Category Archives: How to

This section contains my assortment of articles which I have written for those who are just getting into photography. These photography tips for beginners should help my readers to enhance their knowledge of photography and get the best out of their equipment.

Extend battery life DSLR Camera

Unboxing and fitting power adapter to Canon 550d ACK-E8 AC Power Adapter.

It can be a pain to always have fully charged batteries for video work. Here I look at the option if your studio based.
I show how to fit 500D power adapter to allow it to run from mains power.
It can save you time charging batteries and extends your shooting duration.

Birmingham Instagram Photo locations

How to get the best photos in Birmingham

Thinking of visiting the UK don’t forget to stop by in Birmingham. Here are 6 locations in Birmingham, UK for cool Instagram photos.

Here you can join me as I show some of the lesser known photo spots in the UK.

Light Painting Photography

I received a brief to provide some exclusive photos for Respro ® UK; they are a British manufacturer of anti-pollution masks.

Pollution has become a serious concern It’s been in the news a lot recently. Our atmosphere is not getting any cleaner, exposure to air pollutants has been linked to asthma, heart disease and the onset of diabetes.Mibandit_Notes_Respro

I decided to do something different to bring more emphasis to the product. That’s why I choice to use light to depict pollution. It’s always good to get your ideas down on paper, start with a sketch and notes so you are on the right track with the final image.

Using the surprisingly simple technique of light painting I created the below image using a single light. You can see each image above to show the journey of editing the original image.


One of the main things to understand with light painting is that the camera sensor only reads light. This lets you to move around in front of the camera while the shutter is open and gives you ultimate control. This is great for portraiture, especially in situations where you want to draw attention to certain sections of the scene.

Some camera setting tips

Light painting needs a long exposure, so you will need your camera set up on a tripod. Setting your shutter speed somewhere between 10 and 30 seconds is a good place to start, and then play around from there. Your ISO should be at its lowest to avoid the grain (noise) caused by a long exposure.


Masks: Respro

Photographers block

This is a touchy subject, “photographers block” or rather I should say blocking the photographers view.

It does happen, but when it’s the mere mortals who have paid to attend the show who are getting in the way of the official photographer…. not to mention they are using giant IPads or a mobile phone tut-tut.

Acknowledgement -blocking the photographers view

If I paid to go and see an event the last thing I would be doing is photographing it. Enjoy the atmosphere the live sensation. To be fair I can’t remember the last time I saw a show which wasn’t through the eyecup on my Canon DSLR.

You get the idea, however this isn’t a rant it’s how to “embrace” the situation. My series on common issues faced by photographers the other was Low Light – Fashion Catwalk Shows read that one here

I made a recent “block” at my recent Asiana 2015 Catwalk into an image of its own right and even a blog post #OhYeah #GoMe

here goes, there is a four step process to follow to overcome the “block” without losing you shit. (excuse the expression)

  1. Acknowledgement – You are blocked, give them a chance “Excuse me”
  2. Repetition – They are a persistent offender “Hellooo”
  3. Embrace – Make the best of the situation “No comment”
  4. Success – You have unique view of the show “Oh Yeah”
Repetition – Another Block


Embrace – Make the best of the situation


Success – You have unique view of the show

Photos: Zulfphotography

Event: Asiana Bridal Show Feb 2015

How to recover from a failed hard drive

There is a back story to this post. I had a Bad failure from an 11month old Seagate Storage NAS. Read that full story here.


If your here just to see how to get over a hard drive failure read on.

  • First steps
  • Recover
  • Rebuild
  • Backup
  • Maintain routine


Once you have fallen victim to a bad hard drive its possible all the data is not gone. You need to think about what can actually be salvaged from the drive. In my case I took the drives out from the NAS and put them aside. You need to look at the options for Data Recovery software.


Here are the ones I used.

TestDisk  is powerful free data recovery software

PhotoRec PhotoRec Sorter moves each file into a new folder matching the name of the file extension (ex. JPEG, PDF, DOC)

PhotoRec Sorter To make sorting through the rescued files a bit easier I usually organized them by file type (.exe, .pdf, .doc. etc.)

I left them to run over night and some to finish the passes on the drives.


You will find with the Data Recovery Software will pull back files magically but without the original file names. A small price to pay for to getting the files back. You can use this software to separate the file formats into separate folders. To help sort and arrange what is and isn’t important.


Hopefully at this point you have more data back then you first lost. You need to build a Backup plan and stick to it so this doesn’t happen again. It is very easy these days to set up automatic backup routines.

Maintain routine

There are programs out there even within windows to backup. I use Cobian its open Source and does a great job.

How to Adapt Memory Cards

With the vast range of memory cards these days it’s hard to get a real idea of which you need for which device.

Most gadgets take varying types and sizes of memory cards. We find ourselves not being able to use the same memory card across our devices and gadgets.

Did you know cards can be adapted to enable a smaller card to be used in an item designed to house a larger one?

Here’s a quick example of my Micro SD and Micro SDHC adapter.

Micro SD and Micro SDHC adapter.

Micro SD cards are about a quarter of the size of a standard SD card and are most commonly used in mobile phones. I use the Micro SDHC to SDHC card adapter to use my phone and tablet cards in my integrated laptop SDHC reader.

I checked the speed with and without the adapters and the write speed was unchanged.

Chosen carefully, an adapter is a handy accessory to have available, which can be used to service a range of electronic gadgets simply and reliably.

Photos: Zulf Photography

Tips for Building and Managing Social Media Audience

Social_Media_Management Tips for Building a Social Media Audience.

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn. Social media profiles – we all have them, but here’s a question… How many of us know what is being said about us or our brand on them?

I’m sure we all pay varying levels of interest to each of our profiles depending on our mood and interests.

In the current digital world improving your social media presence is a big obligation for individuals and businesses alike.

Here are a few Tips for Building and Managing a Social Media Audience.

  • Remember that people want to socialise with the person behind the fancy logo or strapline.
  • Try not to always post about your business offers.
  • Post at different times of the day, we all have different schedules.
  • Follow up on Tweets and engage in conversation.
  • When you find interesting articles, rather than post them all immediately schedule some to post later via social media management programs.
Reception Desk offers and prices.
Try not to only post about your business offers and prices

Scheduling posts will help you reach more of your followers, especially those from different time zones. At the same time you want to be careful not to automate everything, follow up on Tweets and engage in conversation; social media is about other people too. When your followers learn that you’re an industry expert, they’ll trust your business when they look for a product in your area.

Follow up on Tweets and engage in conversation

You may be surprised to learn that there are plenty of tools that can help you monitor and improve your social media activity. Personally, I had been using Hootsuite for a good six months before I upgraded to a pro package. It offers a host of features which help manage multiple profiles and it has helped me a lot to keep on top of all the updates.

Finally, remember – as humans we like to share our feelings and be part of the pack. Don’t be the guy at the party that only talks about himself.

Here is a nice breakdown from docsocTV on what Hootsuite can do for you.

Photos: Zulf Photography