TLDR: In the wake of the Corona Virus we have been reminded that memories are important; so is capturing them, holding them and cherishing them. I specialise in capturing life and telling stories with my Family Portrait Packages and newly introduced Family Memories Package. Give the gift of a snapshot in time to a loved one.

It's been such a challenging time for everyone over these last 12 weeks, the Corona Virus has literally changed the way we live, shop and interact with others. Possibly forever.

It has also been a time for reflection, a time to remember what's actually important in life and a time to focus on each other. Many people have used this time to learn new skills and have reconnected with our loved ones in a way we didn't know existed before this crisis. Zoom, FaceTime & Video Chat, new to so many are now a way of life. Although it has been hard and, at times, a challenge, it has also brought us closer together, made us better people and reminds us that above all else friends, family, living a good life and making memories are the most important things we have in this world.

I hope that even after this crisis passes, people remember its lessons, the love shown in oh-so-many small ways, the things you didn't realise you took for granted, the things that make you happy (fresh coffee for me!) and the fact that people, on the whole, are really rather wonderful. As a family, we have received so many small acts of kindness that were almost unthinkable before all this hit; a small bunch of flowers picked from the garden, a stay well package from a neighbour, drinks and heart-to-hearts over the fence, hand-me-down clothes for Lucinda and thoughtful loving cards - these all served to make our world a little brighter. We of course reciprocated and hopefully brightened others days too. I will never look at sweet peas in the same way again, their colour and smell are etched on my soul.

So, memories.... Being a photographer I am not in many images, but I have used lock-down to start teaching my 5 year old daughter, the art of photography. In return, she taught me, that I need to be in family portraits too - and yes, I am going to be booking a family portrait session with a good friend of mine soon!

Anyway, lets talk about one of her pictures; this is her first portrait! Terrible subject matter I know(!) but for her it will become a cherished memory of her father and her best friend, Monty. This image got me thinking about memories and how we have a responsibility to capture them, I have too few images of my Grandparents, too few images of my parents and too few images of us as a family. I guess you are the same? We need to change this. We need to capture and preserve memories, especially those of our loved ones and families, we need to celebrate life and print our pictures more, we need to get physical, people care about physical things.

A printed family photograph isn't just a picture, its a memory, a physical snapshot in time of a moment you will never get back. It's something more than just a photograph, memories become art, become cherished possessions that only grow in value as the years roll by. It's really rather wonderful to think that Lucinda's portrait will bring her joy in years to come, pride in her first portrait captured in the 'Lockdown of 2020', the love she felt and the close bond we formed when the world stopped and we lived for love as a family with no distractions or pressures other than to 'stay safe' what a memory!

So I want to extend the offer of making and preserving these memories to you. My standard Family Portrait Package focuses on small family units but my Family Memories Package is going to be about capturing everyone who is special in your life. I want to spend 3 hours outdoors with you and your family, possibly at the beach, at a picnic, on a walk with the dogs, wherever you as a family feel connected and I want to capture that bond as we make memories together. Then I want to print them, professionally, so you have that physical memories to cherish as the years go by.

Please take a look at my Vouchers should you want to invest in or gift a snapshot in time to a loved one.

Stay safe, Cherish Life and Share the Love.

#AndrewSearlePhotography #PortraitPhotographer #PortsmouthPhotographer #FamilyPhotography #Memories #Love

This blog contains Amazon Affiliate Links - I only promote gear that works and I am proud to use - I will get a small commission from Amazon if you buy through any of my links.

A few of you have asked how I make my landscape images 'pop'. There are lots of different tools, advice and views on what makes a good image and even more on how to process one - it's art, it's subjective and really, it's up to you.

This post is about showing how you can quickly take creative control of your images. To do this you must, in my opinion, shoot RAW - file sizes are bigger but so too are the results!

The first thing to do is frame your composition and then decide on the type of image you want, in this case I shot for a long exposure and deliberately underexposed by approximately 1 stop to get the sky streaking and water smooth - it's dark isn't it? But that's ok because I shot in RAW which preserves all the data recorded by the camera's sensor. It does have a downside though, the image always looks flat and boring in RAW as you can see:

Settings were F10 ISO100 and 107 Seconds using a 10 Stop Neutral Density Filter - the slight colour cast is caused by my filter and me not having bought the ExpoDisc.

Step 1: Enable Lens Corrections and Remove Chromatic Aberrations - this corrects for lens distortion and removes fringing on high contrast areas of the image (that horrible Green/Purple halo you sometimes see in images).

Step 2: Adjust White Balance and Expose the image as you want and use the Tone Curve to get the depth and feel you like - small tweaks are better than large changes. Follow the sliders in order and then go back to the start and tweak some more. You will develop a 'feel' for what's working and what's not.

Step 3: Adjust HSL (Hue/Saturation/Luminance) - in this case, I added a little more blue saturation to make the water pop.

Step 4: Remove dust spots. This was shot using a Nikon D610 - they have a fault that causes small oil spots to be thrown on the sensor, but dust, oils, grease from your fingers on the lens can all make spots - so clean up! Lightroom has a handy feature called 'Visualise Spots' or you can just press 'O' when you are in the Spot Removal tool. Handy hint: make sure you feather the edge to make your healing invisible.

What are all those little circles? Spots! You can also see on the top left of the image a flag getting in shot - I will clone this out at the end of the process.

Step 5: Sharpen (about 80 works well) and remove noise (it's called Luminance - set to about 20) this will give your image a crisp clean feel that will print beautifully.

So, for a basic edit that's it. Take it right in the camera and the processing will be easy.

But I don't want to pay a subscription!

One of my main bugbears is that Lightroom and Photoshop now require a monthly subscription which although around £9 is, I think a fair whack for any photographer starting out on this amazing hobby/passion/job.

One of the best alternatives is by Skylum Software: Luminar 2018 (, it does an amazing job. It has this funky Artificial Intelligence (AI) tool that takes the hard work out of processing for you. I re-ran the processing using Luminar and made 4 adjustments - Levels & Clarity and then I used the 'Accent AI' filter and the 'AI Sky Enhancer' the result.... Smart huh?!

And that's a wrap. If you have any questions please feel free to get in touch. I am going to blog about my gear, on location lighting and portrait photography in the near future - let me know if you want a specific blog on a photographic subject.

If you are interested in buying any equipment or software mentioned in my blog posts, please follow my Amazon Affiliate Links - I only promote gear that works and I am proud to use - I am not sponsored by any of these product makers but I may make a small commission if you decide to buy which helps me pay the bills!

My Gear - Cameras and Glass (its all about the glass):

-- Nikon D610 - Its an ok Full Frame camera but I wish I bought the Nikon D750 with the sweet 24-120mm F4 lens - Buy it Here!

-- Nikon D810 - Its amazing but buy good glass before you buy this beast or its bigger brother the Nikon D850.

-- Nikon 24-70mm F2.8 - The work horse, build like a tank and the best telephoto glass you can buy.

-- Nikon 50mm F1.8 - Amazing portrait and general photography lens - it matches what the human eye can see so its a wonderful walkabout and travel lens.

-- Nikon 85mm F1.8 - My go to portrait lens - I love shooting with this lens.

Lighting and Useful Bits and Bobs:

-- Lights to follow - I use Godox AD400 and Godox AD200 and the Nikon SB-700.

--- Expodisc 2.0 - If I could buy 1 accessory this would be it - the perfect tool to get white balance right every time! Buy it Here!

My Software:

-- Lightroom and Photoshop

Skylum Luminar - the best software without a subscription to get you started. Buy it Here!

Skylum Auora HDR - amazing if you are feeling arty - PC Version / Mac Version

#Landscape #how #to #blog #processing #guide #lightroom #Skylum #Luminar #2018 #Software #Portmouth

Time is flying as I continue my transition from military life

to becoming a civilian. I now only have 7 months left to get a full order book of weddings and portrait bookings to enable me to live my dream of being a full time professional photographer and continue to support my family - is it time to panic yet?! I don't know is the honest answer only time will tell. However, I am starting to get bookings for weddings in 2019 and 2020 so fingers crossed.

Despite working full time as an Engineer Officer, over the last 3 months I have managed to achieve 3 more weddings, a couple of photoshoots and have just shot a Christening with about 60 people - so basically the size of a medium wedding with no 2nd photographer (Eeek!) - learning point - always ask the size / scale of the event before quoting! Still, I loved every minute and really enjoyed the Christening despite the initial shock when I saw the church absolutely fill with people.

I also ran my first ever photographic competition in honour of Armed Forces Day - giving 3 lucky people the opportunity of a free photoshoot - I am really looking forward to these photo sessions as it enables me to give something back to people that are separated from their friends, families and loved ones for prolonged periods. Having lived that life for over 16 years, I know the toll it takes only too well. It's going to become a recurring theme so look out for the promotion a couple of weeks before Armed Forces day on my Facebook site: Andrew Searle Photography.

If I wasn't busy enough juggling the day job with my real job (photographer), I also photographed the Royal Navy Hockey Cup Finals and the Royal Navy Tennis Association's Finals - this including photographing the First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones as the VIP at the prize giving - no pressure!

I have also been spending some serious money to ensure that I have the right kit, the right protection, the right insurance and everything else that goes with becoming a professional photographer. I am now ready.... I think! All in all its been an amazing 3 months. I am learning every day and enjoying every new challenge and experience that is presented to me.

As the Autumn approaches, my next project, alongside a military wedding in October will be to get some autumnal family portraits. It's my favorite time of year and, of course, I am away with work for most of it - I have some availability in mid-October so if you fancy a portrait session let me know.

#professional #wedding #photographer #life #good #local #insured #portrait #portsmouth

  • Instagram Social Icon
  • Facebook Social Icon

© 2020 Andrew Searle. Proudly created by Cinnabar Services Ltd