Archive for December, 2013

Merry Xmas from Mr. Red

Posted: December 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

Last of the years editing done, prints and discs out to customers and just a wedding this weekend to shoot (rehearsal tonight) means time to relax for a few days.

Mr Red decided to have a nice Xmas shoot today in front of the tree. Sat him on a coffee table adorned with a festive hat. Hand held at 1/30th, f/2.8 & ISO 100.


Mandatory Xmas Image

Posted: December 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

Tree goes up, lights turned on and a beautiful bokeh image shouts out to be taken.

Enough said…



Oh and the technicals were handheld 50mm, 1/10th, f/1.2 and ISO 640.

Timeless Beauty

Posted: December 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

Finally got my “Timeless beauty” image completed today, with one of my adult shoot clients, who was down for another shoot. We did this initially a few weeks ago but I wasn’t too happy with the images captured and and thus chose not to use them. This style image has always been something of iconic for me in showing the human form. I love the style of these images with the single key light creating the defined outline of the curves and then as the light intensity falls away across the body shadows mellow in their intensity with the eventual fade to black.

The technicals are simply 1 Bowens 750 pro with strip soft box attached with the lamp firing at waist height.

50mm, 1/125th, f/5.6 and ISO 100


2nd Portrait

Posted: December 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

Approached by the manager of the support act, his Dad, after he had spoken with Toby I was asked if I would shoot a quick set of portrait images for his act. An extremely polite young man from Scarborough who has just landed a two year recording/songwriting deal but very nervous.

Had a chat with him for a few minutes, explaining what happens, got him to relax and ran off some images for him which I reviewed with both himself and his manager as we went. No renumeration on this occasion but my details were asked for regarding future studio and promotion images. I would like to get some foothold into this industry as some of the images I have seen vary in such vast chasms of quality. From the well exposed to the downright awfully exposed, wrong shutter speed which all too many bands accept as good enough. There’s no great money here but satisfaction of delivering quality images and listening to live music more than makes up for it.

So here is Alastair leaning against the wall. Took a few with his guitar but I liked this one the most. In all fairness the wall didn’t suit him or project his style of music. A more civilised setting would have been more appropriate.

No editing –  85mm, f/5.6, 1/125th and ISO 100.


Good to his word my new, and hopefully not brief, association with Toby Jepson provided me with my studio image yesterday. Took out my Bowens studio lighting to the venue and set up facing against a suitably shabby worn wall. Being on my own I used myself to meter exposure against the wall. This drew a few amused smiles though once I was happy with the settings, let Toby know I was ready. Toby went through most of the “stock” rock guitarist/frontman poses I have seen over the years in various magazines and on posters. I would take 3 or 4 slightly different images in the same pose and then show him for approval or what he or I thought could be changed/improved. One thing, there was not was a smile or if there was it’ll never see the light of day on here. Seems he’s not too keen on his smile being photographed which is sad a this fella has a thousand stories, which make everyone laugh, including himself. Took about 10 minutes from start to finish and I ended up with 20 images. Some were free standing, some leaning and some seated on two cases. The seated had to be used as we needed to include a ‘Prop’ in the final submitted image.  The equipment boxes he is sat on I had simply borrowed from the venue. Ask politely and it reaps rewards. So the final submitted image for my studio module.

Shot using studio flash with umbrella at a height of roughly 8 feet, 85mm, 1/125th, f/5.6 & ISO 100.


My favourite from the shoot was this one below. Showing his sleeve tattoo which even though not quite finished says so much about him and his life to date. Wonderful listening to what the different aspects of it meant to him on a personal level. Simple pose yet an image with so much to say about him.

Edit (20/7/15) – Decided to replace the first edit version with this one. Never really liked the cropped version so here is the original in it’s full aspect glory.

_MGL1789 Toby J

    Edit – February 2014 – I have messaged Toby with my result for the module and hope, one day, he see’s my public appreciation on here. Only, LMFAO, got myself a ‘Distinction’ for the module. So not only 2 great days with a truly nice gent but images worthy of a distinction. A massive thanks Tobe and just the book to sign, if you please.

I would also like to publicly acknowledge the access and insight both Dave Kemp and Nigel Crooks gave me too 😉

More Cheesecake

Posted: December 8, 2013 in Uncategorized

Some more cheesecake photographed and probably going to be one of my final images. Did a few stock total white images and then decided to layer the background too. Only grey but allowing the cream and lemon peel to stand out better than on a totally white, high key, background.

Adjusted the rear fill light until a suitable grey was achieved to allow a nice balance between the cream and background. Completed, this gave a secondary rear layer, in keeping to the layers on the actual cheesecake and in my opinion adding more depth to the image as a whole.

100mm, 1/125th, f/29 and ISO 100


My last weekend of event photography finished for 2013 and now a short break until the first of 2014 in February. A whole load of new and very happy customers with more bookings for events in 2014 taken. If anyone had mentioned event photography to me 3 months ago I would have laughed but having done several now I wouldn’t turn any down if offered to me. Extremely lucrative and all over on the day I am now looking forward to all those I have already been booked for in 2014.

Don’t want to start publishing photos of random competitors on here so just another quick one of my daughter from yesterdays event.

50mm, 1.2, 1/500th ISO 500


I really ought to go and buy my workbooks now and crack on with my Uni work though I am shooting my second live gig tomorrow evening so that can all wait until Tuesday. University work does not help pay my bills 🙂


Oh and one of her from todays event.

150mm, f/2.8, 1/500th and ISO 3000


Into The Light

Posted: December 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

Messing about after “Death” in the studio with my daughter as she thoroughly enjoys posing for the camera. After several of the stock silly face, silly pose routines she enjoys doing I asked her for an into the light image. One light on a floor stand and one on a stand at head height. Floor light with barn doors and head height with snoot on I took a few shots. I asked her to pretend as though something in the light had frightened her and this was the pose I got. Did a couple of others but went with the first as it was the most natural in the end.

Only PP was a crop with a black and white conversion.

50mm, underexposed by a stop, 1/125th, f/8 and ISO 100.


Death – Still Life

Posted: December 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

Tidying up, at home, the other day and some wilting flowers in our house perfectly summed up my feelings and enthusiasm about my Uni course – wilting.

I decided to drain the water and leave them in my studio for a couple of days and then shoot them. Suitably wilted, deceased and decaying they made a suitably alternative “Still Life” for my interpretations module.

Vase on a piece of black perspex balanced on a stool, simple 3 light set up and white background left unlit other than ambient spill from the main lights. Tapped the vase a couple of times causing a few dead petals to drop off, metered it and away I went.

PP was a simple 25% desaturation of colour and that was it.

50mm, F/8, 1/125th & ISO 100


Out again yesterday and last night documenting the solo artist Toby Jepson at the O2 Academy Arena in Sheffield. An extremely busy few hours, 2pm-1am, documenting his typical on tour day from arrival to leaving. This was originally set up as a mutually beneficial event where Toby got a Photo Diary of the day and I potentially got my Uni photo essay module completed. It ended up though with introductions to UK promoters for the O2 group AMG and Toby’s management company with potential further concert coverage next year if my images make the grade. A quick pre planned preview for his manager at the end of the evening generated extremely positive feedback on the RAW unedited images so care on the edits is crucial.

Discretion and professionalism was the key factor of the day as management companies are increasingly frustrated at some “official” photographers who disregard requests not to post hi-res or un watermarked images onto the WWW. This in turn messes up the control of image rights and other money spinning opportunities available to the artist.

I did receive authorisation that the following image could be used on this blog and my FB page as a potential Bokeh image for the interpretations module. 

Taken handheld with my 5D, 50mm, f/1.2, 1/125th and ISO 5000 in near darkness. Focus is on the near side corner to cover the illuminated lettering with a nice graduated Bokeh effect achieved along the console.