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
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