As well as creating lots of video content for our clients we’ve also been really busy with the good old medium of stills photography!. So much so in fact that Toni our assistant photographer has taken on a few jobs herself as we’ve been double booked on a number of occasions. Luckily she’s a really top photographer in her own right and she understands how I take pictures because she spends a lot of time retouching them so her style matches mine which is good for our corporate brand. It’s great that we’ve been so busy and a few interesting jobs have come up since the last blog entry.
Firstly we completed a series of events for the NHBC which were located all around the UK. The ladies at the NHBC are so good to work for as everything little detail is perfectly planned so the events run really smoothly and on time. It’s been great fun to work on these events and I’m hoping to do some more with them next year all being well!.
I also recently completed a commission at House of Fraser London where we were working with as lovely model called Molly with a brief to capture fashion style images showing the new mirrors in the changing rooms in action. Philips Lighting has supplied mirrors incorporating LED technology enabling the person trying on the outfits to change the ambient lighting inside the booth to match various real life situations such as autumn light, winter light, tungsten lighting, party lighting and summer light etc so you can tell how the colours will look when you buy the item and get it home!.
I love working with models so this was a really enjoyable project and rates as one of my favourite shoots of the year.
Last week I also had the pleasure of working with some guys from the Cabinet Office where I was commissioned to photograph some interiors of various Government departments in and around Whitehall. This was another of my favourite jobs of the year as I got a real buzz from working inside these iconic buildings in such a beautiful part of London.
I also recently filmed and Directed a short promotional video for Kinnarps UK featuring a new office chair that they have just released – here’s a link to the video so please take a look and let me know what you think - http://vimeo.com/79183652
Blimey it’s been well over a month since the last blog post and I do try to keep up but we have been so busy although it doesn’t feel like that financially!.
Cash flow is always tight even though we have a healthy turnover and we’re now preparing to pay the latest VAT bill and the Corporation Tax (great!).
I’ve been doing a lot more event photography lately which has been great fun and was one of my goals at the start of the year. I like events because I love to work with people and it’s an excuse to dust down the suit and dress a bit more smartly. We’ve also been shooting some models and actors for annual report work and we’ve got some more catalogue work coming up too this month so I’ll be working with models again soon.
I also like to shoot industrial photography and I’m currently working with Anglo Lighting in Leeds to create some video and stills images showing their impressive manufacturing facility. It’s great to see a UK lighting company actually manufacturing and designing their own products and we had a good day shooting the content for a video that is now in edit.
One of the events I photographed was hosted by Nick Knowles off the telly and I have to say he was one of the nicest guys I’ve worked with and was a true pro – he even made me a cup of coffee!.
I’m also shooting more video work too which is great fun and adds a new dimension to things as I’ve had to learn a new way of looking at projects. With video I have to remember to shoot wide medium and tight shots with some really tight details to drop in too. I’ve launched our own Vimeo channel (as Youtube began to get too complicated) and here’s a link to our site - https://vimeo.com/channels/553996/videos so take a look if you get a minute.
I’ve included some sample shots from the past month or so and as you can see it’s been a varied and interesting month!
I’ve been photographing quite a few events recently (which I really enjoy) and I’ve even bought a suit to wear as they are becoming more regular!.
The last two have been press events held with cabinet ministers in London, one with the Planning Minister Nick Boles in the City of Lonon and other an event in Westminster with the Housing Minister Mark Prisk. To be fair I’m not a political animal at all and have no strong views either way when it comes to party politics but I will say both ministers presented very well indeed and both seemed genuinely passionate about their respective subjects.
These events are usually attended by very senior people so a friendly polite and professional approach is key to getting through them without upsetting anyone. I have to move around quite a bit to get the different angles that the clients want and I’m always very careful to keep a low profile and not distract anyone. I don’t use flash either as this would be intrusive so I use a high ISO setting and shoot with fast prime lenses wide open. I usually use my Voigtlander 90mm f3.5 and Carl Zeiss 180mm f2.8 manual focus lenses to achieve the results I need.
By stark contrast I photographed a party at the new Kinnarps furniture showroom in Farringdon last week. The guys at Kinnarps are great mates as well as great customers and I always look forward to working with them. They throw a mean party too and this one was their summer BBQ with the superb Madness tribute band Complete Madness who are totally brilliant.
I have some more events coming up and would love to get more so if you are reading this and need an event photographer please give me a call!.
I’m writing this blog entry from my hotel room is sunny (yes sunny!) Glasgow. It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster few weeks since the last blog entry and we’ve gone from being a bit on the quiet side to being full on busy again. I’ve been running Redshift Photography for over 10 years now and just when I think we’ve finally cracked it and the work is there for good things go quiet again!. Still I can’t complain because a quiet month now would have been a full on busy one a few years ago so I guess we’re getting there…
I’ve had some fun since I last blogged and I’ve been doing quite a lot of corporate portrait work which I really enjoy. I spent a couple of days photographing the senior staff at Hilson Moran at their London and Fanborough offices and I’ve also photographed the board of the NHBC at a hotel in Cobham and also some of their regional Directors at their Milton Keynes HQ. I use my trusty Bowens 500 flash heads (three of them) for these jobs and I’ve been using the excellent Calumet radio triggers to fire them recently.
I’ve also been to Ireland to shoot a video and completed another video for Kinnarps (a leading Swedish furniture manufacturer) in their Farringdon showroom. Many of our clients now ask for RAW video files as their internal designers edit the footage themselves which is fine with me.
Last week I photographed The Wellesley Hotel in Knightsbridge London which has recently opened. It’s a very grand building and the interior is quite stunning. The hotel is aimed at some very high end clients so I had to be very discreet and I ended up going back on two different days to capture all the areas as we couldn’t get any guests in the pictures. My assistant Toni post processed the pictures for me in Lightroom and did a fantastic job on colour balancing them and blending some detail back in to the chandeliers. The suite in one of the pictures is around £4000 per night so I used my tripod very carefully when moving around the room!.
By stark contrast I photographed a waste processing plant in Irvine last night for Holophane Lighting who have supplied some very powerful LED based industrial lights into the sheds. I had to wait on site from 5pm until 11pm for it to get dark (I had to sign in while the guys were still there) as it gets darker later up here in Scotland. The guys that worked at the site were some of the most helpful and friendly people I’ve met and one of them even popped back at 11pm to take me to the train station – what a good bloke!.
Another project I have featured today is a small newly built art room designed by may friend Adrian Morrow who is a very talented and dedicated architect. It is a private studio built for a couple in Milton Keynes in their garden and the design is superb with lots of lovely touches and cool materials. We did a daylight shoot but decided to return for some shots at dusk and I’m glad we did as they good really good. Dusk is a lovely time to work with architecture and the structure took on a very different look and feel in the pictures.
I’m spending the rest of the morning in my hotel room catching up with post processing etc them I’m off to take a walk around Glasgow with my camera as it’s one of my favourite cities!.
The ladies in the next village to us decided to put on Calendar Girls to raise some money for charity. I offered to take the pictures for the calendar and we had a great Saturday setting up some shots and working through some ideas. The show went ahead a couple of weeks ago and I have to say I really enjoyed it so a big well done to the Whaddon Calendar Girls!.
For most of the shoot I used my fantastic old Mamiya 55mm f1.4 manual focus lens which I fit to the Canon EOS 5D MK2 via an adaptor. I was brought up on film cameras with manual focus lenses so using a vintage lens just feels right to me. Also the image quality is superb and the pictures have a really nice look to them as I find the modern Canon L series lenses to be quite clinical. For the shot outside in the snow I used the excellent Bowens Travel Pak to power a single Bowens 500 flash head with a basic reflector. This is a technique that I love to use as the powerful studio flash can give some great results when used outside and mixed with daylight.
We’ve got the winter and spring shots in the bag and we’ve booked a day in June to get some summer months covered too weather permitting.
If anyone would like to order a calendar please get in touch – they are £10 each with all proceeds going to charity.
Then to cap off a fabulous week I went to Silverstone last weekend with Harry my son and we watched the Aston Martin Owners Club event which was just fabulous. It cost me a £10 to get in (Harry was free!) and there were all sorts of classic cars on show as well as the fabulous Aston Martins. The whole event was so friendly and were even allowed into the garages to see the cars close up and out onto the pit lane.
I took the old 5D Mk1 again and this time I used a 50mm f1.4 Mamiya Sekor lens for the wider shots and a Nikon 300mm f4.5 manual focus lens for some action shots of the racing. I like to use manual focus lenses for motor sport and the old Nikon lens performed very well indeed!.
I didn’t have track side access so the shots do have a fence in the foreground at times. To counter this I panned with the cars to reduce the impact of the fencing by blurring it out a bit.
It has been great to have some time free and to shoot some pictures for fun!.
There’s a few main reasons why I like events. Firstly I get to dress a bit more smartly than normal, then I get to work with people rather than building or products. It’s great for a bit of people watching and also I usually get some great food at some point in the proceedings too!.
A recent example of this was last week where I was commissioned by one of our regular clients to photograph an awards do in Westminster. The Minister for Housing came along and the venue and food where out of this world!.
The red wine looked great too but I never drink when I’m working!. I learned this lesson a few years ago when a client invited me to their Christmas party which was in Covent Garden and there was probably two hundred people there having a great time. I was invited along as a guest but on the understanding that I took a few pictures early in the night.
I got the pictures then joined the merriment but unfortunately ended up dancing on the dance floor at 1am with my EOS 5D MK2 and 24-105mm L series lens and the lens came loose somehow and smashed on the floor!. Ouch that was a £900 lens – lesson learned.
If you have an event you need covering please call me – I’d be happy to attend!.
I had a couple of really nice commissions last week. The first was to photograph the new Baroosh restaurant in Marlow and the second to photograph the new Languages block at Rugby school.
The restaurant was a tough shoot because the interior surfaces were quite dark and the stained glass windows very bright. I used some very gentle HDR techniques on some of the shots to render highlight and shadow details properly.
The Rugby School shoot was fun too. I had already photographed the interior on a previous visit and that meant that I could concentrate wholly on the external of the building. I like to break architectural work into separate shoots where possible as I find interior and exterior photography need to different mind sets.
We’ve had some studio work in too recently which we shot in our little studio in Winslow. It’s only a small space but it’s set up perfectly now and we can achieve so many different lighting styles in there despite the limited space.
It’s been a relatively quiet start to the year although to be honest January in always quiet so it’s no surprise!. We’ve been busy quoting lots of jobs for later in the year which is great news and I have several jobs in the diary for February including two trips to the Lake District, a few days in Scotland and two jobs in Wales.
In the past few days I’ve photographed a Baroosh restaurant in Marlow, some products for a street lighting manufacturer, and a lovely lady called Annalie!. I’ve also photographed a beautiful stately home in Kent, a Sole Trader store in London, a John Lewis store in Ipswich, a new building at Rugby School and an event for the NHBC.
Our video production company Inverse Square Media has also completed a couple of video productions so actually it’s been busier than I thought!.
Over the past couple of years I’ve been using manual focus lenses more and more and have bought several Carl Zeiss lenses for my EOS 5D MK2. Last month I bought a manual focus 90mm Macro Voigtlander lens specially designed for the Canon EOS system and it is one of the very best lenses I’ve used. The silver street light product in this post was taken with this lens and it’s really sharp and contrasty so is highly recommended!.
As you can tell from the increasingly infrequent blog posts we are still very busy and things are continuing to pick up. We have been really lucky to have had a record year this year (year ended April 2012) and we are on target to beat that again!. Also in April 2013 we will be celebrating our 10th year of being in business so we will definitely drink to that.
The past few weeks have been really manic and fun with photo shoots all over the country from Cumbria to Chichester.
Rather than name them all I’ve posted a few shots from the past month or so in the gallery. I have to admit that I hate having my picture taken with a passion but there is a shot of me working away at The Reform Club in Pall Mall wearing my one and only suit!. I get three or four jobs a year where a suit is required and although it’s a pretty decent whistle it’s always good to get home and change into some jeans!.
I’d like to thanks all our clients for all their support this year and I look forward to working with you all again next year.