Tuesday, 28 August 2012

New MelenCourses Photography Courses September 2012

New Photography Course Dates for the Autumn 2012

National Trust Photography Course Ashridge
14th October 2012     £125

National Trust Photography Course Ivinghoe
20th October 2012     £125

DSLR Photography Course Three Black & White in London
27th October 2012    £175

Night & Low Light Photography Course in London

1600-2100 10th November 2012    £125

Monday, 20 August 2012

Black and White Fun Day Out in London

This is a link to Justine Skinner's photos from the day, 19th August 2012 on our Photography Day Out.

The brief was Black and White photography taken in square format 1:1.

Steve Mack and Phil Richardson by Justine Skinner
Three Mills, Newham, London.


Three Mills, Newham, London.
"The Three Mills are former working mills on the River Lea in the East End of London, one of London’s oldest extant industrial centres. The largest and most powerful of the four remaining tidal mills is possibly the largest tidal mill in the world. It is mainly accessed by a bridge over the Limehouse Cut and River Lea." from wikipedia webpage


Friday, 17 August 2012

MelenCourses National Trust Photography Course 11 August 2013: £25 Discount available

Learn how to photograph outdoors on the beautiful Ashridge Estate this Summer. If you use your DSLR camera to a basic level and want to learn new techniques this course is ideal.

Ashridge House and the National Trust woodland of the Ashridge Estate are great locations to develop your landscape and outdoor photography. You will need some basic DSLR photography experience as we will explore the landscape, understanding how different times of day and types of light can affect your photographs. During the day we will cover close ups, details, good composition, lighting skills, what creates an interesting landscape and how to find those ideal scenes to make your photographs look more professional.

We start at Ashridge House photographing the building and grounds before proceeding toGolden Valley, a location used for filming Stardust in 2007. The valley has plenty of diversity and is perfect for photography including a Victorian stone bridge, deer and stunning woodland. After lunch at the Bridgewater Arms, we will photograph the church walking about 3 miles through the Ashridge woodland giving you a chance to learn and develop your skills on the Ashridge National Trust Estate.

Booking includes lunch at Ashridge, if you use this code you will receive a £25 - 2013NTAsh1108

Workshop Details - 7 hours 0830 - 16300830 Meet for coffee
0900 Ashridge House
1000 Gardens
1230 Lunch
1330 Ashridge Chapel
1430 Ashridge Woods
1630 End

To book please go to our website or contact Phil at MelenStudios.

We have new courses for 2013 please follow the links below

National Trust Photography Course Ivinghoe Beacon and Aldbury

National Trust Photography Course Ivinghoe Beacon
20th October 2012

Learn how to photograph Chiltern Landscapes on the diverse Ashridge Estate this Autumn. Ivinghoe Beacon, the Pitstone windmillAldbury and the woodland of the Ashridge Estate are great locations to develop your landscape and outdoor photography. Having obtained competent DSLR camera skills you will now be looking to learn new lighting and composition techniques.

Some basic DSLR photography skills and experience are required although you will learn how to take photographs that look more professional on the day. This photography course will concentrate on learning to photograph in the landscape, using both Graduated Neutral Density filters (ND Grad) and full ND filters whilst exploring Ivinghoe Beacon, Pitstone Windmill and Aldbury Village.

Throughout the day you will learn how to photograph the landscape, understanding how different times of day and types of light can affect your photographs. During the course we will cover close ups, details, good composition, lighting skills, what makes an interesting landscape and how look for those ideal shots.

Giving you the chance to learn and develop your skills combined with walking around the beautiful National Trust woodland and Ivinghoe Beacon on the Ashridge Estate.

Including lunch, the course is only £125

Workshop Details - 7 hours from 0830 - 1630
0830 Meet at the cafe (0800 if you want breakfast)
0900 Drive to Ivinghoe Beacon car park
0930 Walk to the beacon
1230 Lunch and a look around museum
1330 Walk to Pitstone windmill
1430 Photograph the village of Aldbury
1630 End

To book please go to our website or contact Phil at MelenStudios.


Photography competitions - Professional Photographers

There are several photography competitions to enter and plenty of useful photographic prizes to win.

1. Movie Short – sponsored by: Lexar
We would like a movie shot on a DSLR that has a narrative and tells us a story. It can be no more than 90 seconds long and can be as creative as you like; whether it’s a short story, a stills video or an abstract art film or homage, we’ll look forward to your creativity shining through.

2. Black and White - sponsored by:  Hahnemühle
HahnemühleWe want to see deep, dark blacks, bright whites and every shade of grey in between. But it’s not just the tones that we are interested in; it’s the suitability of the subject for the image, not just a colour image converted. Does the black and white enhance and compliment it? Then we’d like to see it.

3. In the Studio - sponsored by: Profoto
ProfotoWorking in a studio means understanding artificial light and knowing how to shape it to your will to suit the subject you are capturing. From the subtlety of reflected light to more dramatic high-key effects, we want to see the photographer’s skill in a studio.

4. Medium Format - sponsored by: Hasselblad
Medium format is about optimum quality, so to enter this category, your image must have been shot on a medium format camera, and it doesn’t matter if it’s film and scanned or a digital capture. The subject is up to you!

5. Student of the Year
Whether you are studying how to shoot wildlife at university, going through your indentures for a newspaper on an NCTJ course or enjoying training for a second (or third!) career, we want to see your passion and skill with a camera and lens.

Folio Albums6. Weddings - sponsored by: Folio Albums
Gone are the days of the grip and grin, Aunt Maude adjusting her hair piece or slightly out of focus twee images on soft focus filters. The modern wedding photographer is as much of a creative artist, whether candid or posed, as any other kind of professional photographer. Show us your talent.

7. 50mm
This is the lens that is often left in the kit bag on shoots but, in our opinion, it should be a lens that gets as much use as your 24-70mm or 70-200mm. Yes, you have to move your feet, but look at all that bokeh! Go on, have some fun with your 50!

Morgan Richardson8. Street photography - sponsored by: Morgan Richardson
You may interpret this brief, in terms of subject matter, as widely as you like, and you can shoot the images on anything from a CSC to a DSLR, or even a top end compact. So from grannies sticking their tongues out on buses, hard news or just for fun, tell us a story of the street.

Fixation9. News - sponsored by: Fixation
From the war-torn streets of Syria to a home-grown story on the Royals for a local newspaper, we want to see how you react and interpret a news story as it unfolds in front of you. But you only can only sum up the event with one single image.

Broncolor10. Location Flash - sponsored by: Broncolor
From a brace of new wireless Speedlights to a full blown Profoto BatPac power pack and four 500W D1 monolights, your submitted image should show your skill at lighting a subject, from an outdoor fashion shoot or environmental portrait to a car or architectural shoot.

11. Travel
Capturing the ambience and character of a destination is what travel photography is all about. The judges want to get to know a location through your stunning image, whether you use a landmark, a location’s people or even its wildlife to inform the viewer.

Sigma12. Fashion & Beauty – sponsored by: Sigma
From a tight headshot for a commercial client to a wide – or even panoramic – shot encompassing the surroundings that add to the look and feel of the shot, your submitted image needs to say fashion, style and glamour in big, shouty words.

Chau Digital13. Portfolio of Three - sponsored by: Chau Digital
This is the ONLY category in which you are able to submit more than one image, in this case a total of three. Treat this as a triptych; a story made up of three connected elements from a single shoot.

Overall Winner - The Photographer of the Year Award 2012

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Digital Camera Sensor Size Comparison

Digital Camera Sensor Size
Digital Camera Sensor Size

What does cropped sensor size or mirror less camera mean? Do you need to be concerned about the size of your sensor and what does this mean for your photography?  

This post compares the different sizes of digital camera sensors.  You may be unaware that digital cameras sensors come in a variety of different sizes, the chart demonstrates the comparative sizes of each type of sensor. You can see the much larger the surface area of a full frame sensor in contrast to a cropped sensor found on Canon APS (700D etc) and the Nikon DX (although slighter larger D5300 etc), let alone the Four Thirds sensors found on Panasonic & Olympus models plus other Mirrorless Cameras.  Compact cameras and phones have very small sensors and this often leads to everything being in focus and very noisy images.

Another affect of sensor size in photography concerns focal length.  Smaller sensors produce a great magnification that larger sensors with the same focal length. For example, an image taken with a 100mm lens on a full frame DSLR will appear the same as it did with a 35mm film SLR camera, but a 100mm lens on a cropped sensor will be the equivalent to using a 150 or 160mm, and 200mm on a Four Thirds sensor.  Using the chart below you can see how each sensor impacts on focal length and surface area.  A Full frame has 3.84 times the surface area of a four thirds camera despite a crop factor of 2, and 56.5 times larger than a phone.  Using larger sensors often produce much cleaner images with better colours, tones and gradation.  Larger sensors perform much better in low light with less.

Crop FactorSize in mm Surface Area
Full Frame 1 36.0x24.0 864mm
Nikon DX 1.5 23.6x15.7 370.52mm
Canon APS 1.6 22.3x14.9 332.27mm
Four Thirds 2 17.3x13.0 224.9mm
Nikon V1/J1 3.9 13.2x 8.8 116.16mm
Compact 1/1.7 4.7 7.6x 5.7 43.32mm
Compact 1/2.3 5.5 6.1x 4.6 27.45mm
Phones 10.5 4.5x 3.4 15.3mm

Friday, 27 July 2012

Wedding Photography Course 22nd September 2013 Ashridge

Wedding Photography Course at Ashridge House
Phil Richardson
Date: 22nd September 2013.

Would you love to begin photographing weddings? If so this wedding course will give you the ability and knowledge to do that. This is ideal for photographers who have taken a few friends and family weddings or even family portraits. You will know how to use your camera already but will need to gain new skills.

Aim of the course

The MelenCourses Wedding Photography Course will show you how to take professional, creative wedding photographs simply and quickly. Learn how to plan and set up each image so that you are able do this when photographing your own wedding. We will cover basic pricing for wedding photography, understanding the options when producing wedding albums and books.

We will start the day by looking at equipment typically used in wedding photography, finding suitable locations at a wedding venue and how to quickly photograph the details before the wedding starts. You will photographing for most of the day our Bride and Groom getting ready, in the Ashridge chapel and on location inside and outside the building.

The last section will cover your workflow, post production and album creation.  This course is based on my, Phil Richardson, knowledge and experience acquired from photographing and filming weddings for over 10 years.

The learning environment
The Wedding Photography course is paced so that you gain a realistic impression of photographing a wedding. Ashridge House is beautiful period building near Berkhamsted, which will provide you with beautiful wedding images from the day.  You will then be able to practise and create your own images for your portfolio.  Learn to take stunning images simply and creatively, creating informal candids, posed images and group photographs.

The Wedding Photography Course is based at Ashridge the beautiful period building near to Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire with easy access and plenty of parking.  We will show you how to take stunning images simply and creatively, producing situations for you to create informal candids, posed and also groups photographs.

Ashridge Business School, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, HP4 1NS

MelenCourses Wedding Photography Course

Workshop Details - 8 hours 0900 till 1730
0845 Coffee
 Wedding Photography Equipment
0930 Websites, Marketing & Pricing
 Details the Rings, Flowers & the Dress
1045 Break
1100 Bride & Groom, Getting Ready
1145 Bride & Groom in the Chapel
1215 Group Photography
1230 Lunch

1330 Bride & Groom, Exterior Locations
1430 Bride & Groom, Interior Locations
1515 Break
1530 Interior & Exterior wireless Flash
1615 Workflow & Album Creation

1730 End

Business Course for Wedding and Portraiture
Why not attend our Business Course for Start Ups and also Wedding and Portraiture?  This compliments our wedding photography course and could help you to create more business.

Business Course for Start Ups, SMEs & Getting Clients


Setting up a business, pricing and getting clients.  For people who are looking to start a business or new to running their own business. You want to know how set your prices, create a business plan and how market yourself to get the right clients for you.

Date 21st September 2013

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Calculate the sun position on a map

This is superb and will help your work out the sun's location before a photography shoot.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Free London Photography Day Out 19th August 2012

Free Photography Day Out London 19th August 2012

If you are interested in a Free Photography Day in London on the 19th August 2012 please follow the link below.  There are only a few places left and you will need to have been on a photography course with MelenCourses before attending.


Happy Street Cleaner

Happy Person Walking across the bridge

Street Cleaners on a Well Deserved Break - they was hot and tired.

I love it when people participate in the photograph. 

We Love Ed http://www.edmortonphotography.co.uk

Photographed through a piece of plastic found on the floor

Monday, 23 July 2012

New Canon Mirrorless Camera EOS-M Coming Soon

Canon EOS M Mirrorless Camera
It seems as though Canon have finally been listening and also learning from current trends.  This Autumn they will release the EOS-M - their first proper mirrorless digital camera based on an APS sensor and using some of the new technology on the EOS 650D and STM lenses.

This camera could be a useful back up to your full frame and possible candid style camera.  Also MPG4 video and 1920x1080p 25 and 24 fps.   This fits EF lenses too but not sure putting a 70-200mm is a good idea or what this camera is for.

3.0" Touch Screen LCD with 1040K-dots
Touch AF and Multi-touch Operation
Hybrid CMOS Auto-focus for Photo & Video
Compatible with Canon EF and EF-S Lenses
Max resolution                   5184 x 3456
Effective pixels                  18.0 megapixels
Sensor size                        APS-C (22.3 x 14.9 mm)
Processor Digic 5
ISO                                   Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800

Minimum shutter speed    60 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/4000 sec

Full HD Movie with Focus Tracking
Format                              MPEG-4 and H.264
Resolutions                       1920 x 1080 (30, 25, 24 fps)

Canon EF-M 22mm F/2 STM Lens

Canon EOS M Mirrorless Camera Top, Front and Back View

Canon EOS M Mirrorless Camera Lenses

The size of this camera is small and quite cute looking, a bit plasticky but i think a worth while purchase for Canon users.  It will be interesting to see what this feels like in the hand and how balanced it is with EF lenses.  The touch screen may take some getting used to - like my Panny GX1 and an optical viewfinder would be useful even if wasn't direct from the sensor.

Personally i think Canon didn't have a choice as Mirrorless (we do need a different name for these cameras) is very fashionable at present and they would have been left out at the prosumer end of the market.  The street photography genre is very popular at present and the se new stm lenses should help - please make more pancake lenses.  I love my 20mm Panasonic lens.

Do go and look at David Bailey's End exhibition in the Compressor House - Royal Albert DLR Station.