While I didn’t make Cathy’s headline gig for the Galway International Arts Festival, I did catch her wonderful set supporting Owen Pallett the previous week. Accompanied by Derren Dempsey on guitar, she played a range of material- mostly new stuff themed around animals. 210714-CathyCavey-0193_web
















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Clarity Volume 4 is out now! Featuring 73 pages of goodness with articles from yours truly, Piet Van den Eynde, Kevin Kubota & Dave Delnea amongst others.

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For my article, we’ve moved into Develop, and take an in-depth look at the Basic Panel. Other features include Food Photography, Hollywood Glamor, and making ‘Indoor Clouds’ with liquids.


CLARITY is a bi-monthly eMagazine published in PDF format for maximum compatibility with a wide range of devices.

There’s also a subscription offer giving 8 issues of the magazine. Issues 1-4 right now, with 5-8 as they publish.

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The inimitable Mark Geary played the Backstage bar in Monroes Live last Friday as part of the Galway International Arts Festival. The full band included Graham Hopkins on Drums and Mark Penny on Keys. Before a note was played, Mark had the entire audience move forward until everyone was right up at the stage, some even sitting on the floor to be really close. This intimacy lead to quite a tender and beautiful gig where everyone was hanging on every word. The performance was beautiful, and it’s always great to hear classics like Gingerman in the set early on. (Open post for full set)

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Declan O’Rourke made a welcome return to the Roisin Dubh for the Galway International Arts Festival. Armed with a string quartet and some new arrangements, he made short work of pleasing the audience. I really loved the pizzicato strings for Sarah.

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Have to say I really enjoyed Sam Brookes doing support for Declan O’Rourke last week in Roisin Dubh as part of the Galway International Arts Festival.
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The Big Red Ball has definitely been one of the more fun things at the Galway International Arts Festival this year. The concept is simple, a giant red ball magically appears at a host of locations around the city. Due to other work I couldn’t make all of the locations, but here’s the ones I did make!

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Click into the post for more!

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It’s Festival Time, making it the busiest time of the year! It’s 5:30am and I’m getting photos out to clients before adding more in again. Last Sunday saw Laura Fox in the Sunday World with her last feature before Miss Ireland this weekend. Good luck! Check out the article for more photos.

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Shoots in studio can be anything from 20 minutes for a headshot to a full day of fashion. Even then you can still be under time pressure with a one day lookbook shoot. On location you can be under time pressure because of fading light or more likely here, the oncoming rain. With photo calls, you might have 10 minutes with 5 other photographers vying for the same shot. Even for editorial work it can be in and out, thanks very much and hope you got the shot. So a little practice never hurts.

The goal for this photo was to get a shot I was really happy with in a location with 10 minutes to setup, shoot and strip down. I choose musician Paul Ward on his recent gig in The Quays. He had no clue beforehand, but was well up for it. We went to the dressing room where I set up the gear and did a few variations before deciding on this look. The 10 minute mark hit as I was leaving the dressing room, all packed and done. I’m happy with it. I wasn’t aiming for award winning, just a solid portrait.

I started with front lighting with my portable octabox in a butterfly configuration-a typical start point for me, but opted to go for a short lit look to bring more mood, and to darken the background more in the tight space. For the black and white conversion, I’ve just set the saturation slider to -100 in Lightroom to retain the tonal balance from the original. Finally I added Grain @ Amount 18.

Gear: Fuji X Pro-1 with 18-55 lens @55mm 1/125 f10 ISO 400. Godox V860C flash in manual controlled via the FT-16s trigger, with the Wide Angle Diffuser out (14mm). Flash at half power. 120cm Octa on Ebay flash bracket with Manfrotto Nano 001b stand.

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As a fashion, portrait and beauty photographer here in Galway, I do both studio and location shoots. My studio lights, and my high power battery flashes are made by Elinchrom, so I can mix and match my modifiers between them for consistency in my lighting choice. Even though the Rangers are relatively lightweight for their power, you can’t just leave them in the bag in case of a job. In these case I prefer to use speedlights. I’ve mentioned the Neweer rebranded Godox flashes before, but I’ve also gone with a Godox V860C TTL flash. This is now my main speedlight for both TTL and Manual usage. I really only use TTL for my club event photography, and for occasional on camera bounce flash work.

I do have a range of modifiers for speedlights, which I’ll discuss in the future (including the awesome MagMod stuff), but by and large they don’t meet the standard of the studio modifiers. One of my favourite modifiers is my Deep Octa 70. It’s just so versatile. I’ve blogged about this before when talking about ‘Shooting with 4 lights‘. It packs down enough for a suitcase for travel, but not quite Ryanair size. For my upcoming talk on speedlights at the SWPP Convention, I have a suitcase so I may bring this.. because I have a way to use it with my Godox.

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There’s a really common bracket that used with loads of speed light softboxes, and some genius has modified one to hold Elinchrom modifiers. I’ve actually had my one a while from eBay (here’s a sample one; I’ve not bought from them), but I was really busy so never got to even test it. I’ve been using the Lastolite 36″ Triplefold Umbrella, and an Ebay 120cm Octa recently, but really wanted the look of the Deep Octa. One thing I’ve noticed with the 120cm Octa (it’s a reverse Octa-so the flash faces into it), is that the best light comes when I use the Wide Angle Diffuser (WAD) on the flash. With the Godox, that’s a 14mm zoom; Really wide.

So I mounted the Godox on the bracket, and then mounted the whole lot to the Deep Octa. It’s easier doing it this way than trying to mount the Deep Octa onto the bracket. Trust me, you’ll look far more clever on the job if you do. The flash is really secure because you have both the flash screw and the coldshoe screw to hold it in place. That’s the beauty of having the trigger mount to the side of the flash.

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Next is the test to see what works best for spread. I set Fuji XPro-1 & Godox up to render expose the interior of the Octa. I shot 2 shots, one with the flash at 24mm, with the WAD off, and the other at 14mm with the WAD on.

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We can see the most even light is from the 14mm. I could use a Stofen style cap to diffuse more, but that requires additional power from the flash. Not as much of an issue with the Godox with it’s 650 full power flashes per battery, but still one to consider.

I did shoot some test shots with my wife, but needless to say, they’re not going up here; late night shots are not for publication. Still they came out well and I’m looking forward to using this in upcoming location shoots. Here’s the Deep Octa in action with the Quadra on location

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The latest Photoshop User magazine is out now with my Maximum Workflow article on onOne Software’s Perfect B&W.

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Lightroom Blog

  • Lightroom 5.6, Camera Raw 8.6 and DNG Convertor 8.6 now available. 31-07-2014
    Lightroom 5.6, Camera Raw 8.6 and DNG Convertor 8.6 now available from Adobe.com or via their update mechanisms. This release gives camera support for the Nikon D810, Panasonic LUMIX AG-GH4 & LUMIX DM
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    Clarity Volume 4 is out now! Featuring 73 pages of goodness with articles from yours truly, Piet Van den Eynde, Kevin Kubota & Dave Delnea amongst others. For my article, we’ve moved into Develop, and
  • After CC is gone. 11-07-2014
    It’s been there since 5.5 came out, but wasn’t announced-perhaps because of the hubbub of all the other Creative Cloud announcements; You can continue to access your photos in Lightroom even if you ca