One Year and Passport Pictures

Today is a very special day for this blog and for me! Today its one year old :D

I can remember discussing at home with one of my best mates Thom about doing a blog before leaving for the ships and it took a while for it to come in to about. I have been looking back this morning over all the things I have done, the places I have been and how much has changed and its all there. It makes me very proud and the fact that you lovely people want to read about what I get up to is even more touching. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has ever just looked at one of my posts and hope you keep it up.

Anyway… (wipes a tear from his eye… haha) on with the blog :)

The other day Michelle and I were chilling out in my room and she was being very nice to me! Shortly followed, in a very sweet voice;

“can we take some photos with your new camera?”

Jump out of my seat, Eyes light up with excitement and I run to my car all the way in the staff car park to get my light stand.

I moved the TV cabinet across so we had some white wall in my room to play with, set up my camera and light and I am waiting for Michelle to put the final touches to her make up. When she is ready she stands in front of me and say;

“right, I need some passport pictures…”

Silence… haha

Of course we did the passport pictures but then we had some fun :) As we hand taken some shots in this very hotel room before I always like the challenge of making a space look different each time. I set up a flash on the floor behind the stool that Michelle was sitting on with about 4 full blue CTB gels on it and then the main light with an umbrella and a sun 1/2 CTO gel which meant I can drop my white balance down an get deeper colors in the background. Then add a Michelle playing around and we have some camera magic :)

If you like what you see don’t forget about that follow button and here is to another year!

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Trip to Barbados

I am a little behind on my blogs at the moment and I am being told off left right and center as I have been sat on these photos for quite some time… sorry haha

Back in August… (cough) we had a bank holiday on the 1st, as there are no weddings on bank holidays we had some time to have some meetings over in Barbados. Luckily these did not take very long and we got to go out and play for a little bit ;)

A couple of weekends before Ferg came over to St Lucia and we had the chance to explore some of the island and show him some of the amazing sites. Along the way he took some beautiful photos of Michelle and I, he did not bring his own camera so opted to use my Canon 7D for the first time… and review it…

Now it was my turn. It was very exciting as I got a chance to use the Nikon D800. This has been long awaited and people around the world are still on long waiting lists to get their hands on one so a real privilege.

As you all know I have recently upgraded my camera to the full frame 5D Mkiii and Ferg has been hoping that this was his chance to finally convert me from Nikon to Canon! He didn’t…

While I was waiting for the guys to get ready I was having a play with the D800 getting an idea of where everything was. I put my eye to the eye piece and the little focus square started darting across the screen. I looked down to see what was going on and it was my noise pushing on the joy stick! Not a great start for me.

We set off on our trip to see what backdrops Barbados had to offer and quickly found our self’s at Welchman Hall Gully. At the top you had beautiful views over the rugged east coast where we set up first.

This is also my first time using a 70-200 so a big day for me so I found our first location set up a shot and got shooting.

As I am sure most of you know by know I am a massive fan of flash. This is where we hit our first problem, Ferg has the same set of pocket wizards that I use on my 7D but the D800’s hot shoe is a little further forward to the eye piece so the wheel for the pocket wizard ends up digging into your forehead. Not nice! I can’t put this solely on Nikon though, if pocket wizard are going to make different units for each brand this is something they could have accounted for??

Sadly it got very uncomfortable very quickly so we packed the lights away and went oh natural for the rest of the day :)

Now entering the Gully you truly felt like you had hit the tropics with plants and wild life every where.

Ferg found some nutmeg and mace

Apparently it smelt amazing :)

We found a spot on a fallen log where the beautiful morning light was beaming down through the trees and the full frame of the D800 with the compression at 200mm could really start to flex its muscles.

My next issue was I found the play back very sluggish, when you hit the play button the camera uploads the full file to that little screen, not only does it does it take a while but its not fully rendered the photo or something. To check you what you have focused on is sharp you have to zoom in at least once. Now this took me screaming back in time to my very first wedding I shot in Barbados.

(Que wavy lines and flashback music :)

I got back to the lab after my wedding and uploaded the photos to the computer and opened Photoshop’s Bridge to start my editing, I was flicking through the photos and every photo looked blurred. I had my head in my hands as I thought I had just messed up my first Caribbean wedding on something very very basic as not being able to focus. I could not sit there forever so I opened the first photo in Photoshop to see if I could fix it and to my amazement it was perfectly sharp.Bridge only shows you a preview and as the 7D files are so big it compresses them and they look awful, lesson learnt.

Heart attack over but those bad memories came flooding back! Even using some of the best kit around isn’t going to save you if you can’t keep your shots in focus!

“but it’s a 85mb file” Ferg kept telling me which is impressive and of course can come in handy but when you are trying to catch those little moments extra time checking your shots can mean allot.

The D800 has how ever got this face recognition system on it, when you zoom in you can skip from face to face to make sure no there are no blinkers. Very helpful!

By this point we were deep into the Gully and had spotted one of these creepy looking things.

Once you got your eye in we started to spot them everywhere!

Ferg then very helpfully informed us that he thought they might bite and be poisonous so a nice peaceful stroll looking up through the trees very quickly became a quick march back to the car with our eyes firmly glued to our flip flop cladded feet. (After some research on the internet Ferg found out that it wasnt those that were poisonous but if your going to the Gully I would recommend wearing trainers just in case)

I have always said I love the ergonomics of the 7D by the time I had got to the car my third finger was crushed from holding the D800. It’s still hurt at the airport a few days later! If you had that in your hand all day it could do some serous damage! I did have the 70-200 on it however and Ferg informed me later that he holds it by the lens…

By the time we got to the car we where hungry and very much ready for a beer :) We set off to the east coast to have lunch and finish off our photos at Bathsheba.

I didn’t even have to ask her to do that

One thing I do love is they have put the horizon finder in the view finder! Sadly when I get tired I seem to lean to the right so that was very helpful.

And how can forget. Everything is backwards! Zooming in and out, twisting lens on and off, increasing and decreasing shutter speed, the light meter everything! There are options on the D800 so you can swap all this around to help people like me but even that feels like a bit of a cope out. You should stick to what you have chosen haha

These are all little things of course and at the end of the day I have grown up with Canon DSLR’s. From the first time I borrowed a camera at university to the wedding I shot yesterday. I have used them now nearly everyday for quite some time so its going to take allot to get me to change that (you where close Ferg until I tried it). You will check out forums and reviews and of course everyone has their own opinion on what is better. The D800 for example has one of the best sensors on the market and for people who are into that real technical stuff like Ferg then he has made the right choice. I think I have always had a more laid back approach to it all and I think that’s why Canon may suit me better.

The most exciting thing about the day was I got to spend the day with my two best friends using the using some truly amazing kit and hopefully I have created some amazing images for them to keep to but I will leave that up to you to decided :)

Phew…

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Upgrading to full frame… Truley a magic moment

I have been looking forward to writing this one :)

I was joking with Sian and Ferg that when a photographer upgrades to a full frame camera, as I have just done with my 5D Mkiii, as you opened the lid on the box a magic beam of light should stream out accompanied with a “AWWWWWWWWWWW” sound… you never guess what… it kinda did ;)
I was very excitedly unpacking my camera and as I was there was a beautiful golden sunset going on out side and this incredible soft light was just pouring through the window. I put on my new 70-200mm f.2.8, set the camera quickly to aperture priority and just started shooting!

A moment I don’t think I am ever going to forget! :)

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Mike Came to Visit… and he brought some toys!

Even Mike has a Montage

Its funny some times working here really does not feel like work but one of my best friends came to visit me so I thought it was a good excuse to take some holiday!

Mike booked 11 nights at the hotel I live at Morgan Bay (worth checking out if your thinking of coming to St Lucia) As you can imagine we had a blast! We went sailing on Hobie Cats nearly every day, Zip Lining through the rain forest, bathing in the¬†sulphur springs from St Lucia’s active volcano, survived a tropical storm and of course spending allot of time on the beach!

The other very exciting thing is that I got my brand new Camera! I am now a very proud owner of a Cannon 5D Mk iii and have taken then momentous leap in a professional photographers life to full frame status!

One afternoon we took a drive up to the north of the island, it was still pretty windy but I packed my new camera to see if we could take some shots. As usual we got lost but found an amazing spot in Cap Estate where you could get great views of the North and East coast from the same spot (they are currently about to start building some new houses up there and for a good price if anyone is interested) Mike is not a shy person but has never really had a photo shoot done but knew how much I wanted to try out my new camera so we took these… God love him :)

A tropical storm is passing by and Mike is up the smallest tree he could find!

Now we are getting into it!

 

As you can see he did a great job letting me have a little play with my camera, we are already planning his next trip back to the Caribbean! Thanks for coming Mike!

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Late Night Caller

After a huge amount of driving dropping Mike off at the airport after an epic 11 day holiday (blog coming soon!) I was in my room getting ready for dinner and I hear this all mighty bang on my door! Then it happened again and again! Recently when there has been a knock on my door I have known exactly what it is. An eager Mike with a towel in hand ready for the beach or a slightly miffed Mike as I have not got up from my daily holiday nap in time for dinner! It could not be either of these as I had just dropped him off at the airport…

I went to the door and found this big guy waiting for me and he was very kind to pose while I lay on my belly to get this shot.
Just a quick one to night, there is more to come soon with lots of exciting news… promise :)

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Kat’s Vist (Better late then never :)

I have been trying to make some space on my laptop today by clearing away some old RAW files and the like and I came across some photos that I completely forgot about (sorry Kat x)

I took Kat to the Bottom Bay, the place she sent me on the very first Exchange!

Back in March Kat came out to see me in Barbados for my birthday and we had a blast! On the day itself we went on a boat cruise and if you look very carefully on my Facebook profile you will be able to find an amazing video that hungover Ferg did for us :)

During Kat’s stay we did things properly! On our first day we visited the Mount Gay Rum Tour, after that rum kind of became our unofficial theme to our holiday.

You got a free rum punch with every flier, good job I packed a few :)

Kat learning about legs

Mount Gay Extra Old by far both of our favorites

We drank a fair bit of it for a start, we stopped off in old rum shops and we found this.

During Kat’s stay the country had just kicked into harvest mode, you will find tractors towing rows and rows of cages filled to the top with raw sugar cane slowing the traffic on the high ways trying to get there white gold to the sugar factory’s.¬† After taking the very informative rum tour we found that this is very relevant to our rum drinking quest! Sugar and Rum are two of Barbados main exports and a third is molasses which is a by product of the sugar process which they use to make rum. Now I think this is incredible, they have turned a by product of one of there main exports in to two others!

I am very sorry that this has taken so long to come out but it needed to done! Better late then never!

More to come soon as Mike is getting here on Tuesday and I will be having some time off :D

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Happy Birthday Mum :)

Without really meaning to the Creasy’s have started our own family tradition! It started back in November 2007 when I was first on the ships. I was going to miss my sisters birthday and because we were doing two ports a day and I did not really understand the Greece postal system I was not able to send her something so I set out on a mission to get as many of the Cristal’s crew members to wish my sister a happy birthday as possible!

This thing got everywhere, even when I was shooting!

Then in 2011 the same thing happened again! I was again back on the ships and Kat was in Australia. On my birthday Kat had got all her friends together and shared her album on Facebook, much to my surprise and delight! She even got a Kuala bear to stop and pose!

Today was my mum’s birthday so it was time to bring her in on the action! Mum is a fan of picture postcards and I was desperately trying to right her a birthday message in the sand with a nice blue St Lucian sea in the background but every time I got close to finishing the sea just (predictably) washed it away.

So the search was on! I needed a birthday message! I needed letters that would not wash away!!

Then it hit me the letters where every where :) The rest of the afternoon was then set on driving around collecting these letters and there you have it!

Happy Birthday Mum :) xxx

 

 

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Toraille Falls

This weekend has been a little bit epic! Ferg was over from Barbados, we did not have much on work wise over the weekend so we went out to play :) Its been really good for me, Ferg got a chance to meet Michelle and the three of us all have something in common. Ferg and I love taking photos and Michelle loves to be in them! A perfect combination!

We drove down from the wonderful coast road down to the Toraille Falls near the Pitons. Ferg was unable to bring his camera over so he asked if he could have a proper go with mine, now any one who knows Ferg will know that he is a Nikon junky with a kit bag to die for so this was a big thing wanting to use a Canon 7D for the day!

During our time there I had to grab it back real quick and fire off these shots :)

More to come soon! Don’t forget to subscribe ;)

 

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Room with a view

Have you ever had one of those days when things have just not gone your way? You get back home, take off you shoes and slump down on a seat and have a bit of a mope. I was having one of those days until I saw this out of my window and remembered… things are really not that bad :)

Hope you are all having a good Monday! The weekends exploits are coming soon and its going to be a good one!

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An Indoor Studio Shoot for Michelle

Michelle is a very talented girl but her main aspiration in life to be a model, she loves being in front of the camera and as I think you might be able to see already the camera loves her. Her skin seems to suck in what ever quality of light you give it and spit out beautiful soft skin tones!

This month she wanted to take part in a photo competition that is on a site called Freedom Street (Please check it out and vote :) so she asked if we could go out and take some new shots especially for the comp so she could enter something fresh. We were all packed up and ready to go and then rain came! In St Lucia it can be a beautiful day not a cloud in the sky one minuet and then the next more rain then you have ever seen in your life! Our shot was off… or was it?

This one is Michelle’s favorite

The kit I had with me was simple my camera, a speedlite, a light stand and an umbrella so I set them up in my small hotel room and started shooting.

Get on the site and vote :D oh and don’t forget to follow my blog to :)

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