A few years ago I was commissioned to create a campaign image for a private school.The brief required that I photograph and composite a stag onto the sports field of the school.
I have to admit I often love the challenge of sourcing the elements needed for composite work but have to admit I thought finding a stag would be a tall order. In fact after a short time time searching I found a deer sanctuary within 20 minutes of the studio.
The centre was a charity run by a lovely chap called Mike and after a brief chat on the phone and a visit for a recee he introduced me to Rubus who was to be my model.
The shoot day went like clockwork and week later I had completed the retouching and delivered the job.
I later returned to the sanctuary as I wanted to photograph Mike feeding the deer their favourite snack Rich Tea biscuits !
I created this image many years ago but it’s still one of my favourites.
This was partly because It pushed my post production skills at the time to their absolute limit and so it was very satisfying when I finally completed it.
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!
We have had some fantastic summer light this last few weeks and I just had to take advantage of it to capture some aerial images and video and experiment a little.
In a few weeks I’m heading to one of if not my favourite place on earth Rhodes in Greece.
Greek history & myths have been a passion of mine passed on from my dad since a child and the reason I became a photographer but that’s another slightly strange story.
Over the years I’ve travelled to many of the sites both on mainland Greece, the islands and also Turkey too but Rhodes has always been my favourite.
This trip I have several locations I wish to photograph and film and I plan to do this with the drone.
So Ive been busy checking my aviation maps for any airspace restrictions for my proposed locations and planning the timings for best light.
Not one to ever be satisfied I’ve been looking at extracting extra resolution from the drone’s already impressive camera hence the experimenting.
The latest image is of Burrow Hill in Somerset which Ive shot many times but never from the air.
My experiment to extract extra resolution and quality from the drone was a success and one I’m going to use again where appropriate.
It’s been a very busy year so far which is my main excuse for not updating the blog in several months.
One of the reasons is I’ve recently taken on a new client who are currently keeping me extremely busy.
Part of the work this client needed required me to do aerial stills and motion work via a quad copter (Drone).
This in turn required a hectic 3 day training course for certification to fly commercially, which I’m pleased to say I passed.
Learning yet another skillset to stay current seems to be a regular thing these days and something that certainly keeps life interesting !
Ive done several aerial shoots so far and getting more creative and daring (within the civil aviation authority rules) with each flight.
A personal shoot Ive been planning since getting the aircraft is the one shown here.
This spot is special place to me as it’s somewhere I used to visit almost weekly with my mother in her later years.
It’s also a place i’ve photographed many times over the last 30 plus years.
The spot is situated on the Somerset Levels and you might just make out Glastonbury Tor on the horizon.
What I never done is shot the area from the elevated perspective and positions that the drone offers.
With good weather forecast with a fair chance of some low hanging moorland mist I set the alarm for a 4am start.
Drone work needs a fair amount of pre planning for safety reasons before getting on location and a fair few more checklist to tick off on the day too.
I did two flights that morning capturing some stills but mostly motion footage which Ive edited into a short video shown here.
As a personal piece of work I think this is a brief but fitting video shot from an appropriate vantage point to remember my loving mum.
Sometimes I have an idea and before I know it Ive captured all the images required and I’m sat in front of the computer bringing it to life.Others however can sometimes sit around in my head for months or at best sketched out in Photoshop,this image is a little of both those.Over the years I have been capturing people and animals for a personal project “Life In A Somerset Landscape”.It had been a while since I had added to the work and I really wanted to capture Burrow Hill which is a situated close to Hambridge in South Somerset for part of the project. I remember seeing Burrow Hill for the first time one summer’s day, a quaint small hill with a single tree on top complete with an idyllic rustic swing attached to one of it’s branches.It felt slightly surreal like I had stepped into a Jack & Jill Ladybird book !
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.
Im a pretty honest chap but I do confess that when briefing the models for this shoot I left out the fact we where shooting in an old farms silage pit ! It all started a month or so previous while shooting a worldwide ad campaign for my client Mimecast. One of the mature models on the shoot that day was the very experienced (and ex Milk Tray Man from back in the 80’s) Tim. Tim like myself was keen to update his Book with new images so we agreed to collaborate on something to benefit us both.