Live music and remote flash

I was recently invited by the Wheatsheaves pub in Frome to cover a live music event featuring the Northern Soul Band The All Nighters. What a great evening!
In the crowded pub it was important to carry as little gear as possible and so I chose to use only one camera body and lens combination. The Nikon D3 which is ideally suited to this kind of event with its low light capabilities combined with
the Nikon 80 – 200 2.8D ED lens.
This fast glass, solid build lens which is stable hand held and its rapid focus was perfect!

Assistant to the rescue!
Having an assistant is a real bonus, and a friend was on hand to hold a remote flash for me. I do love available light, but I thought I would try and mix it up a little and use a speed light as well. I used a Yongnuo wireless flash trigger. This is excellent value and works like a charm. The assitant was directed to aim the flash off to the side with a bit of bounce enhancing the images.
The flash can not be beaten for the action stopping razor edge definition and the images are crystal clear, result!
For those interested in the numbers, the camera was set to 800 ISO, 100th sec shutter speed. The aperture was varied according to subject distance with an average setting of f5.6.

Here are some of the shots taken during the evening.

The All Nighters - Wheatsheaves 23.10.15 Copyright Martyn Payne (80 of 138) The All Nighters - Wheatsheaves 23.10.15 Copyright Martyn Payne (13 of 138) The All Nighters - Wheatsheaves 23.10.15 Copyright Martyn Payne (12 of 138)The All Nighters - Wheatsheaves 23.10.15 Copyright Martyn Payne (20 of 138)

More images here: and

If you would like more information or would like to contact me you can reach me on 07733134709 or email me at


Food glorious food!

Food photography, technically challenging, great fun and not a good idea if you are feeling hungry, especially at The Old Bath Arms in Frome!

Richards passion for food and mine for photography, well say no more!

So whats the key to getting a food picture right? Its all about the light. Get that right and you have delicious looking food. There are 101 ways to light food and I favour a mix of daylight and reflectors and flash but Studio strobes on their own with soft boxes and reflectors produces a clean light thats under your control! With practice the overall quality of the image can be fantastic.

Have a go! Place the food by a north facing window and use a white card to give a little fill in light. This can produce some amazing images. Bon appetite!

The Old Bath Arms A Day in the Life Part 1 © Martyn Payne 0041

The Old Bath Arms A Day in the Life Part 1 © Martyn Payne 0046



The Old Bath Arms 20140216 © Martyn Payne 0023

Sea Bass cooking on black rock


The Old Bath Arms

Always a pleasure…

One of the most pleasurable projects for me has been to work with Richard Findlay at The Old Bath Arms in Frome. It has been creative learning curve that has produced some interesting images inspired by Richards flavour for the unique and different!  From HDR pictures to 360 degree panoramas, as well as showing off delicious food, a full gambit of skills and techniques were drawn upon to produce the images required. This weekend will see a reportage theme as I spend a day with the Bath Arms team. I hope to feature this in my next post….Stay tuned!

The project goal…

The overall brief was to show The Old Bath Arms in Frome in a unique and captivating way for publishing on The Old Bath Arms web site and other media including menus and advertising. Conventional images just didn’t seem quite right for the job, so HDR images were created for the room pictures. The rich colours and depth of detail was perfect to illustrate the extensive renovation the business had undergone over the last two years.

Food photography is challenging for most photographers and can take time to master. This I have found this to be the most technically difficult part of the project but the most satisfying. The Old Bath Arms food photography has been a chance to use different techniques without the luxury of a studio and is still ongoing as Richards appetite for new and exciting dishes continues!  Smoked steak and Fish is next!

Lovely rich and warm colours from the HDR images:

Each of the HDR pictures are created from 7 individual images combined together to produce a true High Dynamic Range image. The result is a picture with immense detail and rich saturation of colours.

Pizza Room-HDRThe Gallery 1 HDR bHolywood HDR 2Highland HDRImmersive Panoramas

At the request of Richard a series of 360 degree panoramas were created so immersive images of each room could be published on his web site:

All the panoramas were assembled from 72 individual images using a 14mm lens on the Nikon D3 mounted on a purpose built nodal tripod head giving a full 360 degree spherical image.

Findlays Real Ale Bar Pano 1_out

Some interesting and unusual images came out of the 360 panoramas
Just a bit of fun seeing a corridor and staircase twisted and convoluted!Entrance hall 6

Sea Bass cooking on black rock

The Old Bath Arms 20140216 © Martyn Payne 0023

More images and a great place to visit can be found here:

Lens choice for Sunday Walk

Here is a picture of my partner Philippa and our dogs taken on a Sunday Afternoon walk. The 80 – 200 was my choice to capture this moment in time.
Great clarity and contrast and no internal focusing motors to go wrong!
This is a proper old school lens, No silent wave motors, no image stabilisers, just a brilliant solid metal constructed Nikon beauty and an Ideal partner to the D3 with it’s built in focusing motor drive.

Philippa and Dogs


Nikon D3 so good I bought it twice!


After years of owning Canon cameras, I decided to make the hardest decision facing a photographer and that was to change make and model. The change also required new lenses, which I knew would be costly process especially as want fast quality glass of the same manufacture.

After researching the Nikon line up of past and present and considering my budget would mean buying a used item, one camera stood out, the D3.
I have now been a proud owner of a D3 for nearly two years and in that time have collected a good range of lenses to compliment this superb camera.

The present lens line up is:
14 – 24 2.8 AF-S
80 1.4 AF
28 – 70 2.8 AF-S
50 – 1.8 AF
80 – 200 2.8D ED
80 – 400 4.5-5.6 ED VR
500 reflex F8 (See post below)

The Nikon D3 has impressed me so much that now I have invested in a second one!
To quote Ken Rockwell:

My Nikon D3 lets me do things I’ve never been able to do, and makes it fast and easy. You don’t need a review: unlike any other camera I can recall, just talk to anyone who owns the D3 and you’ll hear praise gushing like no other camera. The Nikon D3 has no “buts,” as in “I love it but…” Everyone just loves it. You’ll hear the same thing from any photographer who had his hands on one for just a few minutes. The more someone knows about serious shooting, the more they love the D3.
The D3 just goes. It shoots and you get great images, period. Nothing is slow or gets in your way. It just goes. The Nikon D3 is a professional news, sports and action camera, but it’s decent for landscapes, too.

Mirror lens find at camera fair

A discovery of a classic lens – Fun with mirrors.
The 500mm f8 Reflex-Nikkor lens … Beautifully built and a pleasure to use.

This classic lens was a real find at the local camera fair in Frome, somerset.
This lens that dates back to its first launch in 1968!  I don’t think mine is that old, although the case may be telling another story.  If Your hung up on super sharp images, auto focus etc this is not for you. Hand held photography is a challenge to…..
This lens is for a unique kind of creative…Ill be back with some images soon

For a  review go to
Ken’s not so keen on this one, but its fun to have a jaw dropping 500mm on the Nikon D3 body

500mm Nikon

Some images taken with the 500mm Mirror Lens:

Bobby 500mm-8299
My Dog Bobby 160th Sec 1000 iso Hand Held
Duck 500mm-8327
Ducks at Shearwater near Longleat 400th sec 1000 iso on a mono pod
Moon 500mm-8582
Half Moon at Twilight – 320th sec 200 iso on Tripod

Discovering HDR

HDR….what’s that you ask! Well this is how to make a picture appear as your mind really sees an image. Everything! Not in perfect color balance. Not a classic image, but how you really perceive the image and how you remember it. A memory brought to life. This has to be my most valuable photographic discovery so far! Brilliant!

Lacock-Cloisters-HDR-2 small
Lacock cloisters as we really see them