Monday, October 10, 2016

MUCH OF THE WORK OF GOOD PHOTOGRAPHY IS ON THE KEYBOARD

For photographers who learned their trade (or hobby) in the pre-digital age, the camera and its film were everything. While you could get very clever professional film that added colour pop to your images, high contrast or low light, you had also a degree of control when the film was being developed.

For example, it was better to slightly overexpose your photograph when shooting on film. Due to the high density of layers of photo sensitive chemical in film, that recorded extra detail.

Nowadays with digital, the opposite is true. If you 'blow out' your image by letting too much light past the sensor in a digital camera, the detail is gone - forever.

However, what you do have today is the availability a lot of 'post production' computer software that allows you to do everything and much more than film processing could do. There is even software available for handheld devices, including smartphones.

We have photography in RAW format today. (See my earlier article on this). Effectively, what RAW does is allow you to re create the whole image you took from a light perspective. It is not a format you can take to the printer. It needs to be developed.

But for this post production work a great deal of computer software is available at your fingertips. While users of the highly expensive Adobe Photoshop CS suite are dedicated and hard core, the great technology available in Photoshop is also distilled down in a number of much cheaper packages that are uber user-friendly as well. Probably the best of these is Adobe Photoshop Elements, which contains multiple technical 'hand me downs' from Photoshop CS - at a fraction of the price.

The post production phase of photography is split into two components:
  • Image workflow and archiving software - for example Photoshop Lightroom, an expensive system, and the Organiser software found in Elements. Most of this software allows the user to make various light and colour related adjustments but does not allow the user to apply filters or to alter the photograph beyond that.
  • The second stage is the full edit. That is where Photoshop CS, and the host of other image editing software I mentioned, comes in. This stage allows the user to add or remove people, change the landscape, correct distortion, etc. The classic meaning of a 'Photoshopped' image.
Of course, the final stage is the presentation or publishing of the image - be it on Facebook, as a print, or in a printed book.

I'm a competent user of Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Elements. Together, they meet all my needs as a professional photographer - including weddings or architecture.

Give me a shout if you need some lessons or coaching with these systems. You can improve your photographic results by 100% Up to now, my clients have been very satisfied.






Wednesday, November 25, 2015

FAMILY BEACH SHOOTS AND OUTDOOR WEDDINGS THIS SEASON

The summer has arrived in the Cape - big time. Perfect weather for time at the beach with loved ones and friends. 

Surprise your visitors from the North or from overseas with a professional beach or family shoot - at leisure.

Your holiday season is my quiet season away from the architecture, advertising and commercial shoots that I normally do. So you can have my attention on the beach or at a venue of your choosing for an hour or two. Contact me to discuss your needs and get a tailor made quotation to your needs. Prices start from R 1 990 for an entry level shoot. You'll love it!

Getting married? No problem. I love to do those, too.

Got a new camera and need some lessons? Give me a shout, too. I know my way around technology.

See:  More information on social shoots.

Email me now.


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

PLANNING A WEDDING

Are you in the middle of organising a wedding and are looking for a great photographer? I'm an experienced photographer who has invested the right amount of time in developing my skills and I have made right investment in good equipment. As a busy commercial photographer, I undertake a few weddings each year. The brides, grooms and families are never disappointed. 



A word of advice. Book me early, since my calendar is filling up. Shoots are custom made to your wedding programme and your budget. No standard and boring service offering when you hire Gareth Griffiths Imaging and Photography! I would love to help you.

Want more advice: Click here and check out wedding photography advice.


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

OFFERING: FIRST LEVEL COURSE OR COACHING IN PHOTOGRAPHY

The First Level Course in Photography

By: Gareth Griffiths, BSc (Phys) Full accredited member, Southern African Freelancers’ Association - www.safrea.co.za







Aimed at: Small Group (3 maximum) or individual coaching

Cost: R 1200 payable: R 800 upfront before first lesson and R 400 at the final lesson. Cash or EFT. Non refundable booking fee upon confirmation: R 350.00 (private coaching) and R 200.00 (group sessions).
Outcomes: Attendees should learn how to work their own camera as efficiently as possible. A basic understanding of the concepts of working with light, with people, with objects and with scenery will be covered. Finally, an understanding of the electronic end of photography; how to best store images, how to prepare for the best prints, how to email your work or how to prepare for upload to the internet. How to store your images.

First Session (60 – 90 minutes): Sit down over coffee and work though the basics and the controls of your camera. Take a few preliminary pics.
Homework: You go off and take a few photographs and email them to me.

Second session (90 minutes) : We crit your pics, in a short session and then we do some field work e.g Noorhoek Common, or the beach. We focus on technique and how to make your pics interesting.

Third session (60 minutes): We study the electronic end of things. How to use the computer to work with pics; free software available; good quality software that can be bought. Preparing for printing, emailing of storage.
Where can I store my images online – for free?

Contact Gareth: 072 905 0252 / 021 680 5245 (leave a message)


Thursday, March 5, 2015

FIRE TODAY - LIFE RETURNS TO NORMAL - OR DOES IT?

It's obviously tough for the people of the Noordhoek Valley to resume normal life after a traumatic week, but thankfully our valley seems to be safe now. Admittedly, there is not much more to burn, but there remain a few existing hot spots that continue to smolder and emit white smoke. This is not helped by the strong "fresh" South Easterly wind which supplies the embers with copious amounts of oxygen. Gladly, the same wind has assisted in clearing the local air of smoke and ash so our normal clean atmosphere has returned. If only it was not for the grey landscape .....

Mountainside above San Michele / Silvermine - after Monday's fire - at sunset




We are so fortunate that the fire did not spread to our neighbours in Masimpumele and Sun Valley; and also that all of our local farms and businesses survived, thus ensuring continued employment for the people who need it the most.

Today's only negative is that there is a fire approaching from the South. The blaze that started in Cape Point reserve is making its way North, placing Scarborough and surrounding areas at risk. Amazingly, brave volunteers from the Noordhoek crisis centre have volunteered their services to fight the approach of this fire. Here they are, receiving their briefing at the Noordhoek centre from the professional team leaders before setting off South to this new D-Zone late this afternoon.


(Picture by cellphone)

Here's the plume created by this fire, blown out to sea by the SE wind



So, not too much celebration as yet until we can be sure that all People of the South, their animals at home and in the wild are safe.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

VIEW OVER NOORDHOEK 'AMPHITHEATRE' EXACTLY ONE WEEK PRIOR TO THE FIRE

I was 'up there' with Civair doing some work for a client and snapped this peaceful panorama. Thought you might want to see it.



Chilling to think how much of the green stuff is gone. Thankfully the vineyard survived.

Media: Pics available of Constantia and Tokai bowl - exactly same time. Shout if interested.

FIRE IN NOORDHOEK - REPORT 4 MARCH - ONE PROPERTY DESTROYED

Have been out on site since early this morning and here is a photo-story of the situation above Noordhoek Beach area. I have deliberately excluded pics of burned properties because as an ethical journalist I believe that is a time and place for them, but not today.

If you want to report damage to you property for my background information and so I can correct certain highly irregular reporting on the part of some of Cape Town's media, please email me on garethgriffiths.imaging"@"gmail.com   (note I have inserted quotes to the @ to prevent spammers from finding me!)

Are you in the media? I am too. Please contact me if you want to use photos or information. I offer them freely subject to a licence.

So this is the picture as of this morning:


Miracle - the Shark Spotters hut survived - how, I don't know!

 Before sunrise from the Beach. D-Zone area clearly viewable to the right.
Monkey Valley Lodge Okay - despite reports on News24 and others


Monkey Valley from Chappies - Wednesday morning. Glorious Milkwoods (and huts) OKAY



 Athos, coordinator of the crisis control centre for Noordhoek
Athos describes to me taking some time out for supper at the Toad last night, but then realising that - maybe- the Fat Lady had not yet sung - speaking of the fire. How right he was.


A flareup off Chapman's Peak Drive this morning.  Typical of the type of scrub the fire was "working" yesterday.




Also off Chapman's Peak drive around 07h00. A very lucky escape - thanks to all helpers, I would think.



Here's the sun as last, peeping it's bloody eye through the Stone Pines, which are now 2 x survivors - from 2000 and now 2015.

D-Zone

Will give wine tasting a miss for a few hours.

Stone Lions at CPV have seen many a drama along these roads!


This is the kind of smoldering that readily turns to full on fire when the wind rises.


Workers from Cape Point Vineyards assist with water tank and tractor this morning.
Thanks Sybrand vd Spuy.


 This is the area that got the worst of the ash outfall last night. Misleadingly peaceful now.


Incredible job by volunteers who continue to arrive at the Crisis Coordination Ops Room in Village Lane. Pete de Bruin, Franck Dangereaux and Guy of the Foodbarn kindly providing real coffee from a kiosk outside the Farm Village - free as a thank you to the workers.


According to Athos and colleagues at the Crisis Centre, it may not yet be over, but above all panic should be avoided. Keep the Crisis Centre informed. Be sure to put your friends and social media "friends" straight when giving information and encourage people to stay away from the "D-Zone" except when to volunteer. A list of donated items for the centre is still available. Athos can be contacted on 082-606-3726

Athos also confirms that all properties on the De Goede Hoop development survived the fire, which was very bad at the perimeter - as in you could lose sight of your volunteers - barring damage to outhouses and perimeters. I reckon a big vote of thanks owed to those professional fire fighters and volunteers.

The most reliable report we have is that ONE property in the Noordhoek Valley was completely destroyed by the fire, and this due to the hot ash fallout at around midnight last night. Several others suffered limited damage. I will substantiate as soon as possible.

Do you have a story of the fire? You can send it to me at the email address above. It will be handled confidentially.