About Hywel

Particle physicist turned fetish photographer, producer and director. I run http://www.restrainedelegance.com and http://www.elegancestudios.com together with my wife, who is variously known as Ariel Anderssen or Amelia Jane Rutherford, depending on whether she's getting tied up or spanked at the time.

“In The Dark” – coming soon(ish) at EleganceStudios.com

Had a fabulous day shooting with Ariel at The Facility UK studio near Birmingham.

We were filming the middle section of forthcoming EleganceStudios.com film “In The Dark” – this was the bit shot in actual darkness!

Here’s a quick framegrab from the video behind the scenes while setting up, by the light of my head-torch:

Here’s a Hywel’s eye view of the action (taken with my iPhone using eyepiece projection, through the LI monocular I was using to see through):

Here’s the camera’s eye view- shot in Infrared, lit using two security camera infrared LED lights:

And here’s the view of a camera shot with an f/0.95 lens at ISO6400… in other words, and Ariel Anderssen’s eye view of proceedings! It really was DARK in the room. The little bit of spill you can see bottom right is the light leakage from under the door, which you could barely make out with the naked eye (at least until one got completely dark adapted).

And finally here’s an interlude shot in full spectrum, under a UV light rather than an infrared one:

Now we’ve got to shoot the beginning and the end of the movie, which we’re doing at a different location hopefully next week!

Exciting! And it was really hot torturing Ariel when she couldn’t see what was coming!

Hywel

Problems with some video files on Windows? Try VLC Player

Hi All,

Looks like the Windows Media Player MP4 bug is back, for some people at least. If you are having difficulty playing some video files (typically they play the audio but black instead of the picture) on windows media player, try downloading VLC player here:

http://www.videolan.org/vlc/index.en-GB.html

This seems to solve the problem.

I’ve no idea why WMP won’t play some of the files- they’re all made exactly the same way on my Mac, and Quicktime player and VLC seem to be able to play them fine. So I believe it is a bug in WMP.

A little bit of a Google indicates that other set-ups can cause WMP to do this- a lot of GoPro users complaining about it a couple of years ago, for example. Installing fresh MP4 codecs might fix it. A member has tried transcoding with ACDSee, and the transcoded versions play fine- but that again implies that there’s nothing wrong with the original, as the transcoding software can process it just fine. So it genuinely looks like a Microsoft WMP bug that they don’t seem to be in a hurry to fix. Download VLC 🙂

Hywel

Tortured In The Dark

We’re very excited!

We’ve been planning another EleganceStudios.com for a while, and we’re just gearing up for production, shooting in a few weeks. I’m converting the outline to a shooting script today.

The film has an emotional, real-world-grounded storyline about a bondage couple are trying to find ways to rekindle the excitement of their first BDSM experience.

The “fun and games” section of the film is going to be an extended BDSM session in complete darkness. I have infrared spotlights and infrared cameras, and IR goggles for me to wear. Think of the “in the dark” section of Silence of the Lambs. Ariel is going to be totally in the dark- she will not be able to see me, or anything else! It’d going to be hot and intense, more even than a blindfold or blackout contact lens scene. We want MAXIMUM impact!

What would you like to see done to her in her Tortures in the Dark? I’ve got ideas but I’d love to have your suggestions! Post a comment and let us know!

New Shopping Cart

Hi Everyone

Today we’re introducing a new shopping cart system (the same system as EleganceStudios.com uses) for people who prefer to purchase sets individually rather than get them all with a Restrained Elegance membership. We’re keeping the old cart system for old sets in parallel. (With 5000 sets on there it’s too big a task to port it all across in the absence of an automatic data transfer system).

It’ll now be possible to purchase a set individually on release day, rather than waiting anything up to a couple of years for it to appear on the old system.

The new cart is a more modern system which is a lot easier for us to maintain. It also allows us to include the full-sized JPEGs for each set as well as standard size for the first time. Both are included when you purchase and download a set. (The full sized versions are in the “full” subdirectory, naturally enough).

Videos are in full HD MP4.

I know many people prefer to buy individual photosets and videos than get a subscription.

We’ve been trying for ages to catch up with posting sets on the old cart system (Classic Restrained Elegance).

That system is old, but flexible… the downside is that the data entry takes a long time. I’ve been paying a friend, Stefan, to add stuff to the cart for me for at least the past decade. Bless him, he’s religiously managed to find half an hour or so almost every week for TEN YEARS to do just that, but catching up just doesn’t seem feasible. At least not without me spending literally weeks of Hywel time to do it, which given I have to shoot and edit new stuff isn’t feasible either.

Although the new cart isn’t as flexible, it *is* a lot faster to do the data entry. We can only have one pic to illustrate each set on the cart product page but that’s OK, I’ll live with that.

I’d have done this a couple of years ago except that I was hoping for a possible automated way to transmit data from our content management system direct to the shopping cart – meaning only one lot of boring data entry for both cart and membership site. I’ve just bitten the bullet and done the data entry by hand for a couple of months of updates. It wasn’t too bad- much quicker than the old cart.

So from now on you’ll be able to purchase photosets and clips from the shopping cart on release day.

Follow the updates here: http://www.restrainedelegance.com/whatsnew.php and you can see a “Buy This Set” button for each update.

I’ve gone back as far as April for new sets. I’ll be adding new sets to the cart as I update the main website, and I’ll work my way backwards until I catch up with Stefan posting older sets to the archives and the old cart system working forwards.

The latest content will go to the new cart. Old stuff stays on the old cart. There’s a few gaps especially in the archives; I’ll fill those in as soon as I can.

I’ve put links on the preview tour What’s New page to the cart entries for archive stuff as well. All 5000 old sets will eventually get linked that way- I’ll add the link to each set as sets come up in the members’ archive. There will be gaps sometimes in the archive links where sets were uploaded in multiple parts originally or where formats don’t play well with the cart systems.

I hope this will be much more convenient for those of you who want to purchase sets individually. The new cart should all be up and running and working- it is the same cart Elegance Studios uses- but if you do find any oddities or spot incorrect links etc. please let me know. Having two carts is not ideal but it seemed like the most sensible solution.

Cheers!

Hywel

Double content weekend ends

Hi All,

If you were a member over the weekend, I hope you enjoyed the double content birthday celebration. I’ve now had to turn the extra archives back off again- sorry, can’t leave so much stuff up routinely because of the bandwidth bills. But I hope you had fun, and we’ve got some absolutely super stuff coming up for you in the rest of April- check out the forum for what’s coming up!

Cheers, Hywel