Tower Bridge and the Shard building, London

I was shooting for a client a few months ago and wanted to capture the new Shard building as well as Tower Bridge. I knew I would need my tripod (I never take a landscape without a tripod) and possibly a few Graduated ND filters. I wanted the lights of the city to come on so I had to wait…..

An hour and a half later, the lights came on, it got a lot colder and i was just at the right moment where the blue of the sky was dark enough that it would still come through after a long exposure. I wanted the Thames to turn to mist and the lights of the cars to streak over the bridge. It turned out to be about a 2 minute exposure, which i think worked fine.I Also used a ND8 filter to cut the light down.

It was also one of those rare images for me that did not require hardly any post work to it. Usually I prefer to capture it all in camera, that goes for my portrait work too, photographers have become too reliant on CS5 and forgotten that you can (with enough knowledge and patience) get it right in camera. Not sure what I will do this image yet, one for the wall and possibly one for my agency, hope you like it!

Sorry for the copyright writing.. hope it doesn’t detract from the image..Tower Bridge and the Shard

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….

#Landscapes 2

Whenever I shoot a landscape that I think will look better in black and white than colour (which happens a lot), I always shoot it in colour first. I find when converting a colour image to black and white and then adjusting the black and white in the… image-> adjustments ->black and white, this gives you so much control over the former colour in the photograph, by being able to adjust the reds, greens, yellows for example which affect only certain areas of the image by lightening and darkening them. This can lead to amazing control over the image and gives the image a much more visceral appearence. It is hard to go to somewhere like Yosemite and not come back with a load of images that resemble Ansel Adams so all you can do is find something interesting and wait for the light to be just right. This image (Americana 15), was all about the reflection, but it is one of those image that takes a while to work out what exactly is going on. No wonder he spent his whole life in the Sierra Nevadas, if i had the chance i probably would too.

Americana 15

When the weather is wrong it’s actually right…

Brighton Pier

Brighton Pier

For me, I love taking landscapes in unusual weather conditions. Living by the sea means that we get a lot of sea frets. One minute its sunny the next you can’t see more than 50 feet… perfect time to take out your camera. I have been wanting a shot of the pier for a few years, but didn’t want the cliched sunset photos, or starlings swarming over the roof and I had been waiting for this fret for a while. I went down to the front with my tripod and camera a this shot was amongst the first i took. There were a few people about on the pier and seagulls in the sea, but i removed all signs of life, I just thought it was more in keeping with the fogs surrounding it, ghostly and deserted. But all in all, it was pretty much as is. One of my favourite landscapes I’ve taken and a good memento from my time living in Brighton.