Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Gary Finden & Louise Fursman

Last Sunday I was yet again over in Windsor, but this time with Gary Finden & Louise Fursman who's Wedding I'm photographing on the 5th July 2009. With only 1 week to go, we got together for a Pre-Wedding / Engagement Photo Shoot and here's a sample of some of the images from our time together and that I've edited so far.

Following their wedding this coming Sunday I'll post some of the images here on the blog so be sure to check later later.

Bye for now ;o)

Thursday, 25 June 2009

One location, 3 different looks.

With the wonderful weather we've been having lately I just had to get out and take some 'personal' shots. I approached my neighbours Steve & Edwina cos I thought it would be nice to take a photo of the two of them seeing as we'd taken shots of their children Phoebe & George a couple of months back. I explained the kind of shot I was looking for and after taking a few shots locally to get 'into the groove' we all headed off to West Wycombe, just near to a place called Hell Fire Caves. This is great location, high up overlooking the Chilterns and perfect for what I'd thought of doing.

For once, the flashes remained in the kit bag as I wanted to make use of the evening sunset and take some silhouette photos of Steve & Edwina (both keen bikers) and here is what we came up with:

I went a little further with some of the images to see what different editing styles would produce:

I've got a couple of shoots coming up over the next few days so I'll be sure to post some of the results here on the blog, but in the mean time,

Enjoy the weather ;o)

Saturday, 20 June 2009

The 'Andy Warhol' Technique

A short while ago I was given an old photograph by a client of a Vespa Scooter and given the 'brief' ... "I don't know what I want but can you do something with this? " Initially I got to be honest I was stumped. I mean, where do you go from there? How do you interpret what the client is looking for when they don't know themselves? Potentially you could spend hours working on all sorts of edits and still be no closer to what the client (doesn't know) they want.

In situations like this you've just got to dig deeper. Who did the bike belong to? What are you looking to do with the final image? What styles of images have you seen that you like? What is the decor like of where the image is going to be displayed ... modern? old fashioned? ... the list goes on, but asking these and more can save a whole heap of time.

Eventually I discovered that the photograph had sentimental value as the moped in it had belonged to the clients father. The client wanted something 'out there' and 'retro' so my mind immediately began drifting towards the style made famous by Andy Warhol. (The images attached show the original photograph that I was given which I scanned and the two final colour versions.)

I initially created the 4 colour version but changed to the Red / B&W once the client had seen the proof and asked for the colour change as it would be more in fitting with the room that it will be displayed in once it's been put onto an 18" x 12" canvas.

So, a happy client and BIG Thankyou to a friend of mine Matt Kloskowski at the NAPP for showing the technique I used to create the final look once I'd repaired and 'cut' the moped out of the original photograph.

Friday, 19 June 2009

The Techno Guru is back from 'Down Under'

Yesterday morning I met up with my good buddy Vince Callaghan who's been away travelling in Australia for the past 4 months. I first met Vince a year ago when I was leading the first Scott Kelby PhotoWalk in Windsor when we had a blast. Lots of ideas were talked through before Vince (Mr Techno Guru) went away so now he's back we're going to be teaming up on a few photography projects and also working on some video which I'm really looking forward to.

After chatting through ideas and with both our heads buzzing, we headed off to find another coffee house but took some photos en-route. I've attached some shots of Vince, all taken using available light (the natural kind) but I'm sure you'll be seeing alot more of him here on the blog in some way or another in the near future.

More later ;o)

Restoring Priceless belongings

Before becoming a Photographer, I started out as an 'editor' of photographic images using Adobe Photoshop and still do occasionally take on a few 'editing' jobs such as restoring damaged photos, designing posters for advertising etc ...

This past couple of days I've been working on a few photographs that I was given by clients; one in particular being an old photograph that had faded, discoloured, scratches, water damage and to top it off had stuck to the glass that it had been framed behind. Just about everything that could have happened to it, had.

So, on went the relaxing, chill out music and the slippers (did I really admit to that???) ... time to get comfortable and begin cos this kind of work isn't something to be rushed.

Anyway, after spending some time removing all the water damage and so on, here's the final result:

More later with an 'Andy Warhol' style edit ;o)

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Nice to see :o)

Just a quickie ... Had a nice surprise yesterday morning when I was walking through Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire after an early breakfast; spotted this van parked up displaying my photographs along the side and just had to take a quick photo with my iPhone. The van belongs to The Cape South African Deli and the photographs on the side are just some of the ones I took a few months back for their soon to be released cookery book.

More later ;o)

* iPhone Photograph

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Mark & Samantha's Wedding

After photographing Brian & Chris' Wedding on the Friday, the very next day I was up in the Cotswolds with my good friend Steve Pratley at the stunning Matara for the Wedding of Mark Fryer & Samantha Luker.

The day started off at a nearby hotel called the Egypt Mill where Samantha and members of her family had been staying. We had enough time to photograph some of the detail before photographing Samantha in her wedding dress and then making off back to the Matara to meet up with Mark.

Yet again the day just couldn't have been better. Beautiful clear blue skies, bright sunshine, a stunning location, great guests and a wonderful Bride & Groom; an absolute gift.

As is the always the case with me I'd been up to the venue several times prior to the wedding scouting out locations for photos and planning for every eventuality; even though we'd been promised a sunny day, this is England so anything can happen.

With a timetable of when I'd be photographing certain items and events, the day ran like clockwork, was incredibly relaxed and great fun; just couldn't have wished it be to better in any other way.

Following the outdoor ceremony next to an ornamental pond we made our way around the grounds with Mark & Samantha to take some 'personal' photos away from their guests. At a location such as The Matara there is so much choice with stunning surroundings, shaded areas and beautiful soft light spilling in through the tree canopy into a woodland area. We walked around a pre planned route for roughly 45 minutes before heading back to the main building.

Mark & Samantha were great fun to photograph, putting their trust in me and 'going with the flow'. This again I'm convinced is because of the earlier 'pre wedding / engagement' shoot where they'd had the opportunity to be photographed before the wedding and see how I work. There's just no way I would enter into a wedding without first having been out on a 'pre wedding / engagement' photo shoot or as Brian Whyte called it 'The getting to know you shoot'; it's just so incredibly valuable.

Anyway, I've got a little more editing to get on with before Mark & Samantha return from their honeymoon so I'd better crack on. Oh, and for any of you interested all these shots are lit using 'natural' light; the only flash I used during the day was right at the end for the 'first dance'.

Bye for now ;o)

Friday, 5 June 2009

Brian & Chris' Wedding

In a word, last Friday was 'Superb'. I was over at the Frimley Hall Hotel, Camberley, Surrey photographing the Wedding/Civil Partnership of Brian Whyte & Chris Rivett. The weather was just incredible; beautiful clear blue skies and plenty of sun and we couldn't have wished for a better bunch of people.

Being Brian & Chris' Photographer was a huge honour; to me it meant a heck of alot to be asked to capture their Civil Partnership for a whole host of reasons, some that maybe to them weren't relevant or they'd even considered.

Anyone with a camera can photograph two people together, but to photograph an emotion, a connection between those people is something else. It was incredibly important to me to get this right. Brian and Chris are life partners, lovers, and it was vital that I could portray this in their photographs rather than them just showing two men stood together.

I blogged earlier about their 'pre wedding / engagement' shoot and this to me proved invaluable. Maybe I didn't need to show this to the guys, but I felt I need them to see that I wanted to photograph them as 'lovers' and that they shouldn't hold back when it came to showing their feelings towards each other.

It wasn't long at all into the 'shoot' that everyone relaxed to the point where we were taking more than portraits but were photographing that 'connection' between two people who have such strong feelings for each other that they're prepared to commit for life.

Brian & Chris' Thank You so much for asking me to be part of your Big Day; a day packed with emotion that I'll never forget.

As with all Weddings when it comes to photography, being organised is vitally important, because without it time will literally fly by and before you know it, the day is coming to a close and you've not got the shots you need.

On this particular occasion for my lighting set up I decided to use a Nikon SB800 Flash and Tri Grip Diffuser rather than a shoot thru umbrella and light stand; main reason being it's portability and speed in setting up a shot. All that was needed was for me to position Brian & Chris how I wanted them in each shot, and then get my good friend Dave Gurnhill who was helping me on this day, to step in with the SB800 and Tri Grip. Obviously the closer in he brought the Tri Grip the softer the light, so long as the flash was held far enough back to allow the light from it to spread onto it's surface. I opted to use the Nikon CLS (Creative Lighting System) to trigger the SB800 so to do so I put another flash on my D3's hotshoe and set it to Master. I could have maybe opted to use the SU-800 controller but as we were working in bright sunlight I didn't want to risk it not triggering. Using the CLS allowed for quick adjustments of the ambient light and flash power from the camera itself rather than having to shout out to Dave any adjustments that I needed, and so long as the Infra Red 'eye' on the flash was pointing in my general direction, we were 'Good to Go'.

More Later ;o)

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