Nocturnal Beach & Bangin Tunes ! Ibiza

Over the last few years it’s become an annual habit to take a late October holiday with the family to try and catch a last bit of sun before winter.
I have to admit I have grown to love the Balearic Islands with Ibiza being probably my favorite of the islands.

Cafe, Ibiza Spain
Another thing I have loved for many years despite probably being too old to be admitting it here is Trance music though I tend to enjoy listening to it on my iPhone or in my car rather than in any clubs (definitely too old for that !)
While scouting the island I had spotted this beach side Cafe and decided that one evening I would go set the camera up sit and enjoy the fading light while listening to some music.
The fading light (The Edge Of Darkness as I call it) was simply beautiful and provided me with a very magical evening doing what I love while listening to some bangin tunes …must remember not to embarrass the kids !!

Swans Splashes & A Somerset School

A couple of weeks before Christmas I had a call from an agency called Ice House Design based in Bath.
They had a job for a client that was a private school called Kings Bruton School here in Somerset.
They needed a very particular image creating of a Swan taking off over water to fulfil use in several publications they where planning.
I was especially excited about this brief as I have been working on a personal project titled “Life In A Somerset Landscape” for nearly a year. The project involves photographing (and compositing) well known Somerset Landscapes with both people and animals within them so this job was a good fit for me on the back of this.


Some of the best creatives I have worked with are the ones that give you a brief but allow enough room for me to interpret it and go that little bit further with it.
Jack Owen the Creative Director at Ice House was one such creative, he provided a fairly tight brief but one that we both collaborated on and pushed further.
After several discussions and a few ideas thrown around we set off to start work on the project.
The first job was to find some suitable water to capture.I had several location in mind and most where on the Somerset Levels but my first location which was a local reservoir turned out to be perfect so much so in fact that the background was also used from the same images and not stripped in as I expected it would be.


My only problem at the location was the wildlife which insisted hanging around the camera despite me attempting to scare them off (the wildlife are pretty hard down ere in Zummerset ! ). I also had a Robin who kept pestering me wherever I walked or turned and by the end of the shoot I felt a little like Evan Almighty !

Back at the studio I decided to strip two images together to create the slightly wide background required from two frames I shot using a longish lens which had helped to create a nice soft perspective.

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Next I found a lovely sky in my archives that lent itself to the mood we wanted and promptly added this into the scene.

Bruton where the school is based has a lovely old Dovecote on a hill that we agreed would be a nice subtle addition to add to the scene.The plan was to go and shoot this in suitable weather but unfortunately the weather was not on our side so a stock image was sourced and then retouched for our needs.
Another element that I reluctantly had to source from a stock library was the Swan.This was partly down to the tight deadline and also the fact the image needed was quite particular.
It was extremely important that we sourced the correct image of a Swan taking off and that the lighting was a good match for our background.
The main problem I had after scouring through tons of images was that those that where a good match where often of poor technical quality but eventually we found a near perfect image.
The balance of the post production was to add the swan and most important of all perfecting the splashes in the water which where a vital element in the brief.

After a couple of minor adjustments the agency delivered the proof to the client whom I’m told where overjoyed by the finished image.My hat goes off to Ice House for a great brief and some beautiful design work and also to Kings Bruton the client for doing something quite brave and removed from their normal photography requirements.

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Graphic Design. Ice House Design, Bath ‚Äď Graphic Design + Branding

Photography & Post Production Simon Plant

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Wandering Paris By Starlight

Sounds kinda exotic doesn’t it..”Wandering Paris By Strarlight” well actually the fact I found myself wandering Paris in the early hours was a slight cock up.
It was 2007 and I had been shortlisted for a very large car shoot for an agency in Paris and my agent called to say I needed to fly over to meet the creatives at the agency.I decided that after my meeting I would stay on an extra day to shoot some personal work to make the most of trip.
I’ve visited Paris before so had images of the city but this was many years previous when I was still very green behind the gills and as I mentioned in an earlier post your vision and tastes change with time.
So I planned my itinerary together with sunrise & sunset times so that I could maximize my precious short time and the best light.The problem arouse when I planned to shoot the Eiffel Tower (which was only a 10 min walk from the hotel) at pre dawn.Somehow my phone alarm got confused (or was it me!) and I ended getting up 3 hrs before sunrise and found myself walking the damp cold streets before I had noticed the error.
As it happens Paris and especially the Eiffel Tower look rather stunning under starlight and of course it has the added bonus that at this time of morning/night it also lacks the crowds of Grockels (Tourists) as we call them down ere in Zummerzet !.

Images Available As Prints In Our Gallery

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Kayaking In Kynance

August is notorious for being quiet for business due to the summer holidays and the photography industry is not an exception.
With this in mind I decided to catch up on some new personal work that I had been planning and to also produce a short video for some promotions that we have planned.
This image is of a good friend of mine Dean who is also the manager at The Monks Yard where our studio is based.
Dean is a keen Sea Kayaker and when not working hard at Monks Yard (gotta say that!) he is often found off the Dorset coast fishing in his Kayak.
I had several images in my archives that I thought would make great environments to use in this portrait and eventually I decided upon one of Kynance Cove in Cornwall, I know not quite Dorset but hey it’s my image so I get creative license ūüôā

The image took approx 5-6 hours to retouch and ended up being quite a monster PSD file.
The promotional video below shows a brief overview of the shoot and the post production.

 

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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.

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

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.

 

A stunning photography location the Gumbet Windmills

A stunning photography location, the Gumbet Windmills

I travel to Turkey quite a lot and I’m fortunate to have a home there from which to explore the many areas of historical interest and is a fabulous¬†photography location.

On this particular trip, I left my friends to enjoy an evening meal together and borrowed my Turkish friend’s car to travel & capture the Windmills in the beautiful evening light.
The Windmills are located on a headland high above the bays of Gumbet and Bodrum and give a wonderful view over the sea and mountains.¬†I’d been told about this location many times by Turkish friends but unfortunately, on arrival, I found it a little disappointing compared to the vision that I had built up in my mind.

I decided that seeing I was not being commissioned to capture scenery photography and to shoot a faithful representation of the place that I would stay true to my own vision (as I often do) of this beautiful location by moving a few elements around and clean the place up a little with some highend retouching.


My main disappointment at the location was the fact that the stunning view behind the windmills was not clearly visible so I decided to rectify this by raising the sea & mountains.
This was accomplished by capturing the precise images I needed than in post cleaning out a couple of the more derelict windmills so that the view could be seen behind.
This image was also made into an¬†image retouching training Video called “Moving Mountains”

 

 

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Turkey 2009 Images for Prophotoinsights Video Training, View from Peninsular between Gumbet & Bodrum where windmills are located.