it’s a win-win.

View all the images

Hasha course – Altrincham 10/3/17


All images © Copyright protected Steve Hogan Photography

Professional Photographer Greater Manchester, GB