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Stills Based Motion And Video Production Services A Perfect Fit.

Stills Based Motion And Video Production Services A Perfect Fit.

Video Production Services can involve much more than just video footage.

Many years ago (circa 2008) I had my own photography training site and community where I would video, present and film photoshoots and the post-production work to form an A-Z of a complete shoot.

After a few years, I decided to close the site and concentrate solely on assignment work once again. For a while, I felt I had in some ways wasted several years of my time and energy but as I have since learnt nothing goes to waste.
Some of the things that I would have never had photographed in my day to day professional life or techniques used in post-production have since proved of huge benefit to me.

The biggest benefit though was the skills I had to develop in capturing the video like the tutorials on the site were all video-based content.
Over the years these skills have enabled me to not only increase my earnings but led me to explore other Video Production Services work.

At heart, my first love will always be still photography but more and more I can see the big benefit to clients to be able to offer motion work alongside capturing stills and even repurposing stills into 2.5 d Parallax movies to provide even more content within their budgets.

Another area has Ive been commissioned to work in is blending video with stills which are often referred to as Cinegraphs.
This campaign was captured for client Mimecast shown on digital billboards at airports all over the U.S.A and here in the U.K

More recently I’ve been shooting some video combined with Time-Lapse work which I feel is a perfect fit to my photographic style.

Stills based motion offers an engaging alternative to purely shooting video although as with all things requires a learning curve to get the best from it.

Other samples of stills based work such as stop motion can be viewed Here

 

Rich Tea Deer !

A few years ago I was commissioned to create a campaign image for a private school.
The brief required that I did some animal photography and a Photo Composite a stag onto the sports field of the school.

Published-stag

I have to admit I often love the challenge of sourcing the elements needed for composite work but have to admit I thought finding a stag would be a tall order.
In fact, after a short time searching I found South West Deer Rescue Centre located within 20 minutes of the studio.

The centre was a charity run by a lovely chap called Mike and after a brief chat on the phone and a visit for a recee he introduced me to Rubus who was to be my model.
The shoot day went like clockwork and week later I had completed the retouching and delivered the job.

A week or so later I returned to the sanctuary as I wanted to photograph Mike feeding the deer their favourite snack Rich Tea biscuits!

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Moving Mountains, Travel Photography Portfolio The Gumbet Windmills

Moving Mountains, Travel Photography Portfolio The Gumbet Windmills

I’d been told about this spot and the windmills many times while visiting my holiday home in Turkey.
Eventually, during one trip, I decided it was time that I grabbed my gear and checked this local landmark out and combine a little travel and landscape photography

It was a beautiful hot evening and the light was just starting to dip behind the mountains and I was keen to add the image to my travel photography portfolio.
I have to be honest after all the hype I was a little disappointed with the location when I arrived.

There were several windmills on the edge of the hillside and due to the shape of the hill I had to be closer to the windmills than I would have preferred.
This meant that the beautiful mountains and bay below were extremely obstructed by some of the windmills and the contour of the hillside.
At around this time, I was producing lots of video tutorials for a training site I owned. 

I decided I would take the opportunity to use some clever photographic and post-production techniques to create a more pleasing view and also create a video of how I achieved this for the sites members.
After some careful thought, I decided that if I moved the sea and mountains up higher into the scene and did some clean up ( remove a ropy looking windmill )this would produce a panoramic scene I knew would look stunning in the evening light.
So not an image that the purists would enjoy but one that satisfied my experience of the place even if I had to move mountains to achieve it!

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Lifestyle In Loret De Mar

Back in October I made a trip to the Catalonian resort of Loret De Mar.
Unfortunately the weather was the worst seen along the Spanish coast for decades which of course hindered things slightly !
Fortunately the weather did break albeit just for two brief periods and I managed to capture several locations I had scouted.
Several months on with my models Susie Coats and Andy Elvin arranged (see blog post Pre Production For Post Production) I then photographed the models images and went into post production to composite the images together into the final shots shown here.

Pre Production For Post Production. Composite Lifestyle Shooting.

Tomorrow I have a location lifestyle shoot planned with a couple of models so I thought I’d give a glimpse on how I prepare for some of my shoots.

It can be surprising to some people just how much pre-production can go into even the smallest shoots especially if they are on location.
My shoot tomorrow has it’s own particular added elements that need careful preparation and close attention and that is because the backgrounds have already been captured several months before.
When I travel I often will go out capturing my chosen locations before dawn or dusk for the best light (depending on what I’m after).
If I have a choice I prefer dawn not because I love to get up at 4am (in the summer) but because there is less likely to be any tourists around especially in popular city locations.
Saying that having been a retoucher for 21 years I know some clever techniques to very simply remove people from images in post without the need for any stress while on location if needed.

My models will be captured either in my studio or as is more often the case outside in natural daylight and supplemented with lighting if required.

So for this shoot to be captured and be successfully blended realistically in post-production there are many things that need careful attention. Here are just a few of the basics.

The light quality
Light angle
Light temperature
The surrounding elements and their colour
Camera height
Camera angle (perspective)
Lens focal length (this can be tweaked a little)

As I said these are just a few things that I’m carefully looking at.
To help me with this I create a markup image for quick reference (shown below).

Here are a few samples from a previous shoot.

As you will see in the second picture in the bottom row if possible I’ll always take a snap of myself in the scene.
You have probably already guessed that this gives me a great reference when I shoot my models to how the light in the scene should be interacting on them even if it’s not a pretty picture!

So one question you may ask is why go to so much trouble why not shoot the models in situ like many photographers?
Well, I first should add I’m definitely not against doing it all in camera and often do however there is a multitude of reasons why it might not always be possible.
The main one is simply the logistics of getting models, stylist, makeup artist and the many other people that make up a production crew to a particular location at a certain time.
For me, it’s partly the above plus, of course, the substantial costs involved as some of these images are purely self-funded portfolio pieces so budgets can be naturally tight.
The other more personal reason is it enables me the luxury of more time to concentrate on capturing the changing light and various angles the locations has to offer with more flexibility.

It was interesting to read that Lord Litchfield towards the latter end of his career shot in a similar way.
As far as the post-production is concerned there is, of course, some work (and cost involved)  pulling all the elements together but then how often these days does an image not have some retouching applied before being published? If planned and executed correctly the image can often come together remarkably quickly.

As I said above I’m quite happy working and doing it all in camera and have done so many times but for me working this way provides a flexible alternative providing it’s planned accordingly.

Location Lifestyle Portrait, Asur At Dawn

Location Lifestyle Portrait, Asur At Dawn

I’ve mentioned before that for 10 years I was fortunate enough to have a holiday home in Turkey.
On one trip while out shooting at dawn, I captured a  location lifestyle portrait of this chap Asur Teber who was a security guard at one of the beachfront hotels in Gumbet.
He spoke no English but was more than willing for me to capture his picture, in fact, I eventually had to make my excuses to get back for my breakfast as he didn’t want me to stop !.
I arranged to send him a print as I always believe if people have given me their time and ask for a copy of the image it’s the very least I can do and always deliver on that.
Unfortunately, I mislaid his details so I decided to deliver the print the following year to the hotel he worked at.
I was told by the hotel that he no longer worked there, and he apparently lived in northern Turkey and they had no contact details.
I left the prints anyway in the hope they might one day find there a way to him.

Asur-at-the-beach-lifesyle-photograph-number-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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Hedo, Beach Water-sports Salesman Turkey

Having once owned a home in Turkey I was privileged to have visited the country many times over a ten year period.
This as you would expect also meant I got to make friends with some of the locals and those who worked in the area during the busy summer months.
Hedo was someone I always knew would be in the same place on the beach with the same big smile selling tourists water sports.

Lifestyle-portrait-water-sports-seller-turkey

Business Portraits For Receipt Bank

Last week I was in central London shooting for a new client Receipt Bank.
Receipt Bank provide revolutionary accountancy/bookkeeping software that helps automate tasks.

The brief was pretty open to interpretation and required me to capture corporate portraits of around 80 staff members at their London headquarters with the business portraits being suitable for website use and profile pictures for sites such as LinkedIn.
After viewing some snaps of the office space and chatting with Stuart the Creative Director we decided to utilise the corporate orange coloured couch in reception for the shots.

Stuart also wanted to capture some fun shots to hang in the office wall at the same time.
I suggested I create some Polaroid-style images complete with authentic light flares commonly associated with the instant prints which I felt would add to the fun element requested.
The shoot went well despite an issue towards the end when we had one flash unit go down but this was quickly rectified and I did not let it interfere with the flow of the shoot.

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