10/02/15 – Monthly Speaker – David Edmonds, Commercial Photographer

This evening we had a very interesting talk by David Edmonds, who is a professional commercial photographer. Further details are on his website.

David started his talk running through the equipment he learnt with whilst studying at University, from a Pentax to a Russian medium format and then on to a Nikon FM2. He then went on to explain the many aspects of what his photography covers:-

  • Products
  • Architectural
  • Food
  • Event
  • Portraiture
  • Fashion

To help him cover all these areas of photography he brought along his current ‘tools of the trade’ in a very robust Peli case – fortunately it had wheels it was so heavy. In here he had:-

  • Nikon D800 (plus a D7100 as backup)
  • 24-70 F2.8, 70-200 F2.8, 105 macro, 24mm tilt shift, 17mm Tokina lenses
  • SB910 & 700 flashguns, triggers for remote firing
  • Polarising and 10 stop ND filters
  • Manfrotto tripod with geared head

As he said, all his equipment has to be useful and pay for itself!

He’s now moved to using a Mac and subscribes monthly to the Adobe Creative Cloud, where he has access to the latest Photoshop and Lightroom software. David stressed the importance of downloading your pictures as soon as possible and making multiple backups before reusing your cards. He also explained about the insurance requirement and risk assessments.

David then showed us projected examples of his work, as taken then followed by processing in Lightroom and Photoshop. As he said, taking the picture is only half the work and clients often don’t realise the amount of post production work and time required.

Following a break for tea and coffee, where we had a chance to see first hand the equipment he uses, David gave us a practical demonstration of using Lightroom.

Here we were shown how to catalog, rename and label images, plus various non-destructive adjustments. Lightroom keeps the original image and creates a file with what has been adjusted, so the original is still there as it was. To use the adjusted image you need to export it in the format you want (eg jpeg), where the adjustments will only then be incorporated permanently. Although Lightroom will work with jpegs, David recommended we use RAW files to get the best possible image quality from our cameras.

He also explained the benefits of colour calibrating your screen and using the colour profiles of somewhere like DSCL to obtain prints that best match the original image.

After answering our many questions we finished with a round of applause for an inspirational talk and many of discussed afterwards about getting Lightroom for ourselves.

Words by Ian Williams.