A bit of a fun portrait using studio strobes and gelled lighting.
Where is your studio? Maybe some fancy building with lots of lights and modifiers to hand or maybe some top floor penthouse apartment? My studio for this shot was in a skittle alley of a Bristol pub! You see, my view is that your studio can be anywhere you want it to be and sometimes you just need a small space where you can set up a couple of speedlights and a reflector, oh, and a seamless paper backdrop. This lady is actually a very good makeup artist and I wanted to get a shot that told a story about her and the beauty is that I didn’t need to hire an expensive studio to achieve my shot. Expensive studios are very nice with their expensive lights and everything to hand and if you are taking quality shots for quality clients day in, day out then yes, you will probably need that space. But, for hobbyists and part time photographers a purpose build studio is not the only option!
This photo is from a themed shoot with model Helen Morgan Rogers and Mad Hatter Makeup Artist. It was taken in a wooded area at around midday so I had to get a bit creative with the lighting. Two speedlights and a shoot through umbrella were used to create this shot. Makeup was done on location and we had a few bemused looks as we walked a short distance to a clearing, complete with pumpkins, wands and other witch articals to where the shoot took place. The wood is very popular with plenty of trails and cycle routs and at one point there were some very excited children telling their mum that there was a real witch in the woods!The shoot was great fun and a huge thank you to Helen and Mad Hatter Makeup.
It’s that time of the year again when the ghouls and ghosts are about! This shot is from a Horror/Halloween themed shoot that I did in a local wood. There were a few funny looks from passers buy and some genuine interest in what we were doing. It was great fun working with a couple of models and a makeup artist and by the way the axe is real, but don’t worry, no models, MUA’s or photographers were harmed in the making of this photo! Having a collaboration with a few people is a great way to get some shots, throw ideas around and have a lot of fun. I take my hat off to the models for braving the latex, fake blood and whatever was hiding under those leaves!
Another photo from the 1940’s shoot, I was trying to capture that time when the troops had a visit from a glamorous star such as Marilyn Monroe. As this was an open event it wasn’t easy to try and capture the scenes but it was a lot of fun trying. The two soldiers had bought their world war ll collection of memorabilia which included armoured cars that has been restored to their former glory.
This is a photo taken at Avon Valley Railway’s 1940’s event. This is an annual event where a lot of people put time and effort to set up the railway station to look like a scene from the 1940’s during the war. all of the people who dress up in costume are really friendly and very interesting to talk to. They are more than happy to pose for photos and will give you a good insight into the trucks and equipment of that era, it is well worth a visit.
I was asked to review two photograph products from www.zor.com, based in Belgium. The products that I am reviewing are one 20 x 30 cm Zor – Alu, an aluminium dibond materiel and one 20 x 30 cm Forex/PVC product. Please note that the image in this post does not showcase the true colour accuracy and quality of the forex print and is for illustration purposes only. I am set up as a portrait photographer and not for reproducing artwork.
Starting with the website…
I found the website easy to navigate and there is plenty of information, including a Q&A section on how to upload your files and what format will give you the best result. Uploading my photos was very easy and the checkout process went through with no hitches at all. An order conformation email was sent to me containing all of my order details including order number and shipping information. When my photos were dispatched I received another email which included information to enable me to track my parcel, a nice touch. Although the website states 3-4 days turnaround, it took 14 days from ordering to receipt. Maybe this is due to ordering from the UK but it is something to allow for when ordering. When the photos arrived, they were well packaged with foam bits on the corners to prevent damage and I felt that this worked very well.
Moving onto the photos, Adobe RGB is the preferred colour space and not sRGB like some labs. They also provide icc colour profiles which you can use in Photoshop (although I could not get them to show up in Lightroom) to proof the colours, something that I would highly recommend you do as there is a noticeable colour shift when you turn on proof preview in Photoshop. After using the proof setup option in Photoshop and brining the colours back into line I found that the colours on the finished products were an extremely good match to my calibrated screen; I use a Spyder device to calibrate my PC monitor. For the dibond I used a photo with muted tones and a splash of red. The tones were handled well although there was a bit of grittiness in the darker clouds in the sky, the shot was taken with a Canon 6d and a 17-40 L f/4 lens at iso 100. Overall though, it is a very pleasing image and people (non photographers)to whom I have shown the print to have fallen in love with it and would love something like this on their wall.
Moving on to the Forex/PVC, for this product I chose a vibrant and colourful image, shot with a Canon 6d and a Canon 85mm f/ 1.8 lens, and again, I proofed and adjusted using the icc profile for this medium. The resulting image on the Forex was equally vibrant and a very good match to my screen. I have also shown this photo to several people and I have had a similarly great response as with the dibond product.
I was very impressed with the quality of the products and the customer service was very good. Zor.com will be a company that I will look to order from in the future. When presenting prints to hang on your or a clients wall, you want the best quality possible and I feel that this company has the potential to fulfil that requirement.
This was taken at a rocky beach bear Bristol, I like the colours of the models hair and the scarf that is flowing around her arm. Taken with a Canon 6d and a Canon 85 mm f/1.8 lens. Zoom lenses can be convenient but I do like to use prime lenses, they get you to think about what you are doing, have a nice shallow depth of field and make you use your feet instead if just standing there and using the zoom to frame.By using your feet, you can discover new angles which you may of otherwise missed.
This shot was taken at Kings Weston House in Bristol. Kings Weston House is a grade 1 listed building and was completer in 1917 and was designed by Sir John Vanbrugh and was the home of Edward Southwell. During World War 1 the house was converted to a hospital. In 1935 the house was bought by the Bristol Municipal Charities and leased to the education authorities to be used a s a school. It went on to be Bristol Technical College of Architecture which later went on to be Bath University School for Architecture. During the following years the house was used for a verity of functions including a police training centre. The house is now used for conferences, weddings and private events, there is also a cafe which is open to the public and lovely walks around the surrounding estate.
Dating back to 1766 the Clifton Observatory, which sits on top of the Avon Gorge, gives fantastic views of the suspension bridge and the surrounding ares. The observatory was originally a windmill that was used to grind corn but was later adapted to grind snuff; the Observatory then became known as Snuff Mill.
In 1777 the mill caught fire, this was caused by the sails being left to turn during a gale and the equipment overheating. The mill was then left derelict for about 50 years until a Bristol based artist, William West, rented it for his studio in 1828. William West was responsible for transforming the building into what we see today, he installed a large telescope on top of the mill turning into an observatory. In 1829 the telescope was replaced by convex lens and sloping mirror which is known as the camera obscura; this still works today. Light travels through the lens and is reflected vertically down by the mirror onto a table which gives a true image of the surrounding area.
William west also built a cave below the observatory which leads to a viewing platform in the cliff face about 250 feet above the base of the Gorge. The cave, known as Giant’s cave was opened to the public in 1837 and is still accessible today.