Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Dubai Fire work photography chance

Happy New Year everyone!
I hope you all have had a wonderful 2013. I know I have and I am really looking forward to 2014. I have so many new things work wise planed in so I am super excited to get started with it all. I just need some more hours in the day to get it all done (is that even possible to get more hours in a day than the 24h there is??) Maybe I should have asked Santa for that? If anyone can make it possible it must me Santa. right!
Well for all of you that are in Dubai at the moment you must be aware that tonight is the nigh you have the chance to photograph the most spectacular fireworks display in the world. Dubai are tonight going for a world record fire work display you see so ours will be so much cooler and bigger and better than any other in the world at least for tonight.
For those of you that are a bit photography interested I am sure that you have already planned out a head of time where you will be standing with your tripod at the strike of 12 tonight.
If you need pointers on how to photograph firework displays take a look at my blog post from last year.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy New Year and all the best for 2014!
I hope to see you all in the New Year!!

ps. Do any of you have any new years resolutions?
I have two.
1. is to take more time to play golf (I only managed 2 times in 2013)
2. Keep my office tidier and organised so I easily find stuff. I find stuff now but it is a right mess most of the time. Just take a look at my desk top.
I even have my passport just laying about not good at all. But there is a reason for that which i have a reason for all the stuff to be where they are... I am endless of excuses and might be hard for an outsider to understand but there is an order to all this madness. All the memory cards that are laying about have an order to them. :) Not saying it is a fail proof system could for sure get better! But there is some king of system :)

Over and out for 2013.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Dubai Sony Grand Prize Winner!!! It is Me!!! Yey!!


I am so happy right now I have just found out that I am the Grand Prize Winner in the Sony #Snapathon Challenge that I was participating in together with 7 other Dubai based photographers.
We all got to test out one of Sony's new wifi camera for smartphones for 10 days, the Sony QX100 camera.
If you follow my blog you will have read about it earlier that it is a very small camera that you can attach to your smartphone or keep it separate and just hold it in our hand while taking a photo or filming. yes I said filming it can do that as well, it is very versatile and handy to have with you when you are out and about. About 6 months ago I changed from a Blackberry Curve to an iPhone5 and i have been amazed what my camera phone can do on my iPhone compared to the camera i had on my blackberry. Now when I have tried the Sony QX100 I literally do not want to leave home without it. I only had it for a test loan for 10 days and now after I have given it back I have caught myself thinking if I only had the Sony QX100 with me now I could capture this image a lot better than I can with only my iPhone5. Especially in low light situation the quality difference is amazing. You can do lovely sunsets with it that your smartphone can never capture in the same way and with great quality minimum of grain in the image, which you usually get a lot of when you photograph in low light with a smartphone.
Me holding the SonyQX100 camera in my hand so the photo is taken with my iPhone5 so not the best quality, I just want to show you how small it is.
Those of you that know me know that I have a daughter that is only 20 months old so I am still bringing her diaper bag with me where ever we go and this little camera fits perfectly in the bag due to its small size. Same thing for my hand bag that I use when I go out and about by myself it fits nicely in that as well and I am not one of those ladies that have a huge bag where you can find everything. 
The Sony QX100 camera is now available across stores in the UAE so if you like gadgets I can highly recommend you to go out and check it out for yourself don't just take my word for it. But you wont regret it.
Since I am the lucky Grand Prize winner I don't only win myself a Sony QX100 camera but I also win a Sony Bravia TV I am not sure who in our family that are more happy about that me or my husband lol.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience of being part of the Sony #Snapathon challenge, I liked the fact that they pushed us to take at least 6 different photographs a day, that way they forced us all to really test the camera out to its fullest potential, at least for me since I did not only just want to snap what was in front of me everyday which was a lot of different stuff since this challenge came at a time where we as photographers in Dubai are the most busiest. Our high season was in full swing and still are, which is great! I can't wait to get my winning prize so that I once again get to walk around with my very own Sony QX100 camera at hand all the time. So stay tuned more photos taken with it will for sure be visible here on my blog!
The feature that I enjoy the most on the Sony QX100 camera is the fact that it has Aperture priority mode so you can get excellent shallow depth of field with this little device. It is like having a mini DSLR camera with you all the time! Brilliant!
If you have any questions about the camera please feel free to ask me I will answer them as well as I possibly can, If I don't know the answer I will send the question over to Sony Middle East and they will for sure be able to answer you.
I would like to give a Hugh Thank You to everyone that helped me win this Sony #Snapathon challenge by sharing my photographs on Facebook Thank you!!
-Sony if you ever need someone to test out another of you products in the future please keep me in mind I would love to help you out! :)

Over and out for now.
Helen xx

Monday, 25 November 2013

Last chance to win yourself a Sony QX100 camera #Snapathon Dubai

Hello out there,
I know you are all aware that I have been participating in something called the Sony QX100 #Snapathon Challenge for a while now. It is now finally coming to an end.
Now you have a chance to win yourself your very own incredible Sony QX100 camera all you have to do is to participate by sharing my, Helen's images on your FB page.
Go to this link on Facebook
Then press The Snapathon Challenge on the right and then choose Helen from the Drop Down link look at my images that I have taken with the SOny QX100 camera compared to my iPhone 5 camera. Press share on FB on any of th eiamges and its done you then have the chance to win your very own camera. Simpels!
The Contest ends this Thursday 28th of November so you better hurry.
Best of luck to all of you. If you win so do I! So I am hoping you will.

Over and out for now. Helen xx

Friday, 8 November 2013

Dubai Photography Walk About

On Monday we are heading over to the fruit and vegetable market in Dubai fo rmy next photography walk about.
I still have a few spaces available if anyone are interested to join in. Please send me an email to info@shippeyphotography.com
I went to the fruit and vegetable market the other day to check it out, and boy was I popular :) everyone wanted to have their photograph taken so it is a great place to go if you want to practice to take portraits of people. The fruit and vegetable market is also covered so you do not have the harsh sun straight from above and it also makes it a bit cooler which is very nice.
As requested from participants at my last photography walk about you now also have the ability to upgrade to an exclusive photography walk about package. Where you afterwards have access to a FB group that are exclusive to people attending my photography walk about where you can upload your 5 best shots that you took on your photography walk about and I will give you feedback and critique your images. Everyone will be able to see everyone elses posts so you will be able to learn from each other as well. For the full Photography Walk About Package where you have access to post critique on your photographs I charge AED 150, you also have the ability to just participate in the photography walk about where I assist you on the day with help of how to best capture the image you would like to capture with your camera for AED 80.
Here are some snaps I took the other day at the fruit and vegetable market.
Looking forward to show you around the area on Monday November 11.
For more details regarding time and where to meet send me an email.
See you all later!
Helen xxx

Sunday, 3 November 2013

10 Days in Dubai with the new SonyQX100 #Snapathon

If you are following me on Facebook or my Twitter or Instagram feeds you will have noticed lately that I have been posting a lot more different stuff than I normally do. That is because I was one of the chosen ones from Sony to test out their new SonyQX100 wifi camera. I have had it for 10 day and have been happily snapping away in something that Sony calls our #Snapathon challenge between all of us 7 photographers that have been testing their new camera. In the end one of us can win some Sony gadgets if we have managed to get enough internet buzz going about it :) So please feel free and comment like and everything else you can do when you see me write anything with the word #Snapathon :)
Anyway so to my conclusions about this little camera gadget. I call it a gadget because that is exactly what I feel it is. It is definitively not a necessity but a very cool thing to have with you for sure. It even helped me with a job earlier in the week so I am very pleased with it.
It is very versatile in what it can do, it is like a mini DSLR that fits in your palm! Since it is so small I have either had it in one of my trouser pockets or in my diaper bag when I have been am out and about with my daughter. And all parents know we photograph our children a lot or is that just me?? :) So I have been very pleased to have had this little camera at hand all the time to capture better photographs of her than my iPhone5 can manage to do. It also has a video functionality which I use all the time because I upload several video snippets a week to youtube for my family to see back home of what my daughter is up to and how she has developed etc. and it only takes seconds to do that with the SonyQX100.
It has pre programmed smart functions so that you do not have to think as a photographer just make a great composition and then snap away. But it also has aperture priority mode so that lets you be creative with the camera as well. You can set your aperture and then you can over expose or underexpose the scene if you like as well.

 This is a sample image i have taken where you can see how easy it is to throw the back ground out of focus (make the back ground blurry) The image on the right is taken with my iPhone5 I tried to take the same image again with my phone but could not replicate the same image with it. It just does not have those extra functions that makes it possible.

I used the camera in aperture priority most of the time because I like to make the creative decisions but as I said you can have the camera do that for you as well and just touch on your screen to where you want it to focus.
Here are some screen shots of what you see the camera can do. I have used the SonyQX100 only with my iPhone5 but you can use it with other smart phones as well.
 Showing off how easily you switch from still photo to video.
Here you can see some more functions. I had to use the white balance at times to make sure the photo did not turn out all green, which you easily do under the the white balance and change it to any of the presets it has there super easy.
I also tried the self timer which works perfectly. It is pre set on 2sec or 10sec I used the 10 sec one so that I had time to run into the frame myself. It worked very easily I thought. Here is a snap that I got. A self portrait of me! I was talking to some of my photographer friends that I wanted some new head shots with my camera that I can use on my website and other social media platforms and one of them said why don't you use your SonyQX100 so I thought yes why not! So I went home and did. This image is straight out of the camera I will remove the corner of that picture if I will use it for anything else. 

Now over to quality!
Is it good enough for print and better than my iPhone5?
In short Yes most definitively better than my iPhone5 in so many scenarios. The most noticeable scenarios are in low light and if you want to through the background out of focus.
Do I even have to tell you which photo is from which camera in the above photos?
Now to the question of printing. Yes it is good enough for print. I set the camera to its highest image capacity which is 3:2 20MB. For most of the week I have only used it at a medium capacity because I have not had the need to use it at the highest. But when one of my magazine clients called and asked me to take a photograph of a painter I quickly set the camera on its highest image size to make sure the image would be good enough for them to print in the magazine.
Here is the result:

It will be in print in their next months issue.
Now this took me all of minutes to take the photograph and email it straight from my phone to the publisher. So much quicker than if I had taken the photograph with my 'work' DSLR. Now looking at the image the little handle in the right bottom corner is annoying me so I would photoshop that out if I had been able to. The reason why I did not use my usual DSLR was that I did not have it with me at the time but I have been carrying around the SonyQX100 with me everywhere due to its small size. My client called me out of the blue and I just happen to be where he wanted me to be but i was there at a leisure capacity which is why i did not have my normal DSLR camera I usually use when I work. But we managed to get a shot with the little SonyQX100 so the client is happy and so is the painter that is now in the next magazine issue and on the web.
This little camera is a camera and a lens all in one. The view finder is your smart phone, they talk through a wifi connection to each other. pretty small the camera can be put on to our phone or be held separately. It also has a great zoom function. You can press the shutter either on your phone or on the camera itself. Your photographs that you capture will be saved automatically to your smart phones memory. You also have the option to have a memory card in the camera where the images will be saved on. 
Below photographs are supplied by Sony to show case how the SonyQX100 looks like.
If you have any questions about the SonyQX100 I am happy to answer them to the best of my ability of what I have encounter under these 10 days using it.

Over and out for now.
Helen Shippey

Monday, 28 October 2013

Dubai Photography Walk About and #Sony #Snapathon

I would like to say a big thank you to everyonen that participated in todays photography walk about down at Heritage Village. I had a great time and from what I have heard from the participants so far they did too! Which I like to hear of course. These walks are all about learning how to use your camera for its best ability and to start thinking creatively. Today we talked a lot about composition. How do you best compose the ultimate photograph? Well join me at my next one and find out!
The next Photography Walk About dates are:
11 of November, 15th of November 24th of November and 5th of December.
Send me an email with the one you would like to attend. They will all be at different locations around Dubai so you can attend more than one if you like and join me capturing Dubai frame by frame.
As some of you know already I am this week testing out the yet to be released Sony QX100 smart phone camera. So of course I brought it along with me this morning and snapped a few frames with that one as well. I have had it for 4 days now and it is very impressive what such a small device can do. I am most impressed with the ability to shoot in Aperture priority just like you would a dslr camera! Lots of potential for such a small camera and lens all in one. It is small enough to fit in your pocket unless you are wearing skinny jeans then you will have a tuff time. I have been walking around with it in my diaper bag, since I rarely leave the house without that one I now always have a full fledged camera with me all the time that takes no space what so ever. Super cleaver.
Over and out for now. Please leave a comment if you have any questions about anything. If you want to sign up for my Photography Walk Abouts send me an email to: info@shippeyphotogrpahy.com
Looking forward to see you all again soon.
Helen xx

Saturday, 26 October 2013

A fun filled family photo shoot in Dubai

This family is one of my regulars I photograph them every year since the little ones were born. I just love to see how the children grow up and change in between the times I see them.
They were both such sweet hearts during our photography session. We did it outdoors since the weather has started to cool down a bit now but it is still quite warm if you are out for a long time.
When you are photographing children it is always a good idea to bring in an element in the photographs that they enjoy and like such as the bubbles they also create a very fun photography prop.
Video link:

Friday, 18 October 2013

Dubai Photography Walk About

Back by popular demand are my Photography Walk Abouts.
The first one will take place on Monday the 28th of October between 09.00-11.00 in Dubai.
I only have a few spaces for each Photography Walk About to make sure that we are a small group so everyone get the assistance they need. We will walk around in Dubai and capture its beauty as we see it. I am at hand to help you to capture the photograph you have visualized in your mind that you want to take. I will help you out with taking your camera off the Automatic mode and start using the creative modes that you have available for you. All you need is to bring your own camera, comfortable shoes and plenty of water it is still warm out there. I charge AED 80 per person for the walk about.
If you would like to sign up please send me an email to info@shippeyphotography.com
I will put together a schedule for all the photography walks and they will be at different locations so you can attend more than one if you like and capture Dubai one frame at a time.
It will be a fun filled morning for sure. I will start it off by just giving you some hints of what you should be thinking about when you photograph in order to take a better photo.

Hope to see you on the 28th of October 2013 at 09.00

All the best.
Helen Shippey xx