Liverpool night photography workshops booking now!

Just because it’s dark, that doesn’t mean that we can’t take stunning photographs. Using long exposure and flash techniques we can capture beautiful creative images like these.


Focusing on the docks

If you’re new to photography or looking to expand your skills not join me a night walk along the stunning Liverpool waterfront? This course is designed to be an introduction to the basics of DSLR photography, taking you from auto snapper to manual master in 3 photo filled hours. Learn about exposure modes, when and how to use manual settings and how to get the most out of your DSLR as well as meeting like minded photographers in your area. There’s something for everyone whether you’ve just picked up your first camera or are a more experienced photographer looking to try something new. The walks start with the basics of camera operation and move on to more advanced techniques such as light painting and capturing traffic trails.

Wales in the mist

With over ten years experience in leading and teaching groups, I’m thrilled to be able to share my experience in education and passion for photography. Each walk features group and one-to-one time to help you with any specific questions or image styles you want to achieve.
Walks last for 3 hours per evening with a maximum of 10 per group. All you will require is a DSLR camera (ask if you’re not sure), a tripod (essential) and suitable clothing. For light painting a torch or LED light is required, external flash units can also be used if you have them.

The workshop is hands on, you’ll be snapping continuously and receive constant feedback on your work. The friendly group atmosphere is a perfect setting to make new friends and learn new techniques.

Click here to see examples shot by previous workshop attendees.

Learn light painting techniques

Last years night walks proved very popular and workshops have limited availability. Register now to avoid disappointment. To keep up to date with all the latest info ‘like’ and follow the jonhallphoto facebook page now.
Evening night walks cost £75 for a 3 hour session.


Here’s what previous clients had to say about the walks:

Thanks for the course last night on Night Photography, it was a great boost to my confidence at getting to grips with using my DSLR outside of the “green” automatic mode.  I have always been interested in the Light trail photos and I am please with my first attempts.  I can’t wait to get out on my next evening photography walk!  –  Alan D

Despite the weather (on the nightwalk) I found it terrifically interesting and it made me aware of the kind of images that I could get even from my humble G9. I learned a lot, enjoyed it and thought you did a cracking job of informing and teaching without being in your face or stand-off ish. Thanks again for a great course and giving me the enthusiasm to learn more and keep exploring my camera. Cheers! – Jim R

Many thanks for the course last night. I thought the course was great and I really liked your teaching style, which gave just the right amount of information without being over technical. I really enjoyed the lighting effects you showed us with the torches / mobile phones.  Please keep me informed of any other courses you run.  –  Helen D

Just a note to say how much I enjoyed the recent Liverpool Night walk course. I wasn’t sure if I’d be out of my depth but as a beginner I found it very helpful and feel much more confident about the use of my Camera. I thought you did a great job to guide everyone whilst providing individual attention where needed. The 3 hours flew by and it was nice to experience the Albert Dock area on such a lovely night. I will look out for other courses as I can now appreciate the benefit that these may bring. – James H

Just thought that I would say how useful the course you ran last night was for me, and I believe the other people who attended. My son and I both picked up a lot of information and the way you put it over was very simple and easy to understand. Considering the weather was so cold it was down to you that everyone stayed to the end. Hopefully you will run some other courses in the future as it is obvious to me that you have plenty to teach us. Once again thank you for your assistance.  –  Keith C

Boscam G20 video transmitter for Gopro Hero 3 and 4. What it is and why you need one.

The Boscam G20 is a 5.8GHz 32 channel composite video transmitter for the Gopro Hero 3 and 4 cameras. It uses the accessory port on the rear of the camera to send video to a compatible receiver and is the best thing since sliced bread.

Here’s why.

The Gopro Hero 4 is a pretty serious piece of kit for film makers. It’s sharp, light, relatively cheap and shoots 4k and 2.7k footage with usable frame rates and a flat colour profile. That’s a great start but using it to produce professional looking footage turns out to require much more in terms of hardware than you might think.

For capturing action sports the super wide view of the Gopro is perfect as a ‘fit and forget’ camera but when using the more cinematic narrow or medium fields of view, knowing what you’re shooting becomes more important. If you need live view when filming (and you do) you have a few options:

  • The Gopro App – Streams video to your phone or tablet via WIFI and offers full control over the settings. This is awesome for framing up your shots but rubbish for actual filming. The lag between moving the camera and the display updating is just too much to be useful. You’ll go insane trying to film anything seriously like this.
  • The LCD Bacpac (yes it’s spelled ‘Bacpac’) gives a lag free preview and adds touch control but is tiny and stays on the camera at all times. This means if you want to put your camera on a boom arm or stabilizer you won’t be able to see it. so it’s really no better than the app.
  • HDMI Out, this is the ‘pro’ choice offered by Gopro, assuming that anyone using their Hero4 for serious use will use a large rig and can trail cables to monitors with no problems. This is undoubtedly the best quality available but rather defeats the object of having a tiny mountable camera. Especially when the weight of an HDMI cable will prohibit the use of any handheld stabilizer.

The answer? The Boscam G20 transmitter. A self contained box the same size as a battery or LCD Bacpac that sends live video straight to a wireless receiver. No wires, no uneven weight distribution and perfectly designed for anyone using a handheld stabilizer such as the Feiyu G4 or G4s.

The Thing itself.

The Boscam G20 is a cheap, lightweight transmitter that plugs directly into the Gopro Hero3 and Hero4 cameras using the rear connector. With a 500mAh internal battery it charges via a micro usb socket and is supposed to last for 2 hours per charge. (I’ve not tested this fully yet but I’ll get back to you.) At 28g it’s extremely light and mounts perfectly into any Gopro mount or case designed for use with the Bacpac accessories. Importantly, it does work perfectly with the Feiyu G4 series stabilizers which is the whole reason I bought it. The specified range is 300m  though for film making use that will be more than enough.

To see the video you’ll need a 5.8Ghz 32 channel receiver. I use a Black Pearl diversity monitor that does not require a separate receiver and it works beautifully.

To set up your G20 you’ll need to power it up before fitting it to your Gopro, then select a channel using the mode button on the side of the unit. A long press cycles through the bands A, B, E, F and a short press cycles between channels 1-8.

Before buying the G20 I could find no information, no reviews, nothing. If you’re considering on of these or looking for a wireless live view solution then this is it.

If you’re still not convinced here’s a quick and rough video to show you it working.

As always, if you have and questions just leave a comment.

The perfect wedding present for a comic book crazy couple.

If you’ve seen Kev and Jen’s wedding in an earlier post you know that this geek chíc wedding was full of creative ideas and little nods to their favourite pastimes and shared hobbies. With many elements based in comic books I knew before I started editing their images that I could create something a little bit special for this unique couple.

With a little research and patience ‘Serjenity’ was born. I surprised them with this comic book version of their big day, named for a prominent space ship in Joss Whedon’s Firefly series (and one of their table centrepieces). Serjenity-1

Serjenity-2 Serjenity-3 Serjenity-4 Serjenity-5 Serjenity-6 Serjenity-7 Serjenity-8

It’s not going to be to everyone’s taste but that’s the nature of the ‘bespoke’ in Jonhallphoto Bespoke Photography. Each package or service is designed with the client in mind. In this case that meant creating this suprise book layout for the couple to print as thank you comics.

They love them and so do I and that’s all that really matters.

Feiyu G4 + Flycam 5000 = super-stabilized Gopro footage.

If you haven’t kept up with the news, DJI have just released their new OSMO filming platform. A handheld 3D gimbal with integrated 12mp 4K camera. If you want to stick to your trusted Gopro the leading alternative is the FeiyuTech G4 series.

The G4 itself holds any Gopro and stabilizes it’s movement with sensors and motors on all 3 axis. The resulting video is impressively smooth compared to handheld but it doesn’t compensate for any vertical movement you make when carrying the unit. It’s light too so it’s easy to introduce obvious camera shake whilst filming tracking shots.

The answer? My solution is to pair the Gimbal to a Flycam 5000 rig, built to stabilize larger DSLR cameras. With a modified gopro mount the G4 can be mounted horizontally or vertically and once balanced provides stunningly slick footage like this..

I’ll post some details of my full setup soon. I’m working on sending the live preview through to a wireless monitor mounted to the rig. Once that’s done I’ll show it off.

Lightroom 5 Tutorial Video – Getting started with the basic adjustment panel

So this is a bit of a new thing for me. I’ve decided to start a video tutorial series to accompany my DSLR for beginners workshops.

This youtube series should take care of your basic editing needs behind the camera and allow you to get started in the awesome but sometimes confusing world of Adobe Lightroom.

I’m using Lightroom 5 but the general principles apply to the earlier versions.

I’d love to hear your feedback on this new development.. Do you like it? Am I easy to understand? What am I missing?

If you have an opinion don’t stay silent. Leave a comment here or on the video page and if you’d like to request a tutorial on any aspect of post production and editing just ask!

How do you improve an already awesome sword fight? …Lightsabers.

You may remember the Musketeers stage combat trailer from my last post. That was a video completed in one editing session to try to get it selling tickets as quickly as possible so I thought “how could I improve this with a painstakingly long and tedious process that will shut me away from the outside world for nearly a week?”

The answer?   Lightsabers.

It turns out that adding a bit of Jedi flair to your videos is pretty labour intensive work, requiring you to individually animate every frame of your light sabers. It takes forever.

I won’t go into too much detail here. If you want to have a go yourself I’ve added some useful links to the bottom of this post.

The effect is achieved using Adobe After Effects. Each saber is created by animating a mask across a coloured solid. Once all of the movement is complete, clashes and sound effects are added.

If you want to try your own, take a look at these tutorials and post your work in the comments section.


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