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Sep. 12th, 2010

Blinded by the light

Sucker Punch trailer: Dragons and missles and swords, oh my!

I recently discovered the trailer for "Sucker Punch", due out in March 2011. There's so much stuff going on in there, it almost certainly has to be the most awesome disaster in the world.

Let's see the trailer and count the waysCollapse )
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Jul. 14th, 2010

Self portrait

Random use of a Friday

With apologies to the model for scattering this to the Internet - though it should be anonymous enough. :) A little bit of light playing produced this picture the other day:

Time to go

It's a day to night (twilight?) conversion of course. I've become a bit pixel-blind from editing it, but I think it's come out okay. Somehow it has a very different feel to most of my work; I'll have to go back and work out how I did it. There were a great many layers involved though.
Self portrait

Ukrainian Pop Music

There are, unbelievably, two, maybe three or four photo posts pending. But in the meantime, here's another music post to see us through.
Embedded videos under the cutCollapse )
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Jun. 22nd, 2010

Self portrait

Presenting Captured Light to Slough Writers

I had a very good evening tonight. In a rare coincidence of hobbies, Slough Writers Group invited me to be their guest speaker. I had almost two hours to talk about my photography. I'm pleased to say it went very well.
A few more details under the cut.Collapse )

Jun. 19th, 2010

Self portrait

Music Overload

I'm sure I was meant to be posting about photography on here... but that's been a little thin on the ground recently. In the meantime, I find I've been discussing music a lot with one of my work colleagues, which has inspired me to do a quick review of the strange mix of music albums I've bought in the last few months. Lots of album discussions under the cut.Collapse )
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Apr. 18th, 2010

Self portrait

Car Problem

I could use some advice from all of you who can name the parts in the engine bay of a car. Pictures and bit under the cut.Collapse )

Feb. 23rd, 2010

Blinded by the light

Photos: Editing the Imagez "Decades" Shoot

Following on from my previous post about Stu Maschwitz's blog posts, I wanted to share some before/afters of my recent edits, in particular my subtle (or not subtle) plays with colour. These come from the third of this year's lighting workshops at Imagez Camera Club; I did the edits a few weeks ago but Stu's blog encouraged me to revisit them.

Unfortunately this before/after will also show other corrections, such as exposure adjustments, but we'll not talk about that much.

So, we'll start with Sarah (before on the left, after on the right):

Sarah
more under the cutCollapse )

Feb. 22nd, 2010

Self portrait

Colour Corrections From Video to Stills

Good fortune today, I happened across the blog of Stu Maschwitz, a visual effects guy and one of many commentators on DSLR video work. What fascinated me is his many posts about colour correcting for video/movies - all of which also applies to still images of course. I'm a bit of a geek for information about the human visual system too, so fell into this discussion through this post:

http://prolost.com/blog/2010/2/15/memory-colors.html

Well worth a look for the brief content on colour palettes. He also touches on the idea that movies often use colour palettes that are strong on orange/yellow fleshtones and green/blue for everything else. This post, while chiefly an advert for his software-related activities, has an excellent video on the subject:

http://prolost.com/blog/2009/6/23/got-me-a-side-job.html

The advert at the start is worth watching for the different styles of effect, then sit through the over-long intro, then suddenly you're in a very long discussion and technique demo for achieving these big-film colourisations. It's actually quite fascinating when you realise all these films are broadly similar and quite simple. He demos using a few different apps on a video stream but all the technique applies to Photoshop and largely also to Adobe Camera Raw (and thus Lightroom, PaintShopPro, ...).
A few more links under the cutCollapse )

Jan. 21st, 2010

Self portrait

Imagez Fashion Catwalk

So having said in a previous post that I'm surrounded by models but not taking many pictures, a huge exception came along - Imagez Camera Club decided to run a mini fashion show to try some live-fire techniques.

The event was a big success; it could be tweaked a little, but for a first attempt it went very well. This kind of shooting is hard work - and that's not to say our evening was anything like as challenging as working at a real fashion show. But it really does require knowing your camera, knowing your skills and being able to think fast and try different things at zero notice. I shot The Alt Collective fashion show middle of last year (some pictures included in my photo round-up of 2009) and even armed with that experience I still had a very high reject rate. (It's also convinced me that I need a stack of new lenses.) I hope all of our members managed to adjust to the event and get something out of it. In fairness, I did end up cheating and threw a couple of speedlites up on sticks in the end. But I think everyone enjoyed the chance to shoot something a bit different.

Despite the presence of lights and models, my involvement in the setup was almost nil. In fact, I mostly just took pictures. Quite blissful really.

So here's a quick run through of the models and my highlight pictures (the backgrounds are crappy - unfortunate limits of the hall, shooting angle, lighting, photographer... :) ):


Jennie:

More under the cut.Collapse )
Self portrait

The Busy Season

It's the busy season again, which is to say, the camera clubs are waking up for another year. This time of year is especially busy for me; for the last few years I've been running a studio workshop at Imagez Camera Club. I say running, but in practice I very loosely set the structure and coordinate the many people who make models and kit happen. It's slightly hard for me to believe that I started this course with two lights and a single model.

It's surprisingly challenging to make it all happen, even with the whole team - it seems like the more you try to add, the harder it becomes to keep on track. The other problem is resolving disparate ability levels. We have a few complete studio beginners but also some more experienced members (many of whom have been on the course in previous years). When I first proposed the 4-week structure of the course, I intended it as a beginners event so that when the club holds its occasional studio nights, everyone could benefit from the experience. I'm also a huge believer that learning how to light makes you more aware of light in general, which leads to much better photos. Now we're at the point where we need to cater for the beginners but we are also trying to drive forward the skills of the other members and really get them to focus on the art. The process has not been universally liked and there's still difficulties with the evening structures, but in general I think we're on the right track; certainly, a great deal more planning has gone into the course this year.

An upshot of this is that I'm finding myself surrounded by models a lot without much opportunity to take photos. Hopefully I can change that in the coming weeks, but right now I'm very much in teaching mode.

Having said that, I did take a lot of pictures at the Imagez Fashion Catwalk night... to be posted shortly.

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