After a year thinking about it, I've finally launched my first ever photo exhibition. I've decided to get out of my comfort zone and not taking posed portraitures with artificial lights but try to capture people in the streets of London. The purpose is not to get a technically perfect image but try to catch a moment or feeling adding some unusual compositions and use technical imperfection to increase the interest in the resulting work.
The exhibition has started yesterday and will continue until the the 4th of March 10pm. I will be present at the venue on Feb 11th, Feb 25th and March 4th from 6.00pm.
Any comments/critics are welcome!
My original plan for today has been cancelled so I popped down to Notting Hill Gate at around midday to say hello to my fellas from the LPMG at the Tabernacle. There was a fotogym on Lightroom for beginners. And at 1pm I was in Borough Market to meet Dan Davies and few other London photographers for a photowalk. Lunch was a nice mexican wrap at Hobbs, it was just delicious! Today photowalk's subject was to take photographs as if we were shooting with a film SLR, so the rules were:
- choose an ISO setting and stick with it
- maximum 36 shots throughout the walk
- the LCD screen is masked out with electrical tape, no picture review
I thought it could be fun and challenging, but the other challenge was the cold!
My mate, Frank Williams called me few days ago as he wanted to go out for some evening photoshoot. So today we headed to St Paul's in the end of the afternoon and waited for the sun to set in order to get some nice pictures. As usual, the British weather wasn't very great, we were freezing! Lots of clouds, so no deep blue evening sky as a backdrop for the cathedral. But luckily by the end some of the clouds got a marvellous red tint that come up pretty nice. Another issue was image sharpness, eventhough we brought our tripod with us the issue didn't come from the camera stability, but more from the bridge itself. There was a lot of people crossing it and the bridge just kept moving which didn't help with the shoot when you are trying to get a slow shutter speed to blur the clouds. But I'm not too disappointed with the pictures and some of them came out pretty nicely, I think :-)
I just came back from a fantastic workshop with the LPMG, for some it was their first go with flash photography and more practice will be needed but they have good potential. Would like to see how far these guys will go. As already mentioned in another post, joining a camera club of a photographic society can really help you improve your photographic skills.
My friend SnapperJack has put up for me a really great showreel video of my photography work. He's shooting and editing video so if you need a videographer then pop down to his website and blog (see below).
Have a wonderful Sunday and see you soon.
A quick post for those who haven't seen the intro video to my Project 'S'. The project is still going and more special agents are in for the project. It's getting exciting!
I'm still looking for some models that are interested in some spy style photoshoot, please contact me with a link to your portfolio.
Following this, I've been to doing a photoshoot at a famous spy location in London: No. 2 Audley Square. This place on the South of Audley street has a lamp post that was used by the Russian spy in back in the mid 50's. The agent would mark an 'X' with a chalk on the lamp post to let his controller know he needed to meet. The photoshoot was held in the evening and the low light condition coupled to a continuous rain made the work quite a challenge. But I managed to get good shots of Alan Titchard from Wizard Walks in London. I won't be revealing too much about this photoshoot until the end of the project.
This month Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine issue No. 66 will be featuring Alan's portrait on the cover (bottom right) and a 4 page article about my espionage project featuring samples of my work. Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine is sold in 36 countries to a readership of about 100'000, so this is really good news for me and I'm really excited to share this with you all.
Eye Spy Magazine #66 is now available in any good newsagents.
I've started a new project around espionage and have started shooting for a series on how most people would imagine a spy. Of course the most popular spy would be James Bond 007, a fictional character created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming. James Bond was an officer of the British Secret Intelligence Service, a handsome gentleman surrounded by his bond girls! That's how probably lot of people would imagine a spy, or maybe Jason Bourne?
But this image of a spy is far from the truth, but this is another story...
Halloween 2009. The London Strobist group has organized a meetup in a night club: Club Life in Vauxhall. They gathered around 15 photographers, 9 models and 3 makeup artists. The group rented out the club for half a day and had fun testing new lighting setups and sharing knowledge. That was where I met Vik Moreno and knew he would be my perfect subject for my new project on espionage!
Mid June 2007, one of my best friends was getting married in France. For his wedding day, I decided that I should give a try with flash photography for low light conditions. So I bought a Sigma EF-500 DG ST, an E-TTL only flash. Having no clue on how to properly use a Flash gun using E-TTL, I started to look for a good tutorial on the web. One of them was linking to a blog called Strobist. That was the start of an addiction. I couldn't stop reading that great blog that teaches you all you need to know about off-camera flash photography. My issue then was that my Sigma flashgun was E-TTL only and the blog is mentionning about using manual flash to have full control on your work. So after the wedding I sent the flashgun back to the shop for an exchange for the Sigma EF-500 DG Super which allows manual control of the flash.
November 2007, the EHHPS (a local photographic society here in Ealing) was organizing what they call "Panel of Prints Competition". As its name indicates it's a competition where you present a panel that has to be composed of at least 3 and up to 6 images that have to be linked by a same subject or that are telling a story. So one night, coming back from work on the bus, I was trying to think of what to shoot for this competition. It was the time where "painting with light" photographs was flourihing on the web. The idea was in my head for quite a while already, but I didn't want to do something that has already been done so many times and wanted to add something more to it: "what about mixing two techniques to it? A off-camera lit self-portrait and painting with light?". That sounds cool to me and few ideas started to grow as I nearly missed the bus stop....
When taking a portrait, the most important thing in your picture is the main subject. The background should be cool but the subject should be the main focus. You need to separate your subject from the background by, for example, narrowing the depth of field to blur it, restrict the flash light with a grid spot so it only light the subject and leave the background to the ambiance light or throw the background to some motion blur and maintaining the subject acceptably sharp.
This technique does not require you to own a fast lens (with great aperture), you don't even need a moving background, but you need to own an external flash gun triggered off-camera. It will help you make the background less obvious by bluring it in a stylish way and also create some special mood to the picture.
Since about June 2007 I've followed on a nearly daily basis the evolution of Strobist, a blog setup by David Hobby, an ex photo journalist working for the Sun in the US. In a friendly and simple way, David Hobby is teaching you how to use small and portable flashguns to the maximum of their possibilities and achieve high quality photographs. The Strobist blog is reinforced by a Strobist Flickr Group where the blog readers could participate in the group discussion threads and posting their work into the group's photo pool and get comments and critics.
I remember going thru several pictures of skateboarders, cyclist... doing high jump with a great sky in the background. This made me want to get some similar photographs. So, with my wife, we started a serie on our trip to the Isle of Wight.