Friday, 18 December 2009

Ham-fisted Bun Vendors!!

Jon Pertwee

I finally got the 3rd Doctor figures from Forbidden Planet. I splurged on both the "Sea Devils" version and the "Death to the Daleks" versions (I skipped the "Green Death" version because as much as I like the Doctor figure, I refuse to pay £25 for a figure and 3 maggots).

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Simon Out-take

Simon 2

An out-take from a quick shoot I did with Simon from Legacy Comics.
One flash in a 24" folding softbox, handheld by Vern, in E-TTL mode.

Sunday, 8 November 2009



One of the things that put a lot of people off Colin baker's Doctor was his awful costume, which i often describe as looking like an "explosion in a clown factory".
Well, in 2002 BBCi released the webcast story "Realtime". This featured the Sixth Doctor in a much better blue version of his costume. This version of the costume has also popped up on a few cover illustrations as well, namely some of the Big Finish Audio Productions.
Once again, this figure is a Forbidden Planet Exclusive.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Thursday, 5 November 2009

The First Doctor

First among Equals

William & Patrick

I finally got round to opening my 1st and 2nd Doctor action figures yesterday. (Only took a month!) These are available exclusively from Forbidden Planet in the UK, and come in colour and black & white versions.
I went for the colour versions, on the grounds that I were buying them primarily to photograph and if I wanted them black & white I could do so after the fact.
I used an 18' pop-up softbox for most of the shots, with a grid for a rimlight. Mostly I had the Speedlights set to E-TTL metering, as this allowed me to vary may aperture without having to fiddle with the power settings on the flashes.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

It's not all Doctor Who and Dinosaurs....

Morpheus-Dream 4

.....I do sometimes photograph real people too!

Last Saturday (Halloween) I spent the day being "photographer in residence" at the "Halloween Havoc" event at Legacy Comics in Halifax.

We set up in the Temporary Art Space in the Piece Hall at around 11am, planning to start shooting at about 1pm.

The Gear Table
From Matt Birdsall Photography

Setup Shot

Basically the setup consisted of a Canon 430ex each side set to 1/4 power, each gelled with a 1/4 CTB Gel. These where intended to separate the subject from the background.
The main light was a Canon 580ex in a 24" pop-up softbox. This was set to 1/16 power, to provide a little fill.
All the flashes where triggered with Elinchrome Skyports, with the softbox on Channel 1, and the rim/edge lights on channel 2. This enabled me to remove the softbox from the setup by using the Group switch on the Skyport trigger, with out having to do it manually.
I shot mainly with the Canon 70-200 f4L IS lense, at around f5.6-8, depending on the subject.

Each subject only took 1-2 minutes to shoot, with some of the more interesting costumes or people getting shot both portrait and landscape, and different framings.

Next year I hope to repeat the shoot, but next year i will make sure to have a bigger medium grey background, and try and have a dry run at the shoot beforehand.
Overall I were happy with the shots I got, my personal favourites being The Sandman, Solid Snake, Black Cat and Scarlet Witch.
All of the images HERE.

I'd also like to thank Simon at Legacy Comics, Chris & Vern for their able assistance and all the great costume competition entrants.

Saturday, 24 October 2009



One of the advantages of having young children is the seemingly inexhaustible supply of toys to photograph.
Isobel loves dinosaurs, and has built up quite a selection.

More dinosaurs here

Friday, 23 October 2009

Halloween Portraits

I'll be shooting Halloween portraits in conjunction with Legacy Comics as part of their "Halloween Havoc" Event on Saturday 31st of October in the Piece Hall, Halifax from about 11am to 4pm.
I'll be in either the Temporary Art Space or one of the empty shop units downstairs.
I'll be shooting all of the fancy dress competition entrants (and anyone else who shows up in exchange for a small donation to one of the Cancer charities Legacy Comics support).
Anyone photographed will be able to download a hires (2000px) JPEG after the event.


Over on Twitter there has been a lot of activity with the #epicblogrt tag.
To get in on the action just tweet your blog with the tag attached, and a bunch of other folk will retweet it, and their friends will retweet it.
And then their friends will retweet it.
And so on (until we break the interwebs).

Read Jon Hodgson's post on the subject HERE.

Black & White Cyberman

Cyberman - Mono

More Doctor Who Timesquad pictures, this time using a climbing frame/slide at the park as a background for a more "industrial" look.
Lit with a Canon 580ex at back camera left, E-TTL mode. Mono conversion with Apple Aperture.

Friday, 9 October 2009



Went up to the Mother-in-Laws yesterday afternoon and took the opportunity to shoot some pictures of the Doctor Who Timesquad figures.
Mostly shot with flash, with little or no contribution from the ambient.
The best part is that the bulk of the garden is raised 2 feet above the path, so no crawling around on the floor!

More shots HERE

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

The Doctor

The Doctor

Spent some time last night (well, actually this morning!) taking some pictures of some of the Doctor Who TimeSquad figures I've picked up recently.
Used a simply two light setup, with a number of different colour gels for effect.
In the background are five Daleks, thrown out of focus to give a little interest.

Sunday, 27 September 2009


Isobel, originally uploaded by Hellbelly.

I've been playing with Chase Jarvis' Bestcamera application for the iphone lately. It's pretty nice, the only issue being it tends to blow out some of the highlights, but apart from that, it produces some nice effects.

Isobel, using the "Paris" black & white filter.

Monday, 21 September 2009


_MG_5711, originally uploaded by Hellbelly.

Today I had a photoshoot with an actor friend of mine.
Everything went great, apart from nearly putting my back out carrying all my gear on the bus! :)

More shots here

Leeds International Pool HDR 1

Leeds International Pool HDR 1

Travelled across to Leeds on Saturday to meet Matt Spaull, buy Doctor Who figures and take photos. After a (worryingly) slow start I got into my groove and got some really nice shots.
This is one of those shots, and is the first time I've shot with the intention of producing an HDR image. Three shots (-2, 0, +2) processed in Photomatix Pro.
More pictures here

Friday, 18 September 2009


YOU BELONG TO UZZZZZZZ, originally uploaded by Hellbelly.

Recently I've been getting into the Patrick Troughton era of Doctor Who, so have picked up a few of the "Tomb of the Cybermen" style Cybermen, including the Cyber Controller pictured here.
I've also been experimenting with using LED lights instead of flash for action figure photos. This photo is lit simply with a small lightbox (of the type used to look at transparencies) in front of the figure, pointing up.
Shot with the Panasonic LX3 in dynamic black & white mode.
Sharpened and contrast tweaked a little with Apple Aperture.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Cannon Hall Farm Trip

Roundhouse Panorama
We had a family trip to Cannon Hall Farm near Barnsley yesterday with my Mother in Law, Stepsister and her family.
If anything it was too sunny, but all in all everyone had a good time.

Mangalitza PigaCockertiel_MG_4498

Flickr Set here

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Yorkshire Day

View from the Balcony

In short, it wasn't very Yorkshire and it rained.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Clone Trooper

Clone 2, originally uploaded by Hellbelly.

Recently I've been taking a lot of photos of Action Figures. Partially due to weather, partially due to lack of willing models :)
This was shot with a Tamron 90mm f2.8 Macro lens on a Canon 400D.
Lit with a bare 430ex either side, and a 580ex under the table, pointing at a grey card background, gelled with a blue gel.
I've got some more clone troopers to shoot, so more in the coming weeks.