Album Cover Shoot Day2

The second day of my album cover shoot was about getting a more relaxed feel to the images. As the singer I was shooting is predominantly a blues singer, I thought we would try and recreate an American run down Mid-West type feel…(if that makes sense). The difficulty came with trying to find somewhere that looked like the Mid-West… on the south coast of England. Eventually we found just the place, Newhaven Train Yard, a wonderful location with broken down wooden railway carriages, long wispy grass and haylofts (or so we tried to make them look). I wanted the images very moody and atmospheric but also quite relaxed and not too forced.

Image 1 was at the start of the day and we got a really nice look going on straight off the bat. I actually had a flash head off to the right which was also where the sun was coming up from. I wanted to work with the sun but slightly overpower it so the shadows would darken down around him and the daylight was not too strong against the carriage.

In post I wanted the images more contrasty, so before the images were processed I upped the contrast slightly. In post, I highlighted just the singer’s face and again added more contrast to bring it out and make it punchier.

I wanted a slight reference to the music, but not make it so obvious and forced, which you see a lot in music magazines (the obligatory guitar glued to the chest), having it down by his side and slightly obscured by the grass was a more subtle choice and something you don’t pick up straight away).

Image 1.

Image 1

The second shot we used was a stripped down version, no suit jacket, just a nice white shirt, I wanted it more relaxed and contemplative, a caught moment as opposed to a staged shot (which of course it was). This was shot using just daylight, the sun was behind the “hay loft” so it meant there was plenty of ambient light around and it was quite soft too which was important for the image.

The post work was much the same as it was above, more contrast to the image as a whole and then I selected just the face and added more contrast to it. I also wanted to bring out the stubble slightly so I dodged the white bristles and burned the black ones, a similar trick I use for my landscapes. Overall, I was very pleased with them and more importantly so was my client….(which is really the only thing that matters in photography!).

Image 2.

Image 2

Album Cover Shoot

I was asked by a local singer/songwriter if i could take some shots for his forthcoming album.. obviously I said yes! When constructing the ideas in my head I wanted some atmosphere to the shoot, positivity and generally a bit of mood and movement. The location was in a forest out towards crawley, east sussex and I wanted the images quite warm and with a sunset feel. I used my Bowens Pioneer portable flash, some pocket wizards and my trusty 5DMK2 with a 70-200 mm lens on. I chose this lens as I wanted to shoot on maximum focal length on a shallow depth of field to blow out the background. I got the artist in position and away we went…. I added some warmth to the image by raising the colour temperature of the photo to accentuate the sunset look, upped the contrast and really very little else was done, there were other images in the edit but I felt this was the most natural and in accordance with my initial brief, I felt it met the brief perfectly, there was a bit of motion blur, but I actually preferred that, it gave it a relaxed and non set-up/staged feel.

 

Hope you like it.. enjoy!

 

Album Cover

I was asked by a local singer/songwriter if i could take some shots for his forthcoming album.. obviously I said yes! When constructing the ideas in my head I wanted some atmosphere to the shoot, positivity and generally a bit of mood and movement. The location was in a forest out towards crawley, east sussex and I wanted the images quite warm and with a sunset feel. I used my Bowens Pioneer portable flash, some pocket wizards and my trusty 5DMK2 with a 70-200 mm lens on. I chose this lens as I wanted to shoot on maximum focal length on a shallow depth of field to blow out the background. I got the artist in position and away we went…. I added some warmth to the image by raising the colour temperature of the photo to accentuate the sunset look, upped the contrast and really very little else was done, there were other images in the edit but I felt this was the most natural and in accordance with my initial brief, I felt it met the brief perfectly, there was a bit of motion blur, but I actually preferred that, it gave it a relaxed and non set-up/staged feel.

 

Hope you like it.. enjoy!

 

Album Cover

Landscapes for St Katharine’s Dock

A regular client of mine asked me to get involved on the photography side of things for the recently bought St Katharine’s Dock which sits hidden in the shadow of Tower bridge and a near stones throw from the new Shard building as well as other iconic buildings like the Gherkin. It is a real hidden gem of a place as it really feels tucked out of the way from the hustle of London. The task was to shoot landscapes of the dock at various times of the day, but preferably when the sun was shining and the sky was at its bluest, nobody likes a dreary grey London!

One of the biggest challenges with shooting buildings and water together is often that the reflections are at least 2 stops darker than the buildings being reflected… This throws up a few problems and a number of subsequent solutions can be utilised..

1. You can either bracket your images, taking the best above ground exposure and the best below ground exposure and marrying then up, this can be tricky as it means a lot of post production and sometimes just not feasible if there isn’t a clean horizon line which, in my case there wasn’t.

OR

2. You can use Graduated ND (Neutral Density) filters. This for me was the best solution, it meant i could darken down the top half  and make it look both natural and it would all be done in camera (the less post the better, the problem with digital photography compared to film is over reliance on Photoshop).

This was how i proceeded with the landscapes, using a variety of grades of filter (ND Grad 0.6 and a ND Grad 0.3 and sometimes a combination of the two) a camera cloth to throw over the camera to assess exposures, which can be tricky in bright sunlight, a firm tripod and a cable release).

Below is one of the images… enjoy.St Katharine's Dock Landscape ecample

A shoot for SAB Miller…

SAB Miller are one of the worlds biggest breweries and make some damn tasty lager too… I was asked by them to go out and take informal group portraits of certain divisions of their brewery around the world. This normally wouldn’t be such a logistical problem here in England, but the shoot was in Switzerland and once you are out there you better be sure you have all the relevant kit as the photographic community is not that vast out at Lake Luzern should something go wrong…. thankfully, it didn’t.

I wanted to get away from the staged and rather wooden group shots that can be done too often and make them more personable, friendly and relaxed, no mean feat when you are shooting people who are not used to being in front of the camera. The shoot was in a very nice bar in a very posh hotel and I wanted to portray a sense of enjoyment in the images, basically, give them a beer (one of their own brands of course, Peroni) and let them chat and have fun and interact with each other. The front light was a high diffused flash to give a nice even spread and then balancing that with the ambient bar lighting yet maintaining a quick enough shutter speed as not to get any movement…a few phrases that were used on the shoot were, “if you are going to laugh, can you laugh slower please and more towards the camera…”.

The HR Division of SAB MillerThe end result was great and I got a good series of images, which hopefully captured the group in a positive, fun and energetic light. Enjoy….

A shoot for the Daily Mail..

I have been Working for the Daily Mail in one capacity or another for the past few years and they always throw up a different challenge each time which is good as it keeps you on your toes. This shoot was a “real life” feature so I had to light a lady in the most flattering way possible yet put a bit of colour into the images. Red and Grey always go well together so the “model” was put in a nice figure hugging red dress, all that was left was to light it nicely. The spot effect to the rear was created using two elinchrom 600 heads, one on each side, with a dish and medium spot diffuser grid i

Daily Mail Shoot.

n, a bit of tweaking to centralise the spot was done and that was the backlighting sorted. The front lighting was a bit trickier, she was lit from above with a boom arm and a beauty dish with a slight gold insert and a soft cover over the dish, this gave a warm soft light (a healthy glow so to speak). The bottom light was a small soft box on a spider stand which just meant that there were no harsh shadows under the chin and eyes which isn’t that flattering for a female subject, it also put some light on the body and legs so the fall off from the beauty dish was not too harsh and was graduated. The sides had two black polyboards which cast a slight black shadow on her sides which helps to helped to slim her down. The rest was just posing to get a flattering look for her, hope you like the results, i thought she looked great in the end,,