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Somerset Photographer Capturing Summer On The Moor

Somerset Photographer Capturing Summer On The Moor

Sometimes I have an idea and before I know it I’ve captured all the images required and I’m sat in front of the computer bringing it to life.
Others, however, can sometimes sit around in my head for months or at best sketched out in Photoshop, this image is a little of both those.
As a Somerset Photographer over the years, I have been capturing people and animals for a personal project “Life In A Somerset Landscape“.
It had been a while since I had added to the work and I really wanted to capture Burrow Hill which is a situated close to Hambridge in South Somerset for part of the project.
I remember seeing Burrow Hill for the first time one summer’s day, a quaint small hill with a single tree on top complete with an idyllic rustic swing attached to one of its branches.
It felt slightly surreal like I had stepped into a Jack & Jill Ladybird book!

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Lifestyle Photography Shoot, A Black Sheet And A Shaded Barn, Capturing Jock The Diver

Lifestyle Photography Shoot, A Black Sheet And A Shaded Barn, Capturing Jock The Diver

Inspiration for creating lifestyle images can appear when you are least expecting it.
A year or so ago I was snapping pictures, my kids, while they were exploring rock pools on a small Cornish beach.
I was pretty engrossed with capturing the best shots I could on my iPhone while not dropping it into the water again (yes I destroyed the last one this way) when suddenly a dark dressed figure appeared between the rocks heading for the water.

The guy was all geared up in a wetsuit but not for surfing for diving complete with tanks and spearfish and I remember thinking what a great image this could make amongst the towering rocks.
A year or so on we revisited the area and I decided to return to the beach to capture it and create the image that had inspired me.

Capturing the background was pretty uneventful and my hopes that there might be an amazing coincidence and the diver might turn up faded along with the beautiful light.
No matter, part of the fun creating composite images is tracking down people to photograph so I hit the web and contacted several local Diving clubs and shops seeking a suitable willing model.

I eventually got chatting to Mike “Jock” Stewart who teaches people to dive not far from my studio base. After chatting for a while he explained to me I may not want to use him as he was 66 years old and retired !… I explained even without having met him that he would probably be perfect.

Yes, I could have hired the kit and got a young attractive model but as a lifestyle photographer of many years, I want to shoot a mixture of work besides how much more interesting to have someone passionate about their sport with years of experience and many tales to tell.
A time was arranged to shoot the next day and I set off to get a few things needed like a bag of sand to help add the small details needed to complete the composite.
Like with all composite images there are several things that need careful thought before shooting like perspective, the colour of the surroundings, focus and of course matching the quality and direction of light.

At this point, I should show you an impressive shot of the interior of our beautiful old Hamstone Barn stuffed with lighting and grips..but in reality, a black sheet from Asda and the open shade of a disused farm barn was all that was needed to blend and match the lighting to the background scene.
Not all that impressive I agree but I knew this would give the best result, after all why try and recreate daylight in the studio when with a little manipulation you can have the real thing.

 

 

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Diver-sat-on-rock

 

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The shoot went like clockwork and Jock was a pleasure to work with and quite happy to have water, oil and sand thrown over him!
The 3 completed images came together seamlessly in post-production partly due to some careful pre-planning and plenty of image retouching knowledge.

 

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Diver

 

 

Photo Retouching Contentment, Bribing Children & Blending The Soul Of A Place

Photo Retouching Contentment, Bribing Children & Blending The Soul Of A Place

As well as being an advertising photographer I also offer high-end photo retouching services.

This means even when not working on an assignment I will often challenge to myself that even on a family holiday I return with at least one killer image that represents the place and my experience of it.
There was a time in my younger years where I would never relax when away and I’d be running around every day at dawn and dusk shooting like a man possessed.
Over the years my way of working has changed (to the relief of the wife) and I often feel the need of a more challenging and unique way of creating that requires a little more of a planned approach.

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This image (well some of it) was shot on the Costa Del Sol in Spain during one such family holiday. I had been out with my camera a few times during the week but mainly scouting for inspiration for the killer image.
Was struck me about the area was the amount of people out at both morning and night walking their dogs, running, cycling or on rollerblades simply enjoying the beautiful coast and its climate.
The coast was dotted with these striking looking lifeguard towers and clusters of exotic looking Palm trees along the beach that provided shade and a perch for the large colony of Parakeets.
Inspiration was gained and I decided I would venture out at daybreak later that week and capture some of these elements and create the image below titled Contentment.
The model is my youngest and cheapest child to bribe for a shoot Ava with my neighbours very photogenic dog Barney who were both captured upon my return home.

Contentment

It’s hard to believe that only a few weeks ago I was with the family sunning ourselves in 24 degrees in sunny Spain.Although a family holiday I as always took along my cameras,tripod etc and ventured out several times at dawn during the week to capture some images that represented the location as I was experiencing it. The Costa Del Sol is a lovely area of Spain with beautiful beaches and people out enjoying the warm climate either cycling or running often with their dogs in tow.The image I created below shows the beach,palm trees and one of the several lifeguard towers that occupy the beaches. The final element was to photograph the lifestyle image upon my return to the UK which completes the outdoor family lifestyle of the Costa’s.The final image shown here ended up combining 11 separate images and retains details as fine as dog hairs which is always a time consuming but hugely important element in all of the work I create.

 

M.Y. Lifestyle

A couple of weeks ago I was asked by my good friends at The Monks Yard where our studios are based if I could update imagery for their business facilities & onsite cafe.

With a date arranged I got on the phone to Katie a model I have worked with many times over the years and who I knew would be perfect for the shoot.

As far as the imagery was concerned I came up with several ideas and it was planned that the day would consist of 3 Lifestyle images set in the Cafe followed by approximately 600 plus stills which would be used as part of a Stop Motion video promoting other parts of the business.

Here is the first of the finished stills from the Cafe shoot.

Professional Photo Retouching Creation Of “Waiting”

Professional Photo Retouching Creation Of “Waiting”

One of the benefits of Professional Photo Retouching is that when time permits personal work unlike commercial assignments have no deadline to adhere to so can pick up the project when inspiration takes you.
This particular photo retouching project was an alternative set up from a personal shoot I did a while back with the final image being titled “Chiron Of Thessaly

I never used the alternative image here until now probably because I did not have the urgency too or more likely simply had not been inspired by the correct environment for it.
This all changed while in the Algarve last year when I captured these wonderful porous cliffs at dusk and for some reason felt they would be a perfect partner for the rear shot of the Centaur.

Some images are highly planned down to the finest details while others simply come together and just work like they have when the time is right.

The background image was captured on the coast of the Algarve Portugal

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Image Retouching Composite Image Of Centaur

 

Knorr Garde d’Or

Towards the end of last year we where commissioned to shoot a job in Rotterdam for Bristol Agency Flourish

The brief was to photograph a chef at a hotel on the outskits of Rotterdam for a campaign for Unilever’s Knorr’s Garde d’Or range of products for adverts around Europe.

Time on set was rather tight but I’m pleased to say everything went very smoothly and hats off to Flourish for a very well organised production allowing us to simply concentrate on capturing the best image possible.

 

 

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“Rubus” King Of The Moor

You might remember Rubus from a previous post I made about the fun shooting him for a campaign last year.

This particular image is an outtake from the same shoot which was not used so I decided to have some fun and place Rubus into a landscape fitting of his stature.

Joyful Memories At The Beach

I’ve lived by the coast pretty much all my life and as a result it has featured in much of my work over the years and still inspires me to create new work.
This beach scene was captured during a visit to the Algarve in Portugal last October with the model being captured last week at the beach in the south west.

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