Walk Before Dinner

About a month ago I published a Blog post titled A Perfect Moment – Capturing A 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.

 

 


End Of Season, Rhodes

It’s been a busy end to what has been a slightly unusual year with both new exciting opportunities as well as a few challenges too but life is never linear or dull as an image creative!

October saw me back in Rhodes for a third time in 3 years but this time I chose to spend my time filming rather than capturing stills which I seem to be doing more and more of these days.
I decided (for the most part) to keep the gear to an absolute minimum. Apart from the Video time lapse section which was shot with my Canon 5D Mk4 most of the remaining filming was captured on iPhone and my Sony RX100 pocket point and shoot albeit a high end one!
My biggest dilemma was wether to take my gimble but I decided it would be a great exercise in adaptability and creativity to do without it plus I simply couldn’t be arsed to carry it !


A Perfect Moment – Capturing A Greek Summer In Grey November

I’m going to state the obvious..winter is never an ideal time of year for a lifestyle photographer to shoot summer lifestyle in the U.K !
Unfortunately that was exactly what was required on one chilly November morning with two brave Welsh models Emma James and Nathan Scola.

The backgrounds for this shoot were all captured in the warmer months of August in Greece and required my models to be dressed for the summer.
To make the composite work seamlessly I required many elements to work together including natural light even if it was the grey type !

Nathan and Emma were true professionals and used their vivid imaginations to bring the greek summer into the shots despite the biting November cold. I’ll be sharing more from this shoot in the next few weeks.


Beach Front Living, Greece

Yep I’ve been back there again to one of my favourite places to shoot in Rhodes Greece.
Unlike the previous two visits this time I wanted to concentrate more on doing some filming that I had pre planned rather than shooting stills and I’ll be publishing that finished video very soon.

Having said all that I still managed to capture plenty of still images like this location close to the beach at Faliraki.
The scene I found in front of me reminded me of one of those amazing large format Peter Lavery landscapes found in the Marlborough adverts from back in the mid 80’s (Google em kids) captured in the wild deserts of the U.S.A.

I came across this and several other small caravans dotted close to the beach area and although this was obviously made into someones home at some point I’m unsure it or the others were still actually being lived in. Either way instead as seeing them as some kind of eye sore so close to the beautiful beachfront they actually made me smile because of it.

 

 


Travels And The Honda Cub

As a keen Scooterist from way back in the 80’s Im always on the lookout during my travels for old Italian Vespas and Lambretta’s.
In Greece you can still come across older Vespa workhorses still being used but it stands to reason they are becoming less frequent these days.

Vespa Rhodes Greece

There does seem however a large amount of Honda Cub mopeds still on the road which is no surprise when you discover over 100 million have come off the production line so far and still going.
And my point is?… well I don’t have one except to introduce a couple of images with them in and inform you why you see the bloody things everywhere you go!

Honda Cub Greece

Honda Cub Outside Mosque

 


Blind woman on the edge of the Volcano

I captured this image in the near deserted village of Stefanos Greece.
The village is located on the edge of the Stefanos volcano on the island of Nisyros in the South Aegean Greece.
Over the years the village had almost been vacated entirely due to the volcano but a few people still remain.
One such brave resident was this lady whom I unfortunately did not get the chance to speak too.
She was blind and lived alone in her home above the crater with her herd of Goats.
As we approached the location and the scene in front of us unfolded someone described it as being biblical which I think was a perfect description.


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.


Like Clock Work

Today was one of those morning where everything seems to work for you seamlessly and you come away feeling blessed.

I arrived at Lyndos village pre dawn to capture a couple of locations and came across this stunning side street with a beautiful white washed church and the sunrise lit bay behind.

As I finished the image a street cleaner arrived jet washing the cobbles adding an even better surface for the dawn light to bounce off.

I decided to reshoot the image again especially as the colours had further intensified from the rising sun. A fabulous morning of exploring and shooting some stunning locations.

Saint George Chapel Lyndos


Travel Lifestyle, Dawn in the Dodecanese

It’s been a another busy year shooting assignments especially video work.As a result fitting in shoots and producing new work for my book has had to take a back seat.
Finally this last few weeks I’ve had a break from commissions and produced a shoot with a couple of models, stylist and makeup artist for my travel lifestyle work.
Ive also had time to commission a complete rebrand and update the website to reflect the changes.
Also coming shortly are some beautiful custom promotional packs that will be sent out early next year to individual clients.

So this shoot was shot in two stages.The backgrounds were shot on location in probably my favourite place the Greek island of Rhodes.
My love affair with Greece goes back many years and taken me to many parts and this was my 3rd visit to my favourite place of all.
I had planned to shoot some Aerial work but decided against it as to do what I had planned legally was going to cost a lot of money to get permissions needed so maybe that’s a plan for another visit.

I planned the locations I wanted to shoot before leaving England and once on the ground set out before dawn to get the best light and of course avoid the bloody tourists !
Rhodes did not disappoint I was rewarded with some incredible views and gorgeous light and my job of capturing was easy.

Once I had returned it was time to edit my collection and create several backgrounds to which I planned to place the models.
The image below of Lyndos was created with 18 images.The reason was I wanted to use a longish focal length lens rather than a traditional wide angle that is often used for landscapes.
This would allow me to capture my interpretation of what Greece is all about, historic temples, mountains and of course the sea.
The longer lens would compress and bring all these elements closer together creating a softer more tranquil look that helps make up my style of work.

Lyndos At Dawn

 

 

 

The second image below is captured at  Mandraki Harbour in Rhodes town and was a multi image composite.
I was around 22 years old when I came here for the first time and spent the night at Mandraki harbour while waiting to catch the early morning ferry to Kos.
My memories of the place where of the statues at the entrance to the harbour and these distinctive arches.
Memories are a funny thing and the image below fits perfectly with that but the reality was that the locations were not as close together.
Not a problem I removed the car park and positioned my tranquil memory of the harbour entrance in position.
I also replaced the rather plain floor with something more elegant.
I realise none of this is something that would be tolerated if shooting to promote the location for a visit but hey it’s how I remember it !

Mandraki Harbour

 

 

 

Below are a few behind the scenes images shot here at our studio base. Not as glamorous for the models as being in Rhodes (or as warm as it was late October).
The location was perfect enabling me to concentrate on capturing the correct light quality, shadow quality,perspective etc to blend the models into the backgrounds.
A great team is vitally important to to pull everything together.I called upon Natasha Musson who I have worked with before to organise the styling and makeup artist Suzanne Peppard.
The models were supplied by Gingersnap who Ive also worked before on many Business Lifestyle shoots over the last few years.
Our models Katie and Sal were great professionals even when the cold took it’s toll.