Friday, 22 November 2019

Lifestyle

dogs garden model

It's been a while since I did a photoshoot that was just to work on my ideas.

I wanted to produce the type of images you see in those lifestyle magazines included with the Sunday papers. The glossy suppliments.

It's not easy to find a good location, studio sets look too staged and a lot of houses don't have varied enough areas to make it interesting. I found a great model who had access to the perfect house; it all seemed to click.

You know it's going to be a good shoot when you both synchronise quickly and there is no initial awkwardness.


The garden is massive and seemed to go on for ever. With so many areas, with different looks.





The dogs were brilliant as well. Varying their poses from looking at Rose and then the camera like pros. Even looking away into the distance to keep it all looking natural.



The sun breaking out of and then disappearing into cloud made it tricky, but we worked to make sure  the scene was exposed correctly, filling in with flash when needed.



The house has an incredible number of rooms, again everyone a little different.



We could have continued shooting for a lot longer, next time I'll allow for a longer session.

The final room, didn't need extra lighting. I wanted a moody shot, lit by the window.


Please add your address to my mailing list, or click the follow button to be kept informed about future posts.
Follow me on twitter. 
Leave a comment about this post. I would really appreciate your thoughts on this or any blog post.

For more of my work, go to my Facebook page.
and  
website

Sunday, 17 November 2019

Why do I cycle in the winter?


Now that I have warmed up, I'm glad I got out. But as I cycle with gradually cooling feet I do wonder why I do it.

This time of year tests my determination. I recently wrote about getting cold feet and my attempts to combat it. Over the years it's been a recurring theme for this blog. This weekend I don't feel I'm winning the battle, no matter what I try. Special socks, multiple layers, I've tried lots or permutations. Some have lasted a while, but none have worked for the whole ride. It's not like I'm out for long, maybe two hours maximum.

 I know I could use indoor exercise equipment, apart from not having the space, I have to admit; I wouldn't use it.

When I'm not on my own, there is humour to be had, and general good times. Solo rides are more tricky to get motivated for. There is satisfaction at overcoming the temptation to stay inside and keeping fit.

Photography is always a motivator for me; the late sunrises can make for more interesting skys. I need to include new routes, the usual places have yielded all they can.

Lastly there is answering the question my wife often asks; who else was stupid enough to go out when it's so cold?

Yesterday was a busy day for cyclist spotting, not so good today. I only saw three other hardy souls this morning.

Please add your address to my mailing list, or click the follow button to be kept informed about future posts.
Follow me on twitter. 
Leave a comment about this post. I would really appreciate your thoughts on this or any blog post.

For more of my work, go to my Facebook page.
and  
website

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

No value, character, significance

No value, character, significance or physical form. A line from an interview I read with an image creator Shane Balkowitsch; he doesn't really call himself a photographer. It was predominately about a shoot he did with Greta Thundberg

He said because pictures created using phones aren't printed they don't mean anything. He could be talking about any digital camera.

The shoot is discussed in more depth here. Maybe you can tell me why it's powerful, or beautiful. The headshot is distorted and poorly lit; to me at least. Had it been taken with a modern camera, with less distortion and better exposure; would it have been less powerful? In the full lenght picture Greta looks lost, and vulnerable. Maybe that's the intent, but it's a picture I would quickly scroll over.

The pictures are created using a 165 year old process called Wet Plate Ambtotypes; I'll let you look that up. He has pictures hanging at the Smithsonian.

The article seemed to suggest a contempt for digital images.

He needs a big camera, and glass plates coated in chemicals. Each shot requires conditions to be perfect; the right amount of chemicals, temporature, humidity and even wind if it's outdoors. It then has to be developed straight away.

I do agree that never printing a picture is a shame, but just because an image is ones and zeros instead of the result of a chemistry experiment doesn't make it less important or worthy.

More people will see a digital picture, most are uploaded to social media straight away.

Another point was that this method ensures the image will a hundred years and a digital image will only be viewable as long as there is a device to read it. An apocalypse would leave us just his prints. If the worst happened, art may not be our top priority.

The way I understood it; in his opinion a picture should be physical and be difficult to achieve to have value. He went to great lengths to describe how much effort it took, and that if everything wasn't perfect he may have nothing to show for his time.

I know we are taking more pictures than ever, and the majority will never be viewable without a computer, but is he being fair?

They all have value however fleetingly. 

More people can now document their lives, their family and experiences. Isn't that a good thing?

The process appears more important than the end result, or the end result is of more value because of the process.


Please add your address to my mailing list, or click the follow button to be kept informed about future posts.
Follow me on twitter. 
Leave a comment about this post. I would really appreciate your thoughts on this or any blog post.

For more of my work, go to my Facebook page.
and  
website








Sunday, 10 November 2019

Cold toes

sunrise with mountain bike
I just missed the best part of the sunrise, but the clouds kept the picture interesting. 
It's been threatening to get cold for the last week or so. The car windscreens have been frosted on my road once this past seven days.

As predicted on the last post, my feet were freezing shortly after leaving the house. The rest of me was lovely and warm. The cold took my by surprise, as it always does. It gets gently cooler each weekend, and then suddenly I have painful toes.

I'm still thinking about the summer, and longer rides to little villages and pubs. How are they now so far in the past?

I am determined to get out no matter the weather, I'll stay at home if it gets too dangerous though. December last year, had me slipping, sliding and eventually going down. I have been lucky so far. Matt and I do go out in the snow, it's not that bad until it starts to melt. The fun wears off quickly, as we get wetter and colder. The likelihood of ice is what keeps us inside. Hit a patch and it's almost guaranteed to end painfully.

Today was a lone ride, Matt has been plagued with punctures. It's become very common to get an abort due to a flat text; very frustrating.

Being on my own meant I could choose a different route. I rode along roads that normally lead to Brighton or at least a pub a few miles short of the coast. I knew I wouldn't have time to go that far, so at ten miles I turned around and headed for home. Unfamiliar roads gave the ride new interest. Matt and I rarely have the spare time we use to so we do less exploring.

The picture below was taken yesterday as we sat at the bus stop drinking our beverage of choice, I have had the mud guard for years. But the humour in the name only just dawned on me. They're a British company based in Cornwall. It does as good a job as the big guards you attach to the seat post, but doesn't work loose all the time. I think it looks neater too.

mucky nutz mudguard

Next weekend it'll be time to increase the layers of clothing, and maybe avoid the slow way to the bus stop. It's always the first to get icey and both times I have fallen, it's been on this road. The problem is the B269 is an unpleasant place to cycle. People drive along it with little regard for cyclists, and the cycle path is poorly maintained and at this time of the year thickly covered in wet, slippery leaves. I'm sure it's where Matt picks up his punctures. On the way home we part company at the start of the road; I turn off down a twisty lane, and Matt often takes to the path.

Thirty six miles this weekend, with plenty of hills; I'm really pleased with that. Apart from holidays, I have barely missed a ride.

Can't wait for next weekend.

Please add your address to my mailing list, or click the follow button to be kept informed about future posts.
Follow me on twitter. 
Leave a comment about this post. I would really appreciate your thoughts on this or any blog post.

For more of my work, go to my Facebook page.
and  
website