Catherine Heaps: Blog en-us (C) Catherine Heaps (Catherine Heaps) Thu, 28 Aug 2014 21:22:00 GMT Thu, 28 Aug 2014 21:22:00 GMT Catherine Heaps: Blog 120 90 Many thanks to you all  
Catherine Jane Photography Ltd is a year old. 

You know, I love my job.  I've met so many interesting people over the years in many different ways, Family Photography to New and established Businesses needing Professional Portraits. The business has been going a year now and it just gets better and better. 

Since starting the business I've learnt about Accounting, Social Media, New Photography Techniques,  teaching other photographers, Networking, Marketing the list goes on.
I have found inspiration from so many fantastic photographers and have started exploring new areas.  The Newborn Photography is coming along nicely and last but not least the Photography Studio is a great success for other Photographers and my work too. 
A special thanks goes out too - 
Family & Friends - for boring to death with my constant babbling and picking me up when I am down.
My Clients for being a great bunch of people to work with, you are the face of my business.
Hollie for guiding me through the whole business journey 
along with Alex for his deep analytical mind and business/financial growth knowledge
including Jan for her super knowledge of social media and how to get it working for me
Neal for being my inspiration, my guide and the person who got me hooked
There are many more I could mention and hopefully a lot more to come. Thanks you everyone for helping me achieve all this. 
I'll shut up now.
Happy snapping.


]]> (Catherine Heaps) blog business guidance inspiration photography thanks Wed, 06 Aug 2014 08:16:38 GMT
Lightroom - Some basics to get you going. Lightroom is extremely important in my day to day processing of images.  I have worked with Lightroom since its first version and we are now of version 5 and I'm still learning.

Its a fairly good priced application for processing and editing your images.  At around £150 its a snip compared to the more expense Photoshop.  Elements is a bridge between the two, however I've never really warmed to Elements.   Other apps such as Picasa are very similar to the Lightroom set up however no where near as powerful and flexible. 

I'm not going to overload you with too much.  If you are interested in learning more about editing your images using Lightroom then please do get in touch to arrange a Training Session. 


You should initially have been expected to set up your library, this is just a file that logs exactly were everything is on your pc (or external devices) and which tweaks you may have made to the VIEW in lightroom.  Note - It does not alter the original file, to save the changes you need to export the image and we will talk about that later.  

Ok, you have your camera hooked up, or memory card plugged in or another external device holding your images.  


GO TO - FILE and click on import Photos and Video

This screen will appear.  Don't worry that you can't probably read what mine says but all I will do is draw your attention to the 3 circled sections below - 

On the left is the memory card, hard drive, external drive locations of files that can be imported in to lightroom, expend them for more info and select the folder to be imported.  Then the main layout should appear with thumbnails of images you want to import.  Ensure Copy is selected from the top options as this will copy the files to a new location (indicated on the right circled section above, which you can change if you want to copy them to another location instead) and import them in to Lightroom for viewing and updating.  


Now lets get on with the fun stuff.  

The intro to Lightroom that comes up when you install Lightroom should have made you familiar with the workflow tabs !!    I am also assuming you are using RAW (NEF or TIFF) files. If you are using jpeg images then you may not be able to perform some of the tasks as well in that RAW is a much better quality file/image format to work with. 


Double click on a thumbnail to bring it in to full view. 

Click on DEVELOP from the tabs options top right of your application window (as shown below)

On the left (above) are some excellent filters (these are known as presets) that can very much improve/change your images in very different ways.  If you hover over each one you should see a sample of the change in the small window above them). On the right are the main tools to improve exposure, bring out colour, sharpen, even change the white balance, (sometimes used if there is an orange tone or blue tone to the image you want to get rid of, if taken in RAW (NEFor TIFF) the changes will be amazing.  


Along the bottom are some other files you have imported so you can always change the image you want to update.

Below is an example of some very minor change to an image, I have altered the white balance, Exposure, contrast, clarity, saturation and vibrance.

You can use the before and after views (circled red on left) to look at the changes you have made just tweaking the settings of the image (shown circled right).  I have also cropped the image to improve composition.

If you like the change you have made you are ready to export the updated file and create a jpeg image somewhere you can print, upload and simply save. 


GO TO - FILE and click on Export

You should be presented with the screen below, I have circled the most important elements that suite me, but you can taylor them to suite you.  I create a subfolder (ART - Splash Art) within the original file folder so I can see my updated images separately to the originals.

I have kept the original file name but sometimes add additional details like print size if I export more than one version.   It will warn you if a file already exists with that name and give you further options. 

File settings are important because they determine the quality of your image and the format in which it can be read. 

Image sizing can vary, however I save at 300ppi for printing and 72ppi for displaying on web pages (resize 600 longest edge). You can always choose the Watermarking option to help people identify you as the photographer of the image. 

There are so many more ways of using lightroom, but this should get you started. 

NEXT SESSION - Spot removal, noise reduction, selective colour changes. 

please feel free to ask questions


]]> (Catherine Heaps) Lightroom blog editing exporting filing importing photographs saving updates Mon, 21 Jul 2014 12:20:21 GMT
Smoke Art - Try it yourself I do love my little projects.  Most Photographers will have another side to their interests in Photography.   I loved drawing and painting when I was younger but these days I find I have replaced the paintbrush with a DSLR but still been able to achieve what I have visualised in my head.  

I regularly go amongst Photography groups that cover a subject that I find interesting.  There could be a whole variety of images taken in loads of different ways to represent the same thing !   I am drawn to Floral, Insect, macro and micro photography. I also love Portraits and Abstract.  

Which leads me to my initial interest in SmokeArt and how I achieve it.  

This image set me off on the Journey to wanting to discover how this was achieved.  back in December 2006.  But it wasn't until Dec 2009 I actually got round to doing it. Now I love them and continue to take more photos of them today. 

All you need is -

  • Incense Stick + Matches or Lighter
  • DSLR
  • 60w table lamp, but if you have studio flash lights the modelling lamp is very good
  • Dark room is easiest



  • Light the incense stick and place it in a glass to keep it steady, or if you have a special stand for your incense sticks use that.
  • Once lit (follow instructions) place the smoking end very close to the lamp, so that as much light as possible is on the smoke.
  • Turn off all other lights, this is so that the background of the image will be black.
  • Keep a fairly fast shutter speed, anything between 1/125 and 1/200.
  • ISO100 or ISO200 is best for top quality and no noise/grain.
  • Aperture of about f/7 to f/11 so you have most of the smoke in focus. 
  • White Balance should be set to bulb if using a normal table lamp.
  • Also ensure your camera is set to continuous focus as the smoke and you will move around to get the best angles. 


Click away !   If the image looks fairly dark/ under exposed change your ISO setting to around ISO400-ISO600. This should still produce images with little noise/grain however if it does then you can always make some small adjustments in Lightroom/Photoshop to compensate.


Some of my images are inverted.  This changes the black background to white. You may notice that the smoke will not necessarily be grey or black, instead it will be blue, pink, orange or green. Which adds an interesting effect to your image. 


You can also change the colour channels across the image to bring out different colours along the strands of smoke.


Here are some examples that I have produced. 

The first image above was straight from camera with a little colour adjustment to make it more interesting, with the second image I changed the hue to change the colour and on the 3 image I simply inverted it to create a negative effect from the first image.

The first image above looks a little like a dancer.  The second image above is from 2 incense sticks and the 2 image looks a little like a jelly fish.




Sometimes shots don't always go to plan, it takes a little practice but you should be getting results fairly quickly. Here are some shots I took that didn't turn out as planned.

Image 1 - is due to Light Pollution. - The light was shining in to the lens. Just change the angle of your lens away from the light source.


Image 2 - was just too messy.  Watch what the smoke does, it will change constantly. Click away all you like, but you are looking for a nice clean drift of smoke that creates a nice pattern.


Image 3 - shows you the light source I was using and the incense stick at the bottom. I moved the light so that it came from the left side then zoomed in on the smoke only so that the incense stick was out of view.


Happy snapping !


]]> (Catherine Heaps) Nikon art creative d50 d600 dslr hobby interest learning photography smoke teaching Mon, 16 Jun 2014 09:48:59 GMT
Pet Portraits I've been able to produce a few Pet Portraits over the years.  When my clients request a family shoot they include there dog as pet of the family. If you ever use a Photographer for a family portrait you should ask if it possible to bring your dog along.  Although if you have a pet you'd like a portrait doing of like a cat or a rabbit then these shoots as best suited to their home environment.  

I also go out and about on dog walks to the park, this gives the photographer an opportunity to see the pet enjoying themselves, thus making them more relaxed which will create a more natural looking portrait. 

Pets 2Pets 2



Here are some tips if you'd like to have a Pet Portrait done. 

1. Ensure your pet is comfortable around strangers. The Photographer will spend a short time with your dog to ensure they have gained trust. They will hold out their camera so the dog can investigate and possibly press the shutter so that the dog is familiar with the noise. 

2. Remove leads on dogs where possible. Leads can be very unattractive in a photo so as long as your dog is controllable off the lead then you should try and remove the lead.  Ensure the dog is not in a public area where there is a risk of them running off in to crowds.  


This chap was not allowed off the lead, hence a little photoshopping was needed to remove the great chain he had round his neck. Its not impossible to remove the lead but can be quite expensive if you prefer not to see it in the images.


3. As already said, Include your pet in your family portraits after all they are a part of the family.  The Photographer can always take a few pics of them on their own and include them in the photos that are available for purchasing.


4. As mentioned above other animals such as cats, rabbits etc are at their best in their own environments. However if the Photographer has the equipment available they can bring along a back drop so as not to have a distracting background in the photo. 


If you have a variety of Pets why not get photos of them all.


Example Portable backdrop, photo taken in clients home.


5. Make it fun. Try different angles. I used a treat over the clients shoulder to get Iggy to look up. 

You can also turn images in to water colours, we made a christmas card for my clients mother out of these images.


I hope you found this little blog useful and I have given you some ideas for the types of photos you want (or don't want). 

]]> (Catherine Heaps) Nikon blog bunny cat dog family learning pets photography photoshop portrait rabbit teaching telford Tue, 29 Apr 2014 19:08:15 GMT
Family Portrait Ideas Ever gone to a Family Photoshoot and stood there twiddling your thumbs because you don't know what to do ? 

Many families would love to have a snapshot in time of their family but aren't sure of what type of pose to do.  My answer to that is BE NATURAL.  Don't necessarily do what the photographer wants you to do if you aren't comfortable doing it.  There are many different types of family shoots you can go for. I hope you find my images inspirational. 


Studio shoots can be a little intimidating.  But at the same time can provide you with clean/ timeless photos that will always look good hanging on the walls of your home even years later.  I like to get to know the family before I start taking pictures. You should expect that from any photographer for any event.  Personality is very important when taking photos otherwise it can look forced and unnatural. 

Huddle in, this fills the frame and if you tickle each other you are guaranteed to get a smile. You don't all need to look at the camera, it looks less posed if you just share a glance at each other.

Consider the clothes your wear to the shoot. If you are a bright and colourful family, don't all turn up in plain clothes. If you want your images to pop colour in your clothes is the key ! 

If you feel a little self conscious about your shape, lay down on the floor, so that your head and shoulders are in view, this will also help you relax more too.

Black and white images look fantastic (my fave) especially on a black background. Be warned Don't wear black for this type of photo, your head will look like its floating in the middle of the image. 

Play with the kids, the photographer will shout out names that will attract their attention for that perfect shot. 

Also consider getting out and about. You don't always have to be in a studio. Kids show their personalities better when they are in their own environment. I shoot in peoples homes and at their fave park as well as a studio.  

Kids love hugs/ cuddles and kisses, let them show their affection towards their mums, dads and grandparents.

A photographer will take many photos to ensure you have a variety to choose from. As well as the group shots they should also capture individuals, couples, just kids, just adults etc.  Consider a collage of images then you get a variety within one finished photo.

Consider natural light portraits, these produce beautiful soft images and aren't as intimidating as large flash lights. 

Don't miss an opportunity to get some photos of your children. Times passes by so quickly but these snapshots in time can last forever. They can also make great presents for other family members. 

Take a couple of outfits to change the look of your images, maybe one smart and one casual. Ladies could consider getting their hair done so it looks perfect and gives them more confidence. Some photographers can provide an MUA (Make Up Artist) ask if this service is available, it can be costly but its worth it for that glamorous look. 

Your photographer will guild you but they will also want you to think about the type of photo you want.  A shoot should take at least 1 to 2 hours some of that will include the talk on what you are looking for.  When considering a photographer you should look at their style of photos, if you like their images they are the photographer for you.  

Prices vary from photographer to photographer. This will be down to the experience and products on offer.  If they need to travel then expect this cost to be factored in.  Some Prints are included in the price as well as CDs of the images. CDs are usually copyright free which means you can print them out as much as you want and where you want, but the CD can be expensive so consider the number of images being made available on the CD as prints supplied by the photographer may be cheaper.

I hope this gives you some ideas about the type of family portrait you would like.


]]> (Catherine Heaps) blog ideas learning nikon portraits studio teaching telford Tue, 08 Apr 2014 09:21:54 GMT
Help with camera settings Do you find using your DSLR a little difficult sometimes ?

My path to the camera I use today was quite fast.  I started with a Fuji FInepix 2.4mp camera, I loved it but after a short while I found that there were limitation to the styles of photography I enjoyed looking at. I then bought a Nikon D50, starting to feel like we are getting somewhere as I am able to change lens (more of this below). I moved to more mpx and better quality/faster sensors by purchasing a Nikon D200. I now own a Full sized sensor etc Nikon D200. Liked Nikon because the Optics (Lenses) are better quality. But Canon is great also.

There are some simple rules when it comes to taking photos using your DSLR, so don't worry about all the creative stuff just yet, get the basics cracked.

I won't bore you with the technical jargon, so here it goes -

- DSLRs are great because you can change the lenses on them, which can result in different effects, try to get good quality lenses as the results really are far more superior than the budget lenses. But if you are pretty comfortable staying with 1 lens because you like the range (18-55) (80-200) it gives you then that's fine also.


Wide Angle

ISO100, 10mm (10-20mm lens) 1/200sec shutter speed and aperture of f/10 to get good focus through image. wide angle distort your image, but use wisely as they can stretch people and make the image look false.



ISO400, 155mm (70-200mm lens) 1/1000sec shutter speed and aperture of f/4.8 (to blur background). This image was taken as some considerable distance from the subject. She was just looking round and noticed me taking pics of her.


Prime lens

ISO100, 50mm, Shutter 1/250 and aperture of f/3.5 to allow as much light as possible in to the lens.
The only prime lens I had, it stops barrel distortion on faces etc (models won't look like they have an out of proportion nose) you will need to ensure you have enough available space behind you to move back so you are able to get the whole subject in the shot, unlike telephoto lenses that bring the subject closer or further away from you.


- RAW Format, Use it.  Don't shoot in jpeg alone, seriously if you don't get all the settings input in to the camera correctly before taking the image you will 'waste a lot of film' and you can't do too much about it.   I use lightroom to read RAW files and I've been able to change the white balance. (Orange tint, yellow tint, blue tint etc) to completely transform an image.  This is particularly useful if you are moving in and out of rooms, buildings etc when shooting weddings. You can set to auto white balance but it doesn't always get it right.  Ever took a pic and it has an orange glow ?

- ISO, mine is set to ISO100 90% of the time due to wanting high quality, crisp photos.  I only change this if I am in more 'tricky' situations. Indoors there isn't much light, although our eyes think its a pretty well lit room.  So to mimic that exposure in a camera means you have to change settings -

     4sec - 1/115sec - Speed of the shutter - Only go this low if you have a tripod and want to take images of things that are not moving.

     1/125 - 1/140sec - Pretty good range for someone sat down having a portrait image done. Don't forget though, you can't be jumping around either.

     1/160-1/200sec - This is the kids jumping, people moving around, birds flying and action shots.

- Aperture. The size of the stop is one factor that affects depth of field. Smaller stops (larger f numbers) produce a longer depth of field, allowing objects at a wide range of distances to all be in focus at the same time.  WHAT ?    Imagine you have 3 people in front you, they are all standing further back from the person in front of them.  You want number 1 and number 3 to be out of focus.  Choose a setting of between f/1.8 and f/5.  If you want them all in focus choose a setting of f/8.2 to f/22.  If the are stood in front of an ugly wall, just pull it back in again to around f/11.  ONE IMPORTANT NOTE - Changing the aperture settings will effect the amount of light coming in to the camera so you may need to re adjust your speed to compensate.

- Flash. Camera flashes are pretty naff when you use telephoto lenses in particular.  The spread of light from a built in flash creates a shadow on the bottom of the image because the lens interrupts the flow. So for this reason I use an extra flash.  They sit much higher on the camera and you can angle the light in different directions, it can be used off camera so the light can shine on things from different angles. Its also a lot more powerful and can light up a pretty big room. 

How do you know when you have set the camera up correctly, before committing to taking the picture ?

- Exposure Meter. Get the manual out to find your metering system.  Set to Manual Mode. Point camera at subject. Half press the shutter. Look at the metering readou and adjust the aperture setting or shutter speed setting and set when dial remains centered. The camera will also be taking the ISO settings in to account so don't forget about these.



Thats it for now, hope it helped.

There is so much to learn and I have only given you a snip of information, but just a few little tips here and there will help you understand how to use your DLSR easily and at the same time will also allow you to concentrate more on the subject and its composition. It can seem daunting at first but simple rules will help you learn and adapt quickly, making the experience of being a photographer far more enjoyable which allows you to be more creative.

Have a play with your cameras.  If you would like some training please feel free to give me a shout.



]]> (Catherine Heaps) Nikon blog d600 landscape learning lightroom photography photoshop portrait teaching Tue, 01 Apr 2014 09:12:45 GMT
My trip to Paris I've been with my partner Mark for 5 years now.  Every year we were supposed to go to Paris, but we just didn't find the right time.  We finally made it for my Birthday in November so was super excited about meeting the beautiful city.

If you ever go to Paris (which I highly recommend) photograph opportunities are a plenty. Day time and night time can be equally exciting.  I only took my Nikon D600 and 24-70mm Nikon lens on most days but brought my wide angle 10-20mm sigma lens and macro lens just in case.   

Travel on foot as well as doing the tour buses, both are very rewarding and it allows to to move around the city efficiently. Don't weigh yourself down with too much equipment, you'll be walking a lot and it will start to feel heavy very quickly.  You are also less conspicuous if you only have a camera that can be tucked away when moving in crowds. 

We headed towards the night lights when we first arrived and walked in the grounds of The Louvre Museum. This picture shows a lady walking home from shopping or a busy day at the office.  

We came across the German Market which apparently have been here since the late middle ages. I wanted to take pics of every stall when we got there, but just managed to capture images of the displays they had put on as they were so interesting, here are a few - 

We drank Mulled wine (Glühwein - It is the traditional beverage offered during the Christmas holidays and is usually prepared from red wine, heated and spiced with cinnamon sticks, vanilla pods, cloves, citrus and sugar) and snacked on Beignets (known as churros a fried dough pastry) then we ran out of steam (probably a little tipsy). However I wanted to see the Eiffel Tower which was in view and headed off towards it. It shone a beautiful gold colour and lit up the cloudy sky behind it.  I didn't have a tripod with me so used the river bank walls to balance the camera on. I only carried my 24-70mm Nikkon lens. The shutter was very slow because I wanted to keep my ISO as close to best quality that I could get.

This was as close as we got for this walk so we headed back towards the German Market.  There is some stunning architecture around, these lights compliment this bridge (Passerelle Debilly) so well and make it almost magical looking. 

We also took a stroll down past the designer shops. The window displays were amazing. There were attendants on every door and I'm sure they would have treated us like royalty had we gone in. It was fairly late and the long journey had finally hit us so we headed on back to the hotel. 

The next day we set out really early. The Louve etc was right on our doorstep and I wanted to capture some images before the crowd gathered outside. In terms of cityscapes my skills are limited.  I wasn't very pleased with the photos I produced of The Louvre but am glad I attempted them and will work on this side of my skills. 


There was an exhibition on at the time and we took full advantage of it. I'd never photographed anything like this before, but I loved the light, the architecture and history.   Although the subjects look very well lit, it was still quite difficult shoot them.  I kept my shutter fairly fast as I didn't (or couldn't) use a tripod. No flash was needed as they had their own spot lights.  The Dof is quite shallow to allow for a better exposure and the ISO was around ISO 640. 

You could literally spend an entire week there and still not take photos of everything that amazes and inspires you.  Be brave and take lots of photos (where permitted) and you could put a photo book together yourself. The public areas were as interesting as Napoleon's House pictures below amongst the food hall and spiral stair case.

My fave image was of the ceiling....yes the ceiling.  Great abstract and quite uniform which is right up my street.

The trip on the bus was great fun. If you've never been on a tour bus then you should try it. You have recorded Commentary in a choice of Languages, its stops at all the main attractions and you can jump on and off as much as you like.  We went on to the Eiffel Tower again so I could see it during the day.  I managed to get some nice abstracts as well as the full tower that I was pleased with.  We went to the Notre Dame it was very beautiful and calming and we also spotted a rather amazing bridge or Passerelle des Arts (Love Lock Bridge) which over looks the Seine River. 

We really enjoyed the trip and will have to return as there was so much that we didn't have time to see.  I have quite a few more images than what I have put on my blog but wanted to share some with you, I hope I have inspired you. Enjoy your trip to paris and share your images also, so as to inspire me for when I return. 



]]> (Catherine Heaps) 2013 attractions blog cityscape landscape paris trip Mon, 24 Mar 2014 20:16:34 GMT
Project - Spring 2014  

A lot of Photographers have their own little projects on the go, something that says more about them personally.  

This is true of myself too.  So every now and again I will do a small project.  This helps with creativity and practicing technique can help you when it comes to doing shoots I do for clients. 

This project of work will be a learning curve, as I have to get so many elements right.  Light is the key to making this idea become a reality in print. I hope I'll do it the correct way and will learn something from it.


Project : Fairies
First Photographer : Catherine Heaps
Second Photographer : Louise Powell
MAU : Sophie Williams
Location : Arcall Wood, Shropshire
Model : Aimee 10 years of age
Inspiration : Tinkerbell


Sample shots from Location


Above, I have been able to demonstrate how you can use pictures taken else where to add as an effect on the look of the image I am trying to achieve in the thumbnail.  Flowers growing out in the open and amongst trees at Benthall Hall were a great foreground to add to this image.  Sometimes locations aren't 100% perfect, so a few tweaks here and there and you get the desired look.  I'm sure there are plenty more locations out there that would be ideal and practice makes perfect, so the more I do of these the more places I will discover. 

I have done a few shoots that contain the same model many times, some areas of the forest are so open, I could include Aimee in the image 3 or 4 times by blending them together.  Other areas as nice and compact and can look very theatrical.  Some editing and a few tweaks on the camera to set the exposures correctly will be need though. 

There was even a little dream catcher inside one of the trees I just had to take a pic of it.  Might even incorporate it in to my finish image. 


Make Up & Outfits 

I have the luxury of working with a great Make-up Artist Sophie Williams who will transform Aimee in to a fairy/snow white/angel. 

These images (taken by some fantastic photographers) helped me visualise the light, composition and effect the finish Image will need.  Light can be added later if required so its important that you concentrate of achieving a well exposed shot over everything else.  Not all photographers use Photoshop the way I do and its each to their own. 


We are almost at the point of organising a date for the shoot, the weather is a bit more reliable and we already have the Easter Break earmarked for the date. 

I'll keep you posted with progression, discovery and the shoot. Thanks for stopping by.  If you have any suggestions please feel free to open up discussions by replying to this post.  

]]> (Catherine Heaps) angel benthall fairy forecast hall learning national trust photography projects teaching Mon, 17 Mar 2014 20:49:28 GMT
whats in the costs ? Whats in the Cost ?

Many Potential Clients wonder why Photographers charge what they do. 

Lets have a look



Travel Costs

What is your travel time to work worth ? Pence per mile (45p) includes Tax, Fuel, insurance and maintenance costs.


Actual shoot time 

Understanding the brief for a photo shoot is important to efficiency. 

Aided by the client also understanding thus cutting down on unnecessary ‘hanging around’ time.



This may vary from shoot to shoot however having equipment allows for versatility, but is not cheap.



Simple enhancements and conversion time can vary from assignment to 

assignment and the number of images taken.  Image files need to be saved in to a format the client can access. 


Advanced Editing 

Includes creative effects, skin smoothing or spot removal.


Other Factors

You also need to factor in Printing & Framing, Delivery, Tax, Office/studio Costs, Personal insurances and experience and popularity.  The list is never ending.



So you see it’s never a ‘finger in the air’ moment when Photographers price work.  If you are looking for a shoot with a particular budget in mind, something has to give.  Weddings may have coverage time reduced but this then leads to less moments recorded of that special day. Some clients reduce outfit changes but this may reduce the perception of versatility in a Dancer or Actor. You may not want any spot removal or skin smoothing but may end up being disappointed in your finished look. 

]]> (Catherine Heaps) Nikon clients costs d600 guides help information photography pricing telford wellington Mon, 10 Mar 2014 13:00:25 GMT
Macro Gone Micro to Journey continues  

You may remember that I have an interest in Macro photography.  I also have a microscope that I bolt my camera too, but wouldn't it be neat if I had a Micro Lens ? Well a friend of mine does. So I asked him to come down to my studio and do a little experimentation on a few odd objects we found lying around.  


This is the set up we used - 

Camera: Canon 1D MkIV

Lens: Canon MPE 65 f2.8

Flash: Canon MR-14EX

Powerblock for flash: Calumet Speedlight Powerblock 900

Focus rack: Novoflex Castel-cross Q with Cast-fine fine focussing adjuster.

Kirk Arca plate for camera.

it weights a fair bit and is huge so requires a Tripod. Although Ken was telling me that some photographers have actually held it manually when photographing butterflies etc outdoors.

Why I found this shoot interesting is because we had exactly the same problems that I did with microscope.  The DoF is very narrow, making 3 dimensional objects very different to keep in focus throughout.  We looked in to this and apparently the best thing to do is take a sequence of photos like with the micro scope work, move the focal point and repeat the process, stack the photos then all should be in focus.  The other issue you have is trying to ensure you have your subject in focus in the first place. The screen on the back of the camera is very small, so zoom in.  Just breathing next to the equipment caused camera shake too, the click of the mirror (corrected by using the mirror up method) all made the image shake.  I guess thats the advantage to using a lab scope.  

however the images produced were far superior to anything I had done previously.  


This is a tea towel.  Or should I say a 5 ml section of one.  It  demonstrates the issues with the narrow DoF and if you could zoom in, it would be very difficult to find 1 strand of fibre actually in focus.  It was at this point we knew we had a lot of work to do.  

This next image was of a feather.  Don't breath as the fluffy bits will move and you'll have no chance !

I'm not quite sure what I wanted to see on this. Probably not the best subject.  There are a number of settings (As with a microscope) on the magnification, however unless you have a completely solid surface to work on, don't bother. 

 This first image didn't really show me anything a normal macro lens can't do.  Again, actual crisp focus was near impossible to do. 

We started to play around with some of the settings.  Magnification on these lenses is amazing.  I'm going to study the next thing I want to look at on a micro level.  

This beauty is amazing.  Taken by Ken, its a Cactus Flower. Thats what it's all about. We know the lengths at which the detail achievable is.  


I'm hoping we will have another session to try and improve on our current findings.  if you are interested in coming along, I'll set it up in my studio and we can all have a go.

I will put a date in my calendar and you can email me. 



]]> (Catherine Heaps) Calumet Speedlight Powerblock 900 Canon Canon 1D MkIV Canon MPE 65 f2.8 Canon MR-14EX catherine jane photography studio telford wellington Fri, 21 Feb 2014 14:23:54 GMT
New Product Lights for the studio Bought a set of Product Studio lights.  The deference with this to Lights bought for portraits is that the light is constant, there is no flash.  It gives a constant overall pleasing light to products and below are some pics I took testing it. 

The kit didn't come with any instructions, but as I've used this equipment before I was confident I'd put it together correctly.  My better half bought me a book on product photography so I will be getting that out and doing some test shoots over the next week or so.

Below is how I set it up as I took it out of the box. So I know it may not look exactly right but I was pleased with the results straight from the off.


I took several images moving the lights slightly, changing angles and even switching some of them off (as shown in image 3). Sorry about the Mucky lenses, I was just using them as an example.

Not bad.




]]> (Catherine Heaps) Lenses Nikon Photography Product Studio Sun, 29 Dec 2013 13:11:11 GMT
Sax Appeal I recently did a photo shoot with my friend Hollie Hollie is a musician who wanted some photos of her Sax, clarinet and Flute.  My fave is below.

Hollie Whittles - FluteHollie Whittles - FluteNew venture taking photos of Musicial Artists and their Tools of the Trade.

Hollie was great fun to work with and I got everything out of the shoot I wanted to achieve. Hoping to do a few more projects like this soon.

We actually did the shoot in my home.  I set up a backdrop and studio lights.  One issue I had though was that my daughter was in bed, so Hollie couldn't play her instruments which is just bad luck. 



]]> (Catherine Heaps) Nikon blog clarinet d600 flute lightroom music photo photography photoshop saxophone shropshire telford wellington Wed, 30 Oct 2013 10:39:20 GMT
Where are we Hello all


I've been a very busy bee.  Recently overhauled some of my photos and rearranged the collections.  Its nice going through your archives and looking back on all your client work.  Some faves of mine include Kenny Hayes -

Kenny Hayes

The family shoots -


and Fashion shoots


]]> (Catherine Heaps) Nikon d600 lightroom model music photography photoshop portrait shropshire telford Wed, 30 Oct 2013 09:46:41 GMT
Whats going on ? Hello all, you may be wondering what Ive been up too. Well I've registered the business as Catherine Jane Photography Ltd.  I've been doing a lot of work building my Portfolio so you may notice some recent changes to that.  There have been a few photography shoots recently so work to be done on the business side as well of photo processing and customer service. I've also been adjusting to the 2 days a week I now have my daughter....oh joy ! its been fine really, keep the days busy and you can survive a toddler. 


I am responding to emails, however the delay has been in setting up a totally new system and you shall hear from me shortly.


Smiley Faces photo shoots - All client should have now received a Form.  If you wish to purchase a print or cd, please return the form to Smiley Faces and I will collect.


Wedding Shoots - Progress is being made editing photos from the events and you will have been given a lead time of 2 to 4 weeks.



]]> (Catherine Heaps) Wed, 10 Jul 2013 11:11:36 GMT
Macro Gone Micro using my Nikon Microphotography

My husband bought my a microscope for Christmas so I could use it with my camera.  I love macro and decided I wanted to try Micro.  Anyway its a learning curve and a half.  Not quite got the hang of it yet but have been making progress.


This is an image of a Locust Mandible.

This was my very first attempt.  But something definitely looked wrong as the light spot in the middle of the image shouldn't be there.

I contacted the company who manufactured them for advice.  Its a Apex Lab grade Microscope (I'll post a pic shortly).  I also had to by an adaptor to fit on to the top of the microscope so that I was able to bolt on my camera (Nikon D200).  They advised that I insert at lens part way down the Extension Tube (improved image below).


This is an image of a Wasp

This was the result !   

Ok, now we are getting somewhere.  I did however use an external flash source (250w to be exact).  There is a very shallow depth of field. I'd like the entire image in focus so will need to work on that by looking in to image stacking/blending.



This is actually a sample of my blood


With a lot of patients the images are starting to look really interesting.  In fact, I have been able to demonstrate via this image what my full intention for Microphotography was.

The sample is about 2 weeks old but set under cover glass on the slide. The white areas are where air has been traps as I have placed the cover glass on top.


Clematis Petal

You can clearly see the cell structure.  Nature is so beautiful.  The slightly brown areas are the last remaining pigments of colour but this petal was pink. 

Further to this article I grouped up with Ken Terry (an excellent Wildlife Photographer) and His Canon MPE 65 f2.8 lens.  Similar in lurking curve also.  

Please check out this link for more information.




]]> (Catherine Heaps) Nikon blog canon close-up learning macro micro microscope photography teaching Tue, 14 May 2013 09:35:38 GMT
We are off to a good start. Had my first official client this week.  Nicki is a very talented dancer.  For her Portfolio we tried to ensure we had at least 2 good shots of each Dance Style.  The image below is one of the images we are considering for her Dance Portfolio.  More to follow. 


]]> (Catherine Heaps) Nikon d600 dancer photography Wed, 24 Apr 2013 19:33:21 GMT
Quiet weekend Well I've had a great weekend, went to Dudmaston Hall. Didn't even take my camera but a definite yes for a revisit later in the year when summer is in full flow. Nice landscape, ultra wide angle, panoramic, historical, architectural, full of interest. 

Hope u have enjoyed your Easter Break. 

]]> (Catherine Heaps) Dudmaston Nikon d600 histrionic landscape national trust photography Mon, 01 Apr 2013 21:48:50 GMT
Charity work I've recently started contacting charitable organisations to enquire about offering my services as an event photographer. I've done quite a few events already including RSPCA Dorrington & Telford Football Club. I'm hoping over the next few months to get a few more opportunities so if you know of ant charities who may require some assistance please pass on my details. 

]]> (Catherine Heaps) RSPCA TFC charity photography Thu, 28 Mar 2013 20:19:21 GMT
New Software I've just ordered the latest version of Photoshop Elements 11.  Should be arriving shortly.  Although I use Photoshop, I also find this software a great bridge between PS and Lightroom that allows me to do some simple editing to great effect.  Its on offer on Amazon at the moment with a massive 45% discount. 

]]> (Catherine Heaps) 11 HDR Nikon d600 elements photography photomatix photoshop software Wed, 27 Mar 2013 21:25:28 GMT
Not a lot Didn't do so well over the weekend taking pics, initially thought if broken my camera so that stressed me out a little. The weather was far to cold and heavy snow stopped me from taking a lot of out door shots. Going to process what I've done and share a few with you shortly.

]]> (Catherine Heaps) Lake district Nikon d600 landscape photography Sun, 24 Mar 2013 23:25:56 GMT