Portrait shoot at a craft vodka distillery in Brooklyn, NY

I recently shot a portrait session at a craft vodka distillery in Brooklyn, New York. It was for my agency (Image Source). Having not scouted the location beforehand it was a case of turning up and thinking fast on my feet as time was limited. However, the location itself was excellent. It had lots of natural light and lots of scientific looking instruments that would add interest to the shots.. (as well as the obligatory bottles of vodka).

I shot these with fairly slow exposures and a a wide open aperture giving bright and clean feel (around 1/15 sec and around f2). I shot them on a tripod with some new lenses i just picked up, a 21mm carl zeiss distagon and a 35mm carl zeiss distagon lens, both have proven to be amazingly sharp at even low apertures. i used a small flash head as a front light and two daylight balanced continuous lighting heads (make unknown) for some fill light to soften the harsh flash.

The main string of shots took place in the lab itself but a few were in the workshop. I loved the juxtaposition between a clean, refined final product and a room full of drills, lathes, tools and welding apparatus. I did a few tweaks in post to clean the images up and gave them a desaturated feel but apart from that it was all shot as is, in-camera.

enjoy and please feel free to comment

Images Copyright of Jesper Mattias Photography

Images Copyright of Jesper Mattias Photography

Images Copyright of Jesper Mattias Photography 2015

Images Copyright of Jesper Mattias Photography 2015

Images Copyright of Jesper Mattias Photography 2015

Images Copyright of Jesper Mattias Photography 2015

Images Copyright of Jesper Mattias Photography 2015

Images Copyright of Jesper Mattias Photography 2015

Images Copyright of Jesper Mattias Photography 2015

Images Copyright of Jesper Mattias Photography 2015

Group Shot of Board members of Pentair – USA

I was asked to shoot the members of a board of a company called Pentair. They are a very large multinational US firm who deal with many different areas, oil, construction etc. They were in the uk and I had a fifteen minute window in which to shoot them for a group shot. Now, there were eleven of them and this is too many to shoot in one go on a white 9ft colorama (side by side anyway). I decided to break the group up and shoot them in four sections and fit them together in post. In order to do this you have to mock up what the final image will look like in your head so it will look seamless. It’s easy shooting four small groups but sticking them together so it looks like they were all shot in one go is quite tricky. Lighting wise; I had two large boom arms with my elinchrom heads with silver brollies above camera and angled sown slightly with a head on the floor with a softbox attached to act as a fill light to clear away any unwanted shadows etc. The colorama was lit cleanly so they could be cut out at later stage with relative ease. I did my usual tweaks in post and gave them the contrasty and de-saturated look i do to most of my work. The result was great and the client was happy. Pleas feel free to comment!PENTAIR-GROUP-LowRes

Julia Bradbury for Fitbit 2014

I was asked to Shoot Julia Bradbury for Fitbit this year. Fitbit are the worlds leader on fitness tracker bands so Julia fitted the bill as the face of the brand as she is outdoorsy and i think wears one of these bands anyway.. handy! The shoot was in Richmond Park and i had the intention of overcomplicating things by lugging round my profoto and using that but in the end a reflector and available light did the trick. I love the tones to the images, very pastel like and soft which works well and makes julia and the coloured bracelets pop off the page. I have attached a selection of a few of the final ones (screen grabbed for Low Res). Hope you like them, any questions then please feel free to leave a comment. Enjoy!

Julia 1 - Fitbit Copyright Jesper Mattias 2014

Julia 1 – Fitbit Copyright Jesper Mattias 2014

 

Julia 3 - Fitbit Copyright Jesper Mattias 2014

Julia 3 – Fitbit Copyright Jesper Mattias 2014

Julia 2 - Fitbit Copyright Jesper Mattias 2014

Julia 2 – Fitbit Copyright Jesper Mattias 2014

My Portrait of Helen McGinn, author and wine critic @knackeredmutha

Portrait of Helen McGinn - follow her here @knackeredmutha - all images copyright of jesper mattias 2014

Portrait of Helen McGinn – follow her here @knackeredmutha –
all images copyright of jesper mattias 2014

I was asked to shoot a portrait of Helen McGinn for a wine feature she was running. The shoot happened at her house and we decided to do it outside. The idea for me was to make it as bright and colourful and upbeat as possible, as it was quite a flat day we had too wait patiently for a break in the clouds. I wanted to use flash lighting (profoto) as to clean the face up and help balance the daylight in the background with the scrimmed foreground (Helen). So i set up a scrim camera right which diffused the sunlight and therefore allowed me to put a slight amount of flash in, (about half a stop below the background) as i wanted that brighter and therefore emphasising the little sun we had. I think the mottle light behind works really well, it lifts her off the image and adds great depth and a bit of interest to the background.

Hope you like it. Feel free to leave comments folks. …

ALL IMAGES COPYRIGHT JEPSER MATTIAS 2014

Still to advertise BAFTA winning Operation Ouch World War 1 Special for CBBC and Maverick TV

Operation Ouch - Copyright Jesper Mattias 2014

Operation Ouch – Copyright Jesper Mattias 2014

I was commissioned to shoot the stills to advertise this one off special to coincide with the centenary of WW1. The image was shot in a cattle shed and we propped it up to look like a bunker. Three heads were used here, a snoot on the right with a grid insert to highlight the satchel and lantern. Another gridded dish on the left to highlight the maps and a soft box with an egg crate inert for the front light. I was conscious of the light flying everywhere in such a small space and it needed to be controlled hence using grids on all the lights. This also gave a really sharp fall off of flight which is what i wanted as it was going to be quite a contrasty image. Not too much post done to this, pretty much as shot in camera. Had to wait nearly a year to write this blog post as the show has only just come out. Hope you like the image, i think it worked really well. enjoy

 

Emmerdale’s Barton Brothers for Inside soap Magazine – Jesper Mattias © 2014

A few weeks ago I was commissioned to shoot the four brothers on the British Soap Emmerdale for Inside Soap magazine. The Brief was to get some moody portraits and make them look as good as possible!! The picture editor and myself thought a nice grey background would work and apart form that the only proviso was to keep the lighting constant and get them looking as brooding as possible for the singles and a nice fun group shot of them together. Lighting Wise for the singles I had a play around and initially was going to use a gridded soft boxy at 45 degrees to the side bout the light that was coming out was too harsh and you were losing detail in the shadow areas where you really still wanted some light, so I used a normal soft box and hit them with a Key light (clip light) from behind to just lift the face from the background. A bare head for this rear light was too much so I attached some trace to the front to soften it ever so slightly. The background was lit with a few heads with barn door attachments on them and I tried not to light it too evenly but to have some fall off at the bottom to create mood. I did use a few polyboards which were brought in closer to lighten or darken the face which sometimes is all it takes to get it just right.

The Singles:

 

Bill Ward - emmerdale

Bill Ward – emmerdale

 

 

Michael Parr - Emmerdale

Michael Parr – Emmerdale

JMP_7522JMphotography copy copy JMP_7302JMphotography copy JMP_7557JMphotography copy copy

 

 

The Group Shot was lit more evenly. I used a large silver umbrella on a large boom above and angles slightly down and a small soft box on the floor a bit further away from them to just keep the fall off of light from the brolly from going too black, again, to have some mood but to still have detail in the shadows. Then it was a case of having some fun, which all four of them did. The post was fairly limited as I got most of it in camera (as you should always try and do!) I tweaked a few things here and there but that’s my technique and I won’t be sharing it here 😉

The Group Shot

 

The Barton Brothers - Emmerdale

The Barton Brothers – Emmerdale

A really great shoot for a lovely client. Hope you like the images and feel free to comment if you so wish.

 

My Review of the HTC one Camera and image functions

A zoetrope is a device that produces the illusion of motion from a rapid succession of static pictures. The term zoetrope is from the Greek words ζωή zoe, “life” and τρόπος tropos, “turn”. It may be taken to mean “wheel of life”

and much like the spin of this old fashioned forerunner to cinema, it was only composed of a few frames, yet it breathed life into what were in essence static imagery. Much like this old victorian invention the HTC Ones Zoe function utilizes the same principle, yet with 21st century technology.

The new HTC One phone comes with a multitude of in camera features, you may have seen them on other models and makes enabling you to distort pictures with wave and whirlpool effects, give a variety of colored filters, from lovely desaturated

effects to sepia and black and white images, showing you how the photo will look ‘In-House’ so to speak. This is of course is not a new invention, similar features exist on many of the other top Android and Apple phones, but where HTC have cornered the market is the brilliant way you can change, alter, improve, tweak, poke, squeeze, remove and generally be a creative devil with the photos you take. It works like this…

The Phone’s Zoe function takes a 3 second film and within that has five still images,  and it is from this selection that you can pick and choose, improve and alter your photo so you get that perfect shot every time as well as letting you do multiple exposures and HDR which up until now you could only Do with a high end computer running the latest Adobe Creative Suite  software. Let the tinkering commence!

Smile Please!

Grumpy subjects are the bane of my life… and no matter how many times you tell them to smile they won’t.. well., not when the camera is pointed their way.. however, this sneaky Zoe function starts its 3 second recording before you have even hit the capture button, GOTCHA!. so by simply selecting their face you can push the slider up and down until that illusive smile magically appears.

Before

Before

After

After

As you can see, my non plussed wife is now looking resplendent, however the old adage of never working with children is true as ever. I did swipe backwards and forwards to se if i had captured an illusive smile but it wasn’t to be. A really nice feature and i can see if you were out with friends and time was short or indeed you only had a few seconds to pose having this feature could help make your photos even more perfect and turn the most sullen faced of friends and make them smile with everyone else in the group.. providing they smile for a limited time so Zoe can capture it.

More powder please!

Shooting with celebrities or even regular boys and girls, one thing they all have in common is once they are put under hot studio lights, a bit of pressure to perform or even if you are shooting outside on a summers day, they will all sweat which leaves the face wet which can result in bleached out skin tones as the light bounces off the surface and leaves bleached out (photographic term for not nice looking skin). Ordinarily in an instance like this you would call the Make-Up artist over and after a few expertly applied strokes from the powder brush, the harmonious balance of light and dry skin would once again be restored.

This is not something most people have if they whip out their phone to take a quick snap of friends… and the cries from the females within the group the moment it goes on facebook or twitter is “ I look all sweaty, don’t you dare post that photo!!”

What the HTC does is give a little bit of professional make up artistry to your fingertips. Again, taking the example of my wife and child from the before and after you can see the change and really does do a great job in smoothing out those blown out skin tones and smoothing out the skin.

After

After

Before

Before

The results are surprisingly good. The skin does have a much better look, its more flattering and gives an impression that the face may have had a bit of powder applied (or a touch of photoshop work done), either way it takes mere seconds and the results are really effective.

Please stand still.. or not..

Multiple exposure function

Multiple exposure function

Zoe has the ability to allow you to shoot multiple exposures. The same principal applies, you select the best frames and compress the shots to give that sense of motion and action.

This could work with anything, sporting fixtures like tennis, motor racing, golf.. basically any sport that involves relatively fast paced movement within the frame. This is probably my favorite feature as a photographer, when i was a student many years ago, multiple exposures on a film camera was always something i enjoyed but was quite tricky as you had to dive the exposure by the number of intended frames and hope the overall exposure worked compositionally. You have a choice of how many frames you want to use, so you can just use two or use all the frames given, which is five.

Object removal

Taking out objects in shots is something that professional photographers like myself do day in and day out, from everything form landscapes, to beauty to portraits to still life. Using my son as an example of how this camera will be used in everyday life you can see by just a push of a button he is been removed from the scene. by using the 3 seconds of footage and the stills where he isn’t in that location it has seamlessly dropped the background over him and hey presto a tranquil scene is restored!

Before

Before

After

After

There are other cool Zoe functions like eye widening, (perfect for a sunny day if your subjects are squinting slightly. There is eye brightening, which is a great function, it allows you to lighten the eye which without flash or a bit of fill in light can sometimes have shadows and after all, the eyes are the gateway to the soul so you want to be able to see them.

Summary

The Camera on the HTC one produces images that are roughly 3.5mb compressed and once opened up in Photoshop you are looking at about 11mb files. For a phone this is ample quality! ti would allow you to get a pretty good A4 sized print, its not magazine quality by any stretch but for a phone it really isnt about the top line quality of the camera but more about the amazingly diverse and innovative functions it offers for keen photographers who may not want to bring their DSLR’s out and then spend hours in photoshop altering the images. Its a camera for the tech savvy generation, those who want to produce fun results quickly and effectively and allow them to upload it and share it with friends straight away.