Dodging dogs and the sleeping

Shooting at dawn can be extremely rewarding and peaceful but not always without it’s issues.

When shooting on location I invariably choose to head out at dawn. Not only does this mean I can capture beautiful light but it also means I avoid the crowds if I don’t wish to have people in the shots.
One of the downsides to this especially in hot countries is that I have on more than one occasion almost tripped over people sleeping in some unusual places.
Once it was an abandoned fairground near Side in Turkey where I placed my tripod within inches of a fellow asleep on a merry go round without realising until I was packing up.

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Abandoned Fair, Side Turkey

Then there was the boat yard shown below also in Turkey which as well as having a guy sleeping outside in the elements also housed a couple of dogs too which thankfully ignored me !

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Boat Yard Gumbet Turkey

St Paul’s Chapel And Post Production Ironing.

Last week I finally got around to shooting some models to be able to complete several images I had captured from my latest trip to Greece.
Casting the right models for a shoot together with right styling is always something that needs careful consideration to work well.
On top of that because this image was a composite the actual photography needed very careful planning as lighting, light quality, perspective, colour amongst many other things all needs to come together for the final image to work seamlessly.

 

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Shooting Plan Mark Up

 

Even with all the best planning however the odd curve ball can still pop up. Despite preparation the night before one of the models shirts got a little creased on route to the shoot.
Normally this would not had been an issue except the studio iron decided to retire itself ! Fortunately I knew a digital solution and with the schedule being tight I decided this would be a better than have a delay acquiring another iron.

Digital-ironing

The background image was captured pre dawn and created from around 27 frames stitched together in post to allow for a more pleasing perspective with a 41mm lens and deliver a wider dynamic range.
I decided during the final stages of the composite to change the colour of the female models top from blue to a more contrasting orange to help draw the viewers eye to the models.

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Summer Of 92, Venice Beach

I captured this image way back in the summer of 1992. I was enjoying the last few days of my summer touring the USA and ended it at Venice Beach in California.I spotted this lifeguard called Trec patrolling on his tower on the beach and politely asked if I may take his portrait. During the shoot and the usual exchange of polite conversation Trec with some pride told me he was 36 years old which as you can see from the image was a big surprise.

 

Feeling Festive In Venice.

I captured this image on a very memorable sunny but cold weekend in Venice in 2004. It was a few days before Christmas and the majority of Venice was dressed ready for the festivities with lights & decorations. As dusk approached the whole place transformed into an adults Christmas grotto which was an incredible sight. This was my first time on a trip with my digital camera gear and so I was eager to explore and test its capabilities, especially handheld in very low light. This off the cuff image shows a Gondolier waiting at end of the day on one of the many small rustic bridges that Venice is abundant with. Technically this isn’t perfect, but I do love the ambience that it captures at that magical time of day which is actually neither truely day or night but as I like to call it the edge of darkness.

 

Simply Up Close

Most of the images I create tend to be fairly wide vistas with people (life) within them.
Occasionally however I come across someone who demands to be captured very simply up close with minimal fuss as with this gentleman.
It was while in Turkey that I came across this charasmatic chap attending toilets and just had to capture him.
As with all these type of shots I seek out open shade to provide flattering even light and drop everything but the eyes from focus.

Edge Of Darkness On The White Isle

I’m sat here watching a re-run of Kevin and Perry Go Large and it got me thinking of my trip to the white isle of Ibiza a few years ago.
This image was captured during the very last moments of daylight (or as I call the edge of darkness)
on a beautiful October day.
The fading daylight balanced with the welcoming interior warmth of the little cafe on the beach and sums up the tranquillity of the place perfectly as I experienced it.

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Ibiza-beach-cafe-at-dusk

Creating The Last Harvest

This image was the first I produced in my project Life In A Somerset Landscape.
It was inspired by fascination with Maize fields and I wanted to create an image set around one.
I decided rather that capture a person within the scene I would approach local bird sanctuary Sharandy’s Bird Of Prey who had a lovely barn owl called Breeze who they kindly allowed me to Photograph.
All composite image throw up surprises and this one was no different. It wasn’t shooting the Owl or masking the fine details of the Maize heads although this was a challenge and I had to combine several techniques to solve it.
No the main issue was finding a rustic looking fence which living where I do I did not anticipate for one minute having a problem finding.In the end I found a fairly new fence and had to age it in post production and add extra foliage to create the vision I had for it.
The final image came together well complete with Glastonbury Tor and mist that can often be found on the Somerset Levels around September time.

Behind The Scenes Video

Simplicity, Belly Dancing On A Boat

In my opinion what you leave out an image is as important as what you choose to show…the simpler the better.
Some images I create can be quite complex, in some cases consisting many many dozens of individual files to create the final picture. Even when this is the case I’m still always looking for the final image to look simple and uncluttered as possible.
With some images however we are lucky that everything unfolds itself on a plate for you as in this image shot on a boat off the Turkish coast.
This chap (note the facial hair) and a member of the crew decided to dress in a Bellydancing outfit and give everyone an impressive show from the back of the boat.
I was drawn to the gorgeous colour of the headdress and the beautiful diffused light softened by the boats canopy which sheilded the harsh unflattering summer sun and wrapped him in a glow of white.
To simplify things further I chose to drop everything out of focus except his rather striking eyes to create the final image below.

 

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