A Perch In The Storm

I found myself on the North Devon coast for a small shoot on Saturday.The weather was less than pleasant but I decided on the journey home to head across the top of Exmoor.
Sometimes harsh weather just suits a location and a damp Exmoor with low hanging cloud seemed to feel strangely perfect.
As I drove I spotted this crow sat on top of this tree and immediately new it had potential to make a great image.
Luckily I managed to pull over and grab my camera which was already set up on the rear seat. To my surprise the crow stayed in place perfectly just sat overlooking the bleak cliffs and coast and I managed to capture 6 or so frames before it got spooked and flew off.
Back in the days of film I would often shoot 1000 ASA Agfa RS film which was renown for it’s impressive grain especially when pushed to 2000 ASA and pushed in processing.
I decided in post to enhance the harsh atmosphere further by adding a copious helping of old school grain although not to the extent of the old Agfa stock!

 

Young Fun In The Sun.

A few weeks ago I produced a mature travel lifestyle photoshoot Mature Travel In The Pesky Sun.
Following on from this I decided to capture another travel shoot this time with a younger more upbeat concept.
My models Tristan & Robyn were in their early twenties and quickly built a great rapport. On all the shoots I do my aim is to not only get the brief nailed (and some) while making the production as fun as possible. This was especially true on this shoot, in fact, my pre-shoot chat was simply let’s have fun!
Tristan & Robyn built a great rapport very quickly and my job was made much easier as a result. This really underlines the importance of having the right models that not only look the part but have the right personalities.

September

September is probably one of my favourite months especially with a camera in my hand.\r\nAfter the long days and often harsh light that summer (sometimes) gives us together with a blanket of green September comes along and brings back a little colour contrast to the landscape with better lower angled light.\r\nThe other reason I love September is the fields full Maize which for some reason I just have to capture every year.

Seamless Hair Transplant “Surveying The Moor”

This image came out of doing a favour for a friend who was setting up a business for house sitting dogs and needed some promotional images of herself with her dog Barney.

Life-0001

It was while on location shooting the portraits that we passed this huge fallen tree and Barney decided to climb on top and the image simply announced itself in front of me.Unfortunately Barney had a bright red harness on and due to sheep being in the vacinity it could not be taken off so it was carefully removed in post making sure to add suitable fine hairs for a seamless result.

The background was a landscape captured on Exmoor and proved a perfect fit with the correct colour grading.

Below is a short video showing how the images all came together in post production.

Boats At Beer

Here are a couple of snaps I captured over the weekend while visiting Beer in Devon with friends.

Despite the very bright and quite harsh summer light the location looked too good to not shoot.

As I mentioned last week in a previous post there is never any bad light it just depends what you want to capture.

Mind Games With Jet The Raven

A few weeks ago I did a couple of posts about photographing the devastating floods from Burrow Mump in Burrowbridge and some capturing beautiful old trees in Dorset.
Both these where shot for a new image I had wanted to create as part of my personal project “Life In A Somerset Landscape” and to represent the severe floods that had hit Somerset this year.
The only element that I had left to find was a Raven or something from that family of birds which I had always wanted to photograph.
I had nearly exhausted all my options for sourcing one locally and not one to compromise easily I decided to place a post of Facebook to see if anyone knew of one..even a stuffed one was becoming an option ! To my surprise one of my oldest friends replied within minutes saying his tattoo artist called Brendan had a tame Rook and I should call him.
After a couple of days I rang Brendan who indeed had Jet a fairly young and fairly tame Raven I could happily pop along to photograph.
Despite photographing several animals for this project already I’m by far a wildlife photographer and knew nothing about Ravens apart than they where a bigger version of a crow !
Brendan explained how incredibly intelligent these birds where (more than dogs) and although my concern about having my eyes pecked out was very unlikely due to their friendly nature I would definitely find Jet to be very inquisitive.
I turned up with a car full of gear (you never know what you will need on location) but I soon realised the avery was too small for any kit apart from hand holding the camera and a speed light for some fill in flash.
The other things that quickly came to my attention was how big and hyperactive Jet was ! This was going to be a tough shoot but that was to become an understatement!
You remember how I said how intelligent these birds where ? well it seems they also like to play games with tubby photographers trying to photograph them.
Each time I raised my camera to my eye he would fly, I could watch him all I wanted in fact he would do this little display to impress me (or take the piss as I saw it) but as soon as I raised the camera past my chin off he’d go off again…the little bastard was playing with me and winning!
Anyway not to be outdone I decided I would just have to set the camera up the best I could and shoot blind holding the camera at chest level.
I could have possible set the camera up and shot via a radio trigger but the concern was Jet would fly onto the tripod and knock the whole lot to the floor and I did not fancy explaining that to the insurance company less than a week after a £700 repair for it rolling down a hill!
With 140 frames shot I managed to capture enough usable frames to choose from which had correct perspective and interesting angle.

The image is titled “A Perch Above The Flood”

 

Dry Path To Muchelney

You can’t live in the UK without having heard about the village of Muchelney in South Somerset which has recently become an island after the severe floods.
I live a few miles from the village and have managed until today to resist all temptations to venture out onto the Somerset Levels with my camera.
The two problems for me are firstly that the Somerset Levels are where I learnt my craft and they even after all these years are still one of my favorite places to go and shoot.
Secondly although I’m certainly no adrenalin junkie or risk taker I’m fascinated by extreme weather much to my wife’s disapproval and this means I can’t resist getting safely close as possible to explore & capture what I find.

The floods had receded just enough that some roads are now passable so today with stormy skies still overhead I ventured to a couple of places I thought might be safe and give me some great views.
This image titled “Dry Path To Muchelney” shows the severely flooded River Isle on the right and flooded fields to the left with a elevated path bank heading towards Muchelny.
The gentleman I met walking with his dog said how in 40 years he had never seen flooding this extreme in the area.His dog seemed less bothered by he water and more interested in the wildlife as there where lots of mice and other animals on the bank seeking safety from the waters.
The rains came in again giving some wonderful skies and I decided to shoot one more image before heading home.
As I mounted a gate to reach the flood line in a field I somehow lost my footing and ended up head first with my camera luckily on top of me !
It must have looked hilarious but must admit as I sit here writing this I’m pretty bruised and not getting any sympathy from the wife !
I hope for those hit hard by the floods in Muchelney and surrounding area that the water recedes soon so that the clean up can get started.

Nocturnal Beach & Bangin Tunes ! Ibiza

Over the last few years it’s become an annual habit to take a late October holiday with the family to try and catch a last bit of sun before winter.
I have to admit I have grown to love the Balearic Islands with Ibiza being probably my favorite of the islands.

Cafe, Ibiza Spain
Another thing I have loved for many years despite probably being too old to be admitting it here is Trance music though I tend to enjoy listening to it on my iPhone or in my car rather than in any clubs (definitely too old for that !)
While scouting the island I had spotted this beach side Cafe and decided that one evening I would go set the camera up sit and enjoy the fading light while listening to some music.
The fading light (The Edge Of Darkness as I call it) was simply beautiful and provided me with a very magical evening doing what I love while listening to some bangin tunes …must remember not to embarrass the kids !!

Banking Above The Crops, P51D Mustang

Hot off the screen today is this image that I started and competed retouching this afternoon (gotta be a record ! )
The plane was captured a couple of years ago during a shoot at the Airbus family air day display and is an historic WW2 P51D Mustang called Ferocious Frankie.
I had two ideas for the final image the first was to have the plane flying above the ocean and cliffs or the English countryside.After seeing several fields in my village bearing some rather lovely golden coloured crops I decided to go with the countryside idea.
From here my idea grew another step further and I decided to have someone in the image working the land and my son was suitably bribed for the job ! The shot was completed very quickly as it started to spit with rain and was very simply lit with just a little fill in flash to aid the slightly flat ambient lighting.