Arches Of The Palace

Arches Of The Palace

I hope this post finds you all well at this very challenging time.

March was an incredibly busy month with me out shooting nearly every day for a new travel accommodation company. Of course, this came to a sudden halt with the travel restriction came into place which was definitely needed.I must admit I’ve not been bored. I’ve used my time in my home office to take some advanced training courses to add to my existing skills and do some other things that seem to have been pushed to the back of the to-do list.

This week I completed the lifestyle image below titled Arches Of The Palace.
The models Emma & Nathan were captured back in chilly November outside my studio and the background is Rhodes in slightly warmer weather!
Thanks to good planning and care the retouching came together both seamlessly and in good time.

Receipt Bank Animated Still

Receipt Bank Animated Still

Back in November, I was commissioned by my client Receipt Bank to capture several of its clients in their workplaces.
The final images were destined to be printed into large promotional pieces and I’ll be publishing theses as soon as I can.
When I’m on an assignment I’m always looking beyond the brief anticipating other ideas while I’m at a location.
This was one of those occasions when the guy and the amazing location was too good not to capture other options after of course, I had captured what my client wanted.
The final image below is a still image that I have animated in After Effects which can be used for short social media content.
For clients, it gives extra value by offering video production services that allows the repurposing existing images and extending their budgets further.

 

Lifestyle Photoshoot, Walk Before Dinner

Lifestyle Photoshoot, Walk Before Dinner

About a month ago I published a blog post titled A Perfect Moment – Capturing A Lifestyle Photoshoot called Greek Summer In Grey November Link Here
Walk Before Dinner is another image from that same shoot captured in chilly November.
I captured this background for use as a Lifestyle shot well over a year but for one reason or another I never have.
The background is of St Pauls Bay below Lyndos village Rhodes Greece.
It was created from approx 27 individual frames mostly to allow me a more flattering perspective and to keep the Chapel below and the Temple above from getting lost completely in the image.

The technical aspects of capturing Nathan & Emma was much simpler than in The Perfect Moment image.
For starters the lighting in this image was soft rather than directional which previously required matching with the direction and quality of the background.
Creating images without the models feet showing that otherwise need realistic shadows created is also much simpler hence why many people based composites are 3/4 not full lengths.

I rarely time these things but the final composite not including the background creation took approx 6 to 8 hours to complete.

 

 

Lifestyle Portrait Photography, Capturing Mr Butt.

Lifestyle Portrait Photography, Capturing Mr Butt.

Mr Butt window cleaner Captured in Burnham On Sea Somerset circa 1993.
I can’t remember the exact year I did this lifestyle portrait but I do remember running home in excitement like a big girl to grab a 5×4 camera to do the shot!.
I had wanted to create a lifestyle portrait of this lovely chap for a while and I finally seized the opportunity.
I set up the large format camera hastily (well as hastily as you can with a 5×4) in front of what I felt was a perfect backdrop for colours.

A large-format camera is not something you would use for most of my work as a lifestyle photographer but the quality of tone and detail is simply amazing.

Moving Mountains, Travel Photography Portfolio The Gumbet Windmills

Moving Mountains, Travel Photography Portfolio The Gumbet Windmills

I’d been told about this spot and the windmills many times while visiting my holiday home in Turkey.
Eventually, during one trip, I decided it was time that I grabbed my gear and checked this local landmark out and combine a little travel and landscape photography

It was a beautiful hot evening and the light was just starting to dip behind the mountains and I was keen to add the image to my travel photography portfolio.
I have to be honest after all the hype I was a little disappointed with the location when I arrived.

There were several windmills on the edge of the hillside and due to the shape of the hill I had to be closer to the windmills than I would have preferred.
This meant that the beautiful mountains and bay below were extremely obstructed by some of the windmills and the contour of the hillside.
At around this time, I was producing lots of video tutorials for a training site I owned. 

I decided I would take the opportunity to use some clever photographic and post-production techniques to create a more pleasing view and also create a video of how I achieved this for the sites members.
After some careful thought, I decided that if I moved the sea and mountains up higher into the scene and did some clean up ( remove a ropy looking windmill )this would produce a panoramic scene I knew would look stunning in the evening light.
So not an image that the purists would enjoy but one that satisfied my experience of the place even if I had to move mountains to achieve it!

Lifestyle In Loret De Mar

Back in October I made a trip to the Catalonian resort of Loret De Mar.
Unfortunately the weather was the worst seen along the Spanish coast for decades which of course hindered things slightly !
Fortunately the weather did break albeit just for two brief periods and I managed to capture several locations I had scouted.
Several months on with my models Susie Coats and Andy Elvin arranged (see blog post Pre Production For Post Production) I then photographed the models images and went into post production to composite the images together into the final shots shown here.

Pre Production For Post Production. Composite Lifestyle Shooting.

Tomorrow I have a location lifestyle shoot planned with a couple of models so I thought I’d give a glimpse on how I prepare for some of my shoots.

It can be surprising to some people just how much pre-production can go into even the smallest shoots especially if they are on location.
My shoot tomorrow has it’s own particular added elements that need careful preparation and close attention and that is because the backgrounds have already been captured several months before.
When I travel I often will go out capturing my chosen locations before dawn or dusk for the best light (depending on what I’m after).
If I have a choice I prefer dawn not because I love to get up at 4am (in the summer) but because there is less likely to be any tourists around especially in popular city locations.
Saying that having been a retoucher for 21 years I know some clever techniques to very simply remove people from images in post without the need for any stress while on location if needed.

My models will be captured either in my studio or as is more often the case outside in natural daylight and supplemented with lighting if required.

So for this shoot to be captured and be successfully blended realistically in post-production there are many things that need careful attention. Here are just a few of the basics.

The light quality
Light angle
Light temperature
The surrounding elements and their colour
Camera height
Camera angle (perspective)
Lens focal length (this can be tweaked a little)

As I said these are just a few things that I’m carefully looking at.
To help me with this I create a markup image for quick reference (shown below).

Here are a few samples from a previous shoot.

As you will see in the second picture in the bottom row if possible I’ll always take a snap of myself in the scene.
You have probably already guessed that this gives me a great reference when I shoot my models to how the light in the scene should be interacting on them even if it’s not a pretty picture!

So one question you may ask is why go to so much trouble why not shoot the models in situ like many photographers?
Well, I first should add I’m definitely not against doing it all in camera and often do however there is a multitude of reasons why it might not always be possible.
The main one is simply the logistics of getting models, stylist, makeup artist and the many other people that make up a production crew to a particular location at a certain time.
For me, it’s partly the above plus, of course, the substantial costs involved as some of these images are purely self-funded portfolio pieces so budgets can be naturally tight.
The other more personal reason is it enables me the luxury of more time to concentrate on capturing the changing light and various angles the locations has to offer with more flexibility.

It was interesting to read that Lord Litchfield towards the latter end of his career shot in a similar way.
As far as the post-production is concerned there is, of course, some work (and cost involved)  pulling all the elements together but then how often these days does an image not have some retouching applied before being published? If planned and executed correctly the image can often come together remarkably quickly.

As I said above I’m quite happy working and doing it all in camera and have done so many times but for me working this way provides a flexible alternative providing it’s planned accordingly.

St Paul’s Chapel And Post Production Ironing.

Last week I finally got around to shooting some models to be able to complete several images I had captured from my latest trip to Greece.
Casting the right models for a shoot together with right styling is always something that needs careful consideration to work well.
On top of that because this image was a composite the actual photography needed very careful planning as lighting, light quality, perspective, colour amongst many other things all needs to come together for the final image to work seamlessly.

 

Shooting Plan Mark Up

 

Even with all the best planning however the odd curve ball can still pop up. Despite preparation the night before one of the models shirts got a little creased on route to the shoot.
Normally this would not had been an issue except the studio iron decided to retire itself ! Fortunately I knew a digital solution and with the schedule being tight I decided this would be a better than have a delay acquiring another iron.

The background image was captured pre dawn and created from around 27 frames stitched together in post to allow for a more pleasing perspective with a 41mm lens and deliver a wider dynamic range.
I decided during the final stages of the composite to change the colour of the female models top from blue to a more contrasting orange to help draw the viewers eye to the models.

Hedo, Beach Water-sports Salesman Turkey

Having once owned a home in Turkey I was privileged to have visited the country many times over a ten year period.
This as you would expect also meant I got to make friends with some of the locals and those who worked in the area during the busy summer months.
Hedo was someone I always knew would be in the same place on the beach with the same big smile selling tourists water sports.