Thursday, 28 November 2013

Newton's Cradle (Jessica Collecting Windfall Apples), Kent

Via Flickr:
Jessica collecting fallen apples in Kent, and speculating about the various animals that have either caused them to fall, or raided them since.

Foxes, we learn, have a lot to answer for in this regard.

Jessica's rather taking over my photostream at the moment, by simple dint of time I have to process shots. Hope everyone is having a great week!

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Sabrina (Stranger #29/100), London Brick Lane

Via Flickr:
Whilst my last portrait (#28 Ramon) was all about staking out a background, Sabrina's portrait was unplanned. She was checking her phone at a road crossing, and her amazing swirls of hair and scarf demanded an approach.

She was fantastic to work with and patient whilst I tried to grab a background from what was immediately available. She's from the West Country originally, living in London and investing her Sunday in an exploration of the East of town. Hopefully the street portrait added rather than detracted from the experience - thanks for stopping, Sabrina.

In terms of this shot there's a couple of details worth noting - firstly the giant silver reflector she's holding to tame the direct (though still pretty soft) sunlight. Secondly I made a few mistakes with the background, probably; that purple started off lurid pink, but I tweaked it in Photoshop to match her coat. There's probably more I should have done in and after camera to make it less angular - the hard lines and points are so out of harmony with the soft curls of hair. Oh well... sorry!

This is portrait #29 of my 100 Strangers Project - check out the group page and get involved.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Ramon (Stranger #28/100), London Brick Lane

Via Flickr:
It's been a few months since I last shot for my 100 Strangers Project. I blame Bomvu, who introduced me to Purpleport and as a result turned a few summer weekends of potential streets shots into model shoots.

This Sunday I finally set out to right that wrong, dropping into London for a couple of hours along Brick Lane. Meeting Ramon reminded me just how much I've missed the project.

I'm something of a background hunter - finding a backdrop I think will working, then lurking there until the right stranger appears. It can make you look like a bit of a predator, stood alongside the flow of people, waiting, watching... so thank you Ramon for agreeing to chat and shoot, when I interrupted your assessment of the market's various food choices.

He's a software developer from Barcelona, now living in London with a long suffering follower of Arsenal. Having interrogated me about the possible reasons for the team's anomalous success this year, the conversation turned to future plans. Ramon is planning a cycling trip he described as "buy a bicycle and go East" - it sounds incredible; cycling through Europe, then Central Asia and up into China via the Kashgar pass or similar.

Ramon - No doubt there's a tonne of preparation left, and maybe a few years planning, saving and visa applications, but I hope you have an epic time of it when you set off. Take photos, lots of them.

I'd chosen Ramon for the high contrast gloss of his jacket, and sprinkling of silver in his hair - given the white/black swirl of the street art. The combination seems to have worked, so I'm delighted to be back in the project again.

This is portrait #28 of my 100 Strangers Project - check out the group page and get involved.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

"Yesterday I Was A Challenge" (Jessica Sulking), Vintgar

Via Flickr:
Quick post of Jessica sulking at Vintgar Gorge - I think because of our not carrying her, but cannot be certain. "Yesterday I was a challenge," has become one of her all too frequent pronouncements.

I might have overdone the film toning on this shot - any thoughts appreciated.

Hope everyone is having a fantastic week.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Flyby (Jessica & Sealion), Ljubljana Zoo

Via Flickr:
I'm posting this one in the hope of some commentary and criticism on the composition. It just seems wrong on many levels; barrel and perspective distortion, with only a gesture towards any of the thirds. And yet, I like it any way.

I did try other crops - for instance, zooming in so that the green glass was edge to edge, but the "as shot" version, for all it's flaws, just came across better.

On a side note - sealion pools in particular seem to be green. The ZSL Whipsnade sealion pool, for instance, is green when seen underwater. Dolphin and whale viewing areas (see shot in comments) tend to be blue.

Hope everyone is having a superb week. Catching up slowly!

Friday, 15 November 2013

Wavelength (All In Camera Lightpainting), Bohinj Jezero

Via Flickr:
This is another lightpainting from a summer in Slovenia. It's all hand drawn in camera with an LED, using a baby sock as a diffuser. The only processing is for the sky.

It was something of a test shot for the shot in the comments. However, the storm that came during the main shot changed the colours dramatically, and by then the composition had changed slightly, so I felt it worth posting on its own.

Hope everyone is having a terrific end to the week.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Mental Arithmetic (Anya Holloway Reading Pythagorean Hodograph Curves), Banksy Tunnel London

Via Flickr:
These shots (plural, as there are two more from the session in the comments!) are from another of the "Alt Maths" series I'm putting together.

They're shot in London's incredible Banksy Tunnel (aka Leake Street) - a 300m long tunnel of constantly evolving street art that runs under London Victoria. As you'll see in the comments, it attracts a crowd of odd characters, so if you're shooting there I'd suggest bringing a sense of humour and your wits to avoid confrontation.

The model is Anya Holloway, who got involved through Purpleport. She's fantastic to work with, and I'd recommend checking our her portfolio on the link above. Meanwhile, for those in the UK not using Purpleport, I recommend it strongly. Great community - much easier to navigate and much more genuine interactions than Model Mayhem.

Sorry for the recent radio silence - Q4 means things are busy! Catching up over the next couple of days.

Info for Strobist:

2x Canon 600EX-RT - master on camera in Lasolite "Ezybox" at ~1/128, slave fired by built in RT in white shoot through umbrella 45 degrees camera left, 2 feet above model, 3m back, at 1/4 power.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

10,000 Mistakes #2 (19 Stop ND Venice Waterfront), Venice

Via Flickr:
This is the second of a series of experiments from last year; shooting with stacked 9 and 10 stop ND filters. That total 19 stop filter increases exposure time by just over 500,000 times, allowing for ten minute exposures in full sunlight.

Whether you'd want to do that is another matter, but I thought it would be interesting to try.

The first post in the series (a colour shot) Iain the comments below.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Archipelago (Jessica & Autumn Leaf Fall), Leeds Castle

Via Flickr:
Another autumnal shot from last year; Jessica surveying scattered leaf fall at Leeds Castle.

Insanely naive as it probably sounds, I've just discovered that you can modify "curves" by colour channel on Photoshop. Having previously only used it on RGB for contrast tweaks, I'm discovering all the neat film effect stuff you can do. If you've only used it en masse across all colour channels, I can't recommend the more sophisticated application enough.

Switching the channel to blue, then pulling down the highlights and pushing up the shadows adds warmth to highlights and cools shadows. It's somewhat epic, and will no doubt be massively over used by me in the coming weeks.

Still catching up - hope Tuesday is turning out well for everyone.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Jagged Edge (Autumn Leaves), Virginia Water

Via Flickr:
Something seasonal from the archives - another of those shots that has ended up unfairly quarantined on my iPad for no other reason than general busy-ness.

I hope people can forgive me moving a couple of other shots around in my photostream - I thought there was a little run ending in this one that could make a nice, understated four seasons piece.

We're just back from a week on the Isle of Skye with no internet, so I will be catching up over the next few days. I hope everyone is well an enjoying a great start to November!