Interpretations 1

Another day and another assignment which I will be developing on here over the next couple of months. The title of “Interpretations” against a list of 13 titles for which I will produce a final 6 images at a December deadline not given as yet.

“be original, be creative”  & “don’t be boring”  scream at me from the assignment sheet in their rather overly enhanced typeface to the rest of the document.

The 13 titles given for us to produce our 6 final images from are :-

  1. Red Ball – Mr. Red
  2. Still Life – Eggs or Death
  3. Do a Slinkachu – Roadworks or Egg image.
  4. A dangerous place – Signs over water.
  5. A picture of a boat with a narrow depth of field – Telescope image with boat.
  6. Couple – Two of something ?
  7. Beautiful bokeh – Mixing board.
  8. Cat
  9. Rush Hour – A63 images.
  10. Timeless beauty – Female form.
  11. Things in a pile – Sweet & sticky image.
  12. Into the light – Chloe in studio.
  13. Decision – Hand over pile of sweets.

Rather easy to just go out, in the time given today and rattle of several of these in one go but where would the creativity be doing that. Instead a thought process was applied in a nearby cafe with a pot of tea and a buttered tea cake. Taking the headings one by one and thinking of the obvious and then the non obvious, out of the box, thought to what I could start me off on this new assignment.

It is my intention to actually explore the whole 13 options over the next couple of months and produce at the very least a set of thought to conclusion images for each of them. Several were given ideas within minutes whilst others provoked a more in depth thought process for that different image to what is possibly expected.

Updates as I develop this one as with my other blogs.

Slinkachu…….It’s a what !!

So this is simply photography using miniature models placed into normal everyday scenes. Oh yes, fun to be had here so trawling through 00 model accessories looking for something I can execute in a true slinkachu style image.

Boundless opportunities creating many a brain salivating smile for what could and should be a fun end image.

Visited a local model shop to look at the small people, animals & accessories for this particular genre of photography and now just need to marry up a few ideas I have.

Watch this space….

13 Oct 2013

A weekend of thought and ideas of where to go with this too. Amazing how the thought process of trying to think outside the box brings ideas which certainly stretch the imagination of what any of the 13 headings could be turned into. I am seriously intending to complete 10 of these and potentially the 13 if time allows for creativity worthy of print. I certainly do not see the 6 required as being any problem at all and these will be started this week in some shape or form.

14 Oct 2013

Spent the last two few evenings scouring the web for ideas and articles on “Still Life” photography. Extremely interesting to see what people interpret as being within the boundaries of still life and the images they subsequently produce as defined within the genre. Some absolutely stunning images available to view and others that look like my seven year old daughter constructed and shot with a pin hole camera. Amazes me every day what some alleged professional photographers will pop on the web and lay claim to producing.

I certainly need to produce something out of the box and not possibly what my tutor may expect should I choose this particular image. Again my ideas are down on paper and believe that it’s only my post processing PS skills that may let this one down to take a good still life to the amazing category.

A still life I did earlier this year for a friend. Too obvious a style for this task though……..something different required.

Now on a canvass  –


And a quick something from the thought process using some of my daughters colouring pencils. Obviously I would use new sharpened pencils for any serious version along with the addition of a “zipper”. Just a thought….


15 Oct 2013

The boat with a narrow depth of field is such an obvious one with Hull being situated on an estuary. The trick is however going to be ,being different in the execution and style of the image. Walked around the marina in town today just weighing up the options, angles and backgrounds. Even a narrow DoF requires some nice Bokeh to finish or even set the image off. Random bland Bokeh can ruin what could have been an excellent image. Now looking for potential alternative locations for this.

All the lenses I currently have are all f/2.8. Is this the excuse I have, along with “Beautiful Bokeh” to invest in a quality nifty fifty f/1.2 ?

19 Oct 2013

Well the weather isn’t being too nice for the slinkachu project. Got myself some figures for a specific image and between the wind and rain today nothing has been accomplished. Lets see what happens tomorrow but the forecast is not the greatest.

I have found out that trying to take a picture of miniature model people, laid down holding a brolly, using a macro lens whilst the models blow over can be extremely funny and stressful at the same time.

20 Oct 2013

Well no further on the slincachu project today as the wind just kept blowing my group of minature people over. Had a very funny conversation with the Police though when they stopped after seeing me laid down in some local roadworks with a camera. Showed my NUS card, explained the project, explained slinkachu and after one of them googled it and started laughing they wished me all the best. At the onset I’m sure they thought I had escaped from somewhere not secure enough.

It’s going to be superglue if the wind keeps up. I will not be defeated !!!!!

22nd Oct2013

Had some time on my hands today so decided to give a couple of ideas a go. Firstly with an egg and cutlery. Ideally I wanted a white egg but after visiting Asda, Morrisons & Tesco it would appear I need a duck egg which non of them sell. Off to Waitrose if I decide to pursue this avenue as I was reliably informed you can get them there.

As these were simply “ideas” I didn’t go to town on the lighting and indeed decided to not light the face of the egg as I looked at it. Used 2 lights at opposing sides about 30 degrees to the rear. This obviously left a dark shadow to the front of the egg which I wanted to alter the depth of via lighting movement whilst still retaining some natural texture of the egg.

Decided to accompany the egg with a few forks. The first thing I noticed upon viewing the images is brand new forks should be used with a macro lens. Amazed at the scratches & damage to them.




Next came the coloured pencils idea. Simple, effective and certainly with visual impact I quite like these. Not sure it’s good enough or indeed inventive enough for my final 6 interpretations yet my mind may change. Again with a macro lens the dust and minor anomalies of the pencils is clear to see. A bit of PS though would cure this quickly enough.



23 Oct 2013

Finally got the white duck eggs today and went back into the studio. More time spent actually balancing the egg than actually taking the pictures. Simple 3 point lighting used but as a duck egg is smooth opposed to the far greater textured chicken egg the egg turned out as a white outline. Only underexposing the egg helped with this but then the egg wasn’t white so no point in that.

Three that I liked…..




Following the duck egg I moved onto my first Slinkachu shot and kept it simple with a chocolate marshmallow tea cake. Used this as an idea for scale and effect as my main image is destined to be in some roadworks if the weather will be nice for a change.

One was taken on the box and the other on one of my studio stools.



All these images were taken using a 100mm macro lens to aid in the clarity of such close up work. The trick was to adjust the lighting or angle I used to capture the image with the restrictive narrow depth of field given by the macro lens. Reviewing the images I would possibly have been better placing the wheel barrow more in line to the focal plane to aid in clarity. As the barrow is not too important to the image though the union flag image is satisfactory for a Slinkachu image.

A few funny ideas on the “red ball” but finding it difficult to source a large ball at a low price.

26 Oct 2013

Took full advantage of the lull in the weather to develop the idea I have for this particular image. Created exactly what I wanted to yet upon returning home found my DoF, even at f/14, on the macro to have still left the signs out of focus. All I need to do then is increase my DoF and make sure that the signs remain on the same focal plane as the men and loo.

So this is nearly the image I wanted.

100mm Macro, 1/13th sec, f/14 and ISO 100.


And this is a wide shot in the roadworks just for scale purposes.


Back again later I think to make minor adjustments if the rain holds off.

Well I’ve popped back after lunch as the wind is increasing, the clouds darkening and all things weather wise not looking too favourable for Slinkachu shooting opportunities. With the weather forecast for the next several days being poor I feel that this needed to be done now.

Changed a couple of things with the set up and image content. Changed one of the figures which I felt better complimented the man with the jack hammer. Also decided to bring a few micro picks and shovels in to give the illusion of more workmen around though not actually in the image.

So the final image from this shoot I’m actually happy with.

Image details are 100mm Macro, 1/5th sec, f/20 and ISO 100. My camera was sat on the floor with the lens supported, at the hood, by a small rock.


And the overview image for scale purposes.


Ok so a few hours have passed and I think I actually prefer this image. f/25 rather than the f/20 of the previous picture I personally think it’s just a tad sharper all round. Anyway this gets the nod for me.


29 Oct 2013

Couldn’t believe my eyes today at breakfast. Having left my egg & toast unattended on the dining room table for just a few moments I returned to find this little fella helping himself to his own portion. Couldn’t believe his cheek so took the photo before sending him on his way.

On a serious note this just screamed for a Slinkachu image. It’s been strange with all the situations that have arisen where I have thought that a specific Slinkachu model would make a great image. Sadly with the cost of the models to create an excellent cross section for different situations is not feasable just for a single Uni image.

Grabbed the camera and using just the poor morning light through the dining room window I captured this.

100mm macro, f/5, 1/80th & ISO 2500


4 Nov 2013

Been out today and grabbed the ingredients for my “Things in a pile” thoughts. Will I be able to turn my ideas into a vision of something lovely.

The ingredients –


5 Nov 2013

Within the interpretations task No.11 is “Things in a pile”. This had me thinking for a couple of days trying to avoid the obvious. Cars, rubbish, rocks, people and the list was quite extensive when I had finished scribbling my ideas down but nothing stood out. Watching a cookery programme on Tv and saw a stack of meat in a bun as one of these mad American challenges and then came the idea……….chocolate, biscuits & cake.

Had a quick scribble for an idea on content and then off to the shops for the building materials.

The creation of the image from this point was simple. Cut and stack the chocolate onto a white perspex board and adjust until happy with the layering, colour, texture and shape. The pile was lit with just a single key light slightly above and pointing down onto the stack. I had this key light on a boom arm to lift it out of the way and give me more freedom in finding the angle I wanted. Nothing worse than having a light stand and modifier in your way when doing product photography. I decided to illuminate the background yellow and used a floor stand mounted light with barn doors and a yellow filter attached to achieve this effect. Got my angle and metered the shot, took a few more but felt it was lacking something. In came a single strawberry to sit on the top. Added as a little bit of fun, with it being the only healthy part of the pile, the image as a whole still lacked something. One brew later and I was back with some syrup. Poured it all over the strawberry and just let it run down the pile taking shots as it all dribbled down the sides. A few minutes later I had several images showing various stages of syrup coverage and dripping. All fantastic I let my kids loose on the pile.

Some brief post processing and I am extremely happy with the result. This will certainly be one of my final six to be submitted.

Technicals – 100mm Macro, f/8, 1/125th and ISO 100.


The contents of this calorific tower were – Pink & whites, terry’s white orange, cadbury flake, toffee crisp, white chocolate, mint aero, battenberg, cafe curls, rolo bar, wagon wheel, millionaires slice, oreo and one fresh strawberry. All covered in golden syrup.

Hope you like it as much as I do and the kids couldn’t finish it in one sitting.

8 Nov 2013

Hello I’m Mr. Red, it’s a pleasure to be here and I’m so looking forward to being a part of Paul’s Blog. I’m under the parent of “Interpretations 1” under Mr. Red.


Another daily grind of getting into town for a tutorial. The Humber Bridge toll works are just causing havoc since starting with the A63 and associated link roads. Add that to a blustery wet morning and things just become grid locked. Sat in my car, a short distance from the humber bridge, I decided to liberate my camera from the boot and see if a suitable image could be sought. Owing to the rain and wind I was not prepared to stand outside my vehicle so the following image was taken through the front windscreen. Compositionally I liked the flow of the road and traffic flowing away from me with the also stationary bridge traffic cutting across the image in stark contrast. I also felt the rigid upright of the bridge tower and the steel cables added to this. With the rain, wet conditions, dull grey sky and trail of brake lights this quick snap shot says so much about a typical morning commute for so many people.

So 70mm, 1/125th sec, F/10 and ISO 125.


Continuing with the red ball idea Mr Red now has quite a fan base on Facebook and his own little blog attached to this one. On a serious note and thinking out of the box I am wondering if my red ball image would be suitable with Mr Red in one of the many situations I have planned for him. Todays image was easy enough with the cold weather. A dolls knitted hat with a warning to wrap up warm and travel safely. Maybe the red ball idea could actually be feasible in such a guise as this.


On a serious note I liked the bright warm colours, contrast of the ball and knitted hat against the cold frozen windscreen, wiper blade and dead leaf. If you look closely enough into the eyes you can see the sun rising, giving the outline to some of the houses in our close.

15 Nov 2013

Had a walk around the marina today in an effort to find inspiration for the picture of a boat with a narrow depth of field. seemed an obvious choice yet it never yielded the required image.

It did however give me a couple of “Danger” signs which could potentially be used under the title of A Dangerous Place. Whilst the sign is the primary focus and focal point of the images I left enough in focus within the image to allow any viewer to make their own mind up as to the extent of the danger being warned about. I took the second image, of the sign against the mesh, as a stark contrast to the openness of the first image. Both signs warning of danger yet both in entirely different locations around the same marina.

All the images were taken using my 24-70mm.

Image 1 details are 70mm, f/2.8, 1/2000th sec and ISO 100.


Image 2 details 70mm, f/2.8, 1/2500th sec and ISO 100


Finally an image of a boat with a narrow depth of field. I took several images around the marina yet didn’t like the results. Though they were all images of boats etc etc non of them appealed to me in any way. The image I will post though came from looking out on the Humber and a random fuel supply boat travelling west. Certainly something different as you can see the boat but I decided to take the image looking down the barrel of a pay to view telescope. I also decided in that instant to focus on the alignment sight on the end of the barrel and not the boat. Something different and possibly not what most would expect.

Image details 24mm, f/2.8, 1/2000th sec and ISO 100


16 Nov 2013

Decision or a foregone conclusion ?


21 Nov 2013

Another for a possible rush hour image. Stuck in morning rush hour traffic, again, I liked the fact that I was stationary next to a national speed limit sign on a dual carriageway yet going nowhere. Taken through my car windscreen.

Handheld 50mm, 1/60th sec, f/8 and iso 150.


26 Nov 2013

Neglected this a little over the last week owing to the sheer volume of private work I have been undertaking and processing for clients. The update is yet another possible rush hour image yet this appealed owing to the fact that both East and West carriageways were at a standstill at peak rush hour traffic. Over an hour again for a journey which normally takes me 15 minutes with no apparent cause seen during any part of my journey.

The A63 is simply not fit for purpose IMO.


5 Dec 2013

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.


7 Dec 2013

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


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.


14 Dec 2013

Finally got my “Timeless beauty” image completed today with one of my adult shoot clients who was down for another shoot. We did this 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



15 Dec 2013

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.

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