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RCC Blog

Damian McGillicuddy. 3rd June 2015

These notes were made on the evening by Carol Khorsandyon. We can only be impressed that she not only managed to enjoy and learn from the evening but managed to get all this information down for us. Well done Carol !!

Damian McGillicuddy Workshop RCC June 4th 2015


Uses and recommends Capture One Pro as an editing programme now Apple have stopped updating Aperture .

Says he is old school and would rather get his photos right or as near as dammit in camera than spend hours editing. If it takes more than 15 mins to edit a photo, post shoot, he isn’t interested.

His spectacular slideshow is produced on his Apple Mac in iPhoto under slideshow command…. Just tried it and OMG it works….. makes even my ordinary photos look extraordinary…. Nice one Damian !


To get the smoky ethereal look/movement in some of his photos you need the flash to be controlled by the shutter and you have to slow the shutter down (longer exposure) and tell the flash to go off at the end of the exposure. This way you get ethereal movement around the main subject but the subject itself is sharp because the flash goes off at the end and freezes the subject . I
t’s called Rear Curtain Sync or 2nd curtain Sync and it is a mode on your camera. Damian didn’t think Canon users have this function but on my Canon 70D under “built in flash settings”, and then Shutter sync ….. hey presto….first curtain and second curtain options. So check out your menu buttons if you want to experiment with a delayed flash. But be warned….You can only use the 2nd curtain sync on shutter speeds under 1/30 of a second.

Damian takes most of his photos in a square format as his work is commercial and the square format will give you a front cover size. If he is looking for a double page spread he does a 16x9 format. If you want to sell to a magazine or newspaper or other commercial outlets he advises leaving negative space at the side or top or bottom of your photos for copy (writing) . But still be aware of the thirds rule and don’t plonk the photo slap bang in the middle !!!!

He recommended looking at the portfolios of Ray Hargreaves and also Barry Lategan for inspiration. They are who inspired him in his work.

He recommends a hand held light meter as being invaluable for checking the light when setting up a shoot. He doesn’t like relying on his camera alone.

He uses what he calls the Legobrick Technique when taking a photo. He builds his photo up little by little in small stages ensuring the position of the model and the light source is how he wants it to ensure every aspect of his model /surroundings has the lighting effect he wants.
He places his model where he wants her against the background.
He measures the light on the background with his meter .