Architectural and Interior Photographer: Blog en-us (C) andrew HATFIELD all rights reserved (Architectural and Interior Photographer) Mon, 04 Sep 2017 07:15:00 GMT Mon, 04 Sep 2017 07:15:00 GMT Architectural and Interior Photographer: Blog 82 120 Interior and exterior photography in Good Homes Magazine September 2017 Edition Here's an extract from Good Homes Magazine September 2017 edition featuring a shoot in Saint Albans for Architects Harvey Norman Associates and Kloeber who produced the bifold doors and windows.

Page 140 and 141 of Good Homes Magazine September 2017 featuring exterior photography by Andrew HatfieldArticle in good Homes Magazine featuring a project in St Albans photographed for Harvey Norman Associates and Kloeber Doors. Page 142 of Good Homes Magazine September 2017 featuring exterior photography by Andrew Hatfield

(Architectural and Interior Photographer) architectural photographer st. albans commericial photography st. albans harvey norman associates interior photographyer st. albans kloeber magazine photographer photography for good homes magazine Mon, 04 Sep 2017 07:14:34 GMT
A photographers guide to starting commercial drone operations Northampton Saints, Franklin Gardens, NorthamptonNorthampton Saints, Franklin Gardens, NorthamptonNorthampton Saints Stadium, Franklin Gardens Northampton from phantom 4 drone. I’ve recently completed all the various steps to obtain CAA permission to operate a drone or UAV in CAA speak on a commercial basis. When I was looking in to the process in spring 2017 I found it difficult to find all the stages I would need to go through to actually receive the paperwork from the CAA. This is not an exhaustive guide to the route merely my view as a architectural photographer and video maker wanting to extend their services to offer clients aerial imagery. At the start of the process I had little experience with remote control models and no experience with the usual quad rotor drones.

After a number of enquiries from existing clients wanting aerial imagery I decided to begin the process of obtaining the relevant CAA permission to operate. The first thing I found was that I would need some training to prove to the CAA I was competent to operate a drone. There are loads of companies offering training and assessment services on the web but the CAA publishes a list of approved training organisations here.

I contacted a few of the companies on the CAA list and picked Cambridge UAV Academy because they were very efficient when answering my queries, they ran regular monthly courses, offered free retests and they were fairly local. They weren’t the cheapest but the cheaper firms would have required greater travel costs, hotel accommodation and some didn’t offer free retests which I thought I might need.

Around the middle of March I booked onto Cambridge UAV’s  2nd/3rd May course, at the same time and after a fair bit of research I purchased a DJI Phantom 4 Pro and a Seyma X5. When you come to take your flight test you need to show that you have at least 2 hours flight time on the drone you are being tested on. Having never flown a drone I was a bit reluctant to risk the £1500 Phantom 4 at the start so would practice on the £35 Seyma X5 toy drone in the evenings before using the Phantom at the weekends. It took me about 10 hours on the Seyma before I could get to grips with the control reversal you need to use when the drone is coming towards you.

When the course came round I joined about 20 other people at Cambridge UAV’s offices in Godmanchester and was treated to  2 full days of classroom lectures on Air Law, Meteorology, Flight planning etc. all fairly boring stuff but the instructor Alan Perrin shared enough anecdotes and real world scenarios to keep it all interesting. There was an exam on the afternoon of the second day and everyone passed.

Once you have passed the exam, have at least 2 hours flight time on type and obtained commercial drone insurance you can take the flight test. I was lucky in that I had said to Cambridge UAV that I could be flexible on dates for the flight test, this combined with a run of decent weather meant that I was able to take and pass the flight test on the 10th of May. It could easily take a couple of weeks to get a test if the weather isn’t great.

With the exam and flight test in the bag I then had to complete a Commercial Operations Manual outlining how I was going to apply the theoretical knowledge gained on the course to my real world drone operations. Covering everything from pre-flight assessment, risk assessments, drone maintenance, record keeping etc.  The idea being this is a bespoke document written to support a specific operation and a typical manual is about 60 pages long. In my case there were a couple of ways of creating this, the first was to produce the document from scratch and then forward it to Cambridge UAV for proofing and editing before CAA submission. The second option was to use Cambridge UAV’s Ops. Manual writing service, where they take your specific details and modify their template accordingly to produce your bespoke manual. Although this isn’t a free service it will save you a considerable amount of time and effort. I went for the Ops. manual writing service and soon received my draft manual from Cambridge UAV. It needed a couple of hours modification but I was able to submit it to the CAA on the 12th on May. When I submitted my application to the CAA  I used form SRG1320 and include the following,

  • Operations Manual including a photo of my UAV
  • Copies of my remote pilots qualifications from Cambridge UAV
  • Evidence of at least 2 hours flight time in the preceding 3 months
  • Copy of my commercial flight insurance
  • Payment notification form FCS1500


All of the above had to be submitted via email in pdf format. When I submitted it I didn’t receive any form of receipt. The CAA advise they can take up to 28 working days to process the application. I received my permission via email on the 12th of June 2017 one month after submission without any issues. This permission is valid for 12 months.

Another thing that is a bit difficult to identify at the start of the process is how much it is going to cost. In my case I have spent the following.


Cambridge UAV Academy Training and Flight test £1,194
Cambridge UAV Academy Ops Manual Service  £358
Commercial Drone Insurance £407
CAA Submission Fee   £173
All these include VAT where applicable TOTAL             £2,132


I hope that’s of use to anyone contemplating applying for permission to operate a drone commercially. There is a lot more information on the CAA site and it’s worth checking on there regularly as guidance and the regulations appear to be changing constantly.

Get in touch if you would like any Architectural aerial video or stills work throughout the UK but particularly in Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire.  



(Architectural and Interior Photographer) caa cambridge uav academy commercial drone operator commercial drone operator permission costs drone filming cambridgeshire drone filming licence drone photography cambridgeshire drone photography northamptonshire drone video cambridgshire drone video northamptonshire guide to obtaining uav permission to operate how long does it take to get drone licence how long does it take to get uav permission how much does drone training cost uav permission Sun, 02 Jul 2017 08:14:25 GMT
Commercial Drone Operations in Northamptoshire After completing all of the necessary exams, flight tests and reams of paperwork submitted to the CAA I am now able to offer drone 4K video and stills work on a commercial basis. Modern drones are amazing tools and provide access to a whole new ways capturing images that would have been impossible or extraordinarily expensive to achieve.

Please get in touch if you are interested in any stand alone drone imagery or as part of a conventional stills and video package.

Here are a few film stills from a recent match day video currently in production for the Northampton Saints shot on location at the Frankiln's Gardens stadium in Northampton.

Franklin Gardens 005Franklin Gardens 005Aerial view of Franklin's Gardens viewed from the South East corner. Shot as part of a Match Day preparation video for Northampton Saints. Franklin Gardens 007Franklin Gardens 007Aerial view of Franklin's Gardens viewed from the East Side.Shot as part of a Match Day preparation video for Northampton Saints. Franklin Gardens 006Franklin Gardens 006Aerial view of Franklin's Gardens viewed from the South car park. Shot as part of a Match Day preparation video for Northampton Saints. grass cutting franklin's gardens, northamptongrass cutting franklin's gardens, northamptonDrone filming of grounds maintenance staff at Franklin Gardens Saints Stadium, Northampton tetley stand franklin's gardens, northamptontetley stand franklin's gardens, northamptonDrone filming of Tetley Stand at Franklin's Gardens Saints Stadium in Northamptonshire


(Architectural and Interior Photographer) Architectural Photography Drone filming northamptonshire Drone photography Northampton Drone video Northampton Northamptonshire Aerial photography Fri, 30 Jun 2017 08:47:59 GMT
Combined Colleges Boat House wins RIBA East Award 2017 for rh Partnesrship AH8_3514 AAH8_3514 A

Congratulations to rhp on their recent win in the RIBA East Awards 2017 for the Combined Colleges Boat House overlooking the Cam in Cambridge. I really enjoyed photographing the newly completed building last summer and you can see more details about the award and more photographs on

(Architectural and Interior Photographer) 2017 Andrew Hatfield Architectural Photography Cambridge RIBA Awards RIBA Awards 2017 architectural photography cambridge award winning boat house rh partneship Sat, 20 May 2017 09:04:40 GMT
Camera + App gives you manual control over your phone camera When I give my basic photography CPD sessions about half of the people that attend don't have any form of camera other than the one on their phone. While you can get good results with a phone camera one of the problems is a lack of manual control over the settings. I recommend these phone users get some sort of camera control App to unlock the potential of their phones.

Use of something like the Camera+ App will allow you to make full use of your phone and give you a lot of the functionality of DSLR,

Version 9.1 of the Camera+ App gives you full manual control over,


Shutter Speed



Exposure Compensation

White balance, including the ability to set the colour temp in K


It also provides useful composition tools like a display grid overlay and horizon level and the latest version allows you to save your files in RAW format to give you the largest scope of adjustment in postproduction.

Use of these manual controls is going to allow you to create much more effective Architectural imagery and provide greater scope for your creativity.



(Architectural and Interior Photographer) Andrew Hatfield architectural photography CPD architectural photography on phone camera+ 9.1 camera+ app manual control of phone camera phone settings for interior photography use your phone for architectural photography Wed, 17 May 2017 08:11:16 GMT
Specilist Interior Lighting shoot for TRILUX featured in Mondo Arc Magazine Magazine article featuring interior photo shoot for lighting manufacturer.Interior lighting photo shoot in Mondo Arc MagazineCase study and photo shoot about the use of TRILUX light fittings at the National Farmers Union HQ in Warwichshire Here are the results of a recent interior shoot featured in Mondo Arc a magazine specialising in lighting and lighting design. These images commissioned by TRILUX were used to illustrate the use of their light fittings during the refurbishment of the National Farmers Union HQ in Warwickshire.   

Photographs by Andrew Hatfield

Case study project managed by Too Busy For Words,

(Architectural and Interior Photographer) architectural photographer creative use of motion blur interior photographer interior photography national farmers union photography with motion blur specialist lighting photography trilux Thu, 09 Mar 2017 19:52:51 GMT
Homebuilding and Renovating Magazine February 2017, photographs by Andrew Hatfield Architectural photograph of new home extension captured from garden.Homebuilding and Renovating Magazine Feature 1External photograph of rear elevation home extension in St Albans for Homebuilding and Renovating Magazine. Floor plans and interior photographs of kitchen and dining spaces. Homebuilding and Renovating Magazine Feature Photographs and plans of a new home extension in St Albans for Homebuilding and Renovating Magazine. Night photograph of patio and rear elevation of new home extension.Homebuilding and Renovating Magazine feature 3Photographs of patio area of new home extension in St Albans for Homebuilding and Renovating Magazine. Interior photograph showing dining and day room.Homebuilding and Renovating Magazine feature 4Dining room and day room.

(Architectural and Interior Photographer) Architectural Photography Homebuilding and Renovating Magazine Interior Photography London harvey norman associates interior photography Wed, 01 Feb 2017 09:18:18 GMT
Photographing Firework Displays Photographing Fireworks

I have been asked by a couple of people about the best way of photographing fireworks.

Photographing a firework displayFirework DisplayHow to photograph firework displays

The first thing you need to do is get your night photography basics and equipment, right you can see some guidance on night photography lower down the blog.

Once you have the right set up consider how high the fireworks are going to go. The largest commercial fireworks go to about 400m high. The ones in the shot above which are still spectacular but can be brought by the public look to have gone to about 70-100m high. The people running the display may be able to give you an idea of the height they will go to.  Ideally you want a bonfire or a crowd at the bottom of the frame and it’s better to get a bit too far away as you can always zoom in a bit. Once you are in the right place focus on something at the same distance as the firework base, then switch to manual focus, you don’t want to be trying to focus during the display.

When you are all set up you need to work out your exposure, and you will need to end up with a shutter speed of sufficient length that you can record the flight of the firework and the starburst in one shutter opening, on the above I used about 3 seconds. If you want to capture multiple burst just use a longer exposure. Before the display set your shutter speed to about 3 seconds, then adjust your aperture and ISO to give you the background look that you want, keep you ISO low to minimise image noise. And you won’t need a very small aperture as you will be focusing near infinity so you will have plenty of depth of field. The above was shot at f/5.6, 3seconds, ISO 100.

Then when the display starts keep shooting and try and get the timing right so that you are opening the shutter between shell launches. Also keep an eye on your exposures during the display because some of the fireworks can create a lot of light and may cause you to over expose. Be ready to select a smaller aperture if things start to look over exposed.

(Architectural and Interior Photographer) Night Photography bonfire night photography firework display firework photography photographing 5th November photographing firework displays Tue, 04 Oct 2016 07:11:14 GMT
New Combined Colleges Boat House, Cambridge photographerd for rh partnesrship The new Combined Colleges Boat House serving Selwyn College, Churchill College, King’s College and Leys School opened this summer. Designed and project managed by rh partnership of Cambridge the boat house over looking the river Cam was completed for a project value of £2.5 million and replaces the previous dilapidated boat house on the same site. Due to the high risk of flooding in the area all habitable rooms are located on the first floor, accommodation on the first floor comprises a combined rowing gym and individual clubrooms for the individual colleges.

You can read more about the project on the Cambridge News website.  

AH8_3514 AAH8_3514 A AH8_3685 BAH8_3685 B AH8_3461 AAH8_3461 A AH8_3532 AAH8_3532 A AH8_3413 AAH8_3413 A AH8_3439 AAH8_3439 A

(Architectural and Interior Photographer) Architectural Photographer Boat House Cam Cambridge Churchill College Combined Colleges Boat House King's College Selwyn College rh partneship Wed, 10 Aug 2016 10:59:15 GMT
Woodberry Wetlands and new Coal House Cafe opens to the public for the first time in 200 years After 200 years the refurbished Woodberry Wetlands near Finsbury Park has opened to the public. The centrepiece of the new nature reserve run by the London Wildlife Trust is the new café is based in the old Coal House. The refurbishment of the coal house and public access work to the reservoir was carried out Bolt & Heeks and official opened by Sir David Attenborough on the 30th April. The scheme was designed by kaner olette Architects and has been submitted by Allen Scott for a 2016 Landscape Institute Award.

Architectural photo of the Coal House Café at Woodberry Wetlands Coal House Café East Elevation View east from the roof of the Coal House Café at Woodberry WetlandsRoof Terrace View of the Coal House Café serving counter all manufactured from reclaimed timber Coal House Café Interior View west across the Woodberry Wetlands reservoir with the new Coal House Café in the background Visitor Seating Area Woodberry Wetlands

(Architectural and Interior Photographer) Andrew Hatfield Architectural Photography Bolt and Heeks Environmental Cafe Interior Photography London Kaner Olette Landscape Institute Awards London London Nature Reserve Sir David Attenborough Woodberry Wetlands Wed, 10 Aug 2016 08:37:19 GMT
RIBA Awards 2016 update Congratulations to kaner olette Architects for their recent win in the 2016 RIBA South East Regional Awards with the Gateway Café at Peacehaven.

(Architectural and Interior Photographer) Andrew Hatfield RIBA Award winner 2016 RIBA Awards architectural photography environmental cafe kaner olette sustainable building timber cladding Wed, 10 Aug 2016 07:05:55 GMT
RIBA Awards 2016 Entries for the 2016 RIBA UK awards are now closed, my images have been used for 2 submissions this year, the Peacehaven Big Parks project and the new Crausaz Wordsworth seminar building at Robinson College, Cambridge. The awards will be announced in June 2016. From a photographers perspective the RIBA Awards should be commended as they are one of the few awards that require  the photographers consent for the submission of their images.  

Big Parks, Peacehaven, Kent

The Gate way Café in Peacehaven, Kent was designed by Kaner Olette architects of Tunbridge Wells and my original commission came from Crofton Design consulting M&E engineers on the project. This Café building has already won a  Constructing Excellence Sustainability Award and a category winner in the AJ Retrofit Awards 2015. Big Parks is a visitor Café was forms a gateway to the new Big Parks community park a new recreational space in Peachaven, Kent. 

AH8_8592 copy HRAH8_8592 copy HR


The Crausaz Wordsworth Building, Robinson College, Cambridge

The new dedicated seminar building has been built in the grounds of Robinson College and opened in 2015. The building was designed and the photographs commissioned by rh Partnership of Cambridge and Brighton.

Night photography of the Adams Road elevation of the The Crausaz Wordsworth Building Robinson College CambridgeThe Crausaz Wordsworth Building Robinson College CambridgeArchitectural photograph showing the new Crausaz Wordsworth Building, Robinson College, Cambridge. Photographed at night by Andrew Hatfield for rh partnership Cambridge.

AH8_7078 AAH8_7078 A

Vertical_Panorama1 CVertical_Panorama1 C

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(Architectural and Interior Photographer) Architectural Photography Kent Big Parks Project Peacehaven Cambridgeshire Architectural Photography Cambridgeshire Interior Photography Crausaz Wordsworth Building Crofton Design Gateway Cafe Interior Photography Kent Kaner Olette Architects RIBA Awards 2016 Robinson College rh partneship seminar building cambridge sustanable cafe Thu, 11 Feb 2016 11:32:52 GMT
New Photography Courses in 2016 In addition to occasional lecturing on photographic techniques and presenting Architectural photography CPD sessions I will be running several one day courses on DSLR photography over the spring and summer of 2016. The courses will be produced and presented in partnership with Zoe Plummer a Commercial Photographer and Photography Lecturer. 

These courses will be aimed at amateur photographers wanting to lean more about and improve there skills in relation to,

  • Composition and Framing.
  • Narrative.
  • Creative use of depth of field.
  • Getting the correct exposure and the use of histograms.
  • Colour correction and White Balancing.

All of the subjects would be covered over a single day through the use of short lectures, practical sessions and group critiques.

Courses will be week days and located in the East Midlands Area.

Groups will around 10-12.

Exact dates, prices and locations to be confirmed.

Central London Architectural and Interior Photography courses are also planned for later in the year.

If you would like to know more or have any comments about possible course content, locations etc. we would love to hear from you.

(Architectural and Interior Photographer) Amateur Photography Courses Basic Photography Courses Central London Architectural Photography Central London Interior Photography Courses DSLR users Northampton" Photographer Training Photography Photography Courses Photography Courses Midlands Photography Couses Northamptonshire Photography Gifts Zoe Plummer Zoe Plummer Photographer Sat, 02 Jan 2016 13:38:50 GMT
Fallen Trees It has been a while since I have been out to photograph things purely for the pleasure of just seeing and capturing something. When studying photography and working full time as a professional photographer the simple interest in aesthetic photography can be easily lost. Because of this I think it's important to put the work aside though and allow yourself to just be creative.

I particularly like woodland when it's clad in flat overcast light, compressing the dynamic range to something your camera can easily capture. This means the scene you can see will be very similar to the scene you can capture and the dull flat light allows to compose without having to consider blown out highlights and impenetrable shadows. When creating work for purely for aesthetic reasons I often compose and crop for a square format even when shooting digitally, I have always loved this format since I had to master it with my 500cm.  

Here is a series of five monochrome images captured at the end of December 2015.

Fallen Trees IFallen Trees IMonochrome image of upturned beech tree roots with woodland in the background. Fallen Trees IIFallen Trees IIMonochrome image of upturned beech tree stump with woodland in the background. Fallen Trees IIIFallen Trees IIIMonochrome image of fallen beech tree leaning against another beech. Fallen Trees IVFallen Trees IVMonochrome image of beech stump with woodland behind. Fallen Trees VFallen Trees VMonochrome image of woodland landscape and fenland drainage ditch.  

(Architectural and Interior Photographer) Square Format fenland landscape fine art photography monochrome woodland Sat, 02 Jan 2016 11:32:28 GMT
Photographing London apartment interior with ambient light I was recently commissioned to photography a newly refurbished apartment by Interior Designer Sandra Boitel of didiE Art & Decoration, Zurich. The apartment was located in the heart of Mayfair London and unfortunately for me on the 4th Floor with no lift, as I was passing the 3rd floor for the second time loaded down with equipment I promised myself I would go through and rationalise all of my kit. One of the problems with being a professional photographer is that you need to take back up kit or have a work round for most failures. This means you end up taking almost twice as much stuff as you need and on most shoots it is never even unpacked.

Anyway back to the shoot, Sandra the designer wanted to show the affect of her lighting scheme on the interior. This meant using a high proportion of the ambient lighting. Unfortunately for me most of the lighting was provided by vintage Edison type bulbs which produce a very orange light at around 2400K as opposed to the normal 3200K for tungsten lighting, also this type of lighting has quiet a narrow colour spectrum and therefore gives quiet poor colour reproduction. To try and maintain the ambient look I applied local fill flash only and covered the flash heads with ¼ or ½ CTO Orange gels this allowed some of the true colour of the furniture to be brought out without destroying the natural ambient look.  It would have been much easier to have added more flash but I think this would have destroyed the natural look Sandra was looking for.

Lounge, Audley St. Mayfair, LondonLounge, Audley St. Mayfair, London   Entrance, Audley St. Mayfair, LondonEntrance, Audley St. Mayfair, London  

(Architectural and Interior Photographer) Ambient Light Colour correction gels Edison bulbs Interior Designer Interior Photography London Interior Photography London apartment Mayfair apartment Sandra Boitel colour correction in interior photography colour temperature didE art & decoration interior design Thu, 24 Sep 2015 10:49:38 GMT
Architectural Photography CPD Workshops, London I have been spreading the word in the last couple of weeks, by running a full day Architectural Photography workshop at the University of Northampton, and 2 Architectural Photography CPD sessions at London architectural practices. The CPD session this week at GRID architects in SE1 was particularly well attended with 25 people ranging from enthusiastic DSLR users through to dedicated iPhone Photographers. The CPD session ran through the complete process of capturing an architectural style external and interior images from initial concept through to post production.

Although there was a lot to get through people at all levels took something away from it, here is some of the feedback from the staff at GRID.

"People don’t usually comment on the CPD’s unless they’re really bad which makes it even better that I’ve had positive feedback from a number of people who found it informative and well presented. It’s good to get someone coming in who teaches us something useful, understands our way of thinking, and isn’t trying to sell something to us." Stefan

"The composition part was particularly relevant as it applies to so much of the work we do, not just the photography.  Also, our bid presentations always rely heavily on photography to describe both the existing context and proposals so I think the range of material you covered was really good."  Andrew

I don't make anything from the CPD sessions, and so I am only able to offer a limited number, but get in touch if you would like the either the 1 hour CPD session on the Theory and Practice of Architectural Photography or the Advanced Architectural Photography talk.

Two tall buildings arranged on principal thirds to improve image composition.Explaining composition as part of the Architectural CPD session.

  The Rule of thirds and it's use in Architectural photography

(Architectural and Interior Photographer) Advanced Architectural Photography Talk Andrew Hatfield Architectural Composition Architectural Photography CPD Architectural Photography Workshop Interior Photographer London Architects Rule of Thirds SE1 Fri, 05 Jun 2015 20:12:59 GMT
Great Service from Nikon Professional Services Nikon Professional Services

People are quick to complain about poor service these days, but don’t often report good service when they get it, so I just thought I would mention my recent dealings with Nikon Professional Services (NPS).

On a recent shoot my old Nikkor 70-200mm VR1 fell  out of my bag about 1 onto a concrete drive. Apart from a slight dink at the base all look good apart from but when I went to use the lens the VR system was a bit sick causing the image to randomly move around in the lens. I wasn’t too worried about this as I normally shoot from a tripod without the VR, but was worried about the focus alignment. It was time to send it back to Nikon for a bit of TLC. this lens has had a hard life having been repaired before when it and a camera body were dropped from a speeding motor bike, but that’s another story.

As I was off for a couple of weeks over Christmas it took the opportunity run my other AF lenses into Nikon London for a quick check and service, armed with my 14-24mm f/2.8 and 24-70mm f/2.8, as well as the ailing 70-200mm I called in on the morning of 22nd Dec. To my surprise I received the service estimates on the afternoon of the 22nd and morning of the 23rd , after accepting these by email both of the shorter zooms were lubricated, had their focus alignments checked and were back with me on the 23rd and 24th of Dec.  

The longer zoom required some parts from Japan which were going to take a while to arrive. I didn’t have a job that needed the longer zoom for a couple of weeks so that wasn’t a real problem, but I let NPS know when I would need it by. As that date drew near I contacted NPS for an update and as they were still awaiting parts they sent me a loan 70-200 at no cost to cover the intervening period. Unfortunately they were still struggling with parts supply so they have just replaced my 7 year old lens with a 70-200 VR2 lens for the cost the old lens repair.

Very pleased with service, sensible prices and the replacement lens. Thanks to Rob and the other staff at NPS.

(Architectural and Interior Photographer) Damaged lens VR unit Good Service Lens Repair Lens Service London NPS Nikkor 70 - 200mm repair Nikon Professional Services Professional Photographer Wed, 18 Feb 2015 14:09:03 GMT
Yongnuo YN560-TX Flash Controller and YN560 III Speedlites for Interior Photography This is a quick review of these 2 relatively new Yongnuo products from and interior photographers perspective. This is not meant to be a detailed review of the TX unit and flashes as there are already lots of good reviews about. It’s really to fill in a few gaps and answer some of the questions I had before buying the equipment.

Photography of the Yongnuo YN560 Speedlite turned on and set to 1/128 powerYongnuo YN560 III Speedlite When I started photographing interiors I used Nikon strobes but working in small spaces, shoots can be really hard on flashguns. The stands are constantly knocked over as they are placed behind doors or just as a consequence of having too much kit in a small space. Often flashes are placed on top of doors, inside light fittings, log burners, ovens etc  and all these things can quickly lead to irreparable costly damage to your precious strobes. The need to replace a £350 flashgun can make quiet a dent in a day’s fee so these were quickly replaced by a set of Nissin Di622 MK1 flashes. These could be brought for about £100 new or £60 S/H and combined with a set of Yongnuo RF 602 TX RX units have worked well for the past few years. Nissin parts are readily available and broken feet or cases are quickly and cheaply replaced after a quick email to Kenro the importers.

There were a few problems with the Di622 /RF 602 set up though. The main one being that the power of each flash had to be adjusted separately so walking to 4 or 5 flashes dotted around the shoot to adjust the power of each one was a constant pain, particularly when taking bracketed shots.  Also the focus of the flash cannot be adjusted when it’s not fitted to the hot shoe of a camera, placing a greater reliance on having the correct modifier, and finally the RF 602 TX unit the RX unit and the flash heads  all took different batteries. Meaning 3 different sets of spares had to be taken to each shoot. Finally the Di622 would power down after about 10 mins of inactivity and would often have to be revisited to turn them back on.  I was happy with the set up at the time as it offered the best compromise of cost, portability and reliability available at the time but technology continues to develop offering more features at lower cost.

YN560 Flash controller showing multiple flash groups. Yongnuo YN560 TX flash controller I have now changed over to the Yongnuo YN560-TX Manual Flash Controller and Yongnuo YN560 III Speedlites the controller is about £30 and the flashes about £45 from Amazon.

The build quality of the new kit appears particularly good and big step up from the build quality of the old Yongnuo products and that offered by the Di622’s.  The features and benefits of the new set up when compared to my old kit are fairly significant.

Each flash includes its own built in RX unit removing the need for separate RX units, reducing the amount of kit to carry.

The flash and TX controller use the same rechargeable AA batteries.

The controller can be used to remotely adjust the individual power and zoom of up to 6 groups of flashes, each group can contain any number of flashes.  Zoom from 24mm – 105mm and power from 1/128 in 1/3rds or full stops. It is simple to set each flash to its individual group. It is not possible to test fire each group individually though so you need to lay out the flashes in a logical manner to make sure you don’t waste time remotely adjusting the wrong flash unit.

One of the most significant advantages of the new units is the adjustable flash frequency. With the old Nissin units you were limited to using a single light pop for each shutter operation. This limited the amount of light you could apply to the scene regardless of the exposure time. So for instance if you wanted an exposure time of say 8 seconds to capture the right level of ambient light and wanted to supplement this with some local fill flash your were limited to a single flash pop. Once the Di622 was up to full power the only option was to use multiple flash heads to increase the local light levels. With the YN 560 combo you can set the frequency and number of flash pops, and so with our 8 second exposure we could set the flash and controller to supply multiple pops in that 8 second exposure. Using the Number and Frequency options we can specify a number of pops or just keep firing at say 10 Hz or for the duration of the shutter opening. Total number is adjustable from 1-40 and the frequency is adjustable from 1-100 Hz. Obviously this flexibility is limited by the flashes recycle time to one flash every 3 seconds when using the internal battery pack, but still offers a vast improvement in the available power available.

The TX unit is also able to fire the Nikon camera via the TX units sync port and accept a signal from a Yongnuo RF 603 TX unit and so a single remote press from the RF 603 can operate the shutter and fire the flashes at the same time.

The standby time and power off time of the strobes are adjustable with a few options including On all of them time, which is a real bonus.

The TX unit and Flash/RX unit both have locking tripod feet where as the old RF 602 units I used did not lock.

I have used the new set up on a couple of shoots so far and it has all worked flawlessly. The TX range is good working though multiple stone walls. Breakages are likely to be more expensive than the Nissin units as I am guessing it is going to be difficult to get Yongnuo spare parts although at £40/unit this is not the end of the world.

A couple of other points that aren’t really relevant to interior photography but worth noting are the TX unit can also work as an IR focus assist light if needed and the Flash units can be run from an external battery pack to reduce the cycle times.

I will try and report back on long term reliability but the build quality of the units and the past reliability of my Yongnou RF 602 1nd 603 kit suggests there may not be much of a problem.

(Architectural and Interior Photographer) Andrew Hatfield Architectural Photography Fill Flash Yongnuo 560 TX Yongnuo YN560 Speedlite flash gun review interior photography remote flash power adjustment remote flash zoom adjustment strobes for interior photography Thu, 29 Jan 2015 11:32:02 GMT
Night Photography - Part 2 Night Photography - Part 2

I've had a couple of queries about the best time to photograph buildings at night. This is briefly discussed below in Night Photography but I will try and expand on it.

When photographing landscapes there is a fairly long period around sunset when the light is atmospheric  and gives a load of different lighting effects that we can use as photographers. We can do this because we can constantly adjust the camera as its getting darker, to optimise the exposure for falling light levels, this period is often referred to as the Blue Hour.

When photographing buildings that are lit by artificial light we have very little flexibility in the timing of the shot, as the interior light levels are the building are fixed and don’t vary with the falling external light levels. What we need to do is pick an exposure value (aperture, shutter speed and ISO) that gives us the interior exposure we want. We can generally get the right level soon after sunset. At this point the sky will still be quiet bright and over exposed, but the building interior will be correctly exposed.  All we need to do then is wait as the external light level falls to the point where it complements the interior light levels and provides the look that we want. This is exact point is sometimes difficult to judge because your eyes will be used to the dark by then. I normally continue shooting to the point when the roof line of the building loses its definition and merges with the dark sky beyond.

You could be stood there for half an hour to get the right exposure so replace your lens cap between shots and keep a check on lens condensation especially if you are near water.

(Architectural and Interior Photographer) Architectural Photography Architectural Photography at Night Blue Hour Night Photography Urban Night Photography Thu, 22 Jan 2015 08:28:32 GMT
Architectural Photography and Art Exhibitions in London I recently had a day out to visit a few exhibitions around London  including,

Designing the 20th Century: Life and Work of Abram Games

Entry £7.50

The Jewish Museum 8th September 2014 - 4th January 2015,

129 – 131 Albert Street, London, NW1 7NB

Nearest Tube: Camden, Northern Line

See Britain by Train, Abram Games Grow Your Own Food, Abram Games
See Britain by Train, Abram Games Grow Your Own Food, Abram Games


The exhibition was created to celebrate the centenary of Abram Games birth and features work from his time as a student, through his military career right through to his death in 1996.  Initially you may think you’re not familiar with the work of Games, but it soon becomes clear that you will have already been exposed to much of his iconic work and many of his works are already lodged in your mind at subconscious level. Once exposed to the exhibition you can see the influences of his work in many of the advertising images that surround us today. Well worth a visit.

I can also recommend the Cafe, good Latte for £2.40 and the Israeli Special (stuffed vine leaves, houmous, pitta bread and olives) at £5.80 was very good.

After Abram Games we moved on to the RIBA to see an exhibition on the work of Edwin Smith


Ordinary Beauty – The Photography of EDWIN SMITH

Entry Free

10th September 2014  – 6th December 2014

RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London, W1B 1AD

Nearest Tube, Great Portland Street, Circle, Hamersmith & City and Metropolitan lines

Winter Smoking Room, Cardiff Castle, Edwin Smith Scala Regia, Royal Palace, Caserta, Edwin Smith
Winter Smoking Room, Cardiff Castle, Edwin Smith Scala Regia, Royal Palace, Caserta, Edwin Smith

The exhibition comprises over 100 of Edwin Smiths black and white prints from the RIBA’s collection of over 60,000 of his negatives. The purpose of Architectural Photography is generally the documentation of a structure and to show how it interacts with its users and surroundings. Good photographers can add narrative to convey extra detail about the design, use, construction etc. Smith takes this to another level with the creation of work that is engaging in its own right, the subject matter is almost secondary to the framing, composition use of light, shade and dynamic range. The range of shades produced in the finished prints shows not only a mastery of photography but also of the development process. As with the work of Ansel Adams it’s clear that the finished print was clearly visualised by Smith at the time of capture. Anyone with an interest in photography can learn much from the study of Smiths’ work.

I have reproduced a couple of Smiths images here but even my high dynamic range monitor does’nt do these justice.

As an added bonus you can see some of my own work displayed in the top floor exhibition on the Sterling Prize.

The coffee and cake on offer in the ground floor cafe is fairly unremarkable.


Following the visit to the RIBA we move on to the barbican centre,

Constructing Worlds: Photography and Architecture in the Modern Age

Entry £12

25th September 2014 – 11th January 2015

Art Gallery, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS

Nearest Tube, Barbican, Circle, Hamersmith & City and Metropolitan lines

This is large collection of work from

Berenice Abbott

Iwan Baan

Bernd and Hilla Becher

Hélène Binet

Walker Evans

Luigi Ghirri

Andreas Gursky

Lucien Hervé

Nadav Kander

Luisa Lambri

Simon Norfolk

Bas Princen

Ed Ruscha

Stephen Shore

Julius Shulman

Thomas Struth

Hiroshi Sugimoto

Guy Tillim

Unfortunately for me the exhibition was focused on the documentation of vernacular architecture or the use of architecture within a socio economic context. I was soon approaching the images with the eyes of a tourist making mental note to remove destinations from my bucket list rather than studying technique, composition, use of scale etc.

The Constructing Worlds exhibition while very thought provoking uses photography as a vehicle rather than an art form in its own right the work of Edwin Smith conveying the work of the Architectural photographer in a much purer form. That said it is still well worth the visit to see such a large body or work exploring Architectural Photography from the 1930's to the present day.  


(Architectural and Interior Photographer) Andreas Gursky Architectural Photography Architectural Photography Exhibitions around London Bas Princen Berenice Abbott Bernd and Hilla Becher Ed Ruscha Guy Tillim Hiroshi Sugimoto Hélène Binet Iwan Baan Julius Shulman Lucien Hervé Luigi Ghirri Luisa Lambri Nadav Kander Simon Norfolk Stephen Shore Thomas Struth Walker Evans Tue, 09 Dec 2014 08:30:49 GMT