End of an era……..

One a month, myself and few fellow photographers attend a small but informed club run by David Rann. David works hard at organising guest speakers, and some have been of the Richter scale in the talks that they give. Sadly though as much as tries , he is often let down my speakers failing ti turn up, cancelling. at very very short notice or not even bothering to return calls.

David also runs courses with approach to improve peoples photography techniques, and having been on several of these I can say that he hits the bulls-eye every time, from models to locations to advice. As with the club, he is often let done by no-show models and is left running around at the last minute to arrange replacements, who, occasionally also let him down.

David has now decided to call it a day on the courses and the club, after the end of this year.

David will be missed as I am sure that all the people that have been on his courses, myself included, have seen their photography improve significantly.

David, all the best for the future and thanks for your support over the last years…..

 

 

 

An afternoon in Birmingham

Just a few weeks ago I was at the media launch of the new Birmingham Conservatoire, now the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

This is the new home of the music school of Birmingham City University, the old one being demolished as part of the Paradise Circus rejuvenation works.

Living my DSLR at home, I used my mobile phone for the afternoon, easy to carry and less intrusive.

The Conservatoire consists of one main concert hall, one purpose built Jazz space, a recital hall, organ room and a project space, in addition to countless rehearsal and practice rooms scattered around the building.

The interior of the building is impressive and is a high standard, this is just the first class facility that the city needs. Looking forward to seeing it well used, and visiting myself as a customer, looking forward to watching some Jazz, and sampling their new beer.

 

 

 

 

A day with Phase One

A short while ago I was lucky to attend an event organised by the Flash Centre at a local studio in Worcester. The event was a hand on session with the latest Phase One camera, the impressive sounding IQ3 100MP Trichromatic, rather a mouth full.

After a talk by the product manager from Phase One explaining all of the new features, we managed to get our hand on them, not quite a scrum but a well organised wait, typically English.

Not having used a Phase One camera before, the weight of the unit took me by surprise, a very heavy beast, can see why they are used in studio and on tripods, you would not want to carry one of the beasts around taking holiday snaps….

The camera itself, was very easy to use, no manuals on hand but a after a few minutes of pressing the buttons on the top, soon got used to the controls.

Was very nice using it at 1/2000’s with the studio lights firing and no black bar evident in the images.

So on to the shoot, there were different situations already set up, one was a Lamborghini, very nice and as you can image, the queue to use the cameras in this area was long, so after grabbing a few shots with my phone, I based myself in the studio where a couple of motor bikes had been set up. Much less hassle and I was able to take my time and walk around and get up close.

A great morning, and the camera well impressive, would I like one, simple answer, yes, can i afford one, no, can i justify one, no, but one has to have dreams and aspirations.

Enjoy a few images from the day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

An evening with Marra

So another post from me. Continuing the thread of my last two posts, here are some more portrait shot of local model Marra. These were all taken in the studio some using  using a single soft box on her right and a white board on the right to bounce back the light.

And before anybody asks/send abusive mail etc. the coat was faux fur. There are still some more images to process, still find it difficult to put time aside for editing. Think a time management session is needed, or more hours in the day…

New Model

OK, so she is not a real model, but in fact my granddaughter. I was trying out a few ideas, and well she was there. For a nine year old she is very thoughtful, and even though i am very obviously biased,  gorgeous.

Hope you like the images. all natural light and processed using Silver Efex.

 

The paper, if you are wondering, was the Sunday Times…..

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A day with the animals

A few years ago I was able to attend a photo shoot at small cats wildlife centre in Hertfordshire.

Not having done this before it was a new adventure and hopefully new skills to add, as well as good images.

The format of the day was to stay with the tutor and listen, take the advice and then get the shoots.

One of the main benefits of doing a shoot like this with no members of the general public about is that you are allowed to ‘go beyond the first line’. So being behind this you are up close to the cage. That extra metre makes a hell of a difference, if you felt the urge you could have put your hand into the enclosure, would have come out with a few fingers missing, so was not tempted to do this.

Being so close enabled me to eliminate the bars of the cage, resulting in a more out in the wild feel to the pictures. Still being mindful that if they wanted to, they could still do damage to you or the equipment.

It was a very good day, with some great experience, if anybody was thinking about attending one of these, then go for it, you will not be disappointed.

Anyway, just a few images from the day are below, enjoy…..

 

The Photography Show 2017

Well today was the day I made my annual pilgrimage to the Photography Show at the NEC Birmingham.

 

For a change I arrived before it opened, there was a speaker in the Adobe theatre that i wanted to see/hear at 10:15,and if anything like the previous years, you need to get there early to grab a seat. They are always very well attended, the speakers know their stuff, and they do not seem to suffer the technical gremlins that other speakers seem to have at the show. I was not disappointed, picked up some nice tips that i shall be putting into practice both in Lightroom and Photoshop.

 

There seemed to be a real buzz about the show. All the stands seemed to be doing trade and some real bargains to be had, I know that I splashed the cash on a few items for my small studio. Just got to find the time to use them now.

 

Although I took my camera i did not get chance to use it much. I made the mistake of making my purchases early, so had to lug them around. Maybe they should get a package creche for next year. i for one would use, even would pay for it as well. I know that of the items i brought, there was very few left, in fact only one left after my purchase.

 

Hats to  Photoshoot Magazine catwalk show. The effort that these guys and girls put in is phenomenal, and the models have some reals guts to walk out and face, what must seem like a baying pack of photographers, I for one would not do it.

 

So here a few images from the show, enjoy.

 

 

It’s been a while

It’s been a while since I posted, life seems to have got in the way and somewhere posting took a backseat, thinking that I will post tomorrow, but that day never seemed to come around, till today. Its been quiet on the photography front, so here is a few from a studio shoot I did a while ago.

Must make more of an effort and try to post on a regular basis, and try some new techniques.

One thing to look forward to is the Photography Show at the NEC next weekend. Ticket have arrived and I am all set. If it is anything like the last few show, it should be a good one, post will follow.

 

Woman in chains

A while ago, the photo club that I am a member of decided to produce a photo book. There was no theme to the book, we were requested to submit up to 6 images, preferably on a theme of their own.

After mulling a few ideas over, I decided to go with one theme, the title from one of my favourite songs, Woman in Chains by Tears for Fears. I remember hearing it quite a few years ago and was struck by soulful voices and the message contained in it. So now I had my theme, I had to work out mu six images, out with the sketch book and pen and doddling began.

So after a while I had whittled my original ideas down to six. Now to take the concept out of the sketchbook and bring it to life, so to speak.

I collected a few props, most of them was in the house, a few I had to purchase, the chain and a new white backdrop.

And here they are, I kept them all black and white and in a portrait mode.

The first image is of the chains themselves.

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The second image represents sex.

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The third in the series, Childcare.

 

Look carefully on the chains, there is a babies dummy

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The fourth image is for Cleaning.

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The fifth, Cooking.

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And the sixth and final image is Ironing.

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All images were processed using Silver Efex Pro, a really great piece of software.

 

Thanks to my model for the afternoon, the chains were quite heavy and she put up with a lot from me, hopefully her efforts were worth it.

I took away a few ideas from doing this, and am now in the planning stages for more projects based on the titles of songs from my playlist.

Watch this space.

A new camera in the bag

During my recent visit to the Photography Show in March 2016 i decided to splash out on a brand new camera……sod the expense I had earnt it, so with no holding back i took the plunge and brought a new Konstructor camera from the nice people on the Lomography stand. Also visited the Ilford stand to splash out on few rolls of Ilford FP4 35mm film, well no good having the camera if I haven’t got a film to use in it.

So on a rainy weekend, out it came and I started to put it together. The manual reckons between 1 hour to 2 hours to build, 2 hours is closer to the mark, if you tried to do it in 1 hour, there is a chance that you could miss some important steps and screw it up.

Camera now built and loaded with film, time to find something to take picture off. I knew of  a landmark just outside Warwick, and old windmill with easy access.

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I enjoyed walking around and using the camera, did take some used to, there are only a few setting, either times at 1/60th or bulb mode, and a basic focusing ring. Fixed aperture at f10. It made a nice change from having a multitude of settings. Fixed lens was not an issue as I tend to use a 50mm or 90mm lens on my Canon.

Film exposed, and with developing tanks long since departed, it was off to the local lab to have the film developed and scanned onto CD, and then the wait to see if I had captured anything at all…..and  surprise, i had.

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So with CD in hand off to the computer and edit in Silver Efex, using the Antique Plate II setting. Kept quite simple really, no cropping no other edits.

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Not all good and not all bad. Very much a learning curve.

So with another film already in the camera, time to head off again and keep on learning.

 

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