The Golden Fleece

•December 1, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Hi folks!

I hope this post finds you all well! All very exciting at the moment as my interview in Professional Photography magazine is due to be published imminently…whoot whoot! don’t worry, as soon as I get hold of a copy i’ll it here on the blog for you all to have a look at! Also, while i’m on the subject of PP magazine, I’m pleased to say that the Editor, Grant Scott was really pleased with his portraits (see my last post) which was a big relief!

Right, back to this weeks post. the shot below is another photo taken on my recent holiday to Greece. As is typical for me on holiday, I’d woken up really early in the morning  to catch my pre-booked taxi in pursuit of a sunrise. And, as is typical with foreign taxi drivers, my cab didn’t show. So, at 5am in the morning, miles away from my planned shoot location, i decided to make the most of where i was.

Making  the most of my current location was more difficult then i envisaged, as there was a small mountain between me and the sunrise, so after lacing up my hiking boots (converse allstars) I began my ascent…in total darkness…with no torch…or map…!! Anyway, after a lot of huffing and puffing I made it to the top of the hill and was welcomed with the dullest sunrise ever…boo!

So, feeling quite let down I began my descent to the Hotel, at which time I was roused from my sulk from falling rocks above. I looked up and spotted a few goats on the ridge. So, in one last ditch effort I grabbed the 2oomm lens and started shooting This was the best shot from the morning:

Right that’s it for this week, and remember, keep your eyes peeled for my interview in Professional Photographer Magazine!!

Untill next time!!

Advertisements

Grant Scott Photography

•November 21, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Hi guys,

Unfortunately I haven’t been able to post for a few weeks as I’ve been uber busy…with photography projects I’m pleased to say! Over the last year I’ve had marginal involvement with Cheltenham Camera Club, in order to learn about forthcoming competitions and to generally garner greater exposure for my work.

Whilst attending one club event I was pleasantly surprised when the editor of Professional Photographer magazine – Grant Scott, took centre stage to announce that the magazine were running a one year piece on the club. As part of the magazines coverage specific members have been interviewed about the club and photography in general, and guess what, I was the first interviewee!

Grant Scott himslef carried out the interview, and it was a great experience as it gave me a chance to quiz a real pro about the nuances of professional photography. Whilst the interview was great, the real icing on the cake materialised a few days later when Grant emailed me to ask if I’d take a few portraits of him which he wanted to include on his bio page in the magazine.

Obviously I leapt at the chance and so on the following saturday I visited his flat where after a chinwag about photography we did the shoot. It was a very simlpe shoot utilising just natural light. Fortunately Grant has a good idea of what he wanted the finished images to look like and so this reduced the pressure on me immensley! It was still a nerve racking experience as you can’t blag it when your shooting a proper pro…although I think I got away with it, I’ll let you guys decide!:

 

Grant was ace to shoot, and the best bit of the day was that he returned the favour by taking my portrait. I really can’t wait to see his take on me!

For those of you who are interested you can check out Grant’s work here. Incidentally, my interview will be in the January issues of Professional Photographer!

Until next time…happy snapping!

Lindos – Golden Dawn

•November 1, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Hi guys,

As ever I’m always very conscious of the fact that I need to maintain diversity and ultimately visual stimulas within the blog so i thought that a nice colourful landscape shot would be beneficial to this aim.

I don’t know if you can remember, but I have just recently returned from a well deserved holiday to Greece. I stayed in a small picturesque resort called Pefki, which is on the island of Rhodes and very close to the historic town of Lindos.

As soon as I arrived at the apartment, I was itching to get out with the camera and so i began going through my ‘just arrived on holiday routine’ which is working out where sunset / sunrise will be, where the sea is, what other interesting photpgraphic locations are in the area, what time sunset / sunrise is, checking all my camera gear, cleaning lenses….you get the picture!

So, at four am on the first morning, whilst nursing a hangover (too much Pernod) I make my way to the taxi which I’ve booked to take me accross to the other side of the island where I will wait for the sunrise….and once there I wait. And wait. And wait. And then realise that I’m still on UK time and have arrived two hours early. And the headache continues….

There I am sat on top of this massive cliff, in total darkness waiting for the sun to rise. As bad as this sounds it was really cool, as I had some really nice ballearic house music on the mp3, and so i lay back and watched the stars…awesome!

As dawn began to break I carefully negotiated my way down to the cliff edge, which required scrambling over razor sharp volcanic rock in nothing but my converse, but after 30 minutes of grazed flesh I made it to the bottom and captured this shot:

A nice big version can be viewed HERE

In hindsight, I’m really annoyed with myself for not taking more photos which could be used as a story board, illustrating my little adventures. I’m off to Weston-super-Mare this afternoon to shoot backgrounds for an upcoming portrait session and so I’ll take more photos to capture the day in general….

Until next time!

Take a View – Highly Commended

•October 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Hi guys,

Some more fab news for you all, the Take a View – Landscape Photographer of the Year awards have been announced, and I’m very pleased to say that my photo which can be viewed here, was highly commended.

Whilst I’m obviously dissapointed that my shot didn’t win, I’m still very pleased, as the photo will be included in the Take a View book, and will be exhibited at the National Theatre in London, between the following dates 5th December 2009 – 24th January 2010, so if you’re in the area pop along for a look! I may also win some prize money, which would be an added bonus!

I’ve mentioned before that I commute from Cheltenham to Bristol on a daily basis, and whilst this is a pain, it does offer me a good 1 hour of peace and quiet during which time I contemplate photography ideas and scout out new locations.

Whilst trundling down the motorway, I noticed these little brick huts in the middle of a field, and immediately the image below popped into my head. I seem to have been blessed with quite an over active imagination and I get such a buzz out of visualising an image an image and then seeing the final product on screen, pretty much as it was first envisaged.

Anyway, I seem to be going through quite a dark phase with my photography, I’m not entirely sure why this is but regardless I’m really pleased with the results I’m getting…i do promise a more uplifting photo next time!

A bigger version can be viewed here

Just for your viewing pleaseure / displeasure, below is a close up of the figure in the doorway:

I deliberately wanted to create an unsettling shot, and hopefully i’ve acheived this. It’s my intention to print the photo at 16″ x 12″, and at this size you won’t be able to quite make out the strange details of the figure in the doorway, just to unnerve the viewer a touch more!

I would love to hear your comments on this shot!

Until next time….

The Teddy Boy

•October 4, 2009 • 6 Comments

Hi folks,

I can’t quite believe it, Sunday afternoon and I’m making a blog post…on time!

since making my last post i’ve been pretty busy editing photos, and I haven’t even started on all the shots taken on holiday, so i’mm sure they will just be added to the backlog! I’m nott complaining though, it’s always nice to have a good stock pile for the blog and portfolio.

I always winge about not having a supply of models, and to get around this I often rely on members of the public. In principle, you may think that the public offer an inexhaustible source of material, however it’s not that easy…not for me anyway.

If you’re a traditional photographer, then the above assumption would be quite accurate, however for my style of work I’m really fussy about the subject material, and so to this extent I’m constantly filtering out people, looking for those folk who will look good with my style of processing. It’s really weird in that I don’t really know what it is i look for in a person, but when know as soon as I see it.

I spotted the subject of this photo working at a Tesco supermarket. So, the next time i was at the store I approached the individual (John), showed him a few examples of my work and asked if I could come back the following day to qquickly shoot him. Fortunately for me he agreed!

Johhn was a great subject, and despite the fact that the shoot only lasted about five minutes, and was done in a car park, the photos I captured were really good. All this was made even better on the basis that John was a natural in front of the camera, he didn’t need any prompting and just did his thing…which I thought was really cool!

The image below took me about two weeks to finish off in Photoshop, I don’t quite know why it took so long, I just struggled finilising the look i was after. Now that it is finished I’m really pleased with the results.

Anyway, i let you guys make up your own minds on it:

View this image nice and big here

The above shot was processed in Photoshop CS4. As ever, if anyone has any questions on my processing then please do not hesitate to ask!

Until next week…happy snapping

Heaven Gazing

•September 28, 2009 • 2 Comments

Hi guys,

Apologies for the late post, I’ve been away for a few weeks on holiday, I should have said really but oh well! i have a few updates for you all with regards my recent competition submissions. Unfortunately I didn’t get anywhere with the Taylor Wessing Portrait competition, which is a real shame especially as I feel that my portraits have improved significantly…oh well! On the positive side, I have been contacted again by the judging panel at the Take a View competition (Landscape Photographer of the Year) and have been asked for a passage of text which would be used to accompany my photograph should it be published in the book of winners.

I wouldn’t have thought that they would ask me for text if they were not planning on publishing my photo so at the very least I’m hoping to get published in a mainstream book. I’m trying not to think about the possibility of winning the first prize of £10,000!

On another plus, I’ve also managed to secure a vacant shop unit in Cheltenham town centre for an exhibition of my work. The unit is located in a relatively new retail developmnet at a former brewery. The unit has remained vacant for a number of months now, and due to thr current recession i don’t think the complex owners are anticipating letting it out in the near future. Therefore to maintain visual interest within the complex, in conjunction with the local art gallery the unit is being used for the display of artwork. I’ve managed in booking the venue for a one month period starting on the 19th April 2010. Fingers crossed the unit will remain vacant until then!

Anyway, newsflash over!

I’ve recently had a few comments about the content of my blog along the lines that the photos are getting a tad too dark in nature. I must admit I hadn’t really noticed this, being to pre-occupied with my work! Anyway, to buck the trend and because I’m still in holiday mode, I thought I’d share a photo from my last holiday to Ibiza:

A nice big version can be viewed at the end of this link

I hope this shot injects a bit of much needed colour into the blog!

Thats enough from me for this week, until next time!

Android / Cyborg Relations

•August 28, 2009 • 1 Comment

Hi guys,

I’m currently writing this post whilst stood in a very long que to enter an art exhibition. Details of this art exhibition will be fully disclosed in my next post. Anyway, the point is that there is a certain irony about how this post is being sent to you, as the delivery system forms the basis of this weeks post.

I am in fact using my new HTC Hero mobile phone, which utilises google’s Android operating system. I’m a massive fan of new technologies and this is often evident in the way I process my images, as I’m always testing out the latest software and techniques to achieve my style.

Anyway, I’m really impressed with my new  phone and what it can do, some of the applications are incredible and there is so, so much potential. I don’t want to harpe on too much, but check this. I have an application which, when I turn on the phones camera and look at the screen, this little application labels all the buildings, places of interest etc on the screen, in real time. It’s like terminator vision!

Anyway, the potenial is incredible and whilst thinking about this the little cogs in my brain which are responsible for dark photography ideas started turning and I came up with this:

This photo is best viewed nice and big HERE.

For those of you interested a lighting diagram for the above shot can be seen below. As you can see, the setup is pretty simple, and consisted purely of a strobe fired at 1/4 power through a shoot thr0ugh umbrella. Whenever I light a subject I try and keep the setup to a minimum, in order to give me a nice contrasty image to work with. In this case I wanted quite hard lighting so that’s why I just used a key light and no fill, as I didn’t want to open up the shadows.

Whilst the lighting setup was pretty simple, the post processing in the shot was not, and in the end took up about 75% of the entire project time. Not that I minded this of course as I had a blast putting the image together!

Anyway, that’s it for this post…until next time!