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.
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.
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.
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.