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.

Repurposing Images With The Parallax 3D Technique

I’m always looking to be able to offer clients more bang for their buck especially when budgets are tight.
Repurposing existing stills into 3D engaging (actually 2.5D to be precise)  motion clips is one way to offer more value and provide engaging content for website and social media channels.
Best results are always to be had by planning with the end result in mind and shooting with the following Parallax technique is no exception.
However, it’s still possible to take an existing image and produce some incredible results.
The first sample below was captured for my client Mimecast and is a fairly straightforward still image from a business lifestyle production shot on location in London.

With a little post-production and 3D rendering, it was possible to repurpose the image into a simple and eye-catching image asset.

This image was a little more involved and shot with the Parallax technique in mind which allowed a little more scope for creating some depth and motion.

 Again this one lent itself perfectly to a Parallax effect keep an eye out for a couple of subtle movements towards the end of the movie.

You can view more motion work here

Pre Christmas Summer Shoots

A few weeks leading into Christmas assignment work quietened down enough to catch up on some long overdue personal work.
Shooting a summer themed Travel Lifestyle in December is not ideal for summer clad models for obvious reasons but needs must.
I prefer when compositing images of natural daylight lit scenes to use daylight as my main source if possible and add any other strobe lighting to this.
In short, if I need to replicate daylight on my subject to match a scene then I use daylight rather than try and recreate it in a warm cosy studio!
Great for the integrity of the image not so great if your a model being asked to pretend it’s 32 degrees and it’s actually minus 2 and wearing a slinky evening dress.
Needless to say, I worked quickly (in my thermals) to avoid too much discomfort for her.
I have to say Lilliana my model did not moan once and was fabulous to work with and I think the final images work beautifully.
Have a great Christmas everyone.

Travel Lifestyle Rhodes Old Town Greece

 

 

 

 

 

Fornells Menorca Spain.

Papilio Portraits & Interiors

I’m generally not known as an interior photographer but like most photographic genres I’ve probably at some point done it but just don’t advertise or claim to specialise in it.
In the case of Interior Design company Papilo they contacted me as they required some tricky interiors capturing and knew with my post production knowledge I could possibly help capture what they required.
Steve & Matt Papilo’s directors also explained they needed some corporate portraits that also would showcase their interior design style at the same time.

The idea for the portraits where pretty much dictated by the location so we finalised everything on the day of the shoot.
I decided once I had seen the interior that the approach should be a composite image to allow for maximum flexability.

The shoot went without any issues and so with time to spare decided on another alternative both shown below.

Corporate Portraits For Papilio Interiors Of Steve And Matt And Clients Kitchen Frome

Corporate Portraits For Papilio Interiors Of Steve And Matt And Clients Kitchen Frome

For the interiors we planned to capture the rooms when the exterior ambient light was at the correct angle and intensity.
This was to allow enough daylight to illuminate albeit very dimly through any visible windows.

Capturing all of the lighting intensities and dark surfaces required some care but I’m pleased to say Papilio where very happy with the results.

Steve Garland Papilio Interiors Shoot Ban Hill Barn

Steve Garland Papilio Interiors Shoot Ban Hill Barn

 

Steve Garland Papilio Interiors Shoot Ban Hill Barn

Seeing Double For Stonar

A few weeks ago I received a call from Ice House Design In Bath which is always exciting as Ive had some lovely briefs from them in the past.
It turned out this call was to chat about another interesting brief titled ” Whoever You Want To Be” for a private school in Bath called Stonar.
The concept was to show the wide variety of activities and opportunities the school offed by showing the same students repeated in the image but in other outfits.
After a brief chat about what I thought might be the best solution to getting the job shot and retouched Jack from Ice House explained about the rather tight deadlines that needed to be met.
The completion dates required happened to be bang in the middle of one of the busiest periods I’ve known as well a a family holiday but a doable schedule was drawn up and the job was booked in.

The shoot itself was shot on location at a beautiful 18th century Georgian mansion called Hartham Park close to Bath.
Upon arrival on the shoot day It seemed every corner of Haytham’s interior offered me another photographic opportunity and the phrase “Kid Candy Shop” comes to mind.
Finally though myself and Les the creative director narrowed it down two rooms that fitted the brief perfectly and the job was completed within our allotted time.

A few days (and early hours) in post was needed to meet a couple of the deadlines but the whole job went together without any drama and more importantly the client & agency where very pleased with the results.

Published-Stonar-Bus

Published-Stonar-BathMag

Published-Stonar-BathLife-Upright

A Black Sheet And A Shaded Barn, Capturing Jock The Diver

A year or so ago I was snapping pictures my kids while they where exploring rock pools on a small Cornish beach.
I was pretty engrossed with capturing the best shots I could on my iPhone while not dropping it into the water again (yes I destroyed the last one this way) when suddenly a dark dressed figure appeared between the rocks heading for the water.
The guy was all geared up in a wetsuit but not for surfing for diving complete with tanks and spearfish and I remember thinking what a great image this could make amongst the towering rocks.
A year or so on we revisited the area and I decided to return to the beach to capture it and create the image that had inspired me.
Capturing the background was pretty uneventful and my hopes that there might be an amazing coincidence and the diver might turn up faded along with the beautiful light.
No matter, part of the fun creating composite images is tracking down people to photograph so I hit the web and contacted several local Diving clubs and shops seeking a suitable willing model.
I eventually got chatting to Mike “Jock” Stewart who teaches people to dive not far from my studio base. After chatting for a while he explained to me I may not want to use him as he was 66 years old and retired !…I explained even without having met him that he would probably be perfect.
Yes I could have hired the kit and got a young attractive model but how much more interesting to have someone passionate about their sport with years of experience and many tales to tell.
A time was arranged to shoot the next day and I set off to get a few things needed like a bag of sand to help add the small details needed to complete the composite.
Like with all composite images there are several things that need careful thought before shooting like perspective,colour of the surroundings,focus and of course matching the quality and direction of light.

At this point I should show you an impressive shot of the interior of our beautiful old Hamstone Barn stuffed with lighting and grips..but in reality a black sheet from Asda and the open shade of a disused farm barn was all that was needed to blend and match the lighting to the background scene.
Not all that impressive I agree but I knew this would give the best result, after all why try and re create daylight in the studio when with a little manipulation you can have the real thing
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2015-06-16 15.21.27

The shoot went like clockwork and Jock was a pleasure to work with and quite happy to have water,oil and sand thrown over him !
The 3 completed images came together seamlessly in post production partly due to some careful pre planning and plenty of post production knowledge.

Life-Jock The Diver

Life-Diver-Previewing The Captures

Diver Images Of Mike “Jock” Stewart At Monks Yard.

Contentment

It’s hard to believe that only a few weeks ago I was with the family sunning ourselves in 24 degrees in sunny Spain.Although a family holiday I as always took along my cameras,tripod etc and ventured out several times at dawn during the week to capture some images that represented the location as I was experiencing it. The Costa Del Sol is a lovely area of Spain with beautiful beaches and people out enjoying the warm climate either cycling or running often with their dogs in tow.The image I created below shows the beach,palm trees and one of the several lifeguard towers that occupy the beaches. The final element was to photograph the lifestyle image upon my return to the UK which completes the outdoor family lifestyle of the Costa’s.The final image shown here ended up combining 11 separate images and retains details as fine as dog hairs which is always a time consuming but hugely important element in all of the work I create.

 

Life  Contentment-0253

Willow Weaver

I often find that my background in retouching as well as photography is a huge benefit especially with the unpredictability of location shooting.
This week I returned yet again to Willow growers PH Coates here in Somerset to capture Willow Weaver (well that’s what I call it) Matthew Godfrey.
I was drawn to this dark but atmospheric room on my last visit a few weeks ago and asked if I could return to create the image shown here.
I knew supplementary lighting would be needed to capture Matthew but I also wanted to retain the mood of the room from the blown out glows of the single window to the dark floor covered with pieces of discarded willow.
This is where hard earned knowledge and decades of experience of capturing the best quality camera files and the solutions available in post production come in to their own.
As a result the image came together within a very short space of time in post production and more importantly retained the vision I had for the scene from the time I first saw it a few weeks before.

 

Willow Weaver, Matthew Godfrey

“Waiting”

One of the benefits of personal work is that unlike commercial assignments you have no deadline to adhere to so can pick up the project when inspiration takes you.
This particular image was an alternative set up from a personal shoot I did a while back with the final image being titled “Chiron Of Thessaly”
I never used the alternative image here until now probably because I did not have the urgency too or more likely simply had not been inspired by the correct environment for it.
This all changed while in the Algarve last year when I captured these wonderful porous cliffs at dusk and for some reason felt they would be a perfect partner for the rear shot of the Centaur.

Some images are highly planned down to the finest details while others simply come together and just work like they have when the time is right.

iPhone 5

Time lapse Video Of The Post Production

 

“July” Snapshot Of An English Summers Day

I was asked to do some teaching the other day which I rarely do much of these days and I was explaining how important it is to learn the fundamentals of photography.

I also very quickly added that once you have learnt them that really anything goes ..if something works for the intention of the image you are creating then it works end of story.

This kind of applies to this image as I rarely would ever create any serious imagery in the middle of the day especially in the height of summer.

The sunlight (if we have any) is harsh, contrasy and for the most part pretty uninteresting and if shooting landscapes everything tends to be a little too green with little color contrast between anything.

Having said that I’ve always maintained there is no bad light it just depends on what you are trying to achieve in the image.

I had the idea of creating a cow image for a while and for me they remind me of Summer with yes you guessed it green fields and deep Mediterranean blue skies.

Apart from having to be careful with the vast contrast inherit in the scene it all went together well with an appropriate Somerset landmark of Burrow Hill in the distance.

 

"July" South West England