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 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.
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.
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.