A Perch In The Storm

I found myself on the North Devon coast for a small shoot on Saturday.The weather was less than pleasant but I decided on the journey home to head across the top of Exmoor.
Sometimes harsh weather just suits a location and a damp Exmoor with low hanging cloud seemed to feel strangely perfect.
As I drove I spotted this crow sat on top of this tree and immediately new it had potential to make a great image.
Luckily I managed to pull over and grab my camera which was already set up on the rear seat. To my surprise the crow stayed in place perfectly just sat overlooking the bleak cliffs and coast and I managed to capture 6 or so frames before it got spooked and flew off.
Back in the days of film I would often shoot 1000 ASA Agfa RS film which was renown for it’s impressive grain especially when pushed to 2000 ASA and pushed in processing.
I decided in post to enhance the harsh atmosphere further by adding a copious helping of old school grain although not to the extent of the old Agfa stock!

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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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Like Clock Work

Today was one of those morning where everything seems to work for you seamlessly and you come away feeling blessed.

I arrived at Lyndos village pre dawn to capture a couple of locations and came across this stunning side street with a beautiful white washed church and the sunrise lit bay behind.

As I finished the image a street cleaner arrived jet washing the cobbles adding an even better surface for the dawn light to bounce off.

I decided to reshoot the image again especially as the colours had further intensified from the rising sun. A fabulous morning of exploring and shooting some stunning locations.

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Saint George Chapel Lyndos

Dodging The Wife At Dawn

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I woke a 4.45am and once again managed to avoid waking the wife and kids (I think) and tiptoed out of the hotel room.

A family holiday always includes some planned photography shoots which often means some early starts to avoid the tourists and capture the best light. This trip despite being in Rhodes the previous year was no different.

My plan for the following morning was to capture some street lit dawn images around the old town in Rhodes. I had no particular location set in stone it was more of a suck it and see what I stumbled across.

I woke a 4.45am and once again managed to avoid waking the wife and kids (I think) and tiptoed out of the hotel room.

At this time of the morning there were no tourists around just gangs of street cats,street sweepers and groups of scary drunk girls to dodge. It’s a fantastic time of day (night) to be exploring but you do have to be careful as on more than one occasion I’ve almost tripped over and woken the odd person sleeping rough!

The morning went well and I captured 2-3 locations and was finished by sunrise and back at the hotel in plenty of time for breakkie.

 

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St Paul’s Gate Rhodes

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Rhodes Old Town

 

Halicarnassus Creative Travel Photography

Halicarnassus Creative Travel Photography

Turkey has provided me with many creative travel photography opportunities over the years especially the southwestern Aegean region of Turkey.
Halicarnassus located in western Turkey was once an Ancient Greek city and more commonly known these days as Bodrum.
This image represents my vision of this historic and beautiful part of Turkey.

Halicarnassus

Young Fun In The Sun.

A few weeks ago I produced a mature travel lifestyle photoshoot Mature Travel In The Pesky Sun.
Following on from this I decided to capture another travel shoot this time with a younger more upbeat concept.
My models Tristan & Robyn were in their early twenties and quickly built a great rapport. On all the shoots I do my aim is to not only get the brief nailed (and some) while making the production as fun as possible. This was especially true on this shoot, in fact, my pre-shoot chat was simply let’s have fun!
Tristan & Robyn built a great rapport very quickly and my job was made much easier as a result. This really underlines the importance of having the right models that not only look the part but have the right personalities.

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Mature Travel In The Pesky Sun

Mature Travel In The Pesky Sun

 

This mature travel lifestyle shoot was something I had planned for a while but my workload and that of Jerry and  Annabel my models seemed to hinder things.
My fab studio base at The Monks Yard was also a factor as the site was moving a short distance to a larger and even more beautiful location at Horton Manor.

The image assets I planned to create were to be composite images (backgrounds and the models captured separately) so ideally, I wanted to shoot in natural soft light and add the sunlight where I needed it with my own lighting for complete control.

I did say I didn’t want any rain but the fabulous sunlight we received on the shoot day was also unwanted (yep no pleasing me) so shade was required to get the lighting as I needed….but no problem.

Shooting images this way can solve many problems one being the costs and logistics for the client taking a large crew and models abroad for long shoots.
It’s not that I’m against jetting off and shooting models in situ I have shot this way for many years it’s simply about providing alternative solutions and getting the images the client needs.
I have to admit I do love the freedom shooting this way provides me with both creatively and being able to move quickly from location to location without the logistics of moving so many people.

Being in a beautiful country and heading out (often on my own) at dawn to capture backgrounds for a lifestyle concept I have is wonderful.
Capturing the model images to blend into the location images requires some pre-planning to match not only the lighting and perspective but several other factors too for the image to work seamlessly.
For this reason and the fact I enjoy the process, I always like to shoot all my own image elements needed but occasionally I have no choice as with the cruise ship images here to use stock shots.

Isn’t compositing cheating?

I do admit to having moved the bay of Bodrum and surrounding mountains a few feet for better composition in one image many years ago but then the image was a personal shot and not used to sell a visit to Turkey.
There’s definitely a responsibility to be truthful when shooting to sell a holiday location and you always have to consider that on every image created this way as it’s easy to seek perfection.
The locations you see here are as I captured them with nothing removed from the scene…honest!