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Trec A Lifestyle Portrait, Venice Beach 1992

Trec A Lifestyle Portrait, Venice Beach 1992

While touring America as a younger man! my last stop was Venice Beach in L.A.

I found Venice beach to be everything I had anticipated it to be including some very interesting people for capturing lifestyle portraits.

It was while enjoying the beach that I saw this guy working Brooks Tower (lifeguard station) and I knew I couldn’t depart California without capturing an iconic lifeguard made famous by Baywatch!

After chatting for a short while I discovered that the gentlemen’s name was Trec and he informed me he was approaching 40 years old and had been a lifeguard for many years in Venice Beach.

Not wanting to distract him long for obvious reasons I quickly captured several frames of film of him with thanks and left him to keep everyone safe around Brooks Tower.

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Lifestyle Portrait Of Venice Beach Lifeguard California

Trec Vencie Beach Life Guard 1992

Mimecast Advertising Campaign

Back in the summer, I had the opportunity to work once again with creative director and good friend Stuart Lowe in Central London.

I had the good fortune of working on a contract for Trader Media Group and Stuart for several years shooting exotic cars on location all over the UK.

Stuart who is now Creative Director at Mimecast a software service company specializing in email archiving amongst other things contacted me to shoot a campaign they were looking to run to help promote their Cloud storage services.

The images were all captured in a few hours at Mimecast’s offices in central London and retouched by us.

 

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Lifestyle Portrait From Beach Babes To Toilet Attendants

Lifestyle Portrait From Beach Babes To Toilet Attendants

I’ve photographed a lot of people over the years including my fair share of lifestyle photos of bikini-clad models.
Although models on beaches are always fun to shoot my favourite people to capture are those that ooze character.
I spotted this chap who was a Toilet Attendant whilst looking for a toilet (you never know where they will pop up) in the resort of Yalikavak Turkey.
When I spot someone like this gentleman I find it very hard to walk by without asking if I can take lifestyle portrait of them and In Turkey at least I can’t remember ever being refused to date.

The image is a great addition to my travel photography portfolio

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Kayaking In Kynance

August is notorious for being quiet for business due to the summer holidays and the photography industry is not an exception.
With this in mind I decided to catch up on some new personal work that I had been planning and to also produce a short video for some promotions that we have planned.
This image is of a good friend of mine Dean who is also the manager at The Monks Yard where our studio is based.
Dean is a keen Sea Kayaker and when not working hard at Monks Yard (gotta say that!) he is often found off the Dorset coast fishing in his Kayak.
I had several images in my archives that I thought would make great environments to use in this portrait and eventually I decided upon one of Kynance Cove in Cornwall, I know not quite Dorset but hey it’s my image so I get creative license 🙂

The image took approx 5-6 hours to retouch and ended up being quite a monster PSD file.
The promotional video below shows a brief overview of the shoot and the post production.

 

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Gill’s Allotment

I was asked a few weeks ago if I could produce & present a training video on shooting Environmental Portraiture for Envato Tuts Plus Network in Australia.
Over the last few years I have produced many training videos for Envato’s PhotoTuts’s premium content so this was not a particularly unusual request to receive.
For this shoot I decided to photograph Gill who I’ve captured before and is not only a great character to shoot but also happens to be my father in law !
The location is Gill’s allotment located in the beautiful South Somerset landscape and was perfect to demonstrate photographing people in their personal spaces.

 

Bums Or Ballet ! . . Waiting To Dance

Like most parents having young children means a fair amount of time is spent transporting them to various places for one event or another.For my son it’s Football training or matches and for my two girls it’s currently Ballet.
Also like most parents I take a lot of photographs & video of them BUT rarely nevermore than quick snaps and mostly with my iPhone.
It’s not that I don’t want to take images that are more than quick snaps but more the fact that they usually kill any moment I’m not quick enough to capture by doing something like the image posted below !

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No Respect !

However I’m a very determined chap (you need to be to pursue a career in photography !) especially when the scene/moment is looking too promising to give up on like the one below.
The image is of my two daughters at Ballet waiting patiently (that’s a new one!) in line for their turn to dance.
The image is probably not an award winner but that is not an issue, for me as a parent it captures a beautiful quiet moment (as is my photographic style ) in my daughters lives where they are not aware of me or the camera.
At the end of the day when we are old and grey (don’t say it !) what will be of more worth a personal image like the one below or all the wonderful commercial images we shoot to earn our living ?

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Mud, Nuclear Power & The Mud Horse Fishermen

As I have mentioned in a previous post I’m currently working on producing new life images of people & animals within the landscape.

Part of this has evolved into a small project shooting “Life In A Somerset Landscape” where I show people and animals at well known Somerset locations.
While researching new people to shoot I caught an old TV clip of one of the last Mud Horse Fisherman who live close to Hinkley Point B Nuclear power station nr Bidgwater Somerset.
20 years earlier I had photographed one of the last few fishermen for a magazine and so was not sure if any where still actually still fishing in the area.
After a bit of research with good old Google I managed to find a telephone number for Brendan & Adrian Sellick who are father & son and the last two people still Mud Horse fishing a stones throw from Hinkley Point B Nuclear Power Station.

So what is Mud Horse Fishing?
Having lived close to the coast most my life (mostly on the Bristol Channel) I know how dangerous this stretch of coast can be.
Firstly it has the second fastest fall and rise of tide in the world plus and more appropriate here the mud banks can be like quicksand.
The fishermen place their nets 2 miles out over the treacherous mud banks of the Bristol Channel. They use a wooden sledge known as a Mud Horse to help them not only carry back their catch but more importantly aid them to glide over the thick treacherous mud and not sink into it.
Following my telephone call I arranged to meet Adrian Brendan Sellick and photograph them with the Mud Horse at the beach.
My vision for the image was not one shot in bright clear sunlight which is what the shoot day presented me with.For me this is the kind of uncertantity that makes location shooting so interesting and certainly keeps you on your toes.
Another surprise on the day was I did not expect to go onto the mud banks to shoot but stay on the shore.
Adrian explained that the Mud Horse is stored about 1 mile out onto the mud banks of the channel weighted down by rocks as is to cumbersome to drag out.

We jumped into his 4×4 and started to drive cautiously over the mud which I have to admit was rather unnerving after the scores of cars I’ve seen submerged on this coastline by tourists driving on the beaches and ignoring the warnings.

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Luckily I always carry a pair of wellies in the boot of my car so was pretty well prepared for the mud that I had to wade through in certain areas.

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I had as I always do planned to use my tripod but it quickly became obvious that I would have to go out my comfort zone and hand hold the camera.
Adrian directed me to where was safe to walk and pointed out the areas that would have me knee deep plus in mud which was a worry with £6,500 worth of camera around my neck !
I directed Adrian where I wanted him and set about shooting with quite briskly with a healthy burst of fill in flash to reduce the harsh contrast from the crystal clear sunlit sky.
It was a very enjoyable shoot even though it took me out my comfort zone a little (which is not a bad thing) and made me adapt my plans slightly.

I retired with Adrian back to his rustic fish shop where I finished by shooting some headshots of him and his charismatic father Brendan.

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This shoot summed up to me how much I love the excitement & unpredictable nature of location shooting.Combing this with meeting interesting,charming people doing jobs that sadly may not continue in years to come also gives me satisfaction of knowing that once again my camera has enabled me to explore places & people otherwise I may never had chance to.


The final image shown here combines several images of Adrian,The Bristol Channel and the Hinkley Point B Power Station.

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Ryan

As I mentioned in my last post about shooting new images of people in the landscape here is an image I shot a couple of weeks ago and finished retouching this week.
The image here shows Ryan White who’s a talented young cyclist and member of Somerset based  “1St Chard Wheelers” cycling club.
Ryan has gained much success in his chosen sport including coming 4th in the National under 12’s Road Race Championships and is currently 3rd in the national rankings which is very impressive seeing he’s only 13 !
In terms of the photography as always I wanted to show my subject within the landscape rather than shooting just a formal portrait.The background plate is of St Michaels Mount in Cornwall which I captured on a beautiful spring dawn several years ago.
The shoot was completed in around 30 minutes which I captured images of not only Ryan but his cycling partner dad David too.
Retouching the image was also pretty swift & straight forward taking me about 6 hrs to complete to the the high standards I require.

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Ryan

New Life Image

My main niche areas within photography have always been shooting locations and people.
Over the years I’ve shot people from all kind of backgrounds,heads of industry,tv celebrities,scientists and quite a few too many leggy models to count 🙂
However a couple of years ago I started shooting less people and more landscapes/locations without any signs of life in them (apart from several shoots with prestige cars and drivers).
I’m not sure if this was completely intentional but I do feel i may have been a little burn’t out shooting people and needed a break from it for a while.
Anyway in the last few months I have had a longing to get social once again and start to invite people back into my compositions.

This shoot below was of my 8yr old son Gabriel who started playing football last year (football is another big passion in my life) and has done incredibly well in such a short space of time. For this image I decided to capture him in his Yeovil Town training kit against a suitable backdrop using a 45mm focal length lens and a low viewpoint to give him power and presence in the frame.

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Several days previously I was in Turkey shooting at dawn in a rustic boatyard.
On the beach I spotted this man called Asur sitting down smoking a cigarette and enjoying the incredible dawn light.
I approached him and asked (in my best Turkish Brummie Somerset accent !) if I may photograph him which he was most agreeable to.
Although it was to be a photograph of him I also wanted the beautiful location to play a major part in the shot which is often a difficult balance to pull off.
I decided on a 55mm focal length and positioned him slightly off centre on the tracks that deliver the boats from the boat yard into the sea.

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