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.