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Surrounded By Blue, The Harsh Beauty Of Midday Light

Surrounded By Blue, The Harsh Beauty Of Midday Light

I recently rediscovered this image in my archive and decided to give it some TLC and publish it here.
It was taken near Gaios, on the island of Paxos while on a boat tour in the summer of 2006
I would not state this image as a particularly amazing piece of creative travel photography in fact the image was simply a grab shot
to look back upon and enjoy as a memory of our trip.

Never Shoot In The Midday Sun.

If you critiqued this image you probably say the lighting here is a little bland (it’s overhead) and pretty harsh in contrast (it’s a fairly cloudless summer sky) and certainly not the time of day that most photographers including myself would choose to produce creative travel photography.

However, I’ve always said there is no such thing as bad light it just depends on your personal style or what you decide works for a particular image or a clients brief.
On the plus side, in this image, that same bland hard light gives some amazing punch to those blues which for me are a strong signature of Greece along with incredible mountains and historic sites of interest.

Once again we see that rules (or guidelines) are often there to be broken and even encouraged for creativity especially when it comes to photography.

If you want to see some wonderful images by a master photographer who is often known for their use of razor-sharp light and contrast I’d recommend checking out Albert Watson’s work especially the images in his wonderful book Cyclops.

 

 

White Greek Chapel Surrounded By Blue Sea, Paxos Greece

Life In A Somerset Landscape Photography Project

Life In A Somerset Landscape Photography Project

A Somerset Photography project started back in 2012.

I started Life in a Somerset Landscape as a personal project with the aim to capture various people and wildlife in the Somerset landscape.

The images are inspired by the county I grew up in and in which I learnt my craft starting back in the late 1980s

I’ve always been drawn and somewhat intrigued by the history of the land and the people who work it and wildlife that lives there so the project simply evolved from that.

The images are approached by me either simply documenting what I discover while others are created to produce a vision I have for that particular location or person within it.
The project is ongoing as I have time to pick it up and continue.

View project Life in a Somerset Landscape

Do you know of someone or somewhere in Somerset that you feel should be included? Please email me and let me know. [email protected]

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Mud-horse-fisherman-Hinkley point

Swan Taking Off Over Somerset River

Swan Flying Over Somerset River

Banjo-player-maize-field

Banjo player maize field

 

 

Location Photography. As Time Passes By, The Charles Bridge Prague

Location Photography. As Time Passes By, The Charles Bridge Prague

Back in 2006, the bulk of my work consisted of photographing cars on location for a large magazine publisher.
This was a fantastic time in my career and I considered myself very blessed as was I not only capturing some amazing sports and prestige cars around the country but also on retainer to do so.
It was also around this time that CGI was starting to become a real alternative for commercial automotive advertising and I soon found myself one of the first UK photographers shooting for this new genre of imaging.
Cgi-mercedes-truck-prague

Photography & Retouching Simon Plant / Cgi and Rendering: J3D Imaging

This was the reason I found myself one cold November morning on location standing on The Charles Bridge in Prague.
I had completed my background plates and 360 HDR dome shots and decided to stay on for a couple more days to shoot some other images without the need to concern myself with composition being suitable for the placement of a truck or car.

Prague is the furthest in Eastern Europe I have travelled and it was a hauntingly (especially pre-dawn) beautiful location to shoot.

 

As-time-passes-by

As Time Passes By

Picture Retouching. Digital Chainsaw

Picture Retouching A Digital Chainsaw

How picture retouching enabled an uncluttered view.

I remember first being at this location photographing this tree high above Lyndos town in around 2004 when I was still capturing the world on film.
13 years later I found myself once again in the same spot admiring the same tree and the amazing views that this ancient citadel offered of the stunning coast below.
I couldn’t resist capturing the scene again but I soon remembered as I composed the image through the viewfinder the same problem I had experienced all those years ago it was very cluttered.
To capture the tree and wonderful view meant a messy composition consisting of branches from adjacent trees and there was no other angle or option despite my efforts.
I decided to capture the scene and reconfigure a few elements later in post-production to get the image I had visualised.

The picture retouching work was pretty straight forward consisting mainly of removing the obtrusive branches and replacing the sky which was the only element not from the original scene but captured a mile or so away on another day.

Before-image-photo-retouching-of-tree-lyndos-greece

Original Scene

After-image-of-photo-retouching-of-tree-lyndos-greece

Scene Post Some Trimming.

Arches Of The Palace

Arches Of The Palace

I hope this post finds you all well at this very challenging time.

March was an incredibly busy month with me out shooting nearly every day for a new travel accommodation company. Of course, this came to a sudden halt with the travel restriction came into place which was definitely needed.I must admit I’ve not been bored. I’ve used my time in my home office to take some advanced training courses to add to my existing skills and do some other things that seem to have been pushed to the back of the to-do list.

This week I completed the lifestyle image below titled Arches Of The Palace.
The models Emma & Nathan were captured back in chilly November outside my studio and the background is Rhodes in slightly warmer weather!
Thanks to good planning and care the retouching came together both seamlessly and in good time.

Commercial-lifestyle-photo-arches-of-palace-rhodes

Receipt Bank Animated Still

Receipt Bank Animated Still

Back in November, I was commissioned by my client Receipt Bank to capture several of its clients in their workplaces.
The final images were destined to be printed into large promotional pieces and I’ll be publishing theses as soon as I can.
When I’m on an assignment I’m always looking beyond the brief anticipating other ideas while I’m at a location.
This was one of those occasions when the guy and the amazing location was too good not to capture other options after of course, I had captured what my client wanted.
The final image below is a still image that I have animated in After Effects which can be used for short social media content.
For clients, it gives extra value by offering video production services that allows the repurposing existing images and extending their budgets further.

View More Animated Stills 

 

Lifestyle Photoshoot, Walk Before Dinner

Lifestyle Photoshoot, Walk Before Dinner

About a month ago I published a blog post titled A Perfect Moment – Capturing A Lifestyle Photoshoot called Greek Summer In Grey November Link Here
Walk Before Dinner is another image from that same shoot captured in chilly November.
I captured this background for use as a Lifestyle shot well over a year but for one reason or another I never have.
The background is of St Pauls Bay below Lyndos village Rhodes Greece.
It was created from approx 27 individual frames mostly to allow me a more flattering perspective and to keep the Chapel below and the Temple above from getting lost completely in the image.

The technical aspects of capturing Nathan & Emma was much simpler than in The Perfect Moment image.
For starters the lighting in this image was soft rather than directional which previously required matching with the direction and quality of the background.
Creating images without the models feet showing that otherwise need realistic shadows created is also much simpler hence why many people based composites are 3/4 not full lengths.

I rarely time these things but the final composite not including the background creation took approx 6 to 8 hours to complete.

 

 

Lifestyle-advertising-photography-a-walk-before-dinner-rhodes-greece

End Of Season, Rhodes

End Of Season, Rhodes

It’s been a busy end to what has been a slightly unusual year with both new exciting opportunities as well as a few challenges too but life is never linear or dull as an image creative!

October saw me back in Rhodes for a third time in 3 years but this time I chose to spend my time filming rather than capturing stills which I seem to be doing more and more of these days.
I decided (for the most part) to keep the gear to an absolute minimum. Apart from the Video time lapse section which was shot with my Canon 5D Mk4 most of the remaining filming was captured on iPhone and my Sony RX100 pocket point and shoot albeit a high end one!
My biggest dilemma was wether to take my gimble but I decided it would be a great exercise in adaptability and creativity to do without it plus I simply couldn’t be arsed to carry it !

Lyndos-behind-the-scenes-03 Lyndos-behind-the-scenes-01

 

Commercial Lifestyle Photographer, A Perfect Moment – Capturing A Greek Summer In Grey November

Commercial Lifestyle Photographer, A Perfect Moment

I’m going to state the obvious..winter is never an ideal time of year for a commercial lifestyle photographer to shoot summer lifestyle in the U.K!
Unfortunately, that was exactly what was required on one chilly November morning with two brave Welsh models Emma James and Nathan Scola.

Behind-the-scene-lifestyle-photoshoot-somerset

The backgrounds for this shoot were all captured in the warmer months of August in Greece and required my models to be dressed for the summer.
To make the composite work seamlessly I required many elements to work together including natural light even if it was the grey type!

Commercial lifestyle photography can be tough but Nathan and Emma were true professionals and used their vivid imaginations to bring the greek summer into the shots despite the biting November cold. I’ll be sharing more from this shoot in the next few weeks.

Commercial-lifestyle-photoshoot-perfect-moment