Evening Light Over Afon Teifi
This week my diary looked a little quieter than the hectic previous 6 weeks or so but that soon changed within one brief phone call.
I was asked by a client if I could travel to West Wales for a couple of days to shoot two urgent jobs that needed completing ASAP.
This work was shooting two amazing holiday properties one on each day hence my overnight stay.
Pembrokeshire in West Wales is approximately 160 miles from my base in South Somerset and not an area I have visited since I was a teenager riding my Vespa Scooter.
I knew or remembered little about the area except it was a beautiful part of the world and a great photography location that I would have plenty of time between shoots to explore and capture some images.
After my first shoot was completed, I decided to explore the coast and take a few snaps of my discoveries and generally just chill and even have a paddle in the surprisingly warm Irish sea!
It’s always frustrating to discover an amazing scene in the middle of the day and know that 6 hours earlier or later the light would potentially be so much nicer.
So it was nice to explore a location knowing I was stopping locally and could return in a better light if something caught my eye.
It was a location in Cardigan where my hotel was located that I decided to shoot later that evening.
Cardigan a historic and picturesque town has a wonderful Grade II listed bridge over the river Afon Teifi that is difficult to ignore.
After a brief recee and chat with the locals I found what I thought would be a good viewpoint to capture the evening light that was to backlight and give great shape to the bridge.
I’ve mentioned before that I prefer the more compressed perspective of slightly longer lenses rather than using wide angled lenses.
In this image to get the width needed to show the scene with the perspective, I wanted from my 70mm lens I captured 9 final frames to build up both image width and height.
Actually it was 27 frames as I captured 3 bridged exposures to create an HDR that I blended to capture the wide dynamic range in the scene.
This has the added benefit of creating a super-resolution image not that I particularly needed that.
You can see a video sample of this on my retouching page.
Advertising Photography Shoot For Receipt Bank
Back at the end of November last year I was contacted by my client Receipt Bank and asked to look over a location-based advertising photography brief they needed shooting.
To give you a brief overview Receipt Bank produce an app that allows business owners to easily scan their receipts avoiding spending valuable time manually entering them into spreadsheets.
The brief was simply to capture three business owners at their places of work with the final images being printed on the walls in Receipt Bank’s London offices and potentially other media.
Having worked for many years with the Creative Director Stuart shooting Cars, Lifestyle and other Corporate work it’s fair to say we have a good understanding of one another.
This was one of the reasons the brief was pretty loose and we could adapt things slightly on the day as we felt fit.
This is not a bad thing when shooting on location which can often be a little unpredictable compared to the sanctuary of a studio but also because due to tight schedules we were unable to scout the locations personally beforehand.
1st Location Rowdens Chartered Accountants
All the locations were based around the Chichester area of Sussex which logistically made sense as we were looking to capture everything in one day.
The first stop was Rowdens Chartered Accountants where we were to Photograph Penny one of the directors of the company.
Lighting smallish areas with low ceilings like an office can be tricky especially if you’re a fussy bugger like myself!
Luckily Stuart knows this and allowed me time to adjust the lighting until I was happy.
My approach to lighting, especially in these situations, is to keep it simple and persevere.
The actual shoot was completed within around 10 minutes.
I don’t wish to keep people on set any longer than needed especially if capturing corporate work when people are sparing time in a busy schedule.
Another reason to work swiftly is sometimes I will get a person who is not fully comfortable in front of the camera which I add was not the case with Penny or anyone else we captured on the day.
2nd Location MJO Forestry Limited
The second location was at MJO Forestry Limited where we met proprietor Marc Odin and his wife.
MJO is a family run business who manage local West Sussex woodlands.
We decided to initially photograph Marc in the woods with one of his state of the art machines and this worked well.
However, upon returning to MJO’s yard we noticed an old rather dark wooden building which turned out to be the sawmill.
Both Stuart and I immediately decided this was too good a location not to shoot and this ultimately became out the second image.
This is another reason to remain flexible on Advertising / Commercial photoshoots as you never know when something better offers itself up.
3rd Location Whitby’s Photo-Video Limited
Our final shoot of the day was at Whitby’s who were another family-run business.
Whitby’s specialise in photographic printing and camera sales and we were going to have to shoot while their compact fully decked shop was open for business.
It was this point that I was glad that I had kept to my approach earlier of keeping the lighting simple as there so was no way I was going to be able to set up multiple lights here especially while the shop was open to customers.
We waited for a short time for a lull in footfall into the shop (they were pretty busy!) and we captured the images but not before Mark the owner closed a sale to Stuart for a camera for his kids!
Mark the proprietor was a real character and once again my job for the day was made very simple and fully enjoyable to complete.
Post-production was very straight forward although I did decide to very subtly re-colour some items in each image to match Receipt Banks brand colour of Orange.
I also decided to create a 2.5d Parallax video from one of the frames I captured of Marc in the Mill which can be found below.
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@example.com
Location Photography. As Time Passes By, The Charles Bridge Prague
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.
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.
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.
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.