Banking Above The Crops, P51D Mustang

Hot off the screen today is this image that I started and competed retouching this afternoon (gotta be a record ! )
The plane was captured a couple of years ago during a shoot at the Airbus family air day display and is an historic WW2 P51D Mustang called Ferocious Frankie.
I had two ideas for the final image the first was to have the plane flying above the ocean and cliffs or the English countryside.After seeing several fields in my village bearing some rather lovely golden coloured crops I decided to go with the countryside idea.
From here my idea grew another step further and I decided to have someone in the image working the land and my son was suitably bribed for the job ! The shot was completed very quickly as it started to spit with rain and was very simply lit with just a little fill in flash to aid the slightly flat ambient lighting.

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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A Paddle With Grandad

Im currently away on an annual family holiday in St Ives Cornwall.
St Ives is very familiar to me as I have been coming here since a child and also lived here for a short period.
This means photographing something fresh can be quite a challenge to do but an enjoyable challenge none the less.
Also a challenge is shooting on the iPhone but again it can be an enjoyable task as i find myself devoid of camera functions and allowing myself to rely only on my eye to create something interesting.
Below is an image shot yesterday and may well be part of one of my iPhone projects once I return.

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New Cgi Automotive Images For Honda Accord

Just added two new Automotive CGI images to my book & website.
The background and HDR images where shot a few years ago in Hamburg while at a Cgi conference and used here by Honda to promote their V6 Accord.

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Location Photography & HDR Imaging Simon Plant

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Location Photography & HDR Imaging Simon Plant

Lucky Bastards !

I love the sea especially the Mediterranean around Greece & Turkey and despite not being a sailor I have always lived on the coast and love boats.
I put this attraction down to my father who also loved the ocean and served on the Aircraft Carrier HMS Indomitable during WW2 in the Pacific.
So it’s no surprise really that over the years lots of my images feature the ocean and the people who work on it.

It was while in Majorca that I came across the coastal town of Porto Cristo one morning and decided I had to return later that week to shoot the beautiful cliffs and bay when the light was more sympathetic to the location. The finished image shown here represents my vision/interpretation of Porto Cristo and despite not all the elements existing in the scene at the time it sums up the place quite nicely in my opinion.
Am I the only one who struggles naming new images I have produced ? Im guessing not and it can drive me nuts.
When it came to naming this one I was tempted to name  it after my initial reaction to seeing such an idyllic scene and beautiful craft
..”Lucky Bastards !” but I’ve since decided on a more polite naming of  “Living The Dream”

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Living The Dream

Graceful Killers

A while ago I was asked by a client if I could shoot some promotional images and video at the Airbus family day in Bristol.Although only open to Airbus employees and their families the event is huge and hosts a variety of great aircrafts.
I love planes probably because they generally take you somewhere nice 🙂 and not being one to miss an opportunity to add some shots to my compositing archive to save for a rainy day I shot till I could shoot no more.
Having some unexpected spare time this week I decided to trawl through my archives and create the image posted here titled “Graceful Killers”.
At the time of writing I’m still researching with help from some kind fellow photographers on Pro Imaging to what these WW1 fighter planes actually are, of course if you know feel free to post below.

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fútbol

This is my final image from my recent Football themed shoot I completed a few weeks ago.
I was somehow drawn to this slightly unusual capture which normally I perhaps would have dismissed as a reject.
I left it for a few weeks before retouching thinking I may change my mind and bin the idea but somehow I really liked the fact that the models face was hidden (sorry Dan !) and found the image quite graceful.
It inspired me into visions of South America (really don’t know why he had a Holland kit on !) so I added one of my beautiful skies I have in my archive and also added some mountains too add some weight to the bottom of the frame.

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Behind The Scenes..Shooting U.S Army Despatch Rider With ” 1943 ” Harley

I consider myself a people person, I like meeting and talking to people and I especially love photographing them in their environment (as you can see by my recent posts here).Probably one of the most enjoyable things about my 20+ years in photography is the many people and places I have been fortunate to experience.
I have enjoyed photographing many gorgeous models people in the public eye and heads of industry but what I really love is shooting characters from everyday life doing what they love in work or play.

Twelve months ago I shot the image and video “Praha 44”  for my Digital Photography training site . The image below features a German Officer at night against the backdrop of Prague.

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The gentleman who I hired the costume from also had a huge collection of other  items from WW2 including a U.S Army 1943 WLA Harley Davidson.After seeing the bike the ideas and story started to grow in my head and knew I had to shoot it.After a few discussions with Manny (the owner and model in the images here) I decided the scene would be set in Northern France and the rider would be dressed as a US Army Infantryman Despatch Rider from Headquarters Company delivering messages to and from various units after the D Day invasion.
In my mind the scene I wanted to portray him in was one of him resting after a hard ride (a quiet moment) against a Forest backdrop and I knew the perfect place.

A day was set and myself and my assistant met Manny with a van full of props including a genuine M1, semi-automatic, Garand rifle (deactivated of course !) and set up the scene.
Like many of my images I look for simple compositions and uncluttered lighting.For example in this image the soft light was quite important as I felt harsh light coming though the trees would simply cause too many distraction in the scene and I definitely did not want that.The shoot took about 90 minutes to complete partly due to the fact we where all having a blast and did not want to stop creating images.

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1940’s Pocket Guide To France !

Manny eats breathes and lives his love for things from WW2 but in a very positive way and it was a pleasure to work with someone as passionate as I am about getting the fine details just right.

Manny has an incredible collection of other WW2 memorabilia including a WW2 Sailers Uniform which struck a chord with me as my father served on HMS Indomitable in the Pacific during the war.
Watch this space for that one !

View some brief video footage from the shoot below.

 

Final Football Selects

Following on from my previous post here is the finished football images from my recent shoot.
We captured so many good images on the day that editing down to a final selection was no easy feat, however edit we must and the images here are the final selects all but possibly one other which is 60% completed.
Retouching images like these is not a 5 minute job (at least to the standard I want) and can take several days to complete.The biggest problem however is not the technical aspects but where to stop and not take things too far.I hope as always that I have done the models justice while fulfilling my own creative vision.

Model : Chris Harbinson

Model: Daniel Olaiya

Full Time

My quest to shoot more people images took me to my other life long passion of football with some ideas that had been simmering in my head for a while.
As a follower of Yeovil Town F.C (and photographer for The Yeovil Town Community Sport Trust) I decided to produce a shoot with a couple of suitable models against an appropriate stadium backdrop.
As my photography vision/style of work is mostly about quiet moments I decided my main images would not be action packed aggressive images of footballers competing but ones that where more about moments & emotions of the game.
My first job was to source my models.Having spent many years testing for model agencies in Bristol I still had several contacts to call upon but in the end I was contacted by a couple of models via a post I made online.
The Models Chris & Daniel where both medical students who also did modelling part time and where perfect for what I had in mind so a date was set to do the shoot.
During the next week I purchased a few items of kit and managed through my stylist to borrow some appropriate shirts and we were all set to go.
I had some images on file to use for the stadium backdrops although I did look at purchasing some stock images but as usual I really wanted to shoot or use my own to keep complete control over the image so decided against it.
What I knew would be needed to be shot was some floodlit grass to complement my vision of a night time floodlit football stadium.
Luckily my son trains twice a week in the Development Centres that Yeovil run and one of the locations had some ideal floodlit grass so I managed to capture what I needed while avoiding the Javelin training that had set up while my back was turned !
So with all my background elements collected all that was left was to work out the lighting and capture my models.
For this shoot I needed very particular lighting style to give the impression of stadium lighting so I decided my best bet was to set up in my studio at The Monks Yard.
Although a fairly simple lighting set up I decided to use our biggest studio space to allow plenty of room to control the precise quality of light I required for the images.
Chris & Daniel where very professional and took direction superbly and we soon moved through several variations and close ups.

To create the beads of sweat on the models skin I used a water mister (kind you use to water plants or spray at the wife !) with a drop of Glycerine in it.
To finish off the day we decided to do a few action shots on location in the park which gave me some naturally lit images to play with if I decide to do so.

Here is the first completed image from the set featuring Daniel…more to follow shortly…

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