Friday 31 December 2021

Doubled up in the studio


studio photoshoot

First studio shoot since August 2020.

We spoke a few weeks ago about getting together for a photoshoot. It was good to explore a few themes. Saskia had outfits prepared and poses in mind, as always we quickly found out rhythm.

This session had a twist; James, a friend of Saskia's came along.

male studio shoot

He wanted to experience a shoot, and brought some great ideas. The main one was monochrome, simple poses and contrast.

Saskia was interested in bright and colourful, although I couldn't resist one with the colour removed.

black and white monochrome

I haven't photographed many male models, no particular reason except there a less of them. And I must admit I find it harder to pose them. The standard images are very macho inspired, I try to portray inner strength and confidence in my pictures. 

James definitely brought this mindset. Saskia knows what she wants to achieve. For me translating their ideas into pictures; adjusting lighting, making suggestions about angles and poses is something I very much enjoy.

A description delivered.

Moving lights and position made a big difference to how dark the background appeared. In reality it was much more vibrant when lit more directly.

Another simple shot; showing vulnerability, and confidence.

Once we had the wind machine setup and some wild hair under control we kept firing away to capture movement.

wind machine movement

We start off a set with an idea and move around, the smallest change can have a big impact.

I am incredibly pleased with how it worked out. As I write this I haven't completed editing, so await feedback. I hope they like the results as much as I do. 

Saturday 18 December 2021

Not lucky; very lucky

train home from Ford

It all started so well. I wasn't going to ride this years winter solstice century alone. Peter from Oxted CC was joining me. It got better; the weather had improved, and Peter had a route via Littlehampton that for the most part was on quiet lanes.

We met at 08:30 and were in Steyning two hours later for coffee and cake at Victoria's Sponge. If you are in the area, they are very friendly and the coffee and cake were delicious.

steyning coffee and cake

A steep climb was rewarded with some great views.

views near steyning and bamber castle

Here is one of me.

Then on into Littlehampton for more coffee and beans on toast.

Then across the River Arun.

River Arun

It in was the village of Ford where the bad luck started. At first just a loud clunk from the back wheel, and a slack chain; that sorted itself. Then as we came to a halt at the level crossing for local station complete failure. The pedals spun but no drive. No way to fix it meant a walk on to the platform to check the timetable.

I would be on my way on fifteen minutes, if the service was on time. Peter continued riding, and I was seated in a carriage a quarter of an hour later. It took me to Redhill, the closest the line went to my house. Peter had said that once he got home he would drive to pick me up. And at first that was the plan. The taxi rank was lined with saloons, no good to carry my bike, and the train to Purley where I could change for one to Caterham had been cancelled. The taxi's changed quickly and a people carrier soon arrived. The driver said it would be no problem to drop the rear seats to make enough space. I texted Peter to stay at home, and thanked him very much for the offer of a lift. Twenty minutes later I was locking the bike in the garage.

It will be Tuesday before I can get the problem looked and hopefully quickly fixed.

Monday 6 December 2021

Feeling it

feel the sound

Sitting on the couch listening to Lenny Kravitz recently was a kind of eureka moment. I had the sound turned up, and playing through my stereo system. I was completely immersed, like I had been as a teenager at concerts. You feel the music as much as hear it. Obviously it wasn't venue filling loud, the dial only goes to ten, not eleven. If I had the room I'd get a subwoofer or two; really feel it. I don't think you get the same experience with headphones.

It's the same with my other interests: cycling and photography.

It's the reason I like to ride fast, not for the adrenaline of speed, but the exertion it requires. I become immersed in the moment. That's why it works for the trainer in the garage, I'm stationary afterall. 

I have experienced a loss of motivation lately, only partly weather related. If I were riding on my own, I'm not sure I would be riding as often as I do. The weekends with Oxted cycling club and Matt have kept me going. After work means I'm fit enough to enjoy the weekend. Although last Saturday and especially Sunday the poor weather did test my resolve. It wasn't too bad with Oxted, but Sunday Matt was busy so I went out in the rain on my own. I guess my determination isn't as damaged as I thought.

I have scaled back my photography, a few photowalks have been the extent of it this year. I don't see that changing much in the future, I have even contemplated selling the equipment. 

I found myself just going through the motions, the exceptions being two shoots I did in 2020 with Alex and Saskia.

I have a studio session later this month with Saskia. We met recemtly to discuss some ideas she had. I am looking forward to it, it'll be a chance to reawaken the creativity. Prove to myself I can enjoy it again.

It's only a couple of weeks, we'll be over the winter equinox, and the days will start to get longer. I hope January and February are mild next year. 

I have some upgrades for my bike to install, but they will wait until the better weather returns. 

Hopefully that will reinvigorate my motivation.

Watch this space for the reveal.