I don’t know if anyone notices this but as soon as it hits half way through the year everything comes flying at you at 150mph. With everything going on (work & life), it can be hard to do something artistic for yourself. With that in mind, me and a friend have decided to have a bit of fun with the little spare time we have. We’re both fans of digital manipulation so we put our slightly ‘quirky’ heads together to create a little experimental show. A small budget and a small day out has become a very big idea. Our show is about our day trip to Burton and how we may have seen the same places but we certainly saw them from two perspectives. We want to stretch people’s thoughts and opinions on what people can see and create with their imagination even from a simple day trip to Burton.
If it’s to see family or a work trip or for any other matter, the one thing these journeys all have in common is the motorway or country roads. I’m the passenger in the car as I don’t drive and it is a wonderful thing. I love being the passenger because it’s often you often find the most unexpectedly stunning views while on the road. Surely there’s an irony of being stuck in a car on a huge tarmacked surface while seeing nothing but beautiful green and intriguing land. It makes me appreciate the view we have in the UK along with how hard it can be being a driver and trying not to look at the incredible view at the same time. In addition to this, it’s also quite bizarre how different the world looks through a front seat compared to a back seat window, despite it being the same car and a similar place. Here’s a look into what interesting landscapes I’ve seen and that you might have even gone passed at some point yourself. Where was the strangest place you found beauty?
Due to recent cirumstances, it has meant that I’ve had to go through my drawers full of photography stuff. I imagine we all have those bit and bobs related to our craft that we put in a drawer and forget about. So here is an example of a couple of things that were found in the drawers. I found two lighting gels and some random props and decided to just have some fun with them. To be honest, never having really used gels before for a proper photoshoot, it’s safe to say that they are a lot of fun. Have you guys out there ever had a clean out of your arty storage and forgotten about half of the stuff that was in there? If so, what have you found and did you finally make use of them or throw them away, let me know in the comment section.
Hi there to the wonderful people who read this blog, this month has been a little bit manic so unfortunately, there hasn’t been much productivity in terms of photo shoots and blog brainstorms. So for now, here are some images from my last photo shoot that was more of a practice shoot for location purposes, although I’m pleased with these images. Sometimes we have to remember that real life must come before our online obligations and presence. Don’t worry, next month will be back to normal, all being well.
These days it seems that the more you progress in photography, the more people tell you to avoid pretty sunsets and landscapes. However, sometimes I reckon it’s good to go back to basics, it’s sometimes harder than it looks. Everyone has taken photos of landscapes and sunsets in some form or another when starting in photography so why not do it again. It’s been fun to go back to basics in one sense but with more knowledge the images produced are naturally stronger. Below is an example of a few ‘pretty’ landscapes and sunsets that have been taken lately, I know I wouldn’t have been able to take this sort of things so easily when I first started photography.
Here’s a popular question among photographers. What is your opinion on digital manipulation? There are people out there who believe a photograph is only a photograph if it is completely untouched and straight from camera, even though images have been manipulated since the invention of dark rooms with dodging and burning. However, that is their opinion, do you share that opinion? If so, that’s fine because what kind of world would it be if we all had the same opinions? As you may have noticed by now, I’m not that kind of person. I really enjoy experimenting with all sorts of manipulation, in-camera, digital or on the print itself. This year has been a time when I’ve been learning more about Photoshop and the things you can do with it. Manipulations can bring your image to life in a way you never thought about and can really make you think about taking it to the next level. It’s very early days yet with Photoshop and all the bizarre things it has to offer but that’s the joy of experimenting. Here is just a small variety of different manipulations that have been made this year.
Do you ever find that yourself going to work (or studio) and find yourself doing the same thing day in day out? Me too. Recently I found myself questioning my routine of a working day, being self-employed, it’s quite easy getting hooked on the ‘importance’ of certain things such as a website and sticking to a working day. Not only have I written a list of things that I’m going to be changing over the coming weeks but I’d thought I’d try something completely new. I treated myself to a Hoya Infrared filter and it’s wonderfully bizarre. Sometimes you have to remember to really step out of your comfort zone and try something brand new (within or outside of your craft). There are so many little things you need to do to create a strong infrared image from making sure there aren’t any light spots and a working with a new way of editing, it’s a really fun challenge to change things a bit. Sometimes trying something new can really make a difference to your routine and change your mentality towards a normal working day.
Below are a few images I’ve created, I know they are far from perfect but that’s the joy of starting something new.
In Hanley, Stoke-On-Trent, there is a derelict site called the East-West Precinct that was once a bright, thriving and colourful shopping centre and bus station that had cafes, music shops, restaurants and so on. Unfortunately over the decades, this once grand centre has become nothing but reminders of a bright part smothered in rot and decay. It was officially abandoned around 2013 (this was when the new Hanley bus station officially opened) and has remained standing as a local eye sore. Fortunately for local residents, it is being demolished this year and myself and another photographer (and friend) have been granted permission to document the deconstruction of this grand dismal site. We hope to create something interesting from it, so that the local community can access the images that we produce and will be able to see progress from how it use to look to being an empty piece of land in one place.
Below are a few images of what the old shopping centre currently looks like before demolition
This year is going to be one of those where I start as I mean to go on (hopefully), meaning to do something meaningful and productive each day, in terms of marketing and photography in general. So far the main task has been to create mock ups and select images that could be sold digitally to those who would like something a little different to spruce up their desktop or android. This is because the world we live in is surrounded by all things digital and there are infinite ways to access anything online (especially images) so it’s all about experimenting and pushing myself into the digital world in hopes something good will come of it.
Do you guys have the same problem when it comes to your own work? If you’re feeling confident enough to share a few tips then don’t be afraid to comment below.
It has been a year that became manic very suddenly, for better and worse but there are always ups and downs with everyone’s year. Sometimes you find that it’s the small things that make you happy and just breathe that bit easier and feel like you’ve achieved something. We always say things like “I don’t have time” or “I’ll do it later”, this is my favourite but even though there many things that I’ve made excuses for, there’s one thing that’s made me proud this year and that’s sticking to my monthly challenge; doing an unplanned photo shoot at least once a month. This may not seem like a lot but when you’re trying to run a business, have a personal life and try to make some money with different jobs here and there, it can be tricky to fit in time for yourself. It’s important to remind yourself of the reason why you love something and doing this challenge has done just that. Next year, I’m going to do the same but with more planned and challenging photo shoots, to keep pushing and keep learning.
what did you do this year that made you feel just a little bit proud, no matter how big or small it is.
Here is an image from every photo shoot this year during this challenge
This month was the final shoot for a two-year documentary a small group of us have been involved in. It was a cold and dark ending but also magnificent and inspiring one. The last location we visited were docklands; during the day are slightly haunting and interesting but at night, they’re so magnificent and bright.
The shooting of the last day was relaxed and pleasant, I think we were all at peace (and grateful) knowing this was the last time. Our adventure has had us traveling from Swiss Cottage to Greenwich, the West End to random little back roads that hold precious memories relevant to the project. Also, this documentary seriously challenges and forces you to improve your photography skills, especially when about 70% of your images are taken out of a back seat car window, it creates some odd looking work sometimes and I love it.
It’s that time of year again when the old clothes and the dark makeup comes out again and new inspirations for photo shoots pop up everywhere. This year I’ve been sure to do one photo shoot a month and have stuck to the challenge (see project page for more information on this). However, October is special because it brings out my fun side and has got me thinking about going back to my roots in photography a little. Instead of doing just one shoot of something quite random (and often pretty) this month, I’ll be doing at least three dark photo shoots this month, hopefully more. It’s going to be challenging because it’s got to balance out with work and things but it’ll be so much fun to be inspired by the darker time of year.
What inspires you the most at this time of year? Let me know in the comment section.
Here are 2 shoots I’ve managed to do this month (including my first self-portrait), wish me luck for the next ideas.
There has a been quite a build up to this month as it’s the launch of my first ‘solo’ exhibition. I use the term solo loosely as I’ve worked with another artist to create text and poems to go with the work, all of the images however, are mine. It can be quite daunting at times, knowing your work will be on display for all to see for the first time but it’s also really exciting; you can tell when it’s the right time to do something like this because it just feels right; you gain confidence in your work and as long as you’re happy with your work then nothing else should matter.
Infinite City at Centre Space, Spode Museum – 19th-30th September
Sarah Peart, 20, is a professional photographer, and Infinite City is her first solo exhibition. The pictures are the result of her accompanying Richard Snell & Darren Washington when they visited London to make a documentary about Richard’s hometown. Having lived in Stoke-On-Trent all of her life, Sarah found London to be both incredible and overwhelming. She was inspired to create striking images reflecting those moods.
Richard Snell, 72, is a Londoner by birth but has lived in North Staffordshire since 1989. Now retired, he earned his living in a variety of ways, ranging from laboring to teaching. Richard left London to make a new life for himself but has always missed his hometown. He takes pride in being involved and associated with this exhibition in which Sarah Peart’s photographs, as well as being unique to her style, say so much about London as Richard himself understands it.
As a photographer, I enjoy taking lots of photos (as you would assume) however, a lot of the time there are many images that are left unused. whether it’s bits from a projects that never took off or just loose photographs from random places. Either way there’s just no real place for them but you don’t want to waste them. Over the last year I’ve been routing through photographs and putting them in all one folder for something different. I’ve decided to recycle old work by cropping them all into squares. I call this Sqauredom; recycle photos when you’re ‘bored’ with a ‘square’ ratio. All images have potential to be part of this personal project, that’s the whole point, it could be most of the image or just a small corner of it, anything can be done.
What would you guys do with your random photos? Mash them together digitally, simply print them or anything else? Let me know in the comment section if you want to share.
At last, we have our little studio set up, it’s clean, compact and just what we needed. Lately, I’ve been doing so much photography outside it feels like it’s been forever since I’ve properly used a studio. The best thing to do when this happens is to simply start practicing and experimenting with the studio and not just the camera, in your spare time. Even when you have a limited kit for the studio, you’ll find that you can achieve so many different things when you’re re-familiarising yourself with studio lighting and just essentially messing around, in a creative manner. My personal favourites are using natural light (if available) or a simple off-camera flash. As you can tell the images above, I tend to use inanimate objects in the studio (for control & size purposes). All of these images have been achieved by using a simple off-camera flash with wireless triggers (and a hand made snoot) and I thought I’d share them to show what simple but completely different images you can produce.
Do you guys out there have any preferences or hand made goodies you use when it comes to using studio photography, if so feel free to comment below.
When a quiet but productive moment is needed at work at the moment, I find sticking on a pair of headphones and working on fixing old images is quite relaxing, challenging but relaxing. It’s also a great way of learning how to use Photoshop more efficiently without affecting the look of the original image and saving a bit of time. Just think though, about how many memories out there are restored and brought to life once again because we have this ability to digitally restore fix old images to their true form; it’s really quite amazing. Back in the studio, we’re currently doing a restoration job for a friend, so to show you one of the easier kinds of images you can restore, here’s a little snippet of an image that turned out to be one of the more interesting photos that took some time, it was definitely worth it though.
The weather has been amazing (mostly) over the past month so I made of the most of it and did some natural outdoor photography. Often, when it’s great weather you assume that it’s perfect for photography, especially if you don’t often use the a flash. As any photographer can tell you, this is definitely not the case. You have ensure that the sun is t directly facing your camera because it can in fact damage the sensor and it can ruin your shot too. To work around this, I have found taking close up images and having the hood on the camera lens, also going out in the early evening is great as its still light but the sun isn’t overhead.
It’s always interesting when you can simply walk down your street and find yourself seeing things in a new light, you start snapping away; the sun makes us all feel that bit more positive.
If you guys have had your own challenges and solutions when photographing outdoors and very hot weather feel free to comment below.
What Inspires You?
Whether it’s a pre-planned shoot, paid work or just general exploration, there is always something to see that can inspire me. Sometimes it can take time to get into the flow of the photo shoot but then something will grab my attention and then magic kicks in and the images just roll out.
What sort of things inspire you when working? Does it range from a specific artist for inspiration, or a location; or does it come from within, your own experiences from life? I personally believe that every piece of art can be inspired by something different, almost every time. Some can be inspired by simple aesthetics of an place or something that feels right in the moment. However, I want to know what things inspire you guys to create your art, whatever medium that may be; please don’t be afraid to comment below i you’re feeling open.
Lately, it has been discovered that the style of art photography that I do is the sort that would look smart in places such as hotels or corporate buildings. I’ve unintentionally become a corporate photographer (in a sense). I don’t mind, it’s great really because it shows that there’s a market for everything if you can find it. It is difficult marketing your own artwork that’s quite personal but when something clicks then you just know, that’s the route to take. If any of you reading this happen to be in an office space or know anyone who works at a corporate building or hotel (that could be improved by some customized photography) then feel free to point them in this direction. My work is catered to suit budgets, themes and locations. As an example, here’s what just some of my work could look like in different locations to give you an idea.
When it comes to event photography, no matter where you are, it can have it’s challenges, like any other job. These often consist of difficult lighting or too many people in a confined space. Fortunately these issues can normally be fixed “in camera”, with the help of a good flash and the appropriate lens for the event. There are many reasons why I enjoy doing event photography, I especially enjoy photographing people when they’re more relaxed, after an hour or so at the event. Candid photos show true characters and being able to capture someone’s ecstatic laughter or smile is the kind of thing I look for. So if you’re ever looking for an event photographer who can capture your event in the exact light you need, then don’t hesitate to contact.
It’s a new year and a new start, I know it’s a typical thing to say but it’s also true. After spending some time to get my feet on the ground in the world of self employment, I now have an idea of what can be achieved and what can be developed. All sorts of things can be expanded on from revamping logos to specific business goals for the end of the year. Here’s a few images to give you a look into what’s going to be happening this year.