Planning and Volume

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been thinking about shoots – planning, and creativity.  I had in mind a certain character that I wanted to portray, and spent some considerable time finding the right person for the shoot.  Once I’d found that person, I had to decide on what I wanted them to wear, how I wanted them to act and so on.  Finally, I had to find the right place to shoot.

All of this took months of preparation, and I think that in the end it all worked out, and I ended up with a handful of photographs that I am pleased with.

During the shoot itself – I spent more time setting up lighting, than I did actually taking pictures – and I see that as part of the creative process.

In this world of rush, rush, rush – I see photographers who have a massive output of imagery, some of which leaves a lot to be desired, as though thought fell out of the window, in the hurry to make pictures – pictures of anything, with no planning, and no imagination.

I see instagram, and Facebook pages full of mediocre work, in an overwhelming volume, with no sense of organisation and heavy, often poor, editing – almost as though the urgency to produce an image immediately after a shoot is in preference to waiting a while and being selective in what is published.

There are two kinds of  photographer – those who think, and those who don’t.

Those who do, tend to be slower, more thoughful, and use locations and also models in a more respectful way.  They plan, reconnoitre, judge safety and legality – get paperwork in order, use the right people, at the right time – and edit afterwards slowly and images appear sometimes weeks after the shoot.

I watch groups of photographers pile out of cars, rush to the same spot, and start shooting – the odd person will walk around, take in the view, inspect what’s there – and then take some images.  Rushing the planning makes for a poor result in general.

Ignorance shows mostly in comments passed …  by ‘photographers’ (and I use the word in inverted commas intentionally), who don’t know the history of photography, or how the process began.   Ask one who their favourite photographer is,  and I’d expect to hear names like Ansel Adams, Henri Cartier Bresson, Mann Ray, Annie Leibovitz, Dorothea Lange, or Robert Capa – to name but a few who inspire me, but I bet I wouldn’t.

We’ve all made the same mistakes at the start, but we need to grow up – and stop being disparaging of those who want to take it slow and get it right.

Let’s do the right thing – the input and planning is far more important than the output – get the first right, and the other will follow as a matter of course.

Enjoy your image making.

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The Conversion Continues

After my purchase recently of the Fuji X-T2 – I bought a new lens this last week – the 16-55 F2.8. My first zoom.  It’s stunning.

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I had a studio shoot, and although I took along my Canon Camera, it wasn’t long before I switched over to the lightweight Fuji.

It performed beautifully, with only one menu item that had to be changed.  Shooting in manual mode, with studio lights being fired from a trigger on top of the camera, I had to turn the preview exp/WB in Manual Mode off.  This is under Tools, and Screen set up.   Other than that – it was good to go right out of the box. (Thanks to Richard Egan for giving me that information).

With the camera’s 24M pixel count, the image sizes are much larger than I’m used to – 6000×4000, leaves plenty of room to crop if you need to with no loss of image quality.

The viewfinder is different too. Mirrorless means electronic, but there’s no lag to notice, and I found I quickly got used to the look. 325 focus points means no searching for the right place to lock on to, and it’s easy to move the focus point around with the control stick.

I’ve never had a tilting display either – the Canon DSLR’s that I own don’t have it – The X-T2 display rotates up, down and pulls out sideways too for ease of use, and has a great resolution of 1.04 million dots.

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I did the firmware update this week.  This allowed more options on ISO, and a very pleasing addition was the ability to record information onto files.  Useful when I have to remember how to spell names, and refer back to locations.  It’s something I used a lot with the Canon DX.

So far, I have not used their 4K video, but I’m looking forward to giving it a go.

There’s another firmware update scheduled for May!  Two inside 3 months – I think Canon had one update over a 4 year period.  Maybe they think they’ve nothing to prove, and nothing to improve on.

Ultimately the conversion so far, to Fuji has been a seamless one.  All I need now is a long lens….. and I’m set to go……

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Oh, and if anyone is interested.  I’ve got a Canon 1D MK4 body for sale……..  Message me on here if you are interested, or see my Facebook page for more information and a price.

Thank you for reading…… more on this topic to follow

 

Happy New Year

Happy new year for 2013 – and it’s been great so far…

Already we’ve had a fabulous studio shoot with the wonderful Laura Norrey – a 1950’s style pinup model.  She’s quite new to modelling, but I think that she’ll go far – a lovely personality, willing to work hard and takes direction exceptionally well.  I really hope we can get her in front of the camera again in the near future.

Here’s a few images from a brilliant shoot – enjoy

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Barlow Studios Portrait Shoot
Barlow Studios Portrait Shoot

Studio Event and Lighting

Yesterday – my good friend Terry McNamara and myself ran a day for photographers who were unfamiliar with life in the studio.  We were really pleased that 10 photographers were taken on, and that we even had a waiting list… We used 4 models of varying abilities, to encourage the attendees to work harder, but to still achieve some great images.    The sets were excellent, the lighting superb…

We used a combination of overhead lights on a boom, softboxes, beauty dishes, and cold constant lights, to provide a variety of conditions under which to shoot.  The studio had a large infinity curve, which gave some great high key shots, though we also had access to a 1950’s style ice-cream bar.

It was excellent to see inexperienced studio photographers change over the session – one lady started off very quietly, but by  the end of the session, was happily directing, and demonstrating poses to the models….

Many thanks go to the hard working models – Katie, Geri, Danny, and Clare – who modelled tirelessly and I know didn’t get much of a break.

I didn’t get chance to take many images, as we were busy looking after our delegates, but the feedback so far, has been so good, that we are already in the stages of planning our next shoot on a similar theme, but using different models, and different sets.  Watch this space for more information.

Portraits at Barlow

Last week, we set off for Barlow, just outside Chesterfield for a portrait shoot with 5 different models…. The studio which boasts three different rooms, and around 10 unique sets, also has a new wet area, which this time we didn’t use.

Many thanks must go to George, the studio owner for all his help on the day.

The day was arranged for a group of enthusiastic photographers, who used practically every facility that the studio had on hand.

The morning session was set to fashion, and portraiture – whilst the afternoon was given over to more ‘alternative’ models – comprising a male and female ‘punk’.

Everyone worked hard, and the photographers were rewarded with some amazing images.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks to all the models who took part, and to the photographers who took the time, and trouble to come.