Client Story: MINT Images, helping to conserve the Tiger population

Its always a pleasure retouching  images for MINT and ensuring that they have a contemporary feel as well as meeting the quality standards of the market.

MINT images are driven by its founder Duncan Grossart who is very much concerned that the photography represented is centred around the environment, sustainability and issues of health and well-being.

These are very real issue and concerns for Duncan (as they should be to us all). Supplying the market with positive high quality images helps to engender these values.

Duncan goes even further and is actively helping projects that can overcome environmental problems. His support of ZSL in Russia in their Tiger conservation work is an example of how active support can make a difference. You can read more about the work of ZSL here: PDF

I would recommend any photographer who shares Duncan’s values and would be interested in supplying a contemporary high quality photolibrary look at their site here: MINT

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Workshop at Chester Zoo

zooIm very pleased to announce that I will be one of three teachers in a series of two day workshop in September 2017 along with the Arctic photographer Sue Flood and the Travel photographer and metadata specialist Cindy Miller Hopkins at the excellent Chester Zoo.

The Workshops are part of the Advanced Photography Course and the aim is to improve the skills and techniques of photographers who feel they are ready to take the next step up in their photography.

Each Workshop takes place over two days and are split half a day to each of us when there will be a maximum of 15 people in each class, plus a half day combined workshop.

My session will be a distillation of the efficient imaging workflow required to meet the quality requirements expected of a professional and will cover an overview of image processing, retouching, managing a collection and delivering files to market.

As well as practical tips I will talk about how professionals think in terms of their photography and how it differs from some amateurs. This will be a session about problems and issues and how to overcome them.

Although the workflow I will describe is based on professional requirements it does no harm to the advanced amateur to understand and prepare images to a professional standard as part of their own workflow, in fact the discipline of a considered and minimal imaging workflow will allow you to free up time managing images and enable you to start using images as they are meant to be used.

You can read more about the course here:

Please feel free to email me if you have any queries about the course.

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Video capture breakdown, current state of the market 2016

Tom Fletcher and Gary Adcock have compiled a PDF breakdown of current state of the art video cameras across multiple brands and containing lots of useful information. You can download the PDF here:


Also useful:
Link to 2016 Zoom Lens Chart

Link to 2016 Anamorphic Lens Chart (with HyperLinks to Places to Rent Worldwide)

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Client Advisory – Photoshop CC 2017 update


Adobe have released the 2017 versions of Bridge and Photoshop. Looks to be a mixture of interface changes, performance enhancements and extended functionality.

Initial impressions are good and I will be giving it test drives over the next few days.

With important customer jobs in progress I have of course kept my current versions of Bridge and Photoshop installed so I can run both. This is also important as only some of my third party filters have been transferred across with the install.

If you would like to test the new version as well then consider doing the same and run the install so that it doesn’t write over your current setup, to do this click on Advanced Options in the update dialogue and untick Remove old Versions (Keep Import previous settings and preferences ticked)


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Copyrightimage helps out with Planet Earth 2 for the BBC

pe2Very much looking forward to seeing Planet Earth II with Sir David Attenborough starting next Sunday on BBC1 in the UK. The first episode is titled Islands.

My involvement in the project was to retouch and colour grade the stills and 4k+ video grabs for The Book that accompanies the series. Thanks goes to the Editor Kate Fox and the Project Editor Roz Kidman Cox for asking me to do the work.

Television shows images in RGB and has a high brightness and contrast range, paper in comparison has a very low colour and tone range that starts off with a creamy white for the highlights and then makes up the rest of the colour and tone by darkening the paper with Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black process inks.

The challenge is to retain all important highlight and shadow detail but keep a good dynamic contrast and colour in the mid tones and overall, this does mean quite an involved grading process using multiple layers and adjustments to get this right. (I discussed this split grading in my recent workshop).

Stills from the actual footage is used in parts of the book to show key sequences, the challenge here is to match the colour and tone from  multiple cameras and keep the sequences flowing, much like colour grading for TV.

Careful use of deshake was made to help minimise the inevitable motion blur caused by the lower shutter speeds in video capture.

Increasing use of 4k, 5k and 6k cameras (mainly from RED) has broadened and looks to revolutionise the future of stills capture. 21% of images in the Planet Earth II book were from video grabs compared to 9.5% used in the BBC book Life Story in 2014.

I’m currently working on documenting the workflow so that it may help with defining some of the standards that will inevitably emerge from this field, if you are a software or hardware company involved with high resolution video and would like to join in improving the stills workflow I would love for you to get in touch so we can explore this area.

If you have a book project or have been experiencing repro or other problems using stills and video grabs then get in touch and I can see if I can help.



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Client Story:MINT Images, Liesel Böckl


Liesel has been working on a series of projects over the Summer in Japan and I was pleased to be asked to retouch from the raw files via her agency MINT Images. Each project is a sensitive and authentic visual short story of the workplaces she visited and together they tell a larger story of Kodawari. Liesels website is currently being redone but you can follow her projects here on facebook

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Stills from Video, workshop summary notes

Many thanks to those who attended my workshop this afternoon.

It was a bit of a whirlwind through the world of colour management and the process of grading images to sit well on the page or screen but I hope you found something of interest that you can incorporate into your workflow.

For your benefit (and those that could not make it) I have made some summary notes for you.

These don’t include the copyrighted material I was kindly allowed to use in the talk

Please feel free to get in touch if you have any queries or would like to work with me to improve your workflow or project.

You can download the notes here;


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The Rosetta Stone of cross media: Video, Stills and repro sizes in megapixels

Very much looking forward to my talk at Wildscreen tomorrow on the subject of making repro quality stills from video grabs:

Im please to say that for one day only I have obtained special permission to show stills work from the recently announced BBC Planet Earth II book.

Im aware that my session may be oversubscribed (cue cut scene with me alone in the room), if this is the case then not to worry, I will be making some notes available after the session on this website for you to read. These will be a distillation of some aspects of the talk and wont include the retouching examples so please do come if you would like to learn more.

In the meantime here is a taster of one of the less visual parts:


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Client Story: Laura Barwick, BBC

cover-jpg-rendition-460-707Congratulations are in order for Laura Barwicks latest book  “Animal Babies” which accompanies the BBC wildlife production of the same name.

Laura is always a pleasure to deal with and I was pleased to help out here by making sure the Video Frame Grabs (34 out of the 120 images) looked as good as possible and integrated fully with the stills photography in the book

You can buy animal babies at all good book shops
(or amazon).

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